John B.


Lawrence E. Laubscher, Jr.


Ian D. Titley

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John Farmer's Column  

John wears two hats – columnist and lawyer. He writes a monthly column, Leading-Edge Law, for the Richmond Times-Dispatch on breaking legal issues in the e-commerce, intellectual property and high-tech fields. He’s been writing columns since 1998.
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Will New Regulations Mean Real Privacy?

Monday, November 4th, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch November 4, 2002 Next April, massive regulations on the privacy of health information take effect. Will they really give you more privacy and, if so, at what cost? The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act will require health-care providers and health insurers to follow rules governing the use and Read the full article…

Instant Messaging Saves Time for Many Companies

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch September 23, 2002 What do the allied navy ships in Operation Enduring Freedom, e-Bay, and Merrill Lynch have in common? They all use enterprise instant messaging to stay in touch. Instant messaging (known as “IM”) is the Internet equivalent of passing notes in class. IM differs from e-mail because IM Read the full article…

38 Amendments May Be Recipe For Success

Monday, August 26th, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch August 26, 2002 Success rarely happens overnight, but with a little work, innovators can reap great rewards. Colonel Harland Sanders, for example, first served his chicken at a gas station he owned in Corbin, Ky. After 13 years of tweaking his chicken recipe numerous times, Colonel Sanders finally sold his Read the full article…

List of Safeguards Can Help Prevent You From Losing Web Domain Name

Monday, July 22nd, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch July 22, 2002 It’s easy to lose control of your Web domain name. Consider the Web portal Excite. In 1999, someone used an e-mail trick to change the administrative record for the domain name, which was maintained by a domain name registrar, Network Solutions (now part of VeriSign). They Read the full article…

Federal Law Lets ‘Vicarious Avenger’ Right the Wrongs of Misleading Ads

Monday, June 17th, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch June 17, 2002 Canadian humorist and political commentator Steven Leacock once observed that “Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.” Consider these examples: Tropicana once aired a commercial showing Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner squeezing juice from an orange Read the full article…

Firms in U.S. Navigating an IT Passage to India

Tuesday, May 21st, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch May 21, 2002 In May last year, The Economist magazine noted that General Electric (No. 6 in the Fortune 500) had more employees in India than in the United States. Information technology outsourcing has arrived. Outsourcing of IT functions to India by U.S. companies has mushroomed. India’s association of IT Read the full article…

What Will be the Legal Fate of the Napster Replacements?

Monday, April 22nd, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch April 22, 2002 The recording industry used powerful United States copyright laws to bury Napster. Now Napster’s successors are facilitating the swapping of more music than Napster achieved at its high point. Will the recording industry succeed in using the law to kill these offspring? The Death of Napster To Read the full article…

Anti-Copying Software for CDs Creates Backlash from Consumers, Congressman

Monday, March 25th, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch March 25, 2002 Charley Pride always has been a path breaker. In the 1960s he became country music’s first black star and now is the only black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Recently he became the first U.S. recording artist to release a music CD using anti-copying Read the full article…

Is the Business Software Alliance’s Bite as Fierce as its Advertised Bark?

Monday, February 25th, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (February 25, 2002) Should your company fear the Business Software Alliance and, if so, how much? The BSA is a coalition of the world’s largest software manufacturers, such as Microsoft and IBM. Its most visible purpose is to combat the illegal copying of its members’ software. The BSA’s mere existence Read the full article…

Does the U.S. Constitution Allow States to Have Laws Exiling Spam?

Monday, January 28th, 2002

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch January 28, 2002 The French playwright Moliere once wrote “Nearly all men die of their remedies and not of their illnesses.” In the realm of medicine, this phrase once was almost universally true. For example, our first president, George Washington, died in 1799, purportedly from a severe throat infection. Yet, Read the full article…