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First off today, Apple has confirmed its acquisition of the music streaming service Lala for an undisclosed amount. This has lead many to speculate what Apple plans to do with the service and how it might integrate into their market-dominating iTunes platform.
Lala has had a brief but controversial history, starting as a CD-swapping service and then dabbling in online radio before becoming a music streaming service that also sold songs for ten cents. Lala would scan user’s hard drives for music and then build a library of their music for streaming online. However, after deciding profitability wasn’t likely, they approached Apple about an acquisition and, according to reports, sold the company for a loss.
Though it’s bad news for Lala shareholders, this merger could mean big things for the online music industry, including, as some theorize, a streaming version of iTunes and/or cloud storage of music files. There is little doubt we’ll be hearing more about this merger in the weeks/months to come.
Next up today, Sweden’s controversial IPRED law, which allows copyright holders to petition the courts to force ISPs to identify alleged infringers, is getting its first workout from the music industry. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has filed a petition in a Stockholm district court to receive the identity of a file sharer who was using a “direct connect” service.
The law, which came into force on April 1st, saw surprisingly little use from the record industry. However, in September, record industry officials hinted that they were just biding their time.
The law also increases the penalties for file sharing and criminalizes large-scale infringement, which makes the choice of a direct connect file sharer interesting as it is easier to prove large scale infringements on such services.
The IFPI has said they have not decided what they will do with the information when they receive it, saying they could go for a lawsuit or just issue a warning.
Finally today, cellphone maker Palm is facing a lawsuit over its Pre model, which was billed as an iPhone competitor, claiming that the Pre violates the GPL.
Artifex is claiming that Palm is using their PDF rendering engine, muPDF, without completing the requirements of the GPL license. Palm’s instructions for the phone do make a mention of muPDF and its license, but no source code is provided. In cases where the application is not licensed under the GPL, Artifex requires a commercial license.
Palm declined comment on this lawsuit but this is far from the first time a hardware maker has been sued for allegedly running afoul of the GPL. Linksys, which is owned by Cisco, faced a similar lawsuit earlier this year on similar grounds.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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