The U.S. Copyright Office’s new electronic system for copyright-agent registration and maintenance goes into effect on December 1, 2016, and with it comes new rules. Beginning December 1, all online service providers must submit new designated-agent information to the Copyright Office through the online registration system. Electronic designations should be filed on December 1, 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter. Service providers who fail to timely submit electronic designations will be ineligible for the safe harbor from copyright-infringement liability provided by § 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Continue Reading Don’t Lose Your DMCA Safe Harbor Protection!

Linkedin has filed a lawsuit to prevent unauthorized use of “bots” that register fake profiles on the social network and steal data about actual users. According to the suit, these acts constitute a breach of Linkedin’s terms of  use and violate federal computer fraud law. LinkedIn alleges that the use of the bots violates the agreement all users of the network must execute, which specifically bars the copying of other users’ profiles and information, and the use of bots or other software add-ons to access the LinkedIn website.
Continue Reading LinkedIn Has Beef With Data Scraping Bots

Redbox Automated Retail, LLC (“Redbox”), provider of the popular self-service kiosks that rent movies and video games in airports and other locations, received confirmation last month from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that it can continue requiring customers to provide their ZIP codes to rent discs without violating California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act.  Sinibaldi v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10556 (9th Cir. June 6, 2014).
Continue Reading Redbox Collection of ZIP Codes Does Not Violate Song-Beverly Privacy Rights

The Federal Trade Commission has recently focused its consumer protection efforts on the mobile arena, and particularly video game companies operating in that arena.

Early last year, the FTC issued several staff reports related to mobile commerce and gaming.  The reports (1) examined the use of mobile payments (see “Paper, Plastic… or Mobile?  An FTC Workshop on Mobile Payments”), (2) promoted improved privacy disclosures for mobile consumers (see “Mobile Privacy Disclosures, Building Trust through Transparency”) and (3) revised online advertising disclosure guidelines (see “.com Disclosures, How to Make Effective Advertising Disclosures in Digital Advertising”).  As with all FTC guidance, such reports do not represent the law.  However, the reports do create safe harbors for companies that want to avoid FTC scrutiny.


Continue Reading The FTC Continues Its Focus on the Mobile Arena

As online social gaming becomes more pervasive in the lives of children today, it is vital for video game providers to understand and comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”).[1]  The COPPA Rule applies to websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and to operators of websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from children under 13 (“operators”).  It requires them to provide notice to parents and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under the age of 13.[2]  It also requires them to keep the information they collect from children secure, and prohibits them from conditioning a child’s participation in activities on the collection of more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in those activities.[3]
Continue Reading Kid Gamers: Safe Harbors for Video Game Providers

Mobile app developers must now conspicuously post and follow privacy policies just like websites and other commercial online services according to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. On October 30, the Attorney General’s office began sending warning letters to app developers notifying them that they had 30 days to comply. Time is now up. And the consequences are potentially substantial with the law carrying fines of up to $2,500 per download.
Continue Reading California AG to Begin Enforcing Privacy Law Against App Developers – $2500-per-Download Fines

I’ve spent the better part of the last few months acquainting myself with the intersection between privacy and social games. Things can be a bit complicated.[1] The goal of this article will be to explain the current state of affairs and suggest some options to consider when drafting a privacy policy that touches on social games.
 


Continue Reading Social Games and PRIVACY POLICY PANDEMONIUM