News of the Week; March 25, 2020


  1. Comcast wins Supreme Court case over interpretation of civil rights law: Black-owned TV network alleged racism in Comcast decision not to carry channels.
  2. Comcast aggressively moves to work-from-home during pandemic
  3. Charter employees beg for work-from-home rights during pandemic
  4. Charter grudgingly lets up to 40% of call-center employees work from home
  5. Charter Spectrum Under Fire For Putting The Public At Risk During Coronavirus
  6. Should Zoom Be a Public Utility?: Online platforms like Zoom and Skype have become basic, public necessities as our lives are upended by the coronavirus. Should they be nationalized?
  7. How to get Verizon and AT&T data-cap fees waived during the pandemic
  8. AT&T CEO Nabbed Record $32 Million Compensation In 2019, Despite Rampant Bumbling, Layoffs
  9. Changes Affecting Telehealth Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  10. HHS Removes Enforcement Barriers for Telehealth during COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency
  11. The FCC Exempts COVID-19-Related Health Care “Robocalls” From TCPA Liability
  12. FCC Issues Guidance on TV News Sharing Agreements During the Pandemic
  13. Libraries Want To Become Broadband Havens During The Pandemic, But Want More Help From The FCC
  14. Essential Planning for Broadcasters Facing Coronavirus Restrictions on Access to Facilities and News Events
  15. SpaceX gets FCC license for 1 million satellite-broadband user terminals
  16. Broadband Considerations for Schools and Libraries Impacted by COVID-19


  1. Freedom Of (All) The Press?: Impact of “Shelter in Place” Orders on Media Companies
  2. Coronavirus could delay tech antitrust action: “I would expect all of the timetables that authorities have developed are going to be stretched out,” former FTC Chairman William Kovacic said.
  3. COVID-19: Product liability for “fake news”?
  4. ‘The US of Amazon’: how the coronavirus has created a governance vacuum the tech giant is quickly filling
  5. American Amazon warehouse worker gets COVID-19
  6. Employees at nine Amazon warehouses have contracted the coronavirus
  7. Some Amazon Prime deliveries may take a month as demand surges
  8. Amazon and eBay failing to stop Covid-19 profiteers, says Which?: Consumer group finds ‘consistent overpricing’ on hand sanitiser, thermometers and baby formula despite crackdown
  9. Smartphones Aren’t the Problem – Capitalism Is: All of the fretting about social media addiction and smartphones destroying our attention span misses the point. Capitalism and the profit-seeking of big tech is the real problem.
  10. Snapchat rolls out mental health feature early due to the coronavirus
  11. A Snapchat-owned location app just added a leaderboard comparing who stays home the most: Zenly is gamifying social distancing
  12. Instagram prototypes Snapchat-style disappearing text messages
  13. Instagram Unveils New ‘Co-Watching’ Feature To Promote Social Distancing
  14. Coronavirus, cybercrime and the parasitising of a pandemic
  15. DOJ Correctly Takes Down Fraudulent COVID-19 Website Selling Bogus ‘Vaccine Kits’
  16. How Facebook is preparing for a surge in depressed and anxious users: And why it’s Mark Zuckerberg’s biggest worry about the user base
  17. Facebook says coronavirus is pushing usage through the roof, but its business is hurting: Total messaging has increased by 50 percent and video calling has doubled in some markets
  18. Facebook’s new design turns your PC into an enormous phone
  19. Why Silicon Valley Loves Coronavirus: Coronavirus is the shock that Silicon Valley needed to complete its workplace revolution – with new technologies mediating our daily lives in ways that will be difficult to reverse.
  20. YouTube Reduces Default Streaming Quality Globally In Light Of Congestion Concerns
  21. YouTube is reducing its default video quality to standard definition for the next month: You can still watch videos in HD, but you have to manually choose that option
  22. YouTube Launches ‘Learn@Home’ Educational Hub For Kids Kept Home By COVID-19
  23. YouTube Lowers Playback Quality In EU, U.K. To Stave Off Potential Coronavirus Congestion
  24. Top 50 Most Viewed US YouTube Channels • Week Of 3/23/2020
  25. YouTube Music, Spotify, Amazon, More Donate To Recording Academy’s COVID-19 Fund For Music Professionals
  26. Netflix, Disney Throttle Video Streams In Europe To Handle COVID-19 Internet Strain
  27. Comcast, Disney Embrace Faster Home Video Release Windows In Wake Of COVID-19
  28. Netflix, YouTube cut video quality in Europe after pressure from EU official
  29. Netflix, YouTube slow down streaming in Europe
  30. Netflix Establishes $100 Million Fund To Support Cast, Crew On Productions Halted By COVID-19
  31. Netflix Streaming Traffic Hits All-Time Highs on AT&T Networks
  32. Here’s the Netflix account compromise Bugcrowd doesn’t want you to know about [Updated]
  33. ‘Oprah Talks COVID-19’ Is Apple TV+’s Lo-Fi, Long-Distance Look At Coronavirus
  34. Apple Helps China Censor Citizens By Pulling The Plug On A Keyboard App That Encrypted Text Messages
  35. Quibi Reveals ‘&Music’ Series Featuring Ariana Grande, J Balvin, Ozzy Osbourne, More
  36. WhatsApp Is at the Center of Coronavirus Response
  37. Twitter Gains 12 Million Users, But Will Take Q1 Operating Loss Due To Pandemic’s Effects On Ad Revenue
  38. Insights: How Online Creators Can Thrive, And Help Others Survive, In Our Plague Year
  39. Coronavirus Social Video Stats: Yes, It’s The Main Topic People Are Talking About
  40. 20-Person Creator Collective Launches Facebook Hub To Stave Off Coronavirus Isolation
  41. As Pandemic Worsens, Influencers Could Face 15-25% Decrease In Sponsored Post Pricing (Study)
  42. Pornhub Sees 12% Global Visitor Growth Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns, Free ‘Premium’ Offers
  43. Coronavirus Cancels VidCon 2020, Organizers Hoping To Reschedule For This Fall
  44. Twitch Hooks Up With SoundCloud To Help Musicians Monetize Livestreams Amid COVID-19 Concert Cancellations
  45. Tours Are Canceled, So Musicians Are Turning To Twitch: “I’m just trying to survive, and Twitch has the highest earning potential.”
  46. SoundCloud and Twitch just made it easier for musicians to monetize live streams: SoundCloud artists can apply for Twitch Affiliate status
  47. Musicians ask Spotify to triple payments to cover lost concert revenue: Bandcamp relaxes charges in light of Covid-19 but there is growing pressure on streaming services to compensate artists more fairly
  48. Yes, Global Spotify Chart Streams Are Down This Week. No, That Doesn’t Mean Coronavirus Is Hurting The Record Industry.
  49. ‘A worldwide hackathon’: Hospitals turn to crowdsourcing and 3D printing amid equipment shortages
  50. Spotify Resurrects FaZe Banks And KeemStar’s ‘Mom’s Basement’ YouTube Series In Podcast Form
  51. Spotify opens its podcast catalog to third-party apps, but not for streaming
  52. Spotify Is Testing A Feature That Recommends Music To Match The ‘Moment And Mood’ Of A Photo
  53. Spotify is revoking support for all third-party DJ apps
  54. Spotify to let artists link to donation pages from their Spotify profile page: The changes come as part of the company’s measures to help artists hit hard by COVID-19
  55. Maryland General Assembly Votes to Adopt Digital Advertising Gross Revenue Tax & Expand Sales Tax to Digital Products
  56. OneWeb says it will have to cut workers amid economic crisis
  57. Beyond the Digital Analogy in Constitutional Law (Spencer Livingstone)


  1. Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising?: From protecting privacy to saving the free press, it may be the single best way to fix the internet.
  2. Artificial intelligence, transparency, and public decision-making: Why explanations are key when trying to produce perceived legitimacy
  3. Artificial Intelligence: Can a machine be an inventor?
  4. Speech recognition algorithms may also have racial bias
  5. Artificial Intelligence Platforms – A New Research Agenda for Digital Platform Economy (Tomasz Mucha, Timo Seppala)
  6. Echo Chambers and Competition Law: Should Algorithmic Choices be Respected? (Eran Fish, Michael Gal)


  1. Awful, Awful People Keep Trying To Trademark COVID And Coronavirus
  2. The Utility of Recent Force Majeure Amendments to Canadian Trademark Law
  3. Federal Court of Appeal remands Remicade new use patent decision on anticipation and obviousness
  4. (Trade)mark America Great Again: Should Political Slogans Be Able to Receive Trademark Protection? (Katherine Kerrick)
  5. Newspaper Can Talk About “Derby Pies” Without Infringing Trademarks–Rupp v. Courier Journal (Eric Goldman)
  6. Supreme Court Decides North Carolina Is Immune from Filmmaker’s Copyright Suit
  7. Surprise: Judge Throws Out Jury’s Awful Copyright Infringement Decision Over Katy Perry Song
  8. Supreme Court rules states are immune from copyright law
  9. States Cannot be Sued for Copyright Infringement Says the Supreme Court
  10. SCOTUS Strikes Down Law Abrogating Sovereign Immunity to States for Copyright Infringement
  11. North Carolina Won’t Be Walking the Plank: Supreme Court Finds State is No Copyright Pirate in Blackbeard Ruling
  12. U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Sovereign Immunity Shields States From Copyright Suits
  13. Supreme Court Rules That States Cannot be Sued for Copyright Infringement, For Now…
  14. Brompton bike case unfolds as AG’s opinion indicates no copyright infringement
  15. A casual snapshot can make for a valuable copyright
  16. Responding to COVID-19 | Global intellectual property update
  17. COVID-19 and trademark-driven scams
  18. Judge Woods Finds Dating App Patent Doesn’t “Match Up” With Section 101
  19. Federal Circuit Adds “Method of Preparation” Claims to Bucket List of Claim Types that May Elude the Dreaded US 101 Invalidity Finding
  20. An Improved Step in a Diagnostic Method is Patentable Subject Matter
  21. Everyone’s Got A Pet Project: Patent Maximalist Says We Need Longer Patents To Incentivize Coronavirus Vaccines
  22. RIP to the Australian innovation patent
  23. ‘Upload filters’ and human rights: implementing Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market
  24. Double Blow To The EU’s Long-Delayed Unified Patent Court, But Supporters Unlikely To Give Up
  25. Former Google engineer pleads guilty to stealing confidential document


  1. Washington State Legislators Pass Bill Blocking Use Of Facial Recognition Tech Without A Warrant
  2. Governments Around The World Are Tracking Their Citizens’ Movements To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19
  3. As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets
  4. Privacy & Encryption Will Be More Important Than Ever In Wake Of Coronavirus
  5. The US Government Is Also Looking At Increasing Domestic Surveillance To Fight The Spread Of The Coronavirus
  6. VPN Review Site Creates Live Digital Rights Tracker To Compile Coronavirus-Related Surveillance Efforts
  7. Google v CNIL – an update on the right to be forgotten
  8. 9th Cir. Rejects Spokeo ‘Standing’ Objection to Nationwide Privacy Class Settlement
  9. New attack on home routers sends users to spoofed sites that push malware
  10. Israel uses mass cellphone surveillance to contend with coronavirus
  11. Trudeau leaves door open to using smartphone data to track Canadians’ compliance with pandemic rules: Cellphone companies are already sharing data with health authorities around the world
  12. Canada should ensure cellphone tracking to counter the spread of coronavirus does not become the new normal (Michael Geist)
  13. How Canada Should Ensure Cellphone Tracking to Counter the Spread of Coronavirus Does Not Become the New Normal (Michael Geist)
  14. Coronavirus is forcing a trade-off between privacy and public health: The crisis has governments and companies scrambling to decide when it’s appropriate to lift data privacy protections and AI ethics guidelines.
  15. Ring Continues To Insist Its Cameras Reduce Crime, But Crime Data Doesn’t Back Those Claims Up
  16. Privacy issues arise as governments track virus
  17. European Privacy Law and Global Markets for Data
  18. My Third Set of Comments to the CA DOJ on the CCPA Regulations (Eric Goldman)


  1. ‘A Whole Generation of Artists Might Be Wiped Out’: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev on Museums, Care and the Covid-19 Crisis
  2. Covid-19 leaves creative industry vulnerable: As the coronavirus pandemic shuts down all but essential services around the globe, live entertainers are scrambling to find ways to earn an income from home.
  3. COVID-19 is spawning a global press-freedom crackdown
  4. Twitter Suspended Cory Doctorow For Putting Trolls On A List Called ‘Colossal Assholes’
  5. Interview With Liz Mair, Whom Rep. Devin Nunes Is Suing For $400 Million Because She Was Mildly Mean To Him
  6. Houston Police Chief Says He’ll Prosecute People For False Statements About COVID-19 Response; Won’t Debate 1st Amendment
  7. Big Telecom’s Quest To Use The First Amendment To Scuttle Privacy Laws Won’t Go Well, Experts Predict
  8. Judge To Art Licensing Agency: No, Your Stupid Unicorn Is Not More Important Than COVID-19 Right Now, Shut Up
  9. The only little movie screen in the capital of Texas


  1. No Fun and Games: Blizzard Alleges Infringement by JoyFun Inc.
  2. High Fashion Invades Runeterra – Fascinating IP Issues in the Collaboration Between League of Legends and Louis Vuitton
  3. Nintendo presses Sony to remove Mario creations from Dreams: Sony confirms ongoing case-by-case purge of Nintendo IP from creation game
  4. Nintendo Gets ‘Dreams’ Mario Taken Down Because Of Course It Did
  5. Nintendo donates 9,500 face masks to US emergency services: Highly sought-after face masks will be distributed across the City of North Bend and surrounding area
  6. After Years Of Being Blamed For Everything, The World Turns To Video Games To Escape During Coronavirus Shut-In
  7. Game platforms respond to increased demand amid coronavirus quarantines [Updated]
  8. Record number of Steam users online during coronavirus outbreak: Steam sees record numbers of users in-game, and record concurrent users for third week running
  9. Game Discoverability: The Steam & Epic stores, circa early 2020
  10. F1 Is Cancelled, So Drivers Will Race Each Other In The Official Video Game
  11. Formula 1 officially goes virtual from this weekend: Endorsed races with real-life talent begin this Sunday
  12. Missing live sports? There’s a lot more esport racing this weekend
  13. Entire Spanish Soccer League, Including Barcelona And Real Madrid, Are Going To Play Each Other In FIFA [Update: Real Madrid Wins]
  14. Keywords Studios staff criticize pandemic response: Testers say company made QA staff show up while management worked from home, adopted lax sanitation processes
  15. UK retailer GAME keeping its Belong arenas open for now – Update: Retailer has now decided to close them until further notice
  16. UK games retail shifts online as government orders closure of all non-essential stores: CEX, GAME, Argos and more shut their High Street branches to prevent the spread of coronavirus
  17. Sony will ‘manage’ PSN download speeds in Europe to preserve internet access
  18. Sony to Slow PlayStation Downloads in Europe Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
  19. Sony throttles back game downloads in Europe: PlayStation maker says gameplay will be unaffected but players may see slower or delayed downloads to reduce strain on ISPs
  20. Sony and Microsoft are playing different card games | Opinion: Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen communications strategies tell us almost as much as the tech specs themselves
  21. GameStop rules itself ‘essential retail’ and therefore immune to lockdown closures
  22. GameStop pauses trade-in program for 9 days due to COVID-19 concerns
  23. GameStop shuts down regular operations amid coronavirus closures [Updated]
  24. GameStop bumps up Doom Eternal release to cut back on in-store crowds
  25. Retailers break Doom Eternal street date over COVID-19 fears: GameStop and other retailers are selling Bethesda’s game early to avoid overcrowding in-store
  26. Bethesda apparently broke its own Denuvo protection for Doom Eternal
  27. Finnish-Icelandic studio Mainframe nets $8.3 million to create cloud-native games
  28. Animal Crossing: New Horizons smashes sales records in the UK – It is the fastest-selling single Switch game ever
  29. Report: Animal Crossing: New Horizons sets new Switch launch sales record in Japan
  30. Animal Crossing: New Horizons breaks Switch sales records in Japan – Famitsu data reveals Nintendo’s latest has sold 1.88 million copies in just three days
  31. Why Nintendo’s new Animal Crossing features allow instant change in the real-time game
  32. Report: The Nintendo Switch has now outsold the Wii in Japan
  33. Nintendo shuts down U.S. repair centers due to COVID-19
  34. Top three unchanged in App Annie’s annual mobile publisher chart: Tencent, NetEase and Activision Blizzard lead a top ten with only two new entries
  35. Mobile versions of Call of Duty and PUBG driving game revenue at Tencent
  36. All US GameStop stores closed except for curbside pick-up: Retailer will pay US employees for lost hours for next two weeks; Canadian EB Games stores shut entirely
  37. GameStop reportedly shutting down all stores in California: Retailer had previous tried to remain open despite shelter in place order, saying it was “essential business”
  38. GameStop keeping stores open as government orders lockdowns: San Mateo county says GameStop is not an “essential business,” GameStop says it can have “positive impact”
  39. GameStop abruptly shuts down all stores in California
  40. GameStop closing U.S. storefronts to customers amid COVID-19 pandemic
  41. Google Play’s malicious app problem infects 1.7 million more devices
  42. Exclusive: Google mobile downloads suggest Stadia has sold 107,000 units in the last two months
  43. Stadia to offer dev kits, funding, and more through new Stadia Makers program
  44. Stadia launches Makers program to attract experienced indies: Google offers tech help, hardware, and funding to devs using Unity and including Stadia among launch-day platforms
  45. Unity debuts new cloud-based platform for simulating game playtests
  46. Unity offers up free game dev courses and tutorials during coronavirus pandemic
  47. Big Run Studios nets $1.4 million to create mobile titles for ‘underserved’ audiences
  48. Koei Tecmo found global success by focusing on its Japanese identity: CEO Hisashi Koinuma on being trusted with big IPs, making an asset of the firm’s Asian identity, and its goal of making a 5m-selling original IP
  49. Square Enix implements work-from-home policy due to COVID-19
  50. Call of Duty: Warzone passes 30 million players in ten days
  51. ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Review – Valve Delivers One of VR’s Best Games Yet
  52. Half-Life: Alyx review: The greatest VR adventure game yet—and then some
  53. ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Breaks Concurrent User Record for VR Game on Steam
  54. Mods that cut VR from Half-Life: Alyx will only show how vital its VR is, says Valve
  55. Don’t Miss: The making of Half-Life 2
  56. ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Tops ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Warzone’ with 300K Concurrent Twitch Viewers on Launch Day
  57. Half-Life: Alyx — Critical Consensus: Critics praise the frightening, tactile and brilliantly detailed return of Half-Life — but will it be 13 years until the next one?
  58. HP, Valve, and Microsoft team up for ‘next-gen’ PC VR headset
  59. Valve: “VR has been missing a big game that everyone can get excited about”
  60. Gabe Newell: “Competition in game stores is awesome…but ugly in the short term”: Valve CEO – “We get a lot more freaked out not by competition, but by people trying to preclude competition”
  61. How Amazon Web Services is powering some of the world’s biggest video games: Leading developers discuss how they’re using the company’s tech to solve their challenges
  62. MTG says COVID-19 could sink esports revenues by 45%: DreamHack and ESL parent warns investors about first-half financials, proposes post-pandemic stock buybacks
  63. Gfinity’s CEO and chairman step down ahead of 60% cost reduction plan: Esports firm secures new income through ad deal with Bidstack and Venatus
  64. What does a chain of esports restaurant arcades do in a pandemic?
  65. Twitch hands indefinite ban to “Kaceytron” for COVID-19 comments: Kacey “Kaceytron” Caviness joked about virus fatalities, will need to appeal ban to be reinstated
  66. Bohemia Interactive grossed $68m last yearz: DayZ and Arma 3 developer makes over 4.5 million software sales in 2019
  67. Blizzard and Paradox arrange care packages for remote-working staff during coronavirus lockdowns: Meanwhile, Sega added to growing list of games firms sending employees home to work
  68. Scopely increases series D round to $400m
  69. Mobile studio Scopely nets $200 million for more acquisitions 
  70. Robin Games raises $7m to create “lifestyle gaming”: New studio formed by former Jam City exec Jill Wilson, has primarily women-led team
  71. Eight principles for making a game influencer-friendly: ICO Partners’ David Ortiz Lapaz lays out ways developers and marketers can make games work for content creators
  72. Superdata – February digital game spending up 4%: Console revenues down 22% on weaker release slate, but “many titles” are seeing spikes due to pandemic shutdowns
  73. World’s Greatest Teacher Delivers VR Math Lesson In Half-Life: Alyx
  74. This Developer Turned His Apartment Into a VR Game
  75. Ukie launches industry-specific online wiki: Ukiepedia is free resource of games industry facts, insight, resources and links
  76. Untitled Goose Game, A Short Hike take home top prizes at GDC and IGF Awards
  77. GoldenEye 007, Guitar Hero among 2020 World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists
  78. Polish government running games development course for quarantined kids: Webinars, game jam and a building competition on Minecraft launched as part of digital education efforts
  79. Microsoft says it can still make Xbox Series X despite coronavirus concerns
  80. Minecraft gets free educational content to help enable distance learning
  81. Xbox curates free educational marketplace in Minecraft: Meanwhile, Outright Games partners with Digital Schoolhouse for computer science workshops
  82. Routing Around Damage: Censored Reporting Hosted In Custom-Built Minecraft ‘Library’
  83. Another port bites the dust: Xbox Series X drops S/PDIF audio
  84. DirectX 12 Ultimate brings Xbox Series X features to PC gaming
  85. TIGA calls for increased game tax credits due to COVID-19
  86. Playtika delivers food packages to vulnerable people amid pandemic: Mobile developer to distribute thousands of packages per week across Eastern Europe and Israel
  87. BBTV Pacts With Latin American YouTube Phenom Mariale On Mobile Puzzle Game
  88. CAA Signs Online Gaming Entrepreneurs Jesse Cox And Bruce Greene
  89. Blog: Building a historical game based on real-world struggles
  90. Blog: Rethinking progression in mobile puzzle games
  91. Blog: A guide to working remotely in games
  92. Blog: VR/AR – A renaissance art form
  93. Blog: How lore and storytelling can make puzzlers more replayable
  94. Blog: Why the world needs game developers right now
  95. Video: The benefits of Paradox’s long-term DLC model 
  96. Video: Storytelling lessons learned in 14 years at BioWare
  97. Video: Designing great UI that helps immerse players in your game
  98. Don’t Miss: The aggressive resource management of Doom Eternal4
  99. Don’t Miss: Where next for the video game power fantasy?
  100. Don’t Miss: Designing Grindstone’s super satisfying board-clearing gameplay
  101. Ninja and wife donate $150,000 to Feeding America amid coronavirus pandemic: Streamers encourage other influencers ask their followers to stay at home and observe social distancing
  102. Games industry rallies in fight against COVID-19: IMVU raises over $100,000 to send supplies to hospitals fighting COVID-19
  103. Razer will start manufacturing surgical masks to help fight COVID-19
  104. Plague Inc. dev Ndemic donates $250,000 to COVID-19 response funds
  105. The UK National Videogame Museum starts fundraiser after COVID-19 puts future at risk
  106. COVID-19 “threatens the very existence” of National Videogame Museum: British Games Insitute launches campaign to save nation’s only dedicated games museum
  107. Plague Inc. rolling out new mode where you fight to contain the outbreak
  108. ASCII art + permadeath: The history of roguelike games
  109. GDC 2020 talks are now available to watch for free on the GDC Vault!
  110. U.S. Patent no. 10,286,323: Dynamic difficulty adjustment
  111. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice named game of the year in 2020 SXSW Gaming Awards


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