8 notable GCs in the news

Tracking some of the most-significant quotes from general counsel in the mainstream media

 

"This settlement is another reminder that only paying customers enjoy full access to Dow Jones' highly valuable journalism, and anyone who free rides on our content will face serious financial repercussions."

--Mark Jackson, general counsel of Dow Jones & Co.

Swedish company Cision AB and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to settle a copyright infringement claim from Dow Jones. The New York-based publishing firm accused Cision of reproducing and distributing entire articles from publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and SmartMoney.

 

"This year, we've decided not to renew with ALEC, and it's because of positions they've taken not related to our business."

--Michelle Wilson, general counsel of Amazon.com Inc.

Amazon.com announced last month that it was ending its affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative political group. ALEC lost more than a dozen corporate members following a campaign mounted by the advocacy group Color of Change, which objected to the conservative organization’s reported support of voter ID and “stand your ground” laws.

 

"I was astonished and frustrated. This effectively said Mark [Hurd] need not come to work for a year-and-a-half."

--Dorian Daley, general counsel of Oracle Corp.

Oracle and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) are duking it out in court over claims that Oracle breached a contract when it halted development of its Itanium microprocessor, which HP uses in many products. HP alleges that the contract—signed when former HP CEO Mark Hurd jumped ship for Oracle—stipulated that the partnership between the two companies would continue unchanged, and that Hurd would stay out of Oracle’s hardware business for 15 months.

 

“It’s quite literally a new gold rush.”

--Fabricio Vayra, assistant general counsel for Time Warner Inc.

The recent introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs)—the end of website names—has unleashed a wave of cybersquatters, who buy X-rated versions of gTLDS, such as .xxx, .porn, .sex and .adult. These new gTLDs cause headaches for established businesses, which sometimes see their brand names associated with obscene websites.

 

“You’re going to end up having choice control from a server farm in Washington state.”

--Gene DeFelice, general counsel of Barnes & Noble, in reference to Amazon.com Inc.’s Seattle headquarters

Barnes & Noble objected to the Department of Justice’s proposed settlement of a price-fixing lawsuit with Apple Inc., arguing that it would give Amazon a near monopoly on e-books. The book retailer contends that the new “agency model” of pricing adopted by Apple and five publishers cut Amazon’s e-books market share from 90 percent to 60 percent, thus lowering prices for consumers.

 

"I think you've seen a lot of patent cases filed lately, and most of them have not resulted in successful outcomes for plaintiffs. That may send a message to those who might want to do these things in the future."

--Kent Walker, general counsel of Google

Google’s GC trumpeted his company’s courtroom win over Oracle Corp. Oracle sued Google for patent and copyright infringement in 2010, alleging that the search engine giant used Oracle’s Java programming language when developing its Android technology. A jury decided that Google had not infringed any patents, and that Oracle could seek only limited statutory damages for nine lines of copyrighted code.  

 

“With strong capital, business losses are borne by the firm’s shareholders, and not by depositors, customers or taxpayers, and the large and absolute dollar terms need not threaten the safety and soundness of the firm.”

--Scott Alvarez, GC for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been in the spotlight this month, following a reported $2 billion trading loss in the bank’s London offices. In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday, Alvarez and other federal regulators faced questions about possible failures in government oversight and risk management.

 

"There are [also] people who leak because the process of being courted by a reporter is so flattering. It so increases peoples' sense of self-importance that they will want to talk."

--Joel Brenner, former general counsel of the National Security Agency

Earlier this month, the White House assigned two federal prosecutors to investigate unauthorized disclosures of classified national security information. The leaks, which surfaced in several national publications, included revelations about U.S. cyberattacks on Iranian nuclear facilities, an American mole inside al Qaeda and a “kill list” that named targets of drone strikes.

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