Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court to Rule APIs Can’t Be Copyrighted
Sat 8 Nov 2014, 00:00
EFF Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Tech Pioneers in Oracle v. Google Court Battle. Generally speaking, APIs are specifications that allow programs to communicate with each other. So when you type a letter in a word processor, and hit the print command, you are using an API that lets the word processor talk to the printer driver, even though they were written by different people. The brief explains that the freedom to re-implement and extend existing APIs has been the key to competition and progress in both hardware and software development. It made possible the emergence and success of many robust industries we now take for granted—for example, mainframes, PCs, and workstations/servers—by ensuring that competitors could challenge established players and advance the state of the art.
French court rules it can hear cases brought against Facebook
Fri 6 Mar 2015, 21:00

A Paris court has ruled that it has the legal authority to judge a case against Facebook, which blocked the account of a French teacher who posted an image of a vulva.

The court ruled that the case came under its jurisdiction and Facebook’s clause forcing all users to agree that any litigation must be based in California, where the site is based, was “abusive”.

Facebook is being sued by a French man whose account was blocked after he posted a 19th-century picture by Gustave Courbet, The Origin of the World, depicting a vulva.


Austria court considers Facebook privacy case
Sat 11 Apr 2015, 15:30

A court in Austria will rule in the next few weeks whether it has the jurisdiction to hear a class action lawsuit brought against Facebook. Some 25,000 users - led by Austrian law graduate Max Schrems - accuse Facebook of violating European privacy laws in the way it collects and forwards data.

Lawyers, journalists take Dutch state to court over Internet privacy
Sat 6 Dec 2014, 21:25

Dutch lawyers, journalists, privacy organizations and publishers are taking legal action against the state to stop telecom firms storing phone and email information via what is described by critics as a ‘snoopers charter’.

UK: Safari users win right to sue Google over privacy
Fri 27 Mar 2015, 16:36

Google has lost a Court of Appeal bid to stop consumers having the right to sue in the UK over alleged misuse of privacy settings.

The case revolves around a so-called Safari workaround, which allegedly allowed Google to avoid the Safari web browser's default privacy setting to place cookies, that gathered data such as surfing habits, social class, race, ethnicity, without users' knowledge. A group of users claim that Google bypassed security settings on the Safari browser to install tracking cookies on their computers in order to target them with advertising.

CJEU case on liability for copyright infringements if offering password-free free internet access
Wed 26 Nov 2014, 12:21

In Case C-484/14 McFadden, a reference for a preliminary ruling from Germany is seeking clarification as regards the liability of internet service providers (ISPs) for third-party copyright infringements.

"If a person offers free non-password-protected access to the Internet, and an unknown user passes a piece of copyright-infringing music over that Internet connection, then can the person offering the Internet access be absolved of legal liability on the basis that he is but a ‘mere conduit’ under [Article 12 of] the EU’s ‘E-Commerce’ Directive 2000/31/EC [read in light of Recital 42 in the preamble to this very directive]?"

More facts about the case are available here.