GumphMaster writes: A case that has been around a few years is reaching the end of the line in the Australian High Court (highest court in the land). The ABC is reporting, "The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) was appealing against a Federal Court ruling in February last year that internet service provider iiNet was not liable for users' copyright infringements."
AFACT is a Australian front for most of the large multinational movie industry players. Earlier court rulings confirmed the ISP position that they are not responsible for alleged copyright infringement by their customers as AFACT was claiming.
GumphMaster writes: In the latest edition of the Apple vs. Samsung patent stupidity the ABC is reporting that Samsung has filed in Australian and Japanese courts seeking an injunction to halt sales of the iPhone 4S for alleged 3G patent violations. It remains to be seen whether Samsung has any better luck with the retaliatory strike in Australian and Japanese courts than it did with courts in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I expect that Samsung will fail partly because of overseas precedent, but mostly because their patents are sane, technical and narrow in scope (unlike the patent a rectangle nature of the opposition).
If this stupidity ever stops then millions of dollars, euro, or Won that are being spent on lawyers might actually go into the innovation that patents are meant to promote. Who knows where that might lead?
GumphMaster writes: "A large group of movie studios and media companies headed by Village Roadshow has lost its appeal against an Australian Federal Court judgement involving internet service provider iiNet. The appeal was against a year old ruling that essentially declared it impossible to hold iiNet, and by extension ISPs in general, responsible for their user's actions.
The original claims not only sought to hold iiNet responsible for what its users did but also contended that iiNet actively encouraging, and itself breaching, copyright by running web caches and the like. The courts so far have fallen on the side of common sense. No doubt this is off to the High Court of Australia. No doubt also, that the continued action will not stop a single unauthorised download."
GumphMaster writes: From the " We've forgotten that the product is more important the the 'brand' " dept. via the Australian ABC:
"British satellite broadcaster BSkyB has confirmed it is locked in a dispute with Skype about the internet phone company's use of the "Sky" part of its name.
"The five-year battle only came to light when Skype filed documents this week ahead of a proposed $US100 million flotation on New York's NASDAQ stock exchange.
"The statement released for the initial public offering (IPO) revealed that Skype is contesting a number of challenges from BSkyB over the use of the word "Sky" in its brand name and logo."
BSkyB is badgering a potential future competitor based on the assumption that the world cannot tell "Skype" apart from "BSkyB". I suspect this recognition difficulty only exists in the minds of Murdoch Yes-men. The rest of us could tell these apart even if Skype did expand into television services.
GumphMaster writes: Senator Stephen Conroy has been left as Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the new Australian Prime Minister's reshuffle of jobs. From reaction on the ABC web site (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/28/2938876.htm) this seems to be a fairly unpopular move. Even those that assess Conroy's performance in getting the National Broadband Network (NBN) proposal running as "effective and capable" (http://www.zdnet.com.au/how-gillard-can-save-the-comms-ministry-339304076.htm) call him embarrassing. I guess we need to wait for the election and hope the people of Victoria give him a nudge.
In other news, the global laughter continues uncensored.