Monday, June 27, 2011

California Can't Ban Violent Video Games To Minors

In a long-awaited decision, on June 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a clear message to state governments looking to regulate the sale of violent video games to minors: Treat video games like movies, books, music, and any other artistic medium.

The Supreme Court struck down California's law banning the rental or sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 by a decisive 7-2 margin.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crowd Seats Can Help Sports Leagues After Lockout and Labor Issues

Even with the presence of Groupon, LivingSocial and StubHub, sports fans have still been searching for a place to purchase group tickets for a cheap price. And up until recently, there was no company that specifically focused on group sales of sports tickets. Now enter, Crowd Seats.

On June 6th officially launched its website. Crowd Seats is a daily deals site that offers sports tickets at HUGE discounts. The discounts range anywhere from 50-90% off face value with no fees. Crowd Seats can also be shared through Facebook and Twitter, with each referral through the social media services netting you a $10 credit on Crowd Seats. Crowd Seats is a benefit for both the consumer and the sports organization. These time-sensitive, daily deals offer fans an opportunity to become part of the crowd at a fraction of face value, while teams benefit from additional revenue streams, and get fans in the seats.

Currently, Crowd Seats is available for sports fans living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago, but will likely expand to other sports crazed areas. Fans and organizations are excited about Crowd Seats and should be ready to jump at the idea. In fact, a handful of teams have already been utilizing group-buying websites for the past two years. Many sports organizations, including the Dallas Mavericks, have experimented with Groupon and LivingSocial and had great results.

In a case study produced by Crowd Seats, deals involving tickets for NBA, NHL, and MLS games were reviewed. The combination of revenue generated through ticket sales via various daily deals sites and supplemental revenue generated at the stadium (Fan Cost Index) has resulted in NBA teams taking in an average of over $50,000/deal. The NHL and MLS based deals also did tremendously well.

Notable Deals:

  • Dallas Mavericks, October 2010, 4819 Tickets Sold, $173,000 Revenue
  • Toronto Raptors, March 2011, 2368 Tickets Sold, $101,000 Revenue
  • Toronto Raptors, November 2010, 3049 Tickets Sold, $97,000 Revenue
  • Colorado Avalanche, February 2011, 1784 Tickets Sold, $51,000 Revenue
  • New England Revolution, August 2010, 2515 Tickets Sold, $45,000 Revenue

It is clear that consumers and sports teams will greatly benefit from the first group-buying site specifically targeted towards their product. Additionally, with the NFL lockout currently in place and an NBA lockout looming large in the sports industry, league management and others believe that fans will get angry because of the lockout and will be less intrigued in professional sports because of the labor issues. Thus, bringing ticket sales and overall team revenue down. However, with Crowd Seats offering discounted seats to games fans will be more inclined to attend games, even if they are still angry over a labor situation or lockout. I know I will definitely attend NFL or NBA games for half off.

Now that the website is officially launched you can go and check it out yourself. Fans who want to receive future offers for local events can sign up for the” Deals Newsletter” at You can also follow Crowd Seats on Twitter, @crowdseats, or email Justin Cener at, if your sports organization would like to work with Crowd Seats.

Friday, June 24, 2011

4th Amendment and Emails

E-Mail Accounts, The Warrant Requirement, and the Territorial Limits of Court Orders (Volokh Conspiracy, 7 June 2011) - My friend Jennifer Granick points me to an interesting new case, Hubbard v. Myspace (S.D.N.Y. June 1, 2011), that touches on a fascinating Fourth Amendment question: What are the territorial limits of search warrants for Fourth Amendment purposes? To be clear, the Hubbard case itself involved a statutory challenge, not a constitutional one. The plaintiff sued MySpace for complying in California with a state warrant issued in Georgia that was faxed to MySpace in California on the ground tat the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2703, did not allow MySpace to comply with the out-of-state warrant. As a statutory claim, the argument was pretty clearly incorrect. But at the end of his opinion (p.11) Judge Kaplan touches on a really interesting issue: What about the Fourth Amendment? Specifically, the interesting issue is this: If the Fourth Amendment imposes a warrant requirement on government access to an e-mail account, which I think it does and the Sixth Circuit has expressly so held, is the warrant requirement satisfied by an out-of-state warrant from a jurisdiction far away with no authority to actually compel compliance with the warrant? Or is the warrant requirement only satisfied by a warrant issued locally, or at least in the same state or federal district? This issue generally doesn’t come up in traditional physical investigations because the police will get a local warrant to physically search a local location, and arrests generally don’t require warrants. But warrants for e-mail accounts are unusual: The police obtain the warrant and fax it to the ISP, and the Stored Communications Act contemplates out of state warrants. ISPs usually don’t have to comply with out of state warrants, as they are out of state and not binding on them: But the question I’m interested in here is, does the out of state warrant satisfy the warrant requirement? I would think the best answer is that the warrant requirement does not have a territorial limit: For Fourth Amendment purposes, the warrant requirement is satisfied so long as a neutral and detached magistrate somewhere has found probable cause, established particularity, and signed the warrant authorizing the disclosure. I think that for a few reasons. First, the Eighth Circuit has expressly approved of the constitutionality of an out-of-state e-mail warrant in one case, United States v. Bach, which involved a Minnesota state warrant for an e-mail account that was faxed to Yahoo in California. Although Bach did not discuss the extraterritorial nature of the warrant, the approval of the facts of that case hints that the extraterritorial nature of the warrant doesn’t matter. Second, I think the territorial limits of courts to issue warrants is at least arguably the kind of statutory limit on state power that the Supreme Court has said is irrelevant to Fourth Amendment reasonableness in Virginia v. Moore, 128 S.Ct. 1598 (2008). Third, cases from the wiretapping context have held that judges in one district can authorize intercepts in other districts. See, e.g., United States v. Ramirez, 112 F.3d 849 (7th Cir. 1997) (Posner, J.)

MIRLN (Misc. IT Related Legal News) is a free e-newsletter published every three weeks by Vince Polley at KnowConnect PLLC. You can subscribe to the MIRLN distribution list by sending email to Vince Polley ( with the word “MIRLN” in the subject line.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Library of Congress and Twitter

How the Library Of Congress is Building the Twitter Archive (O’Reilly Radar, 2 June 2011) - In April 2010, Twitter announced it was donating its entire archive of public tweets to the Library of Congress. Every tweet since Twitter’s inception in 2006 would be preserved. The donation of the archive to the Library of Congress may have been in part a symbolic act, a recognition of the cultural significance of Twitter. Although several important historical moments had already been captured on Twitter when the announcement was made last year (the first tweet from space, for example, Barack Obama’s first tweet as President, or news of Michael Jackson’s death), since then our awareness of the significance of the communication channel has certainly grown. That’s led to a flood of inquiries to the Library of Congress about how and when researchers will be able to gain access to the Twitter archive. These research requests were perhaps heightened by some of the changes that Twitter has made to its API and firehose access. But creating a Twitter archive is a major undertaking for the Library of Congress, and the process isn’t as simple as merely cracking open a file for researchers to peruse. I spoke with Martha Anderson, the head of the library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP), and Leslie Johnston, the manager of the NDIIP’s Technical Architecture Initiatives, about the challenges and opportunities of archiving digital data of this kind.

Sources: From MIRLN (See Below)

MIRLN (Misc. IT Related Legal News) is a free e-newsletter published every three weeks by Vince Polley at KnowConnect PLLC. You can subscribe to the MIRLN distribution list by sending email to Vince Polley ( with the word “MIRLN” in the subject line. Unsubscribe by sending email to Vince with the words “MIRLN REMOVAL” in the subject line.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Police Officers and Government Intrusion

Do Police Officers Conducting a Search Have Fourth Amendment Rights Not To Be Secretly Taped by Government? (Volokh Conspiracy, 10 June 2011) - No, says the district court in United States v. Wells, 2011 WL 2259748 (N.D. Okla. May 12, just posted on Westlaw). Here’s the situation: A Tulsa police officer is being investigated for supposedly stealing money and drugs. The FBI sets up a sting, in which an undercover officer plays a drug dealer. The officer and his colleagues show up to the motel room where the sting is happening, arrest the undercover officer, take him outside, get his consent to search the room, and then search it. In the meantime, they are videotaped and audiotaped searching the room. Their lawyers seek to exclude the videotapes, because the videotapes supposedly violated the officers’ Fourth Amendment rights. The court doesn’t buy it. Even though guests sometimes have Fourth Amendment rights to be presumptively free of surveillance when they’re staying at a friend’s home — or in a motel — these weren’t ordinary guests.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The BEST Picture EVER

A couple embraces during the riots in Vancouver.... O CANADA! Go BRUINS, Stanley Cup Champions!

Still Blaming Sports Agents

Another article (above) blames sports agents for the problems with the NCAA and student athletes.... In my opinion, the problem is a lot larger than sports agents and although the bad and corrupt sports agent has taken most of the media attention and bad press. The NCAA, Coaches, some talented athletes, and many Universities and Athletic Directors are also to blame.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Braffman Still The Best

NY Criminal Defense Lawyer Braffman will represent strauss-kahn and is still known to many as THE BEST.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Stay Safe on Social Networking Sites

NFL Lockout Update From Court (June 3)

Lawyer Ted Olson, who represents the players, said things might change after the court reads all of the briefs and listens to oral arguments concerning the case. He feels the players’ arguments are pretty persuasive and that the court should eventually side with the players and Judge Nelson. Olson also placed blame on the league for cancelling the collective-bargaining agreement and locking the players out. He added that the players didn’t do it – the league did.

Paul Clement, lawyer for the NFL, said the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to end the lockout. He said lockouts are actually pretty common during labor disputes and that they are legally sound. He also pointed to the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which says federal district courts are not allowed to issue an injunction when it comes to labor disputes.

Olson argued that the players dissolved the NFL Players Association following talks on March 11 and that the collective bargaining relationship was ended, which means the situation should be considered an anti-trust issue, not a labor dispute. It is unlikely that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with Olson’s argument.

Clement said the most immediate way to come to an agreement is to simply get back to the negotiating table as soon as possible and to forget about anti-trust laws. He said both parties have to be interested in getting a deal done as a labor settlement and not an anti-trust settlement.

This article was on You can read the rest of the article there.