Twitter limit: University of Washington caps live game coverage for media, threatens credential revocation – GeekWire

Twitter limit: University of Washington caps live game coverage for media, threatens credential revocation – GeekWire.

Based in this article from GeekWire, it looks like the University of Washington (a public institution, I believe) may have set itself up for a bit of a First Amendment issue with its “Live Coverage Policy” for journalists credentialed to cover its sports program.

The policy explicitly limits journalists to 20 Tweets per basketball game and 45 per football game. Violations can result in revocation of the violator’s press credentials. As a public institution, and thus, arguably, a “state actor”, the UoW may be violating the First Amendment with this policy.
Even if it is not, it certainly raises (once again) the issue of social media in the press and what its implications are for First Amendment speech (including, but not limited to freedom of the Press).

Of course, there are (albeit distant and indirect) additional issues of trademark, fair use, and the role of public university ownership and use of intellectual property implicated in these situations as well. Those, however, are subjects for another time.


Twitter’s Ben Lee: Tax the Trolls! (or “Cost-shifting as a deterrent to frivolous patent litigation.”)

This is an interesting opinion piece by Twitter’s Ben Lee. I absolutely agree with his proposition that US IP enforcement laws should include a cost shifting mechanism (i.e. loser pays winner’s attorneys’ fees) where the litigation is found to be frivolous. Frivolous litigation clearly is an unwanted economic drain. Unfortunately, however, such cost shifting mechanisms do not address the issues created by NPEs (i.e. patent trolls) who amass intellectual property portfolios in order to become virtual gatekeepers on the road of technological advancement. That is an issue which will require a much more subtle, nuanced approach, balancing the benefits of rewarding innovation while preventing the financial road-blocking of further innovation.


Twitter is an engineering company, and engineers like to innovate. Twitter is also well known, and, as a result, we receive patent threats and lawsuits from time to time. Many of these are baseless, and our policy is to fight them with all our might. In fact, we have never agreed to pay to settle a patent suit.

Still, even meritless lawsuits cost us money in attorney fees, and force our engineers to spend time with lawyers rather than improving our product. For example, we recently won a case regarding U.S. Patent No. 6,408,309, entitled “Method and System for Creating an Interactive Virtual Community of Famous People.” After a trial before a jury, we managed to prove that we didn’t infringe and that the asserted claims from the patent were invalid. This patent was “invented” by a patent lawyer, Dinesh Agarwal. According to his own testimony at trial, Mr. Agarwal…

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Employers Banned From Asking For Social Media Passwords In California | TechCrunch

Employers Banned From Asking For Social Media Passwords In California | TechCrunch.

California has just passed a law that will make it illegal for employers in that state to require applicants and/or employees for the passwords to the their social media accounts. While it is too early to say if this will become a trend, it is clear that there is increasing concern about the extent to which there is some expectation of privacy within the social media sphere. This is the same tension which was played out in the recent case in which Twitter was required by a court in New York to turn over information on an account holder who was arrested in connection with the Occupy Wall Street protests.

This is an area of the law which remains quite unsettled. While the courts catch up on the issue of how to handle privacy issues with respect to social media, it is clear from this new California law that employers need to tread carefully with respect both limiting and investigating their employees and applicants’ use of social media.

What happens to advertising in a wold of streams?

This is an interesting article on advertising in the world of Facebook and Twitter. Very thought provoking!


It’s no secret that more and more of the content we consume is coming in the form of constantly updated real-time streams, never-ending rivers that pour through Twitter and Facebook (s fb) and aggregation apps like Flipboard. It’s not a new phenomenon, but there’s no question it has been accelerating, and new offerings like Medium — the publishing platform from Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone — as well as others like Pinterest and BuzzFeed and Tumblr have helped ramp up the rate of adoption, as has the increasing shift to consuming content on mobile devices.

As appealing as these kinds of services are for users, however, they still have to be paid for somehow, which raises the question: What happens to advertising in a world made of streams?

As Choire Sicha notes in a post on this topic at The Awl, it’s great to look at the clean…

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