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Facebook Confirms Copyright Notice Meaningless

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Millions of Facebook users have recently seen friends posting status updates that contain what they believe is a copyright protection notice. Facebook has now informed users that the notice is a hoax, and there are no copyright protection powers that are bestowed on this particular notice.

The notice doing the rounds of Facebook has a number of different variations that inform the reader that all personal material posted on the website, like photographs, comics, paintings, and personal thoughts are copyright-protected, and that none of these can be used for commercial use without the consent of the poster.

One popular version goes like this:

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, writings, and expressions of all kinds, as my sole and exclusive intellectual property, as defined in the Berne Convention, and by US law, custom, and practice.. For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times and for all reasons, without exceptions.”

The message further goes on to state that any person can copy and paste this particular notice on their Facebook Wall, and that this will work as copyright protection.

You don't have to be a California intellectual property attorney to understand that there is little copyright protection afforded to a status update that is posted on Facebook. In other words, just because you post a message like this on your Facebook Wall does not guarantee any kind of copyright protection to your personal details and information, including your photographs and videos.

In any case when you use Facebook, you agree that you retain the copyright of any material published on the website, and that Facebook has the license to use this material.

US Foreclosure Process Slows down

Monday, November 26, 2012

American homes that are being placed in foreclosure are entering the foreclosure process at a rate that is much lower than just one year ago. According to the listing from RealtyTrac, between January and October 2012, there were 971,533 homes that entered the foreclosure process, an 8% drop from the same time last year.

The slow pace was also seen at the end of the foreclosure process. Banks repossessed a total of 559,063 homes through the end of October. That was a drop of 19% from the same period of time last year. Overall, lenders are expected to complete 650,000 foreclosures over the rest of this year, a drop from 800,000 foreclosures in 2011.

Salt Lake foreclosure lawyers believe that part of the reason for this drop is that there has been some improvement in the housing situation which is encouraging people to refinance on their home. In some parts of the country, housing prices have started looking up, and that has made it easier for homeowners whose properties are due for foreclosure to get a refinancing on their home. These people are now finding it easier to make their monthly payments.

In fact, these improved housing market conditions in many parts of the country are being credited for dragging people out of foreclosure, which can at least partly explain why foreclosure rates are dropping the way they are.

Besides, the overall economic condition of the country is beginning to recover. The national unemployment rate continues to hover at around 8%, which is not a great situation by any stretch of the imagination. However, the job market better than it was just a few months ago. That means that many people have been able to find jobs, and this has helped them avoid foreclosure.

Falls Can Increase Postsurgical Complications in Seniors

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall accident prevention is a major safety issue impacting seniors. A new study indicates that seniors, who have suffered a fall accident in the 6 months before they undergo surgery, could be at a much higher risk for serious post surgery complications.

The study looked at more than 200 patients of an average age of 74, who had undergone heart and colorectal surgery. The researchers found that 58% of the patients, who had undergone colorectal surgery and suffered a fall accident in the 6 months before the surgery, suffered more than one complication. However, among the patients who did not suffer a fall just before the surgery, only 27% suffered complications. When the researchers analyzed the patients who had undergone heart surgery, they found similar findings.

Further, 59% of the patients who had suffered a fall suffered serious disabilities and required institutional care after the operation.

Among the patients who had not suffered a fall, the rate of institutional care was just 4.2%.

This study indicates to Los Angeles personal injury lawyers the importance of fall accident prevention strategies, especially before and after an elderly patient is scheduled for surgery. Slip and fall accidents are especially devastating when they involve a senior citizen, because these patients are at much higher risk of long term complications that affect their recovery. Senior citizens are much more likely to suffer from a condition called osteoporosis, which leads to brittle and dry bones that are more susceptible to a fracture. Fractures involving senior citizens take a much longer time to heal.

MIT Researchers Identify Top 10 Technologies Preventing Senior-Related Accidents

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Senior motorists, who face driving challenges as they get older, benefit from a wide array of auto safety technologies that are now available in almost every new car model. A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology set out trying to identify the top 10 most beneficial auto safety technologies for senior drivers to avoid injury and accidents.

Their list includes:

  1. Blind spot warning systems
  2. Lane departure warning systems
  3. Emergency response systems to be activated in case of medical emergencies and accidents
  4. Driver fatigue alert systems
  5. Vehicle stability control systems
  6. Parking assist systems
  7. Voice-activated technology that can help seniors access tech without using hands
  8. Crash detection systems that help identify and avoid collision hazards
  9. Reverse monitoring systems that help seniors detect objects located at the back of the car
  10. Adjustable headlights that can adjust intensity and range depending on traffic conditions

The list was compiled based on an analysis of seniors above the age of 50. The researchers focused on this age group, because they believed that some driving-related faculties begin to diminish by the time a person reaches the age of 50. A senior’s driving skills may be impacted by deteriorating vision, especially at nighttime, and failing hearing. A senior’s responses may become slower, and this can be a potential accident hazard.

Studies have indicated to Alabama personal injury lawyers that many seniors know they are at an increased risk of accidents, because of their age. One study released earlier this year found that seniors are capable of regulating their own driving, and are likely to give up certain driving privileges, like driving at night, when they find that their driving skills are diminishing. Seniors are also much more likely to invest in luxury automobiles that are more expensive, because these cars are more likely to contain auto technologies.

Fewer Accidents Occur When Doctors Report Motorists Unfit to Drive

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

When doctors report that a patient is unfit to drive, and give him a warning against driving, it leads to a decline in the patient’s accident risk. According to a study conducted at the University of Toronto, doctors who deliver such warnings could actually be helping reduce accident risks involving these patients.

Car accident lawyers find that certain types of drivers like senior drivers are much more likely to receive warnings about their fitness to drive, when they start suffering from conditions like Alzheimer's, dementia and aging-related conditions.

The researchers analyzed data from the Canadian province of Ontario, where doctors are required to report patient who are medically unfit to drive. In 2006, doctors were given an additional incentive to report patients, when they were offered approximately $36 per patient for giving an unfit-to-drive warning.

Not surprisingly, the number of patients who were reported unfit to drive, exploded after this. As many as 30% of patients were declared unfit to drive.

The researchers found that the accident-related injury risk for drivers, which was about 4.76 injuries per 1000 drivers before the warning was given, dropped to 2.23 injuries for every 1,000 drivers after the warning was given.

However, these warnings were not without their consequences. The doctors also found that their relationship with the patient suffered when they gave the unfit-to-drive warning. In many cases, the patient simply stopped seeing the doctor, choosing another doctor after receiving the warning.

Moreover, while the accident and injury risks dropped dramatically, they were nowhere near the injury levels in the general population. Additionally, patients were much more likely to suffer from depression after receiving the warning.

Alabama Man Arrested for Forgery, Identity Theft

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Alabama resident, who allegedly forged documents in an attempt to get a driver's license, has been arrested for identity theft and forgery of documents. The 30-year-old man was arrested in the state of Tennessee earlier this month.

The man, a resident of Collinsville, Alabama, was arrested by the Tennessee Highway Patrol's Identity Crimes Unit. According to the officers, the man had arrived at the local Drivers License office, carrying with him a number of documents including his birth certificate and Social Security card, as well as a license application that had a name which was not his own.

The officers quickly found that the name that appeared in the application form had already been issued a driver’s license. The Alabama man also had with him a birth certificate with the same name that appeared on the application from.

He was booked into the local county jail, and will be brought to court on October 22.

Charges of identity theft often result because of simple mistakes that a person makes. However, Alabama criminal defense lawyers warn that the consequences of an identity theft conviction are very serious, because these are federal crimes.

Under federal law, there are serious repercussions for a person who is convicted of identity theft. Under the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, penalties for identity theft have increased. The Act defined a new type of crime called aggravated identity theft. Under this Act, someone who knowingly transfers some kind of means of identification to another person while committing a felony from a list that includes everything from fraud and embezzlement, to immigration-related offenses, can be charged with a crime. Being convicted for aggravated identity theft can add at least 2 years to a sentence.

Medical Device Recalls Touch Eight-Quarter High

Monday, September 17, 2012

Medical device recalls in the country touched their highest levels in eight quarters. In the last quarter of 2012, there were 123.5 million medical device units included in recalls. To understand how serious that spike is consider this - the last time the number of recalled units crossed 100 million was back in the 3rd quarter of 2010.

The increase in the number of recalled units did not necessarily mean that there were more number of recalls. In fact, there was a decline of 13% in the number of recalls in the 2nd quarter of 2012. Those recalls dropped to 242.

However, when California product liability lawyers compare the number of recalls to the number during the same period of time last year, there appears to be an increase of 4%.

Few of the recalls that were initiated in the last quarter of 2012 were serious recalls. Just about 7% of recalls were classified as class I recalls. These are some of the most serious recalls, and are initiated only in those cases where the products pose a serious injury or fatality hazard. Less than 1% of the recalled units in the second quarter of 2012 were classified as Class I Recalls.

The pharmaceutical drug industry initiated approximately 69 pharmaceutical drug recalls during the last quarter of 2012. That was not a very different picture from the first quarter. Overall, the pharmaceutical industry seems to have fared better, with the number of recalled units dropping in the 2nd quarter.

The number of pharmaceutical drugs that were recalled last year numbered 12 million, accounting for 80% of all pharmaceutical drug units included in recalls.

The data by ExpertRecall was based on an analysis by FDA press releases and enforcement reports, and also found that there was an increase over the previous quarter in the number of consumer product safety incidents that were reported. These incidents increased by 35% over the previous quarter.

Study Identifies Post-Operative Complications That Lead to Readmissions

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A hospital’s readmission rate is one of the primary factors that Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers examine while determining patient safety standards at the facility. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the biggest factor in hospital readmissions are postoperative complications.

The researchers analyzed hospital patient records of more than 1,442 general surgery patients. These patients had undergone surgery between 2009 and 2011. Approximately 11.3% of these patients were admitted back in the hospital within 30 days after they were discharged from the hospital.

For these patients, the researchers analyzed the factors that were associated with the readmission, like the kind of surgery that the patients underwent, the kind of postoperative complications that they suffered, patient demographics and other factors. The researchers found that specific surgical procedures, and the number of postoperative complications were major factors in the 30-day hospital readmission risk factor.

Of all the surgical procedures, gastrointestinal surgical procedures had a much higher chance of contributing to a hospital readmission within 30 days. These were higher 30-day readmission risks with colectomies, pancreatectomies and liver resections.

The researchers found that the higher the number of complications the person suffered, the higher the risk of readmission. Further, a patient who developed a complication in the hospital, had a much lower risk of returning back to the hospital after his discharge, compared to a patient who developed the complication after being discharged and going back home.

Even a single complication can increase hospital readmission risks. A patient who is suffering from a single complication has a higher risk of readmission, compared to a patient with no complications at all.

The highest-rates of readmission's involved those patients who suffered from at least 2 postoperative complications. Patients with one or more postoperative complications were found to have a readmission rate that was at least 4 times higher, compared to patients with no complications.

Proposed Lending Law for Dodd-Frank Act

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Last month the Federal Reserve Board published a press release detailing a proposed rule from six federal financial regulatory agencies related to the Truth in Lending Act enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The proposed rule would change how appraisals on high risk mortgages would be performed according to the Federal Reserve Board press release. The major items include the requirement of creditors to use a licensed or certified appraiser, who prepares a report that details the interior of the property after an inspection.

This proposed change adds to the overall affect of the Dodd-Frank Act. Compared to the height of the real estate frenzy, the number of lenders has likely decreased, leaving the more established lending companies to prosper in the current uptick in sales activity due to the low rates and increasing property values. In high growth areas such as the coastal areas of California, the recent increase in activity has led made things very busy for home purchase loans and refinances in San Diego. Having twenty five years of history and a stable infrastructure allows lenders to keep up with the law changes and provides consumers with peace of mind.

Federal Agency Proposes Fine against Boeing for Failure to Meet Deadline

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking strict action against Boeing for that company's failure to provide airlines with information on how to prevent fuel tank explosions. The company has been fined $13.5 million for the delay. If the Federal Aviation Administration does decide to go ahead with the fines, California plane crash attorneys believe that these would be the second-heaviest penalties proposed by the agency.

Fuel tank flammability was linked to a deadly tragedy involving a TWA flight that killed 230 people. In 1996, TWA flight 800 crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all on board. The cause of the crash was a tank explosion on the Boeing 747. The tank exploded just minutes after the plane had taken off from John F. Kennedy airport.

In 2008, the then, Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters announced new fuel tank safety regulations that aircraft manufacturers would have to meet. Those new regulations involved retrofitting of current planes with new tank systems that have lower flammability risks.

As part of the Federal Aviation Administration's regulations, aircraft manufacturers were required to develop instructions for the installation of the new fuel tank systems that would reduce the risk of fuel tank explosions and flammability. Manufacturers were ordered to provide guidelines to carriers about fuel tank service and design issues.

Federal agencies have found that Boeing has been tardy in complying with those regulations. All of the other manufacturers have met the federal deadline, but Boeing was found to be more than 300 days late in developing those instructions for its 747 fleet. The company was also found to be more than 400 days late in delivering these guidelines for its 757 fleet.

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