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The Almighty Buck

Micro-Transactions Coming To Team Fortress 2 Via Steam Wallet 161

whoop writes "Valve has announced that Team Fortress 2 will be getting a new Mann Co. Store to buy trinkets with real money through a service called Steam Wallet. TF2 is the first game to use this new Steam Wallet, but the money can be spent on anything in Steam, including full games. This would open them up to featuring gift cards, micro-transaction games, and more." PC Gamer has an interview with Valve's Robin Walker about why they're doing this. Walker says everything they're selling will still be obtainable by playing the game, other than a few cosmetic items.
The Courts

Tenenbaum Lawyers Now Passing the Hat 388

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Just when you think this case couldn't get any stranger, it now appears that the defendant's 'legal team' in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum is passing the hat, taking up a collection. Only the reason for the collection isn't to defray costs and expenses of further defending the action, but to pay the RIAA the amount of the judgment so that their client won't have to declare bankruptcy. I would suggest there might have been a much better way of avoiding bankruptcy. It's called 'handling the case competently.'"
Music

RIAA Awarded $675,000 In Tenenbaum Trial 492

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The jury awarded the record company plaintiffs $675,000 in the Boston trial defended by Prof. Charles Nesson, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. I was not surprised, since exactly none of the central issues ever even came up in this trial. The judge had instructed the jurors that Mr. Tenenbaum was liable, and that their only task was to come up with a verdict that was more than $22,500 and less than $4.5 million. According to the judge, her reason for doing so was that, when on the stand, the defendant was asked if he admitted liability, and he said 'yes.' The lawyers among you will know that that was a totally improper question, and that the Court should not have even allowed it, much less based her holding upon the answer to it."
The Courts

Fair Use Defense Dismissed In SONY V. Tenenbaum 517

Several readers sent us updates from the Boston courtroom where, mere hours before the start of trial, a federal judge ruled out fair use as a defense. Wired writes that "the outcome is already shaping up to resemble the only other file sharing trial," in which the RIAA got a $1.92M judgement against Jammie Thomas-Rassert. The defendant, Joel Tenenbaum, has already essentially admitted to sharing music files, and the entire defense put together by Harvard Prof. Charles Nesson and his students turned on the question of fair use. The judge wrote that the proposed defense would be "so broad it would swallow the copyright protections that Congress has created." Jury selection is complete and opening arguments will begin tomorrow morning. Here is the Twitter feed organized by Prof. Nesson's law students.
Image

Artist Wins £20,000 Grant To Study Women's Butts Screenshot-sm 202

Sue Williams has been awarded a £20,000 grant by the Arts Council of Wales, to "explore cultural attitudes towards female buttocks." Sue plans to examine racial attitudes towards bottoms in Europe and Africa and create plaster casts of women's behinds to try to understand their place in contemporary culture. And here I've been studying the issue all these years for free like a sucker!
Privacy

Senators Want To Punish Nokia, Siemens Over Iran 392

fast66 writes "After hearing about Nokia-Siemens sale of Internet-monitoring software to Iran, US Senators Schumer and Graham want to bar them from receiving federal contracts. They planned the action after hearing about a joint venture of Nokia Corp. of Finland and Siemens AG of Germany that sold a sophisticated Internet-monitoring system to Iran in 2008. According to Nextgov.com, Schumer and Graham's bill would require the Obama administration to identify foreign companies that export sensitive technology to Iran and ban them from bidding on federal contracts, or renew expiring ones, unless they first stop exports to Iran."

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