How Appealing

Thursday, April 16, 2009

“McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service; Plaintiffs Say Company’s Database of Term Papers, Essays Violates Copyright Laws”: An article published in the March 29, 2007 issue of The Washington Post begins, “Two McLean High School students have launched a court challenge against a California company hired by their school to catch cheaters, claiming the anti-plagiarism service violates copyright laws. The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, seeks $900,000 in damages from the for-profit service known as Turnitin. The service seeks to root out cheaters by comparing student term papers and essays against a database of more than 22 million student papers as well as online sources and electronic archives of journals. In the process, the student papers are added to the database.”

In March 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a ruling that rejected the plaintiffs’ lawsuit. At BNA’s “E-Commerce and Tech Law Blog,” Thomas O’Toole had a post about that ruling titled “ Lawsuit Yields Rulings on Browsewrap Contracts, Fair Use of Copyrighted Expression.”

Today. a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision that affirmed the district court’s rejection of the plaintiffs’ complaint. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling also contained additional bad news for the plaintiffs, because the appellate court reversed the district court’s dismissal of the company’s counterclaims and remanded those counterclaims for further proceedings in the district court. In coverage of today’s ruling, at BNA’s “E-Commerce and Tech Law Blog,” Thomas O’Toole had a post titled “Fourth Circuit’s Ruling Brings More Trouble for Plaintiffs.”

Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman

“Federal court blocks webcast of music piracy suit”: Jonathan Saltzman of The Boston Globe has a news update that begins, “A federal appeals court panel today blocked a trial judge in Boston from allowing live Internet coverage of an upcoming hearing in a closely watched lawsuit against a Boston University student accused of downloading music illegally.”

The Associated Press reports that “Music downloading hearing can’t be streamed online.”

At’s “Threat Level” blog, David Kravets has a post titled “Court Bars RIAA Trial Webcast.”

And at his “Copyrights & Campaigns” blog,” Ben Sheffner has a post titled “First Circuit rejects District Court webcast in Tenenbaum case; court rules Gertner lacked authority to permit cameras in courtroom.”

You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.

Posted at 7:50 PM by Howard Bashman

Programming note: Due to a day-long Continuing Legal Education session, I’ll be away from the computer until later today. Additional posts will appear here this evening.

Posted at 7:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ga. Supreme Court Mulls Teacher’s Consent Defense Over Sex With Student; Former teacher appeals conviction for encounter with 16-year-old”: has this report.

Posted at 7:04 AM by Howard Bashman