We caught you up to date on all of the recent SOPA developments in yesterday’s post, but there’s more news today. A handful of websites including Wikipedia shutdown their services today in protest of SOPA. Others, like Google, took a milder approach in illustrating solidarity in opposition to SOPA. Google replaced the image of its name with a black box blocking out the image. It seems like the protests have been effective as SOPA is finally getting the national media attention it deserves, and many supporters have reversed position on the bills today including Senators (who supported SOPA’s sister bill in the Senate-PIPA) Rubio, Boozman, Hatch, Blunt, and Inhofe, and Representatives Quayle, and Holden. SOPA news was at a feverish pitch on Twitter today as “SOPA” was being tweeted over 1/4 of a million times per hour. Also one of the days Top Tweets (Top Tweets uses an algorythym to share the most shared Tweets) was “Under SOPA, you could get 5 years for uploading a Michael Jackson song. One year more than the doctor who killed him.” The tweet is probably technically inaccurate, but close enough to the truth to be scary (under SOPA the third infringement carries up to a 5 year sentence). We explained why iVLG opposes SOPA in a blog post last month.
Google Hires New Director, Pays Double
Google recently hired a new director, Diane Greene, for the first time in over six years. Greene founded VMware, a leader in cloud data management and virtual infrastructure. Google’s 8-K filed on the 11th of January, reveals that Greene will receive $1,000,000 in Google Stock Units. This is twice what Shirley Tilghman received when she signed on as director in the fall of 2005.
F.B.I. Makes Arrests in Dell Insider Trading Case
The F.B.I. recently charged seven people with insider trading of Dell stock. Allegedly, these seven individuals were part of an insider trading scheme that resulted in $62 million in illegal earnings. In addition to the seven facing charges, three individuals named in the complaint that are already cooperating with the F.B.I. The SEC is expected to announce its own civil action in connection with these charges in the coming days.
Obama Seeks to Overhaul Commerce Department
President Obama is seeking Congressional approval to consolidate the Small Business Administration and five other agencies in an attempt to create a new agency that would replace the current Commerce Department. The White House suggests that the move would save money and get rid of redundant governmental efforts.
State Laws & Lawyers’ Professional Responsibilities
Lawyers Bring Suit on Claiming Right of Nonlawyers to Own Law Firms
A plaintiff’s firm has filed suit against New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, claiming that the state laws prohibiting non-lawyers from owning law firms are unconstitutional. Many states and bar associations have rules prohibiting non-lawyers from practicing law, taking profits from others’ practice of law, and owning law firms. The lawsuit alleges that law firms are harmed by the restriction of capital sources, and that U.S. law firms are falling behind other international firms because of it. You can see the plaintiff’s brief here.
Shareholders Lawsuits and Federal Securities Law
Shareholders of Netflix Bring Federal Securities Claims
Netflix shareholders have filed a class action suit against the company for deceptive comments made by corporate executives. Specifically at issue are the short term contracts to stream content that were entered into with major production companies. Shareholders were not aware that the contracts were only for a short term, and would have to be renegotiated at increased rates. CEO Reed Hastings made over $43 million in selling Neflix shares during the time in question. You can read the entire complaint here.
Interesting Content Unrelated to Law
Here’s some of my favorite non-law related stories I came across this week:
“Death and Pivot: A Love Story”
I came across this Youtube video of a speech by Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow this week on Twitter. If you’re an entrepreneur, or anyone interested in business, you should really check this out:
It’s Snowing in Seattle
Weather updates are not exciting, I know. But Seattle’s shut down under 4 inches of snow right now. Residents from cities with harsh winters may scoff, but snow in Seattle is pretty cool. Here’s an idea of what people are like when in snows in Seattle:
Premier League Soccer (Arsenal!) to Premiere on U.S. Network TV
The first live broadcast of a Premier League game in the U.S. network television will occur this weekend when Arsenal face off with Manchester United. You should look out for a few Robin van Persie goals in what I’m predicting to be a 3-2 Arsenal victory as the Gunners seek revenge for their slaughter at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Fox is airing the match at 8 am Pacific, just a handful of hours before Fox will broadcast the NFC Championship Game where my Niners set to stamp their ticket to the Super Bowl.