A company called Cellrderm has taken Microsoft to court over its Windows Phone “Really” advertisements, according to Adweek. Cellrderm, a gag company that creates commercials for a fake Cellrderm “cell abuse aid” product, argues that it owns the copyrights to the creative content used in Microsoft’s ads and that Microsoft copied its work in its “Bedroom” and “Bathroom” commercials. You’ve probably seen the ads on TV: in one, a man is too busy on his phone to pay attention to his wife in the bedroom. In another, an executive drops his phone in the urinal and reaches to pick it up. “The Microsoft commercials copy both the sequence of events and the character interplay found in the Cellrderm commercials,” the company wrote in the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. “The Microsoft commercials also copy other copyrightable expression, including but not limited to clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements from the Cellrderm Commercials.” Cellrderm is seeking damages and has asked the court to block Microsoft from airing the commercials. More →
AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have reached an agreement with music and movie publishers that will help enforce copyright infringement while giving the ISPs a chance to level with their customers. According to Ars Technica, copyright owners will continue to scour the dark corners of the net looking for anyone downloading and illegally sharing their content. If an IP is found to be downloading or sharing illegal content — likely via P2P networks — the music and movie companies will alert the ISP directly. ISP’s will then send a note to the offending customer, without passing off private information unless there is a court order to do so. Users may get up to four alerts from the ISP, but after that the ISP can choose to start implementing “temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter.” If a user believes he or she has been targeted without merit, an appeals process can be started for a $35 fee but, as Ars Technica notes, it’s unclear who will be the judge in that process. Read on for the full details on the six strikes. More →
According to a report filed by The Wall Street Journal, peer-to-peer networking site LimeWire and several major record labels may be working on an out-of-court settlement in a copyright infringement case from 2006. “Lawyers for several major record labels have held at least three settlement conferences with representatives of a file-sharing service that they sued for copyright infringement, according to a federal court docket entry, indicating that the two sides may reach an agreement on a financial penalty instead of waiting for a jury award,” reads the report. LimeWire was found guilty of allowing users to upload and share unlicensed, copyrighted materials over its network. Arista Records, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI Group are all named plaintiffs — LimeWire and its founder, Mark Gorton, are named as defendants. Representatives from the two camps did not respond to the WSJ’s request for comment. More →
If you thought the lawsuits between OEMs were over, you’d be mistaken. Huawei Technologoies has just filed a lawsuit against Motorola claiming that the company illegally transferred Huawei’s intellectual property to another company, Nokia Siemens Networks, in the acquisition of Motorola’s wireless network business. Huawei is claiming irreperable commercial damage as Motorola has not assured Huawei that proprietary confidential information won’t be transfered or disclosed. ”Since 2000, Huawei and Motorola have had a cooperative relationship in the radio access network and core network businesses, where Motorola has resold Huawei wireless network products to customers under the Motorola name,” Huawei notes in a statement. “During this period, Motorola was provided with products and confidential Huawei IP developed by Huawei’s team of more than 10,000 engineers. Since the July 2010 announcement by NSN of its purchase of Motorola’s wireless network business, Huawei has tried to ensure that Motorola does not transfer this confidential information to NSN. Motorola, however, has not responded with assurances that it will prevent disclosure of that information to NSN.” Hit the the jump for Huawei’s full statement to the press. More →
It’s starting to look like VLC’s days in the iOS app store are numbered. Videolan developer, Rémi Denis-Courmont, has confirmed that the company has sent Apple papers citing copyright infringement. The VLC media player is currently distributed under a General Public License (GPL), and this has come into direct conflict with Apple’s DRM-based app store distribution model. The conflict of licenses were known to both parties prior to the app’s publication, and Videolan is stressing they are not at fault, since the app was ported to the app store via a third party developer — Applidium. The popular multi-format video player made its debut on the iPhone only a week ago, and its future looks bleak. We highly recommend snagging your free copy before Apple possibly shuts the book on this case. More →
Back on the 13th of September, a mysterious post appeared on site pastebin.com; a post that contained number matrices reported to be the HDCP master keys. HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) is the encryption schema used by hardware manufacturers to encrypt data as it moves through an HDMI or DVI cable to your viewing medium. The encryption is meant to prevent signal eavesdropping by third-party devices that could be placed between, for example, your Blu-ray player and your HDTV, capturing the content in an unencrypted state. Yesterday, Intel — the company who created HDCP — confirmed that the published keys are in fact real. “We have tested this published material that was on the Web,” said Intel representative Tom Waldrop. “It does produce product keys… the net of that means that it is a circumvention of the code.” The nightmare scenario for those that rely on HDCP would be the creation of a third-party chip, with the master keys embedded, that could be used to decode Blu-ray DVDs and other protected materials. From there, said materials could be easily republished and shared, although… thanks to torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, they usually are anyway. No word on what, if anything, Intel plans to do. More →
After weeks of leaks and speculation, Canada’s reigning Conservative government outlined its plans to amend the ageing Copyright Act. According to the outline, anyone convicted of bypassing the DRM of a given media format — even if legally purchased — will be subject to a fine of up to $5,000. But if the circumvention of DRM is done for profit, then the fine is raised to $1 million. Convicted downloaders of copyrighted materials will face significantly weaker penalties with a fine of $5,000, down from the present day maximum of $20,000. Canadians will also be allowed to use copyrighted materials to create mashup videos for sites such as YouTube, and the law books will finally acknowledge that commonplace activities such as recording TV, radio and internet broadcasts are okay. The same applies for backing media for personal use or archival purposes, but so long as DRM is not tampered with. Cellphone unlocking was not mentioned, although Heritage Minister Tony Clement said that it is currently legal to unlock phones so long as that phone is not currently under contract from a carrier. In an editorial co-autored with Heritage Minister James Moore published in The National Post on Wednesday, Clement argued that “Canada’s Copyright Act is more than 80 years old and has not been significantly modified for many years” and needs a serious overhaul in order to protect the interests of Canadians and the rights of content creators. The legislation is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday. More →
If you didn’t already think the people behind the RIAA and MPAA were insane, we’re positive that your opinion on them will change as soon as your read what the two associations have proposed in a recent letter to the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. Here are but some of the changes the two have asked for:
- The installation of spyware on computers which would seek out and automatically delete illegally obtained media
- Censorship of the internet which would block the transfer of illegal files
- Giving border guards the authority to search one’s tech gear for illegal files
- The lobbying of foreign governments to follow suit
- Having the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security actively and swiftly enforcing copyright laws
Scary as hell, right?
[Via Boing Boing] More →
All you HTC Raphael fans out there who have been enjoying a pre-release version of Windows Mobile 6.5, it looks like the party may be over. Microsoft has put the pressure on XDA developers and they have withdrawn the links to the popular Windows 6.5 ROM crafted by Da_G. All download links, both in the original post and subsequent posts, have been removed. Thankfully, the forum has not been locked or shut down. These takedown notices however, may not be confined to just this single ROM as others who are mirroring similar ROMs have reported receiving takedown notices as well. We suppose it was only a matter of time before Microsoft put the brakes on the public porting of Windows Mobile 6.5 — at least we enjoyed it while it lasted.
[Via Fuze Mobility]
When Kevin Bermeister of Kazaa fame and Michael Speck, former head of Music Industry’s anti-piracy arm join together to form a new company called Brilliant Digital Entertainment, you know the outcome will not be good. The brainchild of this duo is an application called Copyrouter that will use deep packet inspection to detect illicit files shared on the Internet.The application has been promoted as “the tool” that will eradicate child pornography but its true intent is much more nefarious. If it can sniff out child porn which is great, but it can also sniff out pirated media like movies, music, and games. The application is brilliant in its execution. Any customer attempting to access a file deemed “illegal” by the application will be redirected to a legal version which they can purchase. The legal version of the file is provided by the ISP who will bill the customer and receive a cut of the proceeds. Nothing like dangling the carrot of easy revenue in front of the ISPs to give them incentive to run the application on their network. As expected, “there is keen interest from ISPs, law-enforcement agencies and film and music publishers in the United States and Europe.” One problem, though… Copyrouter is unable to handle BitTorrent traffic! Seriously. The same swarming technology that makes BitTorrent so efficient also makes it impossible for the Copyrouter application to examine and identify BitTorrent files as “illegal”. Let’s hope our revenue motivated and politically pressured ISPs, don’t foist this upon us anytime soon.
[Via DSL Reports]
Of course it was only a matter of time before Jobs sicked the hounds on the small and storied Florida company Psystar. Sure, you’ve read plenty about them and a select few of you may have even worked up the, err, moxie to order up one of their “Open Computers”. The idea behind the company is relatively simple: Sell cheap computers. What set Psystar apart, aside form the initial sketchiness, is the fact that they brazenly advertise the fact that they will ship your Open Computer complete with Apple’s OS X Leopard preinstalled. Sure it sounds cool, a well-equipped computer packing Leopard for as little as $555, but there’s one tiny problem… It’s probably against the law. Apple filed suit against Psystar on July 3rd of this year and alleged that Psystar violated its shrink wrap license policy. More importantly, Apple’s suit also alleged trademark and copyright infringement. Ouch. If Psystar’s game plan was to get while the gettin’ was good, make a quick buck and then high-tail it out of town, game on. If the small company plans to fight Apple on this however, we have a feeling a world of hurt is coming Psystar’s way.