Kanye West Being Sued Over Promises of Tidal Exclusive Album

Kanye West is not a new face when it comes to news and digital issues, with his latest album, the life of Pablo, pirated over half a million times while it was still an exclusive at Tidal. The problem for many was that Kanye had offered the album as an exclusive for Tidal, the online streaming service that he has invested in. The so-called exclusive has now led to Kayne West being sued over promises that it would be a Tidal exclusive album, promises that didn’t last very long.

Justin Baker-Rhett is a fan of musician Kanye West, but he is now at the center of a lawsuit targeted towards both Kanye West and S.Carter Enterprises (SCE), the company that owns the Tidal music streaming service.

The lawsuit alleges that the rapper mislead his fans into buying and supporting the streaming service by falsely promising that his album, the Life of Pablo, would only ever be available on Tidal. A month and a half later the album appeared on both Apple Music and Spotify, leading many to believe that his claims about the album being an exclusive were nothing more than false advertising to boost Tidal’s falling sales figures.

Tidal promises greater control and royalties to those that use it to share their music so it’s hard to see West’s tweet as nothing more than an attempt to get people to buy in and listen to it on the platform before realising that he might not get the following on Tidal, whose subscription numbers are reported to have jumped from 1 million to 3 million following the announcement.

Asetek Scores Another Legal Victory Over Cooler Master

It has been a long court battle between PC component manufacturers Asetek and CMI, also known as Cooler Master, and despite a few victories in favour of Asetek, it seems the case is yet to reach an end! We first brought you the news that Asetek were taking Cooler Master to court over multiple patent infringements three years ago. Skip ahead to December last year, Cooler Master was found guilty in the Asetek patent suit, awarding them damages based on 14.5% royalty rate. However, CMI demanded a new judgment as a matter of law and a new trial.

Unfortunately for CMI, the court has denied their demands, but rather than simply throwing out the case, the judge awarded Asetek enhanced damages of 25.375% royalty rate on CMI’s revenues for sales of the infringing products, dating this back to the start of 2015, whilst also blocking CMI and its parent, Cooler Master, from selling certain infringing products in the US.

The only thing in favour of CMI at the moment is that they’re able to appeal the matter, but perhaps they won’t be as motivated to do so given the recent turn of events.

Hopefully, the matter will be resolved in the near future, allowing fans to get hold of the products they desire without too many headaches.

Twitter Sued Again for Failing to Comply with Takedown Request

It has happened before that someone sued Twitter on the grounds of failing to remove copyrighted material upon request and now it is happening again. This time it is the award-winning photographer Kristin Pierson that has filed a lawsuit against the social-media giant Twitter after she claimed that they failed to respond to a takedown request on one of her photographs and equally failed to remove it.

User-generated sites can generally not be held accountable for copyright infringement done by their users, as long as the have a takedown policy and responds to the requests made. This is the same for twitter and they’re taking down a lot of links and images based on that, but this time it must have failed.

This week Kristen Pierson filed a complaint against Twitter at a California District Court where she accuses Twitter of hosting or linking to one of her works without permission.

“A Twitter user or users copied the Infringing Image without license or permission from Pierson and on information and belief sent one or more Tweets publicizing and linking to it. The Infringing Uses were hosted either on Twitter or on third-party servers,” the complaint reads.

This isn’t the first time that this has happened and Twitter got sued by a photographer. Christopher Boffoli previously sued the company for the same offense and that case was settled outside of the courtroom.

Pierson didn’t mention whether she sent any follow-ups on the original request and TorrentFreak couldn’t find the takedown notice in question on Chillingeffects.com where Twitter publishes its takedown notices. Pierson wants to prevent Twitter from hosting or linking to her work and in addition she demands both statutory and actual damages which could very well exceed $150,000 USD.

The photo in question was still online available until yesterday, but it has since been removed and can’t be found on twitters twimg.com URL anymore. The original takedown request was sent on March 4th last year.

Thank You TorrentFreak for providing us with this information

Valve Facing Australian Federal Court

Valve’s STEAM service has by now certainly become a household name in the gaming platform genre, similar to other products such as Ubisoft’s iPlay and EA games’ Origin. There’s no denying it’s a mainstay in the commercial game sales and instant messaging scene, with us previously reporting their massive 8 million concurrent users clocked during a recent summer sale.

Unfortunately, the giant has gotten itself into a little bit of strife – Valve has allegedly been misleading its Australian customers and is now facing legal action in the Federal Court of Australia. The claim is that Valve are providing misleading information in regards to their refund, warranty and consumer guarantees in breach of Australian Consumer Law.

Australian Consumer Law is responsible for protecting the ever-sunny countries population of their rights when purchasing goods and services, alongside product safety. This law is enforced and acted upon by the Australian Competiton and Consumer Competition, also known as ‘The ACCC’ – locally pronounced as “The A triple-C”.

The ACCC has claimed that Valve has been misleading its Australian consumers in various ways, claiming “consumers were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam in any circumstances”. They went on to address the ever popular argument of company location. As we’ve seen in the past, companies are able to get past certain country laws and boundaries simply by hosting their servers or headquarters in a country which contains laws friendly to their terms and conditions. ACCC boss Rod Sims addressed this, saying that Australia’s Consumer Law could not be changed, no matter where the company is based.

This drew the ACCC to action, seeing the first hearing to be located in Sydney on October the 7th, 2014.

As we learned thanks to CNET, Sims went on to say:

“Valve may be an American based company with no physical presence in Australia, but it is carrying on business in Australia by selling to Australian consumers, who are protected by the Australian Consumer Law” 

“It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that they do not give refunds under any circumstances…[and] consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their option if a product has a major fault.”

Vice president of Valve, Doug Lombardi, also released a statement. He claims that valve are:

“Making every effort to cooperate with the Australian officials on this matter, while continuing to provide Steam services to our customers across the world, including Australian gamers” CNET

What’s the worst-case-scenario here for Valve? Probably a hefty fine – which we’re sure they’ll have no issue paying.

As an Aussie myself, this news doesn’t change much for me. Are you an Aussie and do you care?

Image courtesy of Ouyabrew

U.S. State Accuses Oracle of Lying, Fraud and Racketeering

The state of Oregon, U.S, has sued Oracle America Inc. and six of its top executives on Friday. Reason for the lawsuit is their failing to deliver a working website for the Affordable Care Act program, also known as Obamacare. Oregon had paid Oracle around $240 million dollars for a system that never worked.

A 126 page long lawsuit was filed in Marion Country Circuit Court claiming that fraud, lying and “a pattern of racketeering” by Oracle cost the state and its Cover Oregon program hundreds of millions of dollars. “Not only were Oracle’s claims lies, Oracle’s work was abysmal,” the lawsuit said. 

In a statement issued from Oracle, it reads “the lawsuit is a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project. The complaint is a fictional account of the Oregon Healthcare Project.” Oracle plans to fight the lawsuit and is confident that they will win both in this lawsuit and the one filed 2 weeks ago in the federal court.

Oregon was initially enthusiastic about the federal healthcare plan and their own Cover Oregon and quickly engaged in television commercials and print ads in advance of the rollout. But the Oracle-built site never worked and Oregonians were forced to submit paper applications in a hastily-organized process. In April Oregon moved to an exchange run by the federal government.

The original whistle-blower on this told the state that Oracle “planned … a behind the scenes effort” to keep the state from hiring an outside systems integrator who would oversee the project. The suit asks Oracle to pay for Cover Oregon’s financial losses, plus penalties for damages.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information.

Image and video courtesy of Oracle.

Warner Brothers Taken To Court Over Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat?!

The weekend is approaching and everyone is winding down for a long sunny week here in England, so what better way to start today than with a completely daft news story that Warner Brothers is facing a federal lawsuit because of internet cat memes!

The two (seperate) authors of “Charlie Schmidt’s Keyboard Cat” and “Christopher Torres Nyan Cat” have sued WB over their use of their memes in the game Scribblenauts, which was published by WB Games and developed by 5th Cell, who have also been named in the lawsuit. They claim this usage infringes on their copyrights and trademarks.

I shouldn’t need to remind you all who Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are, but I absolutely must, because this is the internet and it was almost literally invented for cat videos… and that is a fact (probably).

[youtube]http://youtu.be/J—aiyznGQ[/youtube]

With over 30 million views just on the original YouTube submission alone, there is no doubt that this video went viral over the last few years.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/QH2-TGUlwu4[/youtube]

While Nyan Cat has racked up nearly 100 million views on this video and even more than that on copy… erm, cat videos. Although it is worth pointing out that Christopher Torres didn’t add that stupid music, he just created the cat and that is what is standing up in court, not the music.

Yet due to their success, it turns out both creators of the memes have registered the trademark for protection. While some time later 5th Cell then added the two characters to their game Scribblenauts, which was released on various gaming platforms such as the Nintendo DS.

To make matters worth for WB and 5th Cell, the two meme creators have joined forces against them and state that “Defendants have used ‘Nyan Cat’ and ‘Keyboard Cat,’ even identifying them by name, to promote and market their games, all without plaintiffs’ permission and without any compensation to plaintiffs,”.

WB is charged with both copyright and trademark infringement, the case will be litigated in the Central District of California, which includes Hollywood.

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