General

The Ethical Crisis in Programming

By: Jamie Burchette *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/programmer-programming-code-work-1653351/

Computers and technology are continually advancing. To match this advance, the programming techniques utilized by programmers have had to evolve to keep up. Sometimes these changes have been small and sometimes they have been large. Recently, a new project management software, Manuscript, has been released, which hopes to once again change software development by squashing bugs that may otherwise be ignored.

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Puerto Rico’s Controversial Electrical Contract Fizzles Out

By: Greg Volk *| Staff Writer

By Roosevelt Skerrit [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Roosevelt Skerrit [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, it caused billions of dollars of destruction, but among the costly collateral damage is a highly controversial repair contract that has been called bad for Puerto Rico. No fewer than five governmental bodies, including the FBI, launched inquiries into the $300 million agreement between the Puerto Rico Electrical Power Authority (PREPA) and Whitefish Energy, an inexperienced Montana-based startup with two full-time employees, to restore the island’s devastated power grid. The whole ordeal could serve as a case study in how not to negotiate a contract. (Hint: Ignore advice from lawyers and accept all terms).

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Tax Overhaul Promising for Commercial Real Estate Not So for Cryptocurrency

By: Whitney Hosey *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/income-tax-calculation-calculate-491626/

Before the final GOP tax bill was completed, many in the real estate industry were concerned over the fate of Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code, otherwise known as the “Like-Kind Exchange.” A Section 1031 Exchange “is a real estate transaction involving the sale of one property with the tax on the capital gain deferred because of the qualified purchase of another like-kind property in exchange.” While normally all sales of real estate are taxable, Section 1031 creates an exception where the parties to the transaction are not taxed or are taxed minimally, at the time of the exchange.

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Sharing a Password: Will Someone Have to Pay?

By: Greg Volk *| Staff Writer

By Jerryzhu2004 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

With over one-fifth of young adults streaming hit shows like “Game of Thrones” using another person’s account, password sharing is certainly popular. But is it illegal? According to a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year, it theoretically could be. There is little chance the FBI will come knocking on your door, however. If there is any crackdown on streaming, it is more likely to occur in the marketplace.

News headlines about password sharing have been confusing (compare “Yes, Sharing Your Netflix or HBO GO Passwords Is Actually A Federal Crime” with “Relax, you’re not going to jail for sharing your Netflix password”), so it is important to understand what is really at stake for consumers. The confusion arises from the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a vague thirty-year-old federal statute that’s been called “the worst law in technology.” Aimed at hackers, the CFAA makes it illegal to “access[] a protected computer without authorization, or exceed[] authorized access.” But what constitutes “access” and when is it “without authorization”?

In the Ninth Circuit case, United States v. Nosal (“Nosal II“), the court held that the defendant violated the CFAA when he used a former colleague’s password to take client data from a recruiting company in order to start his own. The defendant argued that such a broad interpretation of the CFAA could criminalize acts like sharing a password among family members, to watch Netflix, for instance, or to check-in for a flight. A dissenting judge agreed. The majority said their interpretation would not apply to those situations. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case, so we are unlikely to get greater clarity anytime soon.

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A World Without Money

By:  Maureen Gallagher *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/the-dollar-america-currency-finance-3125419/

Is money better known as a number on a screen or a crisp linen bill? For the time being, the word may still comfortably conjure an image of green slips of paper, but the future may tell a different story in which electronic, mobile payment first comes to mind.

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Spring 2018 Symposium: Intellectual Property & Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization

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The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law present its Spring Symposium:

Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization 

The Symposium is being held, today, Friday, February 2, 2018, from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter (Biotech Place). This year’s event will look at medical patents, bioethics and the intellectual property implications of medical technology.

MORNING SESSION

Overview of Regenerative Medicine, Role of Law, & Bioethics

Keynote Speakers: Julie Watson and Dr. John D. Jackson

Julie Watson, Chief Legal Counsel for the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, opened the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law Symposium by introducing the first speaker of the day, Dr. John D. Jackson. Dr. Jackson, an associate professor at the Institute since 2010, began the day’s events by explaining the technical components of the Institute.

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A General Overview of the Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law’s Symposium: “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization”

By Justfixingawrongnumber (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Justfixingawrongnumber (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law will be hosting its spring symposium,  “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization,” beginning at 8:30 a.m. this Friday, February 2, 2018, in the Wake Forest Biotech Place Atrium at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Medical patents, the intersection of bioethics and the law, and the venture capitalist-side of regenerative medicine are among some of the topics to be discussed at this year’s symposium. This blog post is meant to provide a brief overview of bioethics and venture capitalists of medical devices.

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“See You in Court”: How AT&T’s Acquisition of Time Warner Led to Litigation

By: Gabriela Mejias *| Staff Writer

By Dwayne Bent from United States (Time Warner Center  Uploaded by Niklem) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dwayne Bent from United States (Time Warner Center Uploaded by Niklem) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

On October of 2016, AT&T, Inc. and Time Warner Inc. announced that AT&T would acquire Time Warner in an $85.4 billion transaction. This acquisition was widely seen as the biggest of the year. Time Warner is a giant media and entertainment powerhouse that owns brands such as HBO, Turner Broadcasting (think CNN, TNT, TBS, and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim), and Warner Brothers. Given AT&T’s extensive network in mobile, broadband, and television distribution, this match could change the face of access to the internet, news, entertainment, streaming services, and more.

The deal was planned to go through by the end of 2017, however, reports indicated that the Justice Department had a few issues with the proposed deal. The Justice Department instructed AT&T to sell either DirectTV or Turner Broadcasting, saying that an acquisition including these companies would raise costs for other entertainment companies and stifle competition. AT&T chief executive responded to that instruction in the negative, stating, “If we feel that litigation is a better outcome then we will litigate.”

Antitrust litigation is most commonly triggered by instances of horizontal acquisition. In horizontal acquisition, a company is merging with another company in a similar market sector and at the same stage of production. Because this involves the combination of two likely competing companies, it is at risk for creating reduced competition and a monopoly for that industry. This is where Justice Department antitrust litigation steps in.

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Finally, Flying Cars!

By:  Maureen Gallagher *| Staff Writer

Anthony22 at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Anthony22 at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It is every driver’s dream – to soar out of gridlock of the highway to the open, uncluttered air. The possibilities seem endless when a car is unconstrained by winding roads and free to literally go straight to its destination. Uber wants to make this dream a reality with their potential new offering called UberAIR. As usual, Uber has big ideas and big promises. They imagine a world where “traveling from San Francisco’s Marina to work in downtown San Jose, a drive that would normally occupy the better part of two hours, would only take 15 minutes. Since time is money, if this promise is executed correctly, the benefit could ripple positively across the economy, reducing wasted travel time and increasing productivity.

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Russian Meddling Could Lead to Greater Privacy Concerns on Social Media

By: Whitney Hosey *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/social-networking-marketing-business-2187996/

On October 31, the Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee began a two-day inquiry into possible effects of Russian sponsored advertising via social media during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter were questioned to determine whether it was possible Russian paid adverts present on these sites impacted the election. Another major concern is how these platforms may have been misused in order to do so, and what steps the companies are taking to ensure their sites are not used in this manner again.

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