jfruh writes "Even as an EU court rules that APIs can't be copyrighted, tech observers are waiting for the Oracle v. Google trial jury to rule on the same question under U.S. law. Blogger Brian Proffitt spoke with Groklaw's Pamela Jones on the issue, and her take is that a victory for Oracle would be bad news for developers. Essentially, Oracle is claiming that, while an individual API might not be copyrightable, the collection of APIs needed to use a language is. Such a decision would, among other things, make Java's open source nature essentially meaningless, and would have lots of implications for any programming language you can name."
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milbournosphere writes "New York Judge Gary Brown has found that IP addresses don't provide enough evidence to identify pirates, and wrote an extensive argument explaining his reasoning. A quote from the judge's order: 'While a decade ago, home wireless networks were nearly non-existent, 61% of U.S. homes now have wireless access. As a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals. Different family members, or even visitors, could have performed the alleged downloads. Unless the wireless router has been appropriately secured (and in some cases, even if it has been secured), neighbors or passersby could access the Internet using the IP address assigned to a particular subscriber and download the plaintiff's film.' Perhaps this will help to stem the tide of frivolous mass lawsuits being brought by the RIAA and other rights-holders where IP addresses are the bulk of the 'evidence' suggested."
sunbird writes "As previously covered on Slashdot, on April 18th the FBI seized a server located in a New York colocation facility shared by May First / People Link and Riseup.net. The server, which was operated by the European Counter Network ('ECN'), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe, was seized in relation to bomb threats sent to the University of Pittsburgh using a Mixmaster anonymous remailer hosted on the server (search warrant). The FBI's action has been criticized by the EFF. Predictably, the threats continued even after the server seizure. On April 24th, the FBI quietly returned the server, without notifying either Mayfirst / People Link or riseup, and were caught on video doing it."
ananyo writes "The head of NASA Ames Research Center may have fallen victim to restrictive arms regulations — just as a US government report recommends changing them to help the space industry. Simon 'Pete' Worden, who recently announced that Mars exploration would be done by private companies, has been accused of giving foreign citizens access to information that falls under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). ITAR has hampered U.S. firms seeking to export satellite technology. The allegations against Worden come just as the new report recommends moving oversight of many commercial satellites and related activities from the State department to the Commerce department, and some fear they could provide lawmakers with reasons to not ease export controls."
New accepted submitter super_rancid writes that issue 154 of the "UK-based Linux Format magazine was pulled from Barnes and Noble bookstores in the U.S. after featuring an article called 'Learn to Hack'. They used 'hack' in the populist security sense, rather than the traditional sense, and the feature — which they put online — was used to illustrate how poor your server's security is likely to be by breaking into it."
New submitter sleiper writes "Today sees UK ISPs begin to block access for their subscribers to the Pirate Bay URL. Sky, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and O2 have already blocked access and the UK's biggest provider, BT, are currently reviewing their legal position. This access ban however has seen The Pirate Bay's traffic spike to 12 million more page views than their previous daily record. It seems obvious that a message is being sent, that this type of censorship is not the way forward. The Pirate Bay keeps on sailing.""
judgecorp writes "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is helping a UK government bid to make the results of Government funded research available freely online. The move taps into a popular protest at the restrictions which academic publishers place on the availability of research. From the article: 'Almost 11,000 researchers have signed up to a boycott of journals owned by the huge academic publisher Elsevier. Subscriptions to the thousands of research journals can cost a big university library millions of pounds each year – costs that have started to bite as budgets are squeezed. Harvard University, frustrated by the rising costs of journal subscriptions, recently encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.'"
angry tapir writes "Nokia has filed claims in the U.S. and Germany saying that products from HTC, Research In Motion (RIM) and ViewSonic infringe a number of the company's patents. Nokia has filed actions against all three companies in Mannheim's and Munich's respective regional courts. Nokia has also filed complaints against HTC before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the Federal District Court of Delaware and the regional court in Düsseldorf. RIM will also have to dispatch its lawyers to Düsseldorf for a Nokia lawsuit filed there, while ViewSonic's legal team have to defend the company against a suit in Delaware."
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Mozilla has taken a public stand against the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, saying that it has a 'broad and alarming reach' that 'infringes on our privacy.' That makes it the first major tech firm to speak out against CISPA. Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle and Symantec are all included among the companies that support the bill, which passed the House late last month and is now being considered in the Senate. Google has so far declined to take a stand supporting or opposing the bill."
hypnosec writes "When you're the President of the United States, sometimes certain activities you're involved in can be hard to keep secret — and yesterday was no exception, after Twitter let it slip that Obama was secretly in Kabul. On Tuesday, the White House released a fabricated itinerary — consisting of all-day meetings in the Oval Office to cover up the fact that Obama was secretly flying to Afghanistan. Whilst only a few US journalists were aware of this event, by mid-morning, a lot more people were suddenly in on the revelation courtesy of Twitter. The first tweet to let the virtual cat out of the bag was Afghanistan news site TOLOnews which reported: 'United States President Barack Obama has arrived in Kabul to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai.'"
suraj.sun writes with more fallout from Comcast's bandwidth caps that give preference to their own video services. From the article: "An executive from Sony said Monday that concerns about Comcast's discriminatory data cap are giving the firm second thoughts about launching an Internet video service, that would compete with cable and satellite TV services. In March,Comcast announced that video streamed to the Xbox from Comcast's own video service would be exempted from the cable giant's 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap. 'These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth,' he said. 'If they start capping things, it gets difficult.' Sony isn't the first Comcast rival to complain about the bandwidth cap. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has also blasted Comcast's discriminatory bandwidth cap as a violation of network neutrality. Comcast controls more than 20 percent of the residential broadband market, which means that Comcast effectively controls access to one-fifth of any American Internet video service's potential customers."
First time accepted submitter Celexi writes "In a surprising move, Motorola Mobility (which is to be taken over by Google), has won an injunction preventing the distribution of Windows 7 and the Xbox in Germany until Microsoft starts paying royalty fees for the patents Microsoft is said to be infringing (two patents used to display H.264 video). The ruling is suspended as of now because of a restraining order, the effect in the rest of the EU and U.S. if the ban is enforced if the restraining order is lifted, is unclear." This could go into effect as soon as May 7th, pending the result of the next U.S. case hearing.
Fluffeh writes "It looks like some Pakistanis are taking on 'the man.' With plans laid by the Pakistani Government that could sink up to fifty million websites that it isn't a fan of, Pakistanis took the matter to court — which ruled that such action by the government was unconstitutional. Reporters without Borders was however a little more skeptical 'The high court's ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system. While welcoming the ruling, which penalizes the lack of transparency in the PTA's past website blocking, Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions. '"
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior has picked Google Apps to provide cloud-based email and collaboration applications to about 90,000 staffers, choosing Google's services over Microsoft's Office 365. Google had sued the U.S. agency in 2010, claiming its requirements for the contract tilted the scales unfairly toward Microsoft. Google eventually dropped its lawsuit last September."
itwbennett writes "In a filing to the FCC, Bay Area Rapid Transit general manager Grace Crunican defended last August's mobile shutdown, saying that 'a temporary disruption of cell phone service, under extreme circumstances where harm and destruction are imminent, is a necessary tool to protect passengers.' Taking the opposing position, digital rights groups, including Public Knowledge, Free Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the FCC (PDF) that 'wireless interruption will necessarily prohibit the communications of completely innocent parties — precisely those parties closest to the site where the emergency is located or anticipated.'"