RealNews

New technologies face legal minefield

Companies face a host of legal land mines that they need to consider when developing emerging technology, attorneys at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference told developers Tuesday. The attorneys said companies are increasingly wielding patent and copyright laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to thwart competitors and maintain their market share. As a result, the attorneys said, we’re heading toward a world where companies increasingly need to consider the legal ramifications of their products. Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Fred von Lohmann said, for example, that companies in the entertainment industry are increasingly looking for nuances in copyright law that will allow them to shut down those they see as a threat, as they did with Napster and Scour. He said companies that provide services, end-user licenses, and increasingly, automatic updates, could become targets of intellectual property holders who argue that such companies could do more to stop copyright infringement because they’ve established an ongoing relationship with their customers. Full Story

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