His TED lecture shows how “the nature of both creativity and innovation revolves around building on the works of others, but that both copyright and patent laws are based on the exact opposite belief — that creativity and innovation springs new from one’s head, and thus deserves some form of property rights.” Continue reading →
Federal class actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outnumber all other types of private class actions in employment-related cases. Particularly hard hit: employers in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas. Continue reading →
Over the past few days, the U.S. Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and nine U.S. Attorneys’ Offices seized 82 domain names of websites they claim were engaged in the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and illegal copyrighted works.
Setting aside the due process concerns inherent in seizing any website without notice or appropriate recourse for the owner, it appears that the “raid” has swept up several sites that are hardly in the business of willful copyright infringement.
For example, the the list of targets included OnSmash.com and RapGodfathers.com. Both sites are dedicated to promoting rap and hiphop, showcasing new artists and helping fans connect and share information about the music they love. According to the owners, they regularly and expeditiously process copyright infringement notices and take down links as appropriate. Indeed, OnSmash says the labels themselves are often the source of the links OnSmash makes available. In other words, they try to play by the rules. Moreover, the sites are not simply collections of links; rather, they provide a wide array of information and forums for speech, all of which was rendered inaccessible by the seizure. Continue reading →
Donna Jodhan’s inspiring triumph on the eve of the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Donna Jadhan wins disability access case against Federal government
From NUPGE – Ottawa – On the eve of Dec. 3, the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), Canadians with disabilities have won a major victory in ensuring that government information becomes more accessible for people with sight impairment.
Earlier this week the Federal Court of Canada released a landmark decision concerning the right of Canadians with disabilities to access government websites.
Justice Michael Kelen ruled that the Canadian government must post key website content in a usable format for blind and partially-sighted Canadians.
This victory is the result of the courageous and persistent actions of blind activist Donna Jodhan.
Justice Kelen concluded the government breached Jodhan’s equality rights by its “system-wide failure” to provide the same services to the visually impaired as it does to those who can see.
“She has been denied equal access to, and benefit from, government information and services provided online to the public on the Internet and this constitutes discrimination against her on the basis of her physical disability, namely that she is blind,” wrote Justice Kelen. Continue reading →
License agreements that absolve software developers of responsibility found unenforceable
A recent decision of the UK High Court held that software developers are responsible for software bugs. This goes against most software license agreements that software companies force on customers. Essentially, software companies have been denying all responsibility for damages.
The license agreements are non-negotiable documents often consented to as software is being installed.
It’s been the software industry practice to admit that software is buggy. People know that and hundreds of millions of customers have accepted it for decades.
However, all goods are sold on the basis of “fit for the purpose intended.” The UK High Court ruled that license agreements can’t eliminate the basic rules of commerce. Continue reading →