Spotify is no stranger to facing lawsuits accusing it of offering unlicensed songs, but the latest could prove to be very costly. Hollywood Reporter has learned that Wixen Music Publishing, which manages the song composition rights for artists ranging from Neil Young to Zach de la Rocha, has sued Spotify for copyright damages of at least $1.6 billion. Wixen claims that the streaming service is using tens of thousands of songs without proper licenses and the compensation to match. The plaintiff had already objected to proposed $43 million settlement in another case in May, so this wasn’t coming entirely out of the blue.
If Kaspersky tried to mend its relationship with the US government these past months, then its efforts likely failed. The president has just signed a defense policy spending bill into law, and it includes the government’s ban on using the Moscow-based company’s anti-virus product. While the US already prohibited its federal agencies from using Kaspersky back in September, this makes things official — feds will have to switch anti-virus programs if they haven’t yet.
Microsoft just scored a point for its customers’ privacy. Today, US District Judge ruled that the government can’t avoid a lawsuit alleging that its surveillance operations violate citizens’ constitutional rights. The judge in question is the same one that Donald Trump recently referred to as a “so-called judge.”
California’s tougher-than-usual climate change policy might become more stringent before long. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke tells the Associate Press that she’s introducing a bill requiring that car manufacturers sell at least 15 percent zero-emissions free vehicles within a decade. Companies operating in the state already have to hit yearly emissions targets and get credits for sales, but this would require that they embrace electric orhydrogen fuel cell cars in a big way — not just one or two novelty models. And if they don’t sell enough eco-friendly cars, they’d have to either pay a fine to the state or pay rivals that meet the targets. Yes, they might inadvertently help the competition.
A country’s territorial waters reach twelve miles off its coast, which means it can make up the rules there. Twelve miles beyond that is the contiguous zone where the country can only enforce laws regarding customs, taxation, immigration, and pollution. Up to 200 nautical miles off the coast is the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which is sort of international waters but only that country has the rights to harvest the natural resources there. One country, three different levels of laws over the ocean.
For many criminals, prepaid “burner” phones are a dream tool: they’re cheap, commitment-free… and most importantly, don’t require ID that could reveal the buyer. House Representative Jackie Speier wants to put an end to that anonymity. She just introduced a bill, HR4886, that would require prepaid phone sellers to verify ID through common sources like credit cards, drivers’ licenses or Social Security numbers. In theory, this prevents drug dealers, terrorists and other crooks from evading law enforcement by using untraceable phones that they can toss at a moment’s notice.
The Department of Justice is trying to get Apple to unlock a defendant’s iPhone. While Apple has stated that it can technically bypass the phone’s passcode security, it has so far refused to do so for various reasons.