More than a few years ago, the term “phone-mining” probably meant nothing to anyone. Nowadays, it has become one of the most controversial topics all over the United States, including our federal courts. A recent ruling states that the acquisition of data through mobile phones, including cell phone numbers and and timestamps, is unconstitutional. The case itself, Klayman v. Obama (13-cv-881), was heard in Washington D.C. under Judge Richard Leon. This private collection of data was leaked by former NSA contractor and controversial figure Edward Snowden, who is currently living in Russia under temporary asylum. Read more
There seems to be a buzz in the air around New York City recently and cable/satellite providers aren’t happy about it. The internet-powered television service, Aereo, allows users to enjoy basic programs for an incredibly small cost and has thrived despite a growing number of lawsuits. Companies such as Cablevision contend that this alternative to their offerings violates certain copyrights and contracts. Aereo argues that since their units include small antennas, the analog signal they pick up is free over the airwaves and not breaking any laws. Aereo, which is backed by media executive Barry Diller, plans to grow their service area over the next few months including major cities such as Washington D.C., Boston, and Chicago. Read more
It’s that time of year again when the United States Supreme Court unveils its agenda for the year season. One interesting case to make sure to watch for is Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. The case deals with the first-sale doctrine. A precedent established by the Supreme Court since 1908 that acknowledges compete ownership of a product by the consumer after the first purchase. This case all started with college textbooks, an expense all college students are aware of. An international student, Supap Kirstaeng, told his family back in Thailand to buy his textbooks on the international market. He got them for a huge discount and shipped them to him privately. Currently, international textbooks are not allowed to be sold in the United States. After Mr. Kirstaeng read the books, he sold them in the US. The textbook company filed suit and the controversy has made its way up to the Supreme Court.
The most famous set of breasts since Kate Middleton’s are still fueling debates across the country a week after their debut. American University professor Adrienne Pine, reluctantly become the new face of the feminist movement after breast feeding her infant in the middle of a class lecture. Pine felt uncomfortable leaving her sick daughter at her regular day care center. Rather than cancel her first lecture of the year, Pine thought it would be better to bring her daughter to work with her. During the lecture the infant was crawling around on the classroom floor, and at one point the TA (Teachers Assistant) felt it was necessary to hold and comfort the disrupted baby. Although this must have all been very distracting, the highlight of the lecture was when Pine unbuttoned her blouse and breast-fed her child in the middle of lecturing.