Joe Mullin

FTC closes investigation over Yelp complaints, no charges filed

Location:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580, United States
Recommendation:
1

Yelp disclosed that the Federal Trade Commission has concluded an almost year-long investigation into the site's practices and decided to take no action. For years, Yelp has been dogged by claims that businesses that pay it money receive better treatment on the site. But courts and regulators have consistently sided with Yelp.

First US appeals court hears argument to shut down NSA database

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 500 Pearl St., New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
1

American Civil Liberties Union lawyers made their case against mass surveillance before a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Aereo imitator lashes out at judge who fined him $90,000 for continuing to operate

Location:
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY, 10007-1312, United States
Recommendation:
1

After Aereo lost its case at the Supreme Court, it quickly shut down. But FilmOn, just kept on going. Now that decision is coming back to bite FilmOn and its eccentric owner, Alki David.

German publishers want Google to pay 11 percent for quoting them

Location:
Germany, Germany
Recommendation:
2

Several of Germany's largest newspaper and magazine publishers have instituted legal proceedings against Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

Court fight heats up over 52 pages of still-secret surveillance info

Location:
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's long quest to make key rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) public is nearing its end. EFF lawyer Mark Rumold faced off with Department of Justice attorney Steven Bressler in the same courtroom they had sparred in 14 months ago.

Supreme Court shoots down two more rules put in place by top patent court

Location:
Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), One First Street, NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

The US Supreme Court issued rulings in two of the five patent cases it heard this term. In both cases, the high court unanimously struck down rules created by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Amid threats to decamp to cable, CBS chief admits: Aereo doesn’t hurt us

Location:
CBS, 51 W. 52nd St., New York, NY, 10019, United States
Recommendation:
1

Major TV networks are scheduled to argue their case against Aereo in the Supreme Court in April. It will be the biggest copyright fight in 2014, without a doubt. But CBS' suggestion that Aereo is a content bandit has one very visible flaw: Aereo's alleged victims are more profitable than ever.

Study of French “three strikes” piracy law finds no deterrent effect

Location:
France, France
Recommendation:
2

A recently published study of 2,000 French Internet users found that the widely-publicized "three strikes" law hasn't had much effect on how pirates get their content.

New US spy satellite features world-devouring octopus

Location:
Director of National Intelligence, Washington, DC, 20511, United States
Recommendation:
2

President Barack Obama is out to put the public's mind at ease about new revelations on intelligence-gathering, but the Office for the Director of National Intelligence can't quite seem to get with the program of calming everyone down.

In historic vote, New Zealand bans software patents

Location:
New Zealand, New Zealand
Recommendation:
2

A major new patent bill, passed in a 117-4 vote by New Zealand's Parliament after five years of debate, will ban software patents.

Appeals court overrules Apple-Samsung judge, allows more document sealing

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 717 Madison PL, NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
2

The openness of the Apple v. Samsung patent trial had limits that are becoming clear post-trial. US District Judge Lucy Koh wanted to unseal more documents post-trial, but she was sharply overruled by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Authors, composers want 3.4% of every Belgian’s Internet bill

Location:
Brussels, Belgium
Recommendation:
1

Content owners in nearly every country have tried various strategies to get compensation for losses due to piracy. But copyright owners in Belgium have a bold new tactic: go after Internet service providers in court, demanding 3.4 percent of the fees their customers pay for Internet service.

Copyright reformers launch attack on DMCA’s “digital locks” rule

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Supporters of copyright reform are hoping that 2013 is the year they get some real momentum going.

Newspapers go all-in for copyright fight against clipping service

Location:
Manhattan, NY, United States
Recommendation:
2

A copyright battle between The Associated Press and an online news-clipping service is reaching a climax, and the case could have significant implications for fair use.

Rep Zoe Lofgren talks the 2013 tech agenda

Location:
US Capitol, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
2

A Q&A with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).

Why the UN’s push to control the Internet isn’t over

Location:
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, Geneva, 1202, Switzerland
Recommendation:
2

Last month, a majority of the members of the International Telecommunications Union voted for a murky proposal, suggesting that the ITU has the power to regulate the Internet. The proposal was passed despite vociferous objections by the US and other developed countries. In the end, 55 countries refused to sign on, while 89 did sign the resolution.

Will 2013 be the year copyright reformers hit back?

Location:
Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 89109, United States
Recommendation:
2

It's a post-SOPA world. But the question is, what does that mean for the future? Content companies used to getting their way on Capitol Hill got humbled last January when an unprecedented wave of public protest shut down the SOPA and PIPA proposals that would have regulated online copyright. Now that the public has been awakened to the issue, those interested in a more balanced copyright system are thinking over their strategy.

Beyond SOPA: the top nine tech policy stories of 2012

Recommendation:
2

The year 2012 started off with one of the most dramatic developments in Internet policy to date: the total implosion of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act in mid-January. Of all the stories we covered this year, there's little question the outcry over SOPA most changed the debate in Washington. Congressional representatives were deluged by a record amount of public outcry, getting eight million e-mails from regular Internet users within a few days.

Fox asks appeals court to stop Dish's ad-skipping DVR, right now

Location:
US Court of Appeals; 9th Circuit, 95 7th St, San Francisco, CA, 94103, United States
Recommendation:
1

Fox Broadcasting, having lost a key court ruling last month, is more eager than ever to kick Dish Network's new ad-skipping Hopper DVR off the market.

FTC to place limits on Google's use of standards patents

Location:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580, United States
Recommendation:
2

Federal antitrust enforcers have been looking into Google this year on two issues: how the company arranges its search results, and its use of standards-based patents as ammunition in the sprawling smartphone wars.

California to app developers: get privacy policies or risk $2500-per-download fines

Location:
CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

They had a month—and now it's over. Any California mobile-app developers who don't have a privacy policy obviously available to consumers need to get one and fast. If they don't, they could be facing potentially massive fines: up to $2,500 per app download.

French media to Google: pay us for news searches

Location:
Paris, France
Recommendation:
2

The French seem to have an appetite for regulating the Internet, and for going after Google in particular.

In post-trial battles with Samsung, Apple fights to keep documents sealed

Location:
San Jose, CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Just several weeks ago, Apple won a huge patent victory in the courtroom of US District Judge Lucy Koh. But now the company is finding itself on the defensive in the same San Jose courtroom, in a different battle -- the fight to keep its financial information secret.

Netflix settles with deaf-rights group, agrees to caption all videos by 2014

Location:
Netflix, 100 Winchester Cir., Los Gatos, CA, 95032, United States
Recommendation:
3

In an agreement that the National Association for the Deaf (NAD) calls "a model for the streaming video industry," Netflix has agreed to caption all of its shows by the year 2014.

How much do Google and Facebook profit from your data?

Recommendation:
2

Savvy Internet users know that all the great stuff they get from the Internet for "free"—the searches, the social networks, the games, even the news—isn't really free. It's an exchange, where companies are able to take user data, sell it to advertisers, and make money that allows them to give themselves a paycheck while keeping you afloat in free digital services. So that data you're giving away online is worth something, but have you ever taken a stab at figuring out how much?

MPAA chief admits: SOPA and PIPA "are dead, they're not coming back."

Location:
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), 1600 Eye St., NW, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
1

Motion Picture Association of America CEO Chris Dodd didn't seem eager to talk about the aftermath of SOPA when he spoke at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. The former Connecticut senator would have preferred to wax poetic about innovation, California, and the collaboration between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

Google wins crucial API ruling, Oracle's case decimated

Location:
San Francisco, CA, United States
Recommendation:
3

Federal Judge William Alsup, who recently finished presiding over the six-week Oracle v. Google trial, ruled that the structure of the Java APIs that Oracle was trying to assert can't be copyrighted at all.

Oracle v. Google patent phase wraps up

Location:
San Francisco, CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Legal teams in Oracle v. Google are preparing to present closing arguments May 15, after a flurry of motions filed over the weekend didn't convince the judge overseeing the case to change the structure of the trial.

Tim Berners-Lee Takes the Stand to Keep the Web Free

Location:
US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, 211 West Ferguson Street, Tyler, TX, 75702, United States
Recommendation:
2

The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, testified in a courtroom Feb 7for the first time in his life.

Google Tells ITC Judge: Microsoft Revealed Our Secret Source Code

Location:
U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC, 20436, United States
Recommendation:
1

Google has asked a judge at the International Trade Commission to sanction Microsoft, saying that the company revealed “highly confidential source code” to an expert witness in violation of the court’s rules. The expert accessed the source code as part of Microsoft’s ITC case against Motorola, which alleges that some Android-powered Motorola phones violate Microsoft patents.