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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 119

Instagram facing lawsuit over its new updated terms of service

San Diego-based law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk have filed a complaint in San Francisco federal court on behalf of Instagam user Lucy Funes. The lawsuit alleges that the change in terms of service breach contract and California business law. Take a look at a quote from the complaint, embedded below:

 

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If customers do not agree with Defendant's scheme, they can cancel their profile with Instagram. However, upon canceling, customers forfeit all right to retrieve the Property that was previously entrusted to Instagram, which retains rights thereto in perpetuity. In short, Instagram declares that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don't like it, you can't stop us.'

 

Instagram's current terms of service do not contain a class action liability shield, but the new terms of service do. This is the reasoning behind the lawsuit being filed now, instead of after mid-January when the new terms take effect. Of course, Facebook disagrees: "We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously."

YouTube gives UMG, Sony a holiday present - takes billions of views away from their videos

Google have slapped Universal, Sony and other music labels on the wrist by stripping them of around 2 billion fake views form their YouTube channels. The groups hit include Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, RCA records and a few others.

 

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The hit has been called a 'black hat', as the companies were using programs or paying a third-party that would manipulate view counts on their respective YouTube videos, which are pretty much just robotic views of their videos. The purpose? To make their songs look much, much more popular than they really were, in order to entice real clicks and views onto their videos.

 

This ended with over two billion views combined being removed from the companies' videos. Universal was hit the most, seeing more than one billion in views stripped away from them, from a former seven billion views taken down to six billion. Sony/BMG placed second with a loss of 850 million views, bringing their total down to just 2.3 million.

Continue reading 'YouTube gives UMG, Sony a holiday present - takes billions of views away from their videos' (full post)


Hoyts to launch their own movie streaming service in early 2013

In Australia, we don't have many options when it comes to movie streaming services, but it looks like that set of options will expand by at least one large company next year with Hoyts set to launch their own movie streaming service early next year.

 

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Hoyts' movie streaming service will begin "from 2013" and will have new releases arrive on a pay-per-view basis, but there are also rumbles of an all-you-can-eat (or watch) subscription model that would be coming in "later 2013". Hoyts will also rebrand their own Oovie DVD Kiosk business as Hoyts Kiosk.

 

Now the question is how will it arrive - on devices, or through a site or app, and in what quality? Are we talking DVD quality, or are they going to finally step up and offer 1080p in some form. Hopefully they work with local ISPs and get some servers into their datacenters so we can have quota-free movie-streaming goodness.

EU says Samsung abused standard-essential telecom patents

The European Commission has sent a "statement of objections" to Samsung saying that they don't believe the company is acting fairly. "Intellectual property rights are an important cornerstone of the single market. However, such rights should not be misused when they are essential to implement industry standards, which bring huge benefits to businesses and consumers alike," Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in statement.

 

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Samsung can now respond to the statement with objections or with a request for a hearing. Samsung faces a fine up to 10 percent of its annual turnover if the commission rules that they have violated the rules. The issue at hand is standard-essential patents for the EU's 3G UMTS standard.

 

Samsung agreed to fairly license the needed patents to competitors when the EU adopted the standard. Samsung denies the claims: "Samsung is confident that, in due course, the Commission will conclude that we have acted in compliance with European Union competition laws."

 

The commission opened the investigation after Samsung attempted to gain sales bans in 2011 across member EU states against its fierce competitor, Apple.

UK to require compulsory porn filters for any subscriber that has children

David Cameron is fighting for the children, or at least he claims to be. ISPs will now be required to implement a compulsory survey when setting up an internet connection. During the survey, they will be required to say whether there are kids in the house, and if the answer is 'yes,' they will be required to set up filters.

 

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Starting February 2013, ISPs will be required to show the government their plans for implementation. Cameron says that "a silent attack on innocence is underway in our country today, and I am determined that we fight it with all we've got." Others argue that it is the parent's responsibility to keep the children safe, an argument that seems to be stronger in the United States.

 

What are your thoughts on this? Think every country should require it from their ISPs?

Motorola hires on Samsung's marketing exec Brian Wallace

Google has pulled away one of Samsung's top people. Motorola has just hired Samsung's marketing executive for the same job at Motorola. Brian Wallace has been behind some of Samsung's marketing ploys that have paid off handsomely for the company. Take, for example, the advertisement embedded below:

 

 

Visible Measures says that the ad above was the most popular tech ad of the year. Motorola and Google are likely hoping he will do the same thing for the company, marketing Google's Nexus line of devices and their upcoming X Phone. Before joining Samsung a year ago, he worked at RIM for more than a decade.

Continue reading 'Motorola hires on Samsung's marketing exec Brian Wallace' (full post)

Senator looks to regulate data caps, introduces bill

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, has introduced a bill that would regulate data caps imposed by ISPs and would only allow data caps to be instituted to alleviate network congestion. It would prevent ISPs from arbitrarily applying a data cap just because they can.

 

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"Data caps create challenges for consumers and run the risk of undermining innovation in the digital economy if they are imposed bluntly and not designed to truly manage network congestion," Wyden said in an e-mail statement.

 

Not only does he want to regulate data caps, he wants to provide more accurate and granular information to consumers. His bill authorizes the FCC to regulate ISPs' methods of measuring bandwidth usage so that they will be as accurate as possible.

 

Finally, the bill provides for net neutrality. If a data cap is enabled on a network, the provider can not "provide preferential treatment of data that is based on the source or content of the data."

 

"Future innovation will undoubtedly require consumers to use more and more data-data caps should not impede this innovation and the jobs it creates," Wyden said. "This bill is intended to help consumers manage their data more effectively and ensure that data caps are used only to serve the legitimate purpose of addressing congestion."

Apple fined 200,000 euros in Italian AppleCare Case

Apple has been fined 200,000 euros or about $246,000 by Italian Regulators over the company's handling of AppleCare warranties. The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato is reporting that Apple has since fixed its warranty policies, but between March 28 and November 10th, Apple was still pushing a 2 year Apple Care plan on Italian consumers even though Italian law guarantee that as a minimum.

 

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This fine comes on top of an initial 900,000 euro fine back in March when the Italian government first began cracking down on AppleCare. The 200,000 euros fine actually breaks down into six smaller fines. Apple Sales International was tagged for 120,000 euros; Apple Italia owes 40,000, and Apple Retail Italia is due for another 40,000.

 

With this final fine, the AGCM has closed the case on the isse and Apple has made 14 changes to its stores, terms, and website. Furthermore Apple has removed AppleCare from its retail stores, leaving it available only online to Italian consumers.

Continue reading 'Apple fined 200,000 euros in Italian AppleCare Case' (full post)

RIM surprises everyone, beats expectations but is still bleeding users

Research in Motion posted their Q3 2013 earnings, which ended on December 1 and they're not as bad as analysts expected. Some analysts expected RIM to make money before the BlackBerry 10 launch, with others just waiting for the world to come crashing down around RIM before BB10.

 

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Wall Street had RIM pegged to post a loss of $0.35 per share on $2.65 billion in revenue, but RIM actually recorded a net loss of $114 million, or $0.22 per share over $2.7 billion in sales.

 

RIM shipped 6.9 million BlackBerry smartphones in the quarter, and just 250,000 BlackBerry Playbook tablets. Just how much have BB shipments dropped in the past year? 51% year-over-year from Q3 2011. RIM's subscriber base dropped by 1 million users in the three-month period, where the down-but-not-out company now has 79 million total subscribers.

Kim Dotcom's extradition trial won't take place until August 2013

A New Zealand court decided on Thursday to reschedule the extradition hearing for Kim Dotcom. The US want him back, and now the hearing has been pushed back until August 2013, it's second delay.

 

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Dotcom was originally set to appear in court in August, but the extradition hearing was pushed back to March 2013 due to issues concerning the disclosure of evidence. The New Zealand High Court at the time ruled that the FBI had to provide Dotcom's lawyers with more of the evidence they had against him before he could stand trial for extradition.

 

One of Kim Dotcom's lawyers' spokeswoman confirmed the change, but wouldn't elaborate on why the delay was put into action.

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