Thursday, January 14, 2010

Interesting Stuff This Week

A proposed amendment to the Digital Economy Bill in the UK exempts search engines from copyright infringement claims from third parties – Rupert Murdoch presumably included. The amendment would give Google legal immunity with which to index News Corp. content, settling that thorny topic once and for all. However, under the amendment a publisher blocking search spiders with a robots.txt file would be taken as withholding that right. [Guardian]
France's culture minister Tuesday unveiled a plan for adapting the country's literary patrimony to the digital age by developing what he hopes will prove a uniquely Gallic competitor to Google Books. Frederic Mitterrand didn't rule out cooperating with the ubiquitous, U.S.-based search engine and said France was prepared to share files with Google under certain conditions. But he made clear that the company would have to play by France's rules. [Siliconvalley.Com]
U.S., Google And China Square Off Over InternetGoogle's threat to quit China over censorship and hacking intensified Sino-U.S. frictions on Wednesday as Washington said it had serious concerns and demanded an explanation from Beijing. China has not made any significant comment since Google, the world's top search engine, said it will not abide by censorship and may shut its Chinese-language website because of attacks from China on human rights activists using its Gmail service and on dozens of companies, including Adobe Systems. Friction over the Internet, part of a long-running dispute over human rights, appears likely to stoke U.S.-China tensions. [Washington Post]
Yahoo Backs Google's Response To China HackersYahoo supports rival Google's threatened departure from China because of computer attacks that pried into the e-mail accounts of human rights activists. In a statement Wednesday, Yahoo said it's "aligned" with Google's reaction to the hacking that originated within China. [Washington Post]
NY Court Oks Internet Music Sales LawsuitA U.S. federal appeals court revived an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday that accuses major record labels controlling 80 percent of U.S. digital music sales of scheming together to charge high prices. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the lawsuit can proceed before a judge in Manhattan because enough facts, as described by the plaintiffs, support the claims. [Washington Post]

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