Category: University of Washington School of Law

Netflix Choosing Its Own Adventure in Bandersnatch Lawsuit


By: Ariana Morello

After two years in the making, on December 28, 2018, Netflix released the long awaited Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.  For those who are unfamiliar, Black Mirror centers around technology and its potential consequences, often providing a bleak look into a dystopian future.  Due to its interactive and non-linear form, Bandersnacth was the first-of-its-kind and became widely popular with Netflix fans.  The movie follows protagonist Stefan as he attempts to become a famous video game creator.  By employing interactive storytelling, Netflix gives viewers the ultimate power; allowing them to choose between two scenarios, scene by scene.  The options range from tame scenarios, such as what Stefan will have for breakfast and what music he will listen to, to the morbid where viewers decide if Stefan should kill his father and what to do with the body.  As viewers choose each scenario, they subsequently seal Stefan’s fate.  Choices made earlier in the movie impact later options, with some storylines only reachable by a specific series of choices.  As a result of this new concept, Bandersnatch has gained mass popularity, with many viewers watching and rewatching the hours of footage to achieve different endings.  Amongst this mass popularity however, publisher Chooseco LLC (“Chooseco”) has filed a lawsuit against Netflix for trademark infringement due to Netflix’s use of the phrase “Choose Your Own Adventure.”

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Status Update: What’s going on with drones?


By: Noelle Symanski

A Brief History

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have been around for over a century. The first unpiloted aerial operations took place in 1849 when Austria attacked Italy using balloons equipped with explosives. Initially, unpiloted aircraft were used for military operations. The United States developed the Ketterig Bug during World War I. The unpiloted plane would be pre-programmed to a destination, where its wings would then detach and the body would deliver a 150-pound bomb. During World War II, B-17 and B-24 bombers were used as unpiloted aircraft. Pilots initially got the aircraft off the ground and then parachuted out as the UAVs continued to their destinations. However, none of the 50 manufactured UAVs were ever used in combat.

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The CRISPR Era: A Promising Future with Dark Implications


By: Ben Cashdollar

In November 2018, a Chinese researcher claimed that he created the world’s first genetically edited babies, a pair of twin girls who are purportedly immune to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The scientist, He Jiankui, “feel[s] proud” of this accomplishment, a stark contrast to the highly critical reaction of the scientific community at-large. While the scientific accuracy of Jiankui’s claims remains in dispute, this story is an undisputed harbinger of a new era, one where human-kind can wield scientific understanding to alter with impunity the genetic code of any living organism. This newfound ability raises several pressing ethical concerns, and underscores that our society is woefully unprepared to address the challenges created in the age of genetic editing.

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Catch Me If You Can: The Evolution of Technology in the Context of Criminal Investigation


By: Treja Jones

Americans are fascinated by the mystique of criminal investigations. Books, movies, tv shows, and even board games about “whodunit” murder mysteries, have popularized the challenge and intrigue of catching criminals. Though the American audience enjoys the drama of crime fiction, the technological challenges of improving criminal investigations have been all too real. Over the years, advancements in technology have aided law enforcement in the ease of identifying, apprehending, and convicting guilty criminals. This article briefly explores the historical evolution of technology’s role in criminal investigation.

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YouTube (Still) Has a Copyright Problem


By: Jake Plovanic

The new year started with an old problem for the vaunted video platform YouTube. In January, a spate of copyright-related conflicts between content creators and purported rights-holders grabbed headlines across the Internet, causing a few minor dustups in related communities on Reddit. The driver of the controversy was that actual copyright infringement had not occurred. Instead, false, mistaken, or otherwise improper claims of infringement threatened several YouTube channels.

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