August 19, 2012 |
MEXICO CITY - First there were four of them, lined up against the subway platform wall. Then five, then six, then 11 - all of them blind, all with retractable canes, all with bulging backpacks strapped to their torsos. Socorro Jimenez was among them, waiting her turn. The unwritten rule is one per train. Soon, hers came. This is how it always works on mornings such as this one: Few of the strap-hanging housekeepers or half-asleep students or impassive office workers will pay much mind to the 55-year-old, or her cane, or her nondescript black backpack.
August 17, 2012 |
CBS has dropped its copyright infringement lawsuit againstABC's reality series "The Glass House," which the network had contended was a close copy of its"Big Brother" reality show. Executives maintained the low rating of "Glass House" made the suit unnecessary. "The viewers have spoken and delivered the ultimate form of justice against 'The Glass House,' " said the statement from CBS. "As a result, we filed in federal court this morning a voluntary dismissal without prejudice of our claims against ABC. " However, CBS left open the door for further legal action: "We reserve the right to re-file this claim against ABC/"The Glass House" or any other entity, that goes to such shocking lengths to duplicate our copyright material.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2012 |
A federal judge rejected a novel legal argument Friday that would have allowed Michael Jackson's mother and her business partner to profit from a line of merchandise separate from the late star's estate. In a 15-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson granted summary judgment in a copyright infringement case brought by the executors of Jackson's estate and issued a permanent injunction barring Canadian entrepreneur Howard Mann from trading on the singer's name. "There is undisputed evidence that Defendants intended in bad faith to profit from use of Jackson's name, by registering multiple domain names containing his name or the initials 'MJ' to sell Jackson-related products," the judge wrote.
August 11, 2012 |
Hoping to mollify its entertainment industry critics,Google Inc.is tweaking its search engine to penalize websites suspected of hosting pirated music, videos, games and other copyrighted content. The change was viewed as a concession to movie studios, music labels and television companies that have tried to lobby, cajole and, in some cases, sue Google into helping them shut down online piracy. In most of these cases, Google has argued that its role is to help consumers find information they need on the Web, not to police Internet piracy.
August 4, 2012 |
It can be a dog-eat-dog world in social games. Electronic Arts Inc. on Friday filed a copyright infringement suit against Zynga Inc., alleging that the social gaming company's "The Ville" misappropriated EA's game "The Sims Social. " EA's lawsuit was just the latest in a string of bad news for Zynga. The San Francisco social gaming company was hit Monday with a shareholder lawsuit claiming that Zynga investors and executives — including its chief executive, Mark Pincus — had improperly cashed out $516 million in company stock in April, three months before Zynga posted disappointing earnings that sent its shares plummeting 37% in one day. In a blog post explaining EA's lawsuit, Lucy Bradshaw, head of Maxis, the EA-owned studio that created "Sims Social," outlined why EA contends that Zynga "ripped off" its intellectual property.
July 14, 2012 |
This post has been updated and corrected, as indicated below. The entertainment industry may not adapt swiftly to the technology people use to acquire and enjoy media, but its lawyers certainly do. It took the music industry a matter of weeks to sue Napster, the pioneering online file-sharing site. And since then, each successive iteration of mass-scale infringement has drawn lawsuits, from distributed file-sharing platforms such as Kazaa to newsgroup indexes such as Newzbin to Bit Torrent sites such as the Pirate Bay and to online locker services such as RapidShare . Federal enforcers are not so nimble, but they've been gradually expanding their efforts from direct infringers to enablers.
July 11, 2012 |
The Pittsburgh MC Mac Miller is one of the most polarizing figures in rap music, selling reams of records to his college-age peers but loathed by many serious genre fans . Now he can add a new name to his enemies' list -- the Bronx MC Lord Finesse, who Miller sampled on a 2010 mixtape track, "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza. " Miller has openly cited Finesse as a major influence, and he heavily sampled the MC-producer's 1995 track "Hip 2 Da Game" for a track off Miller's free 2010 mixtape "K.I.D.S.
June 15, 2012 |
CBS tried to shutter ABC's reality series "The Glass House," but a federal judge on Friday said the show will go on. Claiming the ABC series is a "Big Brother" copycat, CBS filed for a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against "Glass House" that would have blocked its Monday premiere. The network had already sued ABC and "Glass House" producers claiming copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets; that suit is still pending.
June 1, 2012
Re "Oracle vs. Google," Editorial, May 29 If a federal court holds that application programming interfaces (APIs) are copyrightable, the ruling will have no consequence. An API is an interface, like the key slot in your car. It can be changed while still performing the same functions. An API can have things moved, changed and added without copyright issues because only the appearance has changed. The reverse is also true: APIs, like key slots, can appear exactly the same, yet the under the hood, the mechanics are completely different.
May 29, 2012
The legal battle between Google and Oracle over the use of Java in Google's Android software is more than just another bruising patent fight between rival tech companies. The more unusual and disturbing aspect of the dispute is Oracle's claim to hold copyrights to Java's "application programming interfaces," or the bits of code that let apps written in Java work with other programs. Although a federal jury found that Google violated those copyrights (but not Oracle's patents), District Judge William Alsup can still hold that APIs aren't copyrightable.