SEC Disclosure Requirements and the 1998 Year 2000 Release: A Continuation of Policy
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 1
Jonathan M. Moulton
Joseph S. Rosen
The SEC's Statement of the Commission Regarding Disclosure of Year 2000 Issues specifies information that securities issuers must disclose regarding the Year 2000 bug. This Article addresses specific Year 2000 SEC disclosure requirements and analyzes the SEC's statement in light of current and future SEC policy. This Article also discusses recent cases and anticipated suits for the enforcement of Year 2000 disclosure requirements.
Defenses in Year 2000 Litigation: New Technology, Old Theories
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 2
David S. Godkin
Marc E. Betinsky
As the year 2000 approaches, the number of lawsuits filed concerning non-compliant Year 2000 software and hardware is increasing rapidly. Suits typically allege that the affected systems fail to process dates containing the year 2000 or later. The majority of cases filed to date typically assert contract and tort theories and various state consumer protection statute claims. This Article discusses specific contract- and tort-based defenses as well as general defenses that defendants can raise in these actions.
The Y2K Tsunami
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 3
The threat of the Y2K bug has resulted in grim predictions of global catastrophe. This Column predicts that any problems that might appear with the passage into the year 2000 are far from disastrous. However, the minor interruptions that are likely to occur will give rise to a massive deluge of litigation, with the potential to dwarf even the asbestos and pollution litigation of the 1970s and 1980s. The author calculates that litigation costs for S&P 500 Companies will reach $75 billion. This Column points out potential sources of Y2K liability as well as prophylactic measures for corporate officers and directors.
Legal Aspects of Internet Securities Transactions
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 4
Investors now buy and sell securities across national borders through electronic trading. This Article explores the possible ways of conducting securities transactions on the Internet, with particular emphasis on the U.S. and Brazilian securities markets, and the adequacy of existing securities laws for regulating on-line trading in these countries. This Article evaluates different jurisdictional approaches and the possible use of common securities laws to narrow the gap between emerging markets and developed ones.
Marginalizing Individual Privacy on the Net
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 5
Deborah M. McTigue
An individual's email communications or Internet transactions may not be private; others may be able to access these types of information. Although federal statutes, contractual agreements, and common law remedies offer some protections against privacy invasions, these mechanisms may not be effective in multi-user environments. This Article highlights various situations that reveal an increasing trend toward marginalization of individual privacy on the Internet. The author addresses issues including the online privacy of commercial systems, employee expectations of email privacy on employer systems, and attorney-client privilege for electronic communications.
Crossing Virtual Lines: Trespass on the Internet
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 6
Daniel J. Caffarelli
Electronic and Internet databases receive limited, "thin" copyright protection. This Note briefly discusses the shortcomings of copyright, conversion, misappropriation, and contract law as a source of protection against undesired uses of World Wide Web ("Web") sites and electronic databases. This Note summarizes various theoretical underpinnings for the recognition of private property rights in Web sites and concludes that Web site are an appropriate subject for common law actions in trespass to chattels.
Protecting Internet Trade Dress: What to Do About Product Configurations?
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 7
Various circuit courts' interpretations of trade dress law, if applied to Internet "storefronts" and products without consideration of the Internet's unique characteristics, may make trade dress protection in cyberspace difficult or impossible to obtain. This Note discusses the problematic application of trade dress law to Internet sites and suggests a possible solution that accounts for the Internet's inherent features as well as the general policies underlying trade dress law.
Encouraging Community Development in Cyberspace: Applying the Community Reinvestment Act to Internet Banks
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 8
The Community Reinvestment Act ("CRA") imposes affirmative obligations on banks to meet the credit needs of the local communities that charter them. As technology develops and allows for Internet banking, however, banks will lose their local ties, undermining the CRA's rationale. This Note discusses various options that regulators should consider when deciding how Internet banks should reinvest in their "communities" and suggests that the new CRA should define an Internet bank's community as national in scope.
Building A Mystery: Repair, Reconstruction, Implied Licenses, and Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Repeat-O-Type Stencil Manufacturing Corp.
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 9
Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Repeat-O-Type Stencil Manufacturing Corp., a case recently decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, demonstrates purchasers' continued confusion over permissible and infringing uses of patented products. This Note analyzes the court's opinion and contests the decision. This Note concludes that the purchase, modification, and resale of a patented product under a single use implied license constitutes an impermissible reconstruction.
SPAM - It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore: Federal legislation and the Fight to Free the Internet from Unsolicited Commercial E-mail
5 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 10
Gary S. Moorefield
A multitude of legal issues surrounds the Internet. One of the major recent concerns is the use of "SPAM," or Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail ("UCE"). The electronic equivalent of junk mail, any individual with an e-mail account is likely to receive large quantities of UCE. This Note analyzes prior governmental regulation of traditional forms of junk mail, prior civil actions taken to prevent UCE, and prior state and federal efforts to combat the UCE problem. The author proposes a system of federal legislation based on past efforts to effectively remedy the threat of UCE.