CLIP-ings: April 7, 2017

Internet Governance

Easter(n) Currency: Japan’s Virtual Currency Act, in effect as of April 2017, now recognizes Bitcoin, among other cryptocurrencies, as an official medium of payment and “property of value,” subjecting it to several taxes.

An Eggstreme New Measure: New Chinese regulations allow the government to extract any data dealing with the investigation of a person under Chinese criminal law no matter where in the world the data is located, which may complicate international relations with China as data security concerns and governmental interferences are becoming increasingly worrisome.


An Eggcellent Idea? Workers at a Swedish start-up hub called Epicenter can forego having a key card in favor of having a microchip implanted in their hand which will allow them to open doors, access printers, and purchase food.

Eggsactly What The Doctor Ordered: The prosecution of a gynecologist for possession of child pornography has unearthed a secret collaboration between the FBI and Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” IT specialists in which informants were allegedly recruited and paid by the Bureau to scour customers’ computers for such content, though how much Best Buy knew about this activity is unclear.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Eggsiled to the Mountains: An abandoned mine on a desolate Norwegian island that is home to mainly polar bears is the unlikely source of key data that has been taken from the national archives of three countries so far, is also available to other nations as part of the Arctic World Archive initiative, will be preserved for at least 500 to 1,000 years, and can even survive a nuclear apocalypse.

Quit Egging Him On: An Arkansas programmer who created a remote administration tool called NanoCore, which he posted on and then sold to a member of the forum, is being federally prosecuted for conspiracy and aiding and abetting computer intrusions because NanoCore has been used by hackers in at least ten different countries, despite the programmer claiming that he never intended the tool to be used by hackers.

Intellectual Property

Unholy Mass of Allegations: Whether Satanic worship, demonic possession, witches, and child sacrifice can be deemed “historical facts” is a question that may determine the fate of a copyright infringement suit between Warner Bros.—the company behind the horror film series “The Conjuring”—and the author of a 1980 book called “The Demonologist,” which was based on the same paranormal investigators’ account of allegedly true events, with the author seeking $900M and an injunction against the release of “Annabelle 2,” the story of a possessed doll connected to the same investigators.

Not a Peep Out of You: In a 2011 copyright infringement case in which Universal Music Group sued over an illegal download of a Rihanna album, a German court has ruled that a parent whose child is found to have illegally downloaded copyrighted content must give up the identity of that child, or alternatively be held personally liable for the violation.

Free Expression and Censorship

Eggstra! Eggstra! (Don’t) Read All About It! Ranked one of the deadliest countries for journalists, Mexico is facing a crisis in which newspaper organizations are being threatened to the point where they can either report unsavory content and risk their staff being murdered or instead shut down to avoid the wrath of drug cartels.

An Eggsistential View of the Presidency: In contrast to the way former President Obama extensively utilized the official White House photographer and controlled his own image in the media, President Trump has used his official White House photographer more sparingly, which has resulted in a very different portrayal of the President in the media, with images mainly coming from iPhones and press photographers instead.

Practice Note

Unfree Eggspression: In an opinion lacking an analysis of First Amendment issues, a federal court has held that two bloggers interfered with the exercise of residents’ fair housing rights when they published numerous online posts deriding the residents for keeping emotional support dogs in their Virgin Islands condos despite the condominium association’s “no dogs” rule.

On the Lighter Side

This Is a Little Eggcessive: An image of Vladimir Putin depicted as a gay clown has been banned in Russia, but because the image’s display is prohibited, Russian news outlets are having a difficult time reporting which version of the meme is actually banned.

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Editorial Fellows, CLIP
Nadia Kashem
Meghna Prasad