SEC Declares That Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) May Be Securities; Finds DAO a Security

The SEC has opined that, depending on the facts and circumstances of each individual ICO, the virtual coins or tokens that are offered or sold may be securities. If they are securities, the offer and sale of these virtual coins or tokens in an ICO are subject to the federal securities laws. Continue Reading

Court Enjoins Milwaukee Over AR Location-based Game Ordinance

A U.S. District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing a Milwaukee county ordinance requiring a permit before implementing certain AR location-based games. As we previously reported, Candy Lab AR, makers of the augmented reality poker game Texas Rope ‘Em, sued Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, over an ordinance that states: “Permits shall be required before any company may introduce a location-based augmented reality game into the Parks…” Continue Reading

A Deeper Dive Into the FTC Crack-Down on Social Media Influencers: What You Should Know Before You Post

In our previous blog post, “Brands Beware!!! FTC Scrutinizing Influencer Posts for Compliance with Endorsement Guides,” we reported that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) had issued more than 90 letters to brands and influencers, making it clear that it is paying close attention to influencer-based marketing.  More recently, the letters have been made publicly available, providing valuable insight into the types of disclosures that the FTC considers unacceptable or inadequate. Continue Reading

DraftKings and FanDuel Call Off Merger Following FTC Intervention

On July 13, 2017, daily fantasy sports providers DraftKings and FanDuel announced their decision to call off their proposed merger. Last month, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the proposed merger until a decision can be reached regarding the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC’s complaint alleges that the merger would create a monopoly in the market for paid daily fantasy sports contests in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Set to Address Sports Betting

On June 27, 2017, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to a law that prohibits individual states from permitting gambling based on professional or amateur sports. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA)—the federal law being challenged—effectively outlaws sports betting nationwide minus exemptions for a few states, including Nevada. Continue Reading

New Hampshire Exempts Bitcoin from Money Transmitter Regulation

The pro-bitcoin legislation trend continues. This month New Hampshire passed legislation that exempts persons using virtual currency from registering as money transmitters. Specifically, the law amends existing RSA 399-G, which deals with licensing of money transmitters as follows. Continue Reading

Vermont Becomes Second State to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports in 2017

On Thursday, June 8th, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed into a law a bill that legalizes and regulates the operation of paid-entry fantasy sports contests within the state. Vermont is at least the eleventh state to pass a bill legalizing some form of fantasy sports and the second state to do so in 2017. Continue Reading

Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence and Joint Conduct

Over the past few years, sophisticated pricing algorithms and artificial intelligence have attracted the attention of antitrust and competition enforcers. These new technologies interpret and respond to market conditions with far more precision, agility, and consistency than their human counterparts. As a result, they may require practitioners to develop new ways of thinking about joint conduct such as price-fixing conspiracies. But to what extent do these innovations really alter traditional antitrust analysis under Section 1 of the Sherman Act? In a recent article published in Competition Policy International’s Antitrust Chronicle, we analyze existing legal doctrines and principles to see if they can offer antitrust and competition practitioners any guidance before we jump into this “brave new world.” Continue Reading

100 Million Reasons For Open Source Compliance

CoKinetic Systems Corporation filed suit against Panasonic Avionics Corporation, seeking damages in excess of $100 million, in part, for violation of the GPL v2 open source license. CoKinetic alleged that Panasonic blocked competitors from having the ability to develop software for Panasonic’s In-flight Entertainment (IFE) hardware by refusing to distribute the source code for its open-source Linux based operating system. CoKinetic alleged that this software controls the basic functions of Panasonic IFE hardware systems. According to CoKinetic, this is a willful violation of the GPL License, exposing Panasonic as a willful infringer of the copyrights of thousands of software developers that have contributed to Linux. The suit includes other very interesting legal claims, detailed below. Continue Reading

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