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Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive

Singapore's Ministry of Law has decided that a “three strikes” regime for online copyright infringement is too intrusive for Internet users, and has excluded such an approach from consultations over takedown mechanisms. The consultation, described in full here, is canvassing changes to that country's copyright act to deal with …
Kim Dotcom

Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom is getting all outraged again and banging the freedom-of-something gong with his usual enthusiasm after six Hollywood studios slung a sueball his way. In a court filing you can see in PDF form here, twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros all take issue …

US Supreme Court declines to hear NSA mass phone-slurp case

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought against the NSA by Verizon customers over the agency's mass collection of mobile phone call data. Lawyer Larry Klayman won the first round of the case against America's top online spying agency in December, when District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon found in favor of the …
Iain Thomson, 8 Apr 2014

In Australia, protesting against Brendan Eich will be a CRIME

Come to Australia, Brendan Eich: our freedom-of-speech government wants to protect you against the pesky business of community outrage. The outcry that led to Eich's resignation today as CEO of Mozilla over his past support for an anti-gay-marriage bill in California is something that's exercising the mind of the Australian …

Apple sued in Texas troll territory for iMovie patent infringement

Apple has been sued by a small Texas firm for patent infringement related to how it tags, stores, and assembles video content in its consumer-level video-editing app, iMovie. The patent in question, US Patent No. 5,684,514, "Apparatus and method for assembling content addressable video," was filed in May 1994 and granted in …
Rik Myslewski, 7 Apr 2014

Apple execs: 'Consumers want what we don't have'

The latest patent row between Apple and Samsung is showing the unpleasant details of the ongoing market battle between the two consumer electronics giants. In documents submitted to the San Jose District Court, internal memos from the two firms show that Samsung has become fixated on Apple more than any other competitor in the …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Apr 2014

Nominet bins Optical Express' appeal against 'It ruined my life' website

Optical Express has failed to silence an outspoken critic of the High Street optician, after Nominet chucked out an appeal against the owner of a website that attacks the company's laser eye surgery business. The unsuccessful action taken by DCM (Optical holdings) Ltd, which owns Optical Express, is the latest in a series of …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Apr 2014
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Euro trade commish criticises Chinese telecoms subsidies

Chinese government subsidies to its telecoms sector are fundamentally unfair, Europe's top trade official has said - just after he announced that the European Commission has dropped a planned unfair pricing investigation into EU imports of Chinese mobile equipment. European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht criticised what …
OUT-LAW.COM, 7 Apr 2014
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System footprint

India's GPS alternative launches second satellite

India has launched its second navigation satellite, the daintily-named IRNSS-1B. IRNSS is an acronym for “Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System” and the name is noteworthy because the planned seven-satellite constellation is intended to provide location services within India and in an “extended service area” around the …
The European flag

USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

The US Trade Representative is warning Europe not to proceed with the idea of EU data network services that don't cross the Atlantic. The idea of a European “walled garden” emerged in February amid rising anger over revelations that the NSA wants to listen to the whole world – and that its sweeps included snooping on German …
Apple iPhone 4 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S 4G (right)

Judge strikes down Apple attempt to bar Samsung's 'untrue' patent comments

Apple has been rebuffed in its attempt to exclude Samsung testimony in the two firms' ongoing patent infringement case. Judge Lucy Koh has struck down a request for relief filed by Cupertino's legal eagles in objection to comments made by Samsung relating to Apple's use of patents it has claimed Samsung infringes upon. The …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Apr 2014
David Ortiz selfie with US President Barack Obama

White House blasts Samsung for tweeting Obama-Ortiz selfie

The White House has criticised Samsung for tweeting a selfie taken by Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz of himself with the US President, using a Sammy mobe. Big Papi, Big Selfie. RT @DavidOrtiz What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama pic.twitter.com/3I7ckLjquf — Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 1, 2014 …
Street View spymobile captures Street View spymobile on Street View

Google hands over $1.4m for unmarked Street View cars in Italy

Google has paid up on a million euro fine ($1.4m) from Italy's data protection regulator imposed because its Street View cars weren't recognisable enough to the people they were taking photos of. "The disputed facts date back to 2010 when the giant of Mountain View's cars roamed the streets without being perfectly recognisable …
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Right, Turkey – elections are over. You can use Twitter again

The Turkish government has finally lifted its ban on Twitter after a largely unsuccessful attempt at state-sponsored censorship in the run-up to key local elections held last Sunday. Prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s administration blocked the popular microblogging platform a fortnight ago after complaining of a smear campaign …

French firms: You want us to compile DATABASES... of our SECRET information?

Businesses in France are being asked to compile a database of commercially sensitive information that will potentially attract increased interest from cyber criminals. Changes to employment laws in the country will require businesses with more than 50 employees to create a database for worker representatives to be able to access …
OUT-LAW.COM, 4 Apr 2014
india

Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

The Indian State of Tamil Nadu will solve its Windows XP problem by adopting Linux. Tamil Nadu is home to over 70 million people and its capital city is Chennai, a hub for India's business process outsourcing industry second only to Bangalore. The decision to move to Linux is outlined in this letter (PDF) from the State's …
google street view edinburgh

Google to Supremes: End this Street View fight once and for all

Google is taking the battle over its Street View data collection to the US Supreme Court, seeking a final decision on the legality of its Wi-Fi snooping activity. The company has filed a petition (obtained by Wired) asking the Supremes to hear its appeal of a decision by the US Ninth Circuit court of appeals. The case dates …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Apr 2014

Bay of Tweets: US sought to disrupt Cuba with covert social network

The US government ran a covert campaign to undermine the Cuban government via a social networking platform, according to the Associated Press. A report from the news agency detailed the launch and eventualy shutdown of ZunZuneo, a Twitter-like platform which its creators say was designed to spur free speech, and which the AP …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Apr 2014

Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

+Analysis New technology means anyone can now create and distribute their creative works, like photos or music, like never before – but, in turn, it also means that anyone can now rip off creators. And yesterday, a range of speakers – from Google to legal experts to enforcement teams – met at the London HQ of law firm Bristows for an …

David Cameron defends BT's taxpayer-funded broadband 'monopoly': It's a 'success story'

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended BT's command of the £1.2bn taxpayer-funded deployment of faster broadband access, claiming the one-time national telco had worked hard to make the two-year-late, competition-stifled scheme "a success story". He said during PMQs in Parliament on Wednesday that while it was right that BT …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Apr 2014
putin topless

ICANN boss: 'Russia and China will NOT take over interwebs'

ICANN boss Fadi Chehadé appeared before a House of Representatives committee on Wednesday in an attempt to reassure troubled lawmakers that China and Russia will not take control of the internet once the US government pulls out in 2015. "Do you really think that Vladimir Putin ... can't figure out some way to get control? China …

iiNet to Senate committee: metadata retention an expensive joke

iiNet has tried to swim against the tide of government agencies bent on turning ISPs and telcos into outsourced snoops, telling a Senate committee that proposals for mandatory data retention are intrusive, expensive and impractical. In this curt submission to the Senate committee inquiring into revisions of the …

GST on online purchases: still 'probably not'

Online shoppers in Australia remain somewhat up in the air over the future of GST on their purchases. There has been some confusion over whether the current position, in which GST is only collected on international purchases worth more than $AU1,000, would change, following discussions between state treasurers earlier this week …
Fight sticker

Apple: You're a copycat! Samsung: This is really about Google, isn't it?

It was déjà vu all over again in a California court yesterday as Apple and Samsung rehashed the same old arguments in a new patent trial, with the odd twist. Apple once more kicked off with its allegations that Samsung had deliberately "copied" its iPhone, because the Jesus mobe was such a game-changer. "The introduction of the …
Predator drone, credit Wikipedia

Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

South Korean has recovered two crashed drones over the past week which it suspects have been used by Pyongyang spooks to spy on key locations including president Park Geun-hye’s official residence. The Korean army is currently examining a UAV fitted with a digital camera which was found on Baengnyeong island in the Yellow Sea …
NSW iVote logo

NSW to expand e-voting

New South Wales is set to expand the footprint of electronic voting in its state election, due in 2015, with Spanish vendor Scytl reportedly on the brink of signing a new contract with the state government. Scytl's Java-based electoral software already has a footprint in NSW, since it formed the basis of the state's iVote system …

Systems cock-up plagued new hospital in Melbourne

An Australian hospital is reportedly in chaos after a partnership with a cancer clinic resulted in the collapse of its booking system. According to The Age, the opening of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, operated in conjunction with Austin Health, heralded the introduction of a new booking system in May 2013 …
Ross Ulbricht

Money? What money? Lawyer for accused Silk Road boss claims you can't launder Bitcoin

An attorney for Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of masterminding the online drugs marketplace Silk Road, has asked that the money-laundering charges against his client be dropped on the basis that Bitcoin, Silk Road's preferred medium of exchange, doesn't count as money. Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco in October after a …
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Hotmail-gate: Windows 8 code leaker pleads guilty to theft of trade secrets

A former Microsoft employee accused of leaking prerelease Windows 8 software has pleaded guilty to stealing the company's trade secrets. Alex Kibkalo, a Russian national who spent seven years as a Microsoft employee in Russia and Lebanon, was arrested in Seattle, US, in March on charges that he shared proprietary Microsoft code …
Hybrid NAND disk controller Marvell 88SE9230

US judge tells Marvell to pay Carnegie Mellon Uni $1.5bn in patent fallout

Chipmaker Marvell Technology has been hit with an extra $370m in damages for "wilfully infringing" on two hard disk drive patents owned by Carnegie Mellon University. Marvell's already billion-dollar damages bill has now gone up to a whopping $1.54bn, after US District Judge Nora Barry Fischer said that the university had shown …
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HP settles lawsuit after Mad Leo's WebOS and PC biz shenanigans

HP has agreed to pay $57m to shareholders miffed by the management of Leo Apotheker. This comes after the plaintiffs sued the firm for defrauding them by abandoning its business model. The investors launched a class action suit after former chief Apotheker shocked them, and the rest of the tech world, by announcing plans in …
Two mobiles man

MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

The UK government has completely screwed up the deployment of faster internet connections to Brits living in the countryside because it failed to properly address competition concerns as a result of its awarding all its broadband contracts to BT, politicians concluded today. MPs sitting on the public accounts committee published …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Apr 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Vodafone brings African tech to Europe

Vodafone is to launch mobile-money-for-the-masses service M-Pesa in Romania, which introduces and interesting challenge for the European telcos and banks who have spent a decade wrangling over mobile money and got nowhere. M-Pesa was launched in Kenya under the stewardship of Nick Hughes of Vodafone, initially as a corporate …
Simon Rockman, 1 Apr 2014

BlackBerry sucker-punches TV star Ryan Seacrest in patent brawl

Troubled mobe maker BlackBerry has received a welcome bit of good news from a California court, which has blocked sales of a physical iPhone add-on keyboard the company says copies its hardware. A Northern California District Court judge on Monday granted an injunction that prevents the sale and import of Typo keyboards for …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Apr 2014
carving of kiwi

Dotcom wants NZ to have fiat-backed crypto-currency

Either New Zealand is leading the world in April 1 news stories, or Kim Dotcom's Internet Party is not only proposing a government-backed crypto-currency, but thinks it should operate in parallel to the country's fiat currency. Since the story starts on March 26, Vulture South is forced to at least accept the hypothesis that the …
Google 'Glass' patent application illustration

Australia proposes privacy tort

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released a discussion paper that canvasses the idea of a tort of privacy invasion for Australians. Available here, the discussion paper is seeking comment on whether or not Australia's privacy law needs to be changed to deal with invasions of privacy “committed intentionally or …

FCC doubles 5GHz spectrum in prep for one-gigabit Wi-Fi

In a rare bit of bipartisanship, the Republican and Democratic commissioners of the US Federal Communications Commission have unanimously voted to loosen the rules governing the operation of Wi-Fi devices operating in the 5GHz band. "The new rules will make 100MHz of spectrum more accessible for use in homes and congested spaces …
Rik Myslewski, 1 Apr 2014

Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

A Dropbox user sparked outrage after he revealed he was blocked from sharing a file he'd deposited in the online storage locker – because it was the target of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-piracy takedown notice. The trouble started when designer Darrell Whitelaw found he couldn't share a file in a personal …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2014
management regulation1

US Supreme Court Justices hear arguments in game-changing software IP case

The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in a case that could help to set a new standard for when software is eligible for patent protection. The nine judges are due to hear an hour's oral discussion on the Alice Corp v CLS Bank case, a patent lawsuit over financial software whose decision could come to affect businesses …
Apple iPhone 4 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S 4G (right)

New Sammy patent trial: Apple seeks $40 PER 'infringing' handset

Apple and Samsung are due to open up a new front in their epic patent war in the US today, with the fruity firm seeking an astonishing $40 per infringing device and Samsung planning to get Google engineers in to defend its case. Apple is claiming that 10 Sammy devices, including the popular Galaxy SIII, infringe on five of its …
Costumed pirate

UK cops: Keep yer golden doubloons, ad folk. Yon websites belong ta PIRATES

British police have launched a who's who of pirating websites in an attempt to stop advertisers from spending money with sites deemed illegal. The Infringing Website List is hoping to cut copyright-breaking websites off at the knees by stopping their top source of revenue: advertising. The database will be available to brands …

US to strengthen privacy rights for Euro bods' personal data transfers

The US will take steps before the summer to comprehensively strengthen the "Safe Harbour" framework that helps facilitate some transfers of personal data to the US from the EU. The commitment to improve privacy protections (10-page/445KB PDF) was contained in a joint statement issued on behalf of senior officials from the EU and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2014