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European Court of Justice rejects web piracy filter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Max   
Sunday, 27 November 2011 14:03

The European Court of Justice has ruled that content owners cannot ask ISPs to filter out illegal content.

The ruling could have implications for the creative industries as they attempt to crack down on piracy.

The court said that while content providers can ask ISPs to block specific sites, wider filtering was in breach of the E-Commerce Directive.European Court Of Justice Rejects Web Piracy Filter

A Belgian court had previously ruled that a local rights holder could force an ISP to filter content.

General monitoring

The case stems back to 2004 when SABAM, a Belgian company responsible for authorising music rights, discovered that customers of local ISP Scarlet were downloading music illegally via peer-to-peer networks.

The Brussels Court of First Instance ordered Scarlet to make it impossible for its customers to send or receive files containing music from SABAM's catalogue on such networks.

Scarlet appealed to the Brussels Court of Appeal, claiming that the injunction failed to comply with EU law.

It said that the obligation to monitor communications on its network was in breach of the E-Commerce Directive.

Seven years on, the European Court of Justice agreed.

It said that the move could affect Scarlet's ability to do business because it would have to "install a complicated, costly, permanent computer system at its own expense".

The court ruled that the filtering could infringe the rights of customers and their right to protect their own data.

It could also mean that legal content was blocked.

"Such an injunction could potentially undermine freedom of information since that system might not distinguish adequately between unlawful content and lawful content with the result that its introduction could lead to the blocking of lawful communications," the court said in a statement.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 November 2011 14:04
Google and Samsung confirm Galaxy Nexus volume bugs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Max   
Sunday, 27 November 2011 13:52

Google and Samsung have confirmed that there are volume issues with their flagship mobile phone the Galaxy Nexus.

It follows complaints on net forums about unexplained changes in volume.Samsung Google Nexus Bug

The handset, the first to feature Google's operating system Android Ice Cream Sandwich, is currently available in the UK and is due to go on sale in the US in December.

Samsung said that it is aware of the problem and will offer a repair but did not say when.

"Regarding the Galaxy Nexus, we are aware of the volume issue and have developed a fix," Samsung said in a statement. "We will update devices as soon as possible."

Google issued an almost identical statement.

Samsung redesigns Galaxy Tab after Apple's sales ban PDF Print E-mail
Written by Max   
Thursday, 24 November 2011 11:21

Samsung has redesigned one of its tablet computers after a court banned sales in Germany in September.

The injunction followed Apple's complaint that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looked too much like the EU-registered design of its iPad tablet.

The South Korean firm says its revised Galaxy Tab 10.1N will go on sale later this month.Samsung Galaxy Tab New Design

The firm has changed the design of the metal frame and moved the device's speakers.

"Samsung decided to introduce this new version in order to meet consumer demand for our innovative and distinctive products," a spokeswoman told the BBC.


Experts say Apple may wish to request a new injunction or claim that the refreshed device infringes the existing court order.

The US company could not be reached for comment.

Patent consultant, Florian Mueller, says it is unclear if Samsung has done enough to avoid a fresh ban because it is hard to define how far design rights extend.

"A Community design is infringed only in all of its key characteristics are matched, or that is the overall impression it makes on an informed person," he wrote on his Foss Patents blog.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus due in US in December on Verizon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Couts   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 20:02

Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy Nexus will reportedly arrive in the US in December on Verizon Wireless.

Samsung’s newest super-phone, the Galaxy Nexus, will arrive in the US on Verizon Wireless sometime in December, reports Business Insider. We originally heard that the Galaxy Nexus would arrive on November 10, a date that has now come and gone. But the December release is no rumor, it seems, as the website cites Samsung as the source of this “confirmation.”

The Galaxy Nexus, which is the first handset to ship with Google’s new and improved Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, is currently available in a number of international markets, including the UK. Until now, it was unclear when US customers would have the opportunity to bask in the glowing awesomeness of the Galaxy Nexus.

While we haven’t yet had the chance to test out the Galaxy Nexus, the straight specs suggest a powerful and impressive device. The first thing you’ll notice is the massive 4.65-inch Super AMOLED screen, which has a resolution of 1280×720, giving it nearly the same pixel density as the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Samsung has also designed the device with a curved form factor to make its large size feel less cumbersome in the hand.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 11:17
EA sued over broken Battlefield 3 pre-order promises PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Fleming   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 19:56

Battlefield 1943

PS3 owners of Battlefield 3 are suing EA over the broken promise that gamers who purchased the PS3 version of the game would also receive a copy of Battlefield 1943.

Offering additional content to tantalize gamers into buying a certain version of an upcoming title is nothing new. Typically that is the domain of the retailers that each offer something that can’t be found anywhere else as incentive to buy the game from them–maybe it is a specific DLC pack for that particular game, or perhaps it is an offer for another product altogether. Regardless, it is a lure used to sway gamers in a particular direction.

Occasionally the same thing occurs when a cross-platform game is poised to hit big, and both Microsoft and Sony look for ways ways to show fans that their version of the same game is the better buy. Microsoft has an exclusive contract with the Call of Duty franchise that gives Xbox 360 owners access to new content a full month before PS3 owners, while last year’s Medal of Honor included a digital copy of the PS2 game, Medal of Honor: Frontline, for PS3 users that bought the Limited Edition, and there are plenty of other examples.

For the recently released Battlefield 3, EA offered PS3 users an added incentive to purchase the game on Sony’s system—a digital copy of the WWII shooter, Battlefield 1943. At the time, the offer was billed as a pre-order PS3 bonus, but it was expected to be available for all PS3 adopters. SCEA CEO Jack Tretton even touted the news at E3 this June, ”EA is using the extra storage capacity of Blu-Ray to add a second game, Battlefield 1943 to the disc. That extra and exclusive content is a critical differentiator for PlayStation.”

Survey predicts World of Warcraft will lose up to 1.6 million players to Star Wars: The Old Republic PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rick Marshall   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 19:51

World of Warcraft could face its toughest test when Star Wars: The Old Republic launches in December.

More than a million players could trade Azeroth for the Galactic Republic, according to a recent survey of World of Warcraft subscribers.

The survey polled a relatively small number of Warcraft subscribers (381 people), but found that at least half of them plan to buy the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, and an additional 38 percent of the poll subjects had an interest in checking out the game.

The poll results, combined with the recent reports of Warcraft losing nearly a million subscribers over the last three months, has prompted at least one market-analysis firm to downgrade Activision Blizzard stock. In their decision to downgrade the stock, Lazard Capital Markets predicted that Warcraft will likely lose anywhere from 900,000 to 1.6 million subscribers to The Old Republic when the latter launches in December.

Illegally downloaded games 'up 20% in five years' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Whitworth   
Sunday, 13 November 2011 11:48

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3

The number of illegally downloaded video games has gone up nearly 20% in the last five years.

Figures from research firm Envisional also suggest the top five games from 2010 were pirated online almost a million times.

Industry executives are worried these figures mean a generation of people will expect to get games for free.

But some gamers dispute industry claims about how much of a problem online piracy is.

Illegal 'testing'

Newsbeat met Sam who illegally downloads around 100 titles a year and ends up buying around 50 of them.

"I buy games because I've pirated them, if I don't get to try them I never would have bothered picking them up."

Sam, who didn't want to give his surname, says he's not put off by the threat of being fined or sent to prison.


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