News of the Week; January 8, 2020


  1. Notice of Violation: Orcus Technologies: Investigation Into The Orcus Rat
  2. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – 2019 Year in Review
  3. Merger Lawsuit Docs Reveal T-Mobile Eyed Merging With Comcast
  4. FCC Seeks Comment on Designations of Huawei and ZTE as National Security Threats
  5. AT&T et al. fight against higher upload speeds in $20-billion FCC program
  6. There’s A Recurring Theme With 5G, And It’s Disappointment
  7. US finally prohibits ISPs from charging for routers they don’t provide
  8. NYC broadband plan calls for fiber everywhere, with ISPs sharing network
  9. TV Ratings Sag As Cord Cutting Continues To Surge


  1. Russia Disconnects Itself From The Internet, Asks UN To Let It Have More Control Of Internet Usage Around The World
  2. Academic Publishers Get Their Wish: DOJ Investigating Sci-Hub Founder For Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligence
  3. U.S. Army Bans TikTok On Government Phones, Calling App A “Cyber Threat”
  4. China strengthens regulation of online audiovisual services
  5. Amazon threatens to fire critics who are outspoken on its environmental policies: E-commerce giant warned workers who participated in protests that future comments regarding business practices could lead to termination
  6. Oracle copied Amazon’s API—was that copyright infringement?
  7. Turns Out Oracle Copied Amazon’s S3 APIs; When Confronted, Pretends That’s Different (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not)
  8. Amazon partners with India’s second largest retailer to sell its goods online
  9. EU top court rules out possibility to create second-hand marketplaces for digital content
  10. Judge awards women $13 million in massive lawsuit against GirlsDoPorn
  11. New Civil FOSTA Lawsuits Push Expansive Legal Theories Against Unexpected Defendants
  12. Minnesota Appeals Court Nukes State’s Broadly-Written Revenge Porn Law
  13. It’s the network, stupid: Study offers fresh insight into why we’re so divided: Social perception bias might simply be an emergent property of our social networks.
  14. The FTC’s 2020 COPPA rules have YouTube creators scared
  15. YouTube decides it’s easier to treat all watchers of kids’ content as kids
  16. SCOTUS Grants Google’s Cert Petition in Oracle API Dispute
  17. Java API Classes as Fictional Characters – A Proposal for Google v. Oracle
  18. Court (Barely) Allows Class Action Lawsuit Over Google’s Location Tracking To Move Forward
  19. Google’s Ad Network Prepares for the California Consumer Privacy Act
  20. Researchers unearth malicious Google Play apps linked to active exploit hackers
  21. Apple targets jailbreaking in lawsuit against iOS virtualization company
  22. Apple’s app sales hit record $1.4 billion in the final days of 2019: App Store spending on the first day of 2020 reached US$386 million, a single-day record and a 20 per cent increase from last year
  23. Apple and GPU-maker Imagination make nice in new licensing deal
  24. Text and data mining under the digital copyright directive
  25. Sonos’ Wasteful ‘Recycle Mode’ Bricks Perfectly Usable Tech
  26. Films are quietly disappearing from Disney Plus: Movies like Home Alone and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides have vanished from the streaming service
  27. Disney Plus removes some films from service with no explanation: Users noticed a handful of titles went missing from the streaming library as soon as 2020 began
  28. Disney+ Titles Disappear Without Warning, Bringing Confusion To The Streaming Wars
  29. Here’s Why Some of Your Favorite Movies Are Disappearing from Disney Plus
  30. Twitter Blocks Animated PNGs After A Bunch Of Shitbirds Spend National Epilepsy Month Harassing Epileptics
  31. Twitter will put options to limit replies directly on the compose screen
  32. YouTube officially rolls out changes to children’s content following FTC settlement
  33. YouTube Disables More Product Features On Kid-Oriented Content After FTC Settlement
  34. New Tool Enables YouTubers To Snip Sections Of Videos That Have Been Copyright Claimed
  35. ‘Justin Bieber: Seasons’ Is Reportedly YouTube’s Most Expensive Original Ever
  36. In 2019, WWE Uploaded 500 YouTube Videos Per Month—Making A Reported $13 Million In AdSense
  37. Control and Influencers: ASA bans Love Island star Molly Mae Hague’s Instagram post
  38. UK Advertising Standards Authority Bans Unlicensed E-Cigarette Instagram Posts
  39. “Naked Philanthropist” Kaylen Ward Has Raised $700K For Bushfire Relief By Sending Nudes
  40. Tana Mongeau, Jake Paul “Taking A Break,” Potentially Leaving MTV Collab In The Lurch
  41. Jake Paul Sets Second Boxing Match With Gamer ‘AnEsonGib’, Streaming On DAZN From Miami
  42. Michelle Obama To Launch College Docuseries On IGTV, ‘A Year Of Firsts’
  43. Facing the Music: Protecting Photography in the Age of Instagram
  44. Snapchat To Introduce ‘Bitmoji TV’, Fully-Animated Cartoons Starring Users’ Bitmojis
  45. Spotify will use everything it knows about you to target podcast ads: One step closer to becoming a podcast ad network
  46. Insights: Two Months In, Apple TV+ And Disney+ Hit The Churn Zone
  47. Apple hires former HBO chief to produce TV, film, and documentaries exclusively for Apple TV Plus: Richard Plepler signs a five-year contract with Apple
  48. Apple Shares Top $300 Amid Optimism About Holiday Sales
  49. Disappointing: Apple The Latest To Abuse DMCA 1201 To Try To Stifle Competition, Security Research, Jailbreaking And More
  50. Apple reunites with iPhone graphics chip partner to license technology: The company split with Imagination Technologies back in 2017
  51. CES has never been great for women. Is 2020 the year that changes?: Keynotes or he-notes?
  52. IRS drops longstanding promise not to compete against TurboTax
  53. How modern tech has powered our favorite superheroes through the years
  54. This time, for sure! Ars Technica’s 2020 Deathwatch
  55. In This Time Of Techlash, It’s Important To Remember That Sometimes Social Media Is Actually Good
  56. Goop’s Netflix trailer: Paltrow sinks into a vagina, spews pseudoscience
  57. Can you resell an e-book online?
  58. Redistributing E-Books Online Constitutes Copyright Infringement, Says Top EU Court
  59. Troublesome Emojis in Criminal Cases
  60. Tired of hearing about Wi-Fi 6? Great, let’s talk about Wi-Fi 6E
  61. Top Internet Law Developments of 2019 (Eric Goldman)


  1. New Study Suggests That YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Isn’t The Tool Of Radicalization Many People Believe (At Least Not Any More)
  2. The US just released 10 principles that it hopes will make AI safer: All future AI regulations will need to clear the checklist.
  3. EU Patent Office Rejects Two Patent Applications In Which An AI Was Designated As The Inventor
  4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patents – Will the Patent Office Change the Rules?
  5. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Takes on Artificial Intelligence
  6. WIPO Releases Draft Issues Paper on IP Policy for AI Inventions
  7. Ex Parte Linden Gives a Boost to the Subject Matter Eligibility of AI inventions
  8. USPTO Designates Ex Parte Linden as an Informative § 101 PTAB Decision
  9. NextMind Unveils $400 Brain-Computer Interface Developer Kit
  10. Video: Valve’s perspective on brain-computer interfaces in games
  11. European Law Enforcement Officials Upset Facebook Is Warning Users Their Devices May Have Been Hacked
  12. Facebook is banning (most) deepfakes: The policy doesn’t cover videos doctored using more conventional techniques.
  13. Facebook Says It Will Ban ‘Deepfakes’: The company said it would remove videos altered by artificial intelligence in ways meant to mislead viewers.
  14. Facebook bans deepfakes, but new policy may not cover controversial Pelosi video
  15. Welcome to the age of uncertainty: If everything can be faked, how can we know anything is real?
  16. European Union – Algorithmic Pricing under Article 101 TFEU
  17. Snap Acquires Ukraine Startup ‘AI Factory,’ Which Helped Build Its ‘Cameos’ Feature, For $166 Million
  18. Snap Confirms Acquisition of Deepfakes Startup AI Factory, Used to Power ‘Cameos’ Selfie Videos 


  1. Unable to unlock gunman’s iPhones, the FBI (once again) asks for Apple’s help
  2. No, cops aren’t using SiriusXM to find criminals. Here’s how they do it
  3. Department of Homeland Security Warns of Cyber-attacks by Iran
  4. Unpatched US government website gets pwned by pro-Iran script kiddie
  5. Iran courted US security expert for years, seeking industrial hacking training
  6. There Is No ‘Going Dark:’ Always-On Surveillance Posing Risks To US Covert Operations
  7. Florida Appeals Court Asks State’s Top Court To Decide Whether Compelled Password Production Violates The Fifth Amendment
  8. Ring Sued Because ‘Taking Customers’ Security Seriously’ Means Selling Easily-Hijacked Cameras
  9. “Cache issue” causes Xiaomi cameras to show other people’s camera feeds
  10. Wyze Breach Leaves Data Of 2.4 Million Users Exposed Online
  11. Unpatched VPN makes Travelex latest victim of “REvil” ransomware
  12. Firefox gets patch for critical 0-day that’s being actively exploited
  13. Firefox 72 blocks fingerprinting scripts by default, rethinks notification pop-ups
  14. Chrome to start blocking annoying notification requests
  15. UL Pushes Security Standards For The Internet Of Broken Things
  16. ENISA releases report detailing security guidelines for Internet of Things
  17. BitTorrent claims require more proof than an IP address to name a defendant
  18. Jones Day Global Privacy & Cybersecurity Update


  1. What the amendments to the USMCA mean for Canadian IP law
  2. 2019 Highlights in Canadian Life Sciences IP and Regulatory Law
  3. Appeals Court Smacks Down Patent Troll Blackbird, Orders It To Pay $363k In Attorneys Fees To Company It Sued
  4. In flashpoint for the rebellion against big tech, Sonos sues Google for patent infringement
  5. Securing Copyright and Trademark Rights for Broadcasts and Promotions Related to NFL Championship Games and Super Bowl LIV (54)
  6. George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue Is In The Public Domain And Gerswhin’s Nephew Is Worried Someone Might Turn It Into Hip Hop
  7. The Murkiness of the Public Domain
  8. Tackling bad faith registration of domain names in a fast-changing landscape
  9. Fox Factory v. SRAM – According to CAFC, No Presumption of Nexus for Bicycle Chainring Patents; IPR Decision Reversed and Remanded
  10. The big IP stories you will be reading about in 2020


  1. Chinese Skiers Training In Norway Ask Local Library To Remove ‘Controversial’ Books
  2. Turkey Continues Its Attempt To Pass China In The ‘Most Journalists Jailed’ Category
  3. Ex-Fox News reporter Courtney Friel claims Donald Trump invited her to Trump Tower to ‘kiss’
  4. Susan J. Demas: Why are there so few stories about Trump’s health and sexual harassment scandals?
  5. Class action lawsuits may be available for copyright infringement cases in some instances
  6. Devin Nunes Libel Tourism Continues To Highlight The Problems Of Virginia’s Weak Anti-SLAPP Laws
  7. Connecticut Cop Sues Local Blogger To Get Him To Turn Over Personal Info On Commenters Who Said Thing The Cop Didn’t Like
  8. Hank Haney Sues PGA Tour, Claims They Forced SiriusXM to Cancel His Radio Show
  9. Navy SEAL Leader Accused Of War Crimes Threatens Defamation Suit Against NY Times Reporter For Revealing Videos & Text Of Men Who Reported Him
  10. Academic paper in comic form explores ethics of treating torturer with PTSD


  1. Nintendo wins injunction against seller of Switch mod, pirated games: Defendent allegedly also sold modded NES Classic with over 800 games
  2. Nintendo Responds To RomUniverse’s Lame Argument That First Sale Doctrine Makes The Site Non-Infringing
  3. Crytek wants to dismiss its own lawsuit against Star Citizen developers
  4. Crytek seeks to dismiss its own Star Citizen lawsuit until Squadron 42 launches: Creator of CryEngine believes Star Citizen’s single-player game will be delayed past June, moves for October trial
  5. CD Projekt signs new agreement and ends dispute with The Witcher author: The game developer has the rights to the IP in video games, graphic novels, board games and merchandise
  6. Take 2 Sues Fan Over Project To Finally Bring ‘Red Dead 1’ To The PC
  7. Ragnarok acquires Rune II source code and assets following legal complaint
  8. Rune II source code returned to publisher: More than a month after launch, Ragnarok Game LLC may have what it needs to update game left in limbo by demise of Human Head
  9. Case Update: Iron Maiden Holdings Ltd. v. 3D Realms Entertainment ApS
  10. Labor union CWA takes steps to organize game workers
  11. Campaign to organise industry backed by major US communications union: Communication Workers of America allies with Game Workers Unite on new campaign to unite tech and gaming sector
  12. Rockstar Spouse and the slow change of culture – 10 Years Ago This Month: Red Dead Redemption and its sequel both had crunch controversies, but the studio’s reactions show some change in thinking
  13. Tackling online abuse in the games industry is “not optional” – 2019 in Review: “Whatever the platforms are doing, we’ve got to behave as if the cavalry is not coming,” says digital security expert
  14. Escape from Tarkov dev says no playable women because of lore, “huge amount of work” required: Statement made in an effort to walk back three-year-old comment that war was only for “hardened men”
  15. WWE 2K20 crashes because it’s 2020, and no, that’s not a joke: This Y2K bug can be called “Crash Jericho.”
  16. Record $120.1 billion earned by games and interactive media in 2019: Superdata report shows $4 out of every $5 spent on digital games goes on free-to-play titles
  17. Number of adults over age 50 playing games regularly is on the rise: More older adults prefer puzzle and logic games, and most are playing on phones and tablets
  18. If History Repeats, Video Game Stocks Could Soar 690%+
  19. UK video game sales drop for the first time since 2012: Physical sales plunge as digital growth slows
  20. Analyst: Free-to-play games pushed digital game spend over $109 billion in 2019
  21. The number of Steam releases remained relatively flat from 2018 to 2019
  22. These are the highest grossing Steam games of 2019 
  23. Major slowdown of new releases on Steam last year
  24. Only two of the biggest Steam games in 2019 were new releases: “Sekiro Shadows Die Twice” and “Total War Three Kingdoms” manage to secure a place in platform’s highest grossers
  25. The Witcher 3 hits new peak player record on Steam in wake of Netflix show
  26. Amazon’s best-selling games of 2019 dominated by gift cards and Switch: Top three items were digital currency, 22 of top 50 products were for Nintendo’s console
  27. On Christmas, mobile game spending reached $210 million: Sensor Tower accounted for 76% of all mobile in-app spending that day
  28. UK Charts: Call of Duty retains No.1 as Brain Training Switch makes Top 20
  29. It’s FIFA 20’s ninth week at No.1 in EMEAA
  30. Twitter reveals which games dominated the online chatter in 2019
  31. Square Enix eyes potential of XR, blockchain, and cloud gaming in 2020
  32. Blizzard signs three-year deal with ESL, Dreamhack: StarCraft II World Championship Series is being retired as Blizzard commits to ESL Pro Tours for StarCraft II and Warcraft III: Reforged
  33. League of Legends professional Maria ‘Remilia’ Creveling dies at 24: In 2015, Creveling became the first woman to compete in the League of Legends Championship Series
  34. Destiny’s Sword presents a double-edged dilemma: 2Dogs’ Ken Hall talks about dealing with PTSD, anxiety, and addiction in a strategy MMO intended to be fun first and foremost
  35. 2K Games resolves New Year bug in WWE 2K20: Y2K-style error rendered game unplayable as 2019 ended
  36. Pokemon Go: Documents show Canadian military’s struggle with game
  37. Final Fantasy VII Remakedemo has leaked, is packed with teases, spoilers
  38. PlayStation VR sales have topped 5 million units worldwide
  39. 5 Million PlayStation VR Units Sold, Sony Announces: PSVR continues to sell but slows in light of Quest and newer headsets
  40. How Sony’s PlayStation 2 took the world by storm
  41. Sony reveals PlayStation 5 logo, touts PlayStation 4 sales milestones
  42. Feelreal VR Scent Mask Hits Roadblock Amidst Crackdown on Flavored Vaping Products
  43. Subscriptions: When are auto-renewals fair game? | Opinion – As the CMA investigates the use of subscriptions in video games, legal experts at Lewis Silkin offer advice on best practices`
  44. Nexon sells off mobile dev Gloops for a single yen
  45. From licensing to lunch: How to work with Chinese partners – Unit 2 Games’ Hannah Waddilove on some of the less-discussed aspects of targeting the world’s largest games market
  46. Simplified Chinese is now the dominant language among Steam users: Chinese users flock to Steam as platform provides more localised experience and uncensored games
  47. Uncharted movie loses sixth director: Travis Knight leaves project over crunch and scheduling conflicts with lead actor
  48. Don’t Miss: How classic games make smart use of random number generation
  49. Breaking linear character progression with Outer Worlds’ flaw system
  50. Superhot VR grossed over $2 million in the final weeks of 2019
  51. Untitled Goose Game has topped 1 million sales in three months
  52. Here are your finalists for the 2020 Independent Games Festival Awards!
  53. Death Stranding leads the pack of 2020 Game Developers Choice Awards nominees
  54. Team 17 acquires UK studio Yippee Entertainment for $1.85 million
  55. At 10 million players, Xbox calls Sea of Thieves its most successful new IP this gen
  56. Team17 acquires Yippee Entertainment for £1.4m: Developer behind Chimpact and Commandos 2 remaster will work on new IP, plus brands owned by Worms firm and its partners
  57. Razer applies for digital bank licence in Singapore, proposes ‘youth bank’: Gaming accessories firm will take 60% stake in company and is leading a consortium of partners to bolster its bid
  58. Clever design, lack of Bluetooth make Razer’s new phone gamepad a winner
  59. Dell’s new Concept UFO puts PC gaming on a Nintendo Switch-like device
  60. Alienware’s handheld Concept UFO PC takes cues from the Nintendo Switch
  61. Report: Rumors suggest a new Switch model is due out this year
  62. Fantasy Flight Interactive to close after company-wide layoffs
  63. Platinum Games will use Tencent investment to ‘explore self-publishing’
  64. Legal issues a new game studio should consider
  65. Dead Cells Steam owners can now play previous versions of the game: The studio introduces the ability to roll-back the game to previous iterations
  66. Report: Amazon’s Twitch Not Meeting Ad Revenue Expectations
  67. The Last of Us director Bruce Straley on ludonarrative dissonance
  68. Video blog: Historians discuss Assassin’s Creed II
  69. Blog: Luring players with gratification
  70. Blog: How Disco Elysium’s interjections turn information into gameplay
  71. Blog: Game accessibility quotes of 2019
  72. Blog: 3 disruptive game design trends to look out for in 2020
  73. Analysts dole out 2020 predictions: Panel of industry watchers call their shots for the upcoming year in games (and assess how their 2019 calls turned out)
  74. Gamasutra’s Best of 2019: Kris Graft’s top 10 games
  75. Gamasutra’s Best of 2019: The top 10 game developers of the year
  76. Gamasutra’s Best of 2019: The top 10 games of the year 
  77. Games of the Year 2019: Our favourite games of the year ranged from epic adventures to innovative indie games – plus a couple of Switch hits
  78. The Universim developer Crytivo donating two months’ revenues to Australian bushfire relief
  79. U.S. Patent no. 10,275,947: Modifying a simulated character by direct manipulation


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