Legal

Legal issues, mostly with relevance to Free software

CompUSA fingered by feds over rebates

Filed under
Legal

EVER WONDER about those Big Box rebate offers on computer kit being too good to be true? Still waiting for your rebate cheque to arrive? The US government is starting to move against companies that aren't paying up on time. On Friday, March 11, the United States Federal Trade Commission (here) settled charges against CompUSA and the offices of peripherals manufacturer QPS. Inc for "allegedly failing to pay, in a timely manner, thousands of rebates for products sold under the CompUSA and QPS brands."

NCsoft secures partial victory in Marvel lawsuit

Filed under
Gaming
Legal

In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the federal judge presiding over the lawsuit Marvel Enterprises brought against game publisher NCsoft has severely limited the overall scope of the suit.

Amazon settles shareholder suit

Filed under
Legal

Amazon.com will pay $27.5 million to settle a class-action shareholder lawsuit that alleged the company made false or misleading statements about its financial health over a three-year period during which its stock fell to less than half its value.

Full Story.

Judge Sides with Apple in Lawsuit over Product Leaks

Filed under
Mac
Legal

A California court ruled Friday that an online journalist's ISP must reveal the identities of the reporter's confidential sources to attorneys from Apple Computer Inc., rejecting a request for an order to protect the confidentiality of the sources and other unpublished information.

What's particularly ominous for journalists of all stripes, be they print or online, freelance or associated with a media outlet, is how the court has overlooked the importance of protecting journalists' sources in such a relatively trivial matter as an Apple product launch, Cohn said.

M$ to Pay $60 million Settlement

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

Microsoft will pay Burst.com, a developer of software for streaming audio and video over the Internet, $60 million to settle a patent infringement and antitrust lawsuit, the world's largest software maker said on Friday.

What if patents applied to literature?

Filed under
Legal

I'd like to compare software with another field whose work is also principally protected by copyright - literature. Perhaps the comparison seems odd to you, but I assure you that software developers are just as involved with their programs as any author is with his next novel. The creative process is just as difficult, and the protection offered by copyright is just as strong. The law certainly sees no difference between an artful sonnet and a carefully crafted subroutine.

Music piracy unit raids ISP in BitTorrent assault

Filed under
Legal

Australia's music industry piracy investigations unit has raided an Internet service provider in Perth in what it says is the first Australian assault on the use of BitTorrent technology for copyright infringement.

eBay fraudster faces possible jail

Filed under
Legal

"A 17-year-old lad who admitted ripping off people by selling them non-existent goods via eBay could be jailed.

Judge Roderick Denyer told the teenager at a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday: "I take an extremely serious view of defrauding on the eBay and it clearly raises the possibility of a custodial sentence.""

Elite computer pirates plead guilty to bootlegging

Filed under
Legal

"Three top members of a global computer piracy network admitted Thursday that they shuttled millions of dollars in computer games, movies and software around the world through a coded system of Web sites and chat rooms."

"The men pleaded guilty in U.S. District court to federal copyright charges, becoming the first Americans convicted in what the Justice Department said was the largest-ever investigation of software piracy."

Atop chief accused of selling stolen AMD chips

Filed under
Hardware
Legal

"AMD has accused the chairman of Atop, a Taiwanese electronics firm, of masterminding the theft and re-sale of 60,000 dud chips earlier this year, according to police sources cited by local media."

Bumbling Bully

Filed under
Legal

"Maybe SCO Group should be called "the gang that couldn't sue straight.""

"SCO Group of Lindon, Utah, became high-tech's most hated company after suing IBM over the free Linux operating system. Now Linux lovers everywhere can celebrate: SCO is having problems."

State politicians proposing more game regulation

Filed under
Gaming
Legal

"Washington state bill would hold game companies responsible for "inspiring" real-life violence; Arkansas proposal literally keeps M-rated games out of kids' reach. Lawmakers across the country continue to propose legislation that would safeguard youths from the supposedly harmful effects of games that depict violence or that are rated "M" (for Mature content) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board."

Protection management, copy control

Filed under
Legal

"This week, in Dublin, the Digital Video Broadcasting Project held its annual meeting to discuss progress on its latest set of specifications for digital television. Much of its work has to do with technical details such as codecs and data formats, but a key section called Content Protection/Copy Management (CPCM) is about controlling how high-definition digital broadcasts may be recorded, copied, or redistributed.

Judge hits amazon.com with fine

Filed under
Legal

"A judge has fined Amazon.com $18,000 for violating her order in a lawsuit brought by Toys R Us charging the Internet merchant with flouting its exclusivity agreement with the nation's second-biggest toy retailer."

Court Overturns Eolas Browser Judgment Against Microsoft

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

"The U.S District Court of Appeals on Wednesday called for a new trial on a key aspect of the $520 million jury verdict that found that Microsoft had infringed on Web browser technology patents held by Eolas Technologies."

Hollywood Studios File New Round of Web Lawsuits

Filed under
Movies
Legal

"Hollywood's major movie studios filed a new round of lawsuits across the United States on Thursday against people who trade illegally copied films and TV shows on the Internet."

EU software patent law may halt Linux development

Filed under
Legal

"The European Commission (EC) on Monday rejected requests to rewrite the CIID which could seriously damage open source software development in Europe, according to a legal expert, Jeremy Mark Malcolm."

SCO and The Titanic

Filed under
Legal

Robin Bloor asks, "What's the difference between Edward John Smith, the Captain of the Titanic and Darl McBride, CEO and President of SCO.

Well, for one thing, Captain Smith didn't steer his doomed ship towards the iceberg, he hit it by accident."

Ebay Sued

Filed under
Legal

" EBay Inc. is being sued by a Pennsylvania man who charges that it illegally forces up prices when certain high bidders raise their maximum bid to guard against last-minute offers, an attorney for the plaintiffs said on Wednesday."

M$ Not Ready to Settle Yet

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

"Judge Legal, who is hearing Microsoft's appeal against a European Union antitrust decision, said in a Bloomberg interview that there is no sign in sight of a settlement."

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