In 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America embarked on an expensive, ultimately futile campaign to end piracy by suing individuals who allegedly shared music files on peer-to-peer services. Now, an outfit called US Copyright Group is attempting to replicate the RIAA's ill-fated campaign.
In the last few years, newspapers have gone to court in a number of high-profile cases to protect the anonymity of online commenters. Some have even invoked state reporter shield laws, arguing that commenters, like sources, can help develop a story and, therefore, are entitled to confidentiality. But not all news organizations have tried to preserve the confidentiality of commenters.
For Google, the fallout from Buzz shows no signs of letting up. In the latest development, a group of lawmakers said today that they have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the Electronic Privacy Information Center's complaint alleging that Google violated users' privacy with Buzz's rollout.
Education expert Ryan Goble, who creates English language study guides, wanted to use Beatles lyrics but found the $3,000-plus licensing fee prohibitive. "Some rich and exciting songs will be out of our price and never written up as curriculum for a mass teacher audience," he complained. His remarks were included in an article, "The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy," by American University's Center for Social Media, which found its way into the Federal Communication Commission's new broadband plan.
The record labels convinced a jury to award damages of $1.92 million in a file-sharing case against Minnesota resident Jammie Thomas-Rasset and $675,000 in a similar lawsuit against Boston grad student Joel Tenenbaum. Both Thomas-Rasset and Tenenbaum are now arguing that such awards are unconstitutional.
For months, consumer advocacy groups have complained that the Federal Communications Commission's broadband plan wasn't going to go far enough to increase competition among Internet Service Providers. Now that the plan has been released, some reformers say this fear has been borne out.
Jurors are causing mistrials by conducting their own Web research, but it's apparently OK for judges to base their rulings on material they find online. In a ruling issued today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals said that judges can use search engines to help them render decisions.
Vacating one of the more outrageous judicial actions against Web publishers, a court in Louisiana this week reportedly overturned a restraining order directing the publisher of Hammond Action News to remove a parody from his Web site.
Review site Yelp is facing legal complaints from yet more unhappy business owners who allege that the Web company's sales force engaged in "extortion."