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July 14, 2006

Foster v RIAA Decided [1:43 pm]

RIAA Case Against Mother Dismissed With Prejudice; Court May Award Attorneys Fees Against RIAA

In Capitol Records v. Foster, in federal court in Oklahoma, a case against a mother — whose only connection to the alleged filesharing was that she was the person who paid for the internet access — has been dismissed with prejudice.

Opinion

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Compare and Contrast [11:08 am]

  • School Cellphone Ban Violates Rights of Parents, Lawsuit Says

    She is one of eight parents — along with a citywide parent association — who filed a lawsuit yesterday against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and the city’s Department of Education, seeking to overturn the city’s rule banning students from carrying cellphones in schools.

    The parents argue, in papers filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, that the ban is so broad and blunt that it violates their constitutional right as parents to keep their children safe and to raise them in the way they see fit.

    The ban violates their due process right to personal liberty under both the state and federal constitutions, they said, because it interferes with the relationship between parents and their children, without a compelling education reason for doing so.

  • Campus Cells

    It’s still a small minority of colleges, but some are starting to either require students to use a common cell service, or are finding ways to encourage students to do so — with the aim of using the cells to advance certain academic or social goals. Allen University, in South Carolina, this fall is giving cell phones not only to students (covered by tuition) but to faculty members as well. And other institutions, while not giving away phones, are signing deals with companies to provide software to enable phones to perform campus-related functions.

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Digital Identity and Prosecution [11:04 am]

An illustration of the perils of identity/credit card theft — it will be interesting to see what prosecutors make of this “bounty:” Congress Identifies Pornography Purchasers

A Congressional subcommittee investigating the growth of online child pornography has referred the names of hundreds of people who purchased illegal images to state prosecutors around the country, according to government officials.

The referrals for possible prosecution were made late last month to attorneys general in 46 states by the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The information provided to prosecutors included names, credit card information and identifying details of the computers used to purchase monthly memberships at an illegal child pornography site.

The records were turned over to the committee by Justin Berry, a 19-year-old California man who, beginning at age 13, ran a pornographic Web site featuring images of himself streamed onto the Internet through inexpensive Webcams. Mr. Berry was the committee’s major witness in its opening day of hearings, during which he described his descent into Webcam pornography and his decision to turn against that business.

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Algorithms, Page-rank and Antitrust [10:05 am]

Judge dismisses antitrust complaint vs Google - pdf

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose said in a ruling he would grant Google’s motion to dismiss Kinderstart’s complaint, but gave Kinderstart leave to amend and resubmit its case.

“The court concludes that Kinderstart has failed to allege any conduct on the part of Google that significantly threatens or harms competition,” Fogel wrote in a 23-page decision.

Kinderstart filed suit in March after Google altered the way it ranked sites in its Web search and advertising system. The change allegedly relegated the parental information site to a “zero” ranking in Google searches, leading to a 70 percent plunge in traffic to the site in 2005, according to court papers.

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Lyrics Online [10:01 am]

Gracenote, music publishers in lyrics deal - pdf

U.S. digital entertainment company Gracenote on Thursday said it obtained licenses to distribute lyrics as music publishers mulled legal action against Web sites that provide them without authorization.

“When we first approached the publishers with this, they were excited. They thought lyrics had been an untapped resource for them and there’s quite a bit of lyrics being taken for free on the Web,” Ross Blanchard, Gracenote’s vice president of business development, told Reuters in an interview.

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Life in the Music Biz: The Go-Gos [9:44 am]

And the beat goes on - pdf

Though the Go-Go’s have not recorded any new music since 2001’s “God Bless the Go-Go’s,” a CD recently hailed by Steve Van Zandt on his “Underground Garage” radio show, they have toured at least six weeks every summer for the last eight years. Now living separate lives as wives, mothers, solo artists, hit songwriters, reality TV stars and music industry players, the “First Ladies of the ’80s,” as the Go-Go’s are sometimes called, reconvene at casinos, benefits and lucrative gigs for Yamaha and Microsoft. “The Go-Go’s earn more now as a touring act than they did in the 1980s,” says Brett Steinberg, their rep at Creative Artists Agency. They remain the world’s most successful all-female rock ‘n’ roll band. Ever.

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