IBM is perhaps the most aggressive patent machine on the planet. In a move reported by The Register today, IBM has now taken a step beyond the pale (again) and sought to patent the art of squeezing profits from patent portfolios, otherwise known as patent trolling.
A filing at the U.S. Patent Office, entitled "system and method for extracting value from a portfolio of assets" stages a landgrab on the thoroughly original idea of letting other people use your ideas.
IBM's intellectual property carpet baggers describe the invention as "obtaining an interest in selected assets from the portfolio to a client who lacks the resources to accumulate and maintain such a portfolio, in return for an annuity stream to the portfolio owner." Or, en Anglais, patent licensing.… Read more
Just about every technology under the sun--from your cell phone to the biggest baddest core router or multi-processor server--tracks its activities by maintaining log data files. Most people rarely pay attention to this stuff, but it is a big deal when it comes to enterprise IT.
Want proof? According to ESG Research, 44 percent of large organizations (i.e., 1,000 employees or more) collect at least 1 terabyte of log file per month. Heck, 11 percent say that they capture more than 10 terabytes a month. That's a lot of logs from a lot of devices.
Just what … Read more
Jammie Thomas is hard to rattle.
She doesn't raise her voice or get angry when a reporter asks her to read a story where she is called a "liar" by a member of the jury that found her guilty of copyright violations and ordered her to pay the recording industry $220,000 in damages.
She calmly reads the quotes by juror Michael Hegg that appeared Tuesday in a story by Wired.com. She then draws a bead on where Hegg said he is a father, former snowmobile racer and has never been on the Internet.
"I … Read more
Peer-to-peer company BitTorrent is set to announce on Tuesday morning the availability of a new enterprise content delivery product, BitTorrent DNA. Designed for companies that use streaming video, large downloads or games over the Web, the launch of BitTorrent DNA marks yet another conscious move by the San Francisco-based software brand to move beyond its roots as the creator of file-sharing protocol that became nearly synonymous with digital piracy over the past few years.
BitTorrent described the new BitTorrent DNA product in a statement as "the ideal solution for publishers seeking ways to overcome the obstacles associated with centralized … Read more
The recording industry's victory Thursday in a trial involving a Minnesota woman accused of illegal file-sharing is already turning at least a few heads on Capitol Hill.
We caught up by phone on Friday afternoon with Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat well known for his strongly held views on fair use and the need to defang stringent anti-copying laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (He's one of the Recording Industry Association of America's most ardent foes on copyright legislation.)
We wanted to know Boucher's answer to the obvious question: Will Congress lessen penalties for … Read more
The recording industry has won its first victory against a user of a file-sharing network. Late yesterday, a jury in Minnesota determined that Jammie Thomas had in fact used Kazaa to share music files. Finding her guilty of "willful" copyright infringement, he jury ordered her to pay the copyright owners (six labels) $9,250 for each of the 24 songs that were at issue, for a total of $220,000.
UPDATE at 8:46 p.m. PDT: A Minnesota woman must pay $220,000 to six of the top music labels after a federal jury found on Thursday that she violated their copyright.
Accused of encouraging the illegal sharing of more than 1,700 songs, Jammie Thomas, 30, elected to fight it out with the recording industry instead of settling out of court for far less money. The ensuing legal battle marked the first time the recording industry has argued a file-sharing case before a jury.
Since 2003, many of the 26,000 persons sued by the Recording Industry Assoc. of America (RIAA) have avoided litigation by agreeing to pay a few thousand dollars. Thomas, who could not be reached for comment, has always maintained her innocence. Accused of sharing music through the use of peer-to-peer service, Kazaa, she told the jury that she didn't even own a Kazaa account.
The jury didn't buy her argument. Thomas was ordered to pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs that the RIAA concentrated on. She was initially accused of sharing 1,702 songs. The decision is important in that it sends a message to file sharers that Internet anonymity won't protect them from lawsuits, said Chris Castle, a copyright attorney and longtime music industry executive.
Castle said the Web makes it simple to hide. Proving who was sitting at a computer at any given time is very difficult for copyright owners. What is precedent-setting about this case is that the jury decided it doesn't matter who was sharing music on Thomas' computer.