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  • joly 1:18 am on 04/20/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , email,   

    Judge rules non-creative email not copyrightable #freeculture 

    OUTLAW.COM reports a recent court decision in Los Angeles where one Kenneth Stern had sued for copyright infringement after an allegedly libelous email to a listserv was leaked to its subject.

    Judge Dolly Gee said Stern’s email lacked originality and a copyright certificate he had obtained from the US Copyright Office was invalid as a consequence. The reproduction of Stern’s email was legitimate as it was in order to represent what Stern had written and not because it was a creative expression.

    ” [Stern’s] listserv post … displays no creativity whatsoever – its content is dictated solely by functional considerations. As [Stern] expression of his idea is indistinguishable from the idea itself, it is not entitled to copyright protection.” judge Dolly Gee said.

    Stern argued that he had considered alternatives to the email’s wording, but the judge said that “trivial” alternatives did not show that the finished email merited copyright protection.

    Judge Dee, stating that Stern had sought litigation in bad faith, awarded summary judgement for the defendants, and costs to be assessed.

  • joly 6:25 am on 04/02/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email, ,   

    Attorney/Client Privilege Trumps Company E-Mail Surveillance 

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday gave workers in New Jersey an assurance of privacy in using workplace computers to talk with their lawyers, ruling a company’s e-mail-monitoring policy yields to the attorney-client privilege.

    Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, writing for the unanimous court in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency Inc., A-16-09, said a plaintiff in an employment discrimination suit against her employer had a reasonable expectation that e-mails to and from her attorney on her personal Yahoo account would be private, although transmitted via a company-owned laptop.

    While finding the employer’s policy ambiguous in its reach, Rabner said that “even a more clearly written company manual — that is, a policy that banned all personal computer use and provided unambiguous notice that an employer could retrieve and read an employee’s attorney-client communications, if accessed on a personal, password-protected e-mail account using the company’s computer system — would not be enforceable.”

    Via Privilege Trumps Company E-Mail Surveillance.

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