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Spotify Sued For Patent Infringement 151

An anonymous reader writes "Celebrated online music player Spotify just entered the US market a few weeks ago, and already it's being sued for patent infringement. Welcome to America! The patent in question is a very very broad patent on distribution of music in a digital form, which basically describes how anyone would ever distribute digital music. The company suing, PacketVideo, has no competing product. It just wants money from the company that actually innovated."
The Courts

J. K. Rowling Wins $6,750 In Infringement Case 521

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "J. K. Rowling didn't make enough money on Harry Potter, so she had to make sure that the 'Harry Potter Lexicon' was shut down. After a trial in Manhattan in Warner Bros. v. RDR Books, she won, getting the judge to agree with her (and her friends at Warner Bros. Entertainment) that the 'Lexicon' did not qualify for fair use protection. In a 68-page decision (PDF) the judge concluded that the Lexicon did a little too much 'verbatim copying,' competed with Ms. Rowling's planned encyclopedia, and might compete with her exploitation of songs and poems from the Harry Potter books, although she never made any such claim in presenting her evidence. The judge awarded her $6,750 and granted her an injunction that would prevent the 'Lexicon' from seeing the light of day." Groklaw has an exhaustive discussion of the judgement.
PC Games (Games)

Valve Locking Out Gamers Who Buy Orange Box Internationally 665

Via Opposable Thumbs, a post on the Consumerist site notes that some enterprising gamers who bought the Orange Box in a territory different than the one they lived (to save a few bucks) have now found themselves unable to play the game. "One user, Todd, explains that thousands of crafty North American gamers looking for a deal have 'bought the product (and hence, the serial numbers) at well known international game stores' at a significant markdown. Activation of the purchased titles went off without a hitch. However, Valve apparently has taken issue with the region-specificity of some international versions and has begun locking out accounts of those living in North America, but owning international serial numbers with the message that the purchased game is in the 'incorrect territory.'" Worse, folks who tried to 'make it right' by buying a local copy have found they're basically SOL. I've been a big fan of the Steam concept since it launched, but this is the sort of thing you need to communicate to your users before you sting them.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato