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Communications

Judge Rules Sprint Early Termination Fees Illegal 343

Antiglobalism writes to tell us that an Alameda County Judge has ruled against Sprint Nextel in a class-action lawsuit, awarding customers $18.2 million in restitution for early termination fees. "Though the decision could be appealed, it's the first in the country to declare the fees illegal in a state and could affect other similar lawsuits, with broad implications for the nation's fast-growing legions of cell phone users. The judge - who is overseeing several other suits against telecommunications companies that involve similar fees - also told the company to stop trying to collect $54.7 million from other customers who haven't yet paid the charges they were assessed. The suit said about 2 million Californians were assessed the fee."
Internet Explorer

After 100M IE7 Downloads, Firefox Still Gaining 425

Kelson writes "Internet Explorer 7 hit the 100 million download mark last week. Yet in the three months it's been available, Firefox's market share has continued to grow. InformationWeek reports that nearly all of IE7's growth has been upgrades from IE6. People don't seem to be switching back to IE in significant numbers, prompting analysts to wonder: has Microsoft finally met its match?"
Music

RIAA Goes for the Max Against AllofMP3 777

Spad writes "Zeropaid is reporting that as part of its ongoing lawsuit, the RIAA will be seeking the maximum of $150,000 per song for each of the 11 million MP3s downloaded from the Russian AllofMP3.com between June and October last year. This amounts to roughly $1.65 trillion, probably a tad more than AllofMP3 has made in its lifetime. A representative of AllofMP3 stated: 'AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.'"

Judge OKs Challenge To RIAA's $750-Per-Song Claim 333

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In UMG v. Lindor, in Brooklyn federal court, the presiding judge has held that Marie Lindor can try to prove that the RIAA's claim of $750-per-song statutory damages is a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Constitution, since she has evidence that the actual wholesale price of the downloads is only 70 cents. This decision activates an earlier ruling by the Magistrate in the case that the record labels must now turn over 'all relevant documents' regarding the prices at which they sell legal downloads to online retailers, and produce a witness to give a deposition by telephone on the subject. Judge Trager rejected the RIAA's claim that the defense was frivolous, pointing out that the RIAA had cited no authorities contradicting the defense, but Ms. Lindor's attorneys had cited cases and law review articles indicating that it was a valid defense. See the Decision at pp. 6-7."

FCC Nixes Airport's Ban On Private Net Access 165

Several readers wrote to let us know about a ruling by the US Federal Communications Commission forbidding Boston's Logan Airport from shutting down airline-supplied Internet access services that compete with the airport's own, for-pay wireless coverage. From the article: "A two-year effort by Logan International Airport officials to shut down private alternatives to the airport's $8-a-day wireless Internet service was decisively rejected yesterday by federal regulators, who blasted airport officials for raising bogus legal and technological arguments."

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