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EU legal eagle Legal: Data protection reforms 'very bad outcome' for citizens

Attempts by Brussels' Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding to rewrite Europe's 18-year-old data protection law ahead of 2014's EU elections took a significant knock on Friday, after a key tenet of the proposed rules faced surprise objections on human rights grounds. The European Commission's vice president, who first tabled the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Dec 2013
Dom Joly

Save Ofcom! Telcos and consumer groups call for end to legal disputes

Consumer groups and two telcos have written to the government in support of Ofcom's attempts to revamp its appeals process and stop legal challenges from obstructing its rulings. Which?, Consumer Futures, Three and TalkTalk have all signed a letter to culture secretary Maria Miller and business secretary Vince Cable that says …
Suitcase bulging with cash

Samsung chairman wins £500m legal fight with brother

A legal battle that threatened Samsung's stability has ended after company chairman Lee Kun-hee’s brother decided not appeal a court decision against him. Older sibling Lee Maeng-hee ended the two year legal dispute over their inheritance by accepting a Seoul appeal court’s decision to reject his demand for a 940 billion won (US …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
Kim Dotcom

Appeals court decides Dotcom warrant was legal after all

A court in New Zealand has ruled that the search warrant used in the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom was legal, toppling a large part of his defence. The warrant used to arrest Dotcom at his mansion two years ago, as well as to seize his laptops and hard drives was previously ruled illegal back in June 2012, after a …
Scrooge McDuck

Apple's legal bill for Samsung patent fight tops $60m

In a court document filed on Thursday, Apple revealed that it has run up over $60m in billings by outside legal counsel in its patent-infringement battle against Samsung, with a goodly chunk of that owed to its lead legal team from the law firm of Morrison & Foerster. "Under any measure, this was an exceptional case," Apple …
Rik Myslewski, 06 Dec 2013
New York City's Manhattan skyline

Airbnb might get $10bn price tag ... despite its legal woes

Airbnb, the online home-rental marketplace, is in talks to raise funding from private equity firms that would value the company at a sturdy $10bn. New York City's Manhattan skyline Those kind of valuations are par for the course for today's net startups really, but it's still a strong vote of confidence for a company that's …
Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower

Snowden journo boyf grill under anti-terror law was legal, says UK court

The detention and interrogation by British police of David Miranda, boyfriend of a journalist at the heart of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks furore, has been ruled to be legal by a British judge. Miranda was stopped at Heathrow airport and interrogated for almost nine hours last August under anti-terrorism legislation while in …
Lewis Page, 19 Feb 2014

Open Rights Group revives 'unavailable for legal reasons' HTTP error code plan

The UK's Open Rights Group has revived the campaign to create a new HTTP error code to protest censorship. The campaign to do so has burbled along for a few years, partly thanks to a Google employee named Tim Bray who created a draft for ”An HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles ”. Bray has revised the draft a couple of …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Aug 2013
Apple's invitation to its September 11 event in China

Apple faces €1bn tax probe in Italy, claim legal eagle insiders

Apple will be investigated in Italy for allegedly owing almost £1bn to the Euro nation's taxman, it was claimed last night. News agency Reuters quoted a unnamed judicial source who said the "checks on the size of the tax are under way". Since the news broke last night, the fruity firm's spokeswoman Kristin Huguet has told Sky …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Nov 2013

Scottish leader splurged £20k appealing disclosure of EU membership legal bungle

Alex Salmond wasted £20,000 of public money trying to stop the Scottish Information Commissioner's Office from revealing that he'd not taken legal advice on a post-independence Scotland's eligibility for European Union membership. The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader used taxpayers' cash to fund a Court of …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Oct 2013
The Choi Plug

Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

Blogger Pamela Jones will shut down her award-winning legal news website Groklaw following revelations that the NSA is intercepting the world's internet communications. Jones, also known as PJ, said in a final farewell article that the shutdown of encrypted email provider Lavabit, used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, had …
gavel_judgment_channel

Happy Thanksgiving, Apple. Now how about THREE more patent legal battles for dessert?

Apple was this week hit with a number of patent infringement lawsuits regarding its sensors designs, Wi-Fi connectivity and even chirpy Siri. The first legal challenge comes from a firm called DSS Technology Management, which claims Apple's iMac, Mac mini and the upcoming Mac Pro computers infringe two of its patents. Both …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Nov 2013

Harassed Oracle employee wins case, cops huge legal bill

Rebecca Richardson, the former Oracle employee who recently won a case against the company over sexual harassment committed by a former colleague, found out late last week that it was a pyrrhic victory after being hit with a monster legal bill. Richardson's case against Oracle, which was liable for the actions of a harassing …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2013
sea_hp_sink

HP workers halt legal fight against bosses over 29,000 job cuts

HP employees have "withdrawn" legal action against the company and agreed to return to the negotiating table to hear CEO Meg Whitman's plan to cut 29,000 jobs. The collective of HP workers, who are supported by numerous unions, sued the vendor and claimed it had not properly consulted staff and made the redundancy process …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2013

Legal bruiser Reback joins Google battle in Europe

The famous American legal bruiser Gary Reback has once again waded into the battle against Google in Europe again. The search giant is currently thrashing out a behind-closed-doors remedy with the European Commission in order to fend off a full Statement of Objections. But the deal's critics say Google’s proposed remedy merely …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2013
Supreme Court Building

Slurp away, NSA: Mass phone data collection IS legal, rules federal judge

A US federal judge has ruled that the NSA is within its rights to harvest millions of innocent Americans' telephone call records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act – and that the dragnet is fine under the Fourth Amendment since the data was collected by a third-party telco, not the government. The decision kicks the debate …
Iain Thomson, 27 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Google mounts legal challenge to surveillance gag orders

Google has filed a legal petition "respectfully requesting" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) release it from a gag order, and allow the company to tell users how often the NSA comes calling for data. "We have long pushed for transparency so users can better understand the extent to which governments request …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Bahrain 4G auction founders under deluge of legal action

The Kingdom of Bahrain should have completed its 4G auction by now, but instead the process has been kicked into touch following legal action from an excluded operator. The auction, cleverly titled "Post 3G" (PDF, slide deck with plenty of visuals), was announced last November and initally open to all, but lobbying from the …
Bill Ray, 03 Apr 2013
Cool-er eBook Reader

Apple appoints top Obama legal eagle as antitrust watchdog

High profile attorney Michael Bromwich, fresh from his latest stint as the top US offshore drilling watchdog, has been tapped to serve as Apple's antitrust compliance monitor. The lawyer will check that the fruity firm's competition practices and procedures are up to scratch for the next two years, after a court found it guilty …

Leaked photos of iPhone 5C parts portend ugly Google legal battle

Photos of cases and parts of the oft-rumored, lower-cost iPhone – which has been referred to in multiple outlets as the iPhone 5C – have flooded the interwebs in recent weeks, but a new set raises the spectre of an ugly legal battle between Apple and arch-rival Google. We refer to an assortment of photos of what are said to be …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Aug 2013

US, UK watchdogs file legal moves to curb government surveillance

Two privacy watchdogs, one in the US and one in the UK, have filed legal actions against their respective governments, petitioning them to curtail - or at minimum uncover - their domestic surveillance operations. In the US, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a petition (PDF) with the US Supreme Court, …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Report: US government plans legal assault on foreign hackers

The US is planning a legal assault on the international hacking community and the companies – and governments – that use IP stolen from America. John Carlin, the principal deputy assistant attorney general in the US Department of Justice’s national security division told Defense News that the DOJ was training over 100 special …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2012

Amazon legal filing torpedoes Big Blue's spook cloud dreams

Amazon and IBM's tussle for a multi-million dollar government cloud contract has moved to DEFCON 3 when Amazon challenged the CIA's decision to take another look at the two companies' bids. In a complaint filed with the US Court Of Federal Claims on Wednesday, Amazon tried to short-circuit any future attempts by IBM to protest …
Jack Clark, 24 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

'Strong basis' to claims Nominet board breached duties - legal top gun

Directors of UK domain-name registry Nominet have come under fire from a group of Nominet members who have also threatened to take legal action against the board. The group commissioned a legal opinion in connection to claims that certain recommended changes to the non-profit's governance had been deleted from an "independent" …

Amazon legal filing flames IBM's 'materially deficient' CIA cloud

There's a war going on for the future CPU cycles of the US Central Intelligence Agency, and behind closed doors and under fluorescent lights, representatives of IBM and Amazon are spitting blood at each other as they vie for the contract. In a heavily redacted report made public on Tuesday, new details came to light as to why …
Jack Clark, 20 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Press exposure of Federal data security hole leads to legal threats

An investigation into a security slip that left the identity information for over 170,000 users of a US federal government program publicly available online has led to accusations of hacking and legal threats. The Scripps News investigative team spent the last month studying companies running Lifeline, a federal program to …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2013
NBN Co Logo

Music industry raises NBN fears as legal digital sales take off

As Australians turn from freetards into digital music buyers, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) (IPFI) and Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) have responded by bleating that the National Broadband Network will destroy them unless the government revises copyright law in their favour. In this …
The Register breaking news

Copyright troll Prenda refuses to explain legal strategy

Notorious copyright troll Prenda Law was seemingly dealt a fatal blow on Tuesday, when the company's top attorneys invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering questions from a federal judge. US District Judge Otis Wright II of the Central District of California had summoned the Prenda …
Neil McAllister, 03 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

White House comes out in favor of legal mobe unlocking

President Obama's idea for a petition system has come in for a lot of criticism – some of it deserved – but if the latest response to a petition on mobile phone unlocking is anything to go by, the system has definite benefits. The petition was created following the decision by the Librarian of Congress to review the remit of the …
Iain Thomson, 04 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Microsoft legal beagle calls for patent reform cooperation

Microsoft has urged government, the courts, and industry to work together to help improve the US patent system, but also cautioned against breaking those aspects of the system that do work. "There is no question that the U.S. patent system has tremendous strengths but also significant weaknesses," Microsoft executive VP and …
Neil McAllister, 22 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Twitter slams top five spammers with legal suit

Twitter has filed a legal suit against five entities for selling tools that send out spam tweets and clog up its network. The suit names TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, and TweetBuddy, plus James Lucero of Justinlover.info and Garland Harris of Troption.com as its targets. In the legal filing, Twitter says that it has had to pour …
Iain Thomson, 06 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Don't like your cell network? Legal unlocking ends TONIGHT in US

Unlocking a phone to use it with another carrier will be illegal in America from midnight tonight unless the cellphone is already in your hands. Freeing a phone from a particular network used to be allowed, but under last October's reinterpretation of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act that right disappears from all …
Bill Ray, 25 Jan 2013

'Please, steal my phone' TV ads by T-Mobile US slammed by legal eagles

A new ad campaign launched by US wireless carrier T-Mobile has drawn the ire of top prosecutors in two cities, who claim the TV spot is offensive and belittles the problem of smartphone theft. In the ad, former Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader is seen walking through a parking garage, where he is accosted by mugger who …
Neil McAllister, 16 Oct 2013

Tech support blog removes Toshiba manuals after legal letter

An Australian blogger whose site offers an archive of service manuals for laptop computers has complied with a request from Toshiba Australia's lawyers to remove the company's documentation from his site. Tim Hicks' Future Proof blog is the field service's engineer's personal project and aims, he told The Reg, to provide a …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2012
Seattle courthouse

Microsoft, Motorola legal bickering sparks judicial disgust

If you are sick to death of the persistent patent pettifoggery puking its way through the global justice system, take a moment to pity the poor judges who have to endure being slathered by legal excrescences as part of their daily routine. Take, for example, US District Judge James Robart, who is enduring presiding over the …
Rik Myslewski, 08 May 2012

Legal wigs to sort out rules on internet defamation, contempt

In the wake of Lord McAlpine's lawyers threatening to sue thousands of Twitter users for libelling his name with false allegations of child abuse, as well as the multiple issues surrounding tweets that may be in contempt, the Attorney General has clarified that the same legal framework applies on the internet that applies …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Zynga faces legal probe over senior management share sales

Zynga's plummeting stock price has brought the attention of lawyers, who have started an investigation into the recent stock dealings by the senior management of the gaming company. At issue is the sale of 43 million shares of stock by Zynga top brass, netting them $516m in profit. The sales were carried out a couple of months …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2012
balaclava_thief_burglar

Legal eagles pit Apple v. Samsung in thievery test

Sick of the number of reported phone thefts in their jurisdictions, lawmakers have decided to hold a contest to discover how easy it is to crack stolen smartphones for resale. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco district attorney George Gascón have hired Northern California Regional Intelligence Center …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2013
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Fee fie Firefox: Mozilla's lawyers probe Dell over browser install charge

Mozilla has put its legal department to work on a preliminary investigation into claims that Dell is charging £16 to install freeware browser Firefox on new PCs. Sources told us about Mozilla's plans after we received reports that Dell was asking customers to stump up £16.25 to have the free software pre-installed. Mozilla's …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

.eu is a Euro domain, for Euro people - top legal bod

Only businesses established in the EU can register trademarks as web addresses in the '.eu' domain, a legal advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said. Businesses based outside of the EU cannot contract with other companies based within the trading bloc to register trade mark domain names at the .eu domain on their …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Tor node admin raided by cops appeals for help with legal bills

A sysadmin had his flat raided and equipment seized by police last week for hosting a Tor exit node. William Weber from Graz, Austria, was questioned by cops after someone allegedly distributed child abuse images over one of the Tor exits he administered. Contrary to some early reports Weber was only questioned by police, who …
John Leyden, 10 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Flight Centre settles $US14m legal battle with web supplier

Australian discount airline booker Flight Centre has settled a two year legal stoush against its former web services supplier Dublin-based Datalex. In an ASX statement Flight Centre said, “FLT and Datalex have negotiated in good faith and resolved the proceedings to their mutual satisfaction.” The settlement covers Flight …

Broker accuses FAST of scaring users off secondhand software

The Federation Against Software Theft is talking up the dangers of buying recycled software, claiming that existing laws are insufficient to protect firms that opt for recycled licences. The trade group initially weighed into the debate last week, ripping up software broker Discount Licensing's (DL) membership after it settled a …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2014
Super Mario Bros. Wii U

Nintendo throws flaming legal barrel at YouTubing fans

Nintendo has contacted fans who post walk-through videos of its games to YouTube, claiming all revenue from their efforts. Gamer Zack Scott brought the practice to light in a Facebook post. Scott is a member of Let's Play, a community in which folks post "videos in which the author records the complete gameplay of a video game, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2013

Beastie Boys settle with toy maker over Girls copyright dispute

The remaining members of the Beastie Boys have quietly settled their curious legal spat with US toy maker Goldieblox. The hip-hop stars bowled a sueball at Goldieblox in December last year, after the toy San Francisco-based company - which specialises in building blocks purported to get little girls interested in engineering - …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Fund manager withdraws legal threat over security vuln

First State Super, the company that called the police and fired off legal threats when a security researcher notified it of vulnerabilities in its online funds management application, is reportedly softening its stance. According to Australia’s Financial Standard, the company has decided against further legal action, and instead …
cable

Apple said to threaten legal action over Steve Jobs doll

If you're a Jobsian fanboi jonesing for the recently announced Steve Jobs action figure, we have some bad news for you: Apple doesn't want you to have one. So reports The Telegraph, which says that the Chinese action-figure maker In Icons has received a letter from Cupertino's lawyers threatening legal action should the 12-inch …
Rik Myslewski, 06 Jan 2012

American Idol host's keyboard firm smacks back against BlackBerry in patent spat

Typo Keyboards, the iPhone keyboard firm co-founded by TV host Ryan Seacrest, has hit back at patent infringement claims from BlackBerry, claiming that the Canadian company's intellectual property isn't even valid. Typo said in a court filing that the patents BlackBerry is trying to assert against the firm over its attachable …
The Register breaking news

Nokia Siemens vs Vodafone Oz: the legal games begin

Nokia Siemens Networks is taking legal action against customer Vodafone Australia following a tussle over compensation issues regarding network performance. The "Vodafail" network woes that have dogged Vodafone Australia and its disgruntled customers appear to have been passed on to network supplier Nokia Siemens Networks in a …
rim

Who will fill legal RIM job after latest exec exit?

RIM's has confirmed that its top legal eagle Karima Bawa is to join the ranks of other senior figures that have left the beleaguered mobile player. The departure of the BlackBerry maker's chief brief comes amid industry talk that RIM is axing some 6,000 jobs – or more than 36 per cent of the workforce – with some reports …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2012