Keeping an AI on Technological Advances in Business Law

Source: The Economist

By Elizabeth Rice

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This Note explores the role that artificial intelligence plays in the legal world today and the ways in which it may affect the legal profession in the future.  Artificial intelligence programs are being used in a variety of ways to streamline legal research, contracts analysis, and many other tedious and time-consuming legal processes.  As this technology develops, many lawyers are concerned that these efficient programs will begin to replace lawyers, especially at the lower level of big law firms, while others welcome the benefits that this technology will bring to law firms.  This Note touches on competing views concerning the implications of the use of artificial intelligence in the legal field, and how the implementation of these programs will ultimately benefit the profession as a whole.… Read the rest

Driving Solo: Solutions to the Current Patchwork of Legislation Concerning Automated Vehicles

Source: AP

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By Bryan Boccelli

This Note argues that states across the nation should expand upon and in some cases begin to introduce legislation in regards to self-driving vehicles. Although there are currently a handful of states that already have some form of regulation in effect regarding self-driving vehicles, the current patchwork of legislation is not very conducive for companies and entrepreneurs that wish to enter this market. This Note looks at a gradient system of automation as the basis for legislation that could potentially lead to greater investment from car manufactures in this area of technology. If adopted, a gradient system would mean that the automated vehicle would be subject to specific regulations based on a car’s level of automation. The more autonomous the car is, the more highly regulated it will become.… Read the rest

Is a 3-D Printed Object a Product?

Source: Gambody

By Joe Yeoman

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This Note argues that a 3-D printed object and its design file should be considered products, and thus potential defendants be held strictly liable for any defects. Based on the growing popularity of home-based 3-D printing, the potential harms that will arise from defective objects requires that action be taken now to define these objects and their design files as products. Currently, the American Law Institute (ALI) and their persuasive Restatements do not completely cover home-based 3-D printing. This Note examines what the ALI can do when releasing a new version of their Restatement of Torts. Additionally, this Note proposes a solution that will balance the need to help injured parties, while protecting innocent hobbyists.… Read the rest

Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Notice and Takedown on Fair Use

Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Niya Ge

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This Note argues that the current standard for monitoring the DMCA takedown process holds copyright holders to little accountability, allowing abuse of the process and disregarding whether the material was fair use or not. This Note navigates common abuses of the takedown process, from broad automatic algorithms, to issuing DMCA takedown notices to intentionally censor the targeted material. Although the current subjective standard for monitoring the legitimacy of suspect infringing materials requires copyright holders to consider fair use, it outlines no actual process or standard to do so, and creates no incentive for proper monitoring or accuracy. This Note argues that an objective standard would be more appropriate in curbing abuse instead of a subjective standard that incentivizes negligent monitoring.… Read the rest

The Sharing Economy: Airbnb’s Discrimination Problem

Source: Airbnb

By Jason Shultz

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Racial discrimination is a systemic issue deeply rooted in American society. One company within the sharing economy cannot possibly change the behavior of the individual hosts that are essentially landlords. This Note examines how Airbnb hopes to achieve an inclusive community for its users, how the new policies will affect hosts and guests, as well as Airbnb as a corporation, and how the traditional Fair Housing Act applies to Airbnb’s hosts. Finally, this analysis will illustrate how Airbnb’s new focus on inclusion will impact the sharing economy as a whole. Airbnb needs to work with the government to change the current exceptions that allow certain landlords to discriminate against classes of people. These changes include both eliminating the exceptions and reclassifying how landlords are treated under government regulations. By working with lawmakers and other sharing economy companies, Airbnb can make a … Read the rest

When to Disclose Data Breaches under Federal Securities Laws

Source: CNBC

By Steven Wittenberg

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Hacking and cybercrime are on the rise.[1] From 2013 to 2015, twenty major data breaches were reported at Fortune 100 companies.[2] Publicly traded companies who have securities disclosure obligations should be aware of their duties under the federal securities laws when it comes to data breaches and hacks.[3]

In 2011, the SEC Division of Corporation Finance issued guidelines for cyber incidents.[4] The SEC stated, “[A] number of disclosure requirements may impose an obligation on registrants to disclose such [cyber] risks and incidents,” although there are no explicit requirements referring to data breaches.

While major data breaches may be material to reasonable investors of public companies, there is no duty to promptly disclose the occurrence of cyber incidents unless there have been selective disclosures, previous misstatements or circumstances making the omission of the hack misleading.[5] The federal … Read the rest

It’s a Bird . . . It’s a Plane . . . It’s a Drone! State and Local Drone Applications in Law Enforcement

By: Steven Wittenberg

Introduction

Drone technology is here to stay. They are the Obama administration’s instrument of choice for high-level officials to execute “lawful . . . lethal operations in a foreign country” aimed at enemy combatants (who can be U.S. citizens) who happen to be an “operational leader.”[1][2] To qualify, there must be an “imminent threat,” capture must not practical, and the slaying must be consistent with the laws of war. “Imminent” is a self-defense term, which demands that the official must “know, in a detailed manner, who poses such a threat, in what circumstances, and how and when such persons can be targeted.”[3] At the intersection of intelligence gathering and the decision to strike are the so-called “kill lists,”[4] which are maintained to ensure the targets satisfy all the conditions of a lawful targeted killing.

As a vestige of President Obama’s grand strategy to … Read the rest

New Legal Problems Created by Wearable Devices

By: Young Ah Kim

I. Introduction

Wearable devices have been drawing serious attention in the media as the next big thing since Google glass, a wearable device with an optical head-mounted display, was launched in 2013.[1] Fitbit, the maker of fitness-tracking wristbands, went public in 2015 after its sales rose 174% to $745 million in 2014.[2] Since GoPro’s initial public offering in 2014, the maker of the action camera has climbed over 100% from its top-of-the-range IPO price-per-share.[3] Apple unveiled the Apple watch that can monitor heart rate and activity and create a one-stop shop for health information of consumers.[4] Apple CEO Tim Cook called the Apple Watch “the most personal device we’ve ever created.”[5] According to Statista, an Internet-based statistics provider, “the global wearable device market is expected to grow from $5 billion in 2014 to $12.6 billion by 2018.”[6] In a 2014 … Read the rest

The Alienability of Digital Distribution Licenses

By: Steven Wittenberg

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.[1]

Evidently, digital distribution licenses should have also been listed with the other “unalienable Rights…”

Digital distribution describes the system in which non-tangible digital content – such as movies, music, books and video games – is delivered to consumers. To analogize, think of the internet as the river of commerce and the online delivery medium (e.g. a Kindle or a PlayStation 4) as the port where goods are unloaded; the articles of online electronic commerce include digital products (e.g. a novel or standalone video game) and their sub-products including downloadable content and other add-ons.

Depending on the demands of the consumer, the product might be streamed or downloaded. To illustrate, it … Read the rest

Daily Fantasy Sports & Modern Regulation

By: Alex Karl

American consumer markets are always seeking to develop new cutting edge ways to make money. One ever-present revenue goliath is the sports industry, which generates roughly $14.3 billion annually.[1] With every industry there are others who try to latch on and make a profit of their own, and this is no different with the sports industry and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites. DFS websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings hone into this market by allowing it’s users to enter into contests where they create lineups from athletes in their respective sports in an attempt to win money.[2] The sites offer contests on a range of sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA and more.[3] After choosing a contest you wish to join and paying a fee, users are allotted a set budget in which to create their lineup and each respective athlete is given a … Read the rest