Copyright Basics webinar and @cyberlaw Links

For those of you who are interested, I’ll be presenting as part of my firm’s IP Webinar series on October 5, 2011 at 12 CDT on Copyright Basics.  It will be a lot of fun, and hopefully a good learning experience for all.  Since it’s a webinar, be prepared to ask your general copyright questions and have them answered. For more information and to register (it’s free!), click here – http://blog.davismcgrath.com/2011/09/12/register-for-copyright-basics-ip-webinar/.

This week’s @cyberlaw links are interesting to me for many reasons:

Heading Off Privacy Problems—Before They Arise

I thought this article by Julia Angwin was a good look at how some companies are undertaking “privacy-impact assessments” before undertaking new initiatives.  There’s nothing like heading off problems at the pass, and it is good to add privacy considerations to your normal checklist of items to consider before things go out the door.

 

Is Printing a Gun the Same as Buying One?

John Bigg’s article was very interesting to me because 3-d printing is becoming more prevalent. The article looks at the problems that arise when an item that would normally require a permit to purchase (the lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle) can be printed at home on the device you made. 3-d printers like Makerbot’s raise concerns, as John points out:

“I find it fascinating that we’re even asking these questions at this point. The fact that we are now able to manufacture usable weapon parts is an important step in the evolution of fabrication and manufacture and, if I were a weapons giant, I’d start rethinking my sales strategies. When a company of rebels can print their own AK-47s (a concept that is still a ways off), whose fault is it? The person who made the plans? The fabricator? The company whose rifles they copied?”

Stay tuned, this debate will have far reaching implications in years to come.

 

Typosquatting Continues to Pose Dangers to Enterprises, Consumers

Mary Roach’s article did a good job pointing out the concern with “doppelganger” websites – which are like a typical typosquatting domain, but instead of being a misspelling it’s merely missing an important dot, like “mailyahoo.com” instead of “mail.yahoo.com.”  This is one case where proactive defensive registrations can be quite helpful, which Mary recommends along with other good advice.

 

US Net Neutrality Rules Finalized, In Effect November 20

I’ve been following the Net Neutrality debate for years, and now the FCC’s still-controversial final “open-internet” rules [PDF] will be in effect on November 20, 2011. Now, the legal challenges can begin.