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Seagate Sues STEC For Patent Infringement 51

Lucas123 writes "Yesterday Seagate filed suit against STEC, claiming several of its products, including solid state disks and some DRAM devices, infringe as many as four of its patents. Today STEC responded that it holds patents on the technology 10 years older than Seagate's. A Seagate win in the suit, or a settlement, could result in the equivalent of a tax on SSDs and potentially other flash memory products, increasing prices to end users at a time when demand for SSD storage is exploding."

ARIA Sells a Licence for DJs to Format Shift Music 239

lucas writes "The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has set up a new licence to let DJs format shift their music to use at gigs. DJs will need to pay a licence fee to copy music they already own legally from one format to another for ease of use, and as a back-up in case originals get lost or stolen. Criminal penalties for DJs involved in "music piracy" are up to sixty thousand dollars and 5 years imprisonment. There are also on-the-spot fines of over one thousand dollars."

Seagate May Sue if Solid State Disks Get Popular 242

tero writes "Even though Seagate has announced it will be offering SSD disks of its own in 2008, their CEO Bill Watkins seems to be sending out mixed signals in a recent Fortune interview 'He's convinced, he confides, that SSD makers like Samsung and Intel (INTC) are violating Seagate's patents. (An Intel spokeswoman says the company doesn't comment on speculation.) Seagate and Western Digital (WDC), two of the major hard drive makers, have patents that deal with many of the ways a storage device communicates with a computer, Watkins says. It stands to reason that sooner or later, Seagate will sue — particularly if it looks like SSDs could become a real threat.'"
The Courts

FBI Posts Fake Hyperlinks To Trap Downloaders of Illegal Porn 767

mytrip brings us a story from about an FBI operation in which agents posted hyperlinks which advertised child pornography, recorded the IP addresses of people who clicked the links, and then tracked them down and raided their homes. The article contains a fairly detailed description of how the operation progressed, and it raises questions about the legality and reliability of getting people to click "unlawful" hyperlinks. Quoting: "With the logs revealing those allegedly incriminating IP addresses in hand, the FBI sent administrative subpoenas to the relevant Internet service provider to learn the identity of the person whose name was on the account--and then obtained search warrants for dawn raids. The search warrants authorized FBI agents to seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, and credit card statements. While it might seem that merely clicking on a link wouldn't be enough to justify a search warrant, courts have ruled otherwise. On March 6, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada agreed with a magistrate judge that the hyperlink-sting operation constituted sufficient probable cause to justify giving the FBI its search warrant."
The Internet

Comcast Says FCC Powerless to Stop P2P Blocking 377

Nanoboy writes "Even if the FCC finds that Comcast has violated its Internet Policy Statement, it's utterly powerless to do anything about it, according to a recent filing by the cable giant. Comcast argues that Congress has not given the FCC the authority to act, that the Internet Policy Statement doesn't give it the right to deal with the issue, and that any FCC action would violate the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946. '"The congressional policy and agency practice of relying on the marketplace instead of regulation to maximize consumer welfare has been proven by experience (including the Comcast customer experience) to be enormously successful," concludes Comcast VP David L. Cohen's thinly-veiled warning to the FCC, filed on March 11. "Bearing these facts in mind should obviate the need for the Commission to test its legal authority."'"

The Copyright Crusade a Lost Cause? 253

A. Smith writes "Ars Technica is exploring the relationship between property rights and copyright, arguing that copyright holders are making a mistake by stressing similarities between property rights and copyright. They compare P2P users to 18th-century squatters in North America: 'Like squatters of old, many ordinary users find copyright law bewildering and are frustrated by the arbitrary restrictions it imposes. Customers wanting to rip their DVD collections to their computers, download music they can play on any device, or incorporate copyrighted works into original creative works find that there is no straightforward, legal way to do these things.' They conclude by offering that more reasonable, understandable copyright restrictions would result in a user base friendlier to publisher interests."

Judge Makes Lawyers Pay For Frivolous Patent Suit 263

Gallenod writes "The Denver Post is reporting that the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of a Federal judge who threw out and reversed a jury decision in favor of a patent infringement claim and ordered the plaintiff's lawyers to pay the defendants' court costs. U.S. District Senior Judge Richard P. Matsch sanctioned the plaintiff's attorneys for 'cavalier and abusive' misconduct and for having a 'what can I get away with?' attitude during a 13-day patent infringement trial in Denver. With the Appeals Court in agreement, could this case be the 'shot heard round the world' in the revolution against patent trolls?"

EU Commissioner Proposes 95 year Copyright 591

Albanach writes "The European Union Commissioner for the Internal Market has today proposed extending the copyright term for musical recordings to 95 years. He also wishes to investigate options for new levies on blank discs, data storage and music and video players to compensate artists and copyright holders for 'legal copying when listeners burn an extra version of an album to play one at home and one in the car ... People are living longer and 50 years of copyright protection no longer give lifetime income to artists who recorded hits in their late teens or early twenties, he said.'"

Canon Files For DSLR Iris Registration Patent 273

An anonymous reader writes "Canon has filed for a patent for using iris watermarking (as in the iris of your eye) to take photographer's copyright protection to the next level. You set up the camera to capture an image of your eye through the viewfinder. Once captured, this biological reference is embedded as metadata into every photo you take. Canon claims this will help with copyright infringement of photos online."

US Senate Votes Immunity For Telecoms 623

Ktistec Machine writes to let us know that the telecom companies are one step closer to getting off the hook for their illegal collusion with the US government. Today the US Senate passed, by a filibuster-proof majority of 67 to 31, a revised FISA bill that grants retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that helped the government illegally tap American network traffic. If passed by both houses and signed by the President, this would effectively put an end to the many lawsuits against these companies (about 40 have been filed). The House version of the bill does not presently contain an immunity provision. President Bush has said he will veto any such bill that reaches his desk without the grant of immunity. We've discussed the progress of the immunity provision repeatedly.

Amazon Patents Customized 404 Pages 167

theodp writes "Among the patents awarded to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday was one for his invention of Error Processing Methods for Providing Responsive Content to a User When a Page Load Error Occurs, which covers displaying alternate web pages in response to HTTP 404 page-not-found errors. So is this the technology that causes Amazon's Home Page to be displayed when Bezos' MIA Patent Reform Page can't be found?"

AIDS Drug Patent Revoked In US 357

eldavojohn writes "Doctors Without Borders is reporting that four patents for tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, a key AIDS/HIV drug, have been revoked on grounds of prior art. This is potentially good news for India & Brazil who need this drug to be cheap; if the US action leads to the patent being rejected in these countries, competition could drastically lower prices. But the ruling bad news for Gilead Sciences. The company has vowed to appeal. We discussed this drug before."

Ford Claims Ownership Of Your Pictures 739

Mike Rogers writes "In a move that can only be described as 'Copyright Insanity', Ford Motor Company now claims that they hold the rights to any image of a Ford vehicle, even if it's a picture you took of your own car. The Black Mustang Club wanted to put together a calendar featuring member's cars and print it through CafePress, but an attorney from Ford nixed the project, stating that the calendar pics and 'anything with one of (member's) cars in it infringes on Ford's trademarks which include the use of images of their vehicles.' Does Ford have the right to prevent you from printing images of a car you own?"
Wireless (Apple)

Apple Patents 'Buy Stuff Wirelessly, Skip Lines' Tech 254

An anonymous reader writes "Apple is looking to patent a process that will save customers the hassle of waiting to order a cup of coffee at a local Starbucks. Even better: The technology would let you jump the line of those ordering in person. 'Customers might tap a button to order their favorite drink, say a double-shot mocha, as they stroll up to the nearest coffee shop. When the drink is ready go to, the device--such as an iPhone--would chime or blink to let the thirsty one know it's time to scoop up the order at the counter. The patent puts Apple's partnership with Starbucks in a new light. The technology promises to morph Apple from the business of simply selling gadgets and music and movies that can be played on those devices into an intermediary in all kinds of exchanges.'"
The Internet

Report Says 36.4% of World's Computers Infringe on IP 331

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "According to a new report by Digital Music News, 36.4% of the world's computers have LimeWire installed. Given their claim that filling an iPod legally would cost about $40,000, they're pretty sure that most of those computers are infringing upon at least a few imaginary property rights. BitTorrent shouldn't feel left out, though. BitTorrent actually uses more bandwidth, but the article suggests that this is because it is used to share larger files, like movies."

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year