Controversial TV Streamer Aereo Announces Boston Launch

Streaming TV startup Aereo, which currently delivers over-the-air broadcast television to Internet-connected devices via its antenna/DVR technology in the New York City area, announced that it plans to launch in the Boston metropolitan area on May 15. Despite legal battles with broadcasters regarding copyright infringement, Aereo raised $38 million earlier this year from investors including Barry Diller as part of a plan to expand into 22 U.S. markets. Continue reading Controversial TV Streamer Aereo Announces Boston Launch

E-Commerce: Internet Sales Tax Proposal Moves Forward

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act — legislation designed to help states force online retailers to collect sales taxes — made it past its first procedural obstacle Monday evening when the Senate voted 74-20 to consider the proposal for debate and amendment. Some anti-tax activists have described the bill as a tax grab, potential bureaucratic nightmare and infringement on states’ rights, while others view it as a necessary step to save brick-and-mortar retailers. Continue reading E-Commerce: Internet Sales Tax Proposal Moves Forward

CISPA: House of Representatives Passes Controversial Bill

In a 288 to 127 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA), which encourages businesses to share cyberthreat information with the government. Privacy advocates have been fighting passage of the act, concerned that it allows agencies to conduct warrantless searches of data collected from e-mail and Internet providers. The bill overrides current privacy and wiretap laws. Continue reading CISPA: House of Representatives Passes Controversial Bill

Federal Court Sides with Google in YouTube Copyright Case

A federal judge in New York has ruled in favor of Google’s YouTube in the ongoing $1 billion copyright infringement suit initiated by Viacom. The judge ruled that the video website did not violate copyright, despite its users posting unauthorized video clips from some of the TV giant’s top shows. Viacom first filed the suit in 2007, and the case has been closely watched by those concerned with content distribution and digital disruption. Continue reading Federal Court Sides with Google in YouTube Copyright Case

Broadcasters File Appeal in Response to Aereo Decision

In an appeal that potentially raises the stakes regarding the future of television, broadcasters including Fox, PBS and Univision are asking a New York appeals court to reconsider its decision that allows Barry Diller-backed startup Aereo to retransmit over-the-air TV broadcasts to mobile devices. Earlier this month, we reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York had upheld a ruling in favor of Aereo. Continue reading Broadcasters File Appeal in Response to Aereo Decision

COPPA Changes Could Affect Mobile Game Development

The Federal Trade Commission has made changes to the COPPA laws in regards to the definition of a “children’s app.” Changes to the online privacy rules will go into effect July 1, with an emphasis on data collection practices, which could mean that requesting information or images from mobile devices could be viewed as a violation. Several developers are scaling back on game production in order to avoid being penalized by the FTC. Continue reading COPPA Changes Could Affect Mobile Game Development

NAB 2013: Fox Could Turn to Pay TV if Aereo Ruled Legal

Aereo is really stirring the broadcast cable pot these days. In a radical announcement made during NAB in Las Vegas, News Corp. President Chase Carey said the company would consider converting its Fox broadcast network into a pay TV channel in response to the Aereo legal dispute. Broadcasters have taken Aereo to court over its service that basically enables users to rent small antennas to record free-to-air channels. Continue reading NAB 2013: Fox Could Turn to Pay TV if Aereo Ruled Legal

Aereo Future Could be Threatened by Copycat Aereokiller

Broadcasters have been facing legal obstacles in their attempts to have TV startup Aereo shut down. Interestingly, there might be new hope for them in a legal case involving an aptly named company called Aereokiller LLC, which is a copycat company claiming to using similar technology to Aereo, streaming broadcast networks over the Web and possibly threatening Aereo’s future. Continue reading Aereo Future Could be Threatened by Copycat Aereokiller

Proposed Bill Gives Consumers Access to Personal Data Info

California Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) has introduced AB 1291, an update to California law that intends to broaden the definition of personal data and make information more accessible to consumers. The “Right to Know Act” would force businesses to inform customers what data is being used and where it is being shared on the Web. The bill comes after increased lobbying efforts from privacy groups. Continue reading Proposed Bill Gives Consumers Access to Personal Data Info

Changes Necessary for the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

The latest draft of proposed changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could technically make it so anyone under age 18 caught browsing the news online could face jail time. According to the changes, any violation of a site’s Terms of Service would be considered a criminal act, thus any person under an age restriction would be committing a crime. These changes are on a fast track to Congress, to appear in time for its “cyber week” in mid April. Continue reading Changes Necessary for the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

ReDigi: Judge Rules Reselling of Digital Goods not Legal

ReDigi, the online platform that allows consumers to buy and sell used MP3 files that were initially purchased legally through retailers such as iTunes, has been deemed unlawful by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan. The case considered the first sale copyright doctrine, which gives people in possession of copyrighted materials the right to resell them. But the judge ruled that this first sale theory does not apply to the reselling of digital goods. Continue reading ReDigi: Judge Rules Reselling of Digital Goods not Legal

Aereo Wins Again: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling

Aereo, the Internet service startup backed by Barry Diller that streams TV stations without compensation, has won another battle with broadcasters. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York yesterday upheld a ruling in favor of Aereo, which could set the stage for a full-blown trial. Broadcasters sued the startup last year claiming the service violates copyright law, but a district court judge denied the request for a preliminary injunction. Monday’s 2-1 decision affirms the lower court ruling. Continue reading Aereo Wins Again: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling

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

Fair Use Case: Court Rules in Favor of Associated Press

A federal court in New York has sided with the Associated Press and The New York Times in a case involving a company that “scraped” news content from the Internet without paying for it. This case was closely watched because of its possible implications for what counts as “fair use” under copyright law in the online media world and how it may impact the future of content producers and free speech. Continue reading Fair Use Case: Court Rules in Favor of Associated Press

FCC Chairman Genachowski Announces His Resignation

Julius Genachowski, a Democrat who has served as chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission since 2009, announced he will resign his post in the coming weeks. His departure will open a second vacancy on the five-member agency, and he avoids leaving behind a 2-2 partisan tie, since Republican Robert McDowell also announced that he is set to resign in the coming weeks. Continue reading FCC Chairman Genachowski Announces His Resignation

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