This Week in IP Enforcement

CFAA Reform Gets Boost from Schwartz Suicide
An issue that already had momentum in the last Congress, efforts to reform the 1986 the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has received increased attention in the wake of Aaron Schwartz’ recent suicide. Schwartz was facing charges under the CFAA for unauthorized access to the MIT website, where he downloaded academic articles from its online archive, called JSTOR, and made them publicly available. The CFAA was the subject of several proposed legislative reforms in 2012, and SIIA has been engaged, seeking to preserve the ability of SIIA members to use the CFAA to deter and prevent unauthorized access to or misuse of databases, subscription services and cloud services. While we knew this issue was going to remain ripe for debate again in 2013, Swartz’ recent suicide has likely increased support among policymakers to reform the CFAA sooner, rather than later.

Verizon’s “Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Measures Unveiled (TorrentFreak)
After more than a year of delays the “six strikes” anti-piracy system will officially roll out in the first weeks of this year. A copy of Verizon’s full policy was leaked and shows how the scheme will work and details of the mitigation measures they intend to put in place.

Judge Rules Twitter Images are Protected by Copyright (Examiner)
In one of the first cases to address intellectual property as it pertains to social media sites, a Manhattan judge ruled that two news organizations infringed on the copyrights of a photographer when they published images he had published on Twitter.

Sony Files Patent to Curb Access to Used Video Games (International Business Times)
Sony has patented new technology to prevent the use of second-hand video game discs on its consoles. The disc-tagging technology could stop games from being played on more than one version of the video game console.

BlackBerry App World Said to Hawk Pirated Android Apps (CNET)
Weeks before the release of Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 10, pirated Android apps are reportedly being found and sold in RIM’s app store.


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA.

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