News of the Week; May 8, 2013

1. Cat meme creators in legal battle with Scribblenauts:

2. Sega, Gearbox Respond to Aliens: Colonial Marines Class Action Lawsuit

3. Piracy or baiting? The thorny legal question of Game Dev Tycoon’s honeypot:

4. New S. Korean legislation groups games with alcohol and drugs:

5. Patrice Desilets leaves Ubisoft again:

6. EA drops gun licenses, will use them anyway:

7. Want to Slow Mental Decay? Play a Video Game:

8. Google hires a chief game designer, but isn’t saying why:

9. Court Dismisses Craigslist Suit Against Competitors:

10. Facebook wins millions in case against typo squatters:


News of the Week; May 1, 2013

1. SEGA, Gearbox sued in class action lawsuit over Aliens-CM:

2. Electronic Arts Faces Jury Trial Over ‘Madden NFL’:

3. Greenheart Games Trolls Pirates With Altered Cracked Version Of Game Dev Tycoon:

4. Experts – Chris Christie’s Video Game Proposals Would Face Uphill Legal Battles

5. In Defense of Violent Video Games:

6. Scientology Spoof Takes Grand Theft Auto V Ads Viral:

7. Is the end near for used video games?

8. Riot: Don’t ban your players, reform them:

9. GTFO: Don’t film the trolls:

10. IDC expects paying mobile gamers to pass paying handheld gamers this year:

11. Court Rules in Artist’s Favor:

+ Appropriation Artist Richard Prince Prevails Against Photographer at Appeals Court:

+ USCA decision in Patrick Cariou v. Richard Prince, et al.:

12. Court Ruling Takes a Stand on Essential High-Tech Patents:

13. Google Transparency Report shows censorship spike, details takedown requests:

14. Pushing the boundaries of copyright protection? Card, board and football games:

15. Disruptions: Brain Computer Interfaces Inch Closer to Mainstream:


Kind piece on “Video Game Law” @ Flexible Learning site & some thank you’s

Link to: “Video Game Law” Offers Lectures and Rich Course Content Online | Flexible Learning

Posting the article is just a good excuse to say thank you to a great number of people who encouraged and supported the current incarnations and experimentations of Video Game Law as a course. The order which follows is more or less chronological:

David Duff of the Faculty of Law for green-lighting the course.

Richard Smith, Director of the Centre for Digital Media for actively encouraging and providing perspective and support in respect of the pedagogic and technological directions of the course. Richard also provided much needed academic coaching.

Associate Dean Benjamin Goold and through him the entire UBC Faculty of Law for unfailing and profound support for the course and its unorthodoxies. Ben’s faith in the enterprise and his ability to remain kind and full of humour while suffering my constant barrage of emails on matters large and small was awe-inspiring.

The Lew Fund for its support.

The UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology for being an incredible facilitator of ideas, support and inspiration. Jeff Miller for seeing and encouraging the potential of the course. The amazing Novak Rogic for leading me to the creation of website, making it happen and sitting with me every two weeks to improve, refine and evolve the directions of the on-line presence of the course. Also Will Engle for his ideas and encouragement, and the unfailingly professional Saeed Dyanatkar who was so much more then our camera-person.

To all the students in the class for bringing their best and being so patient with a course reboot which was of necessity a work in progress. You were a terrific class filled with amazing individuals.

Roch Ripley for his understanding, support and kindness – not to mention his academic counter-points which greatly benefited the class. As well as for marshalling the logistical support of Gowlings whenever needed.

Dan Silverman of the Faculty of Law for help, suggestions and always working to make things better on the tech side of things.

Jia Lang who T.A.’d, Helene Love of the Faculty, and Ken Cavalier who is doing his Doctorate in intellectual property law, for their support of the course, their presence in the classes and generously sharing knowledge and perspectives.

All of the guest speakers in the course with special mention to those who travelled considerable distance to join us live (Jennifer Kelley of Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco and Alan Bruggeman of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington).

Larry Bafia, Patrick Pennefather and George Johnson, colleagues at the Centre for Digital Media, who indulged my pretty constant desire to discuss and debate issues and subjects of the course.

Prof. Kimberly Voll, possibly the best pure teacher I have ever seen, for always providing inspiration and intellectual back-up when I was trying to figure out how to present complex materials.

My wife Corinne and our children Jeremy, Dara & Avrel for the support that really matters.

Apologies to all I have missed.


News of the Week; April 24, 2013

1. EA Convinces California Court to Cancel ‘Edge’ Trademarks:

2. Can you sell second hand games legally? Should you? – Jas Purewal:

3. Film to be distributed via games console for first time:

4. Microsoft to pay Japanese Xbox owners with Points for a million hours of playtime:

5. Activision Buys Competition:

6. UK Interactive Entertainment CEO defends games as culture before EU tax investigation:

7. Video games may encourage healthy behavior:

8. Rutgers Player-Authors Survey:

9. Thrown for a Curve in Rhode Island:

10. A Breakdown of Canada’s Videogame Industry, the Third Biggest in the World:

11. IGDA Strongly Opposes CISPA

12. YouTube defeats Viacom copyright lawsuit – again:

+ Link to Viacom v YouTube District Court decision:

13. UMG Wins Copyright Ruling in Case Against Grooveshark:

14. PRIVACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE AGE OF BIG DATA – Report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (House of Commons, Canada):

15. Ex-Google ad engineer fights back against advertisers with anti-tracking software:

16. Why You’ll Soon Be Paying Sales Taxes on All of Your Internet Purchases–Amazon v. NY Taxation Department:

17. The Google Shortcut to Trademark Law – Lisa Larrimore Ouellette:


Greg Lastowka on Publicity Rights, EA & Ryan Hart

Terrific Gamasutra article which ties to the topics from Week 9 from Prof. Greg Lastowka of Rutgers Law School. He argues that EA should prevail in defending Ryan Hart’s legal action arising from not be compensated for use of aspects of his image in EA’s NCAA Football. As his title “The Erosion of Creative Freedom? The Battle Over Publicity Rights” suggests, the danger Prof. Lastowka sees are the impacts on creative freedom, and he suggests that the inequities suffered by Hart are for best for the NCAA to deal with, not the Courts. A highly recommended read. Find it here:

Thoughts, reactions?


“scripted” Issue on Post Mortem Privacy

scripted is a journal of law, technology & society available online. The most current issue has post mortem privacy as its theme, a subject that came up in class particularly in Week 5’s talk and thereafter. For anyone doing a paper trenching on the territory and indeed for anyone interested here is a direct link to the issue: