Security Firm Sued For Incorrect Forensics Report

Remember when you are watching those TV shows, you know the ones, where government agencies are trying to track down bad guys who have breached a “secure” network? Happens in real life too, with companies like Affinity Gaming finding out the hard way.

Affinity gaming is a Las Vegas-based casino operator who discovered back in 2013 that their network had been breached and people were able to get to the credit card data. Sounds familiar right? Affinity Gaming hired the security firm Trustwave to investigate and isolate the breach, effectively fixing the problem. At the end of the investigation, they claimed that the data breach was “contained”, then adding comments on how to “fend off future data attacks”.

Affinity Gaming then found that they were suffering another data breach, for which they hired the data security firm Mandiant to investigate. It was during Mandiant’s investigation that they worked out the work previously done was only on a “subset of Affinity Gaming’s data security”. This coupled with the fact that they “had failed to identify the means by which the attacker had breached” their systems meant that overall Affinity Gaming believes Trustwave was responsible for “misrepresentations and grossly negligent performance” which in turn they believe cost them “significant out of pocket losses”.

Listing 76 steps outlying their interactions between the three companies and now the complaint, you can see why if one company promised to protect your data and then was found to have failed this task, you would want your money back.

Owner Sues For His Shot Down Drone

Last year there was a rather large issue in the US when Mr William Merideth fired his shotgun at a drone flying overhead. After the resulting crash, he was charged with a crime and the drone (or what was left) returned to its owner. In his court date, Meredith claimed that the drone was flying overhead while his daughters were outside and he acted in defence, a verdict that the judge seemed to share as he ruled the drone invaded his privacy. Now the law turns the other way, with David Boggs, the drone owner, filing a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit is focused in two areas, the $1,500 in damages that the drone was estimated to cost and a ruling on if his flight back in July 2015 did actually constitute trespassing. In a civil complaint, Bogg’s lawyer references a section of the U.S. code stating that “The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States.”

With the laws regarding drones becoming contested and argued on a daily basis, it could be an interesting case to keep track of. The U.S. code mentioned above goes on to state that “The airspace, therefore, is not subject to private ownership nor can the flight of an aircraft within the navigable airspace of the United States constitute a trespass.”, raising the question that with the older laws, does a drone constitute an aircraft?

Ryan Calo spoke to Ars Technica regarding the matter and mentioned the legal concept of “ad coelum et ad inferos”, translated as “to the heavens and to hell” meaning that a land owner controls everything above and below the earth. This concept is normally applied to items underground such as minerals, oil or gas so is rarely used in regards to the skies, an area that the Federal aviation authority would argue with in its recent claims that it is responsible for everything that flies.

Hobbyist Wants FAA’s Drone Registration Legislation Cancelled

After the recent surge of drones, governments are playing catch up to both companies, such as Amazon who are looking at drones for delivering your orders, and those who would use them recreationally. Sadly though when people are given new technology, it doesn’t mean that people won’t get hurt or cause trouble. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has started to combat this by announcing a law that comes into effect this year requiring users to register their drones, but one lawyer is suing the FAA with the hopes that this could annul their registration law.

Under the petition for review, John Taylor asks that the new registration system is cancelled. The new system would see drone users forced to register online, mark their drones with unique ID numbers and possibly face fines if they are not registered by the time of their first flight. The petition was filed on the 24th of December 2015, only four days after the registration system went live. Taylor argues that this new system actually breaches part of the FAA’s own rules, citing section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This section states that the agency may not create new rules or regulations for model aircraft if “the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use”.

With some details from the registration set to become publically available, the court could soon face a difficult choice as defining what is recreational use could see some previous issues resurface, these include when drones are used at sporting or public events.

Russian Gamer to Sue Bethesda For Fallout 4 Addiction

Video games like any entertainment medium can be addictive especially if the individual in question has an obsessive personality. Usually, consumers applaud developers for creating expansive experiences and enjoy the value proposition this brings. However, a 28-year-old man from Krasnoyarsk is suing Bethesda for $7000 because he didn’t realize Fallout 4 would “become so addictive”.

According to Russia Today, the player in question regularly skipped work, stopped speaking with his friends and led to the breakdown of his marriage. His statement reads:

“If I knew that this game could have become so addictive, I would have become a lot more wary of it. I would not have bought it, or I would have left it until I was on holiday or until the New Year holidays,”

This is an absurd situation and the idea that you can try to seek compensation for your own lack or organizational skills is laughable. There’s no real precedent in Russia regarding cases like this, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the legal case proceeds. Common sense should prevail though because millions have purchased Fallout 4 and not had any negative effects in their private or personal life.

Has a game ever captured so much of your time it almost impacted on personal relationships?

French Consumer Group Sue Valve Over Steam User Agreement

In an unexpected turn of events, a French consumer group, UFC-Que Choisir, have chosen to begin legal action against Valve over the user agreement for their popular game distribution platform, Steam. The decision to sue was revealed in a French letter, in which they explained that Steam’s subscriber agreement contains elements deemed to be “detrimental to consumer interests.”

The points that the UFC bring against Steam were outlined on the Games sub-Reddit, where user ‘Silencement’ translated the letter. Shockingly, this translation may bring to light some questionable business practices you didn’t know about Valve, as many simply click-through the countless license agreements:

  • It is expressly forbidden for customers to resell their digital games, which is contrary to French law, which allows the transfer of digital products and licenses.
  • Valve refuse to accept any responsibility if they are hacked and customer data is leaked, or user accounts are compromised.
  • Valve has ownership to the rights to any user-created content uploaded to Steam.
  • Customers cannot get funds added to their Steam account refunded if their account is closed, deleted or banned.

In short, Valve applies Luxembourg’s consumer law, regardless of the laws of the user’s country.

Steam is often considered one of the best game digital distribution platforms in terms of customer service, especially compared to that of consoles, this lawsuit outlines some worrying issues. So while it may be unreasonable for Valve to keep an array of user agreements to account for every country’s consumer laws, we have to hope that Valve will respond to these accusations by adjusting their practices for the sake of their customers. Considering their track record in the past, however, Valve stands a good chance of coming out on top should they choose to fight the legal battle to the end.

Apple Guilty Of Using University of Wisconsin’s Patents Without Permission

We all use technology every day, and within those thousands of pieces of technology we find thousands more built up with designs and ideas from hundreds and thousands of areas. To protect companies interests in these designs and ideas they use patents, and the normal process is that if you wish to use a patents idea or the technology it protects then you request the owners permission. Sadly it would seem that some big companies use technology without supporting the little ones and in this case, Apple has been found guilty of just such a misuse.

The University of Wisconsin holds a patent that covers some technology designed to improve chip efficiency and given that almost every piece of technology these days use chips it’s obviously something that could support the university for long time into the future. In this case, though it would seem that the courts have voted in favour of the University of Wisconsin and has found Apple liable for using the technology without their permission, specifically in iPhones and iPads. The case is set to reappear in court, with the judge stating that it could cost Apple around $862.5 million, which isn’t the worst news for them given that just last month they had another case brought against them regarding the same technology but in the iPhone 6’s and the iPad’s A9 and A9x chips.

This isn’t the first time that these issues have been brought up, in 2008 Intel had the same charges brought against them, but this was immediately settled out of court. Although I doubt Apple is too worried about the money in the long-term.

Thank you Engadget for the information.

3-D Printed Gun Owner Sues Goverment

Say hello to the Liberator. The Liberator when first released was a big deal among the technological and law worlds, it being the first 3D printed gun. Made almost entirely made of plastic the liberator only uses a single metal firing pin, the one shot weapon can easily be printed using an every day 3D printer that are now readily available. The big issue that is coming up recently about it though is not the actual weapon, but the blueprints for it.

Cody Wilson, the inventor and designer behind the liberator, received a letter from the State department demanding that he remove the blueprints from the internet. The reason that was given was that posting the blueprints online would count as exporting firearms to foreign countries and he could face prosecution for violating regulations preventing the sales of firearms to international countries or clients.

Almost two years on Wilson has now filed a lawsuit against the State Department and several officials stating that their letter was, in fact, a breach of their first amendment rights to free speech. The issue arises due to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which is there to govern who can sell weapons to people or countries outside of the US, and when they are allowed to do so. The publishing of the blueprint is said to breach ITAR, in a similar fashion to if they had shipped a crate of machine guns to Mexico.

The lawsuit is not arguing that the blueprints were posted, but whether or not they can actually be counted as a weapon. They state that the blueprints are in fact “speech” and as such are protected under the first amendment so they cannot be censored, both in the real world or online.

This is an interesting argument, with the internet being considered a global resource, the fact that the second the blueprint was posted it was made available to every country in the world could be seen as an export, but the fact that they are discussing if the blueprint, essentially a collection of 1’s and 0’s in code, is actually speech or a product (in this case a weapon) could set the way for court cases in the future, with its resolution not only applying to 3D blueprints but also to games, software or even music in that it could be considered “speech” while in a digital form.

The first amendment is not the only one to be taking a place in this discussion, with the legal team also stating that the second and fifth amendment are also in breach by the State Departments letter and action. The second amendment states that it is a fundamental right to acquire and bear arms, while the fifth protects their right to “due process”, the actual process of legal representation and decisions based on the legality of actions, in this case, the concept that the blueprints and its publications were illegal.

While the first plastic weapon, the Liberator has spurred on a variation of 3-d printable weapons, including revolvers and other weapons, which could be deemed illegal at the resolution of this lawsuit.

To view the full complaint filed click here.

Thanks to 3Dprint.com for the image.

Thank you to Wired.Com for the information. 

Watch Makers Hitting Back at ‘Pirated’ Faces for Smartwatches

Watch makers including Omega, Fossil, Armani, Michael Kors, Tissot and Panerai are pursuing people online who have been producing ‘pirated’ versions of their watch faces for smart watches.

Ever since the release of Android Wear, a number of people have begun producing unofficial digital watch faces that resemble those of real watches, most often from luxury brands. Well now it seems that those companies have hit out at these people, with many sending cease-and-desist notices to those producing them.

The owner of FaceRepo, a site the collects watchfaces submitted by developers and allows the public to download them, has spoken out to TorrentFreak about the removal requests he’s received. While a number of the designs were “cool”, he said “we believe that owners of copyrights or trademarks have the right to defend their brand”.

With these companies concerned that their business is under threat from smart watches, it’s no surprise they’ve taken action.

Source: MacRumors

Got a Lawsuit you Want to Fund? Crowdfund it!

Want to sue someone but can’t afford it? Well no longer, as a new website called LexShares thinks it has the answer, with its Kickstarter for lawsuits.

LexShares allows people to quite simply ask “accredited investors” for money towards a suit they’re taking out. Those investors can invest a minimum of $2,500 into any suits that they think would produce a good return.

Investors get to see all sorts of details about a case, giving them an idea of the chances of the suit being successful. They also get the opportunity to see how long it would take to see a return on their investment. If the case loses, they lose that investment.

The founders of the company behind it say they believe the site will “even the playing field” between individuals who normally couldn’t afford a $1 million suit and giant multinational companies that can afford a number different lawsuits a year.

So if you do want to sue someone, get on over to LexShares.

Source: The Next Web

Deadmau5 v Disney – Claims Disney Stole His Music

You might have heard – Disney is on the front foot against the popular EDM DJ Deadmau5, claiming that his iconic mask is infringing on their copyrighted Mickey Mouse symbol and character.

Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) filed a trademark request for the iconic headpiece, but was blocked by Disney. Zimmerman’s lawyers have fought back, claiming that Deadmau5’s “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” song was used by Disney without direct permission from the artist. Zimmerman was seen linking this video on his Twitter feed earlier in the week:

“okay mouse, http://t.co/zT7tTLffFw i never gave disney a liscene to use my track. So. we emailed you a C&D. @disney”

Thanks to Rolling Stone, a Disney representatives point of view was aired to the public, stating:

“Disney vigorously protects its trademark rights, and we oppose Mr. Zimmerman’s attempt to register a logo that is nearly identical to our trademarks for his commercial exploitation. Our opposition is not about the use of the Deadmau5 costume. The music was appropriately licensed, and there is no merit to his statement”

What do you think about the infringement claim? Is there merit – or do you simply not care enough for this type of ‘politics’?

Image courtesy of Your EDM

NVIDIA on the Offensive – Suing Samsung and Quallcomm, trying to ban the Galaxy

And here we go again! Another patent court case to keep the ‘Average Joe’ entertained – this time it isn’t Apple however.

NVIDIA have come out of the blocks swinging on their front foot, filing lawsuits against Samsung and Qualcomm – claiming that they’re infringing upon NVIDIA graphics chip patents. If they’re successful, they want Samsung Galaxy phone shipments to be stopped until patent licencing fees are paid.

A blog post outlined all the thoughts and information from NVIDIA’s perspective, with them saying they tried contacting Samsung to sort this issue out behind the scenes, but unfortunately nothing came to fruition. David Shannon, NVIDA Chief Administrative Officer, stated “Samsung repeatedly said that this was mostly their suppliers’ problem.”

Qualcomm’s chips and GPU’s aren’t located within only Samsung Galaxy devices however, so what does that mean for them if NVIDIA is victorious? We’ll have to wait and see.

As far as what products NVIDIA are directly targetting, they’ve listed: the Galaxy Note, Note Pro, Note 3, Tab S, Tab Pro, Tab 2, Galaxy S III, S4, S5, Infuse 4G, and the Samsung Illusion. Claims have been made that these models of devices are infringing upon seven NVIDIA patents, including: The entire concept of the GPU, or a dedicated graphics processing chip, programmable shading, unified shading and multithreaded processing on a GPU.

All of these points seem pretty basic in the scheme of things, but a patent is a patent. The lodged patent claim can be seen in full, along with the lawsuit.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for any developing information.

Image courtesy of WCCF tech

HP’s Autonomy Acquisition Cancelled by Judge

Shareholders of HP have been carrying out legal action for previously claiming that they acquired British based company Autonomy for $8.8bn when the figure was in fact $10.7bn. Outraged shareholders decided to lawyer up and come out with both fists swinging, to which HP agreed on a settlement.

The Register explained the settlement terms and process:

“That settlement would see shareholders drop their lawsuit in exchange for HP picking up their legal bills – with an upper limit of $48m – and exonerate past and current HP management in exchange for presenting a united front in a legal battle with Autonomy and their auditors in the UK.”

US District Judge Charles Breyer simply commented “That’s out” – which refers to the lawyers hired by HP getting their payments sorted, he claims it isn’t in the shareholders bests interests to do so as reported by Reuters.

HP’s attorneys have now announced plans to not only sue the company, but also take on their auditors – Deloitte & Touche.

Sushovan Hussain, Autonomy’s chief financial officer, has been portrayed as the person to blame for this whole ordeal. Working with his attorney John Kekker to kill the settlement – Kekker was quoted saying “this is a joke” and “If it were a carcass, animals would walk around it, it stinks so much.”

All this has become quite the mess, hasn’t it?

Image courtesy of Motorsports News Wire

 

Sony Being Sued for Deceptive Marketing of Killzone: Shadow Falls Graphics

Sony Computer Entertainment America are now facing a lawsuit due to “deceptive marketing” of Killzone: Shadow Fall. It’s not the first time graphics have been touted as better than they actually are in a game, you only have to look at any TV advert for a game to realise they now have to legally add “not in-game footage” to most of what they show. The case here however is a little more in the fine print, with Douglas Ladore of California suing Sony because their game doesn’t meet the advertised resolution when played in multiplayer modes.

Sony advertised the the game would run at a native 1080p resolution but that it “used a technological shortcut that was supposed to provide ‘subjectively similar’ results.” See: they used a lower resolution. An analysis of the graphics shows that the games multiplayer actually runs at 960 x 1080px, not 1920 x 1080, a significant shortfall despite the use of a “high quality temporal upscale”. See: The image was stretched.

Sony advertised 1080p on their videos, websites, social media and the retail packaging “Unfortunately, Sony’s marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction,” the lawsuit says.

This may sound like petty squabbling, but this is seriously important for the games industry. It’s false advertising and it’s about time publishers stopped taking advantage of consumers with buzz words that simply don’t apply to their products.

The suit seeks over $5,000,000 from Sony and was filed by law firm Edelson PC. The suit states that “temporal reprojection” a method of constructing a scene from multiple low resolution frames, a form of upscaling technology, is not native 1080p. This is especially obvious given that the single player aspect of the game does render in native 1080p without the use of upscaling.

This one could get interesting, perhaps more research will turn up even more games that don’t match the specs that are being touted on the box.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Polygon.

The word iPhone becomes banned in Mexico after trademark ruling

We hear enough these days about how Apple is taking on Samsung for the nth reason yet again, but over the last few months there has been another case brewing with Apple, but this time it is against them. In Mexico, a company known as iFone S.A. de C.V. registered their name way back in 2003, where their business model is to provide bespoke services to call centres and businesses. The key fact here is that Apple did not register their mobile handset; the iPhone until later in 2007.

All around the world, the word iPhone is close to a household name and whilst there are a few small time spin offs, particularly in China, for the most part it is what it is. This can’t be said for Mexico however as iFone S.A. de C.V. have been upholding their case with the Mexican Intellectual Property Agency, urging them to ban the later Apple name due to the fact that it is pronounced in the exact same way and therefore there is no way to distinguish between the two.

After months of debate and arguments flowing around the table, last Thursday a ruling was settled in favor of iFone, meaning that mobile phone carriers are no longer allowed to use the work iPhone in any of their contracts or advertisements and to rub salt into the wounds, each carrier has to pay a fine of $104,000 – even though they were not the ones who decided on the name, they simply act as a third-party that sells the products.

Whilst the ban is effective as of now, Apple are allowed to set an appeal to the ruling, in hope that they can once again have the word in circulation, however the chance of this happening is as much as that of Apple themselves not suing someone else in the future and if that was not enough, there is word that the Mexican firm could meet Apple in the courts, where they would sue them for anything up to an estimated $1.5B.

Considering this is not the first time that the word iPhone has landed an argument over who has the rightful ownership over it, whilst Apple may have made the word a household name, perhaps finding a more local alternative such as iTeléfono may be more appropriate – there’s no mistaking between the two that way – they’re phonetically different so surely that would be acceptable? Time will tell I guess.

Source: Fudzilla, Image courtesy nixsense.net

Kanye West To Sue ‘Coinye’ Digital Currency Creators

The lifetime of Coinye West Bitcoins is about to get cut drastically short as the US rapper Kanye West files a lawsuit against its creators, stating that they have unjustly used his fame to cash in. If passed, the lawsuit will stop companies and unidentified people from exchanging the Coinye digital currency. Kanye is also seeking damages for hurting his reputation.

However, the makers of Coinye did blatantly make it known that they named the coin after the rapper in the hope he would get on board and support them, clearly that backfired and the company has backed down from a court case, leaving a response on their twitter page;

“#BLAMEKANYE Coinye devs have dispersed. New ownership, better things coming,” the @CoinyeCoins tweet said.”

While the following was also posted on one of their Coinye official websites “Coinye is dead. You win, Kanye”. So if you’ve been mining the coins, it might be time to switch to Doge, World Coin, Bitcoin or any of the other alternatives.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Eurweb.

Facebook Sues “Justin Bieber Sex Tape” Fake Link Spammer

Fake links are nothing new on social media websites, but it is not every day you hear about the site going after the people who did it, then taking them to court over it. Most cases simply end up with the user account being banned like any other spam.

However, Facebook have filed court papers in the US against the allege Christopher Peter Targuini for the faked Facebook message that were sent on the social media website. The links promised to show you a sex tape of Justin Bieber and Salena Gomez and led you to a site that resulted in Mr Targuini getting paid for each hit, most likely through ad revenue.

The click would then hijack your page and auto post it to your Facebook friends, effectively spreading its self on the site as there are no doubt a fair few idiots who would actually click such a link.

In the legal complains, Facebook refers to Mr Targuini as a “recidivist” spammer, saying that he has been creating programs and messages for five years that are intended to scam or harm other users on Facebook. Despite warnings from Facebook that he was in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, Mr Tarquini continued his actions despite his accounts being banned.

Facebook wants him to banned from the site permanently and to be reimbursed for the cost of clearing up the mess he made on their website and of the costs of tracking him down. In short, the guy is pretty screwed.

It isn’t the first time Facebook has done this either. Last September Facebook got $3m from a spam company, and back in 2009 they got $711m after winning a lawsuit against spammer Sanford Wallace.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.