Courts

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)

Thu
21
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Web Firm Sues For Google Jackpot

A web server company is suing Google claiming that many of its services, including AdWords, Blogger and YouTube are all infringements of its patents. The suit by GraphOn Corporation claims all these systems copy its patented technology for "unique ... method of maintaining an automated and network-accessible database". The firm is seeking unspecified damages, plus "permanent injunctive relief" -- in other words, a court order stopping Google from using the technology. (Source: yahoo.com ) Google says it hasn't yet received official notice of the suit and therefore isn't commenting. (Source: cnet. ... (view more)

Mon
04
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

San Francisco Network Hijacking Case Takes Embarassing New Twist

After making intense efforts to re-secure the city's computer network after a disgruntled employee took control of the system, San Francisco officials have made a big mistake by putting around 150 passwords into the public record. The blunder comes ... as part of an ongoing criminal action against Terry Childs, a system administrator who, apparently infuriated by the work practices of his colleagues, put a series of passwords on the entire system to stop anyone else getting access. He then refused to hand over the details even under threat of imprisonment; after being placed on remand with bail ... (view more)

Wed
07
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Amazon.com takes New York Tax to Court

Amazon recently filed papers with the New York State Supreme Court declaring a problem tax provision to be "invalid, illegal, and unconstitutional." This was an expected response by a retailer attempting to redefine what constitutes the physical ... presence of a company within the geographical boundaries of a state. Confused? So is the state of New York, which contends that Amazon ought to be held responsible for the collection of local sales taxes because the company pays out referral commissions to its affiliates who are registered to a New York address. The provision is part of New York's $ ... (view more)

Wed
09
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Makes Friends With Court Opponents

Facebook appears set to settle a long-standing legal row over claims founder Mark Zuckerburg stole the idea for the site from Harvard colleagues. ConnectU, a site for keeping in touch with current and former college classmates, launched the lawsuit ... in question way back in 2004. Its founders, brothers Cameron and Tyler Vinklemoss and Divya Marenda, said Zuckerburg had taken the idea when he worked for them in 2003. This work involved setting up Harvard Connection, a dating site specifically for the university. The lawsuit claimed Zuckerburg deliberately took his time on the project because he ... (view more)

Thu
06
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

First Amendment No Excuse For Misleading Spam, Court Rules

A North Carolina man has become the first person jailed in the US for spamming, despite his attempts to cite the First Amendment. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld a nine year sentence given to Jeremy Jaynes, though only by a 4-3 margin. It's ... thought he sent ten million spam messages in July and August of 2003 alone, though the original prosecutors only presented evidence of 53,000 messages sent over a three-day period (it's a felony crime to send more than 10,000 spams a day). He was found guilty on three counts, and given a three year-sentence for each. Jaybes was prosecuted in Virginia, ... (view more)

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