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Facebook to Settle with ConnectU

As with most legal battles, the ConnectU suit against Facebook has begun to drag out: first filed in September 2004, the legal battle over who originally created the source code for Facebook is still ongoing. Last July, a Massachusetts Federal judge ruled that ConnectU needed concrete evidence to bring their suit. It looked like the suit would die after the ruling stated that “claims must have a factual basis.”

But that’s not how our wonderful legal system works in the United States. The suit was once again opened after a circuit court judge granted ConnectU the right to file an appeal last Thursday. CNET reports:

Scrabulous Battle Heating Up: Scrabble Launches Own App

board of an abandoned scrabulous gameIf you haven’t been following the copyright battle over the popular Facebook app Scrabulous, here’s a bit of catch up: Scrabulous is an online version of the board game Scrabble—but it was launched (as an independent site and later a Facebook app) without proper authorization from the joint copyright owners of the board game, Hasbro and Mattel.

To further complicate the issue, the digital rights to the game are jointly owned by two other companies, Electronic Arts (who has a deal with Hasbro) and RealNetworks (who has deals with Hasbro and Mattel), neither of which authorized the Scrabulous site and app.

Hasbro and Mattel threatened to sue the creators of the Scrabulous site and app, Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla of Calcutta, for copyright infringement. About a month ago, there seemed to be a possibility that RealNetworks would buy the Scrabulous app and/or site, legitimizing the use of the copyright.

While You Enjoy your Day Off Facebook Adds IM

Facebook’s 67 million users can now instant message each other – or at least some of us can. The new feature is being integrated gradually.

The IM service is an in-browser client, and you can chat with your Facebook friends that are logged in. So far it doesn’t support external IM services, like Yahoo or MSN Messenger.

The way the launched IM reminds me of how my college grounds department cut down trees on campus – on the weekend. Why? So botany professors or tree lovers wouldn’t notice. It’s been suspected that Facebook is taking a similar tack by releasing the feature when not as many people will notice.

MySpace Announces iTunes Rival

current myspace music headerMySpace announces today that they will launch MySpace Music, a service to rival Apple’s popular iTunes music player and marketplace. Like iTunes, MySpace Music will feature streaming music, paid DRM-free MP3 downloads and music-related merchandise.

MySpace Music is a joint venture with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. The other major recording company, EMI, may still sign on, possibly even before MySpace Music launches. The launch dates has not been set, but MySpace CEO Chris De Wolfe says that commercial features will roll out over the coming three or four months.

MySpace Chief Operating Officer Amit Kapur told Reuters that through this venture, MySpace Music “goes from being a promotional vehicle to being a commercial vehicle.” MySpace already features 5 million artists and 30 million members who listen to music through the site.

Join Me at Blog Carolinas May 9th; a Free Social Media Marketing Event in NC

I’ve been asked to speak at Blog Carolinas, here in the Raleigh-Durham area. The event is taking place on May 9th and is completely free–although space is limited to the first 200 registrants.

There’s more than a dozen quality sessions and lots of networking opportunities. More details below.

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Blog Carolinas
A Conversation about Social Media in the Enterprise

  • See how Social Media is impacting your Marketing and Communications Strategy
  • Learn how Community can serve as a model to improve your organization’s productivity
  • Meet others that are dealing with the same issues you are.
  • Talk to experts in the fields of On Line Reputation, Search Engine Optimization, Web 2.0 Technology and On Line Community Building
  • Experience cool new stuff

Event Details

I Believe the Children Are Our (Social Media) Future

Image Credit: BBCPssst. Hey kid! Want to earn a quarter? Tell your friends about this cool new video game, and it’s yours.

Silly? Not really. Not when you consider a new survey out of the UK that suggests 49% of kids aged between 8 and 17 have a social media profile.

The Ofcom report looks into the impact of social networks on people’s lives in the UK as part of a wider media literacy campaign and surveyed 5,000 adults and more than 3,000 children.

“Social networks are clearly a very important part of people’s lives and are having an impact on how people live their lives,” said James Thickett, director of market research at Ofcom.

Facebook May Enter the Middle Kingdom

By David Snyder.

Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong billionaire and CEO of telecommunications conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, has increased his investment in Facebook in excess of $100 million.

Li announced the investment in Facebook during Hutchison’s earnings call on Thursday.

Li shared his opinions on Facebook on during an earnings press conference for Hutchinson:

“Facebook is doing very well, and we could have some synergy between the 3G services of Hutchison and Facebook, so the customers could use Facebook on mobile phones.”

Li invested $60 million in Facebook last December giving him a 0.4% stake in the $15 billion company. Li’s initial investment in Facebook came less than two months after Microsoft threw $240 million into the company. The exact amount of Li’s second investment not known, he did however leave the door open for further investments in the social network.