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Preview: The Register - Public Sector: Law

The Register - Policy: Law

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2014, Situation Publishing

Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:14:04 GMT

AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous

The Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA) yesterday released “independent research” claiming that “Australia has the lowest average price in the world when looking at new release high definition digital video on demand films”.…

Court flushes VirnetX's $368m check from Apple down the toilet

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:12:09 GMT

Patent damages payout kicked back to lower bench by appeals judges in US

A US court has dashed a $368m windfall for technology hoarder VirnetX, which successfully sued Apple for patent infringement.…

Deutschland, Uber allowed (for now): Ban on taxi app lifted

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:53:48 GMT

Sour krauts can't stop car hire service right this second, says Germany judge

A judge in Germany has scrapped a temporary injunction banning Uber's taxi service in the country.…

Massachusetts shoots down car dealers' Tesla-busting sueball

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:29:30 GMT

Court will allow flash motor maker to sell direct to punters

A court in Massachusetts, US, has ruled in favor of Tesla in a case that could have barred the company from selling its electric car in the state.…

Tough luck, Zuck! Man who claimed to own half of Facebook has fraud trial delayed six months

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:16:18 GMT

Judge grants his new lawyer time to peruse the evidence

The man accused of trying to cheat Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg out of half of the social network has had his fraud trial delayed by six months so he can take time to go over his case with his new lawyer.…

Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 07:02:04 GMT

One lane for the afflicted, another for pedestrian pedestrians

China's fifth-largest city, Chongqing, has decided to help out smartphone addicts by devoting a chunk of footpath so they never need to look up from their screens as they walk around.…

Stricter shark and manta ray trade rules enforced from today

Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:15:53 GMT

CITES: permits needed to protect biodiversity of our oceans

Vid Manta ray species and five types of shark now have greater protection from international trade, following new measures that were adopted last year.…

Mexicans! accuse! Yahoo! of! using! corrupt! judge! to! dodge! $2.7bn! payout!

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:29:08 GMT

US court filing says Purple Palace & lawyers played dirty

Yahoo! and its law firm have been sued by two Mexican companies that are accusing them of conspiring to dodge the shock $2.7bn award handed out to them in a 2012 Mexican court case.…

European Court of Justice allows digitisation of library books

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 07:04:08 GMT

Reading on dedicated terminals okay, but if you print you pay

The Fourth Chamber of the European Court of Justice has ruled that libraries can scan books, even if publishers deny them permission to do so, but that subsequent reading can only take place on “dedicated terminals”.…

FAIL.GOV – Government asks Dropbox for accounts that don't exist

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 05:29:07 GMT

Storage locker's transparency report shows rise in government data gobble attempts

Dropbox has released its transparency report for the first half of 2014 and says it's handled 120 search warrants, a pair of court orders, 109 subpoenas, between zero and 249 national-security-related requests and 37 requests from governments other than that of the USA. None of the requests pertained to business accounts.…

Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:06:06 GMT

Sueball claims blind passengers ditched, guide dogs abused

Taxi hire biz Uber is being sued in northern California for allegedly violating the civil rights of blind people.…

Snapchat admits disappearing selfie app was actually lawsuit flinger's idea

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:32:04 GMT

Startup settles dispute with Reggie Brown

Snapchat has settled its Facebook-like row with Reggie Brown, accepting his role in setting up the internet startup.…

Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 04:27:32 GMT

Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action

Privacy International has taken the “Five-Eyes” spying issue to court, filing a demand that the agreements between participant countries – the US, the (currently) UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – be made public.…

Australian whistleblower laws weaker than China's, report finds

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 03:44:39 GMT

Leaker safeguards save YOU money on staff surveillance kit

Australia's private sector whistleblower laws are weaker than those in most G20 countries including Turkey, China, and Indonesia, according to researchers at Melbourne and Griffith universities.…

Tinder sexual harassment suit settled in undisclosed deal

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:37:04 GMT

Sean Rad still CEO but reports suggest CMO left the company

Tinder has settled the lawsuit brought by former marketing veep Whitney Wolfe alleging a catalogue of sexual harassment and discrimination at the dating app startup.…

Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:28:08 GMT

And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC that markets its products around the world, has told Australia's government that heavy users of “IP obfuscation tools” are so suspicious that internet service providers (ISPs) should consider them as likely content pirates.…

Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 05:30:09 GMT

Brussels begs Mountain View for even less evil

The European Commission apparently wants Google to make even more changes to its web search results, beyond those that Brussels has already requested.…

Microsoft bins Bing image widget after Getty sueball

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 01:58:07 GMT

Embed codes for offending collages still seem to do the business

Microsoft has taken down the Bing images widget that so offended Getty Images that it flung a sueball in Redmond's direction last week.…

T-Mobile US lobs sueball at Huawei: Claims Chinese giant stole robot tech

Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:19:09 GMT

Lawsuit alleges Huawei staff tried to sneak into T-Mobile's offices after they were banned

T-Mobile US has filed a suit accusing Huawei of stealing the tech behind its mobile phone testing robot, nicknamed “Tappy”.…

Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge

Sun, 07 Sep 2014 22:53:21 GMT

Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey

Former Bitcoin Foundation chair and BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem has entered a guilty plea on charges that he operated an illegal currency trading operation, and will fork out nearly a million dollars to the US government, in a deal that avoids a trial that was due to start on September 22.…

Thieves steal more iPhones than any other handset, warns UK government

Sun, 07 Sep 2014 15:53:42 GMT

Apple mobes are top of the cops' index

Apple iPhone owners in England and Wales are the most likely group of citizens to have their handsets snatched by thieves, the UK government warned today.…

Judge: Google class action 'usual suspects' cash-fling 'smells'

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 09:02:09 GMT

Proposed payout gives class members nothing – objectors

+Comment A proposed settlement to the "referrer header" class action suit against Google has been rejected by a Californian judge. The that would have seen the search giant funnel millions to cherry-picked law schools and Google-friendly pro privacy groups.…

OH SNAP: Getty Images sues Microsoft over Bing pics widget

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:33:05 GMT

Redmond accused of turning web into 'unlicensed clip art' collection

Getty Images has flung a sueball at Microsoft, alleging that the new Bing Image Widget breaches its copyright.…

Silicon Valley tech titans beg for more mediation time in wage-fix lawsuit

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 01:11:21 GMT

Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel heading back to bargaining table over $325m settlement

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have filed a court motion asking for more time in mediation before going to court to fight former employees who claim they were put on secret no-hire blacklists by their bosses.…

Verizon hit with $7.4 MEEELLION fine for slurping users' privates

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:39:57 GMT

Promises not to do it again

Verizon has agreed to pay the US Treasury $7.4m to settle an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission into its failure to tell customers that it was using their personal information for marketing purposes.…

The BNP can rip off your works for ‘parodies’ – but only if it's not racist

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:32:05 GMT

EU ruling creates new Comedy Cops legal function

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on who can use copyrighted work in a parody, and said it’s fair game – as long as it’s not, er, sexist or racist.…

Telstra tells Big Content it won't become unpaid Copyright Cop

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 04:55:42 GMT

CEO David Thodey calls on rights holders to prove piracy, pay ISPs for enforcement help

Australia's dominant telco and internet service provider Telstra has waded into the nation's copyright enforcement debate by rejecting Big Content's calls for it to assume liability for its users' copyright infringements.…

Privacy law reboot needed says Oz Law Reform Commission

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:42:24 GMT

Legal philosphers call for Tort of pricacy, rethink for surveillance laws

Australia's patchwork of state and commonwealth surveillance laws need tweaks and homogenisation to protect privacy, according to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC).…

Good luck with Project Wing, Google. This drone moonshot is NEVER going to happen

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:24:06 GMT

Let's game this thing out

Comment Google’s delivery drones in Oz have a really easy job – fly across a near desert and lower a parcel to the ground. That’s easy-peasy, matey. Try that in my Sixth Street home* in San Francisco, the one near the junction with Folsom Street, where (to make the Chocolate Drone Factory’s life easier) there is a grassed yard.…

Transparency by Telstra: a good start but not enough

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:32:06 GMT

84,000-plus law enforcement requests, but for what?

Telstra probably thought it was doing the right thing by joining other big names and publishing a transparency report. Instead, it's become a focus of criticism for, in the eyes of 'net freedom advocates, handing over too much customer information on too little pretext.…

Carrier club's careful copyright conga

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:46:35 GMT

We're not Big Content's interns, says Comms Alliance, but we might be RENT-A-COPS

Australia's carriers club, the Communications Alliance, has published its submission to the federal government's copyright inquiry after an early copy hit media inboxes.…

Jet-powered DRONE-maker slapped for illegal exports

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:40:15 GMT

UAV sent offshore without the right paperwork

An Australian maker of drones – no, not the toys beloved of Jeff Bezos, a more serious kind – has copped both fines and confiscations after trying to export its products without a permit.…

Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:02:08 GMT

Court wanted peek as related to US investigation

Microsoft is holding out against a US court order asking it to provide investigators with customers' personal information held offshore.…

Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:03:09 GMT

Alleges breaches of Oz consumer law

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has fired the sueball-gun at Valve, accusing the game-maker of trying to dodge Australian consumer law.…

GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:07:17 GMT

Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut

A number of protesters haranguing UK spies stationed at the country's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have taken to apparently drinking human urine to publicise their disgust with the eavesdropping nerve centre's surveillance tactics.…

Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:34:11 GMT

Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'

The pace of technological change and rise of social media "may make it inevitable" that UK privacy laws need to be revised and updated, the country's most senior judge has said.…

Groupon sales reps' overtime pay suit not eligible for class action

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:42:04 GMT

Judge reckons their jobs were too different to be lumped into one court case

Groupon sales staff have failed to get class action status for their lawsuit against the firm, which accuses the voucher bazaar of not bothering to pay them for overtime before and after its 2011 IPO.…

Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:01:08 GMT

Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time

The Apple-Samsung lawsuit in the US continues its inch-wise progress, with Judge Lucy Koh deciding against giving Apple a permanent injunction to stop Samsung selling smartphones – even though by now they are mostly obsolete.…

Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:56:05 GMT

Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images

A top government cybersecurity official who secretly joined an online pedophile network to swap child sex abuse material and rape fantasies has been convicted.…

Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:17:47 GMT

Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?

California's governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a bill that requires any manufacturer selling smartphones in the Golden State to install a kill switch capable of bricking the handset.…

Harvard boffins 'reverse-engineer' Chinese censorship

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 03:01:05 GMT

Yes: criticise the government. No: organise protest

A group of researchers has stung China's censorship regime, building a “fake” social network to reverse-engineer the workings of the “great firewall”.…

The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 08:00:12 GMT

And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it

Some of you may already be familiar with our sub-editor Gareth Corfield's work as he is usually the man behind our social-media presence.

Three new charges laid against alleged Silk Road kingpin

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:01:06 GMT

Lawyer says legal bullets sprayed in hope of landing jury hit

Three additional charges have been laid against alleged Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht including narcotics trafficking and identity fraud, according to an indictment filed Thursday.…

Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:28:30 GMT

Creativity can't start and end at the push of a button

Analysis That so-called Macaca nigra monkey selfie isn’t in the public domain, no matter what Wikipedia wants you to think. In fact, the encyclopedia's stance on the matter could backfire and hit it in the pocket.…

Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 18:25:04 GMT

Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie

A man who illicitly recorded action film Fast And Furious 6, uploaded it to the internet and then sold copies online has been locked up for nearly three years.…

Facebook needs to defend Austrian privacy violation case

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 05:03:12 GMT

Court rubber-stamps Max Schrems' class action

Privacy activist Max Schrems, leader of the “Europe-versus-Facebook” movement, has had a procedural win in Austria that means Facebook Ireland has to prep its defence.…

Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 04:32:12 GMT

Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka

In a move that has garnered little notice beyond India, the Government of Karnataka state early in August passed laws allowing it to pre-emptively arrest copyright suspects.…

Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:02:03 GMT

Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz

A Register reporter has been let away with a slap on the wrist after confessing to what the cops claim is an act of terrorism.…

Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:33:03 GMT

US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors

Four hackers in the US have pleaded guilty to misdemeanours after a judge questioned why prosecutors were attempting to press felony charges.…

EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:42:04 GMT

Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish

Europe’s caretaker Commissioner for Justice says Google et al are trying to throw a spanner in the works of data protection.…