"Tresspass to chattals" shot down in California

posted Jun 30, 2003

The Supreme Court of California handed down its ruling in in Intel v. Hamidi today, finding for Hamidi and setting a strong limit on the grown of trespass to chattels.

This is good news; "tresspass to chattals" was a bad legal doctrine because "tresspass" cannot be truthfully applied to computers, as they are not a physical location in the traditional sense. It opened the door to poorly-thought-out questions about what web servers and email servers we're allowed to access, even if they are publically available. While that may yet be an issue, the analogy to the physical world is extremely misleading.


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