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Hollywood Attacks Web Video Pirates

By Internet Lawyer

Copying RIAA’s tactics in the music industry, the MPAA has filed a lawsuit to stop online video piracy. Like RIAA, the MPAA is doomed to fail. Copyright laws are old, obsolete, and can’t keep pace with modern technology.

However, be sure to protect your business and your personal assets by not putting yourself in a position to be accused of copyright infringement. The penalties are heavy if you’re one of the few who do get caught and made an example of to deter others.

In a related story, Media Rights Technologies is asking Congress to go after Microsoft and Apple for allegedly aiding and abetting online piracy. What a waste of time and effort.

The government goes after individuals for this…not multinational corporations. Here’s an example. A British citizen was extradited to the United States from his home in Australia to face piracy charges. He pled guilty and will serve 51 months in a federal prison.

AT&T just announced that it will be filtering pirated content on its networks. Here’s the problem with that. What happens when you deliver something over AT&T’s network that is perfectly legal but the company disagrees? Branded a pirate. How do you prove your innocence? Look for this to be a logistical nightmare.

BurnLounge – Alleged Online Pyramid Scheme Settles With FTC

By Internet Lawyer

BurnLounge was accused by the FTC of operating a pyramid scheme that primarily paid for the recruitment of new participants instead of retail sales of music and video. According to the FTC,

“The BurnLounge compensation program primarily provided payments to participants for recruiting of new participants, not on the retail sale of products or services, which the FTC alleges would result in a substantial percentage of participants losing money.

The FTC specifically alleges that the defendants operate an illegal pyramid scheme, make deceptive earnings claims, and fail to disclose that most consumers who invest in pyramid schemes don’t receive substantial income, but lose money, instead. These practices violate the FTC Act, the agency alleges.”

The company announced that it is ending its pyramid program and claims to have settled with the FTC.

Remember that networking marketing/MLM companies are legal. However, whether brick-and-mortar or online ventures, the BurnLounge compensation-type plan is an invitation to get nailed by the government for running an illegal pyramid scheme.

FTC Staff Opposes Net Neutrality

By Internet Lawyer

Instead of supporting heavy-handed regulation as proposed by Google and other major online players, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s staff came out against so-called “Net Neutrality.” Here’s a link to the 170-page report in case you have insomnia.

In plain English, this means that the FTC is going to let competitive market forces determine pricing instead of the government.

In the alternative, one could have elected idiots regulate the Internet when they don’t have a clue what it is…just ask U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. He thinks the Web is a “series of tubes” and “not a big truck.” Check out the video.

New Jersey Turnpike Authority Fights YouTube Over Video

By Internet Lawyer

In a morbid case, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is suing YouTube for infringement because it failed to take down video of a fatal auto crash before it could be downloaded and distributed elsewhere on the Web.

If the authority wins, it paves the way for you to be potentially liable after receiving a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement notice simply because someone copied the content before you could remove it from your website.

Here’s another take on the same story that makes a strong argument that YouTube is no bargain for Google because of all of the copyright infringement issues.

Moral of the story? Dot your Is and cross your Ts when putting video on your sites so that you don’t end up being sued for infringement. And if you’ve got other people in your videos, make sure you get signed releases that permit you to actually use the videos online.

Microsoft Yahoo Deal In The Works?

By Uncategorized

Looks like Microsoft is panicking about Google’s performance these days. Bill Gates’ company is seriously pursuing acquisition of Yahoo!

On the bright side, even if a deal comes together, the two conglomerates can’t divide the cyberworld as an oligopoly. Fortunately, there’s a long tail of niches being filled by the rest of us online.

It also raises the issue of what Microsoft will do in the video arena. It has already been trounced in the audio arena by Apple’s iPod (Zune just doesn’t compete). GooTube, that is Google Video and YouTube, seem to dominate the online video market.

Hat tip to PETER LAURIA and ZACHERY KOUWE at the NY Post.