Suit Accuses Duke, UNC Of Antitrust Violation

from dailytarheel.com While UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University might be in fierce competition, medical school administrators have declared a truce — but one faculty member has called foul. Dr. Danielle Seaman, assistant professor at Duke School of Medicine, filed a class-action lawsuit this summer against Duke, Duke University Health System and Dr. William Roper, dean of UNC School of Medicine, for violating antitrust laws. UNC, UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health are included in the complaint as “unnamed co-conspirators,” meaning they are not yet named as defendants in the case. But because of the legal placeholder, additional defendants could […]

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AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale

from NYTs The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” AT&T’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the documents, which date from […]

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Past Drug Charges Derail a Law Student’s Education

from NYTs David Powers came out of a drug rehabilitation program about 15 years ago hungry to swing his life in a significantly different direction. And that he did. He went back to college and graduated with a 3.9 grade point average. He was hired at a major accounting firm, worked in senior positions at three hedge funds, and was accepted to the law school at St. John’s University. Mr. Powers still calls the day of his arrest, when he was pulled off a destructive path, the “best day of my life.” Halfway through his coursework, while trying to get […]

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How Corporations Took Over the First Amendment

from The Atlantic When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that POM Wonderful was overstating pomegranate juice’s health benefits in its advertisements, a press release from the FTC, which was challenging POM in court, called the decision “a victory for consumers.” The Wall Street Journal agreed, describing it as “a notable win.” In a sense, it was: The company was banned from trumpeting its juice as an elixir that could help prevent heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction if there wasn’t sufficient research done to back up those claims. But in another sense, the decision wasn’t a victory at all. Buried in the […]

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Here Comes The Whole Foods-ification Of Marijuana

from co.EXIST Laundry, package delivery, groceries, meals—these are all available on-demand for residents of major U.S. cities, where countless startups promise to let you live well without stepping outside of your house. The other day, I placed an order on my phone for yet another on-demand product. As usual, I received a text with a link to track my driver when she was close by. I popped outside my door when the driver arrived, and exchanged cash for a paper bag. A mason jar filled with marijuana was inside. Attached to the jar, there was a tag informing me that my […]

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If Bankers Want The Gain, They Should Feel The Pain

from the guardian Students at Harvard Business School probably know little of Millwall Football Club. Nevertheless the corporate titans of the future might do well to learn from the luckless London team, now sunk at the bottom of the English game’s second tier and set to be relegated to its third. Which is not to say that the financial masters of the universe are not already expert in one aspect of Millwall lore. Paying themselves squillions and ignoring the protest and revulsion that come with it, they made Millwall’s chant – “No one likes us, we don’t care” – their own years ago. But […]

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What’s Wrong With the ‘Blurred Lines’ Copyright Ruling

from NYTs Here’s how songs, especially hip-hop and R&B songs, are made today : the framework is built in the studio by a producer, working on some combination of keyboard, drum machine, sampler and computer program. Songwriters contribute topline melodies and conceptual ideas, and sometimes all the words. Generally speaking, at the moment of creation, there is no sheet music, no notation that’s meant to guide musicians. On Tuesday, a federal jury in Los Angeles concluded that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the performer and primary songwriter-producer of the 2013 pop hit “Blurred Lines,” committed copyright infringement by using elements […]

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The FCC Did NOT Make the Internet a Public Utility

from Medium Today the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to approve of Title II-backed net neutrality regulations. It’s a big and important day for the Internet. As I write this, advocates all across D.C. are celebrating. And they should! Not so long ago, after the D.C. Circuit ruled against the FCC in Verizon v. FCC, many pronounced that net neutrality was dead. Seriously?—?the spirit around the effort and the Internet was pretty moribund. See how many hyperlinks that was? I wasn’t joking. The history of how “net neutrality came back from the dead” and the roles that the public, advocacy groups and companies (small and big) played in that revival will be important?—?and maybe will offer some […]

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FCC Chair: New Internet Service Rules Not Even Close To Utility Regulation

from ars technica Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today defended the FCC’s new rules for Internet service providers, saying they are “about as far from the old-style monopoly regulation as you can get.” While cable companies and telecommunications providers have threatened lawsuits, claiming the “utility” rules will hurt consumers and impede investment, Wheeler talked about how lenient the regulations are in a public Q&A session at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Led by Wheeler, the FCC last week reclassified fixed and mobile broadband providers in the US as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, allowing the commission to enforce network neutrality […]

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White House Proposes Broad Consumer Data Privacy Bill

from NYTs The Obama administration on Friday proposed a wide-ranging bill intended to provide Americans with more control over the personal information that companies collect about them and how that data can be used, fulfilling a promise the president had talked about for years. But some privacy advocates immediately jumped on the proposed legislation, saying it failed to go far enough, particularly given the broad statements President Obama had made on the issue. They said the bill would give too much leeway to companies and not enough power to consumers. There are already a number of federal laws, like the Fair […]

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The National Broadband Plan

from Susan Crawford In “Why Obama is In the Lead on High-Speed Internet Access Policy,” I implied that things had dramatically changed in national telecommunications policy since the release of the National Broadband Plan in March 2010. I don’t want to leave the impression that the National Broadband Plan was anything other than extraordinary. It represented the culmination of an extraordinary effort in an extraordinarily compressed period of time carried out by an extraordinary team that was ably led by Blair Levin, the well-known telecommunications expert who is now spearheading the important Gig.U initiative in cities across the U.S. Blair’s team always said […]

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In a Case of Religious Dress, Justices Explore the Obligations of Employers

from NYTs Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on Wednesday warned that “this is going to sound like a joke,” and then posed an unusual question about four hypothetical job applicants. If a Sikh man wears a turban, a Hasidic man wears a hat, a Muslim woman wears a hijab and a Catholic nun wears a habit, must employers recognize that their garb connotes faith — or should they assume, Justice Alito asked, that it is “a fashion statement”? The question arose in a vigorous Supreme Court argument that explored religious stereotypes, employment discrimination and the symbolism of the Muslim head scarf known as the hijab, all […]

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Net Neutrality Activists Score Landmark Victory In Fight To Govern The Internet

from the guardian Internet activists scored a landmark victory on Thursday as the top US telecommunications regulator approved a plan to govern broadband internet like a public utility. Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the internet went mainstream. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler – a former telecom lobbyist turned surprise hero of net neutrality supporters – thanked the 4 million people who submitted comments on the new rules. “Your participation […]

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The New Net-Neutrality Policy, in Three Simple Phrases

from The Atlantic The U.S. Federal Communications Commission just adopted strict net-neutrality rules that will treat the Internet like a public utility. What’s in the new regulations? There are three major principles that Internet-service providers—like Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon—have to follow when sending data from their networks to your computer: More here.

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Justices Find Antitrust Law Valid Against Dental Board

from NYTs The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a state dental board controlled by dentists may be sued under antitrust laws for driving teeth-whitening services out of business. The decision, by a 6-to-3 vote, set standards that will most likely also apply to state licensing boards, including those for doctors, lawyers and other professionals. States often rely on such boards to decide which potential competitors may ply their trades. The case, North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 13-534, concerned a dental board with eight members, six of whom were required by state law to be practicing dentists and […]

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Transparency Reports On Trial: New Front For Free Speech?

from gigaom The latest high profile free speech fight isn’t over a book, a movie or even a video game. Instead, the court case is over a corporate report, and has led media companies to join Twitter in an unusual First Amendment challenge of government gag orders. The court case highlights the growing significance of the so-called “transparency reports” that Twitter and a growing number of other companies, are using to inform users about government demands and other trends that affect the internet. Since they began appearing five years ago, the reports have served as an important measure of free speech and privacy. But they can also be a PR tool for the companies that publish […]

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Firmly Outside the Box

from Harvard Law Today Each day at her job at a venture capital firm, Sarah (Burgess) Reed ’91 logs 7 to 8 miles on a treadmill desk, which is outfitted with a work surface that puts her computer, phone, documents—and water—all within easy reach. “It’s the ‘gameification’ of the law,” jokes Reed, using a term that comes up a lot in the venture capital world. “I’m reading these terribly dry documents all day long, so I play a game with myself of how many miles I can walk while I’m reading them.” It’s typical of Reed’s approach to problem-solving. From […]

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Two Judges Who Get It About Banks

from NYTs Big banks hold great sway in Washington these days, far more than troubled homeowners do. But outside the Beltway, many people remain caught in the maw of the financial giants, which is why it is heartening when some judges step into the fray. Consider two opinions involving Wells Fargo, a bank that enjoys a somewhat better reputation than many of its peers. On Monday, a judge in a state court in Missouri ordered Wells to pay over $3 million in punitive damages and other costs for abusing a borrower. Then, on Thursday, a judge in Federal Bankruptcy Court in suburban New […]

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The One Loophole to Rule Them All

from Slate For more than a year, alongside immigration and an oil pipeline, net neutrality has been one of the biggest policy debates in the nation, prompting thousands of articles, late-night comedy skits, many Senate letters, days of mass action, and a video pronouncement from the leader of the free world. Cable and phone companies (like Comcast and Verizon) want the power to charge Web giants (like Netflix and Amazon) for access to fast lanes and preferential treatment on the Internet, which would radically change the level playing field we have today for all inventors, speakers, and organizers. A year […]

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S.E.C. Faces Challenges Over the Constitutionality of Some of Its Court Proceedings

from NYTs It is probably not a stretch to say that the Securities and Exchange Commission likes to win every case that it decides to bring. But a recent push by the agency to bring more cases before its administrative law judges rather than filing charges in federal district court is drawing increased attacks from defense lawyers claiming that the entire process is not just unfair, but also unconstitutional. Those criticisms could call into question the legality of the process used by a number of federal agencies that have in-house judges who decide whether laws were violated. The issue has […]

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