LTA Journal Publishes Fall 2011 Issue

The University of Washington School of Law on Monday published the Fall 2011 issue of the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts, the nation’s first student-run electronic law journal focusing on technology, commerce, and artistic innovation. The Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts publishes concise legal analysis aimed at practicing attorneys on a quarterly basis. This quarter’s edition includes four articles by current students of the Law School and two articles authored by external contributors.

This issue’s lead article, “Ninth Circuit Unmasks Anonymous Internet Users and Lowers the Bar for Disclosure of Online Speakers,” is written by Articles Editor Mallory Allen. The article surveys the prevalent online defamation cases, summarizing the three primary judicial tests applied by state courts in determining whether a plaintiff may compel disclosure of an online commentator. The article posits that the federal circuit courts likely will adopt the reasoning set forth in the July 2010 Ninth Circuit decision In re Anonymous Online Speakers.

Blog Editor Duncan Stark wrote the second article, “Juror Investigation: Is In-Courtroom Internet Research Going Too Far?” The article discusses the trend toward increased online monitoring of potential jurors and the policy concerns raised by lawyers who conduct online research in the courtroom and in the presence of the potential jurors.

Managing Operations Editor Jeff Patterson wrote the third article, “End User Liability for Software Developed with Trade Secrets.” The article discusses the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) and its potential application to violations by end users. The article concludes that the California Appellate Court decision in Silvaco Data Systems v. Intel Corp., holding that an end user was not liable under the act for executing compiled object code, is a proper reading of the Act’s scope.

Managing Articles Editor Aurora Wilson wrote the fourth and final student article, “Discovery of Breathalyzer Source Code in DUI Prosecutions.” The article discusses the routine denial of DUI defendant requests for discovery of breathalyzer source code in state court cases. The majority of courts limit discovery orders to information within the “possession, custody or control” of the prosecution, indicating that absent a contractual agreement granting the state rights to the relevant source code, it is not discoverable.

The Fall 2011 issue includes two Law, Technology & Arts Group Feature articles, a recent addition to the Journal. These pieces, which will be featured at least twice a year, are written by students or others affiliated with the University of Washington School of Law’s Law, Technology & Arts Group, of which this Journal is a part.

German Patent Attorney Prof. Dr. Heinz Goddar authored the first external contribution, “Cross-Border Contributory Patent Infringement in Germany.” This article examines recent German court decisions analyzing Section 10 of the German Patent Act (“PatG”), which governs cases of contributory patent infringement, focusing in particular on the implications of recent decisions on potential cross-border infringement. The article offers recommendations on how judicial scrutiny of contributory infringement in Germany may be streamlined in light of potential evidentiary problems and concludes with a case study of how German courts might analyze a situation like that faced by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in AT&T v. Microsoft.

Japanese intellectual property Attorney Naoya Isoda wrote the final article of the issue, “Copyright Infringement Liability of Placeshifting Services in the United States and Japan.” The article discusses placeshifting, a service that enables customers to enjoy television programs from their home countries even if they are in foreign countries. Placeshifting works by receiving/recording a television program in one country and then transmitting the digital data to customers everywhere in the world via the Internet upon each customer’s request. Because placeshifting may be involved with recording and/or transmitting copyrighted content, service providers must face the question whether they may be liable for copyright infringement. In the United States, the Second Circuit in Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings decided the legality of placeshifting by requiring a “volition element” for direct infringement. In Japan, however, court decisions have varied. Most of the courts have applied an overall consideration standard such as the “Karaoke rule.” As a result, there remains large uncertainty about the state of the law in Japan. The article introduces the legal basis and judicial decisions for placeshifting both in the United States and Japan and suggests introducing the volition requirement as one possible solution for the uncertainty in Japan.

The Journal accepts outside submissions from students, law professors, and practicing attorneys. For more information about the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts please download the entire Fall 2011 issue of the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts or visit http://www.law.washington.edu/wjlta for individual articles.

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