Google’s street view cars collect more than just pictures

While exploring the world at street level, turns out Google’s Street View Cars collected more than just pictures. Following an investigation by Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner, it was determined that Google’s Street View Cars have violated Canadian privacy laws by capturing personal information sent by people over Wi-fi networks. Information collected by Google included ...

US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues allowance for patent of progesterone use in pre-term birth prevention

As reported by ag-ip-news.com the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued an allowance for using progesterone to treat or prevent pre-term births. The allowance is a precursor to the actual patent issuance itself. Specifically, the allowance is directed at progesterone treatment of women with a short cervix in the middle of pregnancy. To ...

Google being pressured to increase role in fight against piracy 1

As detailed in this article, pressure is on Google to play an increased role in the fight against online piracy. In September, executives from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) asked Google whether it would be able to assist them in tracking down pirated material ...

Irish High Court rules in illegal filesharing case

Ireland’s High Court ruled in favor of ISPs in an illegal filesharing case, stating that Irish laws do not support a rule which would force internet service providers to temporarily block illegal filesharers’ internet access. The record companies that brought the suit were hoping to make ISPs enforce a controversial “three strikes rule”, which several ...

Apple patent for censoring texts

Parents rejoice!  Apple has recently acquired a “systems, devices and methods” patent (#7,814,163) which will allow users to determine the type of allowable content in text messages.  According to Apple, either entire messages can be blocked or “forbidden content” will be removed from the message before being delivered.  What qualifies as “forbidden content” would be defined ...

Ideas as property: politicizing patents in IT

Incentives to innovate–and to file the paperwork It is a stylish event—black tie, of course—with elegantly themed décor, a fabulous banquet and top-notch entertainment. This is an exclusive dinner, honouring innovators and inventors. It is also one of the many ways in which RIM recognizes the value of intellectual property. The company has created a ...

Teen jailed for failing to disclose password

In the UK, a teen who refused to disclose his fifty-character password has been sentenced to sixteen weeks in a young offenders facility, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The decision sends a “robust message” regarding the the kind of stance that the UK courts intend to take regarding privacy, under the authority ...

Quebec Facebook spammer ordered to pay one billion dollars in damages

A recent Quebec court ruling has upheld an earlier California court ruling awarding Facebook one billion dollars in damages as a result of the spamming efforts of one very determined Quebec resident. According to a recent Montreal Gazette article, Adam Guerbuez, the defendant in the case posted 4,366,386 spam messages to Facebook users’ walls. The ...

Does virtual property deserve protection?

Sally So-And-So opens up a shop where she sells unique jewelry for a modest price. Word spreads about her beautiful pieces, and soon her business is thriving. After a while, a competitor opens up down the street and starts selling identical pieces. Sally wants to sue for copyright infringment. The only problem? Sally’s shop doesn’t ...

Library of Congress reports that copyright puts historic audio at risk

A report released by the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board details the problems faced by archivists due to modern technology and copyright law. One problem the report notes is the expectation that recordings be accessible online and the related difficulty of attracting donations to support archives that can not be made available for ...