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Twitter Says Grandstanding Is the Real Issue In French Hate Tweet Case

GavelSince we are on the legal kick this morning regarding what major Internet companies face when it comes to their service and the perceived lega; rights of their users an update in a case that Twitter is involved in in France is interesting.

The Verge sums up the situation well here.

Twitter has failed to reveal the authors of anti-Semitic tweets after a French court mandated the company do so, reports the AFP. The January court ruling required that Twitter hand over user data to help identify hate speech authors who live under the jurisdiction of French laws. The suit was originally filed by France’s Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), and the UEJF has now announced that it is taking further legal action against Twitter for claims that it has not complied with court orders.

The Cost of Privacy Helped Google’s Decision to End Reader

google-logo1So for all of the conspiracy theories surroundings Google’s decision to shutter its popular (well, popular is a relative measurement isn’t it) Reader one of the main reasons could be a very practical one: the cost of privacy.

According to report from All Things D

Under CEO Larry Page, Google has made a practice of “spring cleaning” throughout all the seasons so it can narrow its focus. Reader was just a another bullet point on the latest closure list.

But the shutdown wasn’t just a matter of company culture and bigger priorities, sources said. Google is also trying to better orient itself so that it stops getting into trouble with repeated missteps around compliance issues, particularly privacy.

New FTC Rules Push For Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures on Social and Mobile

dot-com-coverThe FTC just released an updated version of their dot com disclosures guidelines (aka rules) which was originally released in 2000. A few things have changed since then, but the FTC’s stand on “clear and conspicuous” disclosures hasn’t and that could be a problem for advertisers.

Everyone loves social and mobile, but both outlets are hampered by a lack of useable space. The FTC understands this, but they’re not backing down. My interpretation of the guidelines – find a way to make it happen or don’t post ads to mobile and social. If they start enforcing that, it’s going to be one heck of a crack down.

Here is just a portion of the instruction son how to make a disclosure clear and conspicuous:

Text Message Spammers – The FTC is Coming For You

giftcardText messages are one of the most annoying forms of advertising I’ve ever encountered. There are probably a few people reading this post right now who know how to do it properly, but you’re in the minority.

Text spam is on the rise. 2.2 billion message in 2009,  4.5 billion in 2011 and experts say we’re in the middle of a boom that will top that.

Text message spam isn’t just annoying. It can cost you money and it can compromise your identity if you follow through.

The FTC is ready to crack down on text spammers, starting with those horrendous “Free Gift Card” offers.

EU Plays Hardball with Microsoft, $751M Fine for Browser Infractions

microsoft_logo_2012If you are Google you are taking a hard look at how the European Union just treated Microsoft when it deemed that the software company had crossed the line in their efforts to make their browser, Internet Explorer, the ‘go to’ browser for users in EU countries.

Reuters reports

The European Union fined Microsoft Corp 561 million euros on Wednesday for failing to offer consumers a choice of web browser, a charge that will act as a warning to other technology firms involved in antitrust disputes with the EU.

It said the U.S. company had broken a legally binding commitment made in 2009 to ensure consumers had a choice of browser, rather than defaulting to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

The Copyright Alert System: Six Strikes and You’re Slowed Down

copyright alertThe movie, TV and music industries have a brand new weapon in the fight against digital piracy. It’s called The Copyright Alert System and it’s online now, ready to come down on anyone caught sharing illegally.

Here’s how it works. A studio or artist finds their product on a file sharing server. They notify the Internet Service Provider (ISP) who serves the uploader and the ISP then sends out a warning notice.

The new CAS let’s you have six strikes before you’re out. Then, your service provider (for example, your cable company) can take action by slowing down your internet speed or forcing you to a landing page that requires a chat to remove.

ArsTechnica posted examples of the warning letters as well as their concerns about the process.

Google Gets Big Court Win on Advertising Down Under

GavelIs Google a publisher or simply a relayer of information? That’s an important question from a legal standpoint. Google’s enemies / competitors want to go after Google no matter which position is taken.

Based on a decision coming from Australia though, they may have a tougher time than they might like if courts in other parts of the world follow suit.

Reuters reports

Google Inc won a landmark court case on Wednesday when Australia’s High Court ruled that it had not engaged in misleading behavior with its sponsored links and that it was not responsible for messages conveyed by paid advertisers.

The ruling helps Internet providers and search engines argue that they are not publishers, but simply carriers of information provided by third parties.