MsLods’ news round-up – law and technology

MsLods’ Round-up  ~ Technology,  Intellectual Property & Media Law


News from the US: Appeals court upholds $675,000 verdict for song downloads. | Ars Technica |

#Copywrong – social media, transformative use and copyright reform. | ntegrity |

In the land of the morally blind, the blind lead the way. | TechnoLlama |

Defamation & media law

Gordon Wood to sue media for defamation. | Sydney Morning Herald |

Law to shield whistle blowers. | Canberra Times |

Privacy, FOI & security

News from the United Kingdom: Meet PRISM’s little brother: Socmint. | Ars Technica |

The chilling effects of surveillance – Opinion. |  Al Jazeera English |

JCIS national security inquiry reports on data retention. | Crikey  |

US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden. | South China Morning Post |


Tech giants to face tax scrutiny under new law. | IT News |

Sony and Disney begin streaming movies still in theatres in a bold move against piracy. | The Verge  |

Disruptions: medicine that monitors you. | New York Times |


Australian telcos call for ACCC to rein in Telstra. | ZDNet |

Trade marks & brand protection

A trade mark storm is brewing in Melbourne. | Mumbrella |

Social media

David Stratton reviews his fake Twitter account. | Junkee |

46 things we’ve learned from Facebook studies. | Forbes |

Presentations from Social Media Risk Management Conference. | Dialogue Consulting |  Recommend Samantha Yorke’s presentation on the role of regulatory bodies in risk mitigation.


30 June 2013

Ms Lods’ news round-up – law and technology



Filmmakers’ group tries to reshape treaty that would benefit the blind. | The Washington Post |

White House updates intellectual property strategy. | The Hill’s RegWatch |

Online submission form now available. Copyright and the Digital Economy Discussion Paper. | ALRC | Closing date for submissions 31 July 2013.

$3.6m damages for copyright infringement? Buzz off! | Art and Artifice |

Defamation & media law

McLibel leaflet was co-written by an undercover police officer. | Guardian |

Does Twitter belong in the court room? Social media on trial. | Mumbrella |

Law and Justice ministers to revisit journalist shield laws. | Attorney-General |

News from Vietnam: Third blogger arrested in less than a month. | Reporters Without Borders  |

Privacy, FOI & security

Amid ire a U.S., Germany does its own domestic spying. |  Parallels : NPR |

U.S. charges Snowden with espionage. | The Washington Post |

Procedures used by NSA to minimize data collection from US persons: Exhibit B – full document. | Guardian |

Parliament in top gear to protect its own from FOI scrutiny. | Open and Shut |


Kindle’s most-highlighted passages and the soul of the American reader. | New Republic |

Media Watch: Mean new digital world for freelancers. | ABC |

Yes, you’ve chased your kids off Facebook—here’s where they went. | NBC |


ACCC report on Telstra’s SSU: longstanding issues come to light. | ACCC |

The Australian Government snoop patrol: once every two minutes, 24/7, anyone’s data. | Powerhouse |

Attorney-General’s Department:  hiding a data retention gargoyle? | Crikey |

Trade marks & brand protection

Australian Barristers Association threatens to sue tech-savvy barrister. | Lawyers Weekly |

Social media

From me to you: The business of sharing. | confused of calcutta |

Social networking in the 1600s: lessons from the age of the coffee house. | New York Times |

News from UK: DPP publishes final guidelines for prosecutions involving social media communications. | CPS |

Continuous disclosure obligations not that onerous: ASX. | Australian Financial Review |


23 June 2013

Ms Lods’ news round-up – law and technology



Useful Q+A with Professor Jill McKeough on the Copyright Inquiry. | ALRC | Submissions to Discussion Paper due 31 July 2013

News from Ireland: High Court orders six internet service providers to block Pirate Bay access. | Independent |

‘Happy Birthday’ for All: Filmmaker aims to free song from copyright grip. | The Hollywood Reporter |

Some copyright history: Felonius Monk and the Right to Copy. | |

Defamation & media law

Kuwaiti woman jailed for ‘insulting’ emir tweets. | BBC News |

My short update: Australian surgeon withdraws US case against Google over ‘bankrupt’ auto-complete results. | MsLods |

Privacy & security

Serious invasions of privacy in the digital era. Terms of Reference for new ALRC Inquiry. | ALRC  |

Australia gets ‘deluge’ of US secret data, prompting a new data facility. | The Age |

Secret to Prism program: Even bigger data seizure. | AP |

Greens push for data surveillance warrants. | SMH |


U.S. Supreme Court decides Myriad, isolated DNA not patentable. | infojustice |

Ridiculously long men’s room lines at tech conferences: a photo essay – Megan Garber. | The  Atlantic |

New paper from the ACMA: The cloud: services, computing and digital data – Emerging issues in media and communications. | The ACMA| (pdf)

Reviews to see how the Government can better support technology start ups. | DBCDE |


India to send world’s last telegram. Stop. | |

No country for slow broadband. | New York Times |

Google pilots ‘balloon internet’ over New Zealand. | IT News |

Trade marks & brand protection

Did you know that @RolandGarros is an international trade mark? More on sport and branding. | WIPO |

Social media

Can a tweet (or a Facebook post) land you in court? |  ntegrity | My first post for ntegrity.

Twitter told to reveal details of racist users in France. | BBC News |

Introducing #hashtags on Facebook. | Facebook Newsroom |


17 June 2013

Australian surgeon withdraws US case against Google over ‘bankrupt’ auto-complete results

In January this year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Dr Guy Hingston, a Port Macquarie surgeon was suing Google for defamation over an autocomplete search suggestion that he believes has cost him clients. Typing his name into Google’s search engine brings up ‘Guy Hingston bankrupt’ as one of the autocomplete suggestions.

Dr Hingston commenced the case in the US District Court in California, in late December last year. The Digital Media Law Project set out an excellent overview of Dr Hingston’s allegations against Google on their blog. Jeff Hermes reported that:

“This is not the first lawsuit against Google based upon autocomplete results, we have written before about suits in other countries. However, this is the first such suit filed in a United States court, raising the question of whether the suit could succeed under the laws of California and the United States, including the First Amendment.”

Last week, Radio National’s Breakfast program aired a segment ‘Google Under Fire’ covering the rise of litigation against Google concerning unflattering Google auto-complete suggestions. This year alone, Google has lost cases in Japan and Germany in relation to its autocomplete function.

The German court ruled that Google must remove the infringing material from its autocomplete function, but only once it becomes aware of the “unlawful violation of the personal rights”.  Another case in Germay has attracted significant attention but has yet to be heard. A former German first lady, Bettina Wullf, has sued Google concerning autocomplete results that link her name to terms such as “prostitute” and “escort services”.

Given the Australian connection, I had been waiting for news of further developments in Dr Hingston’s litigation against Google. However, Radio National reported last week that Dr Hingston had withdrawn his case against Google.   Venkat Balasubramani kindly provided me with an extract of a search of the court’s records which confirmed that Dr Hingston’s case was voluntarily dismissed on 7 March 2013. This means that Dr Hingston can refile later if he chooses.

I am not aware of any cases specifically concerning autocomplete suggestions in Australia. However, last year in Trkulja v Google Inc (No 5) [2012] VSC 533 the plaintiff, a Melbourne man, was successful in his defamation claim against Google in which he complained that its search results, both web results and images, linked him to gangland crime.

Should Google police autocomplete results?

Note: the Gazette of Law & Journalism first published a version of my post last week. This post is published with their permission.