In light of yesterday’s jury verdict in Oracle v. Google, I thought it worth revisiting the concept of fair use in copyright, including the factors that go into determining whether or not a use is fair, the issues having such a test presents, and its application to APIs in particular.
Way back in November, GoldieBlox, Inc. sued the Beastie Boys and a host of others, asking a court to declare that their use of a “parodied” version of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” in their commercial was legal as a protected fair use. After some open letters back and forth, it looked like the case was going away, before the Beastie Boys fired back in December with an Answer and a whole host of counterclaims, essentially accusing GoldieBlox of shameless appropriation in the name of corporate profits (I was interviewed for my thoughts at the time, no big deal). Looked like the parties were entrenched, but now, settlement on the horizon? [Read more…]
A couple of things happened this week that got me thinking about open access to the courts, its virtues, and the ways courts have to adapt to keep realizing that goal. The first, is I listened to an NPR story that got me all riled up (happens more than I care to admit) about cameras in the courtroom. Following closely on the heels of that, I got yelled at in a clerk’s office (well, strongly questioned and admonished) for scanning documents rather than having them copied. Harrumph.
On Tuesday Radio Boston had a great segment regarding the pros and cons of video cameras in Federal Courts. Arguing for cameras was the inimitable retired Federal Court Judge Nancy Gertner, who first came to my attention while overseeing the Joel Tenenbaum litigation in U.S. District Court here in Boston. Arguing against cameras was Boston College Law School professor David Olson. The thrust of Judge Gernter’s argument was that as a country we’ve committed to the idea of courts as a public forum, and given the state of technology (and the fact that many federal cases, like the Whitey Bulger trial currently, are already recorded and live streamed to overflow courtrooms for viewers and reporters), a failure to get cameras in the court room and give judges the option to use them means we’re really only paying lip service to the idea of a public courtroom without actually living up to that ideal. [Read more…]
In previous posts, I’ve published my Massachusetts Judicial District Map and Massachusetts Housing Court Map. To complete the set, below is my Massachusetts Superior Court Map. This version includes the Courthouse name, the address of the primary courthouse in each county (for those that have multiple sessions), as well as the main number for the courthouse. Check it out after the jump: [Read more…]
A couple weeks ago I posted a Massachusetts Judicial District Map that I created using Google Fusion Tables. At the request of one of my new Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys brethren I’ve gone ahead and created a similar map showing the areas covered by each of the five housing courts in the Commonwealth. More importantly, it shows those areas not covered at all by a housing court. Check it out after the jump: [Read more…]