Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Electronic Stored Information (ESI) Business and Email Records

Electronic stored information (ESI) is a fundamental element in today’s business environment along with email records.  Today the great majority of business runs on computing information that is stored and shared, transferred, and collaborated on within a network.  Technological network where electronic stored information serves as business records and communications by email records comprise an in depth source of the fabric of an entity.  This fabric, so-to-speak becomes useful evidence comprised of databases, spreadsheets, audio files, calendars, programs, emails, and even external intrusions such as malware and spyware can be investigated.
The rules give the courts a list of considerations when ordering a party to produce ESI based on good cause.  They are discovery request specificity, the amount of information that is otherwise available from other sources, party failing to produce relevant information that possibly existed but is no longer available from other sources, potential that responsive information would be obtained that cannot from other means, how important is the information and the issues sought, and the period of time of the information sought, weighing in on cost and burden.
Businesses must consider technological options to manage their ESI and their costs as a normal cost of business.  Being prepared by having their records in an archival and searchable manner will provide the ability to be prepared in case there is the need for litigation.  The argument that having ESI information retained in a searchable manner is too cost burdening for a business is not convincing to the courts.  This argument will not serve well on seeking the court to excuse when the lack of adequate ESI in an archival and searchable manner leads one of the parties to incur restoration costs.

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cloud Service Considerations - Business and Legal Issues

Software service - Data storage - Data Management - Internet Security
Cloud service considerations for a business include many operational facets of a business and legal issues.  Each may have their own unique risks as well as benefits.  Cloud services are not new.  Remote access to business data has been part of business and government for decades.  It prominence how ever has been combined with the rise of the software of a service (Saas).  Among the many considerations there is reliability, security, performance, privacy, data and system migration.  These are not all but at least gives a sense of the nature of the considerations that come into play when considering cloud services.
Seldom considered points are legal and regulatory compliance standards and whether the cloud service will be compliant for the business that is operating.  Standards differ from a medical office to a legal and or real estate office.
Aside from the list mentioned there are service considerations as well, i.e., Saas, Paas, or Iaas.  They each have their own set of benefits. Saas provides a service of a software that is run remotely through the company’s browser accessing the service provider’s servers.  Paas provides a platform from which developers are able to develop web applications that are stored on the service provider’s servers. Iaas provides the ability to access web storage space and their servers and as well provides web connections, while the user essentially rents space on their servers.
Loss of control of data on the servers that are only accessed via online. This information that is used in business every day to deliver services includes communications (email) and financial data (bank account).  Therefore, the lack of encryption in cloud services today is below the level for a peace of mind. As well concerning is the ease with in which the cloud service providers provide the data to marketers.  The level of concern among users of cloud services is very high, to say the least.
There are disparate standards that leave the area open for inconsistencies.  Protection of privacy standards for data stored on a computer are more stringent than the ones for data stored in the cloud.  Those pertaining to the cloud lack specificity. Business should consider the implications for their business of the Electronic Communications Act.

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Business Risk & Trade Secret Misappropriation

Business risk - Trade Secret Misappropriation
Business risk and trade secret loss is growing by leaps and bounds.  The offense of misappropriating trade secrets according to the Uniform Trade Secret Act (UTSA) is the ‘acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means.’  It also includes the disclosure of the trade secrets when the person misappropriated the trade secret.
Employees should be aware to not misappropriate your employer’s trade secrets.  Disclosing a misappropriated trade secret to others is not protected by the first amendment unless it has already become public knowledge.  Current employees and former employees could be subject to criminal charges, especially when the trade secret was misappropriated and disclosed through electronic means.
An exception would be whistleblowing an employer’s fraud, illegality, or misconduct, or the subject disclosed is of public interest under the general public interest.  Employers should have established policies informing employees of the standards for managing business information. Managing the risk of trade secret misappropriation requires careful employee education.
There is a lot of benefit to establishing a confidential relationship with the employees to enhance an understanding of what the company considers confidential.  Within that stated relationship there should be a declaration of the duty to maintain the information confidential and a definition of the limitations for using the trade secret.
Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Copyright Law and Fair Use Considerations

Copyright law, Fair Use, Takedown demand
To many who take video with background music and post them on the web, consider the copyright law implication.  Obviously, the many who do may not give time nor consideration how they are using the music which raises the issues of fair use considerations.   Owners of music oppose videos with their music in the background without their permission.
While one sees it as seemingly not causing harm, copyright holders do.   The copyright law however gives room for fair use.  In California a suit was filed by Universal Music Corp. (UMC) against an individual who had posted a video with a song in the background. UMC owns the copyright on the song.  This controversy has been eagerly followed by Google, Twitter, Tumblr  and those opposed to the posting, i.e., Universal Music Corp, movie organizations, and entertainers, noting the importance of accurately determining what is ‘fair use’  in this digital era.
As the 9th Circuit said, Copyright Act does have a unique place for ‘fair use’ which allows it to be treated differently than most affirmative defenses.  Fair use defense is commonly asserted by defendants in copyright actions.  Such consideration for fair use is expected to be analyzed from the prospective of whether UMC had a good faith belief that the video did not constitute fair use.
The hinging issue going back to the district court is considering the aspect of fair use prior to issuing a nasty take down demand notice.  Also worth noting, is that copyright law is not structured to foster censorship of what would be deemed as free speech.  As the case continues, take down demands will be viewed with a jaundiced eye.

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Copyright Protection – Photos of Architectural Structures

Copyright Protection - Photos Architectural Structures

Photographers commonly take photos of buildings, architectural structures and landscapes and of views that encompass structures and then sell them under license seeking copyright protection.   Under the Copyright Act, a private place though open to the public for touring is still not considered a public place. Traditionally copyright protection is for works of authorship expressed in a fixed medium. 17 U.S.C. § 102.
But the matter involving a public place having a plain meaning is complicated when the structure is one that could be eligible for protection. The sites that post photos are inclined to see photos of museums, churches, government buildings, monuments as public place structures visible from a public place and not protectable, despite photographers claiming a right to license such photo.
Protection does inure to the interior. The exterior however, while visible from a public place, the protection does not inure. If the structure is not visible from a public place that is commonly walked on, copyright protection does inure and photos of structures, as well as sales of those photos can be stopped. Copyrighted architectural work of a design of a structure is prohibited from it being copied, photographed or distributed, if the structure or building on which the design is on, is not publically visible.
The interior prohibition of photos, unlike the exterior from a public visible place, read more

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Privacy Efforts and Balancing the Use of Encryption

Privacy Efforts and the Use of Encryption

There is no perfect security. However, companies storing and collecting data are obliged to focus on higher protection levels. End user controls are receiving greater attention as events increase in frequency. The unfortunate aspect is the prevalence of naiveté about security among users of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and cloud applications.
Few are aware of how much personal information is actually transmitted by every attempt to download programs or connect a device. The functional use of a smartphone in line with apps and devices enhance the amount of available information about the user’s personal life.
The end user’s protections and utilization of encryption are useful and needed. While some argue for this effort, law enforcement investigative efforts would be hampered. The balance between enhancing security and allowing law enforcement ‘exceptional access’ should be considered with an eye towards what weaknesses would then arise that would defeat end user and encryption security efforts.
The burden of security will begin to broaden as people become savvier about their own security and their interactions making their personal information more vulnerable read more

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Information in Social Media Accounts Sought in Litigation

Social media use and its information is telling of someone and it is increasingly sought after in court cases. Many times social media accounts are a well-spring of vital information that can tip a case on its head. The information can reveal truthfulness or the lack thereof or even a possible smoking gun on liability. Gathered SNS information has at times revealed information discrediting the plaintiff’s damage claims.
While the balance is the pursuit of what is relevant, the predominance of social activity in “SNS” (social network sites) is drawing a need for revisiting discovery rules. The extreme efforts to discover – intrusively – personal information that is only available amid a person’s SNS network is also causing the court to reassess how the rules will address such discovery pursuits; particularly, when a party requests the court to approve the discovery request for passwords and login credentials of the opposing party.
The ultimate question wrestles with what is the inevitable discovery boundary. Absent a third party product that when applied sifts through a SNS account for relevant information, all discovery in SNS depends on the discretion read more.

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.