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The Courts

Submission + - TripAdvisor could face legal action over reviews (

krou writes: Some 700 businesses from the hospitality industry are either committed to, or are contemplating, legal action against TripAdvisor over what they consider to be unfair reviews. KwikChex, a UK-based firm that specialises in on-line reputation management, is charging "victims" £35 to join a class action, and aims to collect examples of the most serious reviews in order to lead a fight against TripAdvisor. Once the complaints have been submitted to TripAdvisor, they will have 14 days to respond, or will face legal action. Some of the complainants are individuals accused of being racist, some who were targeted because of disgruntled employees, and others who feel that their businesses are being targeted by unfair and malicious reviews. 'Central to any case will be whether TripAdvisor, based in Newton, Massachusetts, and a part of the online travel firm Expedia, can be held liable as its business is based on publishing user-generated content – the opinions of others. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 in the US has been taken to mean that operators of websites are not legally liable for third parties' words.'

Submission + - Techie Mistakenly Arrested on Basis of IP Address (

An anonymous reader writes: A Bangalore-based software engineer, Lakshmana Kailash K, was wrongly jailed for 50 days last year by the Pune police cyber cell. Lakshmana had been falsely accused of an internet crime — posting unseemly pictures on the web — and was arrested based on the internet protocol address. As it turned out, the IP address was not his. But by the time the police confirmed this and acted on it, he had already spent 50 harrowing days at the Yerwada Jail with hardened criminals, had tasted lathi beatings and was made to use one bowl to both eat and for the toilet.

Submission + - The RIAA makes things worse (

John Holmes writes: "Don Reisinger at CNET has a great article that describes the true intentions of the RIAA and takes them to task on a point-by-point basis. From the article: "To get a feeling for why the RIAA has implemented this strategy and has seemingly ignored the piracy cartels all over the world, choosing the soft target instead, I got in touch with the organization and asked a representative 10 questions to clear the air. Unfortunately, the answers given proved even more damning to an organization that is already sitting on a powder keg." Best quote from the RIAA in the story: "College students have reached a stage in life when their music habits are crystallized," Duckworth said. "And their appreciation for intellectual property has not yet reached its full development.""
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA college litigations getting bumpy ride

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's juggernaut against colleges, started in February of this year, seems to be having a bumpier and bumpier ride. The normal game is to bring an ex parte lawsuit (i.e. no one other than the RIAA knows about it), and without any opposition submit an ex parte motion for an ex parte discovery order authorizing service of a subpoena to get the name and address of the students or staff who might have used a certain IP address. But the normal game seems to be getting disrupted here and there. A Virginia judge threw the RIAA's motion out the window, saying that it was not entitled to such discovery, in a case against students at the College of William & Mary. A New Mexico judge denied the application on the ground that there was no reason for it to be ex parte, in a case involving University of New Mexico students. He ultimately required the RIAA to serve a full set of all of the underlying papers, for each "John Doe" named, and to give the students 40 days in which to review the papers with counsel, and make a motion to quash if they chose to do so. In a stunning development, the Attorney General of the State of Oregon made a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena on behalf of the University of Oregon, on grounds which are fully applicable to every case the RIAA has brought to date: the lack of scientific validity to the RIAA's "identification" evidence. The motion is pending as of this writing. And students have themselves made motions to vacate the RIAA's ex parte orders and/or quash supboenas, in cases involving George Washington University, Boston University, North Carolina State University, University of South Florida, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Oklahoma State University. The Ohio University and University of Tennessee motions have been denied; the University of South Florida motion was granted; the others are pending. One very notable development among the student motions is that the North Carolina State motion was made jointly by seven (7) of the students together. I.e. they banded together and pooled their resources. The possibility of students organizing is the RIAA's worst nightmare, and cuts across its "divide and conquer" strategy. And of course the RIAA has given Harvard University a wide berth, in view of the statements of law school professors there telling the RIAA to "Take a Hike" and urging Harvard to put all of its available resources, including its legal clinics, into fighting the RIAA if and when it visits Harvard. Much combat remains, but the RIAA's campaign is no longer a hot knife cutting through butter on the nation's campuses."

Submission + - Friend-2-Friend software to protect your downloads (

fiskio writes: Turtle is a free and open source anonymous peer-to-peer network project facilitating free speech and sharing information by combining encryption with peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Like no other anonymous P2P software, it allows users to share files and otherwise communicate without fear of legal sanctions or censorship. Moreover it provides provable deniability, so that it's not possible to establish the source nor the origin for the traffic flowing through a node.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Police arrest teen for "virtual furniture" (

ekes writes: "According to the German Press Agency (DPA) Dutch police have arrested a teenager and are questioning four more about the "theft" of "virtual furniture" from the online Habbo Hotel
A police spokesman said the suspects will be charged on two accounts: hacking and burglary.

English report on Expatica"


Submission + - First use of RIPA to demand encryption keys (

kylehase writes: The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) is being used for the first time to force an animal activist to reveal encryption keys for encrypted files she claims to have no knowledge of. According to the article, she could face up to two years if she doesn't comply.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long