As the saying goes, 'Keep your friends close, and sue your customers.' Wait, that isn't exactly right, but it's the motto Sony's sticking with as it takes legal action against a band of hackers who uncovered and published security codes for the PlayStation 3 console, BBC News reports.
Sony named 21-year-old George Hotz and more than 100 others associated with a hacking group known as "fail0verflow" in its lawsuit.
"I am a firm believer in digital rights," Hotz said. "I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony's current action. I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis."
If George Hotz sounds at all familiar to you, it's because he's the same person who cracked the iPhone's security measures. In this case, Sony is upset that Hotz figured out Sony's secret codes, including a number used to digitally sign all PS3 games and software as genuine. With that key, any software can be signed as legit, including pirated games.
We're not surprised Courtney Love said/wrote something that earned her a lawsuit, we're just surprised this is the first time a celebrity's been sued over comments left on Twitter.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Love had been in a dispute with Dawn Simorangkir, a fashion designer seeking payment for clothes worth several thousand dollars. For whatever reason, Love decided to fire off a string of insults and personal attacks against Simorangkir on her Twitter account.
"She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!," Love tweeted.
That was the least of Love's comments, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which says Love also accused the fashion designer of being a drug-pushing prostitute. The end result is the first high-profile defamation trial over Twitter comments.
"We don't believe there's any defamation, and even if there were defamatory statements, there was no damage," says James Janowitz, an attorney for Love.
The big question -- and potential precedent -- is whether or not users would legally interpret Love's Twitter posts as facts rather than opinion.
Like Leisure Suit Larry -- the version created by Al Lowe and not the bastardized remake that never would have flown at the Sierra of old -- daters signing up at Match.com may be looking for love in all the wrong places, but it isn't their fault, they say.
Former customers accuse the online dating service of misleading potential subscribers who pony up to find their soul mate only to run into a plethora of expired ads for fake accounts created by spammers, BizJournals.com reports. These scorned lovers have taken their complaint to court.
"Match takes virtually no action to remove these profiles," the plaintiffs complain. "With regard to the thousands of fake or fraudulent profiles, Match likewise makes little to no effort to vet, police, or remove these profiles and thereby permits, condones, and acquiesces their posting."
In legal speak, the allegations amount to breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and negligent misrepresentation. The basis for all this? The plaintiff's attorneys say they interviewed former Match.com employees who admitted that as many as 60 percent of profiles on the site are inactive or fake, and that they're instructed to only take them down following a specific request.
Remember that whole kerfuffle between Activision and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella? Yeah, well, it never ended. Also, it's done being a “kerfuffle.” When this much money and bad blood is on the table, we're legally required to call it by a name that packs a much larger punch. Yep, this one's been upgraded to a good old-fashioned gorilla manly man biceps cagefight squabble.
Not only has Activision finally put a price on its lawsuit, it's also taken aim at another alleged conspirator: fellow corporate King Kong Electronic Arts.
"Electronic Arts conspired with two former senior Activision executives, West and Zampella (the 'executives') to derail Activision's Call of Duty franchise, disrupt its Infinity Ward development studio, and inflict serious harm on the company," read Activision's motion to amend its countersuit.
The rabbit hole, however, runs even deeper if Activision's to be believed. Apparently, West and Zampella attended a private meeting in EA CEO John Ricitiello's house in order to devise a plan to wriggle out of their legally binding contracts – which still had two years left on them before expiration.
The publisher is also accusing its former Call of Duty dream team of purposefully stepping on fellow COD dev Treyarch's toes and continuing to “possess Activision confidential information long after they left which makes it likely that West and/or Zampella have misused and/or will continue to misuse valuable Activision intellectual property and trade secrets, including computer code, now that they have left Activision."
And finally, the big, ugly, slobber-knocking kicker: In addition to demanding $400 million, Activision wants the court to “prevent Electronic Arts and the former executives from benefiting from their illegal conduct." In other words, the publisher's spawn-camping Respawn Studios.
Joystiq has kindly posted the entire court document if you'd like to practically taste random flecks of dirt from all the mudslinging. Needless to say, it's a doozy.
Google Buzz users on Tuesday should have received a rare email from Google regarding a settlement offer for a class action suit by Gmail users over privacy concerns (if not, check your SPAM box).
"Shortly after its [Google Buzz] launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and reached a settlement in this case," Google wrote in the above mentioned email.
"The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the Web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be," Google said.
This isn't a settlement where Gmail users receive cash, however "everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010."
The Court will decide on final approval of the settlement agreement on January 31, 2011.
The largest single BitTorrent suit to date doesn't belong to the MPAA or any of Hollywood's major film studios, and instead originates from Axel Braun Productions, a pornography outfit targeting 7,098 John Doe plantiffs, XBizNewswire.com reports.
Their sin? Illegally downloading and sharing "Batman XXX: A Porn Parody." For doing so, Axel Braun, acting as a one man wolf pack, has now waged war with anyone who pirates his porn and had some strong words to go along with the current lawsuit.
"F*** 'em all," Braun said. "People don't realize that when you pirate a movie it hurts all of the people who work very hard to get it produced -- from the cast to the production assistants to the makeup artists. These are people who live paycheck to paycheck, and with 'Batman XXX,' that was a film I financed myself. So we are going after every one of them who pirates our content."
After reading his comments, we can't shake the image of Butthead saying, "Heh, heh... Hey Beavis, he said 'work very hard.'" But we digress. The real point here is that Braun believes that going on a legal rampage against file sharers is a "new form of revenue for adult companies." Really? We suppose that would make him the Rambus of the adult film industry, only Rambus has never actually come out and said it so plainly.
The telecom industry is littered with lawsuits, so many in fact that it's nigh impossible to keep track of them all. That is unless you print out a copy of CNNMoney.com's modified social graph, a slightly altered and updated version of the original pieced together by InformationIsBeautiful.net.
The graphic makes sense of what would otherwise be a convoluted mess of lawsuits. Follow the arrows and you'll discover, for example, that Kodak is suing RIM, who is suing Motorola (so is Microsoft), who is suing Apple, who is suing Nokia, who is suing (and being sued by) Qualcomm. Dizzy yet? There's plenty more.
If this is the kind of stuff that gets you going, check out the full graphic here.
You'd normally expect two companies freshly locked in a legal battle to exchange barbs aplenty, but Microsoft and Motorola are only interested in trading friendly overtures at this stage. If you don't know already, MS recently sued Motorola for patent infringement related to the latter's Android phones.
Barring any last minute changes, Apple is up against a $625.5 million judgment against Mirror Worlds, which sued the Cupertino company in 2008 for alleged patent infringement, Bloomberg reports.
The original lawsuit accuses Apple's iPod device, iPhone, and Mac OS X of infringing on a number of Mirror Worlds' patents for a way documents are displayed on a computer screen. According to Bloomberg, the trial honed in specifically on the Spotlight, Time Machine, and Cover Flow features in Apple's OSes, which eventually led to the second biggest jury verdict so far this year, and the fourth biggest patent verdict in U.S. history.
In response to the $625.5 million judgment, Apple has issued an emergency motion that accuses Mirror Worlds of "triple dipping" if it wins $208.5 million for each of the three patents in dispute.