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News, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer, internet, communications and information technology sectors

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Tech Law Journal
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Aug. 22, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 3.

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News Briefs

8/21. and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) announced that they settled SME's copyright infringement claims which are part of a suit brought by the five major recording companies in U.S. District Court in January. Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann AG's music arm BMG, and EMI Group Plc previously settled with Seagram Co.'s Universal Music Group is the only plaintiff which has yet to settle. Under the SME settlement will make payment for past acts, and will enter into a non-exclusive, North American license with SME. See, release. The Court ruled in April that is liable for copyright infringement. A hearing on the issue of damages is set for Aug. 28. Music publishers are not a party to this suit.
8/21. An undated study in the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center web site concludes that the free rider problem, more than copyright litigation, may doom peer to peer file sharing systems, such as Gnutella. Authors Eytan Adar and Bernardo Huberman conclude that: "An extensive analysis of user traffic on Gnutella shows a significant amount of free riding in the system. By sampling messages on the Gnutella network over a 24-hour period, we established that 70% of Gnutella users share no files, and 90% of the users answer no queries. Furthermore, we found out that free riding is distributed evenly between domains, so that no one group contributes significantly more than others, and that peers that volunteer to share files are not necessarily those who have desirable ones. We argue that free riding leads to degradation of the system performance and adds vulnerability to the system. If this trend continues copyright issues might become moot compared to the possible collapse of such systems."
8/21. The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a report titled Trust and Privacy Online: Why Americans Want to Rewrite the Rules [PDF], which is based on a survey of over 2,117 people. Among its many findings are that people are concerned about online privacy, and that they want individual control, but not government regulation.
8/21. A lawsuit alleging securities fraud was filed in U.S. District Court in Utah against e-commerce applications producer Tenfold Corp. The plaintiffs, who are represented by the law firm of Cauley & Geller, seek class action status.
8/20. Verizon, the IBEW, and the CWA announced a tentative agreement in New York and New England on new three year collective bargaining agreements. The proposed contracts cover about 50,000 union employees in New York and New England. The contracts provide that union employees will be given more DSL jobs. More than 35,000 union employees represented by the CWA in the mid-Atlantic states remained on strike. See also, IBEW release.
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech Law Journal.
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