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The Courts

Judge In Pirate Bay Trial Biased 415

maglo writes "The judge who handed down the harsh sentence to the four accused in the The Pirate Bay trial was biased, writes Sveriges Radio (Sweden Public Radio): (swedish). Google translation. The judge is member of two copyright lobby organizations, something he shares with several of the prosecutor attorneys (Monique Wadsted, Henrik Pontén and Peter Danowsky). The organizations in question are Svenska Föreningen för Upphovsrätt (SFU) and Svenska föreningen för industriellt rättsskydd (SFIR)."

Submission + - Programmers and overtime

Maximum Prophet writes: Programmers and System Administrators typically don't get overtime. Here's and article about a lawyer who's challanging that:

From the 2nd page:

Computer workers of various stripes, for example, have commonly not been paid for their extra hours. ... But under California law, the exemption applies only for workers whose primary function involves "the exercise of discretion and independent judgment." In numerous lawsuits, Thierman and other plaintiffs' attorneys have alleged that legions of systems engineers, help desk staff, and customer service personnel do no such thing. Of programmers, Thierman says, "Yes, they get to pick whatever code they want to write, but they don't tell you what the program does.... All they do is implement someone else's desires."
The takeaway: Everyone start recording your hours now. Even if you don't sue, someone else might, and documentation about your overtime will go a long way. towards getting your piece of the pie.
The Courts

Submission + - Florida Judge OK's Claims Against Record Companies (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: A federal judge in Tampa, Florida, has ruled that an RIAA defendant's counterclaim against the record companies for conspiracy to use unlicensed investigators, access private computer records without permission, and commit extortion, may move forward. The Court also sustained claims for violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as a claim under Florida law for deceptive and unfair trade practices. The decision (pdf) by Judge Richard A. Lazzara in UMG v. DelCid rejected, in its entirety, the RIAA's assertion of "Noerr Pennington" immunity, since that defense does not apply to "sham litigations", and Ms. Del Cid alleges that the RIAA's cases are "sham".
The Courts

New Attorneys Fee Decision Against RIAA 144

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has gotten slammed again, this time in Oregon, as the Magistrate Judge in Atlantic v. Andersen has ruled that Tanya Andersen's motion for attorneys fees should be granted. The Magistrate, in his 15-page decision, noted that, despite extensive pretrial discovery proceedings, 'when plaintiffs dismissed their claims in June 2007, they apparently had no more material evidence to support their claims than they did when they first contacted defendant in February 2005.....' and concluded that 'Copyright holders generally, and these plaintiffs specifically, should be deterred from prosecuting infringement claims as plaintiffs did in this case.' This is the same case in which (a) the RIAA insisted on interrogating Ms. Andersen's 10-year-old girl at a face-to-face deposition, (b) the defendant filed RICO counterclaims against the record companies, and (c) the defendant recently converted her RICO case into a class action"

Submission + - Judge Says RIAA "Disingenuous", Decision S

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Judge Lee R. West in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has rejected the arguments made by the RIAA in support of its "reconsideration" motion in Capitol v. Foster as "disingenuous" and "not true", and accused the RIAA of "questionable motives". In the decision (pdf), reaffirming his earlier decision that defendant Debbie Foster's is entitled to be reimbursed for her attorneys fees, the Court, among other things, emphasized the Supreme Court's holding in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc. that "because copyright law ultimately serves the purpose of enriching the general public through access to creative works, it is peculiarly important that the boundaries of copyright law be demarcated as clearly as possible. Thus, a defendant seeking to advance meritorious copyright defenses should be encouraged to litigate them to the same extent that plaintiffs are encouraged to litigate meritorious infringement claims." Judge West also noted that he had found the RIAA's claims against the defendant to be "untested and marginal" and its "motives to be questionable in light of the facts of the case"; that the RIAA's primary argument for its motion — that the earlier decision had failed to list the "Fogerty factors" — was belied by unpublished opinions in which the RIAA had itself been involved; that the RIAA's argument that it could have proved a case against Ms. Foster had it not dropped the case was "disingenuous"; and that the RIAA's factual statements about the settlement history of the case were "not true". This is the same case in which an amicus brief had been filed by the ACLU, Public Citizen, EFF, AALL, and ACLU-Oklahoma in support of the attorneys fees motion, the RIAA questioned the reasonableness of Ms. Foster's lawyer's fees and was then ordered to turn over its own attorneys billing records, which ruling it complied with only reluctantly."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - VA Tech Shooter Not a Gamer; No Corrections Coming

realinvalidname writes: The San Francisco Chronicle takes Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil to task for blaming video games for the Virginia Tech shootings before perpetrator Seung-Hui Cho was even identified. "Last week's unfounded attack on gamer culture would be far less frustrating if it weren't something that happens at least once a year. Imagine how ridiculous it would seem if cable news interviewed alarmists who blamed professional wrestling or game shows (two things that Cho reportedly did enjoy in college) for a massacre before a suspect was identified."
The Internet

U.S. Copyright Report More Rhetoric Than Reality 123

CanuckGamer writes "Michael Geist has up a great article debunking the U.S. 'Special 301' report that is set to be released this week. The annual copyright report criticizes dozens of countries on their copyright practices, yet Geist notes that the policies are subject to growing criticism within the U.S. and that few countries are actually listening since most ignore the recommendations. 'While the report will generate media headlines and cries for immediate action from Industry Minister Maxime Bernier and Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda, the reality is that Canada's record on intellectual property protection meets international standards. Moreover, differences between the U.S. and Canadian economies - the U.S. is a major exporter of cultural products and has therefore unsurprisingly made stronger copyright protection a core element of its trade strategy while Canada is a net importer of cultural products with a billion dollar annual culture deficit - means that U.S.-backed reforms may do more harm than good.'"

Submission + - Watch What You Say After VT Massacre

A Concerned Citizen writes: After felony charges were pressed for a Florida teen's email to a friend claiming he could top the body count, a Colorado University student's arrest for making sympathetic comments after the attack, and a Community College professor facing terrorism charges for an admittedly bad joke, can we really claim to have free speech in this country? Being prudent is important, but were any of these incidents worthy of police action? Are any of them even close to credible 'threats'? Have you heard of other such actions in your own neck of the woods?

Submission + - banned in Ireland

An anonymous reader writes: As previously posted on Slashdot, the Irish Domain Registry takes a dim view on adult domain names. It seems they've now gone ahead and banned Of course, there's still and, but trying to ban something which you can legally buy in your local newsagent seems prehistoric at best.

Submission + - Skype Stole My Credit

Syphtor writes: "Recently found out that after 180 days if I don't use some of my Skype Credit (which I paid for), I lose it. They don't refund it, they keep the money. I've logged my complaints with Skype, and am hopeful of getting it back, but it does raise the question for these kind of 'buy credit' businesses. How long is reasonable for them to keep your credit open? 180 days? I think that's bad, obviously Skype disagrees."

Submission + - Software Developer Rights

led_belly writes: "I work as a contract Web Developer which often takes me into creating entire applications for clients. Usually in my prospectus I make a note that I retain the rights to all the code written for the client during the project. Is this enough? What laws are in place (in the U.S. & Canada) outlining the right and obligations in this kind of relationship? I have been told that the developer retains the rights to his/her work unless they sign these rights away to some other party, usually in the form of a financial transaction, but I wanted to hear what the slashdot crowd had to say about this."

Outcry Over Google's Purchase of Doubleclick 242

TheCybernator writes to mention that several activist groups have cried out in protest of the Google buyout of Doubleclick reported in recent news. "'Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,' said the complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission. 'Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security, and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.' The complaint was filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center along with the Center for Digital Democracy and the US Public Interest Research Group, all of which are involved in online privacy issues."

Submission + - Internet Key in Probe of Va. Tech Gunman

KeyRole writes: Computer forensics are playing a key role in the probe of the Virginia Tech gunman, with investigators revealing he bought ammunition clips on eBay designed for one of two handguns used to kill 32 people and himself. The eBay account and other Internet activities provided insight Saturday into how Seung-Hui Cho may have plotted for the rampage, including the purchase of several empty ammo clips about three weeks before the attack.

Personal Data Exposed! Can Legislation Fix It? 154

rabblerouzer writes "Millions have had their personal information stolen because of lax security and may not even know it because of the patchwork of state laws that fail to mandate timely notification of victims. Boston-based law firm Mintz Levin is seeking feedback on what you would like to see included in draft legislation."

Submission + - Music industry public summit in Nashville TN

jas_public writes: Representatives from ASCAP, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Consumer Electronics Association, Microsoft, Sound Exchange, and others are participating in the third annual Leadership Music Digital Summit, described as "an attempt for all of us on the different sides of this property rights question to try and find some agreement about a lot of very tricky and changing problems. We're in an era when people want to get music right away, when people who buy CDs feel they should be able to burn copies of them or stream them across multiple bandwidths, and when songwriters are rightly concerned about what's fair compensation for their work. This is just one of many marketplace issues, copyright issues and international issues that this conference will try to address."

Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, will deliver a keynote address.

The conference is April 24, 2007, at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and student rates are available. A full schedule of all events and participants is available online at

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