Beta-Testing the “Particular Machine”: The Machine-or-Transformation Test in Peril and Its Impact on Cloud Computing

By: Richard M. Lee

This Issue Brief examines recent cases addressing the patent eligibility of computer-implemented method claims and their implications for the development of cloud computing technologies. Despite the Supreme Court’s refusal to endorse the machine-or-transformation test as the exclusive patent eligibility inquiry, lower courts have continued to invalidate method claims using a stringent “particular machine” requirement alongside the requisite abstract ideas analysis. This Issue Brief argues that 1) post-Bilski v. Kappos cases have failed to elucidate what constitutes a particular machine for computer-implemented methods; 2) in light of substantial variance among Federal Circuit judges’ Section 101 jurisprudence, the application of the particular machine requirement has become subject to a high degree of panel-dependency, such that its relevance for analyzing software method claims has come under question; 3) notwithstanding the unease expressed by practitioners and scholars for the future of cloud computing patents, the courts’ hardening stance toward computer-implemented method claims will do little to deter patenting in the cloud computing context. Instead, clouds delivering platform and software services will remain capable of satisfying the particular machine requirement and supporting patent eligibility, especially given the possible dilution of the particular machine requirement itself.

Cite: 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 175

Posted in Patents & Technology

Cloud Computing, Clickwrap Agreements, and Limitation on Liability Clauses: A Perfect Storm?

By: Timothy J. Calloway

“To the cloud!” trumpets a commercial by Microsoft, whose aim is to herd customers, and their checkbooks, into the cloud computing fold. But Microsoft, and other cloud providers like Amazon and Google, might inadvertently be doing just the opposite. It is not for lack of security or even early adopter apprehension that potential customers might turn away. Nor is it a lack of fantastic, cost-saving applications of cloud technology.

Rather, the problem is buried deep within these tech giants’ clickwrap agreements—the ones that customers rarely read and to which they invariably click “I Agree.” Hidden in these agreements are limitation on liability clauses, veritable safe harbors for cloud providers and submerged icebergs for the unwary cloud customer. Often, these clauses wholly abrogate a customer’s right to recover damages for his provider’s wrongful acts. In other words, a provider could purposefully delete its customers’ data or shut down its users’ websites, leaving the aggrieved customers with no cause of action and no right to recover.

While limitation on liability clauses are not new to the contract law vernacular, their inclusion in cloud computing agreements is particularly troublesome. The amount of potential liability that customers may waive through a half-cocked click is as enormous as it is troubling. While courts have recently held that these clauses are enforceable in other Internet-related areas, courts should be wary of blindly applying precedent and enforcing these clauses in the cloud computing context.

Cite: 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 163

Posted in eCommerce

DMCA Safe Harbors and the Future of New Digital Music Sharing Platforms

By: Jing Xu

SoundCloud is an online service provider that allows users to upload, share, and download music that they have created. It is an innovative platform for both amateur and established producers and disc jockeys (DJs) to showcase their original tracks and remixes. Unfortunately, it is also a platform that lends itself to widespread copyright infringement. Looking toward potential litigation, several factors ought to be considered by SoundCloud and other similar providers. The Viacom v. YouTube case, decided in the Southern District of New York and now currently on appeal in the Second Circuit, sheds light on the potential liability service providers like SoundCloud face. It draws out the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) safe harbor provisions under which SoundCloud could potentially find protection. However, SoundCloud is unique among similar service providers because it provides users with a variety of viewing, sharing and downloading options that are built into the platform. These options could lead to infringement that would not fall under a DMCA safe harbor. This Issue Brief will discuss the various arguments to be made for and against SoundCloud’s liability, and examine whether the unique utility provided by the service to users could be sustained in the face of potential litigation. Ultimately, the safeguards used by SoundCloud to filter blatant infringement, combined with the DMCA § 512(c) safe harbor, should allow this innovative platform to maintain its current model without neutering its core functionality.

Cite: 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 145

Posted in Copyrights & Trademarks

“Less Is More”: New Property Paradigm in the Information Age?

By: Aarthi S. Anand

Before striking down laws increasing copyright’s domain, judges and legislators are asking for evidence that information products will be created even if copyright protection is not provided. The future of Internet technology depends on locating this evidence in time to limit expansive copyright. United States law, however, already protects information products under copyright. Hence, this counterfactual evidence that judges request cannot be generated in the United States. In response to the demand for data, American legal scholars have attempted to mine evidence from open software and other non-commercial endeavors on the Internet. However, these endeavors have been dismissed as exceptions or “cults,” unrelated to mainstream industry needs. This Article, for the first time, provides evidence of growth in the commercial software industry without intellectual property protection. Between 1993 and 2010, the software industry in India emerged as the fastest growing in the world, accounting for $76 billion in revenues by 2010. In the same time period, the software industry in India remained unaffected by changes in intellectual property protection for software. By demonstrating industry growth without strong intellectual property protections, the Indian data fills the critical gap in American literature.

Moreover, the comparative data from India enables scholars to separate causality from outcomes in specific empirical and analytical studies emerging out of the United States. In the case study of California’s Silicon Valley, for instance, there is a risk that causality may be extrapolated to alternative California statutes, giving rise to errors of second order. The comparative analysis checks this potential inaccuracy. The industry in India also provides illuminating data from contracting practices—decisive evidence of the legal infrastructure firms need and will create by contract, if not found in a priori law. This study equips policy-makers to go beyond the “historic accident” explanation to understand why the software industry flourishes where it does.

Cite: 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 65

Posted in Patents & Technology

Open Source Innovation, Patent Injunctions, and the Public Interest

By: James Boyle

This Article explores the difficulties that high technology markets pose for patent law and, in particular, for patent injunctions. It then outlines the ways in which “open source innovation” is unusually vulnerable to patent injunctions. It argues that courts can recognize this vulnerability, and respond to the particular competitive and innovative benefits of open source innovation, by flexibly applying the Supreme Court’s ruling in eBay v. MercExchange. Having dealt with the lamentable failure of the International Trade Commission to exercise a similar flexibility in its own patent jurisprudence, despite statutory and constitutional provisions that counsel otherwise, the Article concludes with some recommendations for reform.

Cite: 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 30

Posted in Patents & Technology

Ensuring an Impartial Jury in the Age of Social Media

By: Amy J. St. Eve & Michael A. Zuckerman

The explosive growth of social networking has placed enormous pressure on one of the most fundamental of American institutions—the impartial jury. Through social networking services like Facebook and Twitter, jurors have committed significant and often high-profile acts of misconduct. Just recently, the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed a death sentence because a juror Tweeted about the case during deliberations. In light of the significant risks to a fair trial that arise when jurors communicate through social media during trial, judges must be vigilant in monitoring for potential outside influences and in deterring misconduct.

In this Article, we present informal survey data from actual jurors on their use of social networking during trial. We discuss the rise of web-based social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and the concerns that arise when jurors communicate about a case through social media before returning a verdict. After surveying how courts have responded to jurors’ social media use, we describe the results of the informal survey. The results support a growing consensus in the legal profession that courts should frequently, as a matter of course, instruct jurors not to use social media to communicate about trial. Although others have stressed the importance of jury instructions in this area, we hope that the informal survey data will further the dialogue by providing an important perspective—that of actual jurors.

Cite: 11 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 1

Posted in Media & Communications

The “25% Rule” for Patent Infringement Damages After Uniloc

By: Roy J. Epstein

The 2011 decision by the Federal Circuit in Uniloc v. Microsoft properly condemned the “25% Rule,” which bases a reasonable royalty on 25% of an infringer’s profits. Nonetheless, at least one proponent of the Rule continues to argue that the Rule is fundamentally valid and should remain in use. This article analyzes the historical development of the Rule, its conceptual basis, its application in actual cases, and relevant insights from other recent Federal Circuit cases. Each analysis shows fundamental problems and contradictions that demonstrate the Rule can never be a reliable patent damages methodology. There is no reason to change the conclusion in Uniloc.

Cite: 2012 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 001

Posted in Patents & Technology

The Path of Internet Law: An Annotated Guide to Legal Landmarks

By: Michael L. Rustad & Diane D’Angelo

The evolution of the Internet has forever changed the legal landscape. The Internet is the world’s largest marketplace, copy machine, and instrumentality for committing crimes, torts, and infringing intellectual property. Justice Holmes’s classic essay on the path of the law drew upon six centuries of case reports and statutes. In less than twenty-five years, Internet law has created new legal dilemmas and challenges in accommodating new information technologies. Part I is a brief timeline of Internet case law and statutory developments for Internet-related intellectual property (IP) law. Part II describes some of the ways in which the Internet is redirecting the path of IP in a globalized information-based economy. Our broader point is that every branch of substantive and procedural law is adapting to the digital world. Part III is the functional equivalent of a GPS for locating the latest U.S. and foreign law resources to help lawyers, policymakers, academics and law students lost in cyberspace.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 012

Posted in International

Copyright for Couture

By: Loni Schutte

Fashion design in America has never been covered by the extensive intellectual property (IP) protections afforded to other categories of creative works or to the art in other countries. As a result, America has become a safe haven for design pirates. Piracy disproportionately harms young designers who do not have established trademarks for their brands and must rely purely on creativity to propel their designs into the market. H.R. 2511 is a bill that aims to extend copyright protection to fashion designs, albeit narrowly. Compared with previous proposals to extend effective IP protection to fashion design, H.R. 2511 is more of a sui generis protection aimed at the particularities of the fashion industry. It was the result of intensive negotiations between parties of conflicting interests, and has been tailored to address specific yet ubiquitous problems in the fashion industry.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 011

Posted in Copyrights & Trademarks

Programmers and Forensic Analyses: Accusers Under the Confrontation Clause

By: Karen Neville

Recent Supreme Court cases involving the Confrontation Clause have strengthened defendants’ right to face their accusers. Bullcoming v. New Mexico explored the question of whether the testimony of the technician who performs a forensic analysis may be substituted by that of another analyst, and the Court held that producing a surrogate witness who was not sufficiently involved in the analysis violates the confrontation right.

The presumption of infallible technology is fading, and courts may soon realize programmers have greater influence over the ultimate outcome of forensic tests than do the technicians who rely on such analytical tools. The confrontation right, so bolstered by recent cases, may encompass defendants’ right to demand testimony from the programmers of machines performing forensic analyses. The Bullcoming decision is certain to affect whether the right to confront the programmer will be recognized.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 010

Posted in Health & Biotechnology

Checking the Staats: How Long Is Too Long to Give Adequate Public Notice in Broadening Reissue Patent Applications?

By: David M. Longo Ph.D. & Ryan P. O’Quinn Ph.D.

A classic property rights question looms large in the field of patent law: where do the rights of inventors end and the rights of the public begin? The right of inventors to modify the scope of their claimed inventions, even after the patent issues, is in direct tension with the concepts of public notice and the public domain. The Patent Act currently permits broadening of claims so long as a reissue application demonstrating intent to broaden is filed within two years of the original patent issue. Over the years, however, this relatively straightforward statutory provision has sparked numerous disputes over its meaning and application.

On September 8, 2011, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments or In re Staats. In this case, Apple Computer, Inc. appeals the rejection of a continuation reissue patent application. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences rejected the application on the grounds that Apple attempted to broaden the scope of its patent claims in a manner not “foreseeable” more than eight years after the patent first issued. Apple contends that the language of the statute and prior case law permit its interpretation, and the application should be allowed in the interest of innovation. This issue is hardly a new one—this submission highlights nearly 140 years of case law, legislative history, and statutory shaping pertaining to broadening reissues. We analyze the issues raised in the briefs from Staats, as well as the oral arguments. Finally, we discuss from a practitioner’s perspective what the Federal Circuit could do—and should do—in the field of broadening reissues.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 009

Posted in Patents & Technology

Electronic Discovery in the Cloud

By: Alberto G. Araiza

Cloud Computing is poised to offer tremendous benefits to clients, including inexpensive access to seemingly limitless resources that are available instantly, anywhere. To prepare for the shift from computing environments dependent on dedicated hardware to Cloud Computing, the Federal Rules of Discovery should be amended to provide relevant guidelines and exceptions for particular types of shared data. Meanwhile, clients should ensure that service contracts with Cloud providers include safeguards against inadvertent discoveries and mechanisms for complying with the Rules. Without these adaptations, clients will be either reluctant or unprepared to adopt Cloud Computing services, and forgo their benefits.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 008

Posted in eDiscovery

Copyright Enforcement of Non-Copyright Terms: MDY v. Blizzard and Krause v. Titleserv

By: Justin Van Etten

The rise of software and software licensing has led to another phenomenon: the attempted enforcement of software licenses through copyright law. Over the last fifteen years, content creators have begun to bring copyright suits against licensees, arguing that violation of license terms withdraws the permission needed to run the software, turning the use of the software into copyright infringement. Not surprisingly, courts have rejected this argument, and both the Ninth Circuit, in MDY v. Blizzard, and the Second Circuit, in Krause v. Titleserv, have developed new legal rules to prevent copyright enforcement of contract terms. This iBrief explores software licensing in detail, analyzes the courts’ responses, and concludes that the Ninth Circuit’s approach to copyright enforcement of license terms is preferable to the Second Circuit’s approach because it is supported by legislative history, more straightforward, and more likely to prevent future content creators from enforcing their licenses through contract.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 007

Posted in Copyrights & Trademarks

The Classic 25% Rule and the Art of Intellectual Property Licensing

By: Robert Goldscheider

Fifty years ago, Robert Goldscheider helped pioneer the use of a methodology known as “the 25% Rule,” a tool for determining reasonable royalties in intellectual property licensing negotiations. The Rule holds that licensees of intellectual property normally deserve the lion’s share of the profit because they usually bear the bulk of the business risk associated with bringing the intellectual property to market. Experts familiar with the art of intellectual property licensing frequently rely on the 25% Rule to rationally determine reasonable royalties in litigation and transactional settings.

The Rule’s prominence has been accompanied by unfortunate misunderstandings about its form and substance. It is not, as some suggest, intended to be a simple shortcut to determine patent royalties. Rather, it was developed as, and remains, a meticulous methodology inspired by significant private transactions and ultimately refined by brilliant judicial interpretation. As such, it is inappropriate to condescendingly diminish it to a mere “rule of thumb.” When properly understood and applied, the Classic 25% Rule is an effective discipline that achieves the high standards of reliability demanded by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Daubert.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 006

Posted in Patents & Technology

Speaking of Music and the Counterpoint of Copyright: Addressing Legal Concerns in Making Oral History Available to the Public

By: Jeremy J. Beck & Libby Van Cleve

Oral history provides society with voices and memories of people and communities experiencing events of the past first-hand. Such history is created through interviews; an interview, however, like any other type of intellectual property—once in a fixed form—is subject to copyright law. In order to make oral history available to the public, it is critically important that individuals generating and acquiring oral history materials clearly understand relevant aspects of copyright law. The varied nature of how one may create, use, and acquire oral history materials can present new, surprising, and sometimes baffling legal scenarios that challenge the experience of even the most skilled curators.

This iBrief presents and discusses two real-world scenarios that raise various issues related to oral history and copyright law. These scenarios were encountered by curators at Yale University’s Oral History of American Music archive (OHAM), the preeminent organization dedicated to the collection and preservation of recorded memoirs of the creative musicians of our time. The legal concerns raised and discussed throughout this iBrief may be familiar to other stewards of oral history materials and will be worthwhile for all archivists and their counsel to consider when reviewing their practices and policies.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 005

Posted in Copyrights & Trademarks

Non­–Per Se Treatment of Buyer Price-Fixing in Intellectual Property Settings

By: Hillary Greene

The ability of intellectual property owners to earn monopoly rents and the inability of horizontal competitors to price fix legally are two propositions that are often taken as givens.  This iBrief challenges the wholesale adoption of either proposition within the context of buyer price-fixing in intellectual property markets.  More specifically, it examines antitrust law’s role in protecting patent holders’ rents through its condemnation of otherwise ostensibly efficient buyer price fixing. Using basic economic analysis, this iBrief refines the legal standards applicable at this point of intersection between antitrust and patent law.  In particular, the author recommends the limited abandonment of per se condemnation of buyer price-fixing within pure intellectual property contexts.  As an alternative, a coarse screen which accounts for both price and innovation effects is proposed. This recommendation represents one example of how antitrust law can better account for the complicated and imperfectly understood effects of the patent system on social welfare.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 004

Posted in Patents & Technology

The Invisible Power of MacHines Revisiting the Proposed Flash Order Ban in the Wake of the Flash Crash

By: Austin J. Sandler

Technological innovation continues to make trading and markets more efficient, generally benefitting market participants and the investing public. But flash trading, a practice that evolved from high-frequency trading, benefits only a select few sophisticated traders and institutions with the resources necessary to view and respond to flashed orders. This practice undermines the basic principles of fairness and transparency in securities regulation, exacerbates information asymmetries and harms investor confidence. This iBrief revisits the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed ban on the controversial practice of “flash trading” and urges the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to implement the ban across the securities and futures markets. Banning flash trading will not impact high-frequency trading or other advantageous innovative trading practices, and will benefit all market participants by making prices and liquidity more transparent. In the wake of the May 6, 2010 “flash crash” and the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, now is an opportune time for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to implement the ban.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 003

Posted in eCommerce

Sherley v. Sebelius: Stem Cells and the Uneasy Interplay Between the Federal Bench and the Lab Bench

By: Ryan P. O’Quinn

After Barack Obama’s election to the presidency, he promised that one of his top priorities in office would be to relieve the restrictions initiated by President George W. Bush on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. President Obama followed through on his promise, but the celebrations in the nation’s research labs were short-lived. Anti-abortion advocates and other scientists working in the field that would allegedly be out-competed in the federal funding arena brought a legal challenge to the new government position. The struggle culminated in August 2010 with a federal district court issuing a preliminary injunction to halt the new funding initiative. Although the government successfully appealed for a stay on the injunction pending arguments in the Court of Appeals, the decision has paralyzed research in the field. This iBrief argues that the injunction was wrongly granted, predicts how higher courts might treat the case, and suggests that the proper forum for addressing this controversy lies within the scientific community, not the judiciary.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 002

Posted in Health & Biotechnology

The Attorney–Client Privilege and Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information

By: Adjoa Linzy

The attorney-client privilege is the most sacred and important privilege in our legal system. Despite being at the center of daily practice, the privilege still remains a mystery for many lawyers. This is primarily because the privilege is not absolute, and there are certain actions or non-actions that may waive it. The application of the privilege is further complicated by electronic discovery, which has both benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, it has made the practice of law more efficient. On the other hand, it has made it easier to inadvertently waive the attorney-client privilege in response to a discovery request. This iBrief examines attorney-client privilege issues that may arise during e-discovery, and provides practical guidelines for attorneys responding to e-discovery requests.

Cite: 2011 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 001

Posted in eDiscovery

Applying Copyright Abandonment in the Digital Age

By: Matthew W. Turetzky

Copyright law protects orphan and parented works equally–but it shouldn’t. Consequently, current law unnecessarily restrains public access to works that authors have not exercised dominion over for decades. This problem has come to the fore in the Google Books settlement, which critics argue will give Google a de facto monopoly over orphan works. But this criticism implicates an obvious question: Why are orphan works protected by copyright law in the first place? If orphan works were in the public domain, then no one would worry about Google’s supposed “monopoly” because Google’s competitors would be free to copy the works without facing class action lawsuits. To address these concerns, I propose a new equitable defense to copyright infringement: the orphan theory of abandonment.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 019

Posted in Copyrights & Trademarks

Limitation of Sales Warranties as an Alternative to Intellectual Property Rights: An Empirical Analysis of IPhone Warranties’ Deterrent Impact on Consumers

By: Marc L. Roark

Apple’s success with the Apple iPhone has brought with it certain problems. Its success has engendered a community that has attempted to circumvent Apple’s exclusive service agreement with AT&T. Unfortunately for Apple (and similarly situated manufacturers), intellectual property law allows consumers to alter their products so as to circumvent relationships that manufacturers may have with others. The patent and copyright law first sale doctrine allows consumers to manipulate a product after it is purchased. As a result, manufacturers are increasingly turning to alternatives to intellectual property to secure control over the device after the sale. One such alternative is the exclusion of warranty under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. This iBrief considers whether limitation of warranties have the deterrence effect manufacturers desire. Said differently, it considers whether manufacturers can use warranty limitations to prevent consumers from using their products in an unauthorized manner. The iBrief presents a behavioral model based on the Triandis model of planned behavior and enhances the model by accounting for likely and unlikely benefits and detriments. The model suggests that participants weigh the probability and magnitude of the detriment against the probability and magnitude of the beneficial impact when making the decision to engage in technological piracy. This model, considered with other empirical evidence, suggests that Apple’s warranty could be a stronger deterrent for consumers than civil liability. The iBrief concludes that manufacturers can better protect their post-sale expectation of profits by raising consumer awareness of their warranty’s quality and by raising awareness of the consequences for using the product in a way that is outside the terms of the consumers’ authorized use.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 018

Posted in Patents & Technology

Standards × Patents ÷ Antitrust = ∞: The Inadequacy of Antitrust to Address Patent Ambush

By: Jonathan Hillel

“Patent ambush” describes certain rent-seeking behavior by the owner of patent rights to a technology that is essential to an industry standard. Two cases, Qualcomm and Rambus, represent attempts of the Third and D.C. Circuits, respectively, to address patent ambushes using federal antitrust statutes. In both cases, antitrust law proves inadequate to the task. Under Qualcomm, licensees gain too much power to extort undervalued royalty rates from patent holders who have disclosed their rights during standard-setting. Under Rambus, coupled with the dearth of other options to combat patent ambushes, non-disclosing patent holders are given free reign over standardized markets, to the detriment of end-users. This iBrief argues that the flaws in each rule inhere from a fundamental inadequacy of antitrust law to address patent ambush.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 017

Posted in Patents & Technology

The Rise of Computerized High Frequency Trading: Use and Controversy

By: Michael J. McGowan

Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic shift in how securities are traded in the capital markets. Utilizing supercomputers and complex algorithms that pick up on breaking news, company/stock/economic information and price and volume movements, many institutions now make trades in a matter of microseconds, through a practice known as high frequency trading. Today, high frequency traders have virtually phased out the “dinosaur” floor-traders and average investors of the past. With the recent attempted robbery of one of these high frequency trading platforms from Goldman Sachs this past summer, this “rise of the machines” has become front page news, generating vast controversy and discourse over this largely secretive and ultra-lucrative practice. Because of this phenomenon, those of us on Main Street are faced with a variety of questions: What exactly is high frequency trading? How does it work? How long has this been going on for? Should it be banned or curtailed? What is the end-game, and how will this shape the future of securities trading and its regulation? This iBrief explores the answers to these questions.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 016

Posted in eCommerce

Private Ordering and Orphan Works: Our Least Worst Hope?

By: Keith Porcaro

The political capture of copyright law by industry groups has inadvertently led to orphan works problems arising in less organized industries, such as publishing. Google Book Search (GBS) is a prime example of how private ordering can circumvent legislative inefficiencies. Digital technologies such as GBS can open up a new business model for publishers and other content industries, centered around aggregated rights holdings. However, the economic inertia that private ordering represents may pose a threat to the knowledge-oriented goals of copyright law.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 015

Posted in Copyrights & Trademarks

Privacy Expectations and Protections for Teachers in the Internet Age

By: Emily H. Fulmer

Public school teachers have little opportunity for redress if they are dismissed for their activities on social networking websites. With the exception of inappropriate communication with students, a school district should not be able to consider a public educator’s use of a social networking website for disciplinary or employment decisions. Insisting that the law conform to twenty-first century social norms, this iBrief argues that the law should protect teachers’ speech on popular social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 014

Posted in Media & Communications