Apple will Modify App Purchases with More Parental Control

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that Apple has agreed to better enforce parental approval of purchases from the company’s App Store. Apple will also refund at least $32.5 million to parents whose children made purchases without their consent. Apple settled a related class-action lawsuit last year, but the FTC said that the problem continued after the settlement, so Apple has agreed to further modify its practices. Continue reading Apple will Modify App Purchases with More Parental Control

Settlement: Hotfile to Pay $80 Million and Cease Operations

Prominent file-sharing cyberlocker Hotfile has agreed to shut down and pay $80 million in a settlement with the Motion Picture Association of America. The move follows an August decision by a federal judge in Florida who agreed with the MPAA that Hotfile did not qualify for safe harbor protection under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The settlement was initiated in order to avoid a jury trial that was scheduled to begin this week. Continue reading Settlement: Hotfile to Pay $80 Million and Cease Operations

Patent Battle: Samsung to Pay Apple $930 Million in Damages

A 15-month smartphone patent dispute between Apple and Samsung came to an end when a federal jury in California ordered Samsung to pay Apple $290 million in damages for infringing on five of Apple’s patents with 13 of its own devices. The ruling was part of a retrial of the patent dispute. In addition to the $640 million already owed by Samsung to Apple from the original award, the company now owes a total of $930 million. Continue reading Patent Battle: Samsung to Pay Apple $930 Million in Damages

Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Aereo-backer Barry Diller has stated that the online service may grow to the point that 35 percent of U.S. households subscribe. However, this is largely contingent upon the service’s ability to overcome the legal challenges it currently faces from broadcasters. Individuals in their mid- to late-twenties aren’t highly inclined to pay $100 per month for TV cable packages, rendering Aereo’s $8 package highly attractive, according to Diller. Continue reading Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

NFL and MLB: If Aereo Not Challenged, Sports May Go to Cable

The National Football League and Major League Baseball are trying to convince the Supreme Court to grant broadcasters’ petition to challenge Aereo, a startup that enables unauthorized streaming of local broadcast signals. The NFL and MLB filed an amicus brief that suggests that if Aereo is not challenged, sports programming will likely switch over to cable. Broadcasters assert that Aereo undermines their ability to collect retransmission fees. Continue reading NFL and MLB: If Aereo Not Challenged, Sports May Go to Cable

Google Among Many Sued by Rockstar for Patent Infringement

Google, Samsung, HTC and others are on the hotseat for alleged patent infringement on Rockstar technology — including patents related to messaging, notifications and graphical user interfaces. Rockstar, which is jointly owned by Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony, owns and manages a portfolio of more than 4,000 patents purchased during the Nortel bankruptcy auction in 2011. The group filed a barrage of lawsuits against phone manufacturers late last week. Continue reading Google Among Many Sued by Rockstar for Patent Infringement

Victory for Hollywood Studios: Court Rules Against isoHunt

The Motion Picture Association of America announced that the file sharing search engine isoHunt is shutting down and will pay movie studios 110 million dollars in damages. The search engine has been fighting with studios since 2006, but is finally reaching its demise due to a court ruling that says it enables users to pirate copyrighted works. The site enables users to find files on peer-to-peer networks utilizing BitTorrent file sharing software.

Continue reading Victory for Hollywood Studios: Court Rules Against isoHunt

Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Television broadcasters intend to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling from a lower court involving Aereo’s continued streaming of digital broadcast signals in the New York area, according to sources with knowledge of the case. October 15th is the deadline to file the petition. Broadcasters have achieved some court victories against another startup, FilmOnX, which provides a similar service. Meanwhile, Aereo announced its service will be available for Android devices later this month. Continue reading Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia issued a ruling that utilizing the “Like” feature on Facebook to show support for a political candidate is protected by the Constitution. The ruling is in light of a lawsuit brought by former employees of a sheriff’s office who claim they lost their jobs after supporting their boss’s opponent, which involved a campaign on Facebook. The Virginia Court’s decision reversed an earlier decision from a lower court. Continue reading Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

Facebook Updates Privacy Policy, Details Use of Personal Data

Facebook announced that it is updating its privacy policy to remind users that their data can be used by advertisers. Facebook has made changes to two legal documents in order to make it clear that users grant Facebook the right to share their name, profile picture and content with advertisers. While Facebook’s policy has never been a secret, Facebook hopes to make their rules more explicit for users who may have been confused. Continue reading Facebook Updates Privacy Policy, Details Use of Personal Data

MPAA Wins Lawsuit Against Hotfile for Copyright Violations

In a major victory for the Motion Picture Association of America and its member studios, a Florida federal judge has ruled that Hotfile is liable for copyright infringement. According to the MPAA, the decision marks the first time a U.S. court has ruled against a cyberlocker regarding copyright infringement. Hotfile is one of the most popular cyberlockers and of the largest scale, but its claims of safe harbor from copyright liability and no indirect liability of its users failed. Continue reading MPAA Wins Lawsuit Against Hotfile for Copyright Violations

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

Court Rules Former College Athletes Can Sue Electronic Arts

A federal appeals court is allowing a group of former college athletes to sue Electronic Arts over allegedly using their likenesses in video games without their permission. This is one of two legal actions this year against the company by former college players. EA has claimed First Amendment rights, but the appeals courts have disagreed. The issue also involves the NCAA and calls into question policies regarding profits generated from college sports and players. Continue reading Court Rules Former College Athletes Can Sue Electronic Arts

FTC Chair Proposes Inquiry into Impact of Patent Trolls

Edith Ramirez, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, presented her recommendation for an investigation into the practices of “patent trolls” yesterday during a patent and antitrust seminar in Washington. Ramirez is calling for the FTC to use its subpoena power to launch a sweeping inquiry into patent-assertion entities (PAE’s, or patent trolls), which are known for purchasing bundles of patents in order to threaten infringement lawsuits. Continue reading FTC Chair Proposes Inquiry into Impact of Patent Trolls

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

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