Two African-American men have filed a federal lawsuit against Apple that accuses the company of racial discrimination at an Apple Store in Manhattan.
The plaintiffs, Brian Johnston, 34, and Nile Charles, 25, claim a white Apple employee in his 50s told them, "I don't want 'your kind' hanging out in the store" at Apple's retail outlet at 1981 Broadway on Dec. 9, 2010, according to court filings cited by Apple Insider Wednesday.
Another Apple Store employee allegedly approached the pair, who were wearing "baggy jeans and large sweaters with hoods" according to the lawsuit, and said, "Now you have to go. If you want to know why, it's because I said so. Consider me God. You have to go."
Johnston and Charles entered the Upper West Side store to purchase headphones, the suit said. They recorded the incident on their cell phones, according to Apple Insider.
Back in October of 2007, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was charged with copyright infringement of 24 songs and decided to fight the Recording Industry Association of America and Capitol Records instead of settling. But now a jury has decided that she is guilty and must pay 1.92 million dollars, which comes out to about $80,000 per tune. While it is possible that the RIAA may still settle for less, Ms. Thomas-Rasset is only the first of 20,000 that may be brought to court and is certainly being used to tell us all that her action was a no-no bigtime.
Read More | Mashable
Emma Alvarado, from Los Angeles, Ca., was so teed off at Microsoft that she filed a class action lawsuit to recover the $59.25 fee that they charged her for downgrading her Windows Vista to XP. The suit says that the company charge is in violation of Washington State’s Unfair Business Practices Act and Consumer Protection Act. Emma is hoping that others who have payed the fee will join in. Microsoft is also involved in another suit that says that the sticker “Windows Vista Capable” is misleading.
Read More | PC World
It looks like there will be a settlement in the ongoing 4 year, $22 million class-action suit against Apple. The company must set aside that amount for first-gen nano owners with scratched screens. According to the suit, many of them weren’t “coated” and were subject to “excessive scratching.” Those who received a slip case with their iPod may be entitled to $15.00, while those who did not can get $25.00. A judge still needs to sign off on the suit and a hearing will take place April 28. More information is available here.
Read More | CNBC
Score one for the little guy. Hottrix has filed a $12.5 million lawsuit against Coors. The indie company says that the brewery copied its iPhone application iBeer. Both apps display a glass of beer that empties when the user tilts the handset about 90º. While iBeer cost $3.00 at launch, Coors’ iPint was free. Hottrix argues that it had a video on YouTube in July 2007, before the App Store was launched. In an act of kindness, Apple removed the freebie in the U.S., however it is still available in other countries.
Read More | Wired
Microsoft and Washington’s Attorney General Rob McKenna have filed suit against two Texas businesses that scare people into buying a Registry Cleaner XP service for $39.95. The action has been filed under the Computer Spyware Act. The Branch Software and Alpha Red messages resemble system warnings. McKenna is hoping that the lawsuit will make the “spyware purveyors” to cease the practice and pay customer restitution.
McKenna says the action “has yanked the fear factor dial out of the hands of businesses that use scareware as a marketing tool and have spun it toward them.”
Read More | Space Mart
Stephanie Lenz uploaded a 30 second clip of her toddler son dancing to Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy” to share with family and friends back in February 2007. Universal Music Publishing insisted the music was “not authorized by the copyright owner” and asked that it be removed. To make a long story short, Stephanie is now involved in a lengthy legal battle, backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The clip has received almost 700,000 hits because of the publicity.
We know how she feels. We were recently notified that a video we shot of the Village People was taken down from YouTube after it was considered to be a copyright infringement. Considering they only have one surviving member singing in the group, you think they would have appreciated the extra publicity.
Read More | Telegraph
Creative has lost a recent legal battle. It seems that the company reported that their MP3 player held more than it actually did. Their premise was that 1GB was one billion bytes 1,000,000,000B rather than the 1,073,741,824B it should be. The company finally discovered the error and corrected it after 2004, but if you bought one before then, you can probably make a minor sum off Creative. Choose between $35.00 off on a new Zen Stone or a 20% discount on your next purchase.
Read More | Tech Radar
A Pennsylvania couple is suing Google for invasion of privacy and mental distress. Aaron and Christine Boring claim that the reason they bought their property in the first place was because it was isolated and now it has been devalued. It seems that Google may have taken a street view shot from their driveway that was marked “Private Road.”
Google spokesperson Larry Yu claims that if the pair wanted the images removed, all they had to do was ask. Attorney Dennis Moskal said that their privacy was already hampered when the vehicle that took the shots drove on their property. It will be interesting to see if this has ramifications down the road. While Google maps increase in imaging technique, Big Brother surely gets closer every day.
Read More | MSNBC
YouTube has finally released the means to automatically remove copyrighted clips. Although it has been eliminating most of those videos per request, the site is hoping that this will have a more positive impact on complaints such as Viacom’s suit against them. Working with its parent Google, the technology also allows companies to sell ads on their material if they will allow them to remain on YouTube. Unfortunately, the method of copyright protection requires copies of the videos that need protecting to be given to YouTube for comparison. This certainly doesn’t appear to be the solution that the studios desire and we suspect that YouTube will have to go back to the drawing board on this one.
Read More | ABC