Posts from the ‘the Internet’ Category
The author runs the table on OSes: I have a Linux-laptop, a Windows XP laptop and desktop, a Windows Vista laptop, a Windows 7 laptop, and a Windows 8 laptop. To call Windows 8 a “disappointment” is like calling the Atlantic Ocean a puddle… You may be wondering what Windows 8 has to do with business law. The fact of the matter is that Windows, in its various versions, is the most popular software ever, and the migration (or failure to migrate) to a new version is a major business concern.
More importantly, Windows XP, sometimes billed as “the most popular operating system ever,” is set to reach “End of Life” less than a year from now, on April 8, 2014. This might not seem like an issue, but millions of users, particularly businesses, continue to use the venerable Microsoft XP operating system. For those of you who are visual, consider the following data from Netmarketshare:
In a voluntary self-policing effort most likely intended to help safeguard their Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) Section 230 immunity from suit, several Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) have created a “Copyright Alert System” (“CAS”) to allow content owners the opportunity to report piracy, through which “strikes” can be issued to Internet service users as a warning for piracy. This YouTube user who I can’t identify as an authority, has a few generally accurate, and fairly informative videos about the CAS regime. It’s not clear whether this user is a representative of the ISPs or not. Comcast also has a pretty good set of faqs on the CAS.
Essentially, the CAS allows content owners to identify infringing IP addresses after verifying that infringement is taking place by P2P (“peer to peer”) file sharing. The ISP then sends a warning to the Internet service user who had that IP address at the relevant time. After multiple warnings the Internet service user may be required to view a video about piracy, and after several warnings that user’s service may be “throttled,” or slowed down to make piracy more difficult or time-consuming. The CAS includes an arbitration process for challenging warnings (Russell’s teapot: How do you prove you weren’t pirating?), but no circumstance under which an Internet service user’s account is to be terminated.
Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of record label Capitol Records LLC in its dispute against Redigi Inc., a facilitator of online music resale. The Court held that Redigi violated the Copyright Act when it facilitated the sale of used digital music files, even though Redigi’s program ensured that seller’s copies are deleted upon sale.
How Your Cell Phone Became a Perching Felony: About the Recent DMCA Transition to Making Cell Phone Unlocking Illegal
Before you read any further, go read and take note of this petition. You may want to sign it (I did), but context will help in reading this blog post. In case you’ve been studying really, really hard for the Bar Exam, or were suffering from a surprise case of “dead” over the last week, you inevitably heard that the process of “unlocking” cell phones, previously legal, is now illegal because of government fiat. For those who may not have understood or thought to ask, “unlocking” is not the same as “jailbreaking.” In a nutshell, jailbreaking involves making it possible for a device to run code either from sources the manufacturer did not intend the device to be able to use or to run code the manufacturer did not intend it to be able to run (though most people talk about Apple IOS devices, Sony, for example, will note that other devices can also be “jailbroken”). Unlocking, however, involves making it possible for a device intended for use on one wireless network to be used on a different network – wireless devices sold by a particular wireless company are generally, but not always, sold programmed so that they can only use that company’s network.
Regular readers of Internetbizlaw and the Centre Knowledge blog know that I am pro technology consumer, and very cynical about the “graying” of property rights. I am not going to spend a lot of time in this post discussing the “right and wrong” of legalizing unlocking, or not, but everyone should understand a few facts:
Just prior to the deadly school massacre in Newtown, CT last week, the Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against Armslist, LLC, the owner of Armslist.com, on December 12, 2012. Attorneys for The Brady Center assert that Armslist.com played a large part in the death of Jitka Vesel, as the gun used to kill her was purchased through the website by her stalker. According to the Brady Center, the sale of the gun was illegal and the seller pleaded guilty to felony sale of a firearm to an out of state customer. The Brady Center also mentioned that the website did nothing to stop the sale of firearms to consumers in different states, because it allowed users to view classified listings in all fifty states.