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Blackberry

Google Pulls the Plug On BlackBerry Gmail App 122

hypnosec writes "From later this month, Google has decided to stop providing its popular Gmail app for BlackBerry. This can be viewed as a shock for RIM as they are putting in strong efforts to prevent customer defections to handsets that run on Android and iOS. Thus, from 22nd November, BlackBerry owners will not be able to reach Gmail on their devices; only those users who already have Gmail installed will be able to access and use the Google app. On Tuesday, Google on its official apps update blog stated that the company will now be focusing on 'building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser.'"
Government

Stop Online Piracy Act Supports Blacklisting, Says EFF 73

hessian writes with this quote from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the Stop Online Piracy Act: "Of course the word 'blacklist' does not appear in the bill's text — the folks who wrote it know Americans don't approve of blatant censorship. The early versions of PROTECT-IP, the Senate's counterpart to SOPA, did include an explicit Blacklist Provision, but this transparent attempt at extrajudicial censorship was so offensive that the Senate had to re-write that part of the bill. However, provisions that encourage unofficial blacklisting remained, and they are still alive and well in SOPA. First, the new law would allow the Attorney General to cut off sites from the Internet, essentially 'blacklisting' companies from doing business on the web. Under section 102, the Attorney General can seek a court order that would force search engines, DNS providers, servers, payment processors, and advertisers to stop doing business with allegedly infringing websites. Second, the bill encourages private corporations to create a literal target list—a process that is ripe for abuse."
Businesses

RIAA Lawyer Complains DMCA May Need Revamp 303

the simurgh writes "The DMCA is just not providing the kind of protection against online piracy that Congress intended, RIAA lawyer Jennifer Pariser says. The judge in Universal Music Group's copyright suit against Veoh as well as the judge in EMI vs. MP3tunes.com issued similar findings. The courts have now determined the burden of policing the web for infringing materials is on the content owner and not the service provider. Content companies think it is unfair for them to be required to spend resources on scouring the Web when their pirated work helps service providers make money. What they complain about almost as much is that after they notify a service provider of an infringing song or movie clip and they're removed, new copies appear almost immediately. Basically they are complaining the the DMCA makes them responsible for policing their own content at their expense."
Music

Universal Uses DMCA To Get Bad Lip Reading Parody Taken Down 298

Joren writes "Bad Lip Reading is an independent producer known for anonymously parodying music and political videos by redubbing them with his humorous attempts at lip-reading, such as Everybody Poops (Black Eyed Peas) and Gang Fight (Rebecca Black). According to an interview in Rolling Stone, he creates entirely new music from scratch consisting of his bad lip readings, and then sets them to the original video, often altering the video for humorous effect and always posting a link to the original off which it is based. Although his efforts have won the respect of parody targets Michael Bublé and Michelle Bachman, not everyone has been pleased. Two days ago, Universal Music Group succeeded in getting his parody Dirty Spaceman taken down from YouTube, and despite BLR's efforts to appeal, in his words, 'UMG essentially said "We don't care if you think it's fair use, we want it down."' And YouTube killed it. So does this meet the definition of parody as a form of fair use? And if so, what recourse if any is available for artists who are caught in this situation?"
Piracy

The Case For Piracy 318

An anonymous reader writes "A mainstream media outlet has published an article called 'The Case for Piracy. The writer shows how copyright has been hijacked by corporations and that publishers are their own worst enemies. 'One of the main reasons we all have anti-piracy slogans embedded in our brains is because the music industry chose to try and protect its existing market and revenue streams at all costs and marginalise and vilify those who didn't want to conform to the harsh new rules being set.' There's a lot in the article that Slashdot readers can relate to, and it's interesting that so many replies seem to agree with the author."
Android

Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated 645

jfruhlinger writes "On the day Android Ice Cream Sandwich was released, Steve Ballmer livened up the Web 2.0 conference by lobbing potshots at Google's mobile OS, calling it the choice of 'cheap' phones and claiming 'the biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone.'"
Microsoft

Ballmer: We're Lucky Microsoft Didn't Buy Yahoo 151

alphadogg writes (quoting Networkworld): "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer feels intensely fortunate that his company's $44 billion bid for Yahoo back in 2008 never materialized. 'Sometimes you're lucky,' he said with a smile at Web 2.0 Summit, responding to a question from conference co-chair John Battelle. Careful not to offend his search market partner, Ballmer put his comment in context, saying that any CEO would feel grateful for not making a major acquisition in the months prior to the global financial collapse that started in the second half of 2008."
Google

Google Working To Launch Music Store Soon 66

afabbro writes with news that Google is working to follow up its cloud music service with an MP3 store capable of competing with Amazon and Apple. The NY Times reports that "According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks," but it's unclear "whether Google would be able to close the necessary deals with labels and music publishers in time to open a full-service store." The Wall Street Journal confirms in its own (paywalled) report that negotiations with Warner, Universal, and Sony are still a long way from resulting a deal.
Australia

Australian Gov't To Streamline Anti-Piracy Lawsuit Process 121

daria42 writes "Remember how the mass piracy lawsuits common in the U.S. are now coming to Australia? Of course you do. Well, now Australia's Government has come out backing the legal process which makes them possible — and is even promising to streamline it. Anti-piracy organisations will be jumping for joy — but I'm not sure how popular the move will be with the rest of the population."
Google

IRS Auditing Google 328

theodp writes "Bloomberg reports that the IRS is auditing how Google shifted profits offshore to avoid taxes. According to Bloomberg, Google cuts its tax bill by about $1 billion a year using a technique that allocates profits to a unit managed out of a law firm in Bermuda, where there is no corporate income tax. In 2009, the most recent year for which records are available, this subsidiary collected 4.34 billion euros (about $6.1 billion) in royalties from a Google unit in the Netherlands. A spokesman for Google, whose stated mission is 'to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful,' called the IRS probe 'a routine inquiry' and declined to comment further."
Android

Apple Tries To Patent 3rd Party In-App Purchasing 244

bizwriter writes "Apple has spared no effort in trying to injure its arch mobile rival through the courts, like blocking Android vendors from important markets through patent and trademark infringement suits. Now it's developing an additional angle: an attempt to patent in-application purchases from third parties, as an application filed on April 26, 2010 and made public on Thursday made clear."
Apple

Steve Jobs Dead At 56 1613

SoCalChris writes "Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was found dead in his Cupertino home this morning. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him — even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon."
Patents

Patent Troll Says Anyone Using Wi-Fi Infringes 436

akahige sends this excerpt from an article at TechDirt: "The Patent Examiner blog has the incredible story of Innovatio IP, a patent troll that recently acquired a portfolio of patents that its lawyers (what, you think there are any employees?) appear to believe cover pretty much any Wi-Fi implementation. They've been suing coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels first — including Caribou Coffee, Cosi, Panera Bread Co, certain Marriotts, Best Westerns, Comfort Inns and more. ... The lawyer representing the company, Matthew McAndrews, seems to imply that the company believes the patents cover everyone who has a home Wi-Fi setup, but they don't plan to go after such folks right now, for 'strategic' reasons."
Censorship

ACTA To Be Signed This Weekend 277

We've been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for over three years, from its secretive beginnings, to the controversy and debate that followed, and to the document it eventually evolved into. Now, Japan has announced that the agreement will finally be signed on Saturday during a ceremony that follows an anti-piracy symposium on Friday. "The negotiation has been carried out among Australia, Canada, the European Union and its Member States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, and reached a general agreement at the negotiation meeting held in Japan in October 2010, followed by the completion of technical and translation work in April 2011. ... The signing ceremony will be attended by the representatives of all the participants in the ACTA negotiations, and those that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign the agreement. The agreement is open for signature until May 1, 2013."

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