law Stories November 19, 2015

YouTube on a smartphone: the company is accused of playing Goliath to small indie music labels.

Many YouTube videos include short clips of copyrighted material for the purposes of commentary or parody, uses that are protected by copyright law. However, most users would be intimidated by legal threats and so back down when faced by a takedown notice.

Google has today said that it will be fighting to protect the fair use principle by offering “legal support” to a handful of videos that it believes represent good examples of legitimate use. For these videos, Google will refuse takedown notices, keeping the videos live on the service, and will meet all the legal costs of defending any court action …  expand full story

law Stories April 3, 2015

google-android

Reuters reports that the plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against Google have finally withdrawn their case. The case, which was brought against Google nearly a year ago, accused the company of being anticompetitive with several of its Search and Android practices.

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law Stories December 15, 2014

Google

Dutch privacy watchdog group CBP has threatened Google with up to a €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation. According to DutchNews, the issue stems from Google collecting personal information about users from Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and search results and combining the data into one profile for more effective targeted advertising. expand full story

Google's Madrid offices

Google’s Madrid offices

Most newspapers were slow to get the hang of the Internet, and Spanish ones more than most, it appears. After successfully lobbying for a law which would force Google to pay them every time it quoted even the smallest excerpt of a story in its Google News search results, Google responded by closing the service in Spain.

Belatedly realising they will now be missing out on all the traffic Google used to drive to their websites, the Spanish newspaper publishers’ association AEDE is asking the government to force Google to re-open the service, reports The Spain Report …  expand full story

law Stories December 10, 2014

800px-Google-News_logo

Google announced on Wednesday (via Search Marketing Land) that it will soon shut down Google News in Spain because of a recently passed copyright law in the country that will prove too costly for the service to continue running. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2015, would require Google to pay licensing revenues to Spanish publishers if their content, including headlines, is included in Google News. expand full story

law Stories August 25, 2014

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As we’ve previously covered, the state of California has been in the process of passing a bill that would require all smartphones sold within the state to come with a remote killswitch option to deter thieves. The bill was passed by the state legislature earlier this year, and today it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, as noted by CNET.

The law goes into effect in July 2015, and will require all smartphones sold within the state to include an option for remotely disabling a stolen device. Google has already plans to meet the requirements of this law with its upcoming Android L release, but now such features will be required by law on all future Android, Windows Phone, and other handsets by default, meaning OEMs distributing older versions of Android will need to find a new solution.

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law Stories July 16, 2014

Google Nexus 5

Android users could soon finally be able to easily use any supported carrier at the end of their service contract without having to jump through hoops or use other means to unlock the device. That is if a proposed bill currently processing through Congress passes and becomes law.

The Hill reports that the mentioned bill, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, cleared through the Senate after a vote on Tuesday through a ‘unanimous consent agreement’ and will next move to the House for a vote before potentially becoming law after first being introduced last year. expand full story

law Stories March 18, 2014

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In a legal fight which has stretched over seven years, Google seems to have finally resolved their issues with Viacom over copyright violations of videos uploaded to YouTube. Information on the details of the settlement have not been publicly released.

[protected-iframe id=”b8884abfaafa2822dcf63b334747a819-22427743-13611283″ info=”http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:thedailyshow.com:a29c2c60-ed00-11e0-aca6-0026b9414f30″ width=”512″ height=”288″ frameborder=”0″]

Re/code received this rather bland statement from the two companies.

Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.

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law Stories January 16, 2014

Judge throws out ticket issued to California woman for driving with Google Glass

The Associated Press reports that a California woman who was ticketed for driving while wearing her Google Glass has had her charges thrown out by the San Diego police commissioner. According to the report, the woman’s charge did not hold up against the language of the current law because it couldn’t be proven that the device was powered on at the time.

The court didn’t necessarily rule that it’s legal to wear Glass while driving, and the commissioner said there’s a chance the law could be interpreted to cover Glass as a TV-like system, which would move the device from the gray area it’s currently in and make using Glass while driving illegal. There’s no word yet on how the law would apply to a smart contact lens.

law Stories October 30, 2013

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The legality of driving while wearing Google Glass appears set to face its first test after Glass Explorer Cecilia Abade was ticketed by a California cop.

 A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!

The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass  illgal while driving or is this cop wrong???

Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?  expand full story

law Stories July 5, 2012

YouTube vid-conversion site launches petition against Google, dubs situation ‘David vs. Goliath’

Google wanted to stop YouTube-MP3.org last month from ripping audio embedded in YouTube’s videos, but the conversion website’s 21-year-old owner is not ready to roll over and admit defeat.

YouTube-MP3.org received a letter from the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company last month that threatened to take legal action. Google’s video-sharing platform is free and provides content that is embeddable or accessible through its API, while YouTube-MP3.org is also free and pulls audio from YouTube videos. The website then converts those files into downloadable MP3s. Apparently, despite the API that gives developers access to many features, pirating any sound directly violates YouTube’s Terms of Service agreement.

The June 8 “cease and desist” letter from YouTube’s Associate Product Counsel Harris Cohen addressed the website’s Germany-based owner, Philip Matesanz. Cohen cited the platform’s terms for API in the legal notice, and he noted separating, isolating, or modifying “the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API” is strictly prohibited. Cohen warned of “legal consequences” for YouTube-Mp3.org, and he gave the website a week to comply. However, Google immediately blocked the website’s servers from accessing YouTube.

Matesanz took to his website yesterday, conveniently on the United States’ Independence Day, to give a “Situation Update” on the, well, situation:

After numerous reports questioning the legality of this service I have decided to get case studies from two highly reputable lawyers in Germany to prove the difference. I have asked them to create English reports about the legal situation of this service and the accusations Google has made. They agree that there are no copyrights of a third party violated by providing this service and it has to be considered legal. It might be surprising to some but they also agree that all claims Google has brought up so far are not justified: There is no TOS violation. They even question if Google can take action against so called “YouTube Converters/Recorders” since they seem to be protected by federal law. Google would have to make massive changes to their public broadcasting service to demand that such services shut down e.g. no more embedded videos, restrict access to registered users who have agreed to the TOS[..]. There are also doubts about the legitimacy of the section Google is accusing me to violate: Section 6.1K is designed to abandon a fundamental right all German citizens have. According to federal law you have the unquestionable right to create a private copy of certain media; including YouTube. Google’s attempt to abrogate the rights of the public in their TOS has to be considered as illegal and is in a strong contrast to their public self-representation.

Matesanz further disclosed to readers that YouTube-mp3.org is officially operated through PMD Technologie UG, which is a company registered in Germany, and he has tried to contact Google “multiple times,” but all of his attempts have failed. A recent call to Google’s main legal head was even blocked by an assistant, Matesanz wrote, who claimed Google would only communicate in written form but allegedly did not respond to three e-mails sent.

“I don’t have any marketing or public relations experts […] I am just an IT guy with no experience whatsoever,” Matesanz added, while referring to the case as a “David vs. Goliath situation.”

The computer science student-turned-Google arch nemesis is now attempting to level the playing field with a petition on Change.org, where he asks Google to permit third-party recording services to access YouTube. The petition has over 343,000 signatures.

law Stories October 5, 2011

Remember how Samsung threatened to ban sales of Apple’s next iPhone the second it becomes official? They are keeping good on that promise by filing two separate motions for preliminary injunctions in Paris and Milan in an attempt to bar sales of the iPhone 4S in France and Italy. From Samsung’s corporate blog:

Samsung Electronics will file separate preliminary injunction motions in Paris, France and Milano, Italy on October 5 local time requesting the courts block the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4S in the respective markets.

Samsung’s preliminary injunction requests in France and Italy will each cite two patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications technology, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards for 3G mobile handsets.

The infringed technology is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that Apple’s violation as being too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales.

Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.

Samsung plans to file preliminary injunctions in other countries after further review.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

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law Stories August 23, 2011

You may have heard about “prior art”. In patent law, prior art is basically all information made available publicly before a date which might be relevant to a patent’s claims of originality. Hence, if any invention can be described in prior art, its patent can be invalidated. Samsung is resorting to some pretty sci-fi (literally!) arguments in its legal spat with the Cupertino gadget maker, having gone as far as citing Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie as prior art against Apple’s tablet.

The finding, discovered by intellectual property expert Florian Mueller on his blog FOSS Patents, stems from page two of an exhibit Samsung filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The document reads:

Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a true and correct copy of a still image taken from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers. The clip can be downloaded online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo. As with the design claimed by the D’889 Patent, the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table’s surface), and a thin form factor.

The prior art claim is in Samsung’s defense against Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The company recently claimed in a Dutch court that Apple doctored Galaxy smartphone images.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

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