Showing 1155 posts tagged law

On Thursday, several major record companies filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accusing Pandora of violating the state’s common-law copyright protections by using recordings of older songs without permission. Along with a string of cases filed last year against Sirius XM Radio, the suit highlights an obscure legal issue that has come to the fore with the rise of streaming music online: that recordings made before Feb. 15, 1972, are not subject to federal copyright protection and may be missing out on tens of millions of dollars in royalties, according to industry estimates. In the suit, the three big labels, Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with ABKCO, an independent label that controls the rights to many early songs by the Rolling Stones, accuse Pandora of playing old songs without licenses. Like the suits last year against Sirius XM — the band the Turtles (“Happy Together”) acted first, with a $100 million class-action suit, and the labels followed with their own complaint — the case argues that even though songs from before 1972 are not under federal copyright, Pandora should have to get permission to use them under state law.

Big Labels Take Aim At Pandora On Royalties - NYTimes.com

The bill, in the Florida Senate, would require that undergraduate course textbooks remain in use for at least three years at state institutions, unless a professor successfully appealed to administrators to change course materials more frequently. The bill would also require professors to post assigned textbooks at least two weeks before registration for a new term, forcing them to choose course materials up to seven months before the first day of class. Supporters of the bill, SB 530, say it would lower financial barriers to higher education for students who struggle to afford rising textbook costs, which they attribute in part to frequent turnover in course materials. But professors worry that the bill would force them to teach dated research and entangle them in onerous regulations.

Professors Would Have to Use Same Textbook for 3 Years Under Florida Bill - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Will people discount or treat less seriously speech posted on Facebook or a video uploaded to YouTube than they would in person or in a traditional medium such as newspapers or television? The Court never has considered how the nature of online media affects a true threats analysis," he wrote.

Supreme Court weighing when online speech becomes illegal threat | Ars Technica

In the proposed book, Karen L. Dawisha, a professor of political science and a Russia expert, writes about President Vladimir V. Putin’s alleged links to organized crime. Last month she received a letter from John Haslam, the press’s executive publisher for political science and sociology, stating that the press would not proceed with the book. “The decision has nothing to do with the quality of your research or your scholarly credibility,” he wrote. “It is simply a question of risk tolerance in light of our limited resources.”

Citing Libel Fears, Cambridge U. Press Won’t Proceed With Book on Putin – The Ticker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Specifically, the ACLU fears “jurisdictional overreach,” which under the new rules would allow a magistrate judge in any district to impose a “remote access search warrant” in any other district. The memo is authored by Nathan Freed Wessler, Chris Soghoian, Alex Abdo, and Rita Cant, who are attorneys and fellows at the ACLU. “Unlike terrorism investigations (for which out-of-district search warrants are currently authorized, Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(b)(3)), remote searches of electronic storage media are likely to occur with great frequency. The proposed rule is not a minor procedural update; it is a major reorganization of judicial power.” The ACLU also raised the troubling implications of granting the power of a single warrant to conduct vast digital searches.

As gov’t discusses expanding digital searches, ACLU sounds caution | Ars Technica

European parliament adopts 'net neutrality' law

The European Parliament voted Thursday to stop Internet providers from charging for preferential access to their networks — a step cheered by consumer groups and startups but bemoaned by the telecommunications industry.

The bill on “net neutrality” forces Internet providers to treat all traffic the same regardless of its source. That will prevent major telecom and Internet providers such as Vodafone or Deutsche Telekom from reserving the best of their network for their own services, or selling the lions’ share of bandwidth to big companies like Google and Netflix, while leaving a slower Internet for everyone else.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, who proposed the bill, hailed Thursday’s 534-25 vote as “historic.” She said it will help “to get rid of barriers and to make life less expensive” for consumers.

» via Yahoo! News

University wins $1.5bn patent suit

A federal judge has ordered US chip maker Marvell Technology Group to pay $1.5bn (£900m) to Carnegie Mellon University for infringing two hard-disk patents.

The university had been seeking damages of up to $3.7bn, and a jury had previously awarded it $1.1bn.

Marvell said it planned to appeal.

» via BBC

Google tells Supreme Court it’s legal to packet sniff open Wi-Fi networks

Google wants the Supreme Court to reverse a decision concluding that the media giant could be held liable for hijacking data on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers via its Street View cars.

The legal flap should concern anybody who uses open Wi-Fi connections in public places like coffee houses and restaurants. That’s because Google claims it is not illegal to intercept data from Wi-Fi signals that are not password protected.

» via ars technica

“There is a risk,” he said, that “instead of having competition on price, service and better production methods, we’ll have competition on who has the best patent lawyer. “And if you go the other way and say never” allow software patents, he went on, “then what you do is you rule out real inventions with computers.”

Supreme Court Seems Wary of a Software Patent Case - NYTimes.com

A US court just ruled that censorship by search engines is a form of free speech

A US District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit March 27 that accused Chinese search engine Baidu of illegally suppressing free speech by censoring information about democracy movements in China on the internet. The decision raises some unsettling questions about the world’s dependency on a handful of search engines.

The group of activists who brought the suit said Baidu’s government-mandated censorship was preventing Baidu’s users in the US from seeing their work, and thus violated their right to free speech under the US constitution’s First Amendment. Judge Jesse M. Furman’s paradoxical conclusion was that forbidding Baidu from censoring results would be a violation of its right to free speech

» via Quartz