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The Courts

Submission + - Veoh Networks Beats UMG Recordings in DMCA Case (blogspot.com) 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In a California case invoking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, UMG Recordings' Motion for summary judgment has been denied. In a 16-page single spaced decision (PDF), District Judge A. Howard Matz rejected UMG's arguments that Veoh was not entitled to DMCA 'safe harbor' protection based on the nature of the software functions being employed. This follows by several months Veoh's earlier victory against an 'adult' filmmaker, also on DMCA grounds."
Windows

Microsoft Helps Police Crack Your Computer 558

IGnatius T Foobar writes "Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that "may have been used in crimes." It basically bypasses all of the Windows security (decrypting passwords, etc.) in order to eliminate all that pesky privacy when the police have physical access to your computer. Just one more reason not to run Windows on your computer."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Sues Project Playlist (news.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "The RIAA (Sony, Warner, EMI and Universal) have filed suit against Project Playlist, which makes an embeddable music player on allegations that the 'overwhelming majority of the sound recordings in its index are infringing'. Of course, the problem is that the playlists are user-created and the music files they point to are not hosted by Project Playlist. It should be interesting to see what novel theory of copyright they advance to find them vicariously liable for inducing the infringement of others this time. It wouldn't be their first time."

Feed Techdirt: Tanya Andersen Decides To Drop Racketeering Charges Against The RIAA (techdirt.com)

Business Week has a fantastic and detailed article going through the history of Tanya Andersen's legal battles with the RIAA. As has been pointed out from early on, the RIAA went after her with very little evidence, bullied her to settle and pay up, and then tried to force her to agree not to countersue before it would drop charges. Andersen and her lawyer, however, refused to give up -- and not only won against the RIAA, but had the RIAA pay up on Andersen's lawyers' fees. After all that, she and her lawyer have filed a series of lawsuits against the RIAA alleging illegal investigative practices and racketeering.

While it's great to see her fighting back, we'd always said that the racketeering claim was a huge stretch, based on the specifics of the law. It doesn't do anyone any good to file a racketeering charge if it can't be proven. So, it's good to see that Andersen appears ready to drop that claim. At the very end of the article, it notes that a judge has pushed back on Andersen's filing, and she plans to drop the racketeering and fraud charges. Instead, a new filing will focus on "conspiracy, negligence, and abuse of the legal process." Again, "conspiracy" seems like a long shot -- but negligence and abuse of the legal process seem a lot more interesting. Either way, there will be plenty to follow in this case.

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Music

Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? 172

eatonwood writes "Who is behind the RIAA's collections efforts? This comment at CallFerret says it is a company called PSC and lists a bunch of websites and contact information for them, but the connection to RIAA is still not completely clear (aside from the presence of a couple of clearly RIAA sites on the same server as PSC's). Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?"
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA can't hide from extortion claim in Florida (blogspot.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's unvarying M.O., when hit with counterclaims, is to make a motion to dismiss the counterclaims. But in one new case in Florida, where it has been socked with counterclaims for extortion, computer fraud, conspiracy, trespass, deception, and unlicensed investigation, it won't be able to employ that gambit. In Atlantic v. Boyer, in Tampa, the judge presiding over the case — District Judge Richard A. Lazzara — has previously ruled that these counterclaims are legally appropriate, in another, earlier, case, UMG v. Del Cid. I.e., the RIAA is "in deep trouble on this one."
Businesses

Submission + - Is RIM's Smartphone Dominance Coming to an End?

Hugh Pickens writes: "Smartphones like Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry were once the exclusive domain of e-mail-obsessed professionals, but now consumers also want easy access to the Web, digital music and video and since the iPhone went on sale last summer the smartphone market has begun to shift rapidly. "The vultures are circling," says Roger L. Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. "There is this sense that the RIM. franchise is under assault." Although RIM added 6.5 million subscribers last year, twice the previous year's amount, there are signs that the company faces steeper challenges ahead. IN 2007 BlackBerry had a 40 percent share of the United States smartphone market, down from 45 percent at the end of 2006, thanks largely to the 17.4 percent share the iPhone grabbed in its first six months. In March, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would take the rare step of licensing Microsoft's corporate e-mail technology, to allow iPhones to connect directly to business computers — a dagger aimed at the heart of RIM's strength in the corporate market. In the end RIM's greatest challenge in a consumer-driven smartphone industry may simply be creating devices that people admire and covet as much as the iPhone. In a survey of 3,600 professionals by ChangeWave, 54 percent of BlackBerry users said they were very satisfied with their devices. The comparable figure for the iPhone was 79 percent."
Education

Submission + - University of Toledo Bans Gnutella 1

A Student writes: While other universities are standing up to the RIAA, others are still trying to impose strict policies to prevent students from stealing music. According to an email sent out to students, the University of Toledo's IT department has received over 140 RIAA violations in the past two days regarding students using Gnutella to illegally download music. In the past, the university has responded by cutting off internet access to the offending students. However, since "blocking students network access is detrimental to their academic experience," the university claims they are "forced" to ban Gnutella from their network. They do suggest that student use Ruckus as a "free, legal alternative."

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