Hurt Locker producers file suit against 2,514 BitTorrent users

By on April 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM.

Hurt Locker producers file suit against 2,514 BitTorrent users

Voltage Pictures, the production studio behind the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker, has filed a new lawsuit in a federal court in Florida, according to TorrentFreak. The studio’s latest complaint targets at least 2,514 alleged BitTorrent users, whom Voltage Pictures claims pirated the film and cost the studio millions. The company last year filed a joint lawsuit against more than 30,000 alleged BitTorrent users who illegally downloaded the film. The case closed this past December, with Voltage Pictures collecting an undisclosed number of settlements. The studio’s latest suit looks to obtain a subpoena that will order ISPs to reveal the identities of the defendants. The alleged pirates will then be offered a settlement of about $3,000, the report claims. All of the defendants allegedly downloaded the film in 2010 and are Charter Communications subscribers. More →

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Samsung asserts eight more patents against Apple in California

By on April 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM.

Samsung asserts eight more patents against Apple in California

Despite Samsung and Apple’s chief executives scheduled settlement talks, the Korean manufacturer has asserted eight additional patents against the Cupertino-based company. Two of the patents are part of the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licenses (FRAND) because they are essential to ETSI standards, according to FOSS Patents. Five of the patents, including the two FRAND patents, were originally applied for and granted to Samsung, while three others were acquired from different owners. The two battling companies have been in a bitter patent war since last April that includes dozens of complaints across 10 countries. A trial regarding the eight new Samsung patents is scheduled for July in the United States. More →

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No-poaching antitrust case against Apple, Google and others will go to trial

By on April 19, 2012 at 7:45 PM.

No-poaching antitrust case against Apple, Google and others will go to trial

Apple, Google and five other technology companies must face an antitrust lawsuit for illegally agreeing to not poach each other’s employees. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, rejected the companies’ bid to dismiss claims brought under the Sherman Act and California state law, Reuters reported on Thursday. In addition to Apple and Google, Intel, Adobe, Pixar, Intuit and Lucasfilm are accused of entering into the illegal agreements. The proposed class action lawsuit was filed after five software engineers claimed the companies conspired to reduce employee pay by eliminating competition for skilled labor. More →

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Apple welcomes trial over eBook price-fixing allegations

By on April 19, 2012 at 5:55 PM.

Apple welcomes trial over eBook price-fixing allegations

Apple wants to go to trial to defend itself against allegations made the United States government surround a price-fixing scheme, Reuters reported on Wednesday.  “Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits,” Apple lawyer, Daniel Floyd, told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. “We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.” The Department of Justice last week accused the Cupertino-based company and five book publishers of conspiring to fix electronic book prices through Apple’s iBookstore. According to the DOJ’s case, Apple agreed in 2010 to allow some of the top book publishers to set their own prices. Since then, prices have risen and other online retailers such as Amazon have been under pressure from publishers to raise their discounted prices as well. The Justice Department claims Apple colluded with Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group and Macmillan to control prices. The the next hearing in the trial is scheduled for June 22nd. More →

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Apple to DOJ: We’re the good guys, not the bad guys

By on April 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM.

Apple to DOJ: We’re the good guys, not the bad guys

In a filing with the United States district court for southern New York, Apple claims the Department of Justice has its story all wrong. The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Apple and multiple book publishers earlier this week alleging that the group colluded to fix the prices of electronic books. In a recently released document filed with the court on Wednesday, Apple’s counsel addressed the charges by claiming the DOJ has its story backwards — Apple wasn’t working with publishers to fix eBook prices, it was breaking Amazon’s “monopolistic grip” on the eBook market and the publishing industry. Read on for more. More →

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Australian government considering lawsuit against Apple over eBook price-fixing

By on April 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM.

Australian government considering lawsuit against Apple over eBook price-fixing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has urged local retailers to voice their concerns about eBook price-fixing as it considers a lawsuit against Apple and five of the world’s largest book publishers, The Financial Review reported on Thursday. “The ACCC has previously stated that impediments to emerging competition involving online traders is an area of priority,” a spokesperson said. “Competition concerns may arise where traders seek to restrict the discounting of products by way of respective arrangements with suppliers. Retailers with concerns should raise them with the ACCC.” The United States Department of Justice on Wednesday filed a similar suit against Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group and Macmillan for allegedly conspiring to fix eBook prices. More →

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DOJ likely to lose eBook antitrust suit against Apple

By on April 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM.

DOJ likely to lose eBook antitrust suit against Apple

The United States Department of Justice is likely to lose its antitrust lawsuit targeting Apple and book publishers, according to a report from CNET. A number of legal experts agree that the case against the Cupertino-based company isn’t as strong as the one against publishers. The DOJ “has a far better case against the publishers than Apple,” said Dominick Armentano, professor and author of Antitrust and Monopoly. “If the CEOs of the various publishers got together in hotel rooms to discuss prices, they are sunk” and might as well settle, he said. Within the 36-page complaint, the Justice Department recounts how publishers met over breakfast in a London hotel and during dinners at a Manhattan restaurant to discuss price-fixing. Apple did not attend those meetings, however. More →

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U.S. government sues Apple over eBook price-fixing

By on April 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM.

U.S. government sues Apple over eBook price-fixing

The United States government has filed an antitrust suit against Apple, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin alleging that the companies conspired to fix electronic book prices. Reports surfaced more than a month ago suggesting that the Department of Justice had launched an investigation into whether or not Apple had colluded with publishers to raise the prices of eBooks sold through Apple’s iBookstore. According to Bloomberg, an antitrust suit was filed by the government on Wednesday in a New York district court. More →

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Federal appeals court revives Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube

By on April 5, 2012 at 9:45 PM.

Federal appeals court revives Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube

A federal appeals court on Thursday revived Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against Google’s YouTube video-sharing website, The Wall Street Journal reported. The media conglomerate had alleged that YouTube allowed users to post unauthorized Viacom content between 2005 and 2008. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to a lower court, instructing a district judge to determine whether YouTube had knowledge or awareness of infringing material and if it was unwilling to remove it. “We are pleased with the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals,” Viacom said in a statement. “The court delivered a definitive, common sense message—intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law.” Tensions between the two companies looked to be easing; just yesterday, Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures struck a deal with the Internet giant to allow more than 500 of its movies to be rented through YouTube and the Google Play marketplace. More →

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Facebook files patent countersuit against Yahoo

By on April 3, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Facebook files patent countersuit against Yahoo

Yahoo filed a massive patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook last month, claiming that Facebook’s News Feed, advertising methods, privacy settings and more infringed on its intellectual property. Facebook on Tuesday fired back at Yahoo with a countersuit, accusing the company of infringing upon 10 of its patents. Among its claims, the social networking giant says Yahoo’s Flickr photostream and its recent activity feature infringe a Facebook patent related to generating a personalized feed of stories on a social network. “While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation,” Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot said in a statement to Reuters. Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is in the process of its initial public offering that is expected to raise as much as $10 billion. More →

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Australian court finds Google guilty of misleading consumers

By on April 3, 2012 at 9:35 AM.

Australian court finds Google guilty of misleading consumers

An Australian court on Tuesday ruled that Google engaged in “misleading and deceptive” advertising practices, Reuters reported. The court said that between March 2006 and July 2007, Google published search results for queries related to Honda Australia with paid advertisements for Honda competitor CarSales. The advertisements led users to believes that CarSales was linked to Honda Australia. The search giant argued that it was not responsible for misleading search results since it was merely a conduit for advertisers. The court disagreed, however, and ordered Google to set up a compliance program that will ensure paid advertisements will not mislead consumers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission praised the ruling, saying that Google and other Internet search engines will now be held responsible for “deceptive paid search results.” More →

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U.K. court orders ISP to expose porn downloaders

By on March 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM.

U.K. court orders ISP to expose porn downloaders

Thousands of broadband subscribers in the United Kingdom who illegally downloaded pornography will soon have their identities exposed. The United Kingdom’s High Court has ordered O2, a large U.K.-based Internet service provider, to hand over personal details identifying more than 9,000 subscribers to Golden Eye International and Ben Dover Productions, two companies run by British porn actor and producer Lindsay Honey. The subscribers in question are found to have illegally download copies of copyrighted movies owned by the pornographer, and their identities will be turned over to the court so that Golden Eye International and Ben Dover Productions can seek damages. O2 reportedly fought in court to protect the identities of its subscribers, however the company confirmed that it would cooperate with the court’s ultimate decision. “Clearly we respect the court order and will therefore be co-operating fully,” an O2 spokesperson told AKAScope. More →

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Apple hit with second class action suit over poor Siri performance

By on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM.

Apple hit with second class action suit over poor Siri performance

A class action lawsuit was filed in New York against Apple earlier this month, alleging that the company’s “misleading and deceptive” iPhone 4S ads depicted Siri as responsive and helpful. The complainant, Frank Fazio, argues that Siri is unresponsive and it often fails to understand what is being asked of it. Earlier this week, another class action suit was filed in Los Angeles that makes similar allegations, Los Angeles Times reports. “Through its nationwide multimedia marketing campaign, Apple disseminates false and deceptive representations regarding the functionality of the Siri feature,” the suit claims. “For example, in many of Apple’s television commercials, consumers are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even to learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs. In its advertisements, Apple depicts these tasks as easily accomplished ‘just by asking’ Siri.” It continues, “Apple’s deceptive commercials diverge greatly from the actual functionality and operation of the Siri feature as experienced by Plaintiff and fellow consumers.” The suit seeks relief and damages for the complainant and everyone else in the country who purchased an iPhone 4S. More →

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