Category Archives: News of the Week

News of the Week; July 10, 2013

1. Sega claiming $941,000 from THQ over Company of Heroes 2 preorders:

2. Is Hacking Videogame Characters Legal?:

3. Research: Violent Games Do Not Adversely Affect Prosocial Behavior

4. Microsoft patent filing attempts to lock down games with multiple engines running concurrently:

5. Microsoft: Xbox One advertising will integrate with Kinect:

6. Mattrick prepped Zynga buyout while at Microsoft – report:

7. An EVE Revenant Supercarrier downed on combat is the most expensive ship destroyed to date:

8. A Conversation with Paola Antonelli about MoMA’s Video Game Collection:

9. Apple guilty of ebook price fixing, rules federal court:

10. Secret Court’s Redefinition of ‘Relevant’ Empowered Vast NSA Data-Gathering:

+ The Laws You Can’t See:

+ Supreme Court asked to halt NSA phone surveillance:

+ Is Switzerland turning into a cloud-haven in the wake of Prism scandal?:

11. Author Resale rights in Canadian Copyright Law:

12. Bitcoin tax time?

13. Did Florida Accidentally Ban All Computers and Smartphones?

And in the “too cute” category:

14. The Console Wars Become A Triumphant West Side Story-Style Musical


“i am a gamer” game-jam July 12-14 @ the CDM

This coming weekend my friend and colleague Dr. Kimberly Voll is unleashing the (first annual) “i am a gamer” Game-Jam on our world. The event is committed to creating games with strong female characters and was prompted by a number of industry comments doubting the viability of woman as lead characters in games.

If any of the many worlds theories promulgated by contemporary physicists are correct, we might hope sexist rubbish has long since disappeared in those alternate universes. But in our here and now confronting such nonsense with truth must be the order of the day – or at least the order of this weekend.

The Jam is July 12-14 at the Centre for Digital Media. Sign up @ the website:


News of the Week; July 3, 2013

1. Beyonce Settles $100M Lawsuit With Video Game Company:

2. First Amendment trumps trademark in Call of Duty Case:

3. Antonick v. Electronic Arts (Patent Arcade Update):

4. Texas Teen Could Face Eight Years in Prison for Comments Made in League of Legends

5. Blizzard Bans More Diablo III Players for ‘Cheating’:

6. 10 Business Lessons from the Battlefield: utm_source=slideshow&utm_medium=ssemail&utm_campaign=weekly_digest

7. Consoles must offer self-publishing to attract indies, says Jackbox:

8. How Important Are YouTube Game Videos To Game Companies?:

9. Microsoft explains Xbox One’s new griefer-separating reputation system:

10. Video Games: Seven More Building Blocks in MoMA’s Collection

11. Zynga Hires Xbox Boss to Initiate Turnaround:

12. Ubisoft warns millions of video gamers of hack attack:

13. Bushnell: Atari abused by shareholders:

14. Research: Active Gaming Therapy Beneficial to Stroke Victim Recovery:

15. Oracle v Google update: is refusing copyright protection to application programming interfaces (APIs) the only way to achieve interoperability?:

16. Secret Court Declassifies Yahoo’s Role in Disclosure Fight:

17. NSA surveillance may be legal — but it’s unconstitutional:

18. Choice of Law for Online Copyright Infringement – A Proposal for the Law Applicable to Ubiquitous File Sharing by S.R. Blackman:


News of the Week; June 26, 2013

1. EA’s timing argument thrown out in Madden lawsuit:

2. Appeals court sides with Nintendo in Wii Balance Board patent lawsuit:

3. Long, unhappy post on Hart v. EA:

4. Ellen Page Says The Last Of Us’ Ellie “Ripped Off My Likeness”

5. Naughty Dog accused of swiping Last of Us art:

6. Saints Row IV effectively banned under new Australian rating system:

7. Modern Warfare:

8. XBox 180: Microsoft No Longer Dream the DRM:

9. Big data comes to games. How one company sees the future in personalized play:

10. Canadians Shifting Gaming Addiction from Console to Mobile, Study Says:

11. Watch A Fox Reporter Demolish A Hackneyed Anti-Game Argument

12. Make Me Walk, Make Me Talk, Do Whatever You Please – Barbie and Exceptions by Rebecca Tushnet (Georgetown Law):

13. Indie dev skips PAX citing Penny Arcade artist’s comments:

14. Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society Launches “Cookie Clearinghouse” to Enable User Choice for Online Tracking:

15. German Court Holds Google Responsible for Its Search Suggestions:

16. Recommendation to European Court Favors Google in Privacy Battle:

17. Apple and DOJ release slide decks from closing arguments in ebook trial:

18. And in the “can’t stop laughing” department – Kaplit to Trenk domain name correspondence:


News of the Week; June 19, 2013

1. Apogee Sues Gearbox Over Duke Nukem Forever Deal

2. Beyonce Settles Lawsuit with Game Developer Gate Five:

3. The Truth About Video Games and Gun Violence:

4. George Lucas & Steven Spielberg on the Future of Entertainment:

5. Is EA Seeing the Light on Used Games? It Sure Sounds Like It

6. Microsoft reverses Xbox One online check and used games policies following backlash:

7. I Can’t Stop Playing Candy Crush But That’s a Ridiculous Reason to IPO:

8. Nolan Bushnell Explains Why Kids Who Video Game Are Smarter Than Those Who Don’t:

9. Pixels Floating on the Art World’s Margins:

10. Secret Court Ruling in 2008 Put Technology Companies in Bind:

11. Google Calls U.S. Data Request Disclosures a Step Backward for Users:

12. Apple Executive Defends Pricing in Case on E-Books:

13. Internet Censorship and Control – A collection of peer reviewed papers on the topic of Internet Censorship and Control:

And in the “Oh no…really?” category:

14. Forbes Told Women What to Wear to E3, Users Tell Forbes Where to Go:


News of the Week; June 12, 2013

1. Patrice Désilets Sues Ubisoft For $400,000 And Rights To Purchase 1666:

2. Acknowledging Copyright’s Illegitimate Offspring – User-Generated Content and Canadian Copyright Law by Teresa Scassa:

3. How Games Licensing Works on Xbox One:

4. Xbox One, discs, and downloads: Better than feared, worse than hoped:

5. PS4 $399, no used game restrictions:

6. EFF Weighs in on First Sale Doctrine and Used Games

7. Analyst: Publishers Unlikely to Block Used Games, But Might Seek Retail Fee

8. Mattrick addresses Xbox One online concerns:

9. Privacy concerns won’t hurt Xbox One, says Bushnell:

10. Chinese Game 300 Heroes A Mash-Up of Copyrighted Material

11. Investigation into Trendy Entertainment reports mismanagement, sexism:

12. Rhode Island Republicans Call for Investigation Into 38 Studios Deal, Urge a Default on $100 Million Debt

13. New online game turns mild-mannered Vancouver pedestrians into virtual warriors:

14. Video Gamers Really Do See More: Gamers Capture More Information Faster for Visual Decision-Making:

15. Tech Companies Concede to Surveillance Program:

16. Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ask to Reveal U.S. Data Requests:

17. Privacy czar to probe Canadian impact of U.S. data program:


News of the Week; June 5, 2013

1. Athletes’ rights of publicity trump First Amendment in video game context:

2. The Future of Video Games – A Box and a Cloud:

3. Canadian Video Game Industry Critical Component of New Digital Economy and Source of National Pride; Contributes $2.3 Billion to GDP:

4. Russian Hacker Pirates The Dishwasher, Calls it ‘Justice’

5. Let’s Play crackdown is an attack on game culture:

6. Pre-owned crackdown is a sad excuse for business innovation:

7. Mamma Mia: Nintendo Flexes Copyright Against YouTube Video Game Reviewers:

8. Research: Video Games Make Teens Better Citizens:

9. Were truckloads of ‘E.T.’ Atari cartridges buried in New Mexico? A film crew is about to find out:

10. I Am A Gamer: One Woman’s Push For Change Through Charity Game Jams:

11. When It May Not Pay to Be Famous:

12. Google must obey FBI’s warrantless requests for user data for now, judge rules:

13. Trial on E-Book Price-Fixing Puts Apple in Spotlight:

14. In China, an Empire Built by Aping Apple:


News of the Week; May 29, 2013

1. Atari Seeks Permission to Hold Asset Auctions in July from Bankruptcy Court

2. German commissioner highlights Xbox One privacy concerns:

3. Can the next generation consoles block used games?:

4. Cheating in Online Video Games:

5. Gaming Tax Credits: A Developer’s Guide to Free Money:

6. ESA Releases 2012 Annual Report:

7. The legal status of virtual goods

8. Demcak v. Vo, 2013 BCSC 899 (unlike Ontario, no common law tort in B.C. for invasion of privacy:

9. User Generated Content Under Canadian Copyright Law:

10. Revoking an “implied” software license:

11. Vermont Enacts The Nation’s First Anti-Patent Trolling Law:

12. Teens, Social Media, and Privacy: New Survey Findings from Pew and the Berkman Center:

13. Facing Pressure, Facebook Will Review Efforts to Bar Hate Speech:

14. If You Thought Copyright Was A Mess On Earth, What Does It Look Like In Space?:


UBC CTLT Institute session on “Open Courses, Open Pedagogies”

Had the privilege today of speaking about Video Game Law as an open course at the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology’s annual week-long CTLT Institute program. My talk followed presentations from Christina Hendricks, a Senior Instructor who regularly teaches both in Philosophy and in Arts One at UBC, and from Jon Beasley-Murray who teaches in the Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies and in the Arts One program.

The description of the session was:

“The word “open” is increasingly being mentioned in conjunction with teaching and learning. Open education is an effort to eliminate access barriers, such as time and location, and this session will feature multiple instructors who have embraced an open approach in their teaching and learning projects:

* The Arts One Digital project is an open, online extension to the Arts One program that combines History, English, and Philosophy to introduce students to some of the classic texts of the past two millennia of world civilization. The goal of Arts One Digital project is to enable anyone to join this voyage of discovery and critical analysis.
* VideoGameLaw is the course blog for LAW450:Video Game Law and features open course content as well as students, instructors, and industry experts engaging in dialogue and discussion about the legal aspects of the digital media and video game. The goal of LAW450 is to continue scholarship in these areas.

This session will explore their motivations and definitions for what “open” means. In addition to hearing their stories, we will discuss the impact openness had on their pedagogy, student engagement, and use of technology. We will also look at how to determine if these efforts are meeting the instructors goals and improving the student experience.”

Here are my slides and the video of the whole session:

Download the PowerPoint Slides


News of the Week; May 22, 2013

1. Ryan Hart v. Electronic Arts (USCA 3rd) – “NCAA Football” right of publicity opinion filed May 21, 2013:

2. Nintendo targets user YouTube videos:

3. Nintendo’s YouTube Ad-Grab Is Playing With Fire:

4. Virtual and augmented reality: the next big legal controversy for games?:

5. Shady Shadow of the Eternals T&C’s ‘a mistake’

6. Former GTA Producer: Why I’ll Never Work On Violent Games Again:

7. Researchers: Games With Human Opponents Make Players More Aggressive:

8. Nova Scotia new tort of cyberbullying:

9. Blehm v. Jacobs: Can you Infringe the Copyright of a Stick Figure?:

10. Lawmakers Show Concerns About Google’s New Glasses:

11. Google’s business practices to be investigated by Canadian Competition Bureau:

12. Is the Patent System Working or Broken? A Discussion with Four Distinguished Federal Judges – (Event Audio/Video):

13. The Remixing Dilemma: The Trade-off Between Generativity and Originality – Benjamin Mako Hill & Andrés Monroy-Hernández:

14. Resale of digital music: US v EU approach:

15. Apple Avoided Billions in Taxes, Congressional Panel Says: