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Paypal Is New Money: Extending Secondary Copyright Liability Safe Harbors To Online Payment Processors, Erika Douglas Nov 2017

Paypal Is New Money: Extending Secondary Copyright Liability Safe Harbors To Online Payment Processors, Erika Douglas

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has shaped the Internet as we know it. This legislation shields online service providers from secondary copyright infringement liability in exchange for takedown of infringing content of their users. Yet online payment processors, the backbone of $300 billion in U.S. e-commerce, are completely outside of the DMCA’s protection. This Article uses PayPal, the most popular online payment company in the U.S., to illustrate the growing risk of secondary liability for payment processors. First it looks at jurisprudence that expands secondary copyright liability online, and explains how it might be applied to ...


Understanding The Consumer Review Fairness Act Of 2016, Eric Goldman Nov 2017

Understanding The Consumer Review Fairness Act Of 2016, Eric Goldman

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Consumer reviews are vitally important to our modern economy. Markets become stronger and more efficient when consumers share their marketplace experiences and guide other consumers toward the best vendors and away from poor ones. Businesses recognize the importance of consumer reviews, and many businesses take numerous steps to manage how consumer reviews affect their public image. Unfortunately, in a misguided effort to control consumer reviews, some businesses have deployed contract provisions that ban or inhibit their consumers from reviewing them. I call those provisions “antireview clauses.”

Anti-review clauses distort the marketplace benefits society gets from consumer reviews by suppressing peer ...


Property Rights In Augmented Reality, Declan T. Conroy Nov 2017

Property Rights In Augmented Reality, Declan T. Conroy

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Increasingly, cities, towns, and even rural communities are being slowly reshaped by a dynamic yet initially imperceptible phenomenon: the elaboration of augmented reality. Through applications that place virtual features over specific, real-world locations, layers of augmented reality are proliferating, adding new elements to an increasingly wide range of places. However, while many welcome the sudden appearance of arenas for battling digital creatures in their neighborhood or the chance to write virtual messages on their neighbor’s wall, the areas being augmented oftentimes are privately owned, thereby implicating property rights. Many intrusions, of course, are de minimis: an isolated, invisible Pikachu ...


How Elonis Failed To Clarify The Analysis Of "True Threats" In Social Media Cases And The Subsequent Need For Congressional Response, Jessica L. Opila Nov 2017

How Elonis Failed To Clarify The Analysis Of "True Threats" In Social Media Cases And The Subsequent Need For Congressional Response, Jessica L. Opila

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Social media and other internet communications have altered the way people communicate with one another, including the way people threaten one another. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Elonis v. United States, which imposed a heightened mental state requirement for federal prosecutions of threats issued in interstate commerce. Although the statute, 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), has no mental state requirement, the Supreme Court held that, consistent with the principles of criminal law, only those with guilty minds should be convicted and thus some showing of subjective intent is required. The opinion did not name the requisite ...


Virtual Violence - Disruptive Cyberspace Operations As "Attacks" Under International Humanitarian Law, Ido Kilovaty Jan 2016

Virtual Violence - Disruptive Cyberspace Operations As "Attacks" Under International Humanitarian Law, Ido Kilovaty

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Power outages, manipulations of data, and interruptions of Internet access are all possible effects of cyber operations. Unfortunately, recent efforts to address and regulate cyberspace operations under international law often emphasize the uncommon, though severe, cyber-attacks that cause deaths, injuries, or physical destruction. This paper deals with cyber operations during armed conflicts that cause major disruption or interruption effects – as opposed to deaths, injuries, or physical destruction. The purpose of this paper is to explore the consequences of these cyber operations that cause major disruption or interruption effects, and to argue that they might still constitute “acts of violence,” as ...


Network Neutrality And The First Amendment, Andrew Patrick, Eric Scharphorn Oct 2015

Network Neutrality And The First Amendment, Andrew Patrick, Eric Scharphorn

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The First Amendment reflects the conviction that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to public welfare. Like the printing press, the Internet has dramatically transformed the marketplace of ideas by providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals to communicate. Though its growth continues to be phenomenal, broadband service providers— acting as Internet gatekeepers—have developed the ability to discriminate against specific content and applications. First, these gatekeepers intercept and inspect data transferred over public networks, then selectively block or slow it. This practice has the potential to stifle the Internet’s value as a speech ...


Loopholes For Circumventing The Constitution: Unrestrained Bulk Surveillance On Americans By Collecting Network Traffic Abroad, Axel Arnbak, Sharon Goldberg Jun 2015

Loopholes For Circumventing The Constitution: Unrestrained Bulk Surveillance On Americans By Collecting Network Traffic Abroad, Axel Arnbak, Sharon Goldberg

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Article reveals interdependent legal and technical loopholes that the US intelligence community could use to circumvent constitutional and statutory safeguards for Americans. These loopholes involve the collection of Internet traffic on foreign territory, and leave Americans as unprotected as foreigners by current United States (US) surveillance laws. This Article will also describe how modern Internet protocols can be manipulated to deliberately divert American’s traffic abroad, where traffic can then be collected under a more permissive legal regime (Executive Order 12333) that is overseen solely by the executive branch of the US government. Although the media has reported on ...


Voluntary Disclosure Of Information As A Proposed Standard For The Fourth Amendment's Third-Party Doctrine, Margaret E. Twomey Jun 2015

Voluntary Disclosure Of Information As A Proposed Standard For The Fourth Amendment's Third-Party Doctrine, Margaret E. Twomey

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The third-party doctrine is a long-standing tenant of Fourth Amendment law that allows law enforcement officers to utilize information that was released to a third party without the probable cause required for a traditional search warrant. This has allowed law enforcement agents to use confidential informants, undercover agents, and access bank records of suspected criminals. However, in a digital age where exponentially more information is shared with Internet Service Providers, e-mail hosts, and social media “friends,” the traditional thirdparty doctrine ideas allow law enforcement officers access to a cache of personal information and data with a standard below probable cause ...


Jurisdictional Limits Of In Rem Proceedings Against Domain Names, Michael Xun Liu Jan 2014

Jurisdictional Limits Of In Rem Proceedings Against Domain Names, Michael Xun Liu

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

In 1999, Congress passed the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) to combat “cybersquatters” who profited by registering domain names that were confusingly similar to established trademarks. Under the ACPA, trademark owners have a specific cause of action against domain name registrants accused of cybersquatting. Moreover, the law gives U.S. courts in rem jurisdiction over trademark infringing domain names registered to parties that are not subject to personal jurisdiction. Over the past decade, proceeding in rem against domain names has proven to be an effective strategy for trademark owners. While many companies have used the ACPA against cybersquatters, others have ...


Wireless Localism: Beyond The Shroud Of Objectivity In Federal Spectrum Administration, Olivier Sylvain Dec 2013

Wireless Localism: Beyond The Shroud Of Objectivity In Federal Spectrum Administration, Olivier Sylvain

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Recent innovations in mobile wireless technology have instigated a debate between two camps of legal scholars about federal administration of the electromagnetic spectrum. The first camp argues that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) should define spectrum use rights more clearly and give spectrum licensees broad property rights in frequencies. The second camp argues that, rather than award exclusive licenses to the highest bidder, the FCC ought to open much, if not most, of the spectrum to unlicensed use by smartphones and tablets equipped with the newest spectrum administration technology. First, this Article shows that both of these camps comprise a ...


Tollbooths And Newsstands On The Information Superhighway, Brad A. Greenberg Dec 2013

Tollbooths And Newsstands On The Information Superhighway, Brad A. Greenberg

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Countering the perception that speech limitations affecting distribution necessarily reduce access to information, this Essay proffers that copyright expansions actually can increase access and thereby serve important copyright and First Amendment values. In doing so, this discussion contributes to the growing literature and two recent Supreme Court opinions discussing whether copyright law and First Amendment interests can coexist.


Whose Social Network Account: A Trade Secret Approach To Allocating Rights, Zoe Argento Jan 2013

Whose Social Network Account: A Trade Secret Approach To Allocating Rights, Zoe Argento

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Who has the superior right to a social network account? This is the question in a growing number of disputes between employers and workers over social network accounts. The problem has no clear legal precedent. Although the disputes implicate rights under trademark, copyright, and privacy law, these legal paradigms fail to address the core issue. At base, disputes over social network accounts are disputes over the right to access the people, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands, who follow an account. This Article evaluates the problem from the perspective of the public interest in social network use, particularly the ...


Geographically Restricted Streaming Content And Evasion Of Geolocation: The Applicability Of The Copyright Anticircumvention Rules, Jerusha Burnett Jan 2013

Geographically Restricted Streaming Content And Evasion Of Geolocation: The Applicability Of The Copyright Anticircumvention Rules, Jerusha Burnett

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

A number of methods currently exist or are being developed to determine where Internet users are located geographically when they access a particular webpage. Yet regardless of the precautions taken by website operators to limit the locations from which they allow access, it is likely that users will find ways to gain access to restricted content. Should the evasion of geolocation constitute circumvention of access controls so that § 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") applies? Because location data can properly be considered personally identifiable information ("PII"), this Note argues that § 1201 should not apply absent a warning that ...


Viewer Discretion Is Advised: Disconnects Between The Marketplace Of Ideas And Social Media Used To Communicate Information During Emergencies And Public Health Crises, Peter Maggiore Jan 2012

Viewer Discretion Is Advised: Disconnects Between The Marketplace Of Ideas And Social Media Used To Communicate Information During Emergencies And Public Health Crises, Peter Maggiore

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

In a sense, social media has become the ideal manifestation of the "Marketplace of Ideas" (hereinafter "Marketplace") that Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes articulated. The Marketplace concept will be discussed in greater detail below, but in brief, it is the theory that truth will surface over falsehoods when all opinions and ideas are freely expressed, because the value or worth of that opinion or idea will be determined on the market of public opinion. Part I of this Note will examine the Marketplace concept through the works of various legal and philosophical theorists. Chief among them is Frederick Schauer's ...


Fighting The First Sale Doctrine: Strategies For A Struggling Film Industry, Sage Vanden Heuvel Jan 2012

Fighting The First Sale Doctrine: Strategies For A Struggling Film Industry, Sage Vanden Heuvel

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The first sale doctrine, codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109, grants the owners of a copy of a copyrighted work the right to sell, rent, or lease that copy without permission from the copyright owner. This doctrine, first endorsed by the Supreme Court in Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus, was established at a time when the owner of a good necessarily had to forego possession in order to sell or lease the item to another.[...] The changes in technology and industry over the past two decades threaten to upend this balance. In today's digital world, an owner of a ...


Privacy Policies, Terms Of Service, And Ftc Enforcement: Broadening Unfairness Regulation For A New Era, G. S. Hans Jan 2012

Privacy Policies, Terms Of Service, And Ftc Enforcement: Broadening Unfairness Regulation For A New Era, G. S. Hans

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Note examines website privacy policies in the context of FTC regulation. The relevant portion of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), uses the following language to define the scope of the agency's regulatory authority: "Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful." Specifically, this Note analyzes the FTC's power to regulate unfair practices (referred to as the FTC's "unfairness power") granted by Section 5, and also discusses the deception prong of Section 5 ...


Does Law Matter Online - Empirical Evidence On Privacy Law Compliance, Michael Birnhack, Niva Elkin-Koren Jan 2011

Does Law Matter Online - Empirical Evidence On Privacy Law Compliance, Michael Birnhack, Niva Elkin-Koren

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Does law matter in the information environment? What can we learn from the experience of applying a particular legal regime to the online environment? Informational privacy (or to use the European term, data protection) provides an excellent illustration of the challenges faced by regulators who seek to secure user rights and shape online behavior. A comprehensive study of Israeli website compliance with information privacy regulation in 2003 and 2006 provides insights for understanding these challenges. The study examined the information privacy practices of 1360 active websites, determining the extent to which these sites comply with applicable legal requirements related to ...


Information Anxieties, G. S. Hans Jan 2011

Information Anxieties, G. S. Hans

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The constant access and instant publication that the Internet allows have given every pundit an online soapbox. This content explosion has created two related problems for consumers and industry: how to find valuable content online (whatever "valuable" means) and how to moderate the flow of the content itself. Tim Wu argues in The Master Switch that the second issue of content control and mediation has been fiercely debated in the United States as far back as the invention of the telephone in the late nineteenth century. Consumers, creators, companies, and government officials have disputed the appropriate regulations for the devices ...


Spoliation Of Electronic Evidence: Sanctions Versus Advocacy, Charles W. Adams Jan 2011

Spoliation Of Electronic Evidence: Sanctions Versus Advocacy, Charles W. Adams

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Article proposes that courts should refrain from imposing adverse inference jury instructions as sanctions for the spoliation of evidence. This proposal bears some similarity to the approach taken twenty years ago by the 1993 amendments to Rule 11, which constrained courts' ability to sanction. Instead of imposing an adverse jury instruction as a sanction for spoliation of evidence, courts should allow evidence of spoliation to be admitted at trial if a reasonable jury could find that spoliation had occurred and if the spoliation was relevant to a material issue. If a court allows the introduction of evidence of spoliation ...


Governments, Privatization, And Privatization: Icann And The Gac, Jonathan Weinberg Jan 2011

Governments, Privatization, And Privatization: Icann And The Gac, Jonathan Weinberg

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) sets the rules for the Internet addressing systems that make it possible for users to send email, view webpages, or otherwise connect to Internet resources. Its most visible function is to supervise the domain name system, which identifies Internet resources by "domain names" such as "wayne.edu" or "threecats.net." ICANN's control gives it authority over how domain names are structured and what they look like; it gives it regulatory and economic power over a substantial set of businesses involved with Internet addressing.[...] What kind of organization, then, is ICANN ...


A Path Toward User Control Of Online Profiling, Tracy A. Steindel Jan 2011

A Path Toward User Control Of Online Profiling, Tracy A. Steindel

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Online profiling is "the practice of tracking information about consumers' interests by monitoring their movements online." A primary purpose of online profiling is to "deliver advertising tailored to the individual's interests," a practice known as online behavioral advertising (OBA). In order to accomplish this, publishers and advertisers track a individual's online behavior using cookies and other means. Publishers and advertisers aggregate the information, often compile it with information from offline sources, and sort individuals into groups based on characteristics such as age, income, and hobbies. Advertisers can then purchase access to these consumer groups, controlling their selections with ...


Everything In Its Right Place: Social Cooperation And Artist Compensation, Leah Belsky, Byron Kahr, Max Berkelhammer, Yochai Benkler Jan 2010

Everything In Its Right Place: Social Cooperation And Artist Compensation, Leah Belsky, Byron Kahr, Max Berkelhammer, Yochai Benkler

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The music industry's crisis response to the Internet has been the primary driver of U.S. copyright policy for over a decade. The core institutional response has been to increase the scope of copyright and the use of litigation, prosecution, and technical control mechanisms for its enforcement. The assumption driving these efforts has been that without heavily-enforced copyright, artists will not be able to make a living from their art. Throughout this period artists have been experimenting with approaches that do not rely on technological or legal enforcement, but on constructing web-based business models that engage fans and rely ...


Ill Telecommunications: How Internet Infrastructure Providers Lose First Amendment Protection, Nicholas Bramble Jan 2010

Ill Telecommunications: How Internet Infrastructure Providers Lose First Amendment Protection, Nicholas Bramble

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed an Internet nondiscrimination rule: "Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service must treat lawful content, applications, and services in a nondiscriminatory manner." Among other requests, the FCC sought comment on whether the proposed nondiscrimination rule would "promote free speech, civic participation, and democratic engagement," and whether it would "impose any burdens on access providers' speech that would be cognizable for purposes of the First Amendment." The purpose of this Article is to suggest that a wide range of responses to these First Amendment questions, offered by telecommunications providers ...


Google Adwords: Trademark Infringer Or Trade Liberalizer, Ashley Tan Jan 2010

Google Adwords: Trademark Infringer Or Trade Liberalizer, Ashley Tan

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Google is the world's most preferred search engine, with an audience share of eighty percent of Internet users worldwide. With so many people browsing its search results, Google is a natural advertising vehicle, and it has exploited this quality to become one of the most profitable Internet companies in U.S. history. However, success has not come without controversy, and one of the most significant concerns Google AdWords, which displays keyword-triggered ads and sponsored links alongside non-sponsored search results. AdWords has come under attack in the United States and in the European Union ("EU") for its role in trademark ...


Fcc Jurisdiction Over Isps In Protocol-Specific Bandwidth Throttling, Andrew Gioia Jan 2009

Fcc Jurisdiction Over Isps In Protocol-Specific Bandwidth Throttling, Andrew Gioia

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Over the past decade, the Internet has matured from its dial-up infancy into the nation's dominant communications infrastructure. Such rapid growth and accessibility--while fostering free speech and innovation like nothing before--has nonetheless created complex regulatory and policy questions for both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the cable companies providing the nation's broadband Internet access. For instance, Comcast, one such Internet provider, has recently brought to the fore the question of how, and to what extent, the FCC can ensure an open and accessible Internet through the company's recent actions in selectively targeting and interfering with the ...


Legislation For Effective Self-Regulation: A New Approach To Protecting Personal Privacy On The Internet, Richard M. Marsh Jr. Jan 2009

Legislation For Effective Self-Regulation: A New Approach To Protecting Personal Privacy On The Internet, Richard M. Marsh Jr.

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

How can we best reap the benefits of online profiling while avoiding the privacy pitfalls plaguing the e-commerce community? Experts advocate legislation, civil litigation, or self-regulation to provide the ideal solution. Analyzing these proposals reveals a conflict between two basic principles: the need to preserve personal privacy and the desire to foster a thriving Internet-based industry. This Note argues that each approach tends to favor one principle at the expense of the other. This Note also proposes a new solution which creates incentives for effective self-regulation backed with legal enforcement. This scheme strikes an appropriate balance between privacy and e-commerce ...


Wireless Net Neutrality Regulation And The Problem With Pricing: An Empirical, Cautionary Tale, Babette E.L. Boliek Jan 2009

Wireless Net Neutrality Regulation And The Problem With Pricing: An Empirical, Cautionary Tale, Babette E.L. Boliek

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

I present here a unique empirical analysis of the consumer welfare benefits of prior regulation in the mobile telecommunications industry. In particular, I analyze the relative consumer benefits of state rate regulation and federal entry regulation. The institution of filing requirements and FTC review and approval of various consumer pricing regimes is highly analogous to the consumer price controls imposed by various state level public utility commissions in the past. Furthermore, the imposition of a zero-price rule is analogous to past rate regulation; in particular it is similar to past wholesale regulation with its underlying principles of open access and ...


E-Contract Doctrine 2.0: Standard Form Contracting In The Age Of Online User Participation , Shmuel I. Becher, Tal Z. Zarsky Jan 2008

E-Contract Doctrine 2.0: Standard Form Contracting In The Age Of Online User Participation , Shmuel I. Becher, Tal Z. Zarsky

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The growing popularity of e-commerce transactions revives the perennial question of consumer contract law: should non-salient provisions of consumer standard form contracts be enforced? With the focus presently on an ex-ante analysis, scholars debate whether consumers can and should read standardized terms at the time of contracting. In today's information age, such a focus might be misguided. The online realm furnishes various tools, so-called "Web 2.0" applications, which encourage the flow of information from experienced to prospective consumers. This Article, therefore, reframes the analysis of online consumer contracts while taking into account this new flow of information. In ...


A New Frontier Or Merely A New Medium - An Analysis Of The Ethics Of Blawgs, Justin Krypel Jan 2008

A New Frontier Or Merely A New Medium - An Analysis Of The Ethics Of Blawgs, Justin Krypel

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The purpose of this Note is to investigate those rules of ethics which interact with attorney blogs, placing a special emphasis on advertising rules. The central finding is that, under the Supreme Court's current First Amendment jurisprudence, attorney blogs (or, more cleverly, "blawgs") are not subject to regulation by the ethics codes of the ABA or the various state bars. Furthermore, if the Supreme Court were to, for some reason, construe blawgs as falling outside of First Amendment protection, evidence suggests that regulating this new medium would be neither desirable nor effective. Part II outlines the historical framework which ...


Royalty Rate-Setting For Webcasters: A Royal(Ty) Mess, Amy Duvall Jan 2008

Royalty Rate-Setting For Webcasters: A Royal(Ty) Mess, Amy Duvall

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The Internet is a haven for free expression. Not only are content-based restrictions disfavored, but "[the internet] provides relatively unlimited, low-cost capacity for communication of all kinds." Almost half of all Americans have listened to music online, whether rebroadcasts of terrestrial radio or to find niche music that terrestrial radio simply does not play, and 13 percent tune in regularly. Webcasters provide a unique outlet for new artists; however, if royalty rates are set too high for all but the largest webcasters to stay in business, the variety of music available will be severely restricted. Musical diversity stimulates the generation ...