The amount of damages, if the Navy loses, could go up substantially. Bitmanagement also noted that, in addition to licensing fees, it is seeking pre- and post-judgement interest, punitive damages, legal costs, attorney fees, and statutory damages that could amount to $150,000 per infringement.
According to the lawsuit (PDF) filed in the US Court of Federal Claims:
We blog pretty much every scraping case we see; we just don’t see many of them. As I’ve told you before, scraping is ubiquitous but of dubious legality. Today’s case reiterates just how hard it is for scrapers to win in court if challenged.
The case involves competitors in the online coupon industry. The facts alleged by the plaintiff look very typical for competitive scraping. CouponCabin alleges that Savings.com and several other sites scrape offers from its site, either on an automated or manual basis. In response, CouponCabin allegedly deployed technological blocks against “all traffic, including legitimate users, emanating from certain cloud computing providers and internet service providers identified as being used particularly heavily by the Defendants to conduct scraping activities.” CouponCabin also allegedly sent cease-and-desist letters to most of the defendants. Despite the technological blocks and demand notices, CouponCabin alleges “the Defendants knowingly and intentionally circumvented [the Plaintiff’s] security measures in order to continue their data scraping activities.”
On Friday, an Oculus Runtime update blocked a fan-made workaround that had let HTC Vive owners play previously Rift-exclusive software. At the time, Oculus said the update wasn’t targeted at the workaround, and was instead trying “to curb piracy and protect games and apps that developers have worked so hard to make.” Now, though, Oculus’ move has encouraged the patch’s developer to break Oculus’ digital rights managements entirely, potentially opening VR software up to piracy as well as hardware freedom.
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Breaking the DRM entirely is now the now the only way to break Oculus’ hardware check, LibreVR writes on Reddit. “The problem is that Oculus added the check for the Rift being attached to your PC to the actual DRM. They now use the same function to check that you own the game and that you have the headset,” he said. “I can’t disable one check without disabling the other one too. Previously these checks were separate and the DRM would only check whether you owned the game.”
New research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre shows that Spotify has helped to reduce the level of piracy in the countries where it is available. The work also reveals that Spotify reduces the number of digital track sales, but that those losses are cancelled out by the licensing fees paid by Spotify.
The researchers Luis Aguiar and Joel Waldfogel obtained the weekly levels of digital sales and of piracy via torrents for 8,000 artists for the time period 2012-2013. Combining this with data from Spotify, the researchers were able to establish two interesting results. As a post on TorrentFreak puts it: “Based on this data the researchers conclude that Spotify has a clear displacement effect on piracy. For every 47 streams the number of illegal downloads decreases by one.” That may not sound like much, but given the large numbers of Spotify streams, the effect on piracy is observable.
A newly published patent application filed by Sony outlines a content protection system that would use small RFID chips embedded on game discs to prevent used games from being played on its systems, all without requiring an online connection. Filed in September and still awaiting approval from the US Patent Office, the patent application for an “electronic content processing system, electronic content processing method, package of electronic content, and use permission apparatus” describes a system “that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.”