A film critic has become the latest casualty of a content owner's overaggressive attempts to police YouTube. Blogger and essayist Kevin Lee used to have a YouTube channel where he posted his thoughts on movies along with brief clips. YouTube recently received a complaint about Lee's piece on "And God Created Woman," which included a clip from the movie. Because the company had received two prior complaints about Lee, it deemed him a recidivist and removed the 70 videos on his channel.
In a move that's being hailed as groundbreaking, a judge in Boston has decided to Webcast a hearing next week in one of the remaining file-sharing lawsuits brought by the record industry.
Last week, it came to light that a San Francisco chiropractor had sued a former patient over a bad review on Yelp. That was the first known instance of a Yelp user being sued for defamation, but not the last. This week, it emerged that a pediatric dentist in California, Yvonne Wong, has also sued over a negative Yelp write-up.
Faced with calls for new privacy laws, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has joined forces with other marketing groups to persuade the government to maintain a laissez-faire stance towards behavioral targeting. The American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers and the Direct Marketing Association have formed a coalition with the IAB to "to develop enhanced self-regulatory principles," the groups said today. The Better Business Bureau also will participate in the initiative.
There's been a lot of talk about how the Web has disrupted traditional media, especially newspapers that used to have monopolies in print. But, for all the business trauma suffered by newspapers, the Internet also has given writers the ability to publish articles that otherwise might have never seen the light of day. The latest example comes from Fairbault, Minnesota, where local high school students have taken their newspaper online in response to censorship by the school district, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Bad reviews online are nothing new. And neither is backlash to them. But in the past, disgruntled companies sometimes tried to sue the forum themselves, even though the federal Communications Decency Act gives Web sites immunity in libel cases when the comments are posted by users. Still, businesses can always sue users themselves, and some are starting to do so.
Two of the most popular music groups around, Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, have already demonstrated that offering music for free doesn't necessarily hurt sales. Expanding the concept, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor this week released high-quality video footage of live performances.
Model Liskula Cohen went to court this week to unmask the blogger behind the site Skanks in NYC because she feared the site was harming her reputation and ability to score endorsement deals. The blog itself is devoted to smearing Cohen. Its five posts attack her as a "skank," "old hag," and the like. Clearly, Cohen has cause to wish the site would vanish before any other potential clients view it. Unfortunately for her, filing a lawsuit is probably the worst strategy for accomplishing that.
In a long overdue move, all the major record labels have agreed to allow Apple to sell tracks without the much-maligned DRM software that limits consumers' ability to transfer music.
As Facebook traffic climbs to new heights, the site also is taking steps to keep control over its most valuable asset -- users' data. The company has taken its beef with aggregator Power.com into federal court, where Facebook has sued for a host of claims. Power.com allows users to access information from across social networking sites in one central location -- an ability that Facebook clearly thinks threatens its own hold on the information that users have uploaded to their profiles.