March 5, 2008
New at SSRN
Online Satellite and Aerial Images: Issues and Analysis
by BRIAN J. CRAIG
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law
North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 83, p. 547, 2007
Link to SSRN.
Online satellite and aerial imagery services such as Google Earth and MSN's Live Local provide access to images that previously were not generally available to the public. This increased availability of satellite and aerial photographs on the Internet raises concerns about privacy rights, public safety, and national security. The industry response to these concerns lacks uniformity and fails to safeguard individual privacy rights and prevent possible threats to public safety. New satellite and aerial imagery services online will likely result in litigation with plaintiffs seeking both equitable and legal remedies. Although plaintiffs might bring actions under a variety of legal theories including nuisance, strict product liability, invasion of privacy by intrusion, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and other miscellaneous actions, existing remedies fall short in providing redress for violations of privacy rights. Increased access to satellite and aerial imagery also raises evidentiary issues. Provided parties lay the proper foundation, courts will likely admit online satellite and aerial images into evidence. Congress and other policy makers should take action to protect individual privacy rights and prevent possible threats to public safety and national security with online satellite and aerial photographs.
RIAA Investigation Methods Subpoenaed
There's an interesting story over at Ars Technica about the latest move from a file-sharing defendant that the RIAA is furiously fighting. The defendant in UMG v. Lindor has subpoenaed information about the software and techniques used by MediaSentry, the company that gathers evidence for the RIAA. Typically, the RIAA uses the defendant's computer to provide evidence of file sharing. This case is different. The defendant never owned a computer and the search of her deceased husband's computer shows no evidence of file sharing. The only tie is the username jlindor@kazaa.
The RIAA has a tendency to cut and run when cases look like losing propositions. Not here, though it doesn't seem to be in the best interests of the Association to create a precedent where they would have to turn over the demanded information, or another where a KaZaA username was the only evidence it could muster. On the other hand, a revelation as to how file sharers get flagged would be really interesting. This is a case to watch.
March 3, 2008
Apple is Most Admired Company According to Fortune Magazine
Fortune has published its list of America's Most Admired Companies. Apple ranks number 1 overall. For tech related companies in the top 20, Google comes in at number 4, and Microsoft rounds out the bottom of the list at number 16. Breakouts by industry have these tech related categories: Computer Peripherals, Computer Software, Computers, Internet Services, Retailing, Network Communications, and Semiconductors.
The full lists are worth perusing. Highlights:
- IAC comes in at Number 1 for Most Admired in Internet Services, Retailing. Google is 2, and Yahoo! is 6. Microsoft doesn't make the top 8 here, nor does former powerhouse AOL.
- Apple is number 1 in Computers. followed by IBM at 2, and HP at 3. Dell is 8, below NCR at 7.
- Intuit is number 1 in Computer Software, followed by Adobe at 2, and Microsoft at 3.
Check out the complete breakdowns here.