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The Courts

Class Action Suit Goodies Await Tech Users 117

jfruh writes "Did you buy an Acer laptop with Vista and less than 1 GB of RAM? The company has a thumb drive it would like to send you. Did you get an unwanted text from Papa John's? The company would like to make it up with you with $50 worth of free pizza. These and other little rewards are available as a result of class action lawsuits that have wound their ways through the court systems and now, years later, are paying off for very large groups of tech users." I wonder how many USB drives the lawyers took as their share.

US Justice Dept. Sues eBay For Anti-Competitive Hiring Practices 66

McGruber writes "The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. Justice Department is suing eBay for allegedly agreeing with Intuit not to hire each other's employees. According to the article, 'eBay's agreement with Intuit hurt employees by lowering the salaries and benefits they might have received and deprived them of better job opportunities at the other company,' said acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland, who is in charge of the Justice Department's antitrust division. The division 'has consistently taken the position that these kinds of agreements are per se (on their face) unlawful under antitrust laws.'"

After 7 Years In Court, Google Settles With Publishers On Book Scanning 127

redletterdave writes "After seven long years of litigation, Google Inc. and the Association of American Publishers have reached an agreement to settle over the search giant's book-scanning project, which will allow publishers to choose whether or not they want their books, journals and publications digitized by Google and accessed via its Google Library Project. The agreement, according to the two companies, acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright holders, so U.S. publishers can choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project, or choose to keep their publications available. For those that keep their works online with Google, those publishers will be able to keep a digital copy for their own use and sell their publications via the Google Play marketplace." Also reported by Reuters, as carried by the Chicago Tribune, and the BBC.

Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight 738

First time accepted submitter amiller2571 writes "The eyes of the technology world are focused on the epic patent struggle between Apple and Samsung — the latest iteration of Apple's frantic legal battle against everything Android. The iPhone maker has also brought suits against Android device manufacturers HTC and Motorola. Apple has faced criticism for its endless lawsuits designed to stunt competition from Google's Android, but a quick look at Android device shipments in the second quarter of 2012 reveals a key number that suggest Apple is right to worry." Spoiler alert: the number the article focuses on is 68 — as in, the 68 percent of the smart phone market in this year's second quarter that consisted of Android phones.

FunnyJunk v. the Oatmeal: Copyright Infringement Complaints As Defamation 286

An anonymous reader writes "Funny as it might sound, FunnyJunk's threat of litigation against The Oatmeal raises a very important issue: the extent to which artists can complain in public about perceived or actual infringement of their works by user-generated content websites. Does it matter if the content creator accused the website of condoning or participating in the infringement?" The short story is this: Numerous Oatmeal comics were posted without permission to FunnyJunk; Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman lambasted FunnyJunk in the form of a blog post. FunnyJunk responded with a suit (or rather the threat of a suit) accusing Inman of willful defamation, unless he ponies up $20,000, which he doesn't plan to do.

Google Developer Testifies That Java Memo Was Misinterpreted 201

benfrog writes with a piece that appeared in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about the in-progress legal battle between Oracle and Google over Java: "Ex-Sun and current Google employee Tim Lindholm testified that it was "not what he meant" when asked about the smoking gun email (included here (PDF)) that essentially said that Google needed to get a license for Java because all the alternatives 'suck[ed].' He went on in 'brief but tense testimony' to claim that his day-to-day involvement with Android was limited."

RealNetworks Sues Dutch Webmaster Over Hyperlink To Freeware 297

An anonymous reader writes "In the ever lasting contest for the most idiotic lawsuit, RealNetworks has sued a Dutch man for posting a link to a competing freeware program that allegedly infringes on RealNetworks' intellectual property. The company also secretly obtained a court order that resulted in confiscation of all computers belonging to the man and his family. The 26-year-old has already incurred over €66,000 in legal fees and if he loses the case, he's facing €210,000 in fines. Where are the Anonymous when you need them?"
The Courts

The Ongoing Case of Rakofsky vs. Internet 157

Chmcginn writes "Joseph Rakofsky, a New Jersey lawyer whose claim to internet fame is filing a lawsuit against the Washington Post and the American Bar Association for criticizing his performance at a Washington, DC murder trial, has amended his suit to include a number of bloggers and internet forum members — for criticizing the lawsuit. Which is a bigger threat to free speech — direct government action, or fear of lawsuits for frivolous defamation charges?"

Google Loses Autocomplete Defamation Case 258

superglaze writes "Google has been found liable in an Italian court for defamatory comments made against an anonymous plaintiff — the complainant's name, when googled, elicited autocomplete suggestions that translate as 'con man' and 'fraud.' Google was found not to qualify for EU 'safe harbour' protection because the autocomplete suggestions were deemed to be Google's own creation, and not something merely passing through its systems."

Sony PlayStation 3 Imports Temporarily Banned In Europe 97

tekgoblin writes "Looks like Sony is in some trouble in Europe. LG recently complained about Sony and filed a US patent dispute over their Blu-ray technology. Now they have been granted a preliminary injunction in the matter in Europe. This injunction prevents the PlayStation 3 from currently being imported to Europe. For at least the next 10 days, every PlayStation that is imported will be seized by government officials."
The Media

Righthaven To Explain Why Reposting Isn't Fair Use 169

Ponca City, We love you writes "TechDirt reports that a judge has asked Righthaven to explain why a non-profit organization reposting an entire article isn't fair use. The case involves the Center for Intercultural Organizing of Portland, Oregon, which was sued by Righthaven in August after an entire 33-paragraph Review-Journal story about Las Vegas immigrants was posted on the center's website, crediting the Review-Journal. The nonprofit says it was founded by Portland-area immigrants and refugees to combat widespread anti-Muslim sentiment after 9/11 and it works to strengthen immigrant and refugee communities through education, civic engagement, organizing and mobilization and does not charge subscription fees or derive any income from its website. The interesting thing is that the defendant in this case didn't even raise the fair use issue. It was the judge who brought it up, suggesting that the Nevada judges are being inundated with hundreds of Righthaven cases, and that Righthaven has already lost once in a case that was found to be fair use so judges may want to set a precedent to clear their dockets."

Man Offered $150k for Exploding Jar of Fruit Screenshot-sm 30

Darryl Alexander of Southfield, Mi. claims that a lid from an exploding jar of Del Monte fruit knocked him unconscious. Since this is an unacceptable way to get one of your 2-4 recommended daily servings, he decided to sue Del Monte and Kroger where he bought the explosive jar. Both companies deny any responsibility but have offered the sore jawed Alexander $150k to settle the suit. "It happened so fast. I just had no time to react. ... I staggered, lost consciousness and fell to the floor. I eventually screamed for my wife," he said.
The Courts

After Online Defamation Suit, Dismissal of Malicious Prosecution Claim Upheld 267

Christoph writes "I'm the Slashdot user who was sued for defamation (and six other claims) by a corporation over negative statements on my website. I prevailed (pro-se) in 2008. The court found the other side forged evidence and lied. In 2009, I sued the other party's lawyers for malicious prosecution/abuse of process (the corporation itself is dissolved/broke). One defendant had stated in writing their client was lying, but the trial court dismissed my claim for lack of evidence. I appealed, and this Tuesday the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal, completely ignoring the defendant's written admission (and other evidence). They further found it was not an abuse of process to sue to 'stop the publication of negative information and opinion.'"

Court OKs Covert iPhone Audio Recording 215

Tootech writes "Using an iPhone to secretly record a conversation is not a violation of the Wiretap Act if done for legitimate purposes, a federal appeals court has ruled. 'The defendant must have the intent to use the illicit recording to commit a tort of crime beyond the act of recording itself,' the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. Friday's decision, which involves a civil lawsuit over a secret audio recording produced from the 99-cent Recorder app, mirrors decisions in at least three other federal appeals courts."
The Almighty Buck

Facebook Wants Ownership Case Thrown Out 266

crimeandpunishment writes "Attorneys for Facebook and a New York man claiming majority ownership of the site faced off in a Buffalo courtroom Tuesday, and if Facebook gets its way there won't be too many more days in court. The site wants to get Paul Ceglia's claim thrown out of court. He claims a seven-year-old agreement with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg entitles him to 84 percent of the company. Facebook acknowledges Ceglia and Zuckerberg worked together, but says the contract Ceglia submitted was full of 'things that don't make sense.'"

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga