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The Courts

Submission + - Craigslist prankster loses civil suit

An anonymous reader writes: Jason Fortuny, the Craigslist prankster sued for re-publishing responses to a fake sex ad, has lost the civil suit against him. According to a recently posted court document (registration and potentially a nominal fee required), the court entered a default judgment against Jason Fortuny, who failed to appear or answer the amended complaint. A damages hearing is set for January 7, 2009, at 9:30AM. The hearing should be located in Courtroom 2325 at the Everett McKinley Dirksen Building, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.
The Courts

Submission + - Heated file sharing case approaching settlement

An anonymous reader writes: The file sharing case of UMG Recording, Inc. v. Lindor appeared to be reaching record levels of contention, based on what appeared to be a leaked memorandum that has not yet shown up online court records and may not have been filed. A recent motion by Ray Beckerman (registration and $0.08 required) asks that the court extend deadlines for responding to UMG's "pending motion" because "the parties have been exploring settlement, and wish to concentrate their efforts on that process." UMG and Lindor may be close to reaching a settlement that ends the mudslinging and vicious legal maneuvering.

The full text of Beckerman's motion:

RAY BECKERMAN, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
108-18 Queens Boulevard, 4th Floor
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Telephone (718) 544-3434 Fax (718) 559-6584
Email: ray@beckermanlegal.com
Web site: http://beckermanlegal.com/

Ray Beckerman

September 22, 2008

By mail and electronic filing

Hon. Robert M. Levy
Magistrate Judge
U. S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Re: UMG Recordings, Inc., et al v. Lindor, 05CV1095(DGT)(RML)

Dear Judge Levy:

With respect to plaintiffs' pending motion, the parties mutually request an extension of the defendant's time to respond from October 13, 2008, to October 27, 2008, and of the plaintiffs' time to file reply papers from October 27, 2008, to November 10, 2008. The reason for the request is that the parties have been exploring settlement, and wish to concentrate their efforts on that process.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Ray Beckerman

Ray Beckerman
(RB8783)

cc: Timothy M. Reynolds, Esq.

Feed Techdirt: Court Overturns FTC Ruling Against Rambus (techdirt.com)

We've been covering the story of Rambus' tricks to get itself a patent that covered a standard by sitting in on standards meetings and then modifying its patents to cover the standard. The rulings on the various lawsuits have gone back and forth on this, and while Rambus has had some wins and some losses in court, last year the FTC stepped in and smacked the company down, noting that it had used questionable means to get itself an effective monopoly on the memory market. Unfortunately, that FTC ruling has now been overturned by an appeals court that said the FTC failed to show evidence of a monopoly. This is unfortunate for a variety of reasons. If the FTC's ruling had been allowed to stand, it would have shown how an ill-gotten patent would be the equivalent of an illegal monopoly. That seems like the proper result, as a patent clearly is a government granted monopoly. So, if the patent is gained through questionable means, then that monopoly should be considered an illegal monopoly. Unfortunately the appeals court disagreed, and that will make us all worse off, as it will give the government fewer tools to crack down on abusers of the patent system.

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The Internet

Submission + - Google Applies for Patent on UPS System (datacenterknowledge.com)

1sockchuck writes: "A group of engineers from Google have applied for a patent on a highly efficient server power supply that integrates a battery, allowing it to function as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The design effectively shifts the UPS and battery backup functions from the data center room into the server cabinet. Its primary benefit is that it uses a single AC-to-DC conversion, providing better efficiency than traditional UPS systems that perform AC/DC conversions to charge banks of batteries. The server-level UPS described in the patent submission includes a fault detection system and a battery, and will switch to battery backup if it detects an interruption in grid power. Interestingly, the concept of including a UPS in a PC power supply was discussed on Slashdot in 2001."
Patents

Submission + - Legality of font use?

Mctittles writes: "I have come up with a use for fonts on a website that falls in the gray area of whether I can legally do this within the rights for font owners.
I am creating a web site community where people have a page that they can customize. Included in the customization options will be an option to upload custom fonts for their design. Once you have your page designed, you can share it with others as a template they can use in their own page. The only way the template would look correct is if the font they uploaded is connected to the template. People can choose to use all or just parts of a shared template on their page. So if they choose to use your template and you have uploaded a custom font then they can create or modify text with the font. The font cannot be downloaded back to a computer and can only be used on the web site. I do however see this leading to people creating pages that are not real content but only full of fonts so other people can grab their template and have new fonts to use. So, would this be legal to do as long as they cannot download the fonts to use elsewhere?
Oh and since this is in the beginning stages I'd rather not get into the technology behind how this works, I'm only concerned with the legal issues I might have to worry about."

Feed Techdirt: My Life. My Card. My Intellectual Property Battle. (techdirt.com)

Barely a day goes by when we don't hear of yet another story about some sort of intellectual property claim being asserted where it doesn't belong. It's a function of a current culture where people are being incorrectly taught that every idea, every concept, every word and every sound should be protected and "owned" despite the fact that these things, by their very nature, are infinite and can be freely shared at no cost to anyone. The latest such case involves a guy who apparently pitched the slogan "My Card. My Life" to American Express a while back. Soon afterwards, entirely independently, AmEx's own ad agency pitched the same slogan, which is now being used. After discovering that the other guy was trying to trademark (we assume, even though the article claims "patent") the phrase, AmEx sued to get a declaratory judgment that its use of the phrase did not infringe. Thankfully, a judge has agreed that no infringement occurred. Yet, in this age, where we're being incorrectly bombarded with the message that ideas can be owned and protected, it's no surprise that American Express would worry about such a thing.

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The Courts

Submission + - Why does Slashdot use the DMCA?

An anonymous reader writes: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act contains a controversial provision. Website owners can protect themselves from monetary damages for the copyright infringement of users by registering a service provider agent and taking down materials when a copyright holder notifies the that agent. Website owners can boycott this controversial provision of the DMCA very easily by not registering an agent. Surprisingly, Slashdot is not a boycotter. Browsing through the U.S. Copyright Offices Directory of Service Provider Agents for Notification of Claims of Infringement reveals that Slashdot.org has had a registered agent since 2000. Why doesn't Slashdot.org take a stand and boycott this hated provision of the DMCA?
Patents

Submission + - IBM files DVD SPAM patent application 2

An anonymous reader writes: Mark Wilson of Gizmodo.com reports that IBM is applying for a patent for DVDs that contain or download "on demand" commercials that cannot be skipped. Consumers would be able to purchase these DVDs at a lower price than regular DVDs and pay extra to enjoy their purchase ad-free without having to buy a second DVD. Perhaps this is part of the massive shift in advertising that IBM predicts.
The Internet

Submission + - How do you get moderator feedback? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I just read the following message for the umpteenth time: "Thanks for meta-moderating some of Slashdot's many moderations. This gives our moderators feedback and helps the whole system work!" For the umpteenth time, I have wondered why I never receive any feedback even though I have moderated on many occasions. I cannot tell whether my moderations are getting positive or negative feedback from meta-moderators — whether I am considered a good moderator or a bad moderator. What tools does /. provide for obtaining feedback as a moderator?
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Demands Patent for Saying 'Goodbye' 7

theodp writes: "Demonstrating its commitment to high-quality U.S. patents, Microsoft has submitted a just-published patent application to the USPTO for Automatic Goodbye Messages. By automatically sending messages like 'Have a great afternoon!', 'Sorry, I have got to go!', 'Have a terrific day!', 'Ciao, Harry!', or even a simple 'Bye!' at the end of an IM session, Microsoft explains, one avoids insulting a converser with whom a conversation is ended. Hopefully the USPTO will give this one the quick buh-bye it deserves."
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux not covered by Microsoft's EU patent pledge (vnunet.com)

pete314 writes: "Linux users will not profit from the EU-mandated patent licensing program that Microsoft will offer. Microsoft will license its interoperability patents at a discounted rate, but the EU in an FAQ cautions that "some [open source] licenses are incompatible with the patent license offered by Microsoft".

The GPL is one of the licenses that won't work with Microsoft patent pledge, Mark Webbink says on vnunet.com. Webbink is a director with the Software Freedom Law Center and former deputy general counsel for Red Hat. The license is limited to the software vendor and its clients, but doesn't cover downstream users. The GPL explicitly prohibits such discriminatory licenses."

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