• PS3 Hacking Case Judge: Why Is This In My Courtroom

    Just a little update on the Sony/George Hotz lawsuit. You know, the one where Sony tries to put the cat back in the bag. Well it turns out that their reason for filing suit in California is that YouTube, Twitter, and Paypal are all based on California. Wait, what? Read More

  • Museum Files $2 Million Suit Against Guy For Taking Pictures There

    Well well, I think we can safely file this one under frivolous. Photographer Thomas Hawk visited the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, with his camera of course, and took a few photos during his stay. A guard asked him whether he was making a book, and Hawk said no. He later put the pictures up on Flickr. Not long after, the museum informed Mr. Hawk that they were suing him for a minimum of… Read More

  • Why We Care About Apple And The Beatles

    So chances are (though I don’t buy the semaphore thing) that tomorrow will bring an announcement from Apple that they’ve finally reached an agreement with Apple Records, or EMI, or Apple Corps, or somebody, and will now be offering the Beatles catalogue on iTunes. That’s nice, but why should we care? Being that the Beatles MP3 holdout is emblematic of the recording… Read More

  • Nintendo Is Attempting To Trademark "It's On Like Donkey Kong"

    This is… unexpected. The phrase “it’s on like Donkey Kong,” which I don’t say nearly enough, is never something I actually associated with Nintendo. I don’t recall ever seeing it in any games or on box art, or even in promotional materials. Yet now Nintendo is trying to trademark it. Presumably this has to do with the new Donkey Kong Country Returns for… Read More

  • How Reasonable: German Court Fines Convicted File-Sharer €30

    You may have seen the settlement yesterday, likely being appealed, in which a woman was ordered to pay $1.5 million for illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs. That’s $62,600 per song, far above the (equally arbitrary, but considerably more realistic) $2250 per song ruled as the absolute maximum in another court, during an earlier trial. Higher figures, particularly those requested… Read More

  • Supreme Court Makes A Mockery Of California's Violent Game Ban

    This is fantastic. As you may know, California is attempting to bring about a nationwide ban on selling violent video games to minors. Their case must be phenomenally weak, because the Justices spend quite a bit of time ribbing the Attorney General over how this incredibly vague and biased proposal could potentially be applied to all manner of things. Justice Sotomayor: “Would a video… Read More

  • A Closer Look At Apple's Latest Patents

    Apple has been granted nine new patents, and I thought I’d take a look at the claims therein and see whether they match up to the descriptions, and whether they seem (to this humble blogger) like realistic items for which to gain exclusive rights. I’ve included links to all the patents, but the USPTO office is behaving strangely, and often returned an error when I tried to pull… Read More

  • A Method For Encumbering Progress By Patenting Other People's Ideas

    Inventor: Paul Allen
    Filed: August 27, 2010
    Abstract: A method for preventing innovation, specifically in the tech sector, by way of a dangerous misconception of what is patentable and a sadly overtaxed intellectual property regulatory system.
    Summary of the Invention: During a period of change and invention, ideas may occur to a person, and a few possible ways of manifesting those ideas. Read More

  • New York Alleges LCD Price-Fixing By LG, Hitachi, Samsung, and Sharp

    Accusations of price fixing like those now being filed in New York are nothing new, but as it turns out, the penalties don’t really stick. LG and Sharp paid hundreds of millions in a settlement back in 2008, Hitachi had its own scandal in 2009, and Sharp is already the defendant in a Dell lawsuit also alleging price fixing. Samsung seems to be the new kid on the block, but I think they… Read More

  • Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple Alleges That iPads Get Too Hot When Used In The Sun

    Apple must make a big, juicy target to lawyers trying to cobble together class-action lawsuits. They make promises in plain English that, as is the case with almost all advertising, don’t exactly pan out, but usually allowances can be made. Does Old Spice make you “smell like a man”? If you think a man smells otherwise, can you sue Old Spice for false advertising? Similarly… Read More

  • How will Apple respond to the DMCA revision? They won't.

    Today’s adjustment of the DMCA has far-reaching legal implications, which will only be evident after a few weeks, months, or even years as various parties exploit them however they can. I’m going to let the experts play in that sandbox. But one of the new rules seems to have had a specific target in mind: Apple. To wit: “(2) Computer programs that enable wireless… Read More

  • Auction off your Cease and Desist from LucasFilm for fun and profit

    Remember that cool-looking Spyder III Pro Arctic laser from WickedLasers? Remember how LucasFilm thought it looked a little too much like a lightsaber? Remember how they then served WickedLasers a Cease and Desist? And then, remember how WickedLasers put that Cease and Desist up on eBay? You probably don’t remember that last part, because I’m just telling you now. It’s up… Read More

  • Discovery sues Amazon over Kindle patent infringement – again

    When I read this story at Reuters, I thought it sounded a bit familiar. And sure enough, in March of 2009, we wrote pretty much the same thing. I immediately thought: “Could Reuters have messed up? Are they really that bad at this?” As it turns out, no — but they missed a key bit of context. Discovery is suing Amazon again, over essentially the same thing. They missed that… Read More

  • It's time to settle lawsuits and chew bubble gum – and I'm all out of bubble gum

    Duke Nukem Forever, a title subject to more delays, controversies, and lawsuits than Rockstar’s notorious Grand Theft Baby, may finally see a release. Well, there’s actually no reason to think that will happen, except that now there’s nothing actively preventing its release — except, of course, the fact that the game was never finished. The lawsuits between Take Two and… Read More

  • German court mandates passwords on all Wi-Fi – or face a fine

    This is another of these growing pains the modern world is having to go through. A court in Germany has decided that the owner/proprietor of a Wi-Fi connection is partially responsible if said connection is used for illegal purposes, with or without the owner’s knowledge. Therefore, leaving a Wi-Fi connection open to all comprises a sort of negligence, criminal negligence in fact… Read More

  • Seattle civil rights issue turns on hacking and police gadgetry

    When you watch CSI or 24, you see all kinds of technology being employed to catch the bad guy. On a regular police beat, however, much of that technology is used for administration, records, and protection of the cops against allegations of abuse of authority, brutality, and so on. Either way, it’s comforting to know that every interaction I’ll have with a cop if I were to be… Read More

  • Microsoft sued over Zune HD's buy from radio function

    Patents, patents, everywhere! It seems you can’t swing a cat these days without infringing on someone’s patent. The latest victim/perp is Microsoft; an Illinois doctor is suing them because of a patent he was granted in 2002 which allegedly covers the Zune’s ability to tag a song directly from the radio and then download that song once an internet connection is established. Read More

  • Apple vs. HTC: A grudge match?

    With a list of allegedly infringed patents as long as my arm, Apple could be considered as filing this lawsuit with nothing but the idea of getting what’s rightfully theirs. I imagine that’s true as far as it goes, but there’s a little more to it and I think this conflict may expose even further the cracks that are appearing in our patent and trademark system. Read More

  • Bill in UK may disallow public wi-fi

    Good luck sorting this one out, short-sighted lawmakers. An upcoming piece of major legislation in the UK, called the Digital Economy Bill, would essentially force all public wi-fi points offline by requiring impossibly high levels of copyright protection by libraries and small businesses. The bill, which bears some similarity to the controversial DMCA here in the US, is ostensibly aimed… Read More

  • Nintendo successfully sues Aussie etailer for selling DS flash cartridges

    It’s getting to be a mighty dangerous place out there for DS pirates. Several months ago, Nintendo decided to sue a few of the big DS hacking companies out there, and although that ended up causing a major boost to those companies’ sales, it looks like the big N is starting to crack down on resellers too. GadgetGear (no affiliation with yours truly) was selling the R4 flash… Read More

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