News of Week; February 3, 2021


  1. 70% of top “civic” Facebook groups are toxic or violent, report finds
  2. Lawmakers take aim at insidious digital “dark patterns”
  3. Influencers told not to use ‘misleading’ beauty filters
  4. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stepping down
  5. Jeff Bezos to leave Amazon CEO post after 27 years, become executive chair
  6. No, WallStreetBets isn’t robbing Wall Street to help the little guy
  7. WallStreetBets craze pushes dogecoin up 5x in 24 hours
  8. Facebook “Supreme Court” overrules company in 4 of its first 5 decisions
  9. Facebook Oversight Board decisions
  10. People Want Real Change From Facebook. Its ‘Supreme Court’ Isn’t Delivering.: The first decisions from the new Oversight Board have been issued. The results are underwhelming.
  11. Facebook Oversight Board’s First Decisions… Seem To Confirm Everyone’s Opinions Of The Board
  12. Every crazy thing that happened in Apple and Facebook’s privacy feud today
  13. Facebook makes the case for activity tracking to iOS 14 users in new pop-ups
  14. EU calls US$15.7bn Apple tax ruling ‘contradictory’: At the heart of the legal arguments are simple questions on where value is created and where it should be taxed
  15. Apple, Its Control Over the iPhone, The Internet, And The Metaverse
  16. Apple’s updated App Store guidelines clarify positions on recent controversies
  17. Latest FTC “Made in USA” Enforcement Includes Scrutiny of Hashtags
  18. Biggest MAGA Conference Threatens Politico With Bogus Lawsuit For Reporting On Conference Troubles
  19. Google settles federal gender and race discrimination charges for $3.8M
  20. Google Play bans open source Matrix client Element, citing “abusive content”
  21. A Wave of Online Services Have Suspended Accounts Associated with Trump and His Supporters
  22. TikTok Implements Prompts To Deter Users From Proliferating Misinformation
  23. TikTok Inks Multi-Faceted Partnership With British Ad And Marketing Giant WPP
  24. Australians May Soon Face Life Without Google
  25. Microsoft backs Australian law forcing Google to pay for news links
  26. Online Harassment Toward Women Is Getting Even More Insidious
  27. Dominion Sues Rudy Giuliani For $1.3 Billion Over False Statements About Its Voting Systems
  28. Professional Assholes Equate Consequences With ‘Cancel Culture’ To Obscure That They’re Finally Being Held Accountable
  29. Continued Access to Service Not Sufficient to Bind User to New Terms of Service–Stover v. Experian (Eric Goldman)
  30. Google and Twitter Defeat Lawsuit Over Account Suspensions/Terminations–DeLima v. Google (Eric Goldman)
  31. Politician Can Block Constituents at Twitter–If It’s a “Campaign” Account–Campbell v. Reisch (Eric Goldman)
  32. Selling Keyword Ads Isn’t Theft or Conversion–Edible IP v. Google (Eric Goldman)
  33. TripAdvisor Doesn’t Get Early Section 230 Dismissal–Putt v. TripAdvisor (Eric Goldman)
  34. No, Revoking Section 230 Would Not ‘Save Democracy’
  35. Removing Civil Rights Law From Section 230 Will Create Many New Problems, While Failing To Fix Existing Ones
  36. Columbia Law Professor Spews Blatantly False Information About Section 230 In The Wall Street Journal
  37. No Section 230 Has Nothing To Do With Horrific NY Times Story Of Online Stalker Getting Revenge For Decades’ Old Slight
  38. Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: Google Play Bans Video Player App Over ASS File Extension Support
  39. Content Moderation Case Study: Twitter Removes Account Of Human Rights Activist (2018)
  40. Content Moderation Case Study: GitHub Attempts To Moderate Banned Words Contained In Hosted Repositories (2015)
  41. CNN Ends Distribution Deal With Facebook Watch, Brings ‘Go There’ Series In-House
  42. YouTube’s new “Clips” feature lets users share 60-second clips of videos
  43. YouTube Will Let Viewers Share Custom Short Videos Cut From Creators’ Uploads And Livestreams
  44. YouTube Doubled Number Of TrueView Advertisers In Q4 2020, Earned $6.9 Billion
  45. Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels Worldwide Last Week
  46. Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels Worldwide Last Week
  47. Top 50 Most Viewed U.S. YouTube Channels Last Week
  48. Top 50 Most Viewed US YouTube Channels Last Week
  49. The Obamas To Host YouTube’s Black History Month Special, ‘Black Renaissance’
  50. YouTube Sets Series From Hillary Clinton’s HiddenLight Productions, Starring Patricia Bright
  51. Instagram Revamps User Interface For Stories Consumption On Desktops
  52. Snapchat Launches ‘Safety Snapshot’ Program To Educate Users On Data Security
  53. Teespring Goes Live With ‘Spring’ Rebrand, Has 450,000 Creators On The Platform
  54. Ryan Reynolds To Premiere Snapchat Series Alongside Will Smith’s Westbrook Media
  55. Amid Miami Move, Jake Paul Lists Infamous Calabasas Mansion For $7 Million
  56. Wheelhouse Launches ‘DNA’ Division For Digital And Audio Ventures, Inks 360 Deal With Nikita Dragun (Exclusive)
  57. Barstool Sports, NPR, Wondery Were Top-Earning Podcast Producers Of 2020 (Report)
  58. Netflix Is Testing A Sleep Timer That Will Automatically Stop Playback
  59. HBO Max To Offer Cheaper, Ad-Supported Subscription In Q2
  60. Apple TV+ Nabs Jared Leto, Anne Hathaway For Series About WeWork Saga


  1. Artificial intelligence soon to be regulated in Canada?
  2. FTC Brings First BOTS Act Case Against Online Ticket Brokers
  3. FTC Sets Its Eye on Algorithms, Automated Tech, and AI-Enabled Applications
  4. FDA Releases Action Plan for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning-Enabled Software as a Medical Device
  5. Boston Dynamics’ robot dog gets an arm attachment, self-charging capabilities
  6. Microsoft Patent: Chatbots Made From The Online Habits Of Dead People
  7. Patent Issues for Factory Automation Inventions in AI
  8. National Defense Authorization Act Propels National Strategy on AI Development
  9. AI and data protection – uncomfortable bedfellows?
  10. Three Considerations for AI Healthcare Application Developers and Users
  11. National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office Launched as “Central Hub” for AI Research and Development
  12. Driving AI development: new UK AI roadmap released
  13. Artificial Intelligence: Landmark 2020 Developments and Rapid Business Adoption
  14. ICO Contributes To Briefing On AI And Healthcare


  1. Bell Blasted For Taking $122m Labour Subsidy While Boosting Dividends
  2. AT&T & Verizon Got Billions From Government, Yet Laid Off 95,000 People In Just Five Years
  3. After Years Of Litigation, AT&T Customers Get A Measly $22 For Being Lied To Over ‘Throttling’
  4. Why victims of AT&T unlimited-data throttling get only $22 in settlements
  5. AT&T customer since 1960 buys WSJ print ad to complain of slow speeds 
  6. Antitrust Remedies in Highly Regulated Industries
  7. Xiaomi denies ties to China’s military, calls US ruling “unconstitutional”
  8. Cable ISP warns “excessive” uploaders, says network can’t handle heavy usage
  9. State reps try to ban Comcast data cap and price hikes until pandemic is over
  10. Comcast lifts uploads to 5Mbps amid complaints its low-income plan is too slow
  11. 27% Of Cable TV Subscribers Will Cut The Cord This Year
  12. Flash is dead—but South Africa didn’t get the memo
  13. Georgia Towns Sue Netflix In Flimsy Bid To Nab A Slice Of The Pie 
  14. The Wall Street Journal Kisses Big Telecom’s Ass In Whiny Screed About ‘Big Tech’
  15. A TV Broadcaster’s Guide to Where Washington Regulatory Issues Stand
  16. Fixed-satellite service operators may soon access new frequencies and routine licensing procedures
  17. How to Watch the Super Bowl in VR With Friends for Free


  1. For the Want of a Nail – Copyright Claims Fail When Plaintiffs Can’t Show Ownership
  2. Thomson Reuters v. ROSS case will test limits on protections for subscription-based database: ROSS Intelligence alleges monopolistic, anticompetitive control over legal research market
  3. Bernie and his Marvelous Mittens. It’s all Good Fun Until a Copyright Lawyer Gets Involved 
  4. Anthropomorphized Characters Representing Human Emotions are Not Copyrightable
  5. Annotations that Accompany State and Local Laws are not Copyrightable
  6. Generalized Expressions of Scientific Facts and Generic Themes are Not Copyrightable 
  7. Spoofs, Parodies, Compatibility, and Comparisons: When Can Competitors Borrow from Each Other? 
  8. Music – The Scope of Protection
  9. The Lies Told About The EU Copyright Directive’s Upload Filters May Help Get Them Thrown Out In Court
  10. Japan Looks To Amend Copyright Law To Force Some Cosplayers To Pay To Cosplay 
  11. Pitch perfect appeal for James Arthur 
  12. Is your joint copyright work purple or red/blue?
  13. Mitigating Copyright Issues in Remote Learning
  14. Music Licensing in the Video Streaming Era
  15. Pocky Ruling Denies Trade Dress Protection for the Useful, Though Not Essential, Shape of Cookie 
  16. Third Circuit Panel Revises Half-Baked Trade Dress Functionality Decision
  17. Please Dough Not Use My Trademark 
  18. Much ado about ballet shoes – important designs case on copying 
  19. The Shape of Things to… Eat 
  20. The Federal Court of Appeal Upholds Finding that Trademark Use Can Be Established Without a Physical Presence in Canada. 
  21. Federal Court grants interlocutory injunction in trademark action for second time in six months
  22. Canadian Intellectual Property Office allows requests for expedited COVID-19 medical trademarks
  23. Taste, Smell, Hear, Touch, and See – Appealing to All Five Senses with Non-Traditional Trademarks
  24. Taylor Swift in ‘Evermore’ Trademark Lawsuit Over Utah Theme Park Name 
  25. Trademark Modernization Act Strengthens Rights of Brand Owners 
  26. The Trademark Modernization Act: Real Change to Address the Realities of Trademark Law 
  27. Brewery Industry Insight — A Play-on-Words Mark Prevailed
  28. Annual Reminder: You Can Probably Just Call The Super Bowl The Super Bowl
  29. A decision based on Aesthetics – UK IPO rules stylisation is enough to overcome confusion
  30. General Court finds no likelihood of confusion in BBQLOUMI opposition – Cypriot cheesemakers continue to struggle in EU trade mark courts
  31. Lady A vs. Lady A: (Trademark) Battle of the Bands
  32. TTAB Precedent No. 46: No Abandonment of A.W. SHUCKS
  33. Cannabis Trade marks and commercialisation in the US, UK and EU. 
  34. Minimalist trademarks: end of the road for uniqueness?
  35. Cybersquatting trends and strategies that brand owners need to know 
  36. Janssen’s abiraterone acetate and prednisone combination therapy patent found invalid
  37. When is There an “Actual Invention” Involving Computers?
  38. Office Actions: Options to consider when you need an extension of time to respond to the Patent Office
  39. Protecting innovations through patent due diligence and FTO analysis
  40. Data Breaches Ain’t Just About Privacy: Risking the Loss of Patent Rights by Data Breach with Subsequent Disclosure 
  41. All Hands On Deck: Ensuring Innovation, Not Just Patents, From All 
  42. Third Circuit Requires Patent Validity Analysis In Adjudicating Antitrust Causation
  43. Federal Circuit Finds Patent Infringed After Reversing Claim Construction That Violated “Grammatical Principles” to Cover All Embodiments
  44. Judge Hellerstein Upholds Infringement by Microsoft of Kaufman’s “And/Or” Patent  
  45. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Litigation Update: Defendants’ Motion to Stay Pending IPR Denied in AR Design Innovations’ Patent Case
  46. Update on Patent “Aggregation” Suit Against Fortress  
  47. Patent-Eligible Subject Matter
  48. Patent-Ineligible Subject Matter
  49. 2020 IP Law Year in Review: Patents – Executive Summary
  50. Snapshot: intellectual property for fashion goods in Canada 
  51. 14 States Are Now Considering ‘Right to Repair’ Legislation
  52. Is there Magic in those Mushrooms? Protecting Psilocybin and Other Actives from Magic Mushrooms 
  53. IP Litigation 2020 Year in Review


  1. Clearview AI’s Facial Recognition App Called Illegal in Canada
  2. Not So Fast: Clearview Asks for Rehearing of Seventh Circuit Decision on Article III Standing for BIPA Class Action
  3. Michigan State Police Officials Are Dodging Public Records Obligations By Using Encrypted Messaging Apps
  4. Consent Standards under the Proposed Consumer Privacy Protection Act
  5. FTC’s allegations of misuse of facial recognition
  6. FTC Settles with Fertility-Tracking App Developer Regarding Health Data Disclosures
  7. 30% of “SolarWinds hack” victims didn’t actually use SolarWinds
  8. From first to sixth: Huawei’s phone business tanks thanks to US sanctions
  9. Police Chief Demands Holes In Encryption Because Some Cops Decided To Participate In The DC Insurrection
  10. States Gear Up to Limit Use of Biometrics and Biological Data
  11. Apple sets “early spring” rollout for iOS privacy changes
  12. Texas Immigration Lawyer Sues DHS, CBP Over Seizure And Search Of His Work Phone
  13. Why Does the Brand of My Phone Affect My Credit Rating?
  14. Data Security and Privacy Predictions for 2021: 6 Issues to Watch
  15. The government will guard Biden’s Peloton from hackers. What about the rest of us?
  16. Canadian Privacy Law 2020 Year in Review


  1. Valve loses controller patent case, must pay $4m in damages
  2. Valve on the hook for $4 million over Steam Controller patent infringement
  3. Is Steam really conspiring to price fix?
  4. Riot Games pushes for arbitration in gender discrimination lawsuit
  5. Riot Games pushes gender discrimination case back towards arbitration
  6. Ubisoft Toronto co-founder Alexandre Parizeau departs Ubisoft
  7. Activision lawyers dismiss diversity hiring proposals as ‘unworkable’
  8. Game firms acknowledged by Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ inclusivity
  9. Google closes Stadia’s dedicated game studios after less than 2 years
  10. Google shuts down first-party Stadia game studios to refocus as platform provider
  11. Google closing Stadia game studios, opening up tech to publishers
  12. Google Stadia Shuts Down Internal Studios, Changing Business Focus
  13. Google Shutters Stadia Game Dev Studio, Will Focus On Distribution And Tech
  14. Google eliminates Stadia’s internal development team
  15. What Stadia’s pivot tells us about the future of cloud gaming
  16. Google needs to think smaller about games streaming | Opinion
  17. Level Up: 33 Legal Tips for Game Developers and Publishers
  18. New supply chain attack uses poisoned updates to infect gamers’ computers
  19. Amazon Can Make Just About Anything—Except a Good Video Game: The company produces successful movies, TV shows, e-readers and speakers, but gaming has proven difficult to crack.
  20. Report: Mismanagement plagues Amazon’s struggling push into video games
  21. Amazon is reportedly spending nearly $500 million a year on its video game division
  22. Activision bans 60,000 Call of Duty: Warzone cheaters
  23. Goldeneye 007’s lost Xbox 360 remaster has leaked—as a full-game speedrun
  24. We have finally played the lost, official Goldeneye 007 remaster for Xbox 360
  25. Destruction AllStars review: Amazing PS5 car combat, in spite of speedbumps
  26. Sony says semiconductor shortage makes increased PS5 production difficult
  27. Sony reports ‘significant’ sales increase following PS5 launch
  28. The PlayStation 5 had sold 4.5 million units by the end of 2020
  29. Scalpers aren’t the main reason you can’t find a new console
  30. Activision Patent Seeks to Improve Esport Footage Sharing For Future Titles: A patent filed by Activision looks at ways to improve the esports experience with detailed data that could enhance the way broadcasts look.
  31. CD Projekt’s stock soars after Elon Musk tweets about Cyberpunk
  32. GameStop stock dips as apps like Robinhood restrict trading
  33. Discord Takes Over Moderation Of r/WallStreetBets Server As Facebook Shuts Down Popular Stock Trading Group
  34. Discord bans WallStreetBets as subreddit briefly goes private
  35. Robinhood blocking purchase of GameStop stock
  36. Robinhood denies automatically selling users’ GameStop shares
  37. Robinhood’s plan to “democratize finance” hit a GameStop-shaped speed bump
  38. Robinhood App Decides To Stop Helping The Poor Steal From The Rich
  39. Discord bans WallStreetBets for hateful conduct amid GameStop stock surge
  40. Hedge fund Melvin sustains 53% loss after Reddit onslaught
  41. Hedge fund Melvin Capital pulls out of GameStop trading
  42. GameStop stock story won’t have a happy ending | This Week in Business
  43. Canada’s answer to Robinhood Markets warns traders but won’t halt trading in speculative stock: Wealthsimple doesn’t plan to restrict trading as other brokerages have done in recent days, CEO says
  44. Multiple GameStop stock story adaptations reportedly in the works
  45. As Virgin Galactic gets swept up in GameStop mania, it gets back to flying
  46. AOC Examines Wall Street Over Twitch Stream
  47. How to protect your intellectual property in the games industry
  48. Tabletop Simulator devs face criticism for Google Translate-sourced translations
  49. Piracy: Does it matter? – People will try to steal your game in huge numbers, says Butterscotch Shenanigans’ Adam Coster — treat it as a design constraint
  50. EA signs multi-year license extension with UEFA to continue FIFA collaboration 
  51. EA extends UEFA exclusivity, working on multiple FIFA mobile games
  52. EA reveals new studio Full Circle, the developer taking on the next ‘Skate’: The studio is led by the former head of Xbox Live and staffed by the creators of the original ‘Skate’ games
  53. EA posts record-breaking bookings driven by Ultimate Team, Apex Legends
  54. EA reports record net bookings as Apex Legends, Ultimate Team exceed expectations
  55. EA Play now has 13 million players across all platforms
  56. Star Wars has made $3bn for EA
  57. EA has made $3 billion in net bookings from just Star Wars games
  58. EA “very, very confident” about BioWare’s future despite key departures
  59. EA sees “huge potential” in racing following Codemasters acquisition
  60. EA Sports returning to college football
  61. EA Sports revives college football games, but without NCAA involvement
  62. EA is getting back into college football without NCAA, player licenses
  63. Detroit: Become Human dev Quantic Dream sets up new studio in Montreal
  64. Microsoft requests EU approval for ZeniMax acquisition
  65. Sega Sammy splits video games and pachinko machines into separate companies
  66. Nintendo raises fiscal forecast as Switch closes in on 80 million lifetime sales
  67. Nintendo Switch sales overtake 3DS as Nintendo raises forecasts again
  68. Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold over 31 million copies in nine months
  69. Super Nintendo World Recreated in Minecraft: A Minecraft player is currently building an authentic replica of the upcoming Super Nintendo World theme park, complete with its rides and shops.
  70. Modded Game Boy looks like an Apple product, works as Apple TV Remote
  71. iOS 14.5 update adds DualSense and Xbox Series X controller support
  72. The Medium has already recouped production and marketing costs
  73. The Medium | Critical Consensus
  74. Valve updates Steamworks to make sharing patch notes easier
  75. The Epic Games Store amassed over 160 million PC users in 2020
  76. Spider-Man: Miles Morales has sold 4.1m copies
  77. 25 years later, Midway’s lost “MLB Jam” arcade game has been found
  78. A new $110 light gun for old Duck Hunts: Ars tests an HDTV-friendly option
  79. Why Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ 31 million sales are so incredible
  80. Animal Crossing: New Horizons returns to No.1 | UK Boxed Charts
  81. All game development is unsustainable | 10 Years Ago This Month
  82. How can Xbox encourage consumers to ‘swim upstream’? | Opinion
  83. Brawl Stars is Supercell’s fourth title to pass $1bn in lifetime revenue
  84. Epic Games Store’s 160 million users spent over $700m in 2020
  85. Navigating the new normal: Studio culture in the time of COVID
  86. Australian games industry delivers 29 percent revenue growth despite COVID-19
  87. Sumo Group acquires PixelAnt Games
  88. Sumo acquires Polish work-for-hire studio PixelAnt Games
  89. Plug In Digital acquires Black Shell’s catalogue
  90. Gearbox Entertainment joins Embracer Group in $1.3b deal
  91. Borderlands dev Gearbox acquired by Embracer Group in $1.38 billion deal
  92. Embracer Group acquires Aspyr Media for $100m
  93. Embracer acquires mobile developer Easybrain and independent studio Aspyr
  94. Embracer Group merges with Easybrain in $640m deal
  95. AppOnboard raises $20m for Buildbox engine
  96. AppOnboard nets $20 million to support ‘no-code’ mobile dev platform Buildbox
  97. Pocket Worlds closes $7m funding round
  98. Ninja Theory halts updates for new IP Bleeding Edge
  99. Ninja Theory’s Bleeding Edge is staying online but won’t receive new content
  100. Digital drives Capcom sales to $622m
  101. Rovio shuts down Hatch
  102. Australian developer revenues raise 29% to $140m
  103. Pocket Worlds raises $7 million to double down on social mobile games
  104. Netflix and Legendary partner on Tomb Raider series
  105. Rime pairs accessible gameplay with relatable loss | Why I Love
  106. Over 50 percent of esports followers likely to bet on esports in the US – Survey
  107. FaZe Clan Signs With UTA Amid Content Expansion Into Scripted, Podcasting, More
  108. Red Bull Launches AR Mobile Game Series With Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, 4 Other Athletes
  109. Blog: Five insights from 3700 reviews of Cyberpunk 2077
  110. Blog: A level design analysis of BioShock Infinite – Part 5
  111. Blog: How randomness contributes to strategic thinking
  112. Blog: What I learned from doing a game jam every month for a year
  113. Blog: Analyzing Unexplored’s secret cyclic dungeon generation
  114. Video: The value of large spenders in free-to-play games
  115. Q&A: Lessons learned from five years spent on the Hitman series
  116. Don’t Miss: The creative challenges BioWare faced designing Mass Effect 3
  117. Don’t Miss: Gearbox on producing a bigger Borderlands
  118. Utility Patents – What Game Developers Should Know