A former studio employee who uploaded The Revenant six days before its release was ordered to pay $1.1 million for criminal copyright infringement. The defendant, William Kyle Morarity, uploaded both The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie to the private torrent tracker Pass The Popcorn. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson ordered Morarity to pay restitution of $1.12 million to Twentieth Century Fox, and sentenced him to 8 months of house arrest and 24 months of probation.
AT&T is continuing its push against proposed broadband privacy rules that would subject carriers to more stringent standards than companies like Google and Facebook. “There always should be a level playing field,” Glenn Lurie, president and CEO of AT&T's Mobility and Consumer Operations business, said this week at an industry conference.
A federal appeals court has struck down a New Hampshire ban on ballot selfies, ruling that the law violated the First Amendment. "Digital photography, the internet, and social media are not unknown quantities — they have been ubiquitous for several election cycles, without being shown to have the effect of furthering vote buying or voter intimidation," a panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals wrote.
More than 99% of T-Mobile's customers don't turn off Binge On -- a service that exempts video streams offered by dozens of companies from users' data caps but also automatically downgrades all mobile video to standard-definition quality. The service has resulted in an overall drop of data on the network by 13-15%, according to company executive Neville Ray.
A privacy watchdog in Germany has ordered Facebook to stop drawing on data from users of the WhatsApp messaging service. "This order protects the data of about 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany," data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar reportedly said Tuesday. "It has to be their decision as to whether they want to connect their account with Facebook. Therefore, Facebook has to ask for their permission in advance."
A consumer has filed a potential class-action lawsuit alleging that Frontier Communications engages in false advertising. The consumer alleges in a complaint filed in federal court in California that she was told her bill would total $69 a month for phone and broadband service, but received an initial bill for more than $425.
A hacker has downloaded more than 2.2 million e-mail addresses and passwords from i-Dressup, a site aimed at teen girls. The site reportedly stored the passwords in plaintext. "I-Dressup bills itself as a secure site that goes out of its way to protect the privacy of its users, particularly those who are under the age of 13 years old," Ars Technica writes.
T-Mobile says it supports the FCC's proposal to replace set-top boxes with apps. The wireless company says the plan is a reasonable way to promote competition in video navigation devices.
AT&T is suing Nashville over a new ordinance that's expected to enable Google Fiber to roll out in the city. The ordinance allows third parties to move equipment on utility poles, which will then enable Google Fiber to attach to the poles. AT&T argues that the city doesn't have the right to authorize outside parties to move AT&T's equipment. The lawsuit will slow deployment while also "helping to fuel the perception that Google Fiber isn't making the kind of deployment progress it should be," according to DSLReports.
Verizon Chief Financial Officer reiterates that the company won't re-introduce unlimited data plans. "You cannot make money on an unlimited video world," he said at an investor conference Thursday.