China's been getting a lot of attention for its actions surrounding the internet these days. First, there was the requirement (now postponed) that all new PCs come installed with a filtering software known as Green Dam.
Then China shut down Google's website and several of its web applications after accusing the company of facilitating access to pornography. (C'mon, China, you're just now figuring that out? That's downright embarrassing.)
Now, China has outlawed the use of virtual money to buy real items. For example, many stores allow the use of a popular virtual currency, called QQ Coins, to purchase real items or services that are outside the realm of the network that created the currency in the first place. Such policies now run afoul of the new law.
The United States Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Hollywood and network television channels in the Cablevision remote storage DVR case, which ends the litigation and clears the air regarding Cablevision's service. For now, at least.
The product that Cablevision offers to its customers allows them to perform normal DVR functions, like recording shows and pausing live TV, without pruchasing or renting an actual hardware device.
Instead, the content is recorded on Cablevision's servers while the user controls the actions of the DVR across the network. The user makes all the decisions about what and when to record, but the actual recording occurs on Cablevision's hard drive instead of a hard drive inside a device in the subscriber's home.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act contains two important components. The first, 47 USC 230(c)(1), is the famous section that immunizes interactive computer services from liability for content that third parties submit.
The other provision, 47 USC 230(c)(2), offers the services safe harbor for any decision to remove content they make. Thus, a website can't get into trouble if it decides to remove an offensive comment or explicit materials.
Click-fraud involves the manipulation of clicks on Internet advertisements. Most websites charge their advertisers for each click that their ads receive. In one form of click-fraud, fraudsters run up the number of clicks on a company's ads in order to drive up costs and exhaust the company's advertising budget. That opens up room for the ads from the fraudster's company, or a company that hired the fraudster, to show up on the site.
That's exactly what Microsoft alleges that three people did for insurance and World of Warcraft ads. The investigation went on for more than a year, and involved a game of cat and mouse where Microsoft would erect defenses against the manipulation, the alleged click-fraudsters would learn how to evade them, Microsoft would come up with new defenses and the process would repeat.
June is a fun month for Apple lovers. The company holds its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, thus June is when the company announces some of its sexiest, most high-profile new products.
This year did not disappoint.
The Cupertino-based company announced a new iPhone series, the iPhone 3G S. It also announced a new operating system that will add or upgrade many features for users of the existing iPhone OS.
If any of the current file-sharing cases make it to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor's potential vote would likely go for the music and movie industries, based on a decision she authored in 1998 while she was a district court judge in the Southern District of New York.
In the opinion, she endorsed the idea of high statutory damages as a means to deter future copyright infringement rather than a system based on the actual economic damages to the plaintiff resulting from the defendant's infringement.