Just last week the RIAA commemorated the signing of an absurd new law in Tennessee that states:
"Each public and private institution of higher education in the state that has student residential computer networks shall:
[R]easonably attempt to prevent the infringement of copyrighted works over the institution's computer and network resources, if such institution receives fifty (50) or more legally valid notices of infringement as prescribed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 within the preceding year."
In short, if you’re going to school in Tennessee you’re boned. Since the entertainment industry was unable to get a solid framework for universities in the Higher Education Act passed by Congress just earlier this year, the RIAA has decided to attack universities by using infringement notices.
What’s worse is that the law will cost the fine folks of Tennessee a whopping $9.5 million in new software, hardware and personnel, with an annual cost of $1.5 million for the personnel and maintenance. None of this money will go towards artists or record labels represented by the RIAA.
He heavily extolled Blu-ray, which he believes is a huge asset for media editing professionals and enterprises - a demographic that Psystar can now serve.
Psystar is certainly trying its best to get under the skin of Apple whose patience must be wearing thin. Around a fortnight ago, Apple and Psystar agreed to an “Alternative Dispute Resolution”. Prior to that, in July, Apple had slapped a lawsuit against Psystar. The latter soon returned the favor by filing a lawsuit of its own against Apple.
New regulations have made it compulsory for businesses to retain all wireless communications including IMs and text messages. Among the various legislations mandating the archival of wireless communications the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) are most prominent. Also, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) made the archiving of IMs and Texts compulsory through one of its edicts issued in December, 2007.
Everyone’s favorite trade group, the RIAA, is up to more of its usual, mustache-twirling antics as it appeals the decision to declare a mistrial in its case against Jammie Thomas. For the uninformed, the 30-year-old Thomas is being sued for $220,000 by the RIAA for file sharing. As the first person to take the music industry to court, rather than settle, her case will set a very significant precedent and could have a strong impact on the future of file sharing and the internet.
The suit was originally decided in the RIAA’s favor in October, however Judge Michael Davis threw out the ruling and declared a mistrial, declaring that “he originally misguided the jury by indicating that simply the act of making a copyrighted song available for sharing amounts to infringement,” CNET reports.
The RIAA is appealing the decision, hoping the original ruling will stick and they won’t have to conduct a whole new trial.
What do you think of the Thomas case? Let us know after the break.
Quickly after the news of Palin’s Yahoo email account being hacked broke out, cops zeroed in on 20-year old David Kernell, who happens to be the son of Democratic Tennessee State rep. Mike Kernell.
Now, more than a fortnight after the entire incidence came to light, David Kernell has been indicted. According to the indictment, David advertently accessed Sarah Palin’s personal email account on September 16, 2008 without having the authority do so. David might have to spend up to five years behind bars if the charges against him are proven.
Although RealNetworks downplayed any legal perils while announcing its DVD copying software last month, the major film studios have acted in the most obvious manner possible by suing the software company.
In the eye of the storm lies RealNetworks’ DVD copying tool called ReadDVD that allows users to make digital copies of their DVDs on their internal or external hard drives. However, the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) hasn’t taken a liking to the tool. The MPAA has dragged RealNetworks to court over RealDVD and is praying for a temporary restraining order against the sale of the software.
Greg Goeckner, executive vice president of MPAA, quipped that the software be called StealDVD instead of RealDVD. However, RealNetworks feels that the software can not be used for piracy as it encrypts the digital copies in such a manner that they can’t be shared.
Online auction/shopping websites have been around for a long time. However, the proverbially long reach of the law hasn’t been observed when it comes to online stores for all these years. The absence of stern laws has fostered an illegitimate industry that has proved to be very profitable for thieves and charlatans galore, besides being less perilous then drug trade and other illegal businesses.
But online sellers dealing in stolen goods might soon be stymied by three new legislations, the E-fencing Enforcement Act, Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008 and Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008. These bills are intended to combat Organized Retail Crime (ORC). There are numerous online sellers that are comfortably selling huge volumes of stolen goods – stolen directly from retailers – through popular websites like eBay.
If these bills get a nod from lawmakers, online stores and resellers will be required to disclose the contact information of any seller with annual earnings in excess of $12K to any competent party (retailer) that makes a request for such info. This will allow retailers to catch unscrupulous sellers red-handed. The proposed legislations will also put the onus of scrutinizing sellers on online stores. The National Retail Federation has placed its support behind the bills. What about you? Share your thoughts.
It looks as though 8M-series notebook owners aren't the only ones feeling slighted by Nvidia, who in the past several month has taken a PR hit due to an "abnormal failure rate" in what the company still claims is a limited batch of notebook GPUs. Media reports have questioned exactly how limited the problem remains, and there's even speculation that the faulty parts may apply to both the newer 9M-series of GPUs and desktop parts as well.
Now Nvidia must fight a new battle, this one in court. The graphics company has been hit with a securities fraud class action lawsuit, which covers all investors who purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of Nvidia between November 8, 2007, and July 2, 2008.
The complaint alleges Nvidia violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, accusing the company of making a series of misrepresentations and omissions that actively concealed and failed to disclose the unusually high failure rates of its mobile GPUs, along with the impact the supposed defects would have on Nvidia's financial condition. Nvidia in July announced it would take a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million to cover warranty and repair costs associated with the failures, and the company's stock tumbled downwards in after-hours trading following the announcement.
RealNetworks is soon going to tread the perilous waters of DVD copying. The company has announced that it is going to release RealDVD, an application for making digital copies of DVDs. Although DVD copying applications have been available for long, RealDVD will be the first such tool to be released by a major company.
RealNetworks is fully convinced that there won't be a strong case against it, if the company is ever dragged to court over the software. RealDVD will come with certain restrictions to prevent its use for piracy. "We have put in significant barriers so people don't just take this and put it on peer-to-peer networks," RealNetwork's Robert Glaser told NYT. However, he did not spill the beans on the exact nature of the curbs. RealDVD will carry a $30 price tag.
Nothing is worse than when the government decides to levy another tax someplace. Newegg customers of New York were irked on June 1, 2008 when they found out that Newegg was being required to collect sales tax to orders sent to New York, even though Newegg doesn’t have a store there.
However, Newegg has backed away from that stance, sending out an email from Newegg Company Spokesperson and Vice President of Merchandising, Bernard Luthi, saying that it reversed it’s decision based on feedback from it’s customers.
“This decision was driven by your direct and candid feedback and our continued commitment to you as our valued customers.” He went on to thank customers for their patience as they worked things out.
Of course, New York residents are still responsible for paying their sales tax.
Newegg should be applauded for taking a stand. Collecting taxes for different states, counties, and localities would be a terrible mess for any online retailer to wade through. It would only serve to drive up prices for consumers and stifle internet commerce.
How do you feel about taxes on items purchased over the web?