Special Features

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Nicholas Godlove, Regulatory Overview of Virtual Currency,
 10 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 71 (2014)

"Whether due to their apparent ease in facilitating money laundering and procuring illegal substances without involving established financial institutions, or merely because they have received a lot of press lately, Bitcoins have increasingly come under scrutiny by the regulatory agencies of various state, federal and international governments.  In all statements so far, these regulatory bodies have been intentionally vague and speculative regarding how and when such enforcement would take place.  Several tremulous steps taken by committees on the nascent technology have been characterized by fundamental misconceptions as to the nature of virtual currency.  The questions that have been left unanswered include: Is there a purpose to be served in such regulation? And, how would such regulation be conducted? This article seeks to provide preliminary answers to those questions, and to posit a framework for considering virtual currency in a regulatory framework that will grow as the incipient technology develops."

Michael McTee, E-Sports: More Than Just a Fad, 10 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 70 (2014)

"The phenomenon known as e-sports is rapidly growing in popularity and gaining support as a legitimate sport.  E-sports has even recently earned a segment on HBO’s Real Sports, where it was shown that due to the required mental agility, training, and knowledge, League of Legends players might be considered as a form of athlete.   With this recognition, though, comes a need to see how e-sports will fit into current law.  As the United States recognizes players as professional athletes, even giving foreign players a specialized visa to come play in the country, this analysis will look at how the law might establish it as a sport and the players as athletes, how collegiate play might be affected if it were established, and what copyright issues might arise between the players and creators of the games."

Briana Novian, Pain in the Ash? EPA's Proposed Regulation of Fly Ash and the Impending Economic Threat to Sustainable Concrete, 9 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 66 (2013)

"At the outset, this comment reviews the current regulations in place to monitor coal combustion residuals and illustrates how they are both economically and environmentally beneficial. Next, this comment discusses how these benefits are placed in jeopardy due to the EPA’s impending proposed regulations. Finally, this comment advances possible categorical alternatives that ensure the regulatory purpose of the EPA will be carried out, without adversely affecting fly ash recycling efforts."

Charles Warren, When the Feds Have Taken the Field: Federal Field Preemption of Claims Against Manufacturers Whose Medical Devices Have Received Premarket Approval by the FDA, 9 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 65 (2013)

"Imagine a neurology patient who is a long term sufferer of Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s is caused by a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Its symptoms include stiffness in motion, droopy posture, and rhythmic muscle tremors that can make even the most mundane of tasks nearly impossible to perform without assistance. Now imagine that persons’ neurologist offering a solution to his chronic condition: a pair of tiny electrodes implanted in both hemispheres of the brain that would stimulate the brain tissue, resulting in diminished symptoms. The patient seizes the opportunity to reduce, or possibly even end, years of misery caused by his condition. After the surgery, the results are fantastic. The Parkinsonian tremors and other symptoms are not completely gone, but they are greatly improved. As it turns out, there's just one problem—and it's a big one. The instructions and warnings contained in the device packaging failed to warn that patients should avoid all procedures that involve any form of electrocautery or diathermy. Uninformed of this risk, the patient schedules a dental procedure which involving diathermy or electrocautery. Thereafter, the patient shows deterioration in the control of his symptoms, and, despite undergoing more surgeries to fix or replace the electrodes in his brain, he still continues to experience reduced control of his Parkinsonian symptoms. The patient sues the manufacturer of the electrodes in a state and common law strict products liability action, for failure to warn of the danger posed by diathermy or electrocautery. In addition to the reduction in control of his Parkinsons symptoms, the patient believes that the implanted electrodes caused damage to his surrounding brain tissue. Unfortunately, the patient finds that the federal regulations under which the device was certified as reasonably safe, do not require the manufacturer to provide further warnings about product safety. This result is true even where the manufacturer knows of a similar fact situation in which nearly the same damage was done to another patient. Since there was no duty to warn the patient under the federal statutes, the patient’s state and common law claims for failure to warn were preempted by federal law, leaving the brain damaged man with no legal recourse by which he could attempt to recover damages for the injuries he sustained from the device. This sad story has been repeated, again and again, with much the same disastrous results.

Kristian Bryant Rose, Of Principle and Prudence: Analyzing the F.B.I.’S Reluctance to Electronically Record Interrogations, 9 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 64 (2013)

"Currently, the F.B.I. maintains a policy that generally precludes electronically recording interrogations and interviews of suspects. Instead, the Bureau relies on '302 reports,' whereby an agent transcribes, by hand, what is said during an interview. This practice is not without exception, however. In certain circumstances, the Special Agent in Charge of a field office may exercise discretion to allow the recording of an interview. A discretionary allowance appears particularly likely where the partnering United States Attorney or applicable Federal District Court requires such recording. These discretionary exceptions notwithstanding, a growing body of academic literature suggests concern for the improvidence and due process implications of refusing to record custodial interrogations. Part II of this comment argues: (1) that due process under the United States Constitution does not require the electronic recording of custodial interrogations, (2) that video footage fails to achieve maximum evidentiary objectivity, and (3) that courts should leave to law enforcement the freedom to determine investigative best practices. Part III explores the prudence of adopting a policy of video recordation despite a lack of constitutional compulsion."

Matt Jones, EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. E.P.A.: Restraining the Federal Government’s Leadership Role in Stopping Interstate Air Pollution, 9 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 63 (2013)

"Rapid advancement in industrialization and urbanization demands unprecedented amounts of electricity use in modern day America. Although technological innovation has fueled the use of clean forms of energy, the vast majority of electricity is still generated from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. This combustion releases a multitude of pollutants into the environment. The source of air pollution is identifiable and measurable within the borders of each state. Air pollution itself, however, is indifferent to state boundaries. Air currents, wind, and air pressure systems drive pollutants generated in one state into the atmosphere of other, downwind states. Congress, mindful of this deleterious problem, enacted a provision within the Clean Air Act called the Good Neighbor Provision."

Ryan J. Reeves, The Dangers of E-Discovery and the New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 3 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 32 (2007)

As applied to software-related inventions, one of the most difficult and persistent issues in patent law is the appropriate scope of 35 U.S.C. § 101, which defines patentable subject matter. Specifically, the law remains unsettled as to whether claims to computer-readable media containing software (often called “Beauregard-type” or “floppy disk” claims) and claims to data signals embodied on carrier waves fall within the scope of § 101 as a general matter. Achieving final resolution of this question has important implications not only for patent law but for a wide swath of the information technology industry, as electronic distribution becomes an increasingly attractive means for dissemination of software. This paper explores the patentability of these Beauregard-type stored software claims under §§ 101 – 103 of the Patent Act through examination of several key Federal Circuit cases and policies of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

E. Parker Lowe, Emailer Beware:  The Fourth Amendment and Electronic Mail, 2 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 28 (2005)

Mr. Lowe analyzes the Fourth Amendment implications of electronic mail (email).  Mr. Lowe argues that the principle that the Fourth Amendment protects people and not mere places leads to the conclusion that there is some amount of Fourth Amendment protection applicable to the contents of private emails.

Alexandra R. Harrington, Courthouses, Bookshelves, and Portals:  The Implications of U.S. v. American Library Association on First Amendment Forum Analysis and Future Internet-Based Litigation Strategies, 2 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 27 (2005)

Alexandra R. Harrington is a 2005 Juris Doctor candidate at Albany Law School of Union University. In this note, Ms. Harrington discusses the arguments in the amici briefs filed in United States v. American Library Association, and analyzes the impact of these arguments on the majority and dissenting opinions in the case. From this analysis, she then draws conclusions as to what types of arguments will be most persuasive to the Court in future cases involving internet-related litigation.

Stacey Knapp, Balancing the Crucible: The Revolving Conflict Between Fair Use and Corporate Use in the Battle to Control Domain Names, 1 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 10 (2004)

Stacey Knapp obtained her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law located in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is currently working as a sole practitioner in Galena, Illinois. Below, Ms. Knapp explores the conflict concerning the control of domain names (i.e. trademarks) as well as the relationship between businesses and non-mark holder uses under the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) which has advantaged trademark holders to the detriment of fair use, especially in parody and protest uses.