ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

We recently reported that the Obama administration had vetoed the International Trade Commission’s ban on the import of certain Apple iPhones and iPads, citing concerns of patent holders gaining “undue leverage.” The veto reversed an earlier legal victory for rival Samsung, which suffered another setback on Friday when the ITC ruled that the South Korean manufacturer had violated two of Apple’s patents — and issued an order banning the import of products using Apple’s multitouch features and headphone jack detection. Continue reading ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

Algorithms: New Content Creators are Redefining Fair Use

A debate was sparked recently when a photographer sued BuzzFeed over the use of unlicensed images and BuzzFeed’s claims of fair use. A problematic issue is that in many instances, there are no actual human artists, writers, or editors creating what is seen online. When a search, automated process, or algorithm collects images, it falls under a copyright loophole. But fair use tools can be made in order to allow free content or maintain exclusivity. Continue reading Algorithms: New Content Creators are Redefining Fair Use

Justice Department Seeks to Monitor Apple’s iTunes Store

On Friday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to restrict Apple’s influence in the publishing marketplace and give the government oversight of the iTunes and App Stores. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan last month determined that Apple had conspired with five domestic book publishers to increase e-book prices. The government proposals could provide music, TV show and content owners leverage in negotiating digital distribution. Apple is appealing the ruling. Continue reading Justice Department Seeks to Monitor Apple’s iTunes Store

YouTube Multi-Channel Network Sued By Music Association

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has filed a lawsuit against Fullscreen, a multi-channel network of popular YouTube channels. The association claims that the company is using unlicensed music in its videos. Fullscreen serves more than 10,000 YouTube channels, including channels owned by Nintendo, Pepsi and Lexus. At the same time, the NMPA is forming an agreement in principle with Maker Studios for music licensing. Continue reading YouTube Multi-Channel Network Sued By Music Association

Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

Twitter promotes itself as a protector of over 200 million people who publicly share their lives online. But increasingly, carefree tweets are conflicting with differing global laws and standards in new markets for the microblogger. The company’s hands-off approach is being tested as it enters markets in France, Germany, China and Brazil. As it is increasingly subject to local laws, Twitter is facing challenges regarding free speech and censorship. Continue reading Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

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

Viacom Takes New Tack in its Copyright Battle with YouTube

Viacom is continuing its battle with YouTube over issues of copyright infringement. After two failed attempts to resolve the long-running dispute, Viacom has filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting another opportunity to explain its argument against the Google subsidiary. In addition, Viacom questioned the court’s interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and has made a formal request that the judge who presided over the most recent ruling be replaced. Continue reading Viacom Takes New Tack in its Copyright Battle with YouTube

Federal Government Faces Decision Whether to Veto ITC Order

In June, the International Trade Commission found that Apple infringed on a Samsung patent, and declared a ban on some older iPhone and iPad models. The trade agency oversees certain unfair trade practices and can block imports and sales of products. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have been concerned with companies using essential technology patent lawsuits to block rivals, and are troubled with the ITC ruling. The Obama administration is now faced with whether it should veto the order. Continue reading Federal Government Faces Decision Whether to Veto ITC Order

Code of Conduct to Disclose What Data Mobile Apps Collect

A group of app developers, consumer advocates and others are agreeing to test a voluntary code of conduct for data privacy for mobile apps. The code would set requirements for participating developers to release notices regarding whether their apps collect certain types of personal information or share user specific data with third party groups or data resellers. The Obama administration favors consumer privacy laws, but has yet to release additional details. Continue reading Code of Conduct to Disclose What Data Mobile Apps Collect

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

Fox Considering an Appeal to Supreme Court in Aereo Battle

On Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals refused TV broadcasters’ petition to appeal an earlier ruling that Internet-streaming startup Aereo is legal in New York City. The appeal came from Fox, CBS and others. Judges were polled and a majority did not want to rehear the case, although Judge Denny Chin called Aereo a “sham” and harmful to the TV industry. Fox Broadcasting is reviewing its options and may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading Fox Considering an Appeal to Supreme Court in Aereo Battle

Federal Judge Rules that Apple Colluded on E-Book Pricing

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled yesterday that Apple colluded with five U.S. publishers in 2010 to drive up the prices of e-books. The decision threatens to limit Apple’s options when negotiating future content deals and potentially exposes the company to additional investigation of its other business practices. The decision to go to trial was considered a significant risk for Apple since the publishers, after denying any wrongdoing, had already settled similar charges. Continue reading Federal Judge Rules that Apple Colluded on E-Book Pricing

Shift in Consumer Demand: Should Studios Emulate Pirates?

Hollywood studios are reexamining traditional distribution models in an era of piracy enabled by digital technologies. Today’s media savvy consumers have evolving expectations regarding how they discover and share music, video content and games, thanks in part to new cloud-based technologies, streaming media services and sophisticated social tools. Some media companies are even considering the idea that models popular with pirates are worth imitating. Continue reading Shift in Consumer Demand: Should Studios Emulate Pirates?

Trade Commission Pilot Program Aims to Curb Patent Trolls

In an effort to help curb frivolous lawsuits initiated by patent assertion entities (also called “trolls”), the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) says it will require some companies to prove they have a significant domestic presence. As part of the commission’s new pilot program, six administrative judges will determine within 100 days whether or not companies that file infringement suits do in fact have the necessary U.S. production, research or licensing credentials. Continue reading Trade Commission Pilot Program Aims to Curb Patent Trolls

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

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