In a predictable move, Hotfile and several motion picture studios reached a settlement only six days before heading to trial. With a settlement award of $80 million in favor of the motion picture studios, it's questionable how much Hotfile will actually be able to pay, reports Ars Technica.
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Imagine the world's most powerful library catalog. Not only can you search by title, author, or type of book, but you can search for actual text, such as books discussing the culture of rural West Virginia mountain people during the Revolutionary War.
Oh wait, we have that. It's called Google Books. You can run such a search, and you get snippets from such titles as "A History of Appalachia" or "West Virginia: A History." You can even read a paragraph or three to see if the book is a real snoozer. And if you want to read the entire thing, there are links for purchasing the book or finding it in a library.
Pretty brilliant, huh? So brilliant, in fact, that Google got sued by the Author's Guild, a group of copyright holders that claimed Google was trampling their rights. Today, Google prevailed.
I just created something incredibly useful. I want to share that with the world, and to allow the world to develop that idea into its full potential. Then again, I also want credit.
That's why we have the Creative Commons Attribution [CC BY] license. It allows me to protect my IP in the least restrictive way imaginable: anyone, anywhere, can use my creation for pretty much any purpose, so long as they provide attribution.
Great compromise, right? So why is AOL in a tizzy over startup People+ using their Creative Commons'd CrunchBase database?
Finally, some bipartisan legislation, with a decent chance of passing, that addresses the issue of abusive patent trolls. Congress cooperating? And doing something useful? (Can I get an amen?!?)
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, whose name oddly enough makes me crave Starbucks, introduced the blandly-named, but bipartisan supported, "Innovation Act," a bill that incorporates provisions from a number of prior attempts at patent reform litigation. (Tip to lawmakers: if you really want to attract attention, call it something like "The Patent Troll Extermination Act of 2013.")
For those not interested in perusing lengthy legislation, here are five things to know about the bill:
Google can't seem to stay out of the news. The Edward Snowden leaks have resulted in an avalanche of issues that are bringing in to question the tech giant's integrity and commitment to user privacy.
That, and then some.
If we were a record company, the last person we'd pick a fight with would be Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig. With four degrees from Ivy League Schools, clerkships with Judge Posner and Justice Scalia, and a noted copyright expert, he seems like the last person you would accuse of copyright infringement.
But that's precisely what Australian company Liberation Music did, reports The Boston Globe.
You'd think frat boys across America would have learned from the mistakes of the Winklevoss twins, but in the latest "you stole my idea" claim, the founders of Snapchat are duking it out in court to see who maintains an ownership interest.
Frank "Reggie" Brown IV, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy all attended Stanford University and were members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Brown and Spiegel brought Murphy on to help them build Snapchat, an app that would allow users to send messages and photos that would delete after a few seconds. Brown was cut out of the deal, and is now suing Spiegel and Murphy.
What went wrong, bro?
President Obama's administration put the kibosh on an order from the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) which effectively banned select Apple products from being imported to U.S. markets.
The Saturday veto came from U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the man tasked with presidential view of the USITC's ruling, who believed the ruling would "hurt the U.S. economy and its consumers" as well as encourage a strange result in a standard-essential patent case, reports CNET.
What does this mean for the future fights between Apple and other colossal tech corporations like Samsung?
Poor, poor Zynga. They've gone from making insanely-popular social games, such as FarmVille and Words With Friends (a Scrabble clone), to a massively-overhyped IPO, to the laughingstock of Silicon Valley. Today, Slate called them the "Linsay Lohan of Silicon Valley startups." We couldn't top that comparison if we tried.
Now, in the absence of any successes in the gaming front, and shortly after abandoning their idea to expand into online gambling, they seem to be distracting themselves with litigation. Today's target? Bang With Friends.
Apple's lawyers may want to make vacation plans now, because their docket just cleared.
In an expected ruling, especially in light of the judge's pretrial statements regarding the strength of Apple's case, Judge Denise Cote ruled against Apple earlier today. The government alleged that Apple conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices and force other retailers, such as Amazon and Google, to adopt an agency and commission model, where the publisher sets (typically higher) prices.
After Apple entered the market, and the publishers hiked prices in unison, consumers paid average increased prices of 18 percent across the board, reports Ars Technica.