Tag Archive | "court"

Aereo Shutters Its TV Streaming Service… For Now

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Apple Settles Civil Lawsuit In E-Books Pricing Case

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Judge Strikes Down NY Attorney General’s Subpoena In Airbnb Case For Being Overly Broad

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EU Court Rules Google Must Give Individuals “Right To Be Forgotten” (Or Not To Be Found)

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Supreme Court Justices Say They’re Likely To Rule On NSA Surveillance

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Aereo Launches ProtectMyAntenna.org To Explain Its Position Vs. Broadcasters

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California Court Rules In Favor Of Using Cellphone Maps While Driving

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Good news, Californians. You can now, once again, use Google Maps on your phone while driving. That is, legally. Until this court ruling, map use was in a shady legal gray area. This comes two years after a Fresno, Calif., man was ticketed for looking at a map on his iPhone while stuck in construction. He was looking for an alternative route. As you do. The cop issued the $165 ticket under a law… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

White House: Without Net Neutrality, The Internet Would Be An Inaccessible “Toll Road”

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In case you wondered whether the White House is deliberately ignoring its petition platform, the President’s Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, wrote an official blog post in support of net neutrality.

“Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries,” wrote Park about the contentious law that will allow Internet service providers to charge more money for some websites.

Park was responding to 105K people who signed an official petition on WeThePeople to prevent ISPs from charging websites different rates for different speeds. The AT&Ts and Verizons of the world could make a pretty penny by charging services, such as YouTube, to increase the speed of their websites. Major tech companies and civil liberty organizations fear that it would snuff out the savvy little guy who can’t afford the high prices, thereby ending the meritocracy of a net neutral web.

Last month, a circuit court threw out an important provision for the Federal Communication Commission’s jurisdiction over the law, potentially threatening the existence of net neutrality. Netflix, which stands to be hit the hardest by a change in the law, has been especially vocal in support of net neutrality after the court’s decision.

The FCC says it’s working on a potential solution that could withstand further court rulings. The president’s support could provide some cover as the FCC tries to maintain its role over this issue.

Obama’s support for net neutrality isn’t new, but responding to the official White House petitions is a nice sign that the executive branch is taking direct democracy seriously. According to the White House pledge, any WeThePeople petition that gathers more than 100K signatures will get an official response.

Some petitions are months old, however, leaving critics to question whether the petition system is being taken seriously. This goes to show that the White House can answer easy questions, like net neutrality, much faster. It does, however, take longer to figure out whether the president wants Justin Bieber deported.

Image by Flickr user Gage Skidmore under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Supreme Court Will Hear Aereo Case, Settling The Broadcaster Battle Once And For All

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Aereo, a streaming TV startup backed by media mogul Barry Diller, has been embroiled in a legal battle with network broadcasters for the better part of this year.

But the case has finally reached the home stretch, as the supreme court today decided to take on the issue and settle the matter once and for all.

Aereo takes OTA signals out of the air through miniature antennas and streams that content over the internet to any device for a low monthly fee. It’s the first major step toward disrupting the current TV/cable subscription model.

Obviously, broadcasters aren’t happy with it, despite the fact that courts have deemed Aereo to be as legal as cloud-based DVR or using rabbit ears.

So far, whenever Aereo wins in one market such as New York or Boston, broadcasters pick up the case in another one.

Tired of losing appellate cases, the broadcasters asked the Supreme Court to intervene and, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, Aereo agreed to have the case heard by the Supreme Court.

Why? Well, if the Supreme Court follows the decision of earlier rulings and deems Aereo’s operations legal, broadcasters can no longer implement the “divide and conquer” strategy of suing Aereo in various districts. Once the Supreme Court makes a ruling, that ruling is final.

By agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court will most certainly shape the future of the media industry. Aereo’s long term goal is to create a market place where content creators can sell content directly to those who want to view it, rather than selling bundles of content at higher prices.

By allowing Aereo to operate, offering customers access to what are ultimately free broadcast signals, the Supreme Court is opening us up to a more on-demand future.

Here’s the official statement from Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia:

We said from the beginning that it was our hope that this case would be decided on the merits and not through a wasteful war of attrition. We look forward to presenting our case to the Supreme Court and we have every confidence that the Court will validate and preserve a consumer’s right to access local over-the-air television with an individual antenna, make a personal recording with a DVR, and watch that recording on a device of their choice.

This case is critically important not only to Aereo, but to the entire cloud computing and cloud storage industry. The landmark Second Circuit decision in Cablevision provided much needed clarity for the cloud industry and as a result, helped foster massive investment, growth and innovation in the sector. The challenges outlined in the broadcasters’ filing make clear that they are using Aereo as a proxy to attack Cablevision itself and thus, undermine a critical foundation of the cloud computing and storage industry.

We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts. The broadcasters are asking the Court to deny consumers the ability to use the cloud to access a more modern-day television antenna and DVR. If the broadcasters succeed, the consequences to consumers and the cloud industry are chilling.

We remain unwavering in our confidence that Aereo’s technology falls squarely within the law and our team will continue to work hard to provide our consumers with best-in-class technology that delights and adds meaningful value to their lives.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Apple Not Impressed That Court-Appointed E-Book Compliance Monitor Made $138,432 In First Two Weeks

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Apple has issued a formal objection to the court-appointed lawyer assigned to monitor its compliance with the decision handed down in its e-book pricing fixing case back in July. The monitor was assigned by the DOJ back in October, and has apparently been charging Apple a very high price for his services – he made $138,432 in his first two weeks on the job, according to Apple’s official filing on the matter.

Apple says that’s the highest rate it’s paid a lawyer in its history, which is saying a lot given the company’s decidedly litigious streak. Apple’s lawyers explained in the filing that they believe Bromwich is charging so much simply because he can, as Apple has no say in who is chosen for the position, and must pay for the court-appointed monitor as per the decision handed down by the DOJ in the antitrust price-fixing case. Apple also objected to a provision in the DOJ’s ruling that would allow Bromwich to interview company personnel and report back to the court without Apple’s own lawyers around to represent the company’s interests.

The anti-trust case saw Apple charged with colluding with ebook publishers to artificially raise prices, and the DOJ handed down a decision that means Apple must have the court-appointed monitor, and is forbidden from having special arrangement with publishers around price restrictions, as well as so-called “favored nation” clauses (which essentially ties the pricing deals it works out with one publisher to the arrangements it holds with others) for four years.

Bromwich has served as an independent monitor before, in the oil and gas industry and with the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia, but if lawyer loving Apple is taking exception, there might be something to the claim that this rate is excessive by any standards.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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