• Warner Bros.' Botched Takedown Requests Boost SOPA Opponents
    Earlier this year, a coalition of entertainment companies including Warner Bros sued the cyberlocker service Hotfile for copyright infringement. Warner and the other Hollywood studios alleged that the company enabled users to upload and share pirated material. Two months ago Hotfile fired back with a claim that Warner Bros. violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by requesting the removal of files that it didn't actually own. Hotfile had created a tool that Warner Bros. could use to automatically remove content. But, Hotfile alleged, Warner used this tool to wrongly take down material. For instance, Hotfile arranged to remove a software …
  • Facebook Patent Application Raises Questions About Behavioral Targeting Plans
    When Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the "Charlie Rose" show this week, the Facebook CEO insisted that the social networking service was more transparent about privacy issues than Google, Yahoo or any other companies that ran big ad networks. That's because, according to Zuckerberg, those companies collect data behind the scenes, tracking users as they surf the Web in order to serve them ads. In fact, Facebook has often said that it doesn't track users as they surf the Web in order to serve them targeted ads. Turns out, however, that the company recently applied for a patent to do just …
  • Report: Facebook To Seek Users' Consent To Future Privacy Changes
    Facebook will agree to seek users' express consent before making any changes that significantly affect their privacy in order to settle a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission, The Wall Street Journal reports. The deal is still awaiting approval of all Commissioners, according to the Journal.
  • Leibowitz Praises DAA, But Wants Networks To Honor Do-Not-Track Headers
    Earlier this year, the ad network Chitika settled charges that it misled consumers by telling them they could opt out of behavioral targeting, but preserving that opt-out for just 10 days. That short time period violated an implied promise that an opt-out would last for a reasonable length of time, the Federal Trade Commission said. This week the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Review Council reported that four other companies -- Forbes Media Extension, Martini Media, PredictAd and Reedge -- were setting short opt-outs. Those companies -- which previously programmed opt-outs to expire in six months or less -- all …
  • Times Seeks Court Order Forcing HuffPo To Rename Parentlode
    The New York Times has followed through on its threat to sue AOL's Huffington Post for naming its new parenting blog Parentlode. The newspaper company argues that the name of the new HuffPo section -- authored by Lisa Belkin, the same writer who authored the Motherlode blog for the Times -- infringes trademark.
  • File-Sharing Defendant Presses Claim That Copyright Law Violates Constitution
    Boston grad student Joel Tenenbaum hasn't had the best luck fighting the record industry, but that's not stopping him from continuing to litigate. In the latest twist in the long-running case, Tenenbaum filed papers asking an appellate court to reconsider a decision issued against him in September.
  • Judge OKs False Impersonation Charge For Fake Facebook Profile
    After breaking up with her boyfriend, Dana Thornton, a 41-year-old New Jersey resident, allegedly created a fake profile of him on Facebook. The page included statements that the ex, police detective Michael Lasalandra, was "high all the time," visited prostitutes and was "a sick piece of scum with a gun." Unflattering, sure. But it seems extremely unlikely that anyone who stumbled across this profile could have believed that Lasalandra -- a police detective -- himself authored the posts. Nonetheless, the authorities charged Thornton with false impersonation -- defined in New Jersey as assuming a false identity in order to injure …
  • Open Internet Coalition Seeks To Intervene In Neutrality Case
    The umbrella group Open Internet Coalition is attempting to join the legal fray regarding the new neutrality regulations, which are slated to take effect in less than three weeks.
  • Federal Court Authorizes Seizure Of Righthaven's Assets
    When copyright enforcement outfit Righthaven first started suing bloggers for reposting news articles, the company demanded not only up to $150,000 in damages, but also the surrender of their domain names. In the 19 months since the company started suing, it filed cases against people like a source who reposted a story based on his own research, a woman in Massachusetts who blogged about cats, and a 20-year-old autistic man who also suffers from severe diabetes. But now, 275 lawsuits later, it's Righthaven that could end up surrendering its assets.
  • Copyright For Dummies? Book Publisher Sues Users For File-Sharing
    John Wiley & Sons, which publishes the "Dummies" guides, has sued 27 anonymous Web users for allegedly using BitTorrent to share titles. "By using BitTorrent software to download and distribute Wiley's copyrighted works, defendants have knowingly and purposely infringed, and induced others to infringe, Wiley's copyrighted works," the company alleges in papers filed in federal court in Manhattan.
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