Facing the threat of litigation, Facebook has joined MySpace in disabling Project Playlist's popular widget, which lets users search for tracks and create digital mixtapes.
There's been a lot of arguments for and against net neutrality, but a new report commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ratchets up the rhetoric by claiming that neutrality laws would, literally, endanger people's lives. "Consumers would be negatively impacted by efforts to restrict network management," the report states. "In the long-term, such policies could impair the effectiveness of lifesaving telemedicine and other applications that ride the network and require connections that are jitter-free."
The major record labels seem to have renewed their campaign to assert authority over where their music is streamed online.
Here's the good news. After instituting proceedings against more than 30,000 music fans since 2003, the RIAA has decided it will no longer file lawsuits against individual Web users. But here's the bad news. The RIAA is forging deals with Internet service providers to target alleged file-sharers without going to court.
On the heels of the departure of its four U.S. board members, controversial behavioral targeting company Phorm faces yet more upheaval. The company, which has consistently said it intends to enter the U.S. market, is now losing its U.K. chief executive, Hugo Drayton, as well as U.K. chief financial officer Lynne Millar.
In an attempt to quell some of its most adamant critics, Yahoo today said it would "anonymize" most data about users, including information tying their search histories to their IP addresses, after 90 days. In a conference call with reporters, Yahoo privacy head Anne Toth said the company hopes to bring "closure" to controversy surrounding the company's retention of data about users. If that's Yahoo's goal, the company will be disappointed. While some privacy advocates are cheering the company's decision, significant questions remain.
Digital rights group Public Knowledge is pressing the Federal Communications Commission to rule that telecoms can't discriminate when bestowing short codes for text messages any more than they can decide which phone calls to put through.
An article in today's Wall Street Journal accusing Google of betraying net neutrality principles has left many people scratching their heads. The article discusses Google's OpenEdge initiative, which the Journal described as placing Google services within Internet service providers' networks. Doing so would speed delivery of YouTube clips and other content.
Many people don't like digital rights management software, as Electronic Arts found out when it released a DRM-laden version of "Spore" earlier this year. Gamers not only trashed the company on Amazon but also filed at least three separate lawsuits against it.
Anyone who wants to visit the new secondhand music store Bopaboo.com had better do so quickly, because the site might not be around for long. Bopaboo, which bills itself as a legal marketplace for the resale of MP3s, recently launched in private beta. Realistically, however, it's hard to imagine that the RIAA will see the site as a plus -- or that courts will view the site and its users as anything other than copyright scofflaws.