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In its effort to defend the record labels, musicians and the recording industry at large, the RIAA became perhaps one of the most disliked organizations in the world.
Yes, most people will agree that piracy is wrong and that laws protecting content creators and rights holders are sensible, but the RIAA's tactics in fighting piracy, which infamously included widely-publicized lawsuits against grandmothers (dead or alive), didn't win it many fans.
Every week, it seems like at least a few of the tech blogosphere's top news stories have something to do with patents. From patent auctions to patent troll lawsuits that, at worst, threaten to put individual innovators out of business, it seems that patents have become one of the biggest sources of headaches in the tech industry.
According to billionaire internet entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban, the chaos created by software and process patents has some very big negative effects: it's costing the U.S. economy jobs and spurring a "Patent Arms Race" that will inevitably impact consumer prices. But he's proposing a solution: eliminate the process patents that are used to 'patent' software.
In 2006, a Belgian newspaper group, Copiepresse, sued Google. It claimed that the search engine was violating its copyrights in showing headlines and excerpts from its newspapers in Google News.
Google lost in court, but it may have won a small moral victory when it left those same newspapers crying 'Bloody Mary!' this week. The reason? They noticed that their websites were no longer appearing in Google search results.
Two software giants, Oracle and Google, are fighting a fierce war that could upend the mobile market. Oracle, which owns Sun Microsystems, alleges that parts of Android use Sun software that Google didn't license.
Apparently, the allegation may be legitimate, and preparing for victory, Oracle is reportedly approaching handset makers that use Android and asking them to license its software directly at significant cost.
"Don't feed the trolls." Anybody who has ever participated on a message board or blog knows this is usually good advice.
When it comes to patent trolls, however, some of the world's largest companies can't find enough food. When faced with demands from companies that do little more than buy and license patents, tech stalwarts prefer feeding to fighting.
And for good reason: patent litigation is expensive, and a lost lawsuit can be even more expensive.
In today's competitive market, building a great technology company requires great ideas, great execution and great intellectual property.
Increasingly, however, it also requires something else: a great number of attorneys.
Kuwaiti blogger Mark Makhoul recently wrote a very critical review of Benihana on his blog. The restaurant's reaction? It sued the blogger...
The reaction of the restaurant to this criticism provides an excellent lesson in how not to respond to criticism online, and it has seriously backfired so far, with the story spreading all across the Middle East and further.
With more than a half a billion users, Facebook knows an awful lot about an awful lot of people. And all the data it collects is no doubt a gold mine.
But sitting on a gold mine and actually being able to extract the gold are two very different things. Although Facebook's revenue has grown rapidly, its effectiveness at monetizing each of its users lags well behind other prominent internet companies like Google.
Enforcing copyright online has proven to be quite difficult. More than a decade after Napster brought the subject of digital piracy into the mainstream, content owners are still struggling to protect their rights on the internet. They have finally learned one thing though: suing grandmothers (and dead grandmothers) doesn't work.
So what are content owners doing? It appears they are turning their attention to a more receptive audience: politicians.
Should eBay be liable for trademark infringement when its vendors offer counterfeit goods for sale? Famous jeweler Tiffany & Co. has been arguing since 2004 that it should.
The case finally reached the Supreme Court, which rejected Tiffany & Co.'s appear on Monday. That leaves a lower court ruling, which went in eBay's favor, as the final word on the matter in the United States.
Consumers today love a good deal, and the internet is often the best place to find one.
Because of that, the internet can be a cut-throat environment for retailers. With just a few clicks, it's possible for consumers to find the best price for just about any given product and if your company isn't the one offering it, there's a good chance you'll miss out on the sale.
Copyright has proven to be a thorny subject in the digital era we live in. That's particularly true for traditional media. From record labels to newspapers, the internet has taken a lot of the blame for the woes of media companies that were once dominant. A lot of the time, their woes are connected, directly and indirectly, with internet-based copyright infringement.
To be sure, the internet has raised a lot of copyright-related questions. Where does fair use end and copyright infringement end? Are "hot news" laws a necessity given that bloggers can so easily piggyback on the reporting of major news organizations?