Thursday, September 02, 2004
Monday, August 09, 2004
Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything.
Oh The Places We've Been
The free tracking program we're using to track visitors, page loads, repeat visitors, etc. to the Blog has shown a surprising array of activity. We've received visits to the Blog from the following locations:
The power of the Internet to reach new audiences never ceases to amaze us.
We've opened up the tracking site so that everyone can view the stats:
Final Wrap for Committee Leadership
We were joined during our meeting by the Chair of the ABA's Diversity Committee, Jackie Parker. Jackie and Vince reminded all of us of the ABA's -- and the Committee's -- standing goals to expand and maintain the diversity of our membership, leadership and those who present and create product for our committee. Jackie reminded us of many of the tools available to our groups. For example, the ABA and the Diversity Committee stand ready to provide references for potential speakers or authors with specific interests and areas of practice to join a panel. The ABA has programs to assist potential new members of our Committee with travel expenses, such as an outstanding program in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Division. If you would like to discuss any of these programs or ideas, be sure to contact Jackie: jacqueline-parker [at] bankone [dot] com.
And with that, we had planes to catch, and bills to pay. The sessions were officially closed.
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
We've made a great deal of progress in Atlanta. Come join us at our winter working meeting at Stanford, January 28-29, 2005 (where we'll no doubt run another blog, and a wiki, too).
Ephemeral Nature of Blogs
Thus, remember the Law Hub -- the Cyberspace Committee's unofficial official home. Many of the materials you see discussed here are already posted there, and more to follow. If you would like to become a member, contact Vince Polley at vpolley <@> slb.com.
New Sci Fi Book Plays out Cyberspace Law Issues (item moved)
Epstein Demo of New Web Site
Don Cohn started the meeting with a description of a suggestion for a new project to create a standard set of reps and warrants that companies could demand from software vendors relating to the lack of security flaws in the vendor's products [Watch 6mb Quicktime Movie of Don]. If you're interested in this as a potential project, please contact Don.
Assessing the Security Risks of Third Party Vendors
Continuing the general subject, Michael Fleming then described an existing project that focused on how to conduct due diligence or assessments of third party vendors. GLBA and other laws now require that some companies only use vendors who have demonstrated they are capable of maintaining appropriate safeguards for data.
Mike demonstrated a sample self-assessment checklist to start the project. It will soon be loaded to the LawHub. Given the draft nature of the document, it will not be publicly available until later.
The interesting twist on this project is that Fleming plans to use a Wiki for group members to comment on and to develop the text for the security document. He showed a live Wiki he has created for the project. This will be a fun way to try out one of the latest collaborative authoring tools. Group members will be able to edit the document, show their edits to others, and the group can "vote" the changes up and down. This will be a fun experiment. [LINK TO BE POSTED LATER]
The Wiki is being hosted by editme.
Demonstration of the Model Web Site
Jason Epstein then demonstrated the current version of the Model Website. It will eventually be packaged as a book and CD combination for publication and sale by the ABA. The Model Web site is intended for use by lawyers and businesses to help them understand the legal challenges involved in operating a Web site to sell goods or services. It contains sample Web pages with annotations and pop-up text to identify issues and suggest ways of resolving them.
The group was in general agreement that this was one of the most innovative projects we've had in a long time. It's interactive, it breaks our traditinal publication models, and it presents material in a whole new way.
ABA Model Trading Partner Protocol
The group today included a few new members, and it also demonstrated a unique phenomenon that many of us enjoy about the Cyberspace Law Committee--the group included private practitioners, law professors, government regulators, representatives of standards-setting bodies, and in house lawyers. Together, they continued to grapple with the challenges of how to create contracts that will actually facilitate commerce and that won't stretch the current legal frameworks too much. Quintessential work of the Cyberspace Law Committee.
The draft of the 2004 Update is available here.
And, because we have the capabilities, but we haven't done it yet, we took a short Quicktime movie at the Working Group meeting. For history's sake. It's safe for viewing at work or in public places.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Working Group on Electronic Contracting Practices
The Working Group opened its meeting with a discussion of unilateral modifications of contract terms. The first item for discussion was a Michigan case involving the interpretation of a contract for a subscription to a lottery. Paulsen v. Bureau of State Lottery, 421 N.W.2d 678 (Mich.App. 1988). The plaintiff purchased the ability to play the same lottery number for 52 drawings. The contract clearly stated it's terms were subject to the rules and directives of the Bureau of State Lottery. After the contract was signed, the Bureau decided to hold drawings twice a week, rather than once per week. Thus, reducing the period of weeks, but not the number of drawings, in which the Plaintiff would participating in the lottery with their pre-chosen lottery number. The plaintiff relocated before the change in terms occurred and did not receive the mailed notice of the change from the Bureau. Later, the Plaintiff's regular lottery number was selected in a $3.6 million lottery. The Plaintiff notified the Bureau her number was selected. The Bureau responded that her pre-purchased 52 drawings had all been used a few short weeks prior. The Plaintiff sued and lost. The court held the change in the lottery schedule was not an impermissible modification of the contract and that making the contract subject to the rules, regulations, and directives of the Bureau was not unconsciounable.
Effective Email Notices
The group also discussed a recent case in Massachusetts in which the court held that email was not an effective way to provide a binding notice to company employees. See It's Official--You Don't Have to Read Your Boss's Emails (Steptoe & Johnson’s Ecommerce Law Week, 3 July 2004).
Elaine Ziff and Hawa Allan of Skadden Arps distributed a recent paper they concluded for the Working Group on Using Opt-In or Opt-Out Mechanisms to Obtain Customer Assent to Modifications of Standard Form Electronic Arguments. The article contains numerous examples of real situations where these principles were at work.
During the meeting, John Tomaszewski commandeered my computer and dug up an old article he wrote many years ago on a similar topic. John P. Tomaszewski, The Enforceability of Adhesive Arbitration Clauses in International Software Licenses, 3.1 J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 4
The Group also mentioned that we may want to look closely at the applicability of the legal doctrine of novation. In other words, when terms change on a Web site, are you modifying a prior agreement or are you entering into a new agreement?
The group will probably begin working on a detailed draft of a PowerPoint presentation for use at the January meeting. We will likely create the presentation draft using the LawHub' collaboration tools. Look for an announcement to the group via the listserve.
Adware, Spyware Presentation
When you get two opposing lawyers from real, pending cases, you almost always have an interesting time. The Adware presentation today was no exception. Terrence Ross of Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher and Celia Goldwag Barenholtz of Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman sparred with one another and recapped the debates of many of the cases involved Gator and When U. The audience was treated to a very good debate on the issues.
The other presenters, Jeffrey K. Rohrs, the President of Optiem, Neil Smith of the Howard Rice firm also provided excellent background. The additional PowerPoint materials from the presentation will soon be avaialble on the LawHub.
The advance presentation materials are available here. [ABA Web Site ID Required]
WG on Transferrability of Electronic Financial Assets
However, the current (and long-standing) problem to be solved is how attorneys can reliably assess whether a computer system meets the "control" test in UCC Article 9, UETA, and E-Sign. Today's discussion focused on how attorneys need to interact with technologists to meet this need, whether to generate a legal opinion, or to perform due diligence, or to examine a witness in a bankruptcy case.
This question has a real world application to the question of how to rate securities backed by transferable records. Apparently, chattel paper issuers are starting to take advantage of Revised Article 9's rules on electronic chattel paper and securitizing the chattel paper. They need the resulting securities rated and but the question is how to do it. Worse, the law firms for the issuers are not at all sure how to give legal opinions on the systems.
It was the most entertaining meeting of the working group in years.
Ben Hayes, of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, gave an excellent, quick presentation on how RFID technologies are developing and some of the privacy challenges that have been raised. His presentation will be available here soon.
He even brought with him samples of the RFID hardware. [The picture shows about 50 small RFID chips in a vial] We were all amazed at how small and cheap the devices are getting. If you have questions, contact Ben at bhayes <@> kl.com.
Michael Fleming then gave an overview of the Can Spam Act itself to lay the foundation for the ethical discussions by William Denny and Henry Judy. Hank then gave real life examples of how his firm has developed policies and procedures, and new tools, to comply with the Can Spam Act. The PowerPoint slides contain good Web site screen shot examples.
A Smattering of Blogs on Law and Technology
A Directory of Wonderful Things
Site for searching, subscribing and sharing news feeds
Great way to find legal blogs (blawgs)
LessigBlog [currently being guest hosted by Tim Wu]
PDF for Lawyers
How to use PDFs in the practice of law
Legal Blogs with XML Feeds
A rather complete list of law-related blogs that provide XML feeds for syndication
Portals and KM
The Importance Of
Innovation, Creativity, Law
Tech Law Advisor
Weblog of the Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI)
IP and Internet issues
Law firm knowledge management
Internet law developments
Ernie the Attorney
Bag and Baggage
Use the comment feature below to suggest additional blogs to add to the list.
There's Always Coffee
CLC Forum -- The VoIP Revolution and Key Effects on Legal Practice
Even in a hands-off context (for as long as that lasts), here are some of the issues: conflicts among/between various PSC who DO begin to regulate; how to provide 911 or other emergency services?; should law enforcement interception of VoIP voice-traffic be facilitated by ISPs and other VoIP providers, and how can smaller providers bear the associated costs?
The Cyberspace committee's VoIP initiatives (currently jointly housed under the subcommittees on Connectivity and Internet Law) certainly will continue and evolve. If you'd like to learn more, first login to the Committee's LawHub (free registration required, but available only to Committee members) and then click here. Or, contact any of the following (the co-chairs of the two cyberspace parent committees): Richard Keck, David Satola, Hank Judy, or Tom Laudise.
IP Subcommittee Meeting
The subcommittee's e-mail newletter, CIPerati, is now on its fourth issue. Edited by Jonathan M. Eisenberg and Craig S. Rutenberg of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
each newsletter has featured 3-4 really great practical articles. The link above can be used to view the back issues or subscribe if you are not currently getting the newsletter.
New articles are always needed for CIPerati and anyone interested in submitting should contact Eric, John, Jonathan or Craig. CIPerati is a great way to republish one of those articles written for a firm website or newsletter.
The meeting also included a great discussion on the subject of clients' problems with search engines (read Google) and the funny games they play. Words like "Google bombing" and "bridge pages" were tossed around with utter abandon. Apparently, a number of the participants have had a lot of client activity in this area and the subcommittee will be looking at potential projects. Volunteers are always welcome.
Long Live Pura Vida
The food was great. My only criticism was that the wine, beer, and sangria was flowing a bit too freely.
Thanks as well to Hank Judy, a partner at the law firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart that graciously donated funds to help keep the costs of the dinner as low as possible for the Committee. Thanks Hank, and thanks K&L.
We'll have pictures later, as soon as we find a one hour photo developing place that's open on Sundays in downtown Atlanta.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Getting Paid in the 21st Century
- I'm never going to operate anything that might walk, talk, or quack like a money transmitter operation.
- If a client ever does anything like that, I'm not going to be their lawyer; I'd screw it up.
- Gift cards may be riskier than I thought.
- States don't seem to understand these issues very well, but they sure seem to be passing a lot of laws on the topics.
- More laws are coming. They will probably be worse, and cause even more confusion.
- If you're in the business of moving a lot of cash (like the US Govt), you can save a lot of money by switching to stored value cards.
Here are the program materials. [ABA ID REQUIRED]
Consumer Protection working group projects
The extant consumer online shopping educational resource, SafeShopping, was developed by the working group in 1999/2000, and is widely used by consumers (especially around holiday shopping periods). It's time to take another look at the site to make sure that it remains a relevant, accurate resource. If you're interested in participating (or if you spot errors there or have ideas for additions), please contact Don or Mark. Also, we're considering asking other organizations (like Consumers Reports, the consumer-protection divisions in State Attorneys Generals offices, etc.) to link to SafeShopping.org (as has been done by BBBonline).
Adware/spyware, SPAM, computer viruses and firewalls -- consumers are afflicted by these, but without in-house support from sophisticated corporate/lawfirm IT organizations. Much like SafeShopping.org, the working group is assessing a new project to develop consumer education tools, information, and other resources that will demystify these areas and help consumers protect themselves. Mark and Don are beginning to outline the scope of this project -- please email them with suggestions (e.g., should the project also deal with identity-theft?).
Join the Law Hub
Vince's New Gig
After his pending retirement from Schlumberger, Vince will get fully behind his new business venture. He'll be heading up a new Knowledge Management company called KnowConnect.
Cybersecurity and Privacy Subcommittee
Marc discussed one possible project that was discussed at the Winter Working Meeting to create a guidebook of sorts for corporate directors that identifies information security risks and gives them tools to help manage those risks.
If you're interested, contact Marc (see contact information below). You can also track developments on the Law Hub page dedicated to this Subcommittee.
Before the meeting, Marc Pearl, Co-Chair of the Subcommittee distributed a a working draft template proposal for the Cyber Security and Privacy Summit that our Cyberspace Committee Task Force has been discussing. Hank Judy, our co-chair, Ray Gustini, and Marc have been working on developing this proposal that would bring together some of the critical sector entities for a one-day invitation-only program to discuss in small facilitated groups new conceptual approaches to the business and policy issues surrounding information-sharing, data collection/distribution, the balancing of security and privacy rights, etc.
They hope to hold the event in early 2005 and therefore need to begin to put the pieces together as soon as possible. A sub-group of the Task Force will meet during the ABA Meeting in Atlanta on Saturday, August 7th in the Atlanta Hilton's Grand Ballroom A - 2nd Floor - immediately following the "Getting Paid in the 21st Century" program - at approximately 4:30pm to begin planning for the Summit.
Please let Marc know if you have comments on the "template-in-progress." In particular, think about procedural issues (such as possible co-hosts, location, timing, etc), as well as the possible sector experts to invite to participate in the Summit.
If you would like a copy of the proposal, contact Marc at mpearl <@> itpolicysolutions.com . You can also view information about the Summitt on the Law Hub. Or, you can track him down at the meeting and talk to him here. He looks like this:
Open Source Meeting at 4:30
Last month, about 8 volunteers reviewed more than 50 different open source licenses, analyzing their terms. The purpose of today's meeting will be to discuss the different things the subcommittee can do with the work product to date.
Programs and Publications
The Business Law Section has created a template for the publication of electronic newsletters by the Committees. We are looking for someone who is interested in using the template to create an electronic newsletter for the Cyberspace Law Committee. Because we have so many existing publication venues (the Blogs, the Law Hub), we should be able to easily find content that we can re-purpose. If you're interested, contact McGuire. Here is a sample of the new template formats showing The eNewsletter published by the Consumer Financial Services Committee is a good example of the new format.
- Survey of the Law of Cyberspace
For next year's Survey in The Business Lawyer, we're going to try something a bit different. We're going to identify 4 or 5 subcommittees who will prepare short summaries ("surveys") of the developments in their particular areas. We need one or two authors for each Subcommittee who will take responsibility for preparing the survey pieces.
- Publications Board
Eric Goldman will be replacing me on the Publications Board for the Business Law Section starting Sunday. If you have questions about the process of publishing books by the Section, please see Eric. He doesn't know much yet, but he'll learn quickly.
Winter Working Meeting Set
Is Blogger "Snooping" on our Posts?
I'm sure I agreed to this when I didn't read the user terms and accepted them. But, it's interesting. No?
It's also very similar to what Google (the owner of Blogger) is doing with its by-invitation-only GMAIL service. I have an account, and the ads are targeted to the words in my email messages.
So, let's all be careful about what we talk about in our posts.
Committee Forums for 2004 Annual
Eric Goldman gives a fair and balanced presentation on Spyware and Adware -- one of the Mini Programmes from this year's main Committee meeting. Program materials are here on the LawHub [Members Only Area]
Monday morning, TPAs and the legal effect of cursory mentions of chocolate
Jamie came through on his promise, and chocolate was indeed a part of the meeting on Monday morning in the form of various elegantly wrapped chocolate covered things.
The Joint Task Force on Model Trading Partner Protocols is finishing up its 2004 revision of the 1990 Model Trading Partner Agreement this Monday, August 9th, at the ABA Annual Meeting, in the Gwinnett Room on the second floor of the Atlanta Hilton at the precarious hour of 8 AM.
This accounts for the appearance at this morning's Cyberspace Committee meeting of fluorescent pink bulletins reading as follows:
THE LAW OF CYBERSPACE
WORLD PEACE THROUGH E-COMMERCE
THE FINAL CHAPTER
Gwinnett Room, 2nd Floor
8 AM MONDAY
Join us on Monday and find out whether an unamplified reference to "chocolate" in a unilateral instrument is (a) an offer susceptible of enforceable acceptance; (b) merely a moral commitment; or (c) just a reprehensible ploy to get you into the meeting room.
Friday, August 06, 2004
Was that a trattoria or a night club?
Staying Alive! It was largely a group activity after that - with the music ranging from Barry Manilow's Copa Cabana to Frank Sinatra - the group and other guests at the restaurant (including the head coaches of BOTH the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Hawks) were grooving - on their feet and on the chairs. After that the Frank Sinatra "rat pack" party hats came out, and it was all we could do to keep Candace Jones and Scot Graydon from dancing on the table. Richard Keck and Jackie Scheib were dancing with the wait staff and the performance MUST have been good because they were each presented with red roses by the staff at the end of the night! Elizabeth Bowles treated the group to some salsa dancing. Mike Gordon kept asking for a "Freddie Mac" tune - but had to settle for shimming to Dancing Queen by ABBA. Kathy Porter, Mike Powers and John Ottaviani kept ordering more wine bottles. Tom Laudise offered to pay for the entire evening on Lenny Nuara's credit card - after we convinced him not to do that, he decided to make it up to us with a stirring lipsynch rendition of I WILL SURVIVE.
CORRECTION: As of this morning John Ottaviani claims it was Barry White, not him, that kept ordering more bottles of wine. Or something like that. I will need more coffee before true coherence sets in.
FURTHER CORRECTION: I am informed that the Atlanta Falcon's coach was not, in fact, in the restaurant. Simply the imagination of a confused fan fueled by too many glasses of Chianti.
Thank you Troutman Sanders
Global E-Commerce Policy Subcommittee Meeting
Here are subcommittee members Hal Burman (co-chair), Bill Luddy and Jamie Clark.
Cyberspace Committee cocktail party -- Friday, 8/6 at 5:30 pm
Troutman Sanders’ offices are at 5200 Nations Bank Plaza, 600 Peachtree, NE, only about a quarter mile from the Atlanta Hilton (map). There will be signs at the entrances to the building directing you to the appropriate floor. A Big Thanks to Richard and his firm for this generous contribution to the Committee’s activities during the meeting!
Track the Stats for the Blog
50 Unique Visitors today:
2004 Meeting of Officers, Council and Committee Chairs
Here is a direct link to the LawHub, where you can download this presentation.
2004clcc-rants.blogspot.com :: A Separate Blog for Personal Opinions
For What It's Worth -- the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- The Portabello Mushroom Sandwich at the Hilton Cafe
- A restaurant called Dailey's just a short walk from the hotel. Ask the Concierge
STAY AWAY FROM IT
- Nothing yet
- Nothing yet
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Electronic Contracting Practices Group Meeting
We will also discuss cases examining whether a particular contract provision included in a modification was unconscionable. Please join us for the Joint Working Group on Electronic Contracting Practices in the Walton Room, Second Floor at 4:30 pm on Sunday.
This posting entered on behalf of Co-Chair: Kathleen M. Porter (kporter AT rc DOT com)
IP Subcommittee Meeting Plans
At the meeting, we will discuss our current and proposed projects. The Agenda will include an update of the status of our Open Source Project (Yes, we have actually reviewed over fifty variations of open source licenses), as well as a discussion of current topics and issues. We are also soliciting ideas for new projects for the Subcommittee. As usual, there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to get involved!
Also, at the Annual Meeting, on Sunday afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., the Subcommittee is sponsoring a program entitled "Search Engines, Adware and Trademark Law: What your Clients Can Do and Can't Do in Online Advertising." The Program will be held in Grand Ballroom D on the 2nd Floor of the Atlanta Hilton. We have brought in some outstanding speakers, so this should be a wonderful opportunity to get up to speed on the issues, as well as the positions of various industry camps. And, of course, more CLE credits!
You can read the flyer of events here. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!
John Ottaviani (jottaviani <@> edwardsangell.com) Eric Goldman (eric.goldman <@> marquette.edu) Co-Chairs, Intellectual Property Subcommittee