Archive for: May, 2014

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Banning Revenge Porn

DENVER (CBS4)– It’s now a crime in Colorado to post intimate pictures of someone online for the purpose of humiliating them.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law today at the state Capitol which bans “Revenge Porn.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the "Revenge Porn" bill  into law at the state Capitol (credit: CBS)

The push for the law came after CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass confronted the operator of a revenge porn website, Craig Brittain.

He was sharing some people’s most intimate pictures and extorting them, asking the women to pay to have those pictures removed from the site.

After those stories were broadcast on CBS4, Brittain took down his website.

RELATED: Feds Probing Colorado ‘Revenge Porn’ Website

Law enforcement said there was no legal grounds to stop Brittain from posting the pictures.

State Representative Amy Stephens sponsored the bill. She said ruining someone’s life through revenge porn will not be tolerated in Colorado.

“We had some women victims who wrote letters for the committee to read and I really applaud their courage. That’s not easy,” said Stephens, a Republican representing El Paso County. “They got a huge result today. This is a big “W” for them.”

Attorney Andrew Contiguglia was also at the bill signing. He represented several women profiled in the CBS4 investigation. He was successfully able to get their pictures off the internet.

Contiguglia said today’s bill signing is a good start but the law needs to stay nimble and be able to respond to predatory threats as technology changes.

OTHER REVENGE PORN STORIES

Gov. Signs Bill Banning ‘Revenge Porn’ – CBS Local
http://denver.cbslocal.com/video/10214665-gov-signs-bill-banning-revenge-porn/… Read the rest

Former Will County Board member alleges revenge porn

In a court filing this month, former Will County Board member Kathleen Konicki provides further details regarding her lawsuit against two former boyfriends, accusing one of them of distributing “damagingly embarrassing” photos of her.

Konicki filed a sworn statement in Will County Circuit Court on May 16, describing photos of her distributed by her ex-boyfriend as revenge porn.

In the lawsuit filed in December, Konicki says Timothy Rathburn, her former boyfriend and an attorney, distributed offensive photos of her in a “damagingly embarrassing and intimate nature” to Will County officials, including Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kinney and State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

Konicki, an attorney, also names another former boyfriend, John Bassett, in the suit, alleging that he gave the photos to Rathburn.

She’s representing herself in the lawsuit and says in the new filing that she tried to retain several attorneys to represent her, but two admitted they would not because of the peripheral involvement of the judge and the state’s attorney. In her affidavit, Konicki said former Will County Judge Roman Okrei, who was advising her as an attorney, encouraged her that Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow would vigorously prosecute her case.

Okrei told her Glasgow might see her case as a “timely and appropriate vehicle for himself as an elected official to step forward into the public fray of revenge porn and take the lead,” the affidavit said.

“He said that my timing couldn’t be better, because the problem of vindictive men lashing out at women by posting intimate pictures on the Internet (‘revenge porn’) was widespread and on the verge of getting public attention and publicity,” Konicki wrote. “He said that women from all walks of life, across the nation, were being targeted with revenge porn.”

The state’s attorney’s office never did take up Konicki’s case—she said Okrei told her “Glasgow has been advised not to get involved, since he, himself, had been sent the pictures,” the affidavit said.

Konicki declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying she was not seeking media attention. Rathburn did not return a call for comment.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and invasion of her right to privacy.

Ex-Will Board member alleges ‘revenge porn’ – SouthtownStar
http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/27730289-418/ex-will-board-member-alleges-revenge-porn.html
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

High court rules on Newzbin copyright infringement case

The High Court [jointly liable along with Newzbin Limited for the wrongful act] carried out on the file-sharing Newzbin websites and ruled that he is also part of a conspiracy to infringe copyrights and defraud film studios.

Mr Justice Barling said David Harris was jointly responsible along with his Newzbin Limited business for copyright-infringing activities on the Newzbin and Newzbin2 websites over a period that in total covers nearly three years.

The High Court had previously found that [original Newzbin] belonging to rights-holders in the film industry, and then [Newzbin Limited] to block their customers’ access to the Newzbin2 site – which had emerged after the original Newzbin site shut down.

“I am satisfied that Harris is [jointly liable along with Newzbin Limited for the wrongful act] … of the copyright infringing operations via the [original Newzbin] website for the period between 19 December 2009 and 18 May 2010, when the website closed,” Mr Justice Barling said. “Harris masterminded and directed all the actions of [Newzbin Limited] throughout that period, including those actions which were found to constitute infringing conduct. If ever there was a clear case of a company director ‘intending, procuring and sharing a common design’ to commit an infringement with the company, and ‘making it his own’, then this is it.”

The judge added: “I conclude that Harris is similarly liable to [the film studios] for the infringements of their copyrights which arose from his operation of the [Newzbin2] website throughout the period from 28 May 2010 to 28 November 2012. In this regard Harris was either the sole [person responsible for the wrongful act], or, to the extent that his associates were sufficiently involved in the infringing activity, Harris was also [jointly] liable.”

Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros and Disney were among six major film studios to have brought the action against Harris on behalf of themselves and other members of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

The film studios had claimed that Harris was the “driving force behind mass deliberate infringements of [their] copyrights” and that five businesses they were also suing were owned or controlled by Harris. They said Harris used the businesses to channel money generated from the copyright infringing activities to himself and syphon off funds from his Newzbin business to thwart their efforts to recover costs and compensation for the Newzbin copyright infringement.

Harris had rejected the claims. In particular he argued that the original Newzbin site was not set up with the intention of infringing copyright and that he did not believe infringing activity had been taking place on the site until the High Court ruled it had in 2010.

He said all reasonable steps had been taken to adhere to the High Court’s 2010 order and denied having anything to do with setting up or running the Newzbin2 website which emerged after the original Newzbin site was shut down. He further claimed the Newzbin2 website was being operated by a Swedish man who he had leased domain name rights to.

However, the judge rejected Harris’ defence.

“Despite Harris’s denials, the evidence that he was the driving force behind the setting up and operation of the N2 website is overwhelming, and it is clear that the suggestion of theft of [Newzbin Limited’s] software and of Swedish nationals running the [Newzbin2] website is a fairytale,” Mr Justice Barling said.

The [jointly liable along with Newzbin Limited for the wrongful act] had submitted evidence to the court from ‘chat logs’ which they claimed showed Harris was behind the Newzbin sites and knew about the infringing activity conducted on them. Harris refuted the accuracy of the logs but Mr Justice Barling said they were “a true record” of what Harris and his associates had discussed.

“[The chat logs] show beyond doubt that, far from abandoning the infringing activities carried on via the [original Newzbin] website, Harris was carefully laying the ground so that after the [original Newzbin website] action and anticipated winding up of [Newzbin Limited], the infringing activities in question would continue more or less seamlessly well into the future, by means of servers based outside the jurisdiction, and with Harris running the operation,” Mr Justice Barling said.

[the film studios]Copyright © 2014, [Newzbin2]

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

[person responsible for the wrongful act]

High court finds Newzbin’s ‘ops’ man liable for copyright infringement – Register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/28/man_behind_newzbin_operations_found_liable_for_copyright_infringement_on_the_sites/… Read the rest

German ruling over removal of intimate photographs ignites debate

A court in Koblenz, Germany, has ruled that intimate, compromising photographs should be deleted at the end of a relationship if one partner wants it. In this case, the woman wanted the man to delete erotic photographs she had consented to pose for. When he refused, she sought legal help.Even though the man had shown no intention of reproducing the images or putting them online, the Koblenz case has been viewed as a sign that partners should feel empowered not only to demand deletion of images, but to be able to do so immediately after the relationship ends, instead of having to wait for something bad to happen.There is much discussion at the moment about “the right not to remember” and the blurring of lines between privacy and censorship online. However, there could be no gray areas where revenge porn is concerned. In revenge porn, private photos and footage end up being shown around, sent to victims’ friends and colleagues, placed on porn sites or leaked elsewhere online.

Victims can end up stalked, sexually assaulted, being forced to leave jobs or change where they are studying, and more. It is a devastating, very modern betrayal — where just one mistake (trusting a person you are intimate with) destroys your life. Embarrassing, degrading, and frightening, it could be viewed as a form of stalking once removed.

Revenge porn also seems representative of a kind of carnal electronic tagging of the sexually active female — a way of punishing, denigrating and branding former partners — namely, the ones who got away, the point being that ultimately they didn’t manage to get away. Victims of revenge porn are bound to their tormentors, perhaps forever, within those incriminating, denigrating pixels.

With this in mind, you can see why some people campaign to have it classified as a sexual crime. Certainly revenge porn has victim-blaming in common with sexual assault.

Instead of “Why did you dress sexy?” it is “Why did you allow it to happen?” However, there is a world of difference between a couple being privately playful with an Olympus Stylus and the images ending up on a porn site.

On an ethical level, for me this extends even to when people don’t publish, and just weirdly hang on to highly intimate private images. Unless you are keeping them by mutual agreement, and he/she is cool about it, how creepy and sad to try to “hang on” to the perk of seeing your ex naked?

Perhaps even the Koblenz ruling doesn’t catch the problem early enough, and there should be an official pre-nupping of such items — making it clear who owns what, what they are allowed to do with it, and where it is permitted to end up. It might slightly “spoil the moment” as you set out your boundaries, but then again, many people think prenups about houses and possessions are unsexy/unromantic too. Your reputation and peace of mind have to be just as, or even more, valuable than material possessions.

Clearly, the hordes of scared, ashamed and tricked victims deserve stronger, more focused legislation. In a wider sense, something like this trashes the idea of the sacred contract between two people in a relationship — where basic levels of trust and mutual respect continue long after they have parted company.

In this way, the spread of revenge porn taints everybody — not just those directly affected. You see said victims bravely trying to warn others — and the most terrible thing is that they are right.

As things stand, I would strongly advise even the friskiest and most broad-minded not to be sexually photographed or filmed by anyone, under any circumstances.

Taking it from those who know, it is just not worth the risk.

‘Revenge porn’ ruling ignites debate – The Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/25/world/social-issues-world/revenge-porn-ruling-ignites-debate/
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Revenge porn victims receive boost from German court ruling

Intimate photographs should be deleted at the end of a relationship if one of the partners calls for it, a court in Germany has ruled.

The ruling by the Koblenz higher regional court has resonated throughout a digital world grappling with the balance between freedom of expression and privacy. It was welcomed by experts who said it would empower revenge porn victims to be more proactive when seeking the deletion of compromising images.

In the case concerned, a man from the Lahn-Dill region in Hesse had taken several erotic photographs of his female partner, to which she had consented at the time. After the end of their relationship, the woman had demanded the deletion of the images, seeking legal help when the man refused.

The Koblenz court ruled in her favour on Tuesday even though her ex-partner had to date shown no intention of reproducing the pictures or putting them online. Consent to use and own privately recorded nude pictures, the court stated, could in this instance be withdrawn on the grounds of personal rights, which are valued higher than the ownership rights of the photographer.

The court did specify that the woman could only seek the deletion of nude or erotic photographs, not those showing the couple fully clothed. The man may still appeal against the decision.

The ruling has been welcomed by both legal experts and support groups for victims of online bullying. Michaela Brauburger, who educates young people about responsible use of social media in Germany, told the Guardian: “Increasingly, young people share and upload images without giving it much thought. We constantly try to educate young girls in particular to think about what may happen to intimate photographs after they are taken. Hopefully this decision will empower them to broach the issue with their partners before it is too late.”

Lawyer Tim Geissler, who specializes in “revenge porn” cases, said that while there were ways in which people who had had compromising images of themselves published online could seek their deletion, they could only do so after the damage had been done. He cited the example of a couple from Düsseldorf in their early thirties. She was a part-time model, he was a hobby photographer and they liked taking pictures of each other: on holidays, at home, and sometimes in the bedroom.

The couple divorced in 2010 – the man had acted aggressively towards his wife and beaten her several times. A few months later, the woman discovered he had shared intimate photographs of her on Facebook, alleging she had started doing pornographic shoots since their separation.

She sought legal help and eventually a court ordered her ex-husband to delete the photographs from his Facebook account. But, Geissler said, had he posted the pictures anonymously, it may have been impossible to get a legal grip on the offender.

By the time the victim sought legal help, the offense had been committed but if the Koblenz ruling were to set a precedent, she could have asked for the pictures to be deleted straight after the divorce.

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, a professor of internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, warned against seeing the Koblenz decision as being the direct result of this month’s European court of Justice ruling against Google, which some say could help establish a pan-European “right to be forgotten“.

“The Koblenz decision was not about data protection but the ‘right for one’s own image’, which is a special construction of continental European jurisprudence,” said Mayer-Schönberger. “But what can be said is that is that these two rulings may make more and more people aware of their personal rights in the digital sphere. At the very least, it should embolden future claimants who pro-actively want to prevent revenge porn.”

“We can detect a wider trend here,” said Christian Solmecke, a German lawyer who has worked on a number of “revenge porn” cases. “In the future we may increasingly find that images or data whose publication was lawful at the time may have to be deleted as circumstances change”.

‘Revenge porn’ victims receive boost from German court ruling – The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/22/revenge-porn-victims-boost-german-court-ruling
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Rhode Island Senate passes bill targeting revenge porn

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Senate approved a bill on Tuesday to prohibit intentional dissemination, online posting or selling of sexually explicit images without consent of the person depicted in them.

Introduced by Sen. Erin P. Lynch, D-Warwick, on behalf of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin’s office, the bill applies to video and/or images of a person engaged in explicit sexual conduct and those that show a person’s intimate areas.

The bill advanced in the Senate in a 33-to-0 vote and, if next approved in the House of Representatives without amendments, would go to the governor’s desk. “Posting explicit photos of a former partner without that person’s consent is extremely hurtful and embarrassing. Penalties need to be strong to ensure that people think twice before attempting to degrade an individual in this way,” Lynch said in a statement following Senate passage. She said this is a “new kind of virtual assault” that “disproportionately targets women.”

There are several states with some type of law against “revenge porn” and bills have been submitted in at least 27 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“The latest phenomenon of individuals posting intimate photos and videos on revenge porn sites with the mission to embarrass exes takes the exploitation and degradation of people, especially women, to a new level of depravity,” Kilmartin said. He added that “the images or videos may stay in cyberspace forever, yet victims are left with no recourse to have the images removed or seek justice for themselves. Passage of this legislation will give victims some comfort that the perpetrators will be held accountable.”

A person would be guilty of “unauthorized dissemination of indecent material” when he or she uses a device to “capture, record, or store visual images of another person 18 years of age or older engaged in sexually explicit conduct or of the intimate areas of another person” when that person “would have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” the bill says.

It includes language making allowance for “constitutionally protected activity” that would not fall under the crime.

The maximum possible penalty for someone convicted would be three years in prison, up to a $3,000 fine or both, according to the bill.

R.I. Senate passes bill targeting ‘revenge porn’ – The Providence Journal
Source: http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140520-r.i.-senate-passes-bill-targeting-revenge-porn.ece
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Google Could Be Forced to Delete Links and Sensitive information

On May 13, the European Union’s highest court struck what appeared to be a significant blow for privacy, ruling that Google could be forced to delete links and other sensitive information about a user upon his or her request. In an age of rampant identity theft and data breaches, as well as more sinister, personal examples of private data going public such as revenge porn, this was a win worth celebrating. And it has many questioning if such a law could ever pass in the United States.

The short answer: No. “The publication of truthful fact, in a public forum, is robustly protected by the first amendment,” says Lee Rowland, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. From a strictly legal perspective, the EU’s “right to be forgotten” decision would be a clear violation of the constitutional right to free speech. “The first amendment protects speech that is a matter of public concern. It’s not only the right to speak about it but also to hear about it,” Rowland explains.

Consider, for example, the details of the case that triggered the EU’s unappealable decision.

A Spanish attorney failed to pay his taxes and had to sell off property in a public auction. A newspaper ran the details of said auction, as newspapers do. That information made its standard way to the Internet, and Google did what Google does, supplying linked search results to it.

There was nothing illegal about the newspaper’s publication of the auction results. And as personally embarrassing as those details may have been to the attorney, Rowland believes the public has a right to know that a practicing lawyer is a confirmed tax cheat. “Imagine if there were a plastic surgeon with a legal history of doing terrible things to people’s faces,” Rowland says. “Wouldn’t you as a consumer want to be able to find evidence of those lawsuits?”

Then again, most of the people championing the EU decision aren’t disgraced lawyers hoping to scrub their own sins from the Internet. The positive response has to do with shifting the balance of power online and issuing takedown orders to companies—like Google—that collect and disseminate our private information without permission. Blunt and unconstitutional as it might be, an equivalent U.S. ruling or law could also cripple revenge porn sites, forcing them to remove nude photos and images at an individual’s request, without discussion or delay.

It’s a solution that even dedicated anti-revenge porn groups don’t want. “It’s about the expectation of privacy,” says Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI).

The EU ruling punishes Google for indexing publicly available information, which could be of enormous value to the Spanish attorney’s current or prospective clients. That attorney has not only relinquished his expectation of privacy, but there’s good reason (arguably) for the public to have access to what the newspaper lawfully published. And while the EU has no equivalent of the first amendment, U.S. law almost always tilts in favor of free speech as a founding bulwark against entrenched, institutional corruption.

In the case of revenge porn, however, “there’s no free speech interest in publishing nude photos,” Citron says. “If someone shares nude images or permits them to be taken, when those are released, the wrong is the intentional violation of that confidentiality, not the search engine’s reproduction of it.”

The real solution, according to Citron, is to enforce laws that are already in place—in many revenge porn cases, photos are actually obtained through hacking the victim’s phone or computer—as well to pass extremely narrow legislation that specifically targets individual privacy breaches while also giving the first amendment a wide berth. The CCRI helped draft an anti-revenge porn bill in Maryland (which was unanimously approved by the Maryland’s House of Delegates this past March and is currently with the state’s senate) that more clearly defines the illegal activity and corresponding penalties. “That law would punish a very narrow set of privacy violations that have a profound impact on victims lives,” Citron says.

RELATED: Revenge Porn King Hunter Moore Finally Arrested

Yet she also believes that the new law falls short by not including a provision that would allow for the takedown of a victim’s photos and videos beyond the offender’s site. So even if those files vanish in one place, they could live on throughout the Internet.

Unrelated to revenge porn, Citron would also support regulations or legislation that allow users to demand that data brokers—the companies that track our activity online and resell that data to advertisers and other third parties—delete that collected information, on the grounds that it’s not public or of public interest.

If those sound suspiciously like requests for some version of the EU ruling—with its expansive demands for link deletion—welcome to the complex, circuitous world of digital privacy. But the key issue is, once again, the expectation of privacy. Nude photos and online spending habits are private. Proof that a lawyer was found guilty of breaking the law is not. Unlike the right to free speech, which is relatively easy to define and quite literally the first concern of the U.S. Constitution, the right to privacy is a necessarily complicated concept defined by context and exceptions. And while the two rights can come into direct conflict, freedom of speech tends to bolster privacy, allowing news outlets to cover the NSA’s more nefarious spying activities, for example.

Neither the CCRI nor the ACLU are claiming that stateside privacy laws are perfect. Citron is pushing for an update to the federal cyberstalking law that would demand a takedown of specific victim-related data if the offender is found guilty (a topic addressed at length in her book, Hate 3.0: A Civil Rights Agenda to Combat Discriminatory Online Harassment, due out this August). And Rowland is concerned about privacy violations that lead back to the government, including the public release of mugshots, even for individuals who were booked but never convicted.… Read the rest

Maryland Governor Signed Bill Against Revenge Porn

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Added protections from harassment due to broken relationships are signed into law.

Pat Warren reports revenge porn is now a punishable offense.

Annmarie Chiarini’s bad breakup has helped change the way the state views intimate Internet postings.

In a WJZ investigation, Chiarini goes public with her experience as a victim of revenge porn. She tells WJZ an ex-boyfriend posted explicit pictures of her on the Internet. He had taken the pictures with her permission, but posted them in revenge after she broke up with him.

“There I was, and there was my first and last name, and there was the town where I live, and there was the college and the campus where I teach, and there was a solicitation for sex,” she said.

Chiarini went to police for help.

“I sought help from law enforcement, and it was the same shake your head. ‘There’s nothing we can do, no crime has been committed. There’s nothing we can do. Silly girl, go away. There’s nothing we can do,’” said Chiarini.

The extent of the problem became evident as other victims came forward.

“As I’m learning more and starting to understand the Maryland law, I was getting more and more frustrated, and I said, ‘Oh, I’m just going to change the law then,’” Chiarini said. “And that was it. Something clicked and I said, ‘This is what I’m going to do. This is not happening to anyone else.’”

With the help of committed supporters, the House and Senate unanimously passed and the Maryland Governor signed a bill making revenge porn a misdemeanor with up to a year in prison and a $500 fine.

Some Maryland lawmakers wanted to make revenge porn a felony. Arizona’s governor just signed a bill making it a felony in that state.

The Maryland law takes effect October 1.

Bill Signed Into Law Making Revenge Porn A Misdemeanor – CBS Local
Bill Signed Into Law Making Revenge Porn A Misdemeanor
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Photographer Christopher Boffoli is suing Google over copyright infringement allegations

Photographer Christopher Boffoli is back, once again suing big names for copyright infringement performed by users. Back in 2012, Boffoli sued Twitter for its supposed refusal to remove infringing copies of his “little figurines with real-sized food” photos from users’ accounts despite being notified via DMCA takedown requests.

While he stated at the time that he was flattered by people reposting his photos and generally thought the internet provided a cheap and easy way to obtain notoriety, he still pursued a lawsuit against Twitter because… well, a bigger target is always a better target. (He has since sued Vingle, Hootsuite, WHI, Inc. and Network Data Center Host, Inc.) Boffoli’s lawsuit did have at least one solid point: if you want to avail yourself of DMCA safe harbors, you need to respond to takedown requests.

This case was settled for an undisclosed amount (if money changed hands at all) and Boffoli dropped his suit against Twitter. Now, it appears he wants to bag another tech leader.  Christopher Boffoli is suing Google over copyright infringement allegations.

He alleges that Google ignored takedown requests for two sites he claims the search engine giant owns. One it clearly does (Blogspot) but the other (bursuk.org) doesn’t seem to be among this long, long list of Google holdings. Boffoli filed DMCA notices last December and the content still hadn’t been removed (or the users “prevented from posting”) by Google 100 days later, leading to this lawsuit.

Once again, Boffoli makes claims that will be hard to prove.

Google induced, caused, or materially contributed to the Infringing Website’s publication.

This is the toughest claim to defend. Failing to take down content when notified is not the same as inducement or material contribution. As lawyer Evan Brown explained when Boffoli sued Twitter, simply providing hosting is not enough to lend material support to someone else’s infringement. It’s also highly unlikely Google did anything approaching the inducement of infringement. As is constantly reported, Google de-lists thousands of links every day, so it’s obviously making an effort.

That Boffoli could only track down two sites tied to Google (and one of those is open to debate) is an indication of the company’s responsiveness to takedown requests. Once again, it appears Boffoli is hoping for a settlement of some sort rather than the jury trial requested. It’s a whole lot easier to serve Google than it is to go after the actual infringers and Boffoli is taking the easier (and more familiar) route. As Mike opined during Boffoli’s initial infringement lawsuit, this has all the hallmarks of a “Steve Dallas lawsuit” — something pursued not because the named party is in the wrong, but because that party has deeper pockets.

Boffoli v Google (PDF)

Boffoli v Google (Text)

Boffoli v Google exhA (PDF)

Boffoli v Google exhA (Text)

Photographer Who Settled With Twitter Over Copyright Infringement Allegations … – Techdirt
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140507/09171627150/photographer-who-settled-with-twitter-over-copyright-infringement-allegations-now-targeting-google.shtml
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Appeals court skeptical over Oracle’s copyright infringement win over SAP

oracle

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

A U.S. appeals court “appeared skeptical” on Tuesday about handing Oracle a $1.3 billion damages package previously served by a jury, which was later overturned.

According to the Reuters news agency, Judge William Fletcher called Oracle’s attorney’s figures that were used to drum up the damages figure as “pie in the sky dreaming,” which may lead to the software giant losing the damages it was first awarded.

But if Oracle doesn’t get its way, seven years after the allegations first came to light, the company is gunning for a new trial, reported Bloomberg.

Oracle is taking on German enterprise software powerhouse SAP in a legal ding-dong that led to it admitting massive infringement of Oracle’s copyright.

A jury awarded Oracle the billion-dollar-plus sum in 2010 after an SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, unlawfully downloaded millions of Oracle files. SAP bought the company to begin supporting Oracle customers at a lower cost than Oracle charged.

SAP came clean, but the dispute was how much the company should pay Oracle in damages.

But later, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton found that Oracle had only been able to prove it had suffered damages of $272 million.

However, two of the judges in Tuesday’s case suggested Oracle may in fact deserve a little over $300 million.

Oracle attorney Kathleen Sullivan said internal SAP documents showed the company had expected $900 million revenue by using its strategic acquisition in TomorrowNow to poach customers from Oracle. That figure was enough to convince the lower court that $1.3 billion would suffice for reasonable damages.

But one of the judges on the panel argued that those SAP revenue figures was an objective view of how much the copyrighted material was worth.

The judges did not say when they will issue a ruling on the case.

Appeals court ‘skeptical’ over Oracle’s copyright infringement win over SAP – ZDNet
http://www.zdnet.com/appeals-court-skeptical-over-oracles-copyright-infringement-win-over-sap-7000029411/

Read the rest