Microsoft Moves The Cloud to the Ocean Floor

microsoftBy Carlie Bacon

Some like it hot, but datacenters don’t. When they get too toasty they crash, making waves in the sea of data storage and access.

Microsoft is making waves of a more useful variety.

 The company just launched Project Natick—a research effort that includes underwater data centers. As cloud computing becomes more prevalent, Microsoft aims to improve the ways we manipulate data. The underwater setting provides better cooling, renewable energy, and a more controlled environment than traditional land options. Continue reading “Microsoft Moves The Cloud to the Ocean Floor”

Video Killed the Radio Star… And the Internet Killed Cable

Untitled1By Tyler Quillin

This article began with an interest in the disparity between last year’s SEC Network and Pac12 Network revenue yields. However, research led to an even more disruptive evolution in cable television delivery – the end of cable bundling. As the internet continues to reshape the way we consume content, cable-bundling continues to decline.

Most of us still access cable television via the traditional bundling model, which functions through consumer subscriptions for desired channel lineups. Each of the channels provided by the service provider costs a fee to provide. These are called affiliate fees, which are licensing fees agreed upon between each service provider and the respective network. These affiliate fees are a growing influence on the pricing of service provider lineups in an evolving market where the internet provides the direct access to clients these networks never had before. Before the internet, networks needed cable servicer providers to disseminate their products to consumers, but now consumers can go straight to the source for targeted consumption of their desired programming via streaming subscription models. For example, remember the big splashes Hulu and Netflix made in the mid-2000s by providing streamed content? The Networks began offering content for free via Hulu while cable service providers were paying hefty affiliate fees. The cable service providers were unhappy, and Hulu became a subscription-based service. This marked the beginning of the end. Continue reading “Video Killed the Radio Star… And the Internet Killed Cable”

YouTube Remixers & Small Statutory Offenders in Focus

YOUTUBER_ICONBy Andrew H. Fuller

There is little doubt that YouTube content creators have been causing waves in the copyright world since its inception. For example, in 2009, YouTube started to mute the audio tracks of any videos or streams posted by users that contained unauthorized copyrighted music. Another common and popular genre of YouTube content is remixes, where YouTube artists create content by altering and sampling from existing, copyright protected content. Most YouTube content creators are unaware and unconcerned about copyright laws or infringement claims until YouTube cracks down on them. Those who are vaguely familiar often assume that their use is within the bounds of Copyright’s Fair Use exception. Given the general (mis)understanding around Fair Use and the courts’ treatment and application of this exception, the Lanham Act would seem ripe for an update. While the technological landscape of media dissemination and user consumption has radically shifted, the laws around copyright haven’t changed. Continue reading “YouTube Remixers & Small Statutory Offenders in Focus”

How May I Serve You? Facebook as A Means of Serving Notice and Summons

fbBy Samuel Daheim

For many, the internet has become the primary means of storing, disseminating, and receiving information in personal affairs. We often regard the web as the most convenient and accessible method of communicating. The question arises: should the legal system reflect society’s growing dependence on cyberspace? Or should the age-old traditions of law stand as unmoved pillars, upon which our notions of justice rest? Continue reading “How May I Serve You? Facebook as A Means of Serving Notice and Summons”

Kobe Bryant Trademarks Phrase to Prepare for the Next Chapter

kobeBy Yayi Ding

It’s official – Kobe Bryant has trademarked the phrase: “Friends Hang Sometimes Banners Hang Forever.”

The motto originated from a 2015 interview with Kobe, when a reporter asked him about “not being a great friend all the time.” His response captured the relentless drive that has defined him as a basketball player: “Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.” As Kobe’s NBA career comes to a close, his legal efforts offer more insight into his business acumen and his post-retirement preparations. Continue reading “Kobe Bryant Trademarks Phrase to Prepare for the Next Chapter”

Are Flying Cars Really in Our Future?

flying carBy Danielle Olero

The vintage cartoon, The Jetsons, inspired many to predict there would be flying cars by the year 2000. But amongst our many modern conveniences, flying to work in a car has not been an option. People may not have invented flying cars by the turn of the century, but we may be closer than we ever imagined. Many people use drones to carry packages, take videos, diffuse bombs, and now they can carry you. Continue reading “Are Flying Cars Really in Our Future?”

London Calling: Will 10 Downing Street Be Listening?

ukBy Jeff Bess

As the debate over the appropriate extent of – and necessary limits to – government surveillance rages on in the United States, other nations are looking to expand their own powers to monitor the electronic communications of their citizenry. Chief among these is the United Kingdom, whose parliament is currently considering passage of the so-called “Investigatory Powers Bill,” which would authorize a whole host of new tactics for monitoring citizens’ Internet use and would also require compliance from the large Internet companies that possess troves of user data. Continue reading “London Calling: Will 10 Downing Street Be Listening?”

Should VARA Apply to Nature Graffiti?

51f877d40cb03.preview-620By Beth St. Clair

State and national parks are sanctuaries, and the Emerald Gem that is the Pacific Northwest has no shortage of outdoor devotees ready to protect its parks’ soul-achingly beautiful mountains, tapestries of forests, and glimmering, shimmering lakes, streams and ocean coasts.

                How shocked would nature-lovers be to learn that, over the last several years, graffiti has moved to national parks? The most nefarious instance involved a 21-year-old from New York who painted exhausted-looking persona on logs, in caves, and even the ground, in as many as eight different national park locales. Tagging each oeuvre with “#creepytings,” she deliberately ousted herself by posting pictures on Instagram. A second case involved a European graffiti artist who spray-painted his signature tag on a boulder in Joshua Tree National Park, also posting on Instagram. After public outcry and an initial denial that he had been on park grounds, the artist paid a National Park Service fine to the U.S. District Court. Continue reading “Should VARA Apply to Nature Graffiti?”

Federal Circuit Vindicates First Amendment by Holding Section of Lanham Act Unconstitutional

trademark-gavelBy Vijay Kumar

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) recently decided en banc that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits registration of “disparaging” trademarks, is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The effects of this significant decision (In re Tam) will undoubtedly ripple across multiple industries and affect many controversial trademarks, including most notably the Washington Redskins, who are currently appealing a district court decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Continue reading “Federal Circuit Vindicates First Amendment by Holding Section of Lanham Act Unconstitutional”

Closing the Tax Gap through Modern Information Technology

PictureBy Sam Hampton

Congratulations—you just hit a $5000 jackpot on a slot machine! Would you be more likely to report this income on your 1040 (as you should) if you knew the casino would report the winnings to the IRS? Would you be more likely to report a cash tip income if you found out that a waiter had been prosecuted for tax fraud for failure to report his tips? A recent New York Times article suggests that taxpayers are much more likely to report in either of these situations—and modern information technology provides new avenues for both auditing and monitoring taxpayers. Continue reading “Closing the Tax Gap through Modern Information Technology”