Yesterday's SOPA/PIPA protests were unprecedented -- for the first time, the Internet as a whole banded together, users and websites alike, and we flexed our collective muscles to tell the government (as Craigslist put it), "KEEP THOSE CLAMMY HANDS OFF THE INTERNET." In typical Washington fashion, several Senators and Congressional Representatives quickly changed their minds about the bills. But just how effective was all the e-complaining? Since the effort was so widespread, nailing down exact numbers is difficult, but let's take a peek at the ones we managed to dredge up.
It sort of stands to reason that a company which makes photography equipment would be all smiles, especially one that's been around for over a century. The Eastman Kodak Company, founded in 1892, hasn't had a whole lot to smile about this week. Kodak on Wednesday announced it was filing a lawsuit against Samsung for allegedly infringing on certain patents related to its digital imaging technology, and just a day later the company is filling out more paperwork as it files for Chapter 11.
You've probably read the soundbites: critics say that the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act working their way through Congress will stifle technological innovation, trample free speech and unravel the Web as we know it. Thousands of websites have “gone dark” and shut down for at least a portion of the day just to protest the depths of the bills’ combined sucktitude. But do you really know why SOPA sucks? (Hint: The answer’s different now than it was a few weeks ago.) Do you know which websites joined the blackout? Do you know what YOU can do to help? No? You will after reading this.
The news coming out of Washington this weekend has been very, very encouraging for all the SOPA haters in the House; sponsor Lamar Smith said he was stripping the DNS blacklisting requirements from the bill, the White House issued a statement announcing it basically wouldn’t support a lot of the SOPA provisions, and there are even rumors of SOPA’s death floating around. That isn’t stopping Wikipedia from blacking out on January 18th to protest SOPA and its Senate-based sister act, PIPA. Reddit, Destructoid, and a host of other sites will also be shutting their virtual doors that day.
Grooveshark is currently being sued by everyone under the sun for its controversial non-licensed music streaming service. As the legal pressures continued to mount in 2011, Grooveshark’s app was pulled from the iOS App Store, and the Android Market. Rather than go back and forth with Google and Apple, Grooveshark has opted to bypass the app stores with an HTML5 web app.
Google a week ago began rolling out a social search update called "Search, "Plus Your World," which meshes photos, comments, and posts on your Google+ account with your search results. This has drawn the ire of a privacy advocate called EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) concerned over privacy and antitrust issues that could arise from the new search feature.
Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested four engineers for allegedly selling Intel processors designated as Engineer Samples (ES) on eBay for personal profit. Intel ES chips are the property of Intel and are often sent off to reviewers and OEM manufacturers prior to commercial release in order to test for compatibility. In theory, they're supposed to be returned to Intel.
Microsoft doesn't take kindly to software vendors selling counterfeit copies of Windows and other Microsoft software and will sail the seven seas to chase down pirates when need be. Most recently Microsoft went in pursuit of a Comet, the name of a U.K. retailer the software giant alleges sold more than 94,000 counterfeit copies of its Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems on pre-loaded PCs and laptops.
TiVo is on a roll. Following a $500 million settlement with satellite TV company Dish Network and its set-top box provider, EchoStar, back in May 2011, TiVo just put the squeeze on cable TV operator AT&T, which is on the hook for at least $215 million through June 2018 to settle a patent lawsuit related to digital video recorder (DVR) technologies.
Belarus is a small Eastern-European country that borders Russia. This former Soviet Bloc state is known for its breathtaking architecture, turbulent politics, and now for its effort to outlaw most of the Internet. A new law set to go into effect on January 6th would make it illegal for citizens and residents of Belarus to access domains or services based outside the nation.