As Hollywood and record labels cheered Monday's Supreme Court decision in the MGM v. Grokster case, technology companies and consumer groups warned that the ruling will chill innovation and result in more gadget-killing lawsuits. In a unanimous ruling, the justices said that Grokster and StreamCast Networks -- the company behind the Morpheus network -- can be held liable for copyright infringement if they encourage customers to illegally share copyright movies and music. The Supreme Court returned the case to the district court where the two software companies will be tried for inducing infringement.
The nation's high court this week gave the latest hard knock to key rules in the highly regulated telecommunications industry. Now the question is whether the century-old competition scheme will topple completely, or settle back into a new structure. Proponents of "open access" suffered a major setback on Monday in the so-called Brand X case, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided (.pdf) that the cable industry doesn't have to let competitive ISPs onto its wires.
Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday released its newest version of the popular iTunes digital music management software, which now includes the ability to download alternative audio shows called podcasts. According to Apple's Web site, version 4.9 of iTunes, the companion service to the popular iPod music player, will allow users to "select subscription options and download you favorite podcasts automatically."
The Supreme Court's ruling against Grokster and other such file-sharing companies only chips away at the long, grueling process of media and entertainment companies learning to create and protect content value in a digital broadband world. The seeming winners in this case can still be losers.
In-game ad network Massive will start selling inventory in casual games through a deal with game and "advergame" developer Skyworks. The move marks a departure for Massive, which has so far concentrated on the retail gaming market and its audience of young, hardcore players, most of them men. The company's expansion into casual games means enabling advertisers to target a broader audience that includes children and older adults, including women.
Pop-up ads carried by spyware and adware aren't just employed by fringe companies hawking dubious wares -- such as those tricky messages that tell you your computer has been corrupted. You can count some big tech companies among its users, including broadband phone provider Vonage Holdings Corp., online employment agency Monster Worldwide Inc. and online travel agencies Expedia Inc., Priceline.com Inc. and Orbitz LLC.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a ruling that cable high-speed Internet lines must be opened to rival online service providers. By a 6-3 vote, the justices overturned a U.S. appeals court ruling that cable high-speed Internet service, known as broadband, has a telecommunications component and is subject to traditional telephone network access requirements.
A&E Networks has launched a tattoo culture Weblog to promote its new television show on that subject. Created by viral marketing agency ElectricArtists, it's the second lifestyle blog that firm has launched for a client in as many months. Inkedblog.com will highlight "stories, articles, information and content related to the show as we head into the series premiere," according to ElectricArtists founder Marc Schiller. Schiller, who made his comments in an online forum, was not immediately available for comment.
Many bloggers are turning to a new service called TagCloud that lets them cherry-pick articles in RSS feeds by key words -- or tags -- that appear in those feeds. The blogger selects the RSS feeds he or she wants to use, and also selects tags. When a reader clicks on a tag, a list of links to articles from the feeds containing the chosen keyword appears. The larger the tag appears onscreen, the more articles are listed.
Internet file-sharing services will be held responsible if they intend for their customers to use software primarily to swap songs and movies illegally, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rejecting warnings that the lawsuits will stunt growth of cool tech gadgets such as the next iPod.