News of the Week; January 22, 2020


  1. Comcast settles lying allegations, will issue refunds and cancel debts
  2. Four defendants settle, six remain in FTC illegal robocalling suit
  3. Verizon Launches New Private Search Engine In Hopes You’ve Forgotten Its Terrible Track Record On Privacy
  4. Verizon Kills Cable Contracts As TV Sector Finally Starts Listening To Cord Cutters. Kind Of.
  5. FCC shuts New York out of $20B broadband fund, and senators are angry
  6. Smart homes will turn dumb overnight as Charter kills security service
  7. Real or fake: New NBC Peacock shows
  8. Combating Improper Robocalls: The TRACED Act Signed into Law
  9. Lowest Unit Charge Windows Open in About 30 States and Territories – Reviewing A Broadcaster’s Political Advertising Obligations
  10. Frontier, an ISP in 29 states, plans to file for bankruptcy
  11. After Years Of Scandal And Incompetence, US Telco Frontier Files For Bankruptcy
  12. The good, the bad and the 5G – an unprecedented level of threat (and opportunity)
  13. Globalization, International Organizations, and Telecommunications (Kirsten Rodine-Hardy) 


  1. San Francisco Pride Members Have Voted To Ban YouTube From This Year’s Parade
  2. Anonymous Internet Posters Not Immune To Default Judgment
  3. Your online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score’: Especially when the Morality Police get acquired.
  4. Facebook Still Isn’t Obligated to Publish Russian Troll Content–FAN v. Facebook (Eric Goldman)
  5. Who is right about political ads, Twitter or Facebook?
  6. Turkish Government Finally Lifts Wikipedia Ban
  7. Harry and Meghan, the royal family of surveillance capitalism: From tabloid nationalism to international Instagram influencers – Meghan and Harry aren’t leaving the monarchy, they are leading it.
  8. Brazil charges American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes
  9. Brazil prosecutes Glenn Greenwald in “attack on press freedom”
  10. In A Blatant Attack On Press Freedom, Brazilian Government Charges Glenn Greenwald With ‘Cybercrimes’ For Reporting On Leaked Documents
  11. The Similarities Between The US’s Case Against Julian Assange And Brazil’s Against Glenn Greenwald Are Uncanny
  12. PayPal Giving Fund Enters Multi-State Settlement to Ensure Transparency to Donors
  13. 23 Attorneys General Band Together to Make PayPal’s Charitable Donations Platform More Transparent
  14. Vimeo Defeats Lawsuit for Terminating Account That Posted Conversion Therapy Videos–Domen v. Vimeo (Eric Goldman)
  15. Does the principle of exhaustion apply to digital media? The CJEU provides clarity
  16. A Sale or Not a Sale? The Digital Advertising Debate
  17. Are legislators too slow to respond to digital trends?
  18. Disney Accelerates Rollout Of ‘Plus’ Service In Key European Markets
  19. Bad Ideas: Raising The Arbitrary Age Of Internet Service ‘Consent’ To 16
  20. The Silicon Valley Economy Is Here. And It’s a Nightmare.: Low pay, soaring rents, and cities littered with e-scooters. Welcome to the future.
  21. The psychology of Silicon Valley: We have to understand the people behind big tech in order to fix it
  22. Biden wants Sec. 230 gone, calls tech “totally irresponsible,” “little creeps”: Biden had harsh words about tech, seemingly spurred by anger with Facebook.
  23. Critics fear Facebook fact-checkers losing misinformation fight 
  24. Facebook Watch Axes 2 Tentpole Series Amid Reported Shift Toward Unscripted Content
  25. UFC Signs 3-Show Deal With Facebook Watch, Aiming To Promote Its PPV Matches
  26. DraftKings Comes Under Fire Following Collusion Scandal Involving “Bachelor” Stars
  27. Amazon retains world’s most valuable brand title by smashing through $200 billion barrier
  28. TikTok Moves To Five-Floor Office In Culver City, Reportedly Looking For New CEO
  29. TikTok Brought In 500% More Revenue, 738 Million Downloads In 2019
  30. TikTok Entices Brands With Self-Serve Ad Buying, But Struggles With Lack Of User Data, Few Performance Metrics (Report)
  31. Famous Birthdays Surpasses 25 Million Monthly Visitors, Driven By TikTok Surge
  32. Report: TikTok owner ByteDance planning big push into mobile games
  33. Spotify Reportedly In Talks To Acquire Media And Podcast Upstart ‘The Ringer’
  34. Spotify’s new test lets influencers post Stories to introduce their own playlists
  35. Instagram is testing direct messaging on desktop
  36. Instagram is dropping the annoying IGTV button: ‘Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon’
  37. Instagram’s Standalone IGTV App Has Clocked Just 7 Million Downloads To Date
  38. Opinion: The Dishonest and Wasteful Practice Of Influencer Marketing – Stop chasing vanity metrics and unproven tactics, and return to the fundamentals of marketing and advertising
  39. ASA continues to focus on Influencer Marketing in 2020
  40. Influencer Marketing: Top Business and Legal Considerations for 2020
  41. Learn From Sofia Vergara – Are Your Online Ads Legal?
  42. Liza Koshy’s ‘Liza On Demand’ Gets Third Season Order At YouTube Originals
  43. YouTube Rolls Out Profile Cards, Which Display Users’ Comment Histories (Sort Of)
  44. Clorox Establishes Influencer Advisory Board, Tapping Hundreds To Bolster YouTube Presence
  45. Bombay High Court in a Landmark Decision Restrains Review Video by Youtuber and Emphasizes on Responsible Use of the Power of Social Media
  46. Leading European MCN Divimove Acquires Digital Talent Firm ‘Tube One’
  47. Creators Going Pro: Walk Off The Earth’s Gotye Cover Went Viral On YouTube. Less Than A Month Later, They Had A Record Deal.
  48. Apple TV+: Can it be saved before everyone’s free trials run out?
  49. Netflix Now Counts 2 Minutes Of Watching As A “View” — A Change That Boosts Its Viewership Figures By 35%
  50. Netflix To Spend An Estimated $17.3 Billion On Content In 2020
  51. Studio Ghibli Signs First Streaming Deals, Bringing 21 Films To Netflix And HBO Max
  52. Turner Sports Pacts With Twitch On Linear And Digital Series, ‘ELeague Super Punch’
  53. Smart scale goes dumb as Under Armour pulls the plug on connected tech
  54. Microsoft pledges to wipe out its carbon footprint by 2050 
  55. Microsoft announces plans to be “carbon negative” by 2030: Company also plans to remove all its historical carbon emissions by 2050
  56. The PinePhone starts shipping—a Linux-powered smartphone for $150
  57. The Horizons of Technology and Digitalization in Arbitration
  58. Canadian Securities Administrators Provide Guidance on Platforms that Facilitate Crypto Asset Trading
  59. Somewhere over the rainbow: Dealing with evidence stored on a cloud
  60. Political information in the age of the internet (Filip Matějka & Guido Tabellini)
  61. Nobody can see all of CES. But I tried


  1. Alexa, Should We Trust You?: The voice revolution has only just begun. Today, Alexa is a humble servant. Very soon, she could be much more – a teacher, a therapist, a confidant, an informant.
  2. Chinese court rules that AI article has copyright (Andres Guadamuz)
  3. The Killer Algorithms Nobody’s Talking About: Activists fret about armies relying on killer robots, but some forms of artificial intelligence that don’t actually pull the trigger could still be a nightmare
  4. Update on Federal Register Notice on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patent Issues
  5. The rise of AI and WIPO consultation on intellectual property issues
  6. Why do we get sad when robots die?: It’s not about seeming “human” – it’s about the work machines do for us.
  7. And an Algorithm to Entangle them All? Social Credit, Data Driven Governance, and Legal Entanglement in Post-Law Legal Orders (Larry Backer)
  8. Robot Rights? Let’s Talk about Human Welfare Instead (Abeba Birhane & Jelle van Dijk)
  9. Artificial Intelligence and Community Well-being: A Proposal for an Emerging Area of Research (Laura Musikanski, Bogdana Rakova, James Bradbury, Rhonda Phillips, Margaret Manson) 
  10. Artificial Intelligence, 5G and the Future Balance of Power
  11. Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence 
  12. A Tangled Web: How the Internet of Things and AI Expose Companies to Increased Tort, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Litigation
  13. The machines are whispering: We tested AI Dungeon 2 and cannot stop laughing


  1. Report: Bezos’ phone uploaded GBs of personal data after getting Saudi prince’s WhatsApp message – The gigabytes-big data grab allegedly came over WhatsApp text from Mohammed bin Salman.
  2. Report Says Saudi Prince MBS’s Whatsapp Account Personally Sent Jeff Bezos Malware Used To Access His Phone
  3. The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It: A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images – and “might lead to a dystopian future or something”
  4. Reuters: Apple cut backup end-to-end encryption plans after FBI complained
  5. New Report Says Apple Dropped Plans To Fully Encrypt Backups After FBI Complained
  6. The FBI Can Get Into The Latest IPhones, So Why Is It Asking Apple To Break Encryption On Older Models?
  7. The EU might ban facial recognition in public for five years
  8. We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point. (Bruce Schneier)
  9. California’s Ban Of Facial Recognition Tech Killed Off San Diego’s Mostly Useless Biometric Program
  10. GirlsDoPorn website goes offline after $13M judgment, criminal charges
  11. Privacy issues with e-discovery in Canada
  12. WeLeakInfo gets pwned by FBI; Dutch, N. Irish police arrest alleged breach brokers
  13. A Georgia election server was vulnerable to Shellshock and may have been hacked 
  14. Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Expand Federal Protections for Children’s Online Privacy
  15. The AdTech and the data protection debate
  16. Study Shows The Internet Is Hugely Vulnerable To SIM Hijacking Attacks
  17. Dear Reuters: This Is NOT How You Report On Dishonest, Disingenuous Talking Points From US Officials Regarding Encryption
  18. Another reason to hurry with Windows server patches: A new RDP vulnerability
  19. Researchers find serious flaws in WordPress plugins used on 400k sites
  20. Top Issues in 2020: Privacy & Cybersecurity
  21. What percentage of United States retailers have decided to block European visitors from reaching their websites?


  1. IP Insight – Harry and Meghan Prioritise Trade Marks
  2. Harry and Meghan seek global trademark for ‘Sussex Royal’ brand: Filings suggest plans for items and activities from clothing to ‘emotional support groups’
  3. The “M” Word in Canadian Copyright Law – The “Mandatory” Matter (Howard Knopf)
  4. Exceptional Circumstances Now Required for Extensions In Trademark Examination
  5. Peppa Pig Owner Wins Copyright Infringement Case
  6. Zazzle’s Insufficient Copyright Oversight Procedures Support Willful Infringement Finding
  7. Fifth Circuit Holds Failure to Mitigate is No Bar to Statutory Damages Under Copyright Act
  8. Federal Court dismisses patent infringement action for delay
  9. Facebook Surges in U.S. Patent Rankings Due to Mounting AR Strategy
  10. Trademark Opposition Stupidly Prevents Indians Pitcher Shane Bieber From Telling Everyone He’s ‘Not Justin’
  11. Fair use or fair dealing? Where are we now?
  12. A Blog’s RSS Feed May Not Grant an Implied Copyright License–MidlevelU v. Newstex (Eric Goldman)
  13. CRISPR Patent – “Appeal Dismissed, Patent Revoked”
  14. Breaking: EPO Board of Appeal upholds invalidation of Broad’s CRISPR-Cas9 patent
  15. Patent battle over CRISPR
  16. A Mixed Bag on New Rules – Juggling Copyright Preclusion and Patent Infringement
  17. How Sonos’s case against Google could help shift the US patent narrative
  18. Trade secret or patent protection – how do we decide?
  19. Can newly discovered cannabis compounds be protected by patents?
  20. Beat the Weeds: File Your Cannabis Trademarks in Canada
  21. Intellectual Property Outlook: Cases and Trends to Follow in 2020 – PART 1
  22. China update: IP section in the China-US trade deal (phase one)
  23. EU Advocate General suggests pay-for-delay settlement agreements may be an abuse of dominant position
  24. A new route to patent protection in Italy from July 2020
  25. The EU Copyright Directive: Potential Copyright Liability and a “Best Efforts” Standard for Platforms


  1. No cameras in the courtroom in Meng Wanzhou case, B.C. judge rules: 13 Canadian and international media outlets had applied for right to broadcast extradition hearing
  2. Why Is The NYC MTA Going After A Random Artist Who Created A Different Subway Map For Infringement?
  3. unveils “The Radiohead Library,” an official band repository
  4. Radiohead Public Library: archive of band’s work goes live – Band collate music videos, newsletters and other ephemera on site, and upload rarities to streaming services
  5. Rep. Lieu Tells Rep. Nunes He Looks Forward To Discovery, As More Evidence Of Nunes Connections With Parnas Emerge
  6. Airbus Asks Court To Dismiss Chuck Yeager’s Lawsuit, Pointing Out It Doesn’t Allege Anything Actionable
  7. “Come See Us At The Superb Owl” – Don’t Try This At Home! 2020 Update on Super Bowl Advertising and Promotions
  8. Advertising – False Advertising Claims: Opting for Court
  9. Klimt art thieves confess to stealing then returning painting: Portrait of a Lady was hidden in same Italian gallery from which it went missing in 1997
  10. Additional Compliance for the Art World
  11. Digital Street Culture Decoded: Why Criminalizing Drill Music is Street Illiterate and Counterproductive (Jonathan Ilan)


  1. California claims $10 million gender discrimination settlement lets Riot off lightly
  2. Nintendo Wins Battle with Pirates on UK Seas
  3. Court Sides With Nintendo Over RomUniverse In Atttempt To Dismiss The Former’s Lawsuit
  4. Court overturns $10.1 million verdict against Nintendo in Wii Remote lawsuit
  5. Court reverses $10.1 million judgement against Nintendo in Wii patent case
  6. Patent infringement ruling against Nintendo Wii Remotes overturned: Dallas federal court declares patent invalid, nullifies $10m payout to iLife Technologies
  7. Nintendo can continue preventing cancellation of pre-orders in Germany: Lawsuit instigated by Norwegian Consumer Council dismissed, but may be appealed
  8. Unsubtle Rainbow Six Siege DDoS dealers hit with Ubisoft lawsuit
  9. Ubisoft files lawsuit against site that enabled Rainbow Six Siege DDoS attacks: Publisher claims group behind ShortNameGame sold the software used to disrupt the game
  10. Crytek, Cloud Imperium battle over how to end Star Citizen lawsuit
  11. Cloud Imperium responds to Crytek’s attempt to dismiss its own lawsuit: Star Citizen developer maintains engine providers claim “is and always has been meritless”
  12. Researchers Scientifically Create Video Games To Benefit Cognitive Function
  13. UK’s top mental health nurse wants crack down on loot boxes
  14. NHS mental health director calls for loot box ban: UKIE responds, emphasising that industry already addresses spending caps and disclosed drop rates
  15. UK lays out standards for handling children’s data: Information Commissioner finalizes Age Appropriate Design Code with 15 standards for developers to meet
  16. Joe Biden Can’t Tell The Difference Between The 1st Amendment & Section 230; Still Thinks Video Games Cause Violence
  17. Women suing Riot Games may be entitled to $400m not $10m: Two state regulators attempt to intervene with gender discrimination class action lawsuit in plaintiffs’ favour
  18. The top 7 reasons women quit game development
  19. Game dev union leader: “Dream job” passion “can open us up to exploitation”
  20. Activision Blizzard, EA, Sony, Microsoft included in HRC’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index
  21. GTA developer Rockstar pushes back against UK tax abuse allegations
  22. Rockstar responds to claims it abuses tax relief: But Grand Theft Auto developer makes no comment on reports it has not paid corporate tax in four years
  23. The best-selling games of the decade show AAA was left behind by innovation | Opinion: The games industry has made great strides forward in the past ten years – but none of that is apparent in the retail charts
  24. Stillfront Group acquires Dragon Story dev Storm8 for as much as $400 million
  25. Stillfront Group acquires Storm8 for up to $400m: Game studio coalition also raises $220m in additional financing
  26. Current Prison Architect developer Double Eleven opens Malaysian office
  27. Digital Bros. to buy Starbreeze assets from Smilegate: The €19.2m deal will give Italian publisher 30% of Starbreeze stock and 40% of voting rights
  28. Tencent wants to fully acquire Conan Exiles developer Funcom
  29. Tencent bids to acquire 100% of Funcom: Proposed deal would value the Norwegian studio at around $148 million
  30. Tencent intends to further diversify investments outside of games
  31. Tencent ramping up investments – but may veer away from games: Having already poured money into eleven games firms, Chinese giant is concentrating on new industries such as ‘smart retail’
  32. Daybreak Games restructures internal studios around key franchises
  33. Following Cyberpunk delay, CD Projekt Red expects dev team crunch
  34. Cyberpunk 2077 release pushed back to September 17, 2020
  35. CD Projekt Red delays Cyberpunk 2077 from April to September
  36. Cyberpunk 2077 pushed to September: CD Projekt reveals that development staff have been required to crunch on upcoming RPG
  37. Dying Light 2 delayed, no new release window given: Techland drops spring release target for open-world zombie shooter, says it will have more details “in the coming months”
  38. Leaked images show Xbox Series X is missing Xbox One’s HDMI input
  39. Xbox continues to expand Project xCloud’s preview library as testing continues
  40. Microsoft goes all-in on the ‘evergreen platform’: Bowing out of launch exclusives for Xbox Series X means Microsoft is now fully committed to the bold vision it’s talked about for so many years
  41. Report: Major PlayStation-exclusive series will get a PC port this year
  42. Report: The Switch Lite topped 1 million sales in Japan in three months
  43. Switch sales up 29% in Japan for 2019 as PS4 sales drop 29%: Famitsu numbers have hardware unit sales flat for the year; Switch Lite moves more than 1 million in just over three months
  44. YouTube TV comes to PS4, replacing PlayStation’s own doomed TV service PS Vue
  45. YouTube TV comes to PS4 as PS Vue moves out: Sony hardware maintains a live TV option at about the same price
  46. Google expects 120 games to hit Stadia this year, including some exclusives
  47. Stadia embracing timed exclusive strategy: Google says it wants to have more than 10 games debuting only on its streaming service in the first half of this year
  48. BT becomes first European partner for Google Stadia: Google attempts to address Stadia lag problems with new high-speed broadband deal
  49. Report: Google wants to bring the Steam game store to… Chrome OS?
  50. NetEase launches own digital distribution platform in China
  51. OpenCritic reviews have been added to the Epic Games Store
  52. Epic Games Store avoids review bombing with OpenCritic integration: Review aggregation site will display how many critics recommend purchase on each title’s store page
  53. Scopely acquires Marvel Strike Force dev FoxNext Games from Disney
  54. Disney confirms sale of FoxNext, Cold Iron Studios to Scopely: Acquisition does not include Fox IP licensed games, which will stay with Disney
  55. Significant layoffs at Super Lucky’s Tale developer Playful Studios
  56. Playful Studios “significantly reduces” full-time staff: Super Lucky’s Tale devs undergoes layoffs amid transition to new production model
  57. Amazon’s Twitch Drops Sharp after YouTube, Microsoft Say ‘Game On’
  58. Only YouTube Gaming saw hours watched, streamed, and concurrent viewership up last quarter: Streamlabs – Twitch viewership began a decline in 2019, but other platforms have a long way to go to catch up
  59. Video: YouTuber Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach reflects on his video history
  60. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was the best-selling game of the year in the US: But Nintendo thrived in hardware and software sales at the end of its competitors’ console generations
  61. Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling game of the decade in the US: Joining it in the top ten – Seven Call of Duties, Red Dead Redemption II, and Minecraft
  62. UK Charts: Star Wars Battlefront II returns to Top Five: Otherwise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is No.1 again
  63. Dragon Ball Z and 3DS conquer latest UK Charts
  64. The transcendent appeal of Mount & Blade Warband – Why I Love: The difficulty got John Nejady interested in TaleWorlds’ medieval battle game, but the community he found made it something more
  65. Why the traditional product lifecycle “maybe doesn’t apply” to League of Legends: After ten years, League of Legends is still one of the most popular games on earth and Riot Games is riding that wave into new spaces
  66. Report: PS4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn could come to PC
  67. Horizon Zero Dawn reportedly coming to PC: Current PS4 exclusive may be part of suggested Sony strategy to “lean into a wider installed base”
  68. Don’t Miss: Designing the stealth, economy, and encounters of Horizon Zero Dawn
  69. Don’t Miss: Making Horizon Zero Dawn’s Machines feel like living creatures
  70. 2020 African Games Industry Trends: Games Industry Africa’s Vic Bassey forecasts seven key storylines for the continent’s developing market in the year ahead
  71. Media firm behind Autosport plans to “change the landscape” of racing games: Ex-Codemasters creative director Stephen Hood on how the new Motorsport Games group can disrupt the market
  72. What is the best game engine for your game?: In-depth guides to finding the best game engine to develop your game, including Unreal, Unity, GameMaker, and more
  73. How to apply for Video Games Tax Relief and make a VGTR claim
  74. China Leading Esports Boom: More than a quarter of Internet users in China watch esports at least once per month, a new report finds, more than double the rate of audiences in the U.S. and Western Europe.
  75. Turner Sports Pacts With Twitch On Linear And Digital Series, ‘ELeague Super Punch’
  76. Oculus Go Now Permanently Priced at $150, All Supported Countries to See Similar Drop
  77. Every classic Half-Life game is now free on Steam
  78. Valve Makes All ‘Half-Life’ Games Free to Play Until ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Launches in March
  79. Valve: ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Dev Team is the ‘single largest we’ve ever had’
  80. Valve opens up about Half-Life: Alyx, Source 2 engine on Reddit
  81. No plans for a full Source 2 SDK, and other tidbits from Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx AMA
  82. Valve Confirms ‘Left 4 Dead’ VR Game Not in Active Development
  83. Designing the mind-bending perspective puzzles of Superliminal
  84. Don’t Miss: Deconstructing the success of The Witcher 3’s open world
  85. Q&A: Evolving the combat design of id Software’s Doom Eternal
  86. Blog: Resources for video game music composers – The big list 2020
  87. Blog: How to keep adding content without hitting a limit
  88. Blog: Is your 21st century games career what you thought it’d be?
  89. Blog: Video game marketing predictions for 2020
  90. Video: How to talk about games with those who don’t approve
  91. Video: A performance and memory postmortem of Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  92. Humble Bundle joins efforts to raise money for Australian bushfire relief: Meanwhile, Warframe dev Digital Extremes donates $30,000 to two chairties
  93. U.S. Patent no. 10,278,001: Multiple listener cloud render with enhanced instant replay
  94. U.S. Patent no. 10,279,252: Game execution environments


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