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Category Archives: Legal

USA to Brazil: You can’t tell Brazilian companies what they can and cannot do!

A few weeks back we mentioned the whole Zynga Vostu fight that was going down and how Zynga had brought Google owned company Orkut into the whole thing by suing them as well. Today, the US court basically said “You can’t tell your countries companies what they can and cannot do!” as our title says.

The US court said that despite the fact “Brazil has an important interest in enforcing its copyright laws” they don’ get to do so “Zynga—which chose the U.S. forum first—now seeks to enforce an injunction it obtained abroad that would paralyze this Court’s ability to decide this case.”

Shocker that the US courts pick this case to move quickly, when someone in trying to undermine their jurisdication.

The funny party is near the end of the 8 page legal notice when the US judge, Edward Davila, that basically, even though he just trashed the Brazil court, he has no intent to trash the Brazil court.

It deserves strong emphasis that a TRO would not enjoin the Brazilian court at all. Nor does a TRO from this Court cast doubt on or express any opinion about the wisdom of the Brazilian proceedings. Rather, a TRO would enjoin Zynga…from flouting this Court’s jurisdiction. The fact that the flouting mechanism involves foreign courts is incidental.

It is going to be interesting to see these two courts fight over this though, we may have more coverage in future posts.

Oh yeah and the only company Zynga took legal action against was a company headquarted in Brazil, Orkut.

This is the full court order:
20110811 Davila Orderhttp://www.scribd.com/embeds/62140643/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list

Zynga drags Google into Vostu lawsuit

First off if you haven’t been keeping track of the Zynga Vostru legal battle over the last month you can read about it here and here, both articles from Techcrunch.

We haven’t been covering this lawsuit because its not under our topic but today, Zynga brought it under our topic. Zynga has filed a lawsuit against Google’s Orkut in Brazil, which is both Orkut and Vostu’s prime ground. The reason? Zynga says that Orkut is hosting games that they consider ripoffs which is what this whole suit is about. Google, who has secretly invested 100 million into Zynga (techcrunch again) obviously isn’t to happy about this.

A Brazil judge has sided with Zynga saying that both companies must remove the games MegaCity, Café Mania, Pet Mania and Vostu Poker within 48 hours or face a fine of R20,000 (around 13,000USD) a day, according to the granted injunction.

Zynga’s press statement:

Zynga Inc has filed a lawsuit in Brazil against Vostu for copyright infringement and unfair competition based on Vostu’s copying of four of Zynga’s games. Zynga is pleased that the Court has reviewed the evidence and found good cause to issue an injunction order requiring Vostu and Google Orkut to cease distribution of four Vostu games – MegaCity, Café Mania, Pet Mania and Vostu Poker – or be subject to fine by the Court. The Court’s action reflects the seriousness of this matter and the irreparable harm Zynga is suffering due to Vostu’s copying. It also takes into account the need to protect Brazilian consumers from acts of infringement and unfair competition.

Professor Bruno Feijó, from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and Chief of Vision Lab, analyzed the games and concluded that: “the four games from Vostu characterize a clear case of copying Zynga’s games in both visual interface and gameplay.”

Additionally, Professor João Bernardes Junior, from the University of São Paulo (USP), affirmed: “Vostu’s games are copies of Zynga’s games when compared on gameplay and player interface.”

Zynga welcomes Vostu into the arena of social games, but will not tolerate blatant infringement of its creative works as its business strategy. “It is one thing to be inspired by Zynga games, but it is another to copy our key product features and intellectual property in violation of the law.” — Reggie Davis, General Counsel for Zynga Inc.

Also a Zynga supplied translation of the decision:

I received the retro brief as an amendment of the brief. Before the elements attached to the case records, there is likelihood in the plaintiff’s claims, which can be inferred by the case’s record documents, by the similarity of the games as well as being present the periculum in mora, I grant the preliminary injunction, determining that the defendants stop the use, exhibition, edition, reproduction, distribution, sale, offer for sale, broadcast or distribution, assignment or transference of the videogames Vostu Mega City, Vostu Café Mania, Vostu Pet Mania and Vostu Poke, within 48 hours, under penalty of daily fine of R$20,000.00. Under the terms of article 835, of the CPC, I determine to the plaintiff the provision of bond on the value of 20% the value assigned to the matter, within 48 hours, under the penalty of repeal of the preliminary injunction.” — Tribunal de Justiça do Estado de São Paulo, 10ª Vara Cível (10th Civil Court)

The one question is, what about Facebook? Those games are used by more than the users on Orkut use them and Facebook has those exact same games? Is it take them one-by-one or what?

We are getting sued by *INSTER COMPANY HERE*

We have just received a cout call for a lawsuit for 5 million dollars, what for? “Offensive material.”

Apparently our commenters have been posting “harsh” and “offensive” statements. Even though 98% of our comments are positive and 1.8% of the negative ones are towards us, not the product or feature or whatever we are talking about in the post.

We don’t post allot about things like this because it isn’t really something you would care about but this one pissed us off so much we decided we would, mainly because we can’t say the name of the “company” (that no one has ever heard of) that is suing us for no reason at all that according to our court notice we can’t say the name of on the internet or we risk “infecting and causing issues in the trail which could lead to an eventual mistrial taking more time and money.”

So when you are talking about us getting sued in daily conversation or on the internet you can just put whatever you want there, we suggestion things such as “Asshole corp”, “We are a waste of time and money that dosen’t do anything INC” or “Dickmart” but you can make your own creative ones if you want.

Google loses Twitter access and suspends realtime search

Google Realtime search has been suspended. The reason has to do with the fact that Google’s access to the Twitter stream has ended. The realtime search page at Google just gives you a 404 page cannot be found.

The Twitter deal has been suspended for now because it has ended. The deal dates all the way back to October 2009 and ended today, the 4th of July.

While we will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that’s publicly available to our crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google

Is the companies word so far. Along with

Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.

We are in communication with our sources but do not know if Google is working to extend the deal even though a new Google realtime search is in the makes.

A Twitter spokes person provided the following quote:

Since October 2009, Twitter has provided Google with the stream of public tweets for incorporation into their real-time search product and other uses. That agreement has now expired. We continue to provide this type of access to Microsoft, Yahoo!, NTT Docomo, Yahoo! Japan and dozens of other smaller developers. And, we work with Google in many other ways.

 

Twitter under federal investigation… again

Reports have stated the Twitter is under federal investigation once again. Back in March they had an issue with the privacy of the site and were able to avoid any major damage or prohibition but this time could be different.

In spirng of 2010 Twitter started to declare that it was going to make some official features that had once been powered by 3rd party applications “official” parts of Twitter. Its start was when it bought Tweetie and made that its official iPhone and Mac app. Then it went on to develop apps for other phones.

This was followed by Twitter banning advertisements via 3rd party services so it wouldn’t have a competitor for its advertising program that it would soon launch.

Then a 3rd party service called Tweetup at the launch, which is now the service we have wrote about before called UberMedia decided since it couldn’t advertise it would start buying Twitter clients with its funding, and so it did.

It started off with Echofon then quickly picked up Twidroyd and UberTwitter to. Then all of a sudden when it looked like UberMedia was actually forming into a Twitter competitor, Twitter started getting aggressive. The site first of banned Twidroyd and UberTwitter for a little over a week, but their popularity forced them to force UberMedia to make changes to them and then reinstate them. Twitter then got competitive by paying almost 2 times more than UberMedia had offered to by Tweetdeck.

We have reached out to several companies on the matter. Twitter did not respond, the FTC declined to comment, and other app makers say that “our lawyers have advised us not to speak on the matter.” However, UberMedia did have something to say stating that “We have been contacted by the FTC and are in the process of complying to their requests.”

Today we have also learned from sources that Twitter plans to create a site to “offer up as much information as possible to developers and partners.” We will see where this one goes.

 

Twitpic founder tweets picture of himself getting arrested

What do you do if you own a popular photo sharing service? Tweet a picture of yourself getting arrested of course!

Moments ago Twitpic founder Noah Everett who has around 2.8 million followers tweeted that he was getting arrested and was in the back of a cop car, to prove it he decided to tweet a picture of the back of the cop car (pasted below).

We can’t tell yet why he was arrested or if he actually was, but if he was he has taken over sharring to a new level. This post will be updated when we know more.

Update: According to more recent tweets Everett was walking down his street naked. The tweets read as:

one that reads “by half naked I mean naked” which has been removed.

Kuwaiti citizens to be tried for tweets

Kuwaiti citizens are now being arrested for tweets, mostly for their tweets mentioning negative things about the currently ruling family or other countries ruling families.

Earlier this month Nasser Abul was arrested for tweeting criticism about the Saudi Arabian ruling family and now another Kuwait. Now its being reported that another man, Lawrence al-Rashidi has been arrested this time its for comments made about Kuwait’s own royal family.

According to sources both are being held for the next 2 weeks in till their hearing can be scheduled. They are being held on the accusation of harming the harming the interests and defaming the Kuwait emir.

Amnesty International has asked for the release of Abul saying that he is already facing a lawsuit from the Bahraini ruling family is said to be suing Abul for slander and defamatory remarks.

Ad.ly to take another blow

Earlier this week rumors got out (more than rumors actually) that Facebook was crashing down on Ad.ly and Crowdrally services that let users post sponsored posts on their Facebook pages. This is important because this is something Facebook would rather do by its self. Attempts to speak to each company went unreturned. Today Ad.ly posted on its blog it had “complied with “Facebook’s request to no longer offer celebrity endorsement of Facebook.” The probably on both sides is they are contradicting each other. Facebook stated that Ad.ly had broken multiple terms of service rules, but Ad.ly can only find one which they admit they did create a fake Facebook account which is against the tos of Facebook. So either Facebook has honed in on one violation or ad.ly is lying, but either way someone is messing up a little bit.

UberTwitter and Twidroyd banned for API violations

Twitter has announced it has suspend popular clients UberTwitter and Twidroyd for policy violations. Both clients are products of a start up that has made its self know for buying popular Twitter clients like Tweetdeck, which is still active, UberMedia. We reached to Twitter and this is what they said:

We ask all developers in the Twitter ecosystem to abide by a simple set of rules that are in the interests of our users, as well as the health and vitality of the platform as a whole.

We often take actions to enforce these rules; in fact, on an average day we turn off more than one hundred services that violate our API rules of the road. This keeps the ecosystem fair for everyone.

Today we suspended several applications, including UberTwitter, twidroyd and UberCurrent, which have violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways. These violations include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.

We’ve had conversations with UberMedia, the developer of these applications, about policy violations since April 2010, when they first launched under the name TweetUp – a term commonly used by Twitter users and a trademark violation. We continue to be in contact with UberMedia and hope that they will bring the suspended applications into compliance with our policies soon.

 

UberMedia stated that it has updated UberTwitter and Twidroyd to comply with the rules and an update should be available in the Android market for Twidroyd soon.

Twitter getting sued for famous people

Part of Twitter’s success is that fans can connect with famous people, like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, however most of them use it as another marketing source people like Ashton Kutcher, P Diddy, and 50 cent have gave it tons of promotion. Well today a company called VS Technologies is apparently suing Twitter for stealing a a patent allowing people to connect with famous people in a similar manner (Yes we are serious). Patent No. 6,408,309 which states:

As it pertains to this lawsuit, very generally speaking, the ’309 Patent discloses methods and systems for creating interactive, virtual communities of people in various fields of endeavor wherein each community member has an interactive, personal profile containing information about that member.

For someone currently unknown reason the company was awarded the patent back in 2002, since the only site I could find stated VS Technologies is a “leading IT firm” it seems that this company has completely wasted their “invention” and is just another YAPT (Yet another Patent troll). VS Technologies is demanding damages be paid which should, another quote from the patent:

for Defendant’s infringement, which by law cannot be less than would constitute a reasonable royalty for the use of the patented technology, together with interest and costs as fixed by this Court.

Good Luck with that one. We have contacted Twitter for more information but they are yet to respond.

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