Microsoft

The copyright industries’ obsession with trying to shoot down piracy at all costs can sometimes cause them to end up shooting themselves in the foot. Here, for example, is a great example from Microsoft, which has recently been fulminating against the dangers of software piracy:

A new study released Tuesday reaffirms what we in Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit have seen for some time now — cybercrime is a booming business for organized crime groups all over the world. The study, conducted by IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS), reveals that businesses worldwide will spend nearly $500 billion in 2014 to deal with the problems caused by malware on pirated software. Individual consumers, meanwhile, are expected to spend $25 billion and waste 1.2 billion hours this year because of security threats and costly computer fixes.

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The ongoing legal fight, in which a bunch of US tech and internet companies — namely Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and LinkedIn — are suing the US government, claiming a First Amendment right to publish some details on the number of requests they get from the NSA under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, as well as the number of users impacted by those requests, is getting ever weirder. The government had filed its response back at the end of September. And, you might notice, large portions of it are totally redacted. For example, here is page 13 of the document (though, numbered page 8):

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* Even the election law controversies are bigger in Texas. The Department of Justice is currently planning to intervene in one lawsuit and file another against the Lone Star state over its voter identification law and redistricting plans. [National Law Journal]

* Here’s an especially helpful ruling for people who have been living their lives without landlines (so, basically everyone). You can gratefully thank the Third Circuit for allowing you to block those annoying robocalls on your cellphones. [Legal Intelligencer]

* Well, that was quick — a Biglaw pump and dump, if you will. After only a year, David M. Bernick, former general counsel of Philip Morris, is leaving Boies Schiller and will likely be taking a position at Dechert. [DealBook / New York Times]

* “[L]ife got in the way.” Who really needs loyalty in Biglaw these days? More than half of the nearly 500 associates and counsel who made partner in 2013 started their careers at different firms. [Am Law Daily]

* Another one bites the dust. John McGahren, the New Jersey managing partner of Patton Boggs, just resigned from an office he opened himself after some major attorney downsizing. [New Jersey Law Journal]

* “In a community of 98,000 people and 640,000 partners, it isn’t possible to say there will never be wrongdoing.” Comforting. Microsoft is under the microscope of a federal bribery probe. [Corporate Counsel]

* Ronald Motley, a “charismatic master of the courtroom” who founded Motley Rice, RIP. [WSJ Law Blog]

If you enjoy streaming movies at home through Netflix or Amazon Prime (or whatever other service you use), get ready to start paying more, because there’s a new technology just dropped off at the patent office that promises to keep you from enjoying movies with a few friends.

If you’re wondering why anyone would let this technology into their home, rest assured thousands will. Even you might, unwittingly.

And who’s to blame for this patent? Wait for it after the jump…

Oh what the hell, it’s totally Microsoft…

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help wanted small Above the Law blog.jpg[Ed. note: We're looking for someone to share Morning Docket duties with B. Clerker (on an alternating-week schedule). If you'd like to be considered for this position, please follow the application instructions contained in this post. The main thing that has changed between then and now is that the gig now comes with pay -- a modest stipend. Thanks.]
* MSFT + YHOO = Antitrust Scrutiny. Also, the identities of the law firms advising on the mega-deal. [WSJ Law Blog; New York Times]
* The quality of mercy is not strained… except in the Office of the United States Pardon Attorney. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* Hidden-camera video evidence leads to reopening of Natalee Holloway investigation in Aruba. [ABC News; AP]
* HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson accused of favoritism and retaliation in lawsuit. [Washington Post]
* Prominent conservatives Steven Calabresi and John McGinnis, on Sen. McCain and Supreme Court nominations: “the nomination of John McCain is the best option to preserve the ongoing restoration of constitutional government.” [Wall Street Journal via How Appealing]

* NFL Union president prepared for strike. [ESPN]
* Microsoft offers to acquire Yahoo for $44.6 billion to compete with Google. [MSNBC]
* Times reporter subpoenaed over “State of War” source. [New York Times]
* French President and supermodel girlfriend sue over pictures. [Washington Post via WSJ Law Blog]
* HLS grad Obama and YLS grad Clinton make nice, sort of, during debate. [MSNBC]
* SCOTUS stays Alabama execution, maintaining de facto moratorium on death penalty. [CNN]
* Roy Tolles and Arthur Kramer, of Munger Tolles and Kramer Levin, respectively, RIP. [WSJ Law Blog]

poker online gambling gaming Above the Law blog.jpg* Remember the Mystery Pimp from our recent column about Cadwalader? Peter Lattman, who works in the same building as CWT, has solved the mystery. Fantastic! [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Despondent Microsoft Has Nervous Breakdown; Jumps Into Elliott Bay To Live With Alien Sea Creatures.” [What About Clients?]
* New digs for The American Lawyer. Their landlord is now Larry Silverstein, who was recently featured on the magazine’s cover. Did they get a break on the rent for that kind of publicity? [The Real Estate]
* Brilliant Harvard Law professors rush to the defense of… online poker! Charlie Nesson and Alan Dershowitz? Now that’s what we call a full house. [Conglomerate]
* “Is Dumbledore gay simply because Rowling says he is?” Discuss. [PrawfsBlawg]

But it was much more fun to speculate that he was pulling a Judith Miller, hiding out because of his role in Brokeback Lawfirm.
As it turns out, there’s pretty much no doubt that Aaron Charney leaked the Goldman Sachs / Sullivan & Cromwell reviews to Peter Lattman and the Wall Street Journal (as if there was much doubt before). The newly available S&C motion to dismiss states, on page 8, that at the February 1 TRO hearing before Justice Charles Ramos, “Charney admitted that he had the stolen documents described in the Wall Street Journal.” Unless someone else stole the documents, and Charney just happened to stumble upon them and pick them up, his confession to possessing the stolen documents is tantamount to an admission that he stole the documents.
As for Peter Lattman and his story about the Microsoft antitrust case in Iowa — which is now “DOA,” as Lattman puts it, since the parties have settled — we do feel bad for Lattman.
The poor guy spent a week in “snowy, subzero Des Moines.” And he’s not even running for president.
Microsoft Settles Iowa Antitrust Class-Action :-( [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: And Lindsay Lohan Really Was Suffering From ‘Exhaustion’
Brokeback Lawfirm: The S&C Motion to Dismiss