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Posts tagged legal

BREAKING: Online Pornography To Be Blocked In All UK Households
July 22, 2013 | 12:09 pm

pornographyThe BBC is reporting that prime minister David Cameron is introducing new measures that will block all 'online pornography' from UK households. The block will initiate at the level of the Internet service provider (ISP), and will be a default setting unless customers specifically opt out to enable this content. Cameron is also calling for 'horrific' search terms (including "rape pornography") to be automatically banned, for everyone. The BBC's article used generous scare quotes throughout to editorialize about how stupid this plan is. For example, on questions regarding the technical feasability of such a plan, they had this to say: "He told...

G20 Tax Reform Plans May Close Amazon Loophole
July 20, 2013 | 6:38 pm

AmazonThe variable tax geometry that has generated so many headlines, consumer complaints and politicians' soundbites across Europe lately about Amazon could potentially be cut back soon, as the G20 nations line up behind an Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) plan that condemns existing international cross-border corporate tax arrangements. "National tax laws have not kept pace with the globalisation of corporations and the digital economy, leaving gaps that can be exploited by multi-national corporations to artificially reduce their taxes," states the OECD’s release on its Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). Introduced at the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting...

Judge Cote: Apple Did Conspire to Raise E-Book Prices
July 10, 2013 | 12:51 pm

AppleJudge Denise Cote has ruled on the Apple e-book case. And the verdict? "The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy," Cote said. "Without Apple's orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the spring of 2010," she added. [caption id="attachment_90285" align="alignright" width="125"] Judge Denise Cote[/caption] So Apple lost their case, which does raise the question of why they decided to fight it. When all the publishers settled, it would be...

Judge Cote finds Apple guilty of colluding with publishers
July 10, 2013 | 11:00 am

AppleWell, that was sudden. Just a couple of weeks into the expected couple of months a ruling might take, Judge Denise Cote has issued a 160-page ruling (PDF) finding Apple guilty of violating anti-trust laws in colluding with publishers to raise e-book prices. A sentencing hearing will be held later. I haven't had time to go through the ruling completely yet—I'm still at work, on break—but it looks like she's put a lot of thought into it. Needless to say, Apple will appeal, so this won't be over for some time. But in the meanwhile, here's some more lovely schadenfreude to...

Google Books appeals court ruling denies Authors Guild class action status, demands ruling on fair use
July 1, 2013 | 8:52 pm

Hey, remember the big e-book trial? No, not that one, the other one. The latest news to come out of the courts about the big Authors Guild vs Google case is that the Second Court of Appeals has sided with Google in putting a hold on Judge Chin’s decision that the Authors Guild could have class-action status to represent all authors who had been wronged by Google. Perhaps the more interesting part of the decision, however, was why they did it. The Second Court said that they felt the question of class action status was premature at...

Former unpaid interns sue Gawker for back wages
June 22, 2013 | 1:45 pm

gawker_logoUnpaid interns are one of the forces that make the Internet go ‘round, but that may soon change. Just a few days after a ruling in a Fox Searchlight movie studios case, in which unpaid interns were used as menial gofers, three former unpaid interns have filed suit against media blog Gawker, alleging that they spent more than 15 hours a week working on Gawker blogs but weren’t paid anything. The suits are based on a 1947 Supreme Court ruling stating that internship positions shouldn’t displace regular workers, and should be aimed at benefiting the intern in some way...

DOJ Wraps Up Case Against Apple
June 21, 2013 | 4:40 pm

AppleThe Department of Justice has wrapped up its case against Apple, complete with a 119-count slide deck. If you're into that sort of thing, it's worth a look. By the way, although All Things D had the final Apple slide deck as well, it appears to be gone now. If someone can point me to it, please let me know. I'd like to take a look, for comparison purposes. I've got no legal training, so I could only look at it from a layperson's perspective, and mostly I thought they'd made a good case. There were several slides that particularly caught my...

Apple Claims 20 Percent of E-Book Market Share
June 12, 2013 | 4:30 pm

MacRumors is quoting a Publishers Weekly article wrap-up of today's Apple trial, and the surprising bit is the 20 percent claim. Here's the quote: The government also focused on the relative success of the iBookstore asking Moerer what marketshare the store held in the months after launch (about 20% Moerer said) and what its marketshare was after several years of operation and adding Random House in 2011 (also about 20%). I don't buy it. Let's start with the statement itself. The market share a couple of months after iBooks launch was 20 percent? And it was still 20 percent after adding Random House? Call...

Court upholds rights for inmates to read werewolf erotica in prison
June 12, 2013 | 10:34 am

Sometimes you just have to laugh, and this story had me in stitches. Apparently, it's not OK for prisons to disallow the reading of werewolf erotic fiction, according to this story by Melville House. This case has been working its way through the California court system for more than two years. To sum it up, inmate Andres Martinez, currently residing in Pelican Bay State Prison, ordered from Amazon a book titled The Silver Crown. It's about a werewolf hunter who ... wait for it ... falls in love with a werewolf. Apparently prison guards examined the book and determined it had too much...

Judge Cote Expresses an Early Opinion on Apple E-Book Case
May 24, 2013 | 11:15 am

Wow, talk about a surprise in my Feedly this morning. From Reuters: In an unusual move before a trial, a federal judge expressed a tentative view that the U.S. Justice Department will be able to show evidence that Apple Inc engaged in a conspiracy with publishers to increase e-book prices. I know what my personal opinions are on the case, based on what I've read in the media so far, and so, yeah, I agree with Judge Cote, but my opinion doesn't matter at all, and I'm thinking this could come back to bite us later. She did go on to say it...

Is anyone still paying attention to the DOJ/ebook antitrust case?
May 18, 2013 | 12:47 pm

DOJ vs. AppleI guess I'd forgotten. Now that all the the publishing players have settled, abandoning agency pricing and returning to the wholesale slums, the DOJ/e-book antitrust case, which popped up again in everyone's news feeds this week, feels a little anticlimactic. The DOJ, perhaps simply because it's what it found, or perhaps because there's no one left to pick on, is framing the last defendant standing, Apple, as the "ringmaster" in the price-fixing suit, according the New York Times. With the case set to go to trial June 3 in New York (and what a fine note on which to end BEA), I find myself wondering: At...

Macmillan Finalizes E-Book Settlement
April 30, 2013 | 10:15 am

We're finally nearing the end of this saga. Yesterday, Publishers Weekly reported that Macmillan has finalized their e-book settlement with the state and consumer classes. The agreement has been sent to Judge Cote, who is expected to approve it. The final total for Macmillan was $26 million, $20 million of which is earmarked for consumer compensation. The payout is expected by summer. I'm hoping that's also a date for the settlement money due from the other publishers. Last year, I read that Judge Cote would be reviewing the other settlements in February. I haven't heard anything about that ruling, and I assume she's...