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These days, some of tech’s most important decisions are being made inside courtrooms. Google and Facebook are fending off antitrust accusations, while patent suits determine how much control of their own products they can have. The slow fight over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act threatens platforms like Twitter and YouTube with untold liability suits for the content they host. Gig economy companies like Uber and Airbnb are fighting for their very existence as their workers push for the protections of full-time employees. In each case, judges and juries are setting the rules about exactly how far tech companies can push the envelope and exactly how much protection everyday people have. This is where we keep track of those legal fights and the broader principles behind them. When you move fast and break things, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise when you end up in court.

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Do Kwon, the Terra / Luna creator, is coming to a U.S. courtroom to face fraud charges

He might even arrive in time for the SEC’s fraud lawsuit, which is scheduled to begin jury selection in March. He’s also facing eight criminal counts.


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Three Arrows Capital cofounder on jail: “I think it’s definitely good for you.”

That’s Su Zhu; Kyle Davies is still on the lam. But their woes may not yet be over:

Among the most incriminating evidence brought forward against Zhu and Davies is a document they sent to at least one creditor as crypto markets were collapsing in May 2022, claiming 3AC had nearly $2.4 billion under management. Both lenders and people close to the liquidators now believe this number was false, grossly overstating the fund’s assets. “We firmly believe they committed fraud.”

👀


How AI copyright lawsuits could make the whole industry go extinct

The New York Times’ lawsuit against OpenAI is part of a broader, industry-shaking copyright challenge that could define the future of AI.

Squishmallows and Jazwares vs. Build-A-Bear and Skoosherz.

The Guardian reports that Squishmallows parent company Jazwares is suing Build-A-Bear over its new line of rotund, kawaii animals, Skoosherz, accusing it of copying their toys’ “simplified Asian-style kawaii faces.”

Not backing down, Build-A-Bear countersued Jazwares, saying Skoosherz extends its existing line of cute animal toys. This is not the first time the Warren Buffet-owned Jazwares has sued for copyright infringement, it filed a lawsuit last year against Alibaba for selling fake Squishmallows.


Side by side image showing two Squishmallows plush toys on the left and five plush Skoosherz toys on the right.
“Patty & Connor” Squishmallows (L), and Skoosherz (R)
Image (composite): Jazwares, Build-A-Bear
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That’s not how you get into The Sphere.

Maison DesChamps climbed around and found out earlier today when he was removed from the top of The Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada, and arrested, along with several others, reports ABC Channel 13 News.


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Apple can be sued for its external app payments policies, says a judge.

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has certified a class-action lawsuit she previously wouldn’t, which alleged Apple’s outside purchase ban for iOS apps was monopolistic, reported Reuters yesterday.

Her change of heart came after the class was restricted to those with Apple accounts who’d spend at least $10 through the App Store. If Gonzalez Rogers sounds familiar, that’s because she presided over the Epic case that Apple can’t seem to shake.


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Joshua Schulte sentenced to 40 years in prison for leaking “Vault 7” CIA material to Wikileaks.

Schulte was convicted two years ago on all nine charges he faced as a result of the single largest leak in the CIA’s history. A year after the 2017 leaks, the ex-CIA engineer was arrested on charges of possessing CSAM, and he has been in prison ever since.

Dubbed Vault 7, the 2017 Wikileaks dump exposed tactics and exploits the CIA used to hack its targets’ computersiPhones or Android phones, and even Samsung smart TVs. His lawyers said they will appeal.


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ChatGPT continues to be a bad lawyer.

New York lawyer Jae Lee will face an attorney grievance panel after trusting known liar ChatGPT for case research.

The court’s order says Lee filed a “defective brief” citing a made-up case. Lee isn’t alone — others have fallen for the allure of chatbots, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and counsel representing a member of The Fugees.


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Why do video game music licenses keep expiring?

In light of Spec Ops: The Line getting yanked from online storefronts over music licensing issues, it’s a good time to re-read a 2019 piece from GamesIndustry.biz on why this problem seems so common. Bottom line: games spent a long time being considered more ephemeral than other media like movies, and faced with the convoluted structure of music copyright, many studios negotiated deals to match.


Apple thought it dealt with Epic v. Apple — has it really?

Apple has started letting developers link to third-party payment processors, but only if it’s on Apple’s own terms.

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Oppo pays Nokia, setting the OnePlus 12 free.

Nokia — the telecom giant, not the logo on HMD phones — is still a smartphone force to be reckoned with. Oppo and its sub-brand OnePlus learned this the hard way after infringing upon Nokia’s patents and being forced to stop sales in Germany and other European countries. The new deal solves that, just in time for the flagship OnePlus 12’s release.


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What could go wrong if police run facial recognition on an AI-generated face based on old DNA?

Wired tells the story of California detectives who tried to use facial recognition to identify a face made with machine learning and crime scene DNA by phenotyping company Parabon NanoLabs. That’s not a good idea, said Parabon’s director of bioinformatics, Ellen Greytak:

“What we are predicting is more like — given this person’s sex and ancestry, will they have wider-set eyes than average,” she says. “There’s no way you can get individual identifications from that.”

On a related note, a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on AI in criminal investigations is set for Wednesday.


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The New York Public Library is launching a beta test for putting forgotten research texts online.

The Scholarly Press Backlist Revival will put out-of-print academic monographs online for free under deals with publishers like MIT Press, hoping to fix a “black hole in the cultural and scholarly record.” If it works out, it seems like a great option for a swathe of copyrighted works that aren’t seen as profitable to sell — but shouldn’t be locked away because of it.


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Apple offers Epic “extremely generous” discount on $81,560,362 legal bill.

In a January 16th filing, Apple asked the court to award it $73,404,326 in relief to cover its out-of-pocket expenses, lawyer fees, and other costs arising from Epic’s lawsuit. A bargain, if you ask Apple:

Although it would be reasonable for Apple to seek the total amount of its Losses in this matter, it has provided a 10% discount in recognition of Epic’s win on one out of ten of its claims. This 10% overall reduction is extremely generous, given the undisputed fact that the UCL claim did not constitute nearly 10% of the litigation, as this Court recognized.

Meeeoooow.


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Appeals judges denied Twitter’s argument for not turning over Trump records on time.

The company, which had been fined $350,000 for the delay, argued that President Donald Trump should have been notified when prosecutors investigating him for election interference issued a search warrant for his account data, according to The Washington Post.

Twitter, now X, can appeal to the Supreme Court, which recently declined to hear the company’s broader legal challenge arguing that it should be able to publicly share government demands for user data.


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Disney has settled a lawsuit alleging it underpaid a major film financier.

The lawsuit from movie financier TSG Entertainment alleged that Disney used tricky accounting to withhold millions of dollars from it. For instance, TSG believes it was underpaid by “at least $40 million” for The Shape of Water, making it harder to invest in other films, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The reported settlement’s terms were undisclosed, the Reporter writes.


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Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong records have been reinstated.

Gaming record keeper Twin Galaxies said in a statement published today that it restored his arcade scores after “fair consideration” of expert witness testimony that Mitchell’s record-setting Donkey Kong run was possible on aging, malfunctioning original hardware.

Twin Galaxies had accused Mitchell of cheating with emulator software, prompting Mitchell to sue the organization for defamation. The two sides recently reached a confidential settlement.


Twin Galaxies Statement

[www.twingalaxies.com]

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The Billy Mitchell Donkey Kong saga has ended in a settlement.

Mitchell settled his defamation lawsuit against Twin Galaxies, the organization that dispossessed him of his Donkey Kong and Pac-Man record-holder status in 2018. Courthouse News reported that the settlement is confidential.

Mitchell sued Twin Galaxies for defamation in 2020 over its accusations that he’d used an emulator to cheat. Guinness World Records, which also removed Mitchell’s records, later reinstated them when it couldn’t prove he’d cheated.


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X says charges were dropped against a student who posted about free food.

X’s news account claimed responsibility for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne having “rescinded its disciplinary action against Juan David Campolargo,” a student who had gotten in trouble for an account that pointed to events on campus that had free food available.

The low-stakes case was the first apparent instance of the site defending a user in trouble for their posts. The Verge has reached out to the university for confirmation.