legal

FTC makes history: first settlement with failed Kickstarter

FTC makes history: first settlement with failed Kickstarter

Crowdfunding seekers in the US beware! The long arm of the law has finally caught up with the modern idea of seeking money from the masses. The US Federal Trade Commission has just announced that it has reached a settlement with Erik Chevalier, the man behind "The Doom That Came to Atlantic City", a Kickstarter that was successfully funded in 2012 but was announced canceled in 2013. Failing to refund pledges as promised, the FTC took action on consumer's behalf and imposed some almost light sanctions on Chevalier.

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OPM hack: all federal workers (possibly) had personal data stolen

OPM hack: all federal workers (possibly) had personal data stolen

Last week a massive data breach left the personal data on a reported four million federal employees compromised, but now word has it the hack was far larger in scope than previously revealed. In a recent letter it was stated that the personal data of every federal worker was stolen, as well as a large mass of details on former federal workers. The data taken is believed to be expansive, including things like health/life insurance info, pay data, military records, names, birth dates, and addresses, and more.

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3D printed guns targeted in new legislative proposal

3D printed guns targeted in new legislative proposal

The introduction of 3D printing brought about a much cheaper -- and "invisible" -- way for individuals to get their hands on a firearm. The Internet is filled with blueprints for such devices, and though the earlier models featured some problems (breakage, namely), enthusiasts have refined the plastic weapons. There are some inherent problems with these guns, at least from the government's point of view. Such weapons can be acquired by anyone with the right technology, and aren't able to be detected by metal detectors -- hence the "invisible" gun label.

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European Commission targets Amazon with ebook antitrust investigation

European Commission targets Amazon with ebook antitrust investigation

Following a similar investigation into Apple, the European Commission is now targeting Amazon with an antitrust probe over its ebooks business and potentially anti-competitive practices. As Amazon is the largest ebooks distributor in Europe, the EC want to focus on the company's contracts with publishers. Of utmost concern is an apparent requirement that publishers tell Amazon about deals with their competitors, specifically if they are offering better prices. The EC believes clauses like these "seem to shield Amazon from competition."

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Jawbone takes another hit at Fitbit, filing patent infringement suit

Jawbone takes another hit at Fitbit, filing patent infringement suit

Jawbone is coming for Fitbit, guns blazing. The company just filed a lawsuit alleging that Fitbit products are infringing on multiple Jawbone patents including a method for "reporting an individual's physiological or contextual status" and a "wellness application using data from a data-capable band." Jawbone is seeking damages and an injunction to halt the continued sales of Fitbit products. Jawbone's attacks couldn't be more precisely timed. Fitbit is getting ready for an initial public offering (IPO). No matter how things take a turn int he courtroom, the legal heat will certainly have some impact on Fitbit's IPO.

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Documents reveal FBI probe details on celebrity pics leak

Documents reveal FBI probe details on celebrity pics leak

In 2014, there was a big leak involving celebrity pictures that had been garnered from the victims' hacked iCloud accounts. This spurred an investigation, which has been ongoing despite news of the incident quieting down. Now details on what the investigation turned up have been revealed via a federal search warrant that has been unsealed, as well as an affidavit. According to the documents, FBI agents identified a home in southern Chicago as being one of the locations where hacking attempts (which may have been successful) took place, as well as an apartment also in Chicago.

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Antitrust probe targets Apple Music and music labels

Antitrust probe targets Apple Music and music labels

An antitrust probe is underway from the attorneys general of Connecticut and New York that is looking into whether Apple’s negotiations for its Apple Music service with music labels included any violations. Apple recently introduced the service at its WWDC 2015 keynote, and according to sources the company was still in negotiations with the music labels down to the wire. The investigation is looking into whether there was any pressure from Apple toward the music labels, or if those labels conspired with each other and/or Apple to back out of supporting other competing services — particularly freemium ones like Spotify.

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Man in Stormtrooper costume arrested outside elementary school

Man in Stormtrooper costume arrested outside elementary school

In this age where fear and overreaction can sometime be commonplace, here's one for the books. A man was arrested outside an elementary school last week in the city Lynn, Massachusetts. What was he doing? He was wearing a costume. What kind of costume? He was dressed as a Stormtrooper, the well-known enemy soldiers of the Star Wars movies. Was he interacting with the school in any direct way? Nope, he was apparently just walking down the street, showing off his costume, when the school's principle saw him outside, complete with his plastic gun.

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Facebook challenges Designbook’s trademark

Facebook challenges Designbook’s trademark

A Vermont startup has accused Facebook of bullying it over a trademark squabble — the startup is called “Designbook”, and so you can see where Facebook’s issue comes into play. Designbook’s founders Kyle Clark and Aaron Pollak filed the trademark applications back in September. This past March they said they were informed that Facebook planned to challenge the trademark, claiming the similarities in the name could cause “confusion in the industry”. The use of "book", it was claimed, could confuse consumers about whether the two companies are related.

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Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht appeals life sentence

Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht appeals life sentence

Ross Ulbricht, founder of the no-longer-available underground market Silk Road, was recently sentenced to life in prison (and then some). On Thursday an appeal was filed challenging the conviction and sentences, and part of that appeal will focus on the actions of two allegedly corrupt federal agents that had been involved in the case. The agents are said to have stolen a substantial number of bitcoins during their involvement in the investigation; charges include wire fraud and money laundering, among other things.

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