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Judge Ruling on Copyright Law Used to Be a Lobbyist for RIAA

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued a ruling that would make it easier for copyright holders to obtain personal information on anyone suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted files. The verdict was met with complaints from ISPs and consumer rights groups, with many arguing that it would allow copyright holders to pursue frivolous lawsuits in the hopes of striking...

N.Y. Court Rejects Settlement in Lawsuit Against Google Books

A New York court has rejected a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild against Google Books. Under the settlement, reached in 2009, Google would be able to digitize and display excerpts from books that are out of print, even if they're still under copyright, or not authorized to be included in Google Books. The agreement quickly raised the ire of many organizations,...

Juror May Face Criminal Charge for Doing Online Research During Murder Trial

A Pennsylvania woman could soon face criminal charges for conducting online research while serving as a juror in a murder trial. The woman, Gretchen Black, reportedly consulted the Web to find out more about the injuries the victim had suffered, and offered to share her findings with the rest of the jury. At the time, the jury had already determined that the defendant was not guilty of...

Police Don't Need Search Warrants to Read Texts, California Court Rules

The Fourth Amendment requires all law-enforcement officials to obtain a search warrant before seizing a suspect's personal property. According to the California Supreme Court, though, the law doesn't apply to cell phones. In a 5-to-2 vote, the court ruled that police don't need a search warrant to search an arrested individual's cell phone -- because cell phones, in essence, are like clothing. ...

'Judges Must Die' Blogger Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison

A man from New Jersey has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for making death threats against three federal judges on his blog. Right-wing blogger Hal Turner reportedly took issue with a 2009 ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed legal challenges to handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. Disgusted with the decision, Turner took to his blog, where he...

Jurors Still Tweeting About Trials They Don't Care About, Anyway

Facebook and Twitter have created plenty of courtroom headaches for jurors and judges, but new research from Reuters Legal shows just how many trials have been derailed by the Internet -- and, more importantly, just how many jurors continue to defy legal protocol online. The report shows that, since 1999, Web-related juror misconduct has led to at least 90 challenged verdicts -- more than half...

Google Must Reveal Cyberbully's Identity, New York Judge Says

A few months ago, former actress, model and Columbia graduate Carla Franklin took legal action against a mysterious cyberbully who posted defamatory comments about her on YouTube. At the time, Franklin said she had a pretty good idea of who the crude commenter might be, but her lawyers decided to file a court petition for Google to formally reveal his identity. The petition, which was initially...

Judges, Lawyers Can Never Be Facebook Friends in Florida

Facebook and the workplace have never been exactly the best of buddies. Facebook/co-worker protocol deemed "acceptable" varies widely by occupation or sector. But for lawyers and judges in Florida, the choice is simple: Facebook's one thing, the courtroom's another. And nary the twain shall meet. The New York Times reports Florida's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee recently published an...