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The Courts

$4 Million In Fines For Linking To Infringing Files 317

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The MPAA won judgments totaling $4M against two sites which merely link to infringing content. They're not arguing that it's an infringement of their distribution right, like the RIAA has with their 'making available' argument. Instead, they got the sites for 'contributory copyright infringement', just like RIAA v. LimeWire. To translate all that legalese into English, search engines which primarily index copyright-infringing material and the people who run them may not be safe in the US. That applies even if the sites in question do not host any infringing materials, participate in, or encourage the infringement done by their users. And, even honoring DMCA notices in order to take advantage of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions hasn't prevented the **AA from suing."

An Advance In Image Recognition Software 81

Roland Piquepaille alerts us to work by US and Israeli researchers who have developed software that can identify the subject of an image characterized using only 256 to 1024 bits of data. The researchers said this "could lead to great advances in the automated identification of online images and, ultimately, provide a basis for computers to see like humans do." As an example, they've picked up about 13 million images from the Web and stored them in a searchable database of just 600 MB, making it possible to search for similar pictures through millions of images in less than a second on a typical PC. The lead researcher, MIT's Antonio Torralba, will be presenting the research next month at a conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition.
Wireless Networking

Group Wants Wi-Fi Banned, Citing Allergy 525

54mc writes "A small group in Santa Fe, New Mexico is claiming that the city is discriminating against them by having wireless networks in public buildings. How are these buildings discriminatory? Simple. These people are allergic to Wi-Fi. And they're suing the city." I've been trying to sue people for the streetlights that I'm allergic to as well.

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