• Google On Authors Suit: Don't Decide Fair Use With Class Action
    Google's long-running battle with the Authors Guild took another turn this week, when the search giant filed papers with a federal appeals court arguing that the authors group shouldn't be allowed to proceed with its copyright lawsuit over the book digitization project.
  • Appeals Court Considers File-Sharer's Case
    Attorneys for file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset seemingly won a major victory against the Recording Industry Association of America in 2008, when U.S. District Court Michael Davis ruled that merely making tracks available on a peer-to-peer network didn't infringe copyright. Instead, he ruled, the RIAA must prove that someone else downloaded the tracks that Thomas-Rasset uploaded. At the time, he vacated a jury's finding of liability and its decision that Thomas-Rasset should pay $220,000. He then ordered a new trial. Unfortunately for Thomas-Rasset, that victory proved pyrrhic. Subsequent proceedings resulted in an award of $1.5 million.The trial judge found the large award …
  • Watchdogs Cheer DOJ Probe Of Comcast Data Caps
    Comcast recently said it would allow Xfinity subscribers to stream shows to their Xboxes without counting that data toward the 250 GB monthly cap. Understandably, that news didn't sit well with Netflix, which argued that Comcast shouldn't give consumers a reason to watch its online video instead of offerings by competitors. Comcast subsequently said it was going to increase monthly data caps to 300GB while also testing a new pay-per-byte billing system that would allow users to purchase additional data. Comcast also said it would temporarily suspend data caps until it's ready to roll out new billing models. But that …
  • Upcoming Supreme Court Decision Could Boost Hulu In Privacy Lawsuit
    It might sound unlikely, but a pending Supreme Court case stemming from a real estate deal could knock out a large number of privacy lawsuits against Web companies -- including a pending case against online video provider Hulu.
  • Despite Pushback, Microsoft Still Plans Do-Not-Track By Default In IE10
    Around 10 days ago, Microsoft blindsided online ad companies with the announcement that it intends to turn on do-not-track by default in the Internet Explorer 10 browser. Industry groups quickly condemned the move, which would turn online behavioral advertising into an opt-in system for IE10 users. The umbrella group Digital Advertising Alliance said that ad networks might not be required to respect do-not-track headers that were activated by default, while the Association of National Advertisers publicly called on Microsoft to reverse course. Last Wednesday, members of the Internet standards group World Wide Web Consortium appeared …
  • Barnes & Noble: Ebook Settlement Threatens Competition
    The Justice Department's proposed settlement of an antitrust lawsuit about ebook pricing "threatens to destroy competition in this young thriving industry," Barnes & Noble argues in court papers filed today.
  • Web Standards Group Criticizes Microsoft's Do-Not-Track Move
    Microsoft's surprise move last week to break ranks with other Web companies by turning on do-not-track in Internet Explorer 10 is still causing considerable angst in the industry.
  • Consumer Seeks To Revive Lawsuit Against Spokeo
    Online data broker Spokeo found itself at the center of a controversy in 2010, when critics alleged that the company violates federal fair credit laws by selling information about consumers without giving them an opportunity to correct inaccuracies. The watchdog Center for Democracy & Technology filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission; Virginia resident Thomas Robins also brought a potential class-action lawsuit against the data broker for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Judge Rules 'Shoulder Surfing' Might Violate Privacy
    Like nearly 1 billion others, registered nurse and paramedic Deborah Ehling has a Facebook account. Unlike some of those other users, Ehling only allowed her friends to read her posts. She hadn't friended any of her supervisors, but that didn't stop her employer, Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., from allegedly accessing Ehling's posts, and then firing her based on one of them that supposedly "showed a disregard for patient safety."
  • Civil Rights Groups Back 'Occupy' Protester In Twitter Fight
    Civil liberties groups are backing protester Malcolm Harris in his effort to stop the government from obtaining information connected with his former Twitter account -- including his tweets over a 10-week period and the IP addresses connected with them.
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