IP & IT Law (5 - 19 February)

IP & IT News

Taylor Swift copyright lawsuit dismissed by US judge

The Guardian – 14 February

A $42 million copyright lawsuit filed against Taylor Swift has been dismissed by a Californian judge. The suit was filed by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who argued that Swift’s 2014 song, Shake it Off stole lyrics from their 2000 song Playas Gon’ Play. According to the judge, ‘the alleged infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection’.

Uber vs Waymo: Uber settles Waymo lawsuit for $245 million

ITPro – 12 February

ITPro has presented a timeline of the dispute between Uber and Google owned Waymo, over Uber’s alleged theft of Google’s driverless car technology. The latest update is a settlement between the two companies, which brings an end a dispute that began in May 2017. Uber will pay Waymo £177 million worth of shares as a settlement: a much lower payment than the $1 billion Waymo was originally seeking.

German court finds Facebook's data collection was illegal

The Telegraph – 12 February

The Berlin Regional Court has ruled that Facebook’s recent data collection process was illegal, as the social media website did not make it clear that they were collecting for advertising purposes. The judges ruled that eight clauses in Facebook’s terms and conditions were invalid, and five of the default privacy settings were unlawful.

Government edges towards patent court approval

The Law Society Gazette – 12 February

The Privy Council has approved the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) agreement, bringing it one step closer to being ratified. The order will now be moved to the floors of the Houses of Parliament, and if successful, will be signed off by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Hackers hijack government websites to mine crypto-cash

BBC News – 11 February

The BBC has reported on a computer hack that has affected over 4,000 websites and caused the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take down its website for a short period of time. The hackers were attempting to generate and mine Monero, a cryptocurrency that rivals Bitcoin, as recent months have seen a soar in cryptocurrency prices.

EU data protection law may end up protecting scammers, experts warn

The Guardian – 6 February

According to security experts, the new GDPR coming into effect in May, might end up protecting online scammers. Currently, the WHOIS system is used to trace scammers by revealing the contact details for the owner of a domain name. However, ‘domain registrations are commercial contracts’, so it is likely that the WHOIS system will be in breach of GDPR when it comes into force.


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