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Five for Friday Afternoon

As the work week winds down, here are five interesting things.  Some may expand to a longer blog posting this weekend or next week depending on requests.

First, as mentioned here yesterday, announced it was closing its doors (or DVD players if you will) in response to a preliminary injunction issues by the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Having been through this procedural step a number of times, 9 times out of 10, a victory at the preliminary injunction stage leads to an overall victory in a case.  In fact, I would not be surprised to see the Defendants eventually enter into a consent judgment if the Plaintiffs are willing to forgo disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.

The decision itself is well supported and draws on other well known cases in the field.  While the defendants brought some novel arguments, they could not get around the fact that when purchasing media, you are generally really only purchasing a license to use that media in certain ways.  In the end, the result, while unfortunate in the eyes of some (most of them having to find a new source of cheaper rentals), was inevitable.

Second, the riots in the UK seem to be shaking the very social foundations across the pond.  It has even gotten to a point where the Prime Minister has considered pulling a move Iran would be proud of and approve: banning social media.  This threat, at the very least, has gotten Facebook and RIM (of Blackberry fame) to the table to have a conversation with the British government.  Twitter is listening from afar, refusing to join the talks.  Stay tuned.

Third, Apple has found itself in the middle of some very expensive patent suits recently.  Will that distract them from suing the journalist who purchased the lost iPhone 4 prototype?  We’ll see.  On a related note, Apple scored a major victory in its patent suit against Samsung a few days ago, winning an injunction preventing Samsung from selling its tablet in Europe. Not surprisingly, Samsung is appealing.

Four, do not follow this playbook.

Five, why are we seeing so many lawsuits involving social media (and lawyers ready, willing, and able to handle them)?  Because more Americans are using social media.  Many more.

Next week, look for a robust discussion on personal jurisdiction.  For the non-lawyers in the room (first I say, you made a good decision), it may seem boring, but in the end, it is often the ballgame.  If someone is infringing, can you sue them in your locale?  That may mean everything to your lawsuit or whether you can make a threat of a lawsuit with some teeth.

There is a lot of good content out there, I will try and share as much as possible.

And finally, for the lawyers out there, Charlotte Allen has an interesting essay on a controversy ripping Widener’s law school apart at the seams.

Enjoy your weekend!

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