We know that just about everyone reading Gear Live loves the Internet - either that, or they happened upon us by typoing their true destination, Dear Love. However, if you are one of those who has enjoyed the Internet for what it is, and don’t want to see it take an immense step back here in the USA, you have five days to let congress know that. Luckily, Save The Internet makes it super easy to do - all you do is fill out a form, and they make sure it gets to where it needs to go. This is crunch time in the battle for Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is essential to free speech, equal opportunity and economic innovation in America. Since the FCC removed this basic protection in 2005, the top executives of phone and cable companies have stated their intention to become the Internet’s gatekeepers and to discriminate against Web sites that don’t pay their added tolls.
This fundamental change would end the open Internet as we know it. It would damage my ability to connect with others, share information and participate in our 21st century democracy and economy. The FCC must ensure that broadband providers do not block, interfere with or discriminate against any lawful Internet traffic based on its ownership, source or destination.
Hit the link below to find out more.
Read More | Save The Internet
So, it looks like things are going from bad to worse for VOIP phone company Vonage. Last week, a judge ruled in favor of Verizon citing that Vonage was infringing upon Verizon’s patented Internet phone technology, which lays out methods for getting calls to go between the Internet and conventional phone networks. The ruling was that Vonage was banned from signing up new customers, while existing customers were unaffected. Vonage asked for, and received, an emergency stay which allows them to conduct business as usual for the time being. They went so far as to tell investors not to worry, because a “workaround” was currently under development.
Unfortunately, today Vonage has changed their tune, and they are now saying that they have no workaround that would moot the need for a stay. Uh oh. We don’t know how much longer Vonage will be around in it’s current form, but for a company that loses 2.5% of it’s customers per month, if they can’t bring in new customers to replace lost ones, it’s fairly obvious what will happen.
Read More | USA Today
Here we go again. We recently reported on how YouTube was banned in Turkey (for a few days), due to clips deemed insulting to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Prior to that it was Brazil, which banned the website after sexy videos of a Brazilian actress were constantly being uploaded. Now it’s Thailand’s turn, which has blocked the popular website because of a short, crude clip mocking their king, Bhumibol Adulyadej—after YouTube owner Google refused to remove the clip. Insulting the king is a criminal offense in Thailand, as a Swiss man discovered the hard way last week, after being sentenced 10 years for defacing images of Thailand’s monarchy. The offending Thai YouTube clip was viewed more than 16,000 times, and was uploaded by someone using the moniker Paddidda, now one of Thailand’s most wanted.
Read More | New York Times
In the continuing struggle with YouTube, Viacom, which is owned by Google, has taken YouTube to court for the astounding sum of $1 billion. Viacom claims that the site has shown 160,000 of its videos without express permission.
“Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws,” Viacom said.
We’re thinking that this may be the first in a long series of lawsuits to get YouTube to respect the legal rights of copywritten material. The list will probably include such companies as GE and NBC. News Corp and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have already begun legal proceedings against the media giant.
Read More | MSN
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