News of the Week; June 3, 2020


  1. AT&T exempts HBO Max from data caps but still limits your Netflix use: AT&T-owned HBO Max gets special treatment on AT&T network.
  2. Net Neutrali-what? AT&T’s New Streaming Service Won’t Count Against Its Broadband Caps. But Netflix Will.
  3. AT&T’s Streaming Headaches Continue As Contract Feuds Keep New TV Service Off Amazon, Roku
  4. FCC Republican excitedly endorses Trump’s crackdown on social media
  5. Last Minute Addition To Louisiana Bill Hamstrings Community Broadband
  6. A $350 “anti-5G” device is just a 128MB USB stick, teardown finds: 5GBioShield uses “quantum nano-layer technology” to restructure reality itself.
  7. Robocalls Down 50% in Eight Months!: How Changes in Technology and Regulator Priorities Have Accomplished What Lawsuits Never Could
  8. FCC Waives Broad Outreach Recruitment Requirements to Allow Re-hiring of Employees Laid Off Due to COVID-19
  9. What’s New in 5G – June 2020


  1. Russian hackers are exploiting bug that gives control of US servers
  2. White House, Trump accounts both get Twitter rulebreaker warning
  3. No, Twitter Fact Checking The President Is Not Evidence Of Anti-Conservative Bias
  4. Facebook employees revolt over Zuckerberg’s stance on Trump
  5. Employees, civil rights groups blast Facebook inaction on Trump statements
  6. Facebook’s Oversight Board Can’t Intervene, So Stop Asking
  7. President Trump’s Executive Order
  8. Trump Prepares Order to Limit Social Media Companies’ Protections: The move is almost certain to face a court challenge and signals the latest salvo by President Trump to crack down on online platforms.
  9. A Quick Take on the May 26 Executive Order on Platforms and CDA 230
  10. Executive Order “Clarifies” (Rewrites) Online Speech Protections
  11. Trump’s “Preventing Online Censorship” Executive Order Is Pro-Censorship Political Theater (Eric Goldman)
  12. The Two Things To Understand About Trump’s Executive Order On Social Media: (1) It’s A Distraction (2) It’s Legally Meaningless
  13. Executive order targeting social media companies unlikely to change foundational internet law
  14. Section 230 Executive Order Strikes Back at Twitter, But Legal Impact Likely to be Limited
  15. Trump’s Executive Order Targeting Social Platforms Could Hurt “Internet Freedom,” Google Says
  16. President Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Would Restrict Legal Protections for Internet Speech
  17. Trump Issues Executive Order Aimed at Curtailing Online Platforms’ Immunity for User Generated Content
  18. Executive Order Aimed at Restricting Civil Liability Protections Afforded to Social Media Companies
  19. The Implications of Trump’s Executive Order and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
  20. The President’s Executive Order on Online Media – What Does Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Provide?
  21. Trump is desperate to punish Big Tech but has no good way to do it
  22. Leaked draft details Trump’s likely attack on technology giants
  23. Joe Biden Wastes A Huge Opportunity To Support Free Speech; Still Wants To ‘Revoke’ Section 230
  24. The Communications Decency Act Suddenly Is Center Stage Again
  25. Why the USMCA Locks in the Internet Platform Liability System in the U.S., Canada and Mexico (Michael Geist)
  26. Trump’s Final Executive Order On Social Media Deliberately Removed Reference To Importance Of Newspapers To Democracy
  27. Zuckerberg dismisses fact-checking after bragging about fact-checking
  28. Mark Zuckerberg’s Ridiculously Wrong, Misleading, And Self-Serving Statements Regarding Twitter Fact-Checking The President
  29. New Study Finds No Evidence Of Anti-Conservative Bias In Facebook Moderation (If Anything, It’s The Opposite)
  30. Are Targeted Ads the Result of Wiretapping? Facebook Asks the Ninth Circuit to Reconsider.
  31. DC Appeals Court Dumps Lawsuit Claiming Multiple Tech Companies Are Engaged In An Anti-Conservative Conspiracy
  32. Court Rejects Another Lawsuit Alleging that Internet Companies Suppress Conservative Views–Freedom Watch v. Google (Eric Goldman)
  33. Court’s Enforcement of Hybrid Clickwrap Agreement to Defeat TCPA Claim Provides Lessons for Marketers
  34. Consent in online contexts – the German Federal Court of Justice’s decision on Planet49 and Facebook
  35. Red Pills and NPCs: How geek culture become political (Andres Guadamuz)
  36. Nest users now covered by Google’s ultra-secure Advanced Protection Program
  37. FDA and FTC Joint Warning Letters Target Amazon Affiliates Making False COVID-19 Claims
  38. Court Discovers Rare and Elusive “Enforceable Browsewrap”
  39. Big Tech goes on pandemic M&A spree despite political backlash
  40. Everyone’s ordering delivery, but apps aren’t making money
  41. Western Digital gets sued for sneaking SMR disks into its NAS channel: WD clearly underestimated the consumer outrage they’d face over SMR disks.
  42. Are Google’s cookies crumbling?
  43. Amid YouTube’s Pivot Away From Scripted Originals, Axed ‘Step Up’ Series Dances On At Starz
  44. Top 50 Most Viewed US YouTube Channels • Week Of 5/25/2020
  45. YouTube makes video chapters official
  46. YouTube Fully Rolls Out ‘Chapters’ For Easier Video Navigation And Re-Watching
  47. YouTube Squads Up Dozens Of Creators—Including Typical Gamer, Daithi De Nogla, CouRage—For Charity ‘Warzone’ Tournament
  48. Insights: HBO Max May Change A Lot, And Complicate A Lot More
  49. How Social Media Usage Of Popular DIY Hashtags Has Changed
  50. Video Messaging Startup ‘Loom’ Closes $29 Million Funding Round At $350 Million Valuation
  51. TikTok Taps Bill Nye, Lilly Singh, Tyra Banks For $50 Million Educational Content Initiative
  52. Chinese Tech Giant ByteDance Reportedly Working To Bring TikTok’s Operations Stateside
  53. 3D printing in the time of COVID-19: A triad of legal perspectives
  54. International Norms Governing Behaviour in Cyberspace: The UN’s Charter
  55. Website Terms and Conditions: More Important than Ever


  1. ACLU sues facial recognition firm Clearview AI, calling it a ‘nightmare scenario’ for privacy: Alleging Clearview violated a well-known Illinois biometric privacy law
  2. Clearview Says Section 230 Immunizes It From Vermont’s Lawsuit Over Alleged Privacy Violations
  3. Securus Quietly Settles Lawsuit Over Illegally Spying On Inmate Attorney Conversations
  4. Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots: Users of the homepages of the MSN website and Edge browser will now see news stories generated by AI
  5. Walmart employees are out to show its anti-shoplifting AI doesn’t work
  6. With a Side of Knowledge podcast talks AI, bias with race and technology expert Mutale Nkonde
  7. How Artificial Intelligence Can Comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act
  8. Patent Law Alert – AI Machines Are Not Human Inventors
  9. Protecting AI and machine-learning inventions


  1. JAVEX vs. JAVELO – Federal Court of Appeal applies Vavilov to first Trademark Opposition Appeal
  2. Lawsuit over online book lending could bankrupt Internet Archive
  3. Italian Public Prosecutor Says Project Gutenberg’s Collection Of Public Domain Books Must Be Blocked For Copyright Infringement
  4. Nothing “Fishy” About Use of Children’s Song “Fish Sticks n’ Tater Tots” in Documentary about Burlesque Dancers, Court Rules
  5. Chalk this One Up to the Utilitarian Nature of a Toy Chalk Holder
  6. Southern District of New York: Embedding Public Instagram Post Does Not Infringe Photographer’s Copyright
  7. Leonard v Nike: Copyright in the Klaw
  8. District Court Mostly Refuses To Terminate The Litigation Testing The Copyright Termination Provision
  9. Protection of store layout under copyright law: the KIKO case
  10. Defendant Must Prove that Copied Portion of Copyrighted Work is Unprotectable
  11. Open Source Software: the Affero GPL, the ‘as a Service’ world and the CAL
  12. SpaceX launch footage was taken down thanks to bogus copyright claim
  13. Just As The Copyright Office Tries To Ignore The Problem Of Bad Takedowns, NBC & Disney Take Down NASA’s Public Domain Space Launch
  14. Copyright Blocks Interview Of Protesters Because Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ Was Playing In The Background
  15. Copyright Office Finds DCMA Tilts Away From Copyright Owners; Will Congress Act to Change That?
  16. Conducting Your Way Through Music Licensing: The Most Common Issues
  17. In The Midst Of A Pandemic And Widespread Unrest, Senate Republicans Think It’s Time To Use Copyright To Make The Richest Musicians Richer
  18. Reversing Examining Attorney, TTAB Gives the Green Light to Color Mark Application
  19. Private Prison Company Sues Netflix Over Use Of Logo In ‘Messiah’
  20. Down N’ Out – Down on their luck
  21. Lucky Brand Strikes Gold After SCOTUS Rejects Marcel’s Defense Preclusion Argument
  22. Are GODIVA’s “Belgium 1926” Chocolates Made in Belgium?
  23. Amended Patented Medicines Regulations will come into force on 1 January 2021
  24. Federal Circuit: Patent Eligibility Turns on the Content – Not Length – of the Claims
  25. EPO: Plants and Plant Materials Not Patentable if Exclusively Obtained by Essentially Biological Process
  26. EPO does not follow the US and JEM on Patentability of Plants
  27. Our Top 5 Added Matter Drafting Tips
  28. The importance of IP due diligence


  1. Federal Court Says Sneaking A Warrantless Peek At A Cellphone Lock Screen Violates The Fourth Amendment
  2. Privacy and breach of confidence cases against the media
  3. Arizona AG Sues Google For Location Data Failures, After Telecom Got A Wrist Slap For Far Worse Behavior
  4. iPhone privacy prompts discriminate against non-Apple apps, complaint says
  5. iPhone looters find devices disabled, with a warning they’re being tracked
  6. Cisco security breach hits corporate servers that ran unpatched software
  7. Ransomware gang is auctioning off victims’ confidential data
  8. German Constitutional Court Says Unjustified Surveillance Of Foreign Citizens Is Illegal


  1. California Anti-SLAPP Law Gives Rachel Maddow An Early Exit From Conservative News Network’s Bogus Libel Lawsuit
  2. Lenny Dykstra Deemed ‘Libel-Proof’ In Defamation Suit Loss To Ron Darling And Publisher
  3. Some Thoughts About Combating Racist Content in Advertising
  4. Dallas PD Asks Residents To Snitch On Protesters, Gets A Load Of K-Pop Videos Instead
  5. Dearth of women in classic Hollywood was result of studio system, study finds
  6. Cops — Newly Wary Of Looking Like Authoritarian Assholes — Open Fire On, Arrest Journalists
  7. Bangladeshi Government Decides There’s No Time Like The Present To Censor/Arrest More Journalists
  8. Scotland’s first “virtual appeal” reaffirms the value of fair comment
  9. SmileDirectClub Sues NBC For $2.85 Billion, Claims Factual Statements And Quotes From Customers Are Defamatory


  1. Keepin’ It Real: Courts Recognize the Legitimate Goal of Video Game Makers
  2. Something on Which Even Patent Litigators Can Agree: McRO v. Bandai, Inc. Clarifies the Framework for Enablement Challenges and for Enablement Defenses
  3. EB Games Australia admits to misleading customers over Fallout 76 refunds
  4. EB Games offers refunds for Fallout 76: Retailer admits to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission it likely misled customers over their rights
  5. Games industry speaks out in support of black communities amid violence in US: Microsoft, Sony, and Riot Games among those advocating for the unheard as riots and police brutality rock US cities
  6. Humble is putting $1 million toward publishing games from Black game devs
  7. Game companies delay events, make donations amid police brutality protests
  8. Infinity Ward pledges to “do more” to moderate racist content in its games: Call of Duty developer to add more resources to block hateful content following week of protests, police violence
  9. Gaming’s lost boys embrace their inner censor | Opinion: The Last of Us 2 attracts reactionary fury for depicting diversity — and the erstwhile free speech warriors now find themselves cheering for government censorship
  10. The Outer Worlds writing team honored with Nebula Award 
  11. GWU Seattle calls for removal of GWU International member over ‘exclusionary behavior’
  12. The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can’t pet the dog—but you can expect terror
  13. Denuvo security software removed from Doom Eternal and Metro Exodus: Despite speculation, removal of Anti-Cheat and Anti-Tamper was not in response to performance issues
  14. Denuvo’s Anti-Cheat Software Now Getting Ripped From Games At Record Speed Too
  15. CS:GO tournament victors banned for cheating: Eagle-eyed viewers catch cheaters after technical issue left flaw in tournament’s anti-cheat measures
  16. The unexpected and creative ways devs are dealing with remote work
  17. Sony delays June PS5 event ‘to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard’
  18. PlayStation 5 games to be revealed on June 4th: Over an hour of new games to be shown next week
  19. Sony’s Jim Ryan: “We are going to launch PS5 this holiday and we’re going to launch globally”: PlayStation on how COVID-19 has (and hasn’t) changed its launch plans for its next console
  20. Sony says after July 13th, new PS4 games must be PS5 compatible
  21. New PS4 games must also run on PlayStation 5 from July, Sony tells devs: Updates to existing games “strongly recommended” to add compatibility.
  22. Sony requires PS5 compatibility for all future PS4 releases: Games submitted for certification after July 13 must be playable on upcoming console
  23. Xbox Series X will add HDR support to backwards compatible titles
  24. Xbox Series X backward compatibility will add HDR, 120 fps support to older games: Thousands of games will be supported on the next-gen Xbox
  25. Phil Spencer says Xbox Series X on track for worldwide launch this holiday: Xbox boss discusses plans upcoming next-gen console on former Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime’s podcast
  26. Double Fine winding down Presents publishing label following Microsoft purchase
  27. Google’s “overpromising” led to Stadia “disappointment,” says RDR2 publisher: If you’re paying $60 for a game, “are you really unwilling to buy a $300 console?”
  28. Sega reveals Game Gear Micro: Miniature retro handheld confirmed for October Japan launch in four colors, each with a different selection of four games
  29. Sega’s tiny Game Gear Micro is 92% smaller than the original
  30. 30 years later, a lost Days of Thunder NES game recovered from 21 floppy disks
  31. Codemasters secures FIA World Rally Championship license from 2023
  32. Codemasters to create games based on the World Rally Championship: Racing game specialist signs five-year licensing deal
  33. Professional Race Car Driver Hires Expert Gamer To Race His Video Game Car
  34. EA renews Madden NFL license through 2026
  35. EA renews NFL, NFLPA deal: Multi-year agreement ensures Madden NFL will continue to be the only simulation title with the licenses of the league and its players association
  36. EA maintains exclusive Madden NFL license in multiyear renewal: NFL, NFLPA extend long-term deals for simulation football video games
  37. If GTA5 keeps selling, would Take-Two wait to launch GTA6?: CEO Strauss Zelnick responds to concerns of the publisher cannibalizing its own successes
  38. Take-Two tried to poach entire Kerbal 2 dev team as it cancelled deal with their studio
  39. Star Theory reportedly shutters after Take-Two takes over Kerbal Space Program 2: Lack of other projects and GDC’s cancellation force studio to close in March
  40. NetEase to open secondary listing on Hong Kong stock exchange: New listing approved, Chinese publisher reportedly hopes to raise $3 billion
  41. Rovio acquires (and rebrands) Darkfire Heroes dev Darkfire Games
  42. Zynga acquires mobile gaming company Peak for $1.8 billion
  43. Zynga acquires Toon Blast and Toy Blast developer Peak for $1.8 billion
  44. Zynga to acquire Toon Blast developer for $1.8bn: Acquisition of Peak Games expected to increase Zynga’s global audience by 60%
  45. African mobile game publisher Carry1st secures $2.5 million to expand operations
  46. CD Projekt starts 2020 off with a record Q1 as The Witcher series continues its reign
  47. The Witcher franchise has crossed 50 million sales
  48. The Witcher series surpasses 50m units sold: That’s up from 40 million around the same time last year
  49. Mobile gaming sees record weekly downloads amid COVID-19 lockdown: Average weekly installs reached 1.2 billion as downloads increase by 35% from January to March 4
  50. David Braben: “Physical games will go away in two to three years” – Frontier CEO says investors see games industry as a “safe haven” during recession at today’s Investment Summit Online
  51. Game discoverability and the Nintendo Switch: What’s selling?
  52. UK boxed games market delivers strongest April in five years: Latest GfK figures show PS4, Xbox One and Switch sales up 48% for the first four months of 2020
  53. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition takes No.1 | UK Charts: PlayStation 4 sale shakes up the top 40
  54. Creative Assembly launching Total War Saga: Troy for free on the Epic Games Store
  55. Sweeney: EGS free game promos boost a game’s Steam and console sales too
  56. Steam Cloud Play beta lets developers enable GeForce Now integration
  57. Nvidia launches opt-in process for GeForce Now: Hardware manufacturer responds after multiple game companies pulled their catalogues from its streaming service
  58. Roblox’s continuing construction of a social, creative space: Matthew Curtis talks about prioritising better monetization, discoverability, and technology for the platform’s creators
  59. Avakin Life reaches 1.4m daily active users: Online virtual world and social app now has 200 million registered users since 2013 launch
  60. Life is Strange developer Dontnod opens new studio in Canada
  61. Dontnod Entertainment opens new Canadian studio: Life is Strange developer alludes to new projects at its first international studio
  62. Just Cause developer Avalanche is opening a new UK studio 
  63. Avalanche opens new UK studio: New Liverpool-based developer expected to house 50 staff by 2022
  64. Paradox to sign collective bargaining agreement with Swedish labor unions
  65. Paradox opens studio in Barcelona to focus on grand strategy development
  66. Paradox opening Barcelona studio: Europa Universalis designer Johan Andersson will lead Paradox Tinto efforts on grand strategy games
  67. Lego Ventures: Fortnite is the “first credible metaverse”
  68. Bandai Namco cancels support for physical 2020 World Tour events: COVID-19 pushes Tekken, Soulcalibur, and Dragon Ball FighterZ tournaments to digital venues
  69. One Month After the ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Surge, VR Usage on Steam Remains at Record High
  70. Magic Leap Founder Rony Abovitz to Step Down as CEO
  71. Magic Leap CEO Ronny Abovitz to step down: Abovitz will continue as CEO until a replacement is found, and remain on the board after the transition
  72. HTC co-founder reveals new VR headset and social platform: Priced at $599, Mova headset offers hand-tracking and 5G while social platform Manova makes big promises
  73. VGDC: Brandon Sheffield’s ‘All Time Greats’ article/video picks
  74. Q&A: Storytelling through erasure in the astonishingly unique If Found
  75. Video: Achieving high-quality game VFX on mobile devices
  76. Video: Building intrinsically motivated teams via self-determination theory
  77. Don’t Miss: Inside the narrative design of Star Wars Battlefront 2
  78. Don’t Miss: A look back on the usefulness of video game manuals
  79. Don’t Miss: Creator Alexey Pajitnov on the past, present, and future of Tetris
  80. Blog: Lessons from the history of mobile 4X strategy
  81. Blog: Understanding open world level design – Part 2
  82. Blog: Understanding open world level design – Part 3
  83. Blog: Understanding open world level design – Part 4
  84. Blog: A level design breakdown of the Ghost of Tsushima trailer
  85. Blog: Can Amazon’s first big-budget game succeed as a slow-burner?
  86. Obituary: Darklands creator Arnold Hendrick
  87. Control, Sayonara Wild Hearts lead winners of 2020 Nordic Game Awards
  88. U.S. Patent no. 10,322,336: Haptic braille output for a game controller


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