Courts

Tue
18
Feb
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Woman Jailed After Forgetting to Return VHS Tape

A South Carolina woman was recently imprisoned for failing to return a VHS tape checked out from a local video store roughly nine years ago. Kayla Michelle Finley went to her local police station a few days ago to report a crime. The 27-year-old ... hardly expected that such a visit would result in her imprisonment for the crime of failing to return a VHS copy of the film "Monster-in-Law," a film that starred singer-actress Jennifer Lopez and Academy Award winner Jane Fonda. "Monster" Criminal Forgets to Return Video Tape Finley rented the justifiably forgotten comedy from ... (view more)

Mon
27
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

FTC Sues Dish Network for Telemarketing Violations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing Dish Network for breaching rules on telemarketing calls. The government agency claims the satellite TV firm made millions of unsolicited telephone calls aimed at making sales. Some of the people covered by ... the new complaint were on the "National Do Not Call Registry," a central resource set up in 2004 to prevent unsolicited telemarketing phone calls to consumers who want their privacy. Most for-profit companies are banned from calling telephone numbers on the Do No Call list. The FTC had already complained that Dish Network called people ... (view more)

Tue
08
May
Dennis Faas's picture

FBI Wants to Read Facebook, Gmail, Skype Messages

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly pushing for a change in the U.S. law related to wiretapping. If passed, the changes would allow government monitoring of Facebook, Skype, and some email services. The idea is to change the ... Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which currently doesn't give investigators the right to monitor and intercept communications. Instead, the law forces telecommunications providers to set up their services in a way that makes such monitoring and intercepting technologically possible. Email, VoIP, Social Media to be Monitored? ... (view more)

Mon
20
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Ronald Reagan Law Costs Netflix $9M

Netflix has revealed its $9 million settlement of a claim it breached privacy laws. Surprisingly, the case involved a law intended to govern video rentals rather than Internet data. The lawsuit came to light in Netflix's latest financial filing with ... the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which it is required to detail any major legal actions. The filing said Netflix had not expected the settlement, so this was an unexpected expense. (Source: thehill.com ) The case involved the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The law bars video ... (view more)

Tue
01
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Smartphone, Mobile Tech Lawsuits Widespread

A senior Microsoft lawyer says Google is simply "standing on the shoulder" of other companies. Horacio Gutierrez made the claims while defending Microsoft's involvement in the so-called "patent wars". Gutierrez is the deputy general counsel at ... Microsoft and has specific responsibility for intellectual property (IP) issues. He made the accusations in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Smartphone, Mobile Tech Lawsuits Widespread The discussion centered on the widespread series of lawsuits and countersuits in the smartphone and mobile tech industry. The situation has ... (view more)

Tue
06
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Sued Over Alleged Phone Tracking

Microsoft is being sued over claims that it collects data about users of Windows Phone 7 handsets. The law suit says such collection happens even when the user has switched off the tracking tool. Rebecca Cousineau has filed the suit in Seattle, ... Microsoft's home city, and is seeking class action status. If granted, which is by no means guaranteed, any other Windows Phone 7 users in the same position could join the case and automatically receive damages if the case is won. Four Tracking Numbers to Identify Phone, User According to the lawsuit, analysis of the data sent by a Samsung Omnia 7, ... (view more)

Fri
08
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

ISPs Launch Major Piracy Crackdown

Some of America's leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have reached an agreement with movie and music companies to punish customers who breach copyright laws. But while the sanctions are lighter than rights owners would like, the move could ... still spark a legal debate. The deal involves AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon, along with industry bodies for Hollywood studios, record labels and TV producers. It's being organized under the newly-formed Center for Copyright Information. Although it's an industry program and isn't governed by legal regulations, there are reports that White ... (view more)

Wed
29
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Supreme Court OKs Violent Game Sales to Minors

The Supreme Court recently reached a ruling that will be seen by many as a victory for makers of violent video games. At least seven states have passed legislation that bans the sale of violent games, but in every case that legislation was ... overturned by a lower court. California, which passed such a law in 2005 and was immediately blocked from enforcing it, was the first to appeal to the Supreme Court. The California law caused immediate controversy: while it only banned sales where the content was "patently offensive," the threshold also required prosecutors to show a game lacked "serious ... (view more)

Fri
10
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Loses $290M in MS Office Patent Battle

Microsoft has failed in a Supreme Court bid to overturn a $290 million patent violation ruling. Not only is it the largest such award ever upheld, but this final ruling has significant consequences for patent law. The case involves XML documents, an ... advanced version of the HTML webpage code that allows data to be tagged to designate its content rather than just the way it appears on screen. The code makes it much easier to organize document content (for example, in a database). Microsoft Office XML Support Began with Office 2003 Microsoft built support for reading XML documents into the 2003 ... (view more)

Fri
13
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Judge Questions IP as Evidence in Raunchy Case

Until recently, courts of law have had the power to force Internet Service Providers to hand over customer details based on IP (Internet Protocol) address information, which is used to identify a user connected to the Internet. But now one judge has ... refused to make such an order, questioning the accuracy of the method. An IP is a number that identifies a particular device such as a computer or a router connected to a network. In theory, there is a straight correlation between one device and one IP address. In practice, though, a single IP address does not necessarily mean one computer or one ... (view more)

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