BOSTON--A federal judge in a Massachusetts district court gave the founders of college-based social networking site ConnectU two weeks to revise the complaint that they have filed against Facebook, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and four other early employees of the fast-growing social network. The ConnectU founders, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their fellow 2004 Harvard graduating classmate Divya Narendra, have accused Zuckerberg and his company of stealing their code and business plan when Zuckerberg was casually employed as a programmer for ConnectU in the 2003-2004 academic year.
If you visit www.vivoleum.com today you'll find nothing, but last month the site was the home of the Yes Men's latest experiment in political theater and a protest against Exxon Mobil. Apparently Exxon Mobil was not amused, and as The Inquirer reports, the Yes Men soon found themselves without a Web site and their e-mail access severed. Broadview Networks, the group's Web host, refused to restore their e-mail until they had removed all mention of the oil company.
Sadly, the Yes Men's story is not unique, and Jimmy Atkinson of The Dedicated Hosting Guide … Read more
The Sex Pistols once sang about "Anarchy in the U.K.," but that's not how we should view this news that the British government has rejected an extension to its 50-year copyright term. This is the same government that rejects software patents.
Looks like the land of Mary Poppins is ahead of us Yankees in how it views intellectual property.
Not everyone, of course, agrees:… Read more
Former Microsoft evangelist and current ubiquitous blogger Robert Scoble paid a visit to Facebook's offices yesterday and learned something pretty cool: the social networking site's "wall" feature, which lets you leave messages for your friends, will be getting an update tonight to allow users to post multimedia like photos and video in addition thanks to added developer integration.
Of slightly less importance, Scoble also informed his audience that he ate Spicy Noodles at Jing Jing near the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook's office.
Meanwhile, that's not the only news that might be coming tonight … Read more
Gideon Yu, YouTube's former chief financial officer, has been hired as Facebook's new CFO, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
Yu, 36, replaces Mike Sheridan, who joined Facebook in September, according the Journal story. Why Mike Sheridan is leaving remains unclear.
Facebook is the place to be right now, as rumors of a sale or possible public offering continue to follow the company. Employees stand to profit in the event of a sale or IPO and this hasn't hurt Facebook's recruiting efforts.
"We're not looking to sell the company, and we'… Read more
We all heard the stories about the Recording Industry Association of America lawsuits and the mostly college students who found themselves in the crosshairs several years ago.
Many people are opposed to music piracy, but far fewer actually agreed with the RIAA's heavy-handed legal approach.
Among dissenters is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against RIAA member Universal Music Publishing Group after the company asked that a home video be removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement. The video features 18-month-old Holden Lenz dancing to Prince's "Let's Get Crazy" and runs for a total of 29 seconds. Following Universal's complaint, the video was removed by YouTube and remained offline until recently.The EFF points out that, "Under federal copyright law, a mere allegation of copyright infringement can result in the removal of content from the Internet." This legal framework mandates that services take down material that may actually be completely lawful or protected under fair use, and this situation is the impetus for the suit.
Forget the protest rally and cyberpetition, the new activist tool is Facebook.
In an unprecedented action, members of the social-network phenomenon Facebook have launched a movement to save Business 2.0 from folding. Two Canadians launched a new group, titled "I read Business 2.0--and I want to keep reading!" late last week, and since then more than 1,700 members have joined the group. The list reads like a who's-who of tech and media insiders. But, like the thousands of signatures on electronic petitions protesting everything from the Iraq War to factory farming, it's unlikely … Read more
Updated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has withdrawn anti-file sharing legislation that had drawn yowls of protest from universities this week.
Reid, without explanation, on Monday nixed his own amendment that would have required colleges and universities--in exchange for federal funding--to use technology to "prevent the illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property."
Instead, Reid replaced it with a diluted version merely instructing higher ed institutions to advise their students not to commit copyright infringement and tell students what actions they're taking to prevent "unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material" through campus networks. The revised … Read more
Media-sharing site Twango updated its Web site on Monday to announce that it's been chomped up by cell phone manufacturer Nokia. With its cool new toy, Nokia hopes to make it easier for handset owners to share multimedia content among desktop, Web, and mobile platforms.
"The Twango acquisition is a concrete step towards our consumer Internet services vision of providing seamless access to information, entertainment, and social networks--at any time, anywhere, from any connected device, in any way that you choose," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's executive vice president and general manager of multimedia at Nokia, in … Read more
On Tuesday, MySpace will take another step in its gradual global expansion by fully launching the MySpace Mexico portal. The site has been in beta since January; MySpace has highlighted its success with ComScore statistics that put MySpace Mexico's total unique active visitors. at approximately 1.5 million per month.
MySpace, which gained much of its early buzz in the U.S. by catering to the independent music community, has aimed for a similar strategy in Mexico--in May, it sponsored the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City. To commemorate the launch of MySpace Mexico, the News Corp.-owned social … Read more