Aereo Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Wake of Legal Battles

Aereo’s plan to upend the television industry with an online streaming service has come to an end. Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s chief executive, explained in a blog post Friday that legal and regulatory challenges have become too difficult for the Barry Diller-backed company. As a result, five months after the Supreme Court ruled that the startup had violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast TV via small antennas and retransmitting to subscribers, Aereo has filed for bankruptcy protection. Continue reading Aereo Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Wake of Legal Battles

Broadcom Bows Out of Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium

Broadcom has left the Open Interconnect Consortium, a standards group for the Internet of Things that was created by Intel as an alternative to Qualcomm’s AllSeen Alliance. Sources say the split had to do with a disagreement over intellectual property. OIC members are required to donate code to the group, and additionally must agree to forfeit the right to sue over that IP in the future. The AllSeen Alliance does not have such a provision, which is a primary difference between the two organizations. Continue reading Broadcom Bows Out of Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium

President Obama Names Two Googlers to Fill Key Tech Posts

The White House announced that it has hired Google exec Megan Smith to become the next U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. Smith replaces Todd Park, who is moving to Silicon Valley in a new position as recruiter of tech talent for the federal government. The White House also announced that Alexander Macgillivray, former counsel for Twitter and Google, will serve as a deputy CTO with a focus on Internet and intellectual property policies and the intersection of big data and privacy. Continue reading President Obama Names Two Googlers to Fill Key Tech Posts

Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

Steam competitor Good Old Games is introducing movies to its DRM-free digital distribution platform. Users can stream or download from the company’s collection of game- and tech-related documentaries. Good Old Games expects to add more movies on a weekly basis. The company believes that the reason many people pirate content is because it is the most user-friendly way to access video. By introducing movies on a DRM-free platform, the company hopes to increase availability and ease of use. Continue reading Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

Open Interconnect Consortium Plans to Develop IoT Standards

Last week, we reported that Microsoft was joining Qualcomm and 50 other members of the AllSeen Alliance, in an effort to develop open source standards for the Internet of Things. Yesterday, a group of tech companies led by Intel announced the formation of a competing organization. The Open Interconnect Consortium — which also includes Atmel, Broadcom, Dell and Samsung — similarly plans to develop standards for wirelessly connecting devices to each other and the Internet. Continue reading Open Interconnect Consortium Plans to Develop IoT Standards

Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

Following last month’s report by major Hollywood studios stating that 82 percent of infringing URLS that point to pirate sites and torrent files come from Google’s search engine, the Motion Picture Association of America has released a list of major worldwide torrenting sites, cyberblockers, and brick-and-mortar marketplaces. The MPAA is not creating this list to facilitate piracy, but rather to raise awareness in an effort to combat it. Continue reading Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

DOTS Technology Could Solve Hollywood Archiving Challenges

Digital Optical Tape System (DOTS) could be the answer to the film industry’s digital archiving problem. Group 47, a startup of several Hollywood technology veterans, is getting ready to build an engineering model, and hopes to have the technology available in the next 18 months. The company proposes DOTS as a robust, secure, inexpensive digital archiving format that could last more than 100 years. The plan is to further develop the technology and license it to manufacturers.  Continue reading DOTS Technology Could Solve Hollywood Archiving Challenges

Obama Administration Vetoes ITC Ban on iPhones and iPads

In a rare move this weekend, the Obama administration vetoed the International Trade Commission’s ban on the import and sale of certain Apple iPhones and iPads. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman cited concerns regarding patent holders gaining “undue leverage.” He also noted the potential harm to consumers and competition in the economy. The veto reverses a legal victory for rival Samsung, although Froman said the company can continue to enforce its patents through the courts. Continue reading Obama Administration Vetoes ITC Ban on iPhones and iPads

3D Printing Raises Complex Questions of DRM and Copyright

The popular designer Asher Nahmias recently removed his work from a well-known online store due to accusations that Stratasys, a 3D printer manufacturer, improperly used one of his designs. The incident highlights the confusion surrounding copyright and 3D printing, which involves more than just individuals stealing designs from corporations. But as 3D printing grows, intellectual property issues surrounding it will not be addressed overnight. Continue reading 3D Printing Raises Complex Questions of DRM and Copyright

Government Report Outlines New Plans for IP Enforcement

According to U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, the administration has outlined a number of action items for the coming year that include improvements to transparency in IP policymaking, international negotiations, law enforcement communication with IP stakeholders, and education regarding fair use. The annual report also examines technology such as mobile apps, 3D printing and IP-compliant software. Continue reading Government Report Outlines New Plans for IP Enforcement

Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute are working on a new ebook DRM system called SiDiM that would change individual words of a story in an effort to combat piracy. The system would swap out text to essentially create individualized copies of an ebook that could then be tracked by the original owner. A subsidiary of the German book publisher’s association, interested in possible alternatives to the traditional lock-down approach of DRM, has joined Fraunhofer in its testing. Continue reading Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Tech Companies Support Federal Move Against Patent Trolls

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney described President Obama’s newly proposed patent policy yesterday during the daily press briefing. The administration introduced a package of executive orders and recommended legislation that takes aim at patent trolls. Technology companies have expressed early support for measures that they hope will help curb the growing onslaught of lawsuits negatively affecting innovation. Continue reading Tech Companies Support Federal Move Against Patent Trolls

Search Engine Exposes Vulnerability of Connected Devices

Rather than crawl websites like a traditional search engine, Shodan navigates back channels tracking servers, webcams, printers, routers and other devices connected to the Internet. Each month, it gathers information on roughly 500 million connected devices and services. CNNMoney calls Shodan “the scariest search engine on the Internet.” As we move closer to the Internet of Things, it raises questions about how easy it may be to hack anything that is connected to the Internet. Continue reading Search Engine Exposes Vulnerability of Connected Devices

Court Copyright Ruling Continues in First Sale Tradition

The Sony Betamax videocassette recorder allowed consumers to record TV shows and view later, marking the first time content creators were significantly concerned about the pirating and/or redistribution of television. It was a major concern of Hollywood, since it posed a serious threat to revenue. After a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, the technology was allowed to survive, launching a series of decisions that still affect the market today. Continue reading Court Copyright Ruling Continues in First Sale Tradition

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