Welcome to "On the 50 Yard Line" The Blog of Stuart L. Pardau, Attorney, Professor and Observer of Political Economy; It’s not just about football.

Friday, August 24, 2012

DC Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs

A Federal Appeals Court struck down today the FDA's proposed requirements to have cigarette manufacturers place graphic labels on all their packaging (think photos of charred lungs, emaciated people on respirators and so on). Lovely images no doubt that may scare off some, but the Court was not persuaded. They said in part:

“FDA failed to present any data—much less the substantial evidence…showing that enacting their proposed graphic warnings will accomplish the agency’s stated objective of reducing smoking rates” the majority on the three-judge panel wrote.”

This one almost certainly will go to the US Supremes for final deliberation.


Judicial Conference Committee Rolls Out New Model Rules Relating to Jurors Use of Social Media

The Judicial Conference Committee has rolled out new model rules concerning jurors' use of social media during trial. There have been numerous instances over the past few years of jurors posting comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. This is highly inappropriate conduct which several states have already addressed, including in Massachusetts and Arkansas (the latter wherein the Arkansas high court overturned a murder conviction due to inappropriate conduct by a juror who was tweeting about the case throughout the trial). These new model rules are long overdue.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Judge Rejects Facebook Settlement

Five Facebook users filed the lawsuit in April 2011, three months after Facebook introduced the ads that include users' names and faces. An earlier ruling in the case ordered Facebook to allow users to opt out of having their information used in the so-called Sponsored Stories.
Facebook and the suing parties struck a deal to resolve the case, but with Friday's ruling, the monetary settlement is back up in the air. The terms Judge Seeborg rejected would have included a $10 million "cy pres" payment to Internet privacy advocacy groups and up to $10 million in fees for the plaintiffs' attorneys.
Per Facebook's public filings, they earn $1 million per day in revenue for these sponsored stories.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Electronic Arts Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement

Electronic Arts ("EA") on behalf of its Maxis label, is suing Zynga for “infringing EA’s copyrights to its Facebook game, The Sims Social.”
EA alleges that says Zynga’s The Ville “copied the original and distinctive expressive elements of The Sims Social in a clear violation of U.S. copyright laws.” The degree to which Zynga copied The Sims, says EA, “was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable.”
The test for copyright infringement is: 1) copying; and 2) substantial similarity. A casual review of both games does point to some issues of genuine material fact with enough to get past summary judgment.
Zynga’s response to this, which we just received from a company spokesperson, is that TheVille “builds on every major innovation from our existing invest-and-express games dating back to YoVille and continuing through CityVille and CastleVille, and introduces a number of new social features and game mechanics not seen in social games today.” The company’s General Counsel Reggie Davis also says that it’s “ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s CityVille game."


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FTC Proposed Modifications to Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rules

The proposed modifications to the definitions of "operator" and "website or online service directed to children" would allocate and clarify the responsibilities under COPPA when third parties such as advertising networks or downloadable software kits ("plug-ins") collect personal information from users through child-directed websites or services. The Commission proposes to state within the definition of "operator" that personal information is "collected or maintained on behalf of" an operator where it is collected in the interest of, as a representative of, or for the benefit of, the operator. This change would make clear that an operator of a child-directed site or service that chooses to integrate the services of others that collect personal information from its visitors should itself be considered a covered "operator" under the Rule.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger