All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Legal’
Update: Microsoft and Yahoo have closed the deal. WebProNews received an email from a Yahoo representative saying that they have "finalized and executed the definitive Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement and License Agreement in accordance with the letter agreement announced in July."
Statements from the two companies are as follows:
On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee will discuss legislation introduced by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) that would regulate online gambling in the United States.
The hearing will begin at 10 am EST and will include testimony from leaders in the fields of online security and consumer safety. Experts will describe how current systems and technologies have been successful in blocking minors from gambling online, reducing compulsive gambling and protecting consumers against money laundering, fraud and identity theft.
Those who have been following the search industry for some time, may recall that Google had some legal issues with the (former) magazine Perfect 10 (nsfw). The company, which ceased publication of its magazine, but still operates on the web, has issued a press release saying that its five year battle with the search giant is "about to heat up."
The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on 136 websites it says were selling illegal or misbranded drugs to U.S. consumers.
The FDA says none of the websites are for pharmacies in the United States or Canada.
The agency has sent 22 warning letters to the operators of these websites and notified Internet service providers and domain name registrars that the websites were selling products that violated U.S. law.
The Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP) has launched the Online Media Legal Network (OLMLN) that will offer free legal advice to online journalists and bloggers.
British police said today they have made Europe’s first arrests in the battle against an online Trojan which threatened to compromise thousands of computers in the UK.
The ZeuS or Zbot Trojan, a type of sophisticated malicious malware, is believed to have infected and accessed personal information from tens of thousands of computers around the world.
A U.S. Senate report has revealed that retailers (a number of which you may already know and trust), have accepted as much as $792 million to share customers’ credit-card information with direct marketing companies. Could your card number have been one that was shared? Would you have known?
As you know, Google’s ultimate goal is to organize the world’s information. With this in mind, it should be no surprise that Google is organizing full-text legal opinions from United States federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts. The company is using its Google Scholar service to do so.
Another milestone in a significant legal dispute has passed; a revised version of the Google Books settlement was submitted to U.S. District Court late Friday. It looks like the book-scanning clash isn’t nearly over, however, since some powerful groups still have qualms about Google’s proposed resolution.
A federal grand jury in Atlanta has indicted eight East Europeans on charges of hacking into a computer network operated by the credit card processing company RBS WorldPay, the U.S. Department of Justice said today.
The 16-count indictment alleges the group used sophisticated hacking techniques to compromise data encryption used by RBS WorldPay to protect customer data on payroll debit cards. Payroll debit cards are used by some companies to pay their employees.
eBay said Friday that the investor group led by Silver Lake has reached a settlement agreement with Joltid Limited and Joost N.V. that gives Skype ownership over all software licensed from Joltid and ends all litigation against the investor group and eBay at the closing of the acquisition.
It looks like some lawyers representing cosmetics giant Mary Kay have removed their figurative war paint. In early July, Mary Kay sued Yahoo, alleging trademark infringement, but not long ago, Yahoo was able to settle the case.
A Joint Committee on Taxation report released today by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) found that regulating Internet gambling would generate roughly $42 billion over 10 years.
The report is based on the requirement of a federal license for operators that would allow them to offer online gambling throughout the United States, while keeping the federal prohibition on any form of sports betting.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit Wednesday, against Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips.
The suit says Intel violated state and federal anti-monopoly laws by engaging in a global campaign of illegal conduct revealed in emails, in order to maintain its monopoly power and prices in the market for chips.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said today his office has sued online travel companies Expedia and Orbitz for failing to pay the right amount of taxes on hotel room rentals.
The lawsuit states that while the companies have been collecting these taxes from consumers all along, they have only been paying a portion of the taxes to the state and keeping the rest as profit. Florida says the practice denies it of millions of dollars every year in tax revenue.
In about two weeks’ time, the two-year anniversary of YouTube Germany’s launch will roll around. The site’s set to receive more legal documents than birthday presents, however, as it’s facing some formal complaints.
The distribution of copyrighted material is at issue, of course, and so is the (lack of) distribution of royalties. What sets this situation a little bit apart from other ones is that a number of individuals -rather than just a money-grubbing organization or two – are involved.
The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday on whether the Common Wealth of Kentucky has the power to seize 141 domains belonging to online gambling sites.
Previously a Franklin Circuit Court Judge ruled for the state saying it was allowed to seize the domain names, but the Court of Appeals overturned that decision. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court.
Update: According to FOX News, the Federal Court in Australia will leave it up to individual judges to decide if court cases can be covered live on Twitter.
Original Article: A California court is making jurors sign a declaration that they will not use the Internet to look up details about facts related to cases. This comes apparently at the request of a San Diego lawyer.
The Open Internet Coalition , which is a group of consumers, grassroots organizations, and businesses "promoting consumer choice and economic growth through an open Internet," has sent an open letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, supporting open Internet rules.
The coalition itself includes a large list of well-known web companies and sites. Companies with founders and CEOs signing the letter include:
One of the largest click fraud rings ever detected, originating from China, has been shut down by click fraud monitoring firm Anchor Intelligence.
"This is really the first time anyone has ever been able to catch click fraudsters ‘in the act.’ Anchor has identified fraudsters down to the publisher site, IPs used (likely via botnets), and even the names and address of some perpetrators," an Anchor spokesperson told WebProNews.
Major music label EMI has dropped its copyright infringement lawsuit against music streaming service Grooveshark, reaching a deal to license its recording and publishing catalogs to the site.
"We think services like Grooveshark offer great music discovery options for fans," said Mark Piibe, EMI Music’s Global Head of Digital Business Development.
The FBI has charged nearly 100 people in the U.S. and Egypt as part of "Operation Phish Phry," one of the largest cyber fraud phishing investigations ever.
The people charged in Operation Phish Phry targeted U.S. banks and victimized hundreds of account holders by stealing their financial information and using it to transfer around $1.5 million to bogus accounts they controlled.
An end to the long-running argument over the Google Books settlement may be in sight. A federal judge has asked both sides to return to court and submit a new agreement by November 9th, with the idea of completely wrapping things up a month or two later.
The European Commission said Wednesday it will invite comments from consumers and software companies about an improved proposal by Microsoft to allow users to choose other Web browsers.
The improved proposal by Microsoft comes after the Commission expressed concerns that the company may have infringed EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant position by tying its web browser to its Windows operating system.
YouTube has announced several new partnerships with broadcast video delivery and management companies – Harmonic, Telestream, and Digital Rapids. YouTube says these partnerships will make it possible for many media companies to provide them with reference files for their content at about the same time it is being produced.
Update 2: The FTC is now saying that the $11,000 fine is not accurate, at least for the first violation. Fast company got some responses from Richard Cleland, assistant director, division of advertising practices at the FTC, who says:
This morning, YouTube appears to be a touch closer to losing a lawsuit and owing Viacom $1 billion dollars. A report indicates that some new evidence has surfaced in a 31-month-old case, and the evidence supposedly shows that YouTube employees didn’t quite do their best to keep copyrighted content off the site.
It looks like at least a few of Google’s lawyers who specialize in patent law are about to get some work to do. Google – along with Adobe – has been sued by a company named Textscape because the search giant allegedly violated a patent Textscape was granted in 1998.
French publishers had their first day in court today as a case concerning Google Books began. Various organizations are clamoring for Google to stop scanning manuscripts, and the plaintiffs are seeking about $22 million in compensation, too.
The La Martiniere publishing group originally brought its case against Google several years ago. Since then, the Syndicat National de l’Edition and the Societe des gens de letters have offered their support.
An advisor to the European Court of Justice said Tuesday that Google does not violate luxury goods makers’ trademarks by allowing advertisers to buy keywords related to brand names.
In his opinion, Advocate General Poiares Maduro suggests "Google has not committed a trade mark infringement by allowing advertisers to select, in AdWords, keywords corresponding to trademarks."
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have announced a settlement has been reached against an international Internet payday lending operation that failed to disclose key loan terms and used illegal debt collection tactics against consumers.
The operation will pay $1 million to settle the State of Nevada and FTC charges for its misleading tactics.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that Dell and its subsidiary, Dell Financial Services (DFS), have agreed to pay his office $4 million in restitution, penalties and costs to settle charges of fraudulent and deceptive business practices that scammed consumers in the state.
The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Sears to end a program that placed spyware on customers’ computers that would track their online browsing.
The company, which includes Sears and Kmart, offered online customers $10 in return for installing the tracking software.
More and more, it’s shaping up to be Google versus the world as far as the proposed Google Books settlement is concerned. In fact, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office sided against Google today, and she seemed to consider that scenario is a real possibility.
The Performance Marketing Alliance has filed a brief with the New York Supreme Court in support of Amazon.com’s appeal, which argues that the law requiring online retailers to collect use taxes on sales in New York based on their relationship with affiliate marketers is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
More than half of European websites selling consumer electronic goods were found to be misleading online shoppers, according to an investigation by the EU Consumer watchdog.
The investigation covered 369 websites selling six of the most popular electronics goods to consumers in the EU, including digital cameras, mobile phones, personal music players and game consoles.
Google’s scaled back its literature-related plans in the hopes of not angering publishers and regulators in Europe; the company has said that it won’t add content to Google Books if it’s available for sale on that continent. At least a few important critics seem unimpressed, however, as France is objecting in a U.S. court.
In early 2004, Google’s lawyers didn’t have nearly enough to do. A patent on the design of Google’s homepage (AKA its "[g]raphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal") that they applied for at that time was granted Tuesday.
Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Google received a piece of bad news – and perhaps a laugh – today as we prepare to go into the long weekend. Here’s the serious part: Italian antitrust regulators have decided to expand the focus of an investigation from the Italian version of Google News to the entire corporation.
Update: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reportedly granted Microsoft’s motion to stay an injunction that would prohibit the software giant from selling Word. The injunction had an effective date of Oct. 10, but the motion to stay blocks the injunction until the appeal process is complete, according to The Microsoft Blog.
The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, rejecting that the law was vague and violated individual privacy rights.
The law was challenged by the Washington, DC-based trade association Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (IMEGA), on behalf of the Internet gambling industry.
A federal court in the Northern District of California has upheld a December 2008 judgment which awarded Verizon $33.15 million in a cybersquatting case against OnlineNIC, an Internet domain registration company.
The case is based on OnlineNIC’s attempts to take advantage of Verizon and its customers by using names that are easily confused with legitimate Verizon names.
An overseas branch of Google News may be about to get its parent unit in a lot of trouble. Italian antitrust regulators are investigating claims that newspapers were more or less forced to contribute to the site, and certain tactics and potential penalties suggest the situation is very serious.
The company that provides a mortgage product and pricing engine to LendingTree is ready to do the same thing for Google, according to a new lawsuit. Indeed, LendingTree claims to have screenshots proving that Google is about to get into the mortgage quote business.
National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) members have filed copyright infringement lawsuits against two businesses for publishing unlicensed lyrics on four websites.
Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music filed an action against LiveUniverse, and its owner Brad Greenspan, co-founder of MySpace, in the Federal Court of the Central District of California for willful copyright infringement on a vast scale.
Obeying a court order and revealing the identity of a formerly anonymous blogger might not work out so well for Google. Rosemary Port, who was exposed as the author of the now infamous "Skanks in NYC" blog, has said that she intends to sue the search giant for $15 million.
That Microsoft-Yahoo deal that has been so heavily anticipated since even way before it was announced may not go through as planned. At least that’s what one antitrust lawyer thinks.
Matthew Cantor, a partner with the firm Constantine Cannon LLP, told ComputerWorld that he believes the deal will not get past regulators – at least not as is.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed consumer fraud lawsuits against three suppliers and an affiliate marketer of acai berry products charging the companies lure customers with free online trial offers via aggressive Internet marketing tactics and then charge their credit cards prematurely.
It seems that AOL doesn’t have much faith in the public’s reading comprehension skills. This week, it filed suit against Advertise.com on the basis that "Advertise.com" is too similar to a couple of terms AOL has used for years.
The official complaint (obtained by Domain Name Wire) stated, "Plaintiffs and their predecessors have continuously used and extensively promoted the ADVERTISING.COM and AD.COM names and marks in connection with the provision of a variety of services."
On2’s shareholders – or at least a vocal subgroup of them – are not at all happy about the planned Google acquisition. Two lawsuits have been filed to stop the deal, with both complaints alleging that On2 more or less served itself on a silver platter.
Google offered to acquire On2 for 60 cents per share (or $106.5 million in all), which represented a 57 percent premium over On2’s closing price the day before. However, the day after the acquisition was announced, On2 gave its best quarterly financial report in over a year, which made the deal look less sweet.
Google Book Search has not always had the largest of cheering sections; between authors wanting more money and watchdog organizations calling it a monopoly, the program’s encountered a lot of challenges. But an important organization stood up for Google Book Search earlier this week.
The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on a California based online electronics retailer for allegedly posing as it was based in the U.K. so it could deceive residents there into thinking they had stronger consumer protections.
When U.K. consumers received the cameras, video games and other electronic items, they discovered they had been charged unexpected import duties, were left with invalid warranties, and would be charged hefty cancellation and refund fees if they tried to send the items back.
The FBI has announced the indictment of a Canadian man for his role in processing more than $350 million for Internet gambling companies.
According to the indictment, Douglas Rennick, 34, opened bank accounts in the U.S. from 2007 to June 2009, under a variety of corporate names and "falsely represented that the accounts would be used for such purposes as issuing rebate checks, refund checks, sponsorship checks, and affiliate checks and minor payroll processing."
Not too long ago, quite a mess came into being as Jeremy Schoemaker sued Keyen Farrell for his (alleged) misuse of Google AdWords. Farrell countersued, claiming defamation. Now, Farrell’s withdrawn his lawsuits and reached a settlement with Schoemaker, but things might actually escalate rather than go back to normal.
Advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog is urging the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to look closely at the proposed Microsoft-Yahoo search deal to ensure there are no antitrust violations and that user privacy is guaranteed.
Under the proposed deal Yahoo would use Microsoft’s Bing to sell ads that appear with search results. Google currently has 65 percent of the U.S. search market. Microsoft and Yahoo have 28 percent. Conventional wisdom is that the combination of the two smaller search businesses would offer stronger competition to Google.
A group of Democratic senators are co-sponsoring legislation that would ban texting while driving nationwide.
The four senators co-sponsoring the legislation – Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). The legislation would force states to ban texting while driving or risk losing all federal highway funds. The legislation is set to be announced at a press conference today.
The American Jewish Committee filed a lawsuit Friday against Amazon-Germany for selling books it says question the Holocaust and "trivialize" the Nazis.
The AJC says there are about 50 titles available on Amazon.de that question the Holocaust and promote Nazis.
South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit Craigslist filed against him and 16 South Carolina Circuit Solicitors. And according to the defendants’ memorandum, civilization itself may well end if Craigslist wins.
Shoe retailer Steve Madden has filed a lawsuit against eBay over the alleged sale of counterfeit watches on the auction site.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Tuesday, claimed eBay has failed to remove counterfeit watches from the site bearing the Steve Madden brand name. The suit accuses eBay of trademark infringement.
Recently during his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO, informed partners of an interesting development. Apparently Apple has taken notice of Microsoft’s Laptop Hunter ads… and really don’t like them.
Apple doesn’t like them to the tune of having their lawyers contact Microsoft, telling them stop running the ads.
A survey of online poker players, following the seizure of gambling funds by the U.S. government has found more than half are not aware their money could be at risk.
The research by the U.K. based online gambling community Betfair, found more than three quarters of poker players have searched for what they consider to be safer sites.
A Los Angles blogger who leaked nine unreleased tracks online from Guns N’ Roses new album "Chinese Democracy" has been sentenced to two months of home confinement.
Kevin Cogill also received one year’s probation and has agreed to appear in an anti-piracy commercial for the Recording Industry Association of America under terms of his plea deal with federal prosecutors.
Did you know that Twitter was hiring? Apparently, you could be making $75/hr from the comfort of your own home! I saw the ad on the Drudge Report so it has to be legit, right? I mean a site that is the one of the largest news portals on the Internet wouldn’t advertise misleading, dare I say spammy items, to their loyal audience… would they?
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has reached a settlement with cosmetic surgery firm Lifestyle Lift over the posting of fake consumer reviews online.
Under the settlement, Lifestyle Lift will stop posting anonymous positive reviews about the company to online forums and other websites. The company will pay $300,000 in fines and costs to the State of New York. According to the AG’s office the case is believed to be the first in the nation aimed at taking on astroturfing.
Amazon.com has been hit with a $5 million class action suit over its popular Kindle 2 book reader.
Some Kindle owners who purchased the optional $30 protective cover are complaining it is causing cracks in the device, which eventually lead it to stop working. The cover fastens onto the body of the Kindle with a set of metal clips.
It wouldn’t be the Internet if there wasn’t just as much talk of legal action as there is of innovation. Google knows this better than anyone as they fend off lawsuits on a regular basis that are related (at least loosely in some cases) to their offerings and the apparent lines that are crossed by the search giant. Twitter has gotten a taste of that with the Tony LaRussa impersonation account issue.
Payment processor Account Services Corporation has filed a motion in federal court for the return of about $14 million seized by the government and owed to online poker players.
The move comes from actions taken in June, when the U.S. froze assets totaling around $33 million belonging to Allied Systems and Account Services.
Google is warning users about an increase of spammers promoting Google scams.
"We’re seeing disturbing cases in which websites, emails and advertisements claim that you can make large amounts of money from home with very little effort using Google products and services," the company said on the official Google Blog.
Google’s associate general counsel for products and intellectual property is leaving the corporation. A report indicates that Alexander Macgillivray will now put his legal skills to work for Twitter as its general counsel.
Macgillivray has an impressive resume. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and spent a good deal of time at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm that’s represented major clients including Creative Commons, HP, and McAfee. Macgillivray’s stint at Google lasted a noteworthy six years, too.