Posts by Ben Doernberg
Despite its newness to the entertainment field, the video game industry is no stranger to copyright litigation. The staggering number of moving parts that go into the average game means that every time a consumer fires up a game, he’s navigating a complex tangle of copyright, patent, and trademark rights. Add to that DMCA’s prohibition against circumventing digital protection measures on copyrighted work, and you’ve got a proverbial minefield of liability.
The recent legal storm between Microsoft and Datel underscores just this problem. Datel produces third-party accessories for every major video game console, including Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Among Datel's products Datel are memory cards, controllers, replacement and supplemental hard-drives, and transfer kits that allow players to back up their save files and other personal data on their PC’s hard drive.
Last week, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile announced their intention to enter the $170 billion electronic payment market by turning your smartphone into a “mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes.” The new system, called Isis, is a joint venture of the three carriers, who control the vast majority (73.8%) of the US wireless market. These network operators now have 170 billion reasons to block, slow, and otherwise discriminate against any competing mobile application that facilitates financial transactions. Without strong wireless net neutrality rules, why on earth wouldn’t they?
Many tech policy enthusiasts would love to live in a world where citizens cast their votes to send a message about telecom policy. But we don’t live in that world… unless you ask telecom consultant Scott Cleland. Cleland blogged yesterday that “Free Press’ version of net neutrality was completely repudiated in the election.” While it may seem obvious that the results had nothing to do with telecom policy, Cleland cites a convenient statistic to try and show otherwise.
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