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RIAA Loses $222K Verdict 342

jriding writes "The $222,000 verdict against Jammy Thomas for copyright infringement by P2P is no more. US District Court Judge Michael Davis dismissed the verdict, saying it was based on the faulty 'making available' theory of distribution."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - IGN Leaks Bioshock, Sends threatening letters (kotaku.com)

An anonymous reader writes: IGN Entertainment(a subsidiary of News Corp) accidentally allowed pre-order customers of their service direct2drive preload, activate and thus play copies of the hotly anticipate PC-game Bioshock(due out today) this past Sunday. Because D2D isn't encrypted, anyone who had preloaded it basically had the game sitting on their harddrive, waiting for their activation keys and for the activation servers to go live. When they did, word spread, and people started buying D2D copies of bioshock to get activation keys(viewable from your purchase window or sent to you via e-mail).

Upon realizing their mistake, they cut off the preload downloads. The file was set to restrict to their download client only and could not be downloaded because it reported itself as 15EB. Anyone who went to this site(google cache, 2nd result on google for "direct2drive bioshock preload") Sunday evening and began downloading the preload, was awoken this morning by a rather pleasant e-mail. Searching for that download was disabled around the same time(you can no longer find that particular one via fileplanet search).

That letter was sent to people who *paid* for their copy of the game, mind you, and whose only crime was attempting to preload it. I can personally assure you that an activation attempt was not required to recieve one, as I recieved one, and all I did was attempt to preload the thing.

Some kotaku users paint this as a bit of an exploit in "l33t" hackerdom, in one case characterizing it as breaking into a store to grab your preordered and already paid-for copy. In actuality all you had to do was go to fileplanet, click search, and type in bioshock(or go to google and type bioshock direct2drive preload). The "security" was not linking to it off your order page, and the "exploit" was using their own site's search or google. The result was the preload(which had been reported on, to keep D2D even with steam). Alternatively you could get there by someone sending you a fileplanet link.

Is my understanding of this flawed, or is IGN asserting copyrights they don't possess, and attempting to enforce a TOS/contract that would be violated by using their service via a rather unpleasant e-mail?

The Internet

Submission + - FCC decides 4.6 billion minimum bid for Spectrum (wired.com)

ChainedFei writes: From Wired News, In a surprising turn for the Spectrum auction, the FCC have stated that the minimum bid for the C-block spectrum being offered in the auction will be $4.6 billion, which coincidentally was the amount that GOOG fronted as a minimum bid to endorse certain open standards for the spectrum being sold.

It is essentially a move to shut out smaller possible competitors while also maximizing the money the auction will generate for the grade-A areas of the spectrum. In addition, any single bidder wishing to purchase the entirety of the spectrum must front a minimum of $10 billion.

Privacy

Submission + - Trade Secrets Revealed by FTC and MS Word (yahoo.com)

sonsonete writes: "The AP reports that the FTC filed improperly redacted court documents in the Whole Foods/Wild Oats case. Trade secrets were redacted by putting the black text on a black background.

Many of the details in the documents, which FTC lawyers filed electronically, were not meant to be released publicly, but words intended to be redacted were actually just electronically shaded black. The words could be searched, copied, pasted and read in versions downloaded from court computer servers.
The files were later replaced with scanned images."

Patents

Submission + - New Patent for keyboard video game control

deathy_epl+ccs writes: It's not real clear whether this guy's patent on controlling a video game using nothing but a keyboard's arrow keys is just a protest, a statement against the broken nature of the USPTO, or whether he genuinely believes he's managed to get a license to print money with the award of the patent, but we can at least take comfort that it wouldn't be likely to survive being challenged.

I first read about this over at GameSetWatch
Education

Submission + - Student in court over suspension for youtube video

kozmonaut writes: "A "model student" is in court this week over 40-day suspension for posting a mocking in-class video of "Mongzilla", a high school english teacher. The student is arguing he had First Amendment rights to publish the video, though it was filmed without permission in the classroom. The judge says she will have a decision by the end of the day. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/316618_youtube 22.html"
The Courts

Submission + - Sued For Non-Existent Content?

Anonymous Coward writes: "I'd like to get the opinion of Slashdot readers on this (even though I know it''s not legal advice). Several years ago one of my websites (nameless for obvious reasons) used a CGI script to pull and display some publicly-available content from another site. The script is long gone and the content hasn't been available for several years.
Recently, however, I received a letter from an "internet law" firm claiming that the content was copyrighted and that I owed a bunch of money to the original copyright holder for my 'illegal use'. (The content was apparently found through Archive.org.) The content isn't on my site and hasn't been for years, so my question is just what is my liability? I never received any sort of takedown notice and the content was gone long before receiving this demand for money. What say ye, Slashdotters- am I liable? Is this a thinly-veiled extortion attempt? How would anyone actually determine what the supposed worth of this infringement is/was?"
Encryption

Submission + - Wikipedia Bans HD-DVD Encryption Key

An anonymous reader writes: Much like Digg, Wikipedia is deleting edits to pages that include the key. They've even locked down the HD-DVD so that users can't edit it. How many more web sites will be brainwashed into believing that a number can be copyrighted?
Yahoo!

Submission + - Yahoo! China loses case over illegal music downloa

riceyone writes: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech /view_article.php?article_id=62434 BEIJING — Yahoo! China lost a lawsuit filed by music industry giants including Warner Music for allegedly playing and providing links to unlicensed music, state media reported Wednesday. A Beijing court ordered Yahoo! China to pay about 200,000 yuan ($26,000) in damages for assisting downloads of unlicensed music in other websites and delete 229 links to free songs, the China Business News said. Yahoo! China plans to file an appeal, according to a statement by the company, a unit of Chinese online auction sites operator Alibaba, in which Yahoo! has a 40-percent stake. The court said Yahoo! China helped users to listen to and download unlicensed music with its search engine but added that it is the third-party Web sites, not Yahoo China, that were mainly responsible for distribution of these songs. "It is technically impractical for search engines to delete links to all unlicensed music," Yahoo China spokesman Xu Yang told Agence France-Presse by telephone. "We will definitely stress this point in the appeal as we cannot discern between licensed and unlicensed ones by technical methods," he said, referring to the ruling by Beijing Second Intermediary Court. Earlier this year, eleven companies including Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG Music Entertainment sued Yahoo! China for about 5.5 million yuan ($710,000 dollar) in damages alleging it played and offered links to unlicensed music. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an industrial group combating piracy which filed the case on behalf of the eleven firms, welcomed the ruling. "The Beijing court has confirmed that Yahoo! China has clear responsibility for removing all links to the infringing tracks on its service," John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI, said in an email. In November, Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.com won a similar lawsuit launched by IFPI charging Baidu with helping users to download music illegally. "Today's judgment supersedes the previous decision on Baidu and confirms the responsibility of all similar music search providers in China," said Kennedy.
Privacy

Submission + - Recording Industry vs The People

Dimentox writes: The RIAA and Ms. Andersen have finally squared off over the counterclaims in Atlantic v. Andersen in Oregon, with the RIAA moving to dismiss Ms. Andersen's counterclaims. Ms. Andersen has interposed counterclaims for Electronic Trespass, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Invasion of Privacy, Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, the tort of Outrage, Deceptive Business Practices under Oregon Trade Practices Act, and the Oregon RICO statute. The RIAA has moved to dismiss the counterclaims. Ms. Andersen opposes the RIAA's motion. More at http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/
Patents

Submission + - Vonage wins permanent stay in Verizion Patent Case

RenegadeTempest writes: Looks like Vonage is going to be around for a little while longer. It has won a permanent stay of a previous injunction that would have prevented the company from signing any new customers. This has sent Vonage's stock up, but does it mean anything about the long term viability? Is this a small hold up on Verizon's desire to destroy all VoIP providers?
Spam

Submission + - Comment Spammers Watch Out! We're Tracking You

girish writes: Project Honey Pot just announced that they've begun to track comment spammers. Using its network of honey pot web pages installed around the world, the service has tracked spammers and email harvesters for some time now. Today's announcement adds another malicious web robot to the bad guys Project Honey Pot is protecting websites against. What's particularly cool is that they're publishing stats on the top countries for comment spamming and top keywords being spamvertized. It looks like the top comment spammers are posting from #1 US, #2 Korea, #3 Russia and spamvertising "replica rolex watch", "cialis", and "free sprint ringtones". Check it out!
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - VA Tech Shooter Not a Gamer; No Corrections Coming

realinvalidname writes: The San Francisco Chronicle takes Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil to task for blaming video games for the Virginia Tech shootings before perpetrator Seung-Hui Cho was even identified. "Last week's unfounded attack on gamer culture would be far less frustrating if it weren't something that happens at least once a year. Imagine how ridiculous it would seem if cable news interviewed alarmists who blamed professional wrestling or game shows (two things that Cho reportedly did enjoy in college) for a massacre before a suspect was identified."

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