The Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts (Journal) today published its third issue of the 2011-12 school year. The Journal publishes concise legal analysis aimed at practicing attorneys on a quarterly basis. This quarter’s edition includes three articles by student members of the Journal’s editorial board, a collaboration between a University of Washington School of Law student and a practitioner, and an essay on Internet freedom.
This issue’s first article is “Understanding and Authenticating Evidence from Social Networking Sites,” written by Associate Editor in Chief of Production Heather Griffith. The article provides background information about social networks and explores how to authenticate common types of evidence available on social networking sites.
Managing Articles Editor Aurora Wilson contributed “Let’s Be Cautious Friends: The Ethical Implications of Social Networking for Members of the Judiciary.” The article explains how four states—California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma—forbid judges from becoming online “friends” with attorneys who may appear before them in court, while four states—Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and South Carolina—allow it, albeit with caution. The article examines the recent trend in advisory opinions governing the use of social media by members of the judiciary and provides practical advice for judges to conform to the code of judicial conduct.
Editor in Chief Parker Howell wrote the third article, “Cheaper Watches and Copyright Law: Navigating ‘Gray Markets’ After the Supreme Court’s Split in Costco v. Omega, S.A.” The article discusses two aspects of the litigation stemming from Omega’s attempt to use copyright law to prevent Costco from selling its watches without authorization and at a discount to U.S. customers. Omega affixed a small copyrighted logo to the back of its watches, hoping to take advantage of a provision of the U.S. Copyright Act prohibiting unauthorized importation of copyrighted works. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a split decision affirming without explanation that the copyright first-sale doctrine does not apply when gray market goods are first made and sold abroad. However, on remand the district court granted summary judgment for Costco on the rationale that Omega “misused” the limited monopoly granted by copyright, suggesting an important limitation on the use of copyright law to stop parallel importation.
Practicing attorney Curt Blake and third-year law student Joseph Probst discuss the intersection of Linux loadable kernel modules and the license under which Linux is distributed, the General Public License (GPL) Version 2, in “Loaded Question: Examining Loadable Kernal Modules Under the General Public License v2.” They conclude that software modules linked to the Linux kernel are freely licensable without regard to release of those modules’ source code because there is no practical remedy for a licensee’s failure to follow the terms of the GPL.
Finally, the issue contains an essay by attorney Sarah E. Sexton and E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Ph.D. candidate Young Joon Lim, “Internet as a Human Right: A Practical Legal Framework to Address the Unique Nature of the Medium and to Promote Development.” The authors discuss existing limitations on Internet freedom as demonstrated by the Arab Spring of 2011. Sexton and Lim argue that six basic elements should be included in a framework for Internet regulation.
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 Winter 2012 issue of the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts or visit www.law.washington.edu/wjlta for individual articles.