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The Courts

Florida Judge Smacks Down RIAA 301

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA is going to have to face the music in Tampa, Florida, and answer the charges of extortion, trespass, conspiracy, unlicensed investigation, and computer fraud and abuse that have been leveled against them there. And the judge delivered his ruling against them in in pretty unceremonious fashion — receiving their dismissal motion last night, and denying the motion this morning. The RIAA's unvarying M.O., when hit with counterclaims, is to make a motion to dismiss them. It did just that in one Tampa case, UMG v. Del Cid, but the judge upheld 5 of the 6 counterclaims. The RIAA quickly settled that one. When a new case came up in the same Tampa courthouse before the very same judge, and the same 5 counterclaims were leveled against the record companies, I opined that 'it is highly unlikely that the RIAA will make a motion to dismiss counterclaims,' since I knew they'd be risking sanctions if they did. Well I guess I underestimated the chutzpah — or the propensity for frivolous motion practice — of the RIAA lawyers, as they in essence thumbed their nose at the judge, making the dismissal motion anyway, telling District Judge Richard A. Lazzara that his earlier decision had been wrong. The judge wasted no time telling the record companies that he did not agree (PDF)."

San Diego GOP Chairman Alleged To Be a Fairlight Co-Founder 389

Airw0lf writes with a claim that appears too implausible to credit, at first glance: "If anyone remembers 'Fairlight' — one of the great groups on the warez scene, you may be interested to know that one of their leaders, Tony Krvaric, is now the chairman of the San Diego Republican Party." A similar report (on which the TorrentFreak story above draws heavily, and which is cited for the same claim about Krvaric made in the above-linked Wikipedia entry) showed up last week in The Raw Story. According to these reports, Krvaric is the same person known as "strider" in the Warez scene. I called Krvaric seeking comment; though he was unavailable, I hope he chooses to comment by email to help inform any followup coverage. A telephone receptionist at the office of the San Diego Republican Party acknowledged that she knew of the claims, but refused further comment, citing workplace rules. While she would not directly acknowledge or deny the truth of the allegations, she asked me to "remember, these are things that happened more than 20 years ago." Since some people have been penalized quite harshly (and some have been jailed) for the sort of large-scale software piracy that Fairlight enabled, it's interesting that Krvaric has enjoyed instead a meteoric rise in conservative politics.

Why Yahoo Turned Microsoft Down 161

quarterbuck writes "The NYTimes has up a great blog post that explains a bit of the backstory behind the Yahoo-Microsoft No-deal. While Jerry Yang did not want to sell the company, it is not likely that he could have said No to Microsoft, and explained it to shareholders, without the help of Google. The article gives reasons behind Google's tossing a lifeline to its biggest competitor, and the 'coop-etition' that has been going on between the two companies, which both emerged out of Stanford University."

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