Courts

Mon
09
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Massachusetts Court to Broadcast Trials via Internet

A district court in Massachusetts plans to use social media to improve public understanding of the legal process. The experiment will take place in Quincy District Court, to the south of Boston. Unlike many courts where filming is allowed for use in ... news broadcasts, the plan here is to have a live Internet video broadcast whenever the court is in session. Not only is the court going to allow court visitors to blog, update Facebook and post to Twitter during cases, but it's providing a WiFi connection and even setting up a special seating area for "citizen journalists." Lawyers Fear Privacy ... (view more)

Wed
19
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft, Apple Battle Over Use of 'App Store'

Microsoft and Apple have headed to court over a war of words, or at least, technicalities of their use. Microsoft has filed a petition requesting that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Apple a trademark on the name "App Store." According ... to Microsoft, the term "App Store" is simply too generic to be the exclusive property of Apple. Apple first applied for the trademark in 2008 when it launched the iTunes App Store for the iPhone. It wanted to cover the term for any form of software retailing provided through the Internet. (Source: pcworld.com ) Microsoft: ... (view more)

Thu
30
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Man Charged With Hacking For Reading Wife's Email

A Michigan man could be jailed for up to five years after being charged with illegally accessing his wife's email account. But there are legal questions over the extent of privacy between married couples. The case involves Leon Walker, who shared a ... laptop in his home with his wife Clara, who has been married three times. Walker suspected she was having an affair with her second husband, which he was able to confirm after accessing her Gmail account. He then passed the relevant emails on to her first husband, who is the father of a child living at the couple's home. When the first husband went ... (view more)

Fri
17
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Co-Founder Fails In Patent Mega-Suit

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has failed in a bid to win patent damages against numerous online retailers, as well as Google and YouTube. He's been given until late December to come up with more specific claims. Allen's lawsuit named AOL, Apple, ... eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Yahoo and YouTube, plus retailers Officemax, Office Depot and Staples. But a federal judge said Allen hadn't been specific enough in his filing, meaning "the court and defendants are left to guess what devices infringe on the four patents." (Source: wsj.com ) Patent Copyrights Date back to 1992 The patents belong to ... (view more)

Thu
02
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Heads To Supreme Court Over MS Word Patent

In a bid to avoid an enormous $290 million fine, Microsoft is challenging the Supreme Court's handling of patent infringement cases. The company was hit with the financial penalty after it was found that Microsoft Word violated an XML tag patent ... owned by Canadian company i4i. Having failed in a federal appeal, Microsoft is no longer able to challenge the ruling that it did indeed violate the patent. However, Microsoft has continued to argue that the patent is not valid. It claims to have evidence that products using the technology patented by i4i were on sale more than a year before the ... (view more)

Fri
26
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Video Game Violence Case Reaches Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is re-examining the hotly disputed issue of video game violence. In an ongoing case, it's deciding whether to uphold a California law that would ban violent games being sold to kids under 18 years of age. The law, passed in 2005, ... would have introduced a $1,000 fine for any retailer caught selling "violent" games to minors. However, it wouldn't have stopped parents or other adults buying games and letting children play them. The law soon came under challenge and in 2009 California's highest court rejected it. That ruling said that there was no conclusive evidence that playing ... (view more)

Fri
14
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Snubbed Again in $290M MS Word Patent Case

One of Microsoft's last hopes of escaping a $290 million fine for MS Word patent violations has once again fallen by the wayside. It means the company must either hope for an unlikely hearing at the Supreme Court, or pay up the cash. The case ... involves XML, a variant on web programming language HTML. Whereas HTML only covers the formatting and presentation of data, XML allows for description and classification of the content of that data. Series of Appeals End in Failure Microsoft Word lets users open XML documents, but the technique it uses to do so was ruled to have breached a patent by ... (view more)

Wed
12
May
Dennis Faas's picture

FCC Seeks 'Third Way' To Regulate, Censure Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it has found a solution to legal road-blocking of its powers over broadband providers. It will use a technicality to enforce the " net neutrality " principles, but relax its controls over other ... aspects of broadband. The legal saga involves Comcast intentionally slowing down Internet access to customers who were using peer-to-peer filesharing services such as those based on the BitTorrent system. Many people using BitTorrent do so to share copyrighted files without permission, but the system itself is not illegal and can be used just as easily ... (view more)

Tue
23
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Guilty: Woman Fined $1.92M for Music File Sharing

Legal experts believe a $1.92 million fine imposed on a Minnesota woman for illegally sharing copyrighted music files could prompt a change in the law. Even if Jammie Thomas-Rasset fails in a potential constitutional challenge, anger over the size ... of the fine may force Congress to rewrite the rules. Double Whammy: Fine Skyrockets from $222,000 to $1,920,000 Thomas-Rasset was originally found to have broken copyright laws in 2007 after a court heard she had shared more than a thousand songs on the Kazaa file sharing network, though only 24 were officially cited in the case. A jury ordered her ... (view more)

Tue
09
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Explicit Pop-Up Debacle Leads to Teacher's Guilty Plea

The unbelievable story of Julie Amero, the substitute teacher who became the scapegoat of the Norwich school system when a computer riddled with spyware was inundated with pop-up "nasties" that were viewed by children in her class, has finally come ... to an end -- albeit, what many consider an unjust end. Amero was originally charged with four felonies for letting impressionable students see pornographic pictures as she browsed the web in her classroom. According to the Hartford Courant, Amero, who has been hospitalized and suffers from declining health, agreed to plead guilty to a single ... (view more)

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