Posts Tagged ‘videogames’

Around the web, September 16

July 23 roundup

  • San Jose man says PlayStation online game network is public forum and sues Sony pro se for kicking him off it [Popehat] More: Ambrogi, Legal Blog Watch.
  • “Teacher lets kids climb hill, cops come calling” [Santa Barbara, Calif.; Free Range Kids]
  • Tip for journalists covering trials: stalk the rest rooms [Genova]
  • Lake Erie villages turn off street lights in summer to avoid attracting mayflies, town now sued over driver-jogger collision [Columbus Dispatch]
  • Some lawyers anticipate “astronomical” municipal liability from West Portal train collision in San Francisco [SF Weekly]
  • Radical notion: before filing lawsuit charging consumer fraud, maybe plaintiff should notify merchant and ask to have problem fixed [New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Watch]
  • No jurisdiction: Eleventh Circuit overturns contempt finding against Scruggs in Rigsby case [Freeland]
  • Successful trial lawyer campaign against arbitration is throwing credit card business into turmoil [ABA Journal, Wood @ Point of Law, Ambrogi/Legal Blog Watch (conflict of interests at one large arbitration supplier)]

Utah, Louisiana: censorship via private lawsuit?

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression:

There is a disturbing new trend in censorship legislation. Bills have been introduced in Utah and Louisiana this year that give private citizens the right to sue booksellers and other retailers for committing an “unfair” trade practice by selling “offensive” material to a minor. The defendants in these lawsuits would have to hire a lawyer to defend them and could be forced to pay thousands of dollars if they lost.

Earlier, the governor of Utah vetoed a similar measure aimed at video and game retailers.

May 26 roundup

February 23 roundup

Free speech and press issue:

  • Even truthful statements libelous if made with actual malice? Outcry at “dangerous” First Circuit decision [Ambrogi/LegaLine, Bayard/Citizen Media Law, Coleman/Likelihood of Confusion]
  • Eric Holder’s open and frank national dialogue on race sure isn’t going to take place in the workplace, thanks to fear of being sued [Goldberg, NRO “Corner”]
  • Obama says he opposes revival of talk-radio-squelching Fairness Doctrine, though some in Congress favor it; some worry that under-the-radar FCC rules could accomplish some of the same effects without using the name [Matt Lasar and Julian Sanchez, Ars Technica; Ken @ Popehat] Both FCC and Waxman’s office deny report that Congressman met with staffers to promote new controls [Broadcasting & Cable, Unfair Doctrine]
  • Freedom wins a round: Court strikes down California violent-videogame law as unconstitutional [Eugene Volokh] Cockfighting is lawful in Puerto Rico, but U.S. Congress has banned videos of same from the States, raising First Amendment issue [David Post @ Volokh; our posts in 1999 and last year]
  • Are they being extraterritorial, or are we? “Congressional Efforts to Stymie ‘Libel Tourism’ Rev Up” [Citizen Media Law]
  • Ordinarily there’s no legal penalty for whistling the theme to “The Addams Family” at your neighbors, unless you’re under a court order to refrain from doing so, in which case you might be locked up like one U.K. man [UPI]
  • Any First Amendment implications in CPSIA bonfires of old children’s books? [Ted Frank, Valerie Jacobsen and others in comments]

Claim: Nintendo Wii dangerous and addictive

Self-described as “America’s Lifestyle Coach For Health And Wellness” and “the quintessential, cutting edge fitness advocate leader”, Michael Torchia says he intends to sue Nintendo over the fitness claims it explicitly or implicitly has made for its wildly popular Wii game system, which, as Patrick at Popehat notes, is a bit of a competitor to his own services. The main success of the strained action will predictably be in drawing public attention to Mr. Torchia, a process to which, alas, we appear to be contributing with this very post.

New Character Class Coming to your Favorite Games: The Patent Troll

A Massachusetts company known as, which to my knowledge has never produced a product of the sort known as a “Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game,” nevertheless claims a patent in the concept.  These games, the best known of which are probably World of Warcraft or Everquest, have been around for well over ten years, and are quite the moneymaking ventures for their producers.

Now is suing NCSoft, a Korean company that produces the games Lineage and City of Heroes, based on a patent filed in 1999 and issued in 2004 for a “system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space,” though some of the NCSoft games alleged to breach the patent were produced before even filed its application.  As has never produced such a game, and appears to be little more than a vehicle for holding the patent, one expects that NCSoft will counterclaim seeking to invalidate the patent.  Nevertheless, announces that it would “welcome licensing inquiries from the on-line game industry,” meaning Sony and Blizzard, to allow those companies to continue making money from their own games.

The best story I could find on this came from The Register, which has the application and notes that the patent is an “extremely broad” one which could reach beyond games.  Other informative coverage can be found at gaming sites, including Broken Toys, Kotaku, and Virtual World News.