Ever thought of starting up your own World of Warcraft server? Given the billions of dollars Blizzard has raked in over the years we don’t blame you, but a recent court ruling suggests it probably isn’t worth the effort. A federal judge has awarded Blizzard over $88 million in damages inflicted by private gaming server “Scapegaming” which has been found guilty of violating the companies EULA along with aspects of the DMCA. Scapegaming allowed users running a modified version of the client to join their third party server, and the owner recorded over $3 million dollars in revenue by selling virtual items.
According to Blizzard “By agreeing to the EULA, you promise not to "host, provide or develop matchmaking services for the Game or intercept, emulate or redirect the communication protocols used by Blizzard in any way, for any purpose, including without limitation unauthorized play over the internet, network play, or as part of content aggregation networks." Essentially this is a lawyers way of saying Blizzard is the one and only provider you are entitled to use.
Given how drastically the penalty outweighs the company’s revenue I doubt Activision/Blizzard will actually get paid, but clearly that’s not the point. The main victory here is the ruling which helps the company establish a precedent that should help deter others from trying this in the future. Since it takes Blizzard almost 10 years to develop and release a new game, I guess it’s important to defend the cash cow that keeps the lights on.
The insurgent network administrator assumed absolute control over the city's network for a 12-day period in 2008. Although he locked out the city from its own network during this period, Childs was kind enough to let the network run unhindered. But that gesture of generosity wasn't enough to prevent his arrest in June, 2008 guilty. He was finally convicted on one felony count of network tempering on April 27, 2010.
Childs is effectively half way through his sentence, having already served more than two years in custody.
The U.S. Department of Justice has Oracle in its sights and is slamming the software maker with a lawsuit accusing the company of committing fraud in conjunction with a government contract worth millions of dollars, CNET reports.
"We take seriously allegations that government contractor has dealt dishonestly with the United States," said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the civil division of the Department of Justice, in a statement. "When contractors misrepresent their business practices to the government, taxpayers suffers."
According the lawsuit, Oracle's government customers, such as the State Department, Energy Department, and even the Justice Department, to name a few, received deals "far inferior" to Oracle's commercial clients. The lawsuit goes on to allege that Oracle misrepresented its true commercial sales practices, thereby defrauding the U.S.
As part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dell will pay a civil monetary penalty of $100 million, the PC maker announced.
"We are pleased to have resolved this matter," company chairman Michael Dell said in a statement. "We are committed to maintaining clear and accurate reporting of our periodic results, supporting our customers, and executing our growth strategy."
Both the company and Michael Dell entered into the settlement without admitting or denying any wrong doing. In addition, the company has agreed to a permanent injunction against future violations, and is required to retain an independent consultant and enhance its disclosure processes, practices, and controls, Dell said.
Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Peter Sunde, the three outspoken founders of the popular torrent tracking site The Pirate Bay, have been told to take their shenanigans out The Netherlands, or face the consequences. Failure to do so will result in fines of 50,000 euros (around US$64,590) per day.
This is the second time in two summers the trio have been told get out of Dodge, so to speak. Last summer, an anti-piracy outfit took TPB's founders to court, where a judge ultimately ordered them to remove a list of torrents linking to copyrighted works and to ban Dutch users from accessing the site.
Sunde and company opted to appeal the case, and this latest ruling confirms the one from a year ago. The judge did not, however rule that TPB is guilty of copyright infringement, but did say that the site's operators assist in copyright infringement by both allowing and encouraging users to share torrents.
While TPB and its founders will likely remain ever defiant, the case sets a precedent that might be used against other torrent sites.
Dell, the world's second largest PC maker (behind Hewlett-Packard), is hoping the SEC accepts its settlement proposal and ends its long-term investigation into the OEM's accounting and financial reporting practices.
According to Dell, SEC staff did react favorably and has agreed to recommend the settlement to commissioners. The next step would be for the SEC and a district court to give their stamp of approval.
The settlement calls for the SEC to hit Dell with a civil penalty for alleged violations of negligence-based fraud provisions of federal securities laws. Under terms of the proposed settlement, Michael Dell would retain his position as chairman and CEO.
In addition, Dell wouldn't have to admit or deny the SEC allegations if the proposal were to be accepted.
According to a lawsuit filed this week in a Delaware federal district court, a company called XPRT Ventures thinks eBay's PayPal transaction system infringes on their e-commerce technology.
"The inventors listed on XPRT's patents shared their patent applications and ideas on how to implement such concepts taught therein, with eBay in confidence," XPRT's legal team explains. "eBay incorporated such inventive concepts and ideas into its auction payment process during current California gubernatorial candidate meg Whitman's tenure as eBay's CEO. eBay's unauthorized incorporation was a misuse of inventors' confidential and proprietary material."
As XPRT charges, eBay's implementation of PayPal infringes on no less than six patents, all of which XPRT says were filed back in 2003. eBay isn't the only one XPRT is going after, however, as BillMeLater, Shopping.com, and StubHub were also named in the lawsuit.
Adeniyi Adeyemi, a 27-year-old former IT worker for the Bank of New York, made away with some $1.1 million from charity bank accounts after stealing personal information for 2,000 bank employees, and now must face the legal repercussions for doing so.
According to a press release issued by the York City District Attorney, Adeyemi came clean with what he'd done and pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering, and computer tampering. As the press release tells it, Adeyemi used his position as a computer technician at the bank's headquarters to steal the personal identifying information of 2,000 employees, almost all of which worked in the IT department.
This went on for eight years, during which time he set up dummy bank accounts used to transfer stolen funds from no less than 11 charities worldwide. After using publicly available routing numbers for the charities, he would then transfer the funds to a second tier of dummy accounts to better hide his tracks, the press release said.
Show of hands, who didn't see this one coming? Anyone? Like you, your neighbor, the local convenience store owner, and even little Billy who's more interested in what SpongeBob is up to than the world of tech, we could see the class action lawsuit(s) coming, and they've now arrived.
Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly (Apple)
Breach of Express Warranty (Apple)
Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantability (Apple and AT&T)
Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose (Ajpple and AT&T)
Deceptive Trade Practices (Apple and AT&T)
Intentional Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
Negligent Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
Fraud by Concealment (Apple AT&T)
Lawsuits over the iPhone 4's well documented antenna problems have also come from Washington, Massachusetts, and probably a few other places. One of the suits says "the refusal of Apple and AT&T to both acknowledge and offer to fix users' phones is incredulous."
For those of you who may have been abducted by aliens and just now returned to Earth, Apple has been catching heat for what many are saying is a defect in the iPhone 4's design that causes the device to lose a signal when covering the antenna, most often when holding it with the left hand. Steve Jobs called it a "non issue" and suggested holding the device a different way.
According to the court documents, Dell employees were aware that the OptiPlex PCs sold to customers between May 2003 to July 2005 were likely to fail. During that time period, Dell shipped about 11.8 million OptiPlex computers.
The cause of the problems has been identified as bad capacitors, which not only affected Dell, but several other PC makers and mobo vendors as well. According to court documents, Dell salespeople were told to say "don't bring this to customer's attention proactively."
According to Dell, however, the OEM had addressed the problem at the time, and current customers have nothing to worry about either.
"Dell worked with customers to address their issues, and Dell extended the warranties on all OptiPlex motherboards to January 2008 in order to address the Nichicon capacitor problem," said David Frink, a Dell spokesman. "The AIT lawsuit does not involve any current Dell products. Dell is responsive to customer issues and we continue to remain focused on our customers, their needs, and our growing record of superior customer service."