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Ninety percent of the digital data in the world has been generated in the past two years, and with the growth of search engines, social media sites, smart cars and the Internet of Things (IoT), that pace is just accelerating. One possible solution lies in our very DNA. In “When Will DNA Solve the Data Storage Crisis?” colleagues Craig A. de Ridder and Josh D. Morton explore the intriguing potential and developing technology of this application of the “DNA of Things” (DoT).

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As regulations and best practices regarding online terms continues to impose increasing requirements on operators of websites, apps and online services, a basic set of online terms can now encompass as many as half a dozen documents! One just needs to glance at the footer of most any website to see the array of policies that are now needed to minimally address commercial and legal considerations. A normal schema of online terms includes: Terms of Service, an Acceptable Use Policy, a Copyright/DMCA Policy, a Privacy Policy, a Cookie Policy, and a California Privacy Notice. All of these various policies typically wrap up into the Terms of Service. From a practical standpoint, and in some instances out of legal necessity, it is best to break these policies into separate documents and utilize hyperlinks and other embedded text to create a structure that can be navigated electronically. To date, this has seemed to be a reasonable approach and is particularly favored by web and app designers who strive to create clean screens with streamlined text.

But beware—nesting hyperlinks to various policies within a master set of terms can lead to trouble.

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tZERO-Logo-300x157With bitcoin prices rocketing nearly 300% from trough to peak when COVID-19 lockdowns were announced in March 2020 and then relaxed in July 2020, I thought I would revisit a blockchain company we discussed earlier last year to see how it has progressed and been valued by the financial community: Overstock.

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GettyImages-170729806-ai-bias-300x200As the world grapples with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Experts have used AI to test potential treatments, diagnose individuals, and analyze other public health impacts. Even before the pandemic, businesses were increasingly turning to AI to improve efficiency and overall profit. Between 2015 and 2019, the adoption of AI technology by businesses grew more than 270 percent.

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GettyImages-543194887-deepfakes-election-298x300The 2020 election will be unprecedented in many respects. More people will be voting by mail, and there will likely be more democratic participation online than ever before. Internet platforms and communication services will become more influential forums as people are restricted from in-person conventions and debates. But even before the pandemic pushed these operations online, some lawmakers were already seeking to monitor misinformation in political discourse on the internet, specifically in the context of deepfakes. Deepfakes are manipulated photo, video or audio clips generated by computers, often with the assistance of artificial intelligence algorithms. They can make someone appear to say or do something that never actually happened or create realistic images of people who do not exist.

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DOJ-seal-300x300It has been a little more than a month since the Department of Justice (DOJ) made their formal recommendations to lawmakers on how to limit the scope of the broad immunity given to interactive computer service companies, i.e., social media and tech companies, under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Originally, the drafters of the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020 (EARN IT Act) led by Sen. Lindsey Graham intended to comply with the DOJ’s request by structuring the bill as a series of amendments to Section 230 that would turn the legal shield into an incentive-based protection. Essentially mirroring category one of the DOJ report, the original incentive system of the EARN IT Act would have meant that an interactive computer service company would only receive Section 230 immunity from civil liability for illicit content posted by a site’s users if the company took affirmative steps to ensure that its site was not facilitating the dissemination of child sex abuse materials.

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iStock-486463910-patent-innovation-300x200Many companies are increasingly looking to the federal government during COVID-19 for liquidity or other financial assistance. Colleague Drew Schulte recently spoke with host Joel Simon on Pillsbury’s Industry Insights podcast and highlighted a variety of strategies available to companies with intellectual property assets (and particularly patents or patentable assets) to reduce costs and to generate revenue by monetizing their IP assets.

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Have you ever been startled by the buzzing sound of a passing swarm of angry mechanical bees as you work from home? Have you ever looked out your window and noticed an agile device zipping through your property? If so, drones might be aversely affecting your lifestyle. These little devices once only lived in the imaginations of science fiction writers, but nowadays, they are popular gadgets that many parents routinely buy for their kids during Christmas. The popularity of drones has exploded due to cheaper production costs, advancements in camera and wireless technologies, and the appeal of high-quality bird’s-eye view footage popularized by aspiring vloggers looking to create impressive visual content. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has further fueled drone popularity due to their potential in the context of robotic delivery services. However, despite its advantages, drone technology poses a significant threat to property and privacy rights; luckily, the law offers several grounds to obtain legal remedies if such rights are infringed.

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Recently, Pillsbury’s Deborah Thoren-Peden sat down with a panel of experts that included Millicent Calinog Tracey (former Wells Fargo SVP), Samantha Ettus (founder and CEO of Park Place Payments) and Pillsbury partner John Barton. They discussed how businesses and the customer experience have been impacted due to COVID-19 and how banks, fintechs and payment companies can maximize opportunities and mitigate risk with increased demand in the digital payments space.

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CC-SAAnyone who has spent time scouring the internet for free-to-use content has likely come across pictures, written materials and music permissively licensed under one or more of the Creative Commons licenses. These licenses tend to offer the public a broad range of options when using copyrighted material that is released under the Creative Commons scheme. However, like all licenses, the Creative Commons licenses can contain conditions and requirements that the licensee must adhere to in order to avoid liability. Two recent appellate court decisions shed light on one important condition in the Creative Commons NonCommercial ShareAlike license.

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