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charlesarthur : lawsuit   17

Developers sue Apple over App Store practices • Reuters
Stephen Nellis:
<p>Two app developers on Tuesday sued Apple Inc over its App Store practices, making claims similar to those in a lawsuit brought by consumers that the U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed to proceed.

California-based app developer Donald R. Cameron and Illinois Pure Sweat Basketball alleged in federal court in San Jose, California that Apple engaged in anticompetitive conduct by only allowing the downloading of iPhone apps through Apple’s official App Store. Apple also requires developers to price their apps in tiers ending in 99 cents and takes up to a 30% commission from developers on the sale of apps.

“This practice is analogous to a monopsonist retailer paying artificially low wholesale prices to its suppliers,” the developers said in their suit. “In both paradigms a competitive market would yield better post-commission or wholesale prices, and fairer profit, for developers’ digital products.”

The claims center on the same Apple practices highlighted in a lawsuit brought by consumers, arguing that Apple’s practices have artificially inflated the price of software in the App Store.</p>

So Apple is being sued by both consumers (which is what the recent Supreme Court decision allowed) and developers? As Ben Thompson notes in his Stratechery newsletter, this doesn't really make sense, legally speaking, because it creates a sort of double jeopardy - as though a store were being sued both by its customers and its suppliers. If the monopsonist retailer is paying artificially low wholesale prices, then customers must be benefiting from lower prices. If the developers' argument is that Apple kept prices high, then developers are getting more money, so what's the beef?
apple  appstore  apps  antitrust  lawsuit 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Adobe warning of legal problems if subscribers keep using old versions of Creative Cloud apps • Apple Insider
William Gallagher:
<p>Users of older versions of Adobe Creative Cloud apps including Photoshop have been told to stop using them or face potential "infringement claims" from third-party companies who are unnamed but suspected to be Dolby. Adobe cites only "ongoing litigation" as the reason for the abrupt announcement.

"Adobe recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications. Customers using those versions have been notified that they are no longer licensed to use them and were provided guidance on how to upgrade to the latest authorized versions," said Adobe in a statement to AppleInsider.

"Unfortunately, customers who continue to use or deploy older, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud may face potential claims of infringement by third parties. We cannot comment on claims of third-party infringement, as it concerns ongoing litigation."…

…While Adobe has not said who the dispute is with, the company is presently being sued by Dolby. Through a legal complaint filed in March 2019 with the US District Court and the Northern District of California, Dolby is seeking a jury trial over issues of "copyright infringement and breach of contract" against Adobe.

Prior to the creation of the Creative Cloud subscription service, Adobe licensed certain technologies from Dolby with an agreement based on how many discs of certain apps were sold. Now that the software is distributed online, the companies reportedly renegotiated their agreement to be based on how many users are actually running the software.

According to Dolby's legal filing, this agreement was subject to the figures Adobe reported being examined by a third-party audit.</p>
cloud  adobe  dolby  lawsuit 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video? • Nieman Journalism Lab
Laura Hazard Owen:
<p>“We’re entering this new golden age of video,” Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News in April 2016. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”

But even as Facebook executives were insisting publicly that video consumption was skyrocketing, it was becoming clear that some of the metrics the company had used to calculate time spent on videos were wrong. The Wall Street Journal reported in September 2016, three months after the Fortune panel, that Facebook had “vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years” by as much as “60 to 80 percent.” The company apologized in a blog post: “As soon as we discovered the discrepancy, we fixed it.”

A lawsuit filed by a group of small advertisers in California, however, argues that Facebook had known about the discrepancy for at least a year — and behaved fraudulently by failing to disclose it.

That could have had enormous consequences — not just for advertisers, who were making decisions about whether to shift resources from television to Facebook, but also for news organizations, who were simultaneously grappling with decisions about how to allocate editorial staff and what kinds of content creation to prioritize. Publishers’ “pivot to video” was driven largely by a belief that if Facebook was seeing users, in massive numbers, shift to video from text, the trend must be real for news video too — even if people within those publishers doubted the trend internally based on their own experiences, and even as research conducted by outside organizations continued to suggest that the video trend was overblown and that readers preferred text.</p>

Sometimes the overestimation was far bigger: inflated from 2 seconds average to 17.5s. That's the difference between "damn, stop and go back" to "let's see what this is like". And also an ad shown, or not.

There are also extracts from court filings, because a number of advertisers are extremely pissed off with Facebook. But it's the publishers, and the journalists who lost their jobs because they were writing text rather than shooting video (I'm thinking of you, Mashable), who should be more pissed off.
facebook  video  lawsuit 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
“Inventor of email” appeals ruling that tossed his libel suit against Techdirt • Ars Technica
Cyrus Farivar:
<p>The appeal to the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals comes more than a year after a federal judge <a href="">dismissed</a> the libel lawsuit brought by Shiva Ayyadurai, an entrepreneur who is now also running as a longshot candidate for the United States Senate.

In the lower court ruling, US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor found that because it is impossible to define precisely and specifically what email is, Ayyadurai's "claim is incapable of being proved true or false."

In Ayyadurai’s lawyers’ Thursday filing, they argued Techdirt previously published articles and comments that contained numerous antagonistic words used to describe Ayyadurai—a "fraud," a "charlatan," a "liar," a "fake"—that a "reasonable reader" would find as asserting a factual statement rather than a protected opinion. Because of this, Ayyadurai's team believes, Techdirt's work can constitute defamation.

The appeal also argues that because Techdirt disregarded "extensive factual evidence," the publication "consciously disregarded" the truth and knowingly acted with "actual malice." Based on that, Ayyadurai and his attorneys claim, the case should be allowed to go forward.

However, numerous legends of Internet history—including Vint Cerf himself, a co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocol—have publicly dismissed Ayyadurai’s claims regarding email.</p>

Who you gonna believe, though, the internet legend or some guy with a vague grievance? Though I like the judge's sidestep on this: can't define <em>exactly</em> what email is, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Add this to "lawsuits that have gone on too long and should never have started".
email  lawsuit 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Oct 2017: Appeals court keeps alive the never-ending Linux case, SCO v. IBM • Ars Technica
Cyrus Farivar:
<p>A federal appeals court has now partially ruled in favor of the SCO Group, breathing new life into a lawsuit and a company (now bankrupt and nearly dead) that has been suing IBM for nearly 15 years.

Last year, US District Judge David Nuffer had ruled against SCO (whose original name was Santa Cruz Operation) in two summary judgment orders, and the court refused to allow SCO to amend its initial complaint against IBM.

SCO soon appealed. On Monday, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals found that SCO’s claims of misappropriation could go forward while also upholding Judge Nuffer's other two orders.

As Ars reported, SCO (then named Caldera Systems) filed suit (PDF) against IBM in March 2003 for allegedly contributing sections of commercial UNIX code from UNIX System V—which the SCO Group claimed it owned—to the Linux kernel's codebase. SCO Group claimed that the alleged presence of its proprietary code in the open source kernel devalued its proprietary code. By making the source code available, IBM had violated its license agreement with SCO Group, according to SCO. Along the way, SCO filed for bankruptcy, and the group claimed that anyone who used Linux owed them money. All the while, Novell successfully claimed ownership of the allegedly infringing code and agreed to indemnify Linux users.

If SCO is ultimately successful, it could stand to take in billions of dollars from IBM.</p>

I had thought that Apple-Samsung was the longest-running patent case around, but my thanks to Stormyparis who pointed out in yesterday's comments that this one is, oh my lord, still going. This article dates from October 2017, but since they haven't wrapped it up, it's still on.
Sco  ibm  patent  lawsuit  longrunning 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Facebook, Amazon, and hundreds of companies post targeted job ads that screen out older workers • Vox
Alexia Fernández Campbell:
<p>The plaintiffs argue that Amazon, T-Mobile, Ikea, Facebook, and hundreds of other companies target the ads so they are only seen by younger Facebook users.

The lawsuit revolves around Facebook’s unique business model, which lets advertisers micro-target the network’s users based on their interests, city, age, and other demographic information. In the past, equal rights advocates have sued Facebook for accepting ads that discriminate against consumers based on their religion, race, and gender.

Facebook has argued that the company is not legally responsible when other companies buy ads that violate the law. But in a new filing, the CWA has now added Facebook to its complaint as one of the companies accused of violating civil rights laws by targeting its own job ads to younger users.

Here is one ad Facebook posted, submitted by the plaintiffs, inviting users to a career fair with Facebook recruiters. The ads were visible only to users between the ages of 21 and 55:

<img src=“” width=“100%”>

<em>Facebook ad submitted as evidence in Bradley v. T-Mobile. US District Court for the Northern District of California</em>

Facebook has denied that these kinds of ads are a form of age discrimination.</p>

Very predictable that if there’s a way to discriminate, companies will use it.
Targeting  adverts  Facebook  lawsuit 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Google memo author James Damore sues company for discrimination against white males • Buzzfeed
Ryan Mac:
<p>The author of a controversial memo that sparked debates about gender and diversity at Google sued his former employer on Monday, alleging that the company discriminates against politically conservative white men.

James Damore, who was fired in August for internally circulating a manifesto that argued Google’s gender pay gap was the result of genetic differences that tend to favor men, said in a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara Superior Court that the search giant “singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated” employees who deviated from the company’s view on diversity. Damore and a second plaintiff, David Gudeman, another former Google engineer, are seeking class-action status for anyone who identifies as conservative, Caucasian, or male.

The men are being represented by Harmeet K. Dhillon, the Republican National Committee’s committeewoman for California.

“Google’s management goes to extreme — and illegal — lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google,” the suit reads.</p>

Another quote from the suit: "...The presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with 'boos' during company- wide weekly meetings". I bet Google wishes it had dumped Damore's CV and never gave him an interview.
damore  lawsuit  google 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
Security firm Keeper sues news reporter over vulnerability story • ZDNet
Zack Whittaker:
<p>Keeper, a password manager software maker, has filed a lawsuit against a news reporter and its publication after a story was posted reporting a vulnerability disclosure.

Dan Goodin, security editor at Ars Technica, was named defendant in a suit filed Tuesday by Chicago-based Keeper Security, which accused Goodin of "false and misleading statements" about the company's password manager.

Goodin's story, <a href="">posted December 15</a>, cited Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who said in a vulnerability disclosure report he <a href="">posted a day earlier</a> that a security flaw in Keeper allowed "any website to steal any password" through the password manager's browser extension.

Goodin was one of the first to cover news of the vulnerability disclosure. He wrote that the password manager was bundled in some versions of Windows 10. When Ormandy tested the bundled password manager, he found a password stealing bug that was nearly identical to one he <a href="">previously discovered in 2016</a>.</p>

Wouldn't expect this to get far given the reality that Goodin's story was updated in a timely fashion.
keeper  password  lawsuit 
december 2017 by charlesarthur
Daily Mail sued for 'pirating' dozens of viral videos • TorrentFreak
<p>Initially, [viral video maker] Rumble and the Daily Mail had a license agreement to use the videos on their website. However, according to the complaint, the British tabloid continued to publish them after the license expired.

When the infringing usage continued, Rumble retained legal counsel to solve the matter, but that didn’t help either. This eventually culminated in legal action.

“Rumble asserts that the infringement here is of the most bold and bald-faced kind, exhibiting an utter disrespect for the copyrights of others,” the complaint reads.

“That [the infringment] is ‘willful’ in the factual and legal sense of the word is beyond dispute, such that the ultimate damages to be awarded will be reasonably and justifiably enhanced, including an award of Rumble’s attorneys fees as well.”

Rumble expects that Daily Mail will claim that they were not aware of the infringing activities so cautions the court not to fall for these type of excuses. The video platform stresses that turning a blind eye to the copyrights of others is part of the tabloid’s playbook, and plans to prove this at trial.

With dozens of videos listed in the legal paperwork, the potential piracy damages requested by the company are around $10m. In addition, Rumble asks for an injunction to stop the infringing activity as soon as possible.</p>

Hmm, this is going to be a tough one for the Mail to argue.
dailymail  viralvideo  lawsuit 
july 2017 by charlesarthur
The surest sign you’re winning is when Goliath takes a swing at you • Both Sides
Mark Suster:
<p>This <a href="">Goliath-imposed fight by ADT</a> is particularly annoying for me because Ring is literally my family’s single favorite tech innovation of the past several years. It is a security doorbell (and now floodlight!) where for just $3 / month you can watch all video footage of people who come to the outside of your house including delivery people, solicitors or people in the neighborhood who perhaps shouldn’t be there.

For my family Ring has become a way that we joke and communicate with each other when I’m on the road. The boys or my wife will step in front of the camera on the way to school and if I’m in NY or SF or London my phone rings and I see them waving on their way.

Just how threatened is ADT? Ring is now arguably the fastest growing consumer product in the country and is now in a staggering 1 million homes in America and growing at an unbelievable clip. It is a product that you can purchase an entry-level camera for under $200 and pay just $3/month in video fees in a security industry that was previously only accessible to wealthy families who could afford expensive protection.

Ring is to ADT what the classic Innovator’s Dilemma says disrupts the industry behemoth by offering a product that is significantly cheaper and initially lower in feature set but eventually becomes so pervasive and where functionality grows to a point where the entire market dumps the giant company charging high prices in favor of a younger, more nimble provider whose innovation cannot be matched.
And the giant gets disrupted precisely because its cost structure to serve its customers and its cash cow, high-priced offering makes it nearly impossible for it to try compete.</p>

ADT, if you didn't know, is a company that has grown rich on comparatively simple alarm systems, often with subscriptions. Ring threatens to undermine that.
ring  adt  lawsuit 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Uber allowed to continue self-driving car project but must return files to Waymo • The Guardian
Sam Levin:
<p>A judge has granted a partial reprieve to Uber in its high-profile intellectual property lawsuit with Google’s self-driving car operation, allowing the ride-hailing company to continue developing its autonomous vehicle technology.

The judge, however, has barred an Uber executive accused of stealing trade secrets from Google spin-off Waymo from continuing to work on self-driving cars’ radar technology, and has ordered Uber to return downloaded documents to Waymo. The judge also said that evidence indicates that Waymo’s intellectual property has “seeped into Uber’s own … development efforts” – suggesting that Uber could face a tough battle as the case moves ahead.

Google’s lawyers were seeking a broader injunction against Uber, which could have significantly impeded the taxi startup’s entire self-driving car program, a move that could have been a fatal setback. The partial victory for Uber follows a judge’s recommendation that federal prosecutors launch a criminal investigation into the accusations that it stole Waymo’s technology.</p>

The case has also been referred to criminal prosecutors on the basis that the code might have been stolen; and Waymo gets to review Uber's code. Uber is really screwed.
uber  waymo  lawsuit  selfdrivingcar 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Waymo: a note on our lawsuit against Otto and Uber • Medium
Waymo is Alphabet's self-driving vehicle subsidiary:
<p>Recently, we received an unexpected email. One of our suppliers specializing in LiDAR components sent us an attachment (apparently inadvertently) of machine drawings of what was purported to be Uber’s LiDAR circuit board — except its design bore a striking resemblance to Waymo’s unique LiDAR design.

We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board. To gain access to Waymo’s design server, Mr. Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop. Once inside, he downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation. Then he connected an external drive to the laptop. Mr. Levandowski then wiped and reformatted the laptop in an attempt to erase forensic fingerprints.

Beyond Mr. Levandowki’s actions, we discovered that other former Waymo employees, now at Otto and Uber, downloaded additional highly confidential information pertaining to our custom-built LiDAR including supplier lists, manufacturing details and statements of work with highly technical information.

We believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo’s trade secrets and intellectual property. Months before the mass download of files, Mr. Levandowski told colleagues that he had plans to “replicate” Waymo’s technology at a competitor.</p>

In retrospect, that might not have been the smartest conversation anyone ever had.
waymo  lidar  uber  lawsuit 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Sex toys and the Internet of Things collide—what could go wrong? • Ars Technica
David Kravets:
<p>It was only a matter of time before the Internet of Things caught up with sex toys and led to products like apps that remotely control vibrators from an Apple or Android device via a Bluetooth connection.

And now, one of those apps is accused of being a little too connected to its users.

Standard Innovation—the maker of the We-Vibe vibrator and accompanying app—is the subject of a federal privacy lawsuit. The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims the We-Vibe vibrator app chronicles how often and how long consumers use the sex toy and sends that data to the company's Canadian servers. The suit says that the app also monitors "the selected vibration settings," the vibrator's battery life, and the vibrator's "temperature" with consumer consent. The data, along with the person's e-mail address, is stored on the vibrator-maker's Canadian servers, <a href="">according to the lawsuit</a>. (PDF)</p>

What. The. Actual.
sex  iot  lawsuit 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Man sues Kanye West, Tidal, over new album » Bloomberg
Anthony McCartney:
<p>The proposed class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by Justin Baker-Rhett contends West fraudulently promised fans that his album, "The Life of Pablo," would only be available on Tidal. The site charges users at least $9.99 a month, but West's album has since been released for free on Apple Music and Spotify.

Millions of people flocked to Tidal in February because of West's new album and the rapper's promise of exclusivity, giving the struggling site a boost and also a trove of user information, the lawsuit states. Baker-Rhett is asking a judge to order Tidal to delete information collected on users who signed up for West's album.

"Mr. West's promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy," the lawsuit states, noting that users' credit card information, music preferences and other personal information have been collected.

The lawsuit contends the value of new subscribers and their personal information could be as much as $84m for Tidal.</p>

That claim by Kanye (who's a shareholder in Tidal) that it would be Tidal-only was never credible. But of course everyone feigned belief.
kanye  tidal  lawsuit 
april 2016 by charlesarthur
Lawsuit accuses Apple's iOS 9 Wi-Fi Assist of burning through $5M+ in data » Apple Insider
Neil Hughes:
<p>Apple was slapped with a class-action suit on Friday, claiming that the company failed to properly warn users that the new Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS 9 will use data from their cellular plan.

In the complaint, plaintiffs William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips allege that because of costs related to Wi-Fi Assist, the "overall amount in controversy exceeds" $5m. Filed in a U.S. District Court in San Jose on Friday, the suit was first discovered by AppleInsider.

Once users update to iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist is turned on by default. Its goal is ensure a smooth internet experience, switching to cellular data in the event that the user is connected to a weak Wi-Fi signal.
The lawsuit claims that Apple "downplays the possible data overcharges a user could incur" from Wi-Fi Assist.

Some who don't understand how Wi-Fi Assist works, or even that it exists, have alleged that the new feature has caused them to use more cellular data than anticipated. But the new class-action suit alleges it should be Apple who should reimburse customers for any overages [excess data use].</p>

Default-enabling something that could burn through your mobile data is plain stupid. Why not offer people the chance of whether to use it the first time the chance comes up? This is poor focus - putting user experience in the narrow field of device use ahead of the wider user experience of "how big is my mobile bill?"

It puzzles me how implementations like this get through Apple's processes. (See also: the pain of <a href="">being the person working on Wi-Fi inside Apple</a>.)
ios9  wifiassist  apple  lawsuit 
october 2015 by charlesarthur
Did chip espionage, IP theft give Samsung its 14nm manufacturing lead? » ExtremeTech
TSMC argues that a former employee, Liang Mong-song, gave Samsung critical information to help it leapfrog TSMC in making its 14/16 nanometre gate process, breaking a non-compete agreement. In 2011 Liang had already been found guilty of breaching that condition:
The judge in Liang’s case clearly felt that the engineer had engaged in a bad-faith breach of his non-compete agreement given that he was forbidden to work for Samsung for an additional period of months, but the punishment was a slap on the wrist compared to the potential damage to TSMC’s core business. According to Maybank’s Kim Eng:

When comparing to a full-node migration, ie 20nm to 14nm at Samsung and Intel, TSMC’s half-node approach 16nm underperformed in cost reduction (by as much as 25% if not higher), power consumption and performance. In a very rare case, intel infamously highlighted the potential risks of TSMC’s 16nm undertaking during its Nov-13 investors’ day. After the initial round of evaluation, many customers “strongly encouraged” TSMC to enhance its 16nm technology offering.

In other words, not only did Liang possibly tap his knowledge of TSMC’s cutting-edge implementations inappropriately, he may have done so at the worst possible time (from TSMC’s perspective). Samsung has come out of nowhere to lead in foundry manufacturing, at least in the short term. Maybank’s latest report on TSMC cut the company from “Hold” to “Sell” on the strength of Samsung’s 14nm ramp. According to Liang himself, he left TSMC after he was passed over for promotion and felt his work was under-appreciated by his former employer.
samsung  tsmc  lawsuit 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
TSMC sues over trade secret leak to Samsung » EE Times
Alan Patterson:
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest chip foundry, is suing a former R&D employee on the suspicion that he leaked secrets including but not limited to 28 nanometre (nm) process technology to Samsung. South Korea’s largest company is a growing competitor in the foundry business.

“We brought the lawsuit because TSMC Chairman Morris Chang and senior management were convinced we needed to send a message to Samsung, employees and other competitors,” Dick Thurston, former chief counsel for TSMC, told EE Times. “The initial technology they focused on was 28 nm.”

The suspected leak of technology may have helped Samsung catch up with TSMC in leading-edge 14 nm FinFET chips that foundry customers such as Qualcomm and Apple are designing for next-generation mobile devices. When TSMC launched its 28 nm products in 2012, the company went unchallenged in that technology node for nearly two years. Any advantage Samsung may have gained over TSMC is very short term, according to Thurston…

…The legal dispute has focused on Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of R&D at TSMC's Advanced Modules Technology Division. More recently, Liang was Samsung's System LSI division chief technology officer for three and a half years, according to a report by <a href="">Taiwan’s Commonwealth magazine</a>.

<a href="">Extra detail at ExtremeTech</a>: Samsung adopted an unusual shape for its smaller transistor gates - the same as TSMC already had.
samsung  tsmc  lawsuit 
february 2015 by charlesarthur

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