Apple gains control of critical digital download patent

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A recent out-of-court settlement between Apple Computer and a Vermont-based inventor has landed Apple the rights to a prestigious software design patent that may allow the company to seek royalties on a broad spectrum of digital downloads.

Michael Starkweather, a lawyer and author of the 10-year old patent, issued a statement on Thursday calling it a “billion dollar patent” that will have affects on the future of the “cell phone, iPod and PDA” industries.

“I believe that, with this patent in hand, Apple will eventually be after every phone company, film maker, computer maker and video producer to pay royalties on every download of not just music but also movies and videos,” he said.

Source: AppleInsider

AOL Gives Away Free Movies For Christmas

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AOL Video has decided to spread some holiday cheer by giving away over 30 free movie downloads for one day only on Saturday.

Several of the titles are, appropriately, Christmas movies such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Jack Frost, but there will be some non-spirited ones available such as Spiderman 2 as well. The free offering begins at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time and customers are limited to one movie per person, but not one per computer.

Source: Techcrunch

Internet Archive wins copyright reprieve

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Internet Archive project has won an exemption from US copyright law, overcoming an obstacle which threatened the entire work of the not-for-profit group. It can now host copies of obsolete computer games and software without fear of prosecution.

The Library of Congress has published six exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which criminalises duplication of material copyrighted to someone else. The exemption is from punishment for breaking the kinds of copy controls on material which are designed to stop unauthorised duplication.

One of the six exemptions is for computer software or games for the purposes of preservation, but only if the original machine, format or technology involved is obsolete.

The ruling grants exemption to “computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive”.

Source: The Register

BitTorrent receives $20 million in financing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

File-sharing company BitTorrent has received $20 million in financing, the company announced late Thursday.

San Francisco-based BitTorrent also addressed reports that Bram Cohen was on his way out as the company’s CEO. BitTorrent executives told CNET News.com that the stories are untrue and Cohen has no intention of stepping down.

“This financing is a clear testament to the strength of our technology and potential growth,” Cohen said in a statement. “I look forward to spearheading the continued development.”

Source: News.com

New Rules Compel Companies Track All E-Mails, IMs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

U.S. companies will need to keep track of all the e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents generated by their employees thanks to new federal rules that go into effect Friday, legal experts say.

The rules, approved by the Supreme Court in April, require companies and other entities involved in federal litigation to produce “electronically stored information” as part of the discovery process, when evidence is shared by both sides before a trial.

Source: AP

ATM system called unsafe

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Researchers who work for an Israeli computer security company say they have discovered a fundamental weakness in the system that banks use to keep debit card PIN codes secret while they are transported across bank networks – a flaw that they say could undermine the entire debit card system.

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating the matter, and MSNBC.com obtained a memo compiled by the agency that indicates that organized criminals are systematically attempting to subvert the ATM system and unscramble encrypted PIN traffic.

The report has ignited a debate within the banking industry, with many financial industry experts downplaying the seriousness of the flaw and outside experts divided on its implications. But there is no disputing the impact that such a hack would have if successful.

Source: MSNBC.com

Microsoft To Give Away 30,000 Copies Of Vista, Office 2007

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new Microsoft Web site targeting Windows Vista and Office 2007 developers will give away 30,000 copies of the new operating system and application suite to users who register for at least three Webcast training sessions.

The Power Together site, says a Microsoft spokesperson, aims to spread the word about Vista and Office 2007; both launched Thursday to business customers at a New York event hosted by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

To qualify for the free copies of Vista Business and/or Office Professional 2007, developers must complete three or more of the Web-based training sessions for each product. The fine print also limits the offer to residents of the United States and bars employees of companies that already participate in the Microsoft Partner Program or the Microsoft Developer Network.

Source: InformationWeek

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