AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort

I'm currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing "'hot news' misappropriation under New York state law." An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment. The Retort is a community site comparable in function to Digg, Reddit and Mixx. The 8,500 users of the site ... (read more)

Non-Disclosure Agreements Have No Saving Throw

Last Friday, Wizards of the Coast published the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the first major release of the game in eight years. During the development of the game, the company has been so generous with confidential information that it got almost 1,000 people locked under non-disclosure agreements. The company has followed this up with a friendly warning that in spite of the game's release, these people are bound until the end of time by the agreement: Q: Can I talk about my playtest ... (read more)

Notre Dame Coach Loses Malpractice Suit

Notre Dame football Coach Charlie Weis nearly died after gastric bypass surgery a few years ago due to internal bleeding, so he sued surgeons Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin for negligence. I love this detail from the first time they faced off in court: The first trial ended in a mistrial in February after Ferguson and Hodin rushed to the aid of a juror who collapsed in the courtroom. It can't be good for your malpractice suit when the defendants save a juror. ... (read more)

Cease-and-Desist Letter about Dilbert Parody

After seven years publishing on the Web, I received my first cease-and-desist letter. It was sent by United Feature Syndicate this week because of a Dilbert parody that was linked by a user on the message board for Cruel Site of the Day. The message contained HTML IMG tags that linked to externally hosted graphics containing parody versions of the Dilbert comic strip. I didn't see the parodies -- the cartoonist apparently got one of these letters before I did and removed the graphics -- but ... (read more)