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cloud computing

Is Cloud Computing Changing Intellectual Property Law?

The laws of copyright, patent and trademark are changing because cloud computing is making it possible to connect software "in just about everything," The New York Times' Quentin Hardy reports. For example, "everything, be it software and networking or power, is different when so many computers are spread across the globe. The pace of innovation is so quick, and the number of players so small, that in some cases, the players elect not to patent inventions, wary of what they’d disclose about themselves in the application," Hardy writes. 3-D printing may change things even more because "designs there can be widely shared and modified in a computer, to an extent that originals are hard to recognize, let alone protect."

What 'Mostly Clueless' Lawyers Can Learn from Jennifer Lawrence Hack

Jeff Bennion, writing in Above the Law, has a helpful post about the lessons lawyers can learn from the leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence that were apparently hacked out of her iCloud account: "Celebrities with nude photos in their cloud accounts are targets for the same reason lawyers with confidential client files in cloud accounts are: they are easy targets with highly bribable files. Lawyers are mostly clueless when it comes to cybersecurity, yet they use it to store their most valuable information." Bennion suggests that lawyers encrypt their files kept on the cloud in zip files, empty the trash in their cloud storage and make file sharing links temporary. The risk of a data breach, he says, is losing current clients, future clietns and your reputation.

And here's an article I wrote a few months back about the risk hackers pose to law firm's data security:

Microsoft Ordered to Turn Over Customer Data Stored in Ireland

In a major landmark in the development of digital privacy, a federal judge has ordered Microsoft to turn over to the U.S. government a customer's emails and other account information stored in an Irish data center, Re/code reports. Microsoft unsuccessfully argued that a U.S. warrant couldn't extend to customer information held abroad.

Re/code said the case appears to be the first in which a U.S. warrant for data held overseas was challenged by an Internet firm.

Microsoft Contests Warrant for Overseas Data

Microsoft is fighting a U.S. warrant for data stored overseas in Ireland, Corporate Counsel reports. The outcome of the litigation could have big implications for cloud computing and data privacy.

Microsoft argues that the warrant doesn't extend to data stored on servers located overseas, while the U.S. government said that the pre-cloud computing-era Stored Communications Act gives it access, Corporate Counsel also reports. 

Arguments on the dispute are set to be heard Thursday.

Supreme Court Ponders Protecting Cloud Computing During Aereo Arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be concerned about the fate of cloud computing but not so much with the fate of Internet startup Aereo in oral arguments today, Re/code reports: "As attorneys for the Web TV service and the TV networks who are suing it argued their case today, justices repeatedly asked about ways they could write a judgment that protected the rights of other cloud computing services, such as Dropbox, to continue operating. But they seemed less concerned about Aereo’s fate. Some justices wondered why Aereo shouldn’t be considered the equivalent of cable company, which would give them the right to transmit TV programming — but would also require them to pay for it. And others argued that Aereo seemed primarily designed to evade copyright law."

Aereo retransmits free broadcast TV over the Internet through individual antennas dedicated to each customer. Aereo says it designed its system with those one-to-one antennas to avoid violating broadcasters' exclusive rights to publicly perform their works. But broadcasters say Aereo is freeloading on their content without having to pay retransmission fees. 

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