Disloyal Computer Use and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Narrowing the Scope

By: Greg Pollaro Congress drafted the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to protect government interest computers from malicious attacks by hackers. As computer use has expanded in the years since its enactment, the CFAA has similarly expanded to cover a number of computer-related activities. This iBrief discusses the extension of the CFAA into the employer/employee context, suggests that this goes beyond the Act’s express purpose, compares the different approaches taken by the circuit courts in applying the CFAA to disloyal computer use by employees, and argues that the more recent approach taken by the Ninth Circuit provides a better model for determining if and when the CFAA should apply to employees. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 012

Chatter, Clatter, and Blinks: Defective Car Alerts and the Role of Technological Advances in Design Defect/failure to Warn Cases

By: James Forrest McKell Jr. Car owners are familiar with the warning lights on the dashboard and the beeping sound reminding them to use their seatbelt. But, neither the legislature nor courts have concretely defined the legal nature of these alerts. This iBrief will analyze when a deficient alert becomes a defective product tort claim and determine the appropriate theory under which such claims should be brought. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 010

Who Owns the Virtual Items?

By: Leah Shen Do you WoW? Because millions of people around the world do! Due to this increased traffic, virtual wealth amassed in MMORPGs are intersecting in our real world in unexpected ways. Virtual goods have real-life values and are traded in real-life markets. However, the market for trading in virtual items is highly inefficient because society has not created property rights for virtual items. This lack of regulation has a detrimental effect not just the market for virtual items, but actually the market for MMORPGs. Assuming we want to promote the production of MMORPGs as a market, society requires a set of distinct property rules to decrease the inefficiencies in the virtual market. In creating these regulation, we may be able to take cues from intellectual property laws, as many of the problems surrounding virtual goods are akin to intellectual property. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 011

The Class Defense: Why Dispersed Intellectual Property Defendants Need Procedural Protections

By: Jonathan Reich The intersection of antitrust and intellectual property circumscribes two century-long debates. The first pertains to questions about how antitrust law and intellectual property law interact, and the second pertains to questions about how parties can exploit property rights, including intellectual property rights, to exclude competitors. This iBrief finesses these questions and turns to practical considerations about how innovation and intellectual property can impinge antitrust enforcement. This iBrief develops two propositions. First, although collaborative research and development has often been and remains unwittingly misunderstood, what is understood about it is consistent with the long- standing observation that antitrust has rarely interfered with collaborative ventures. Second, shifting focus from “intellectual property rights” to “uncertain property rights” makes it easier to understand what innovation and intellectual property imply for enforcement processes. Both intellectual property and tangible assets imply the same processes, but the boundaries of intellectual properties may be uncertain and may, in turn, allow parties to game enforcement processes in ways that would not be feasible in antitrust matters that principally feature tangible assets. Even so, uncertain property rights might not frustrate enforcement processes as the antitrust authorities may yet be able to factor parties’ strategic behaviors into the

The Anonymous Poster: How to Protect Internet Users’ Privacy and Prevent Abuse

By: Scott Ness The threat of anonymous Internet posting to individual privacy has been met with congressional and judicial indecisiveness. Part of the problem stems from the inherent conflict between punishing those who disrespect one’s privacy by placing a burden on the individual websites and continuing to support the Internet’s development. Additionally, assigning traditional tort liability is problematic as the defendant enjoys an expectation of privacy as well, creating difficulty in securing the necessary information to proceed with legal action. One solution to resolving invasion of privacy disputes involves a uniform identification verification program that ensures user confidentiality while promoting accountability for malicious behavior. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 008