An anonymous reader writes "News.com is reporting on a pair of court cases that could prove very important to ISPs in coming years. They both subtly chip away at the legal shield service providers have enjoyed against liability for hosted content. Further court cases could result in a 'chilling effect' on social networks and hosting services, as small businesses steer clear of potentially contentious content. '[The judge's ruling] differed from previous opinions in one important area. He refused to dismiss Jane Doe's argument that FriendFinder's republication of her profile invaded her 'intellectual property rights' under New Hampshire law. She claimed to be concerned about violations to her 'right of publicity,' which says an individual generally has the right to control how his name, image, and likeness is used commercially--and the court ruled that Doe's argument fell into the category of intellectual property law.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Google is giving a handful of web programmers the opportunity to create and run their own Web applications on their servers. Today's launch of a preview release of Google App Engine signals a new era of collaboration with third-party software developers. 'The goal is to make it easy to get started with a new Web app, and then make it easy to scale when that app reaches the point where it's receiving significant traffic and has millions of users," said Google product manager, Paul McDonald in a blog post."