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Thursday News: Cloud based emails have no protection; 50 Shades sends...

“Some of these titles, which pick up on elements of the book, are clearly parasitical,” said Laurent Laffont, editorial director at Lattes, which trademarked the title at the request of the agent of author E.L. James.

Image via Big Stock Photo

“All your emails that are more than six months old are legally treated as online “storage” and accessible with a court order or a subpoena to the online service provider. The providers can say no, but usually they don’t. By contrast, listening in on someone’s phone calls requires a warrant based on probable cause, along with a showing that the FBI has done everything else in their power to acquire the information they’re seeking. Now that many people communicate more frequently via email and instant messages than via phone conversations, the difference in standards doesn’t make much sense. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has proposed a bill that would subject requests for online communications to the same high standards required for tapping phones, but Congress doesn’t seem all that interested in passing it yet.”

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. KT Grant
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 08:38:14

    I thought you can’t trademark a book title? Also James going after other 50 spin offs? *falls to floor in laughter*

  2. Alix
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 09:12:32

    *snort* James going after 50Shades-spin offs is even more ridiculous than Diana Gabaldon’s rants about fanfiction. It makes me almost wish that Stephanie Meyer would decide to sue her for copyrigh infringment or blatant plagiarism.

    Hm, how do you trademark a book-title? And what parts are tradmarked? The whole title? Or just the ’50 shades’ part? And do you tradmark only the English version or try to cover all langauges and possibilities?

  3. Liz Mc2
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 09:45:12

    I guess we must hope (?) that some senator gets caught in an ethical or sex scandal because of e-mails accessed in this way. Then maybe they’ll be inspired to do something.

  4. Deb
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 20:18:39

    Why more people aren’t up in arms over the potential for private commnunications to become public, I don’t know.

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