Microsoft “accidentally” sent a DMCA takedown notice to Google, asking them to remove pages from TechCrunch, the BBC, Wikipedia and the U.S. Government. Psst… no one cares that much about Windows 8. [TorrentFreak]
Companies are using patents to stifle innovation and the Times is ON IT. [New York Times]
Is EBay staging a pivot? [TechCrunch]
Whoa, you can raise money for a company without Kickstarter? Mind blown. [TechCrunch]
Jack Dorsey apparently got pushed to a backseat role at Twitter because he’s “difficult” to work with. [SiliconBeat]
Speaking of Twitter, who knew CEO Dick Costolo used to be a standup comedian? [New York Times]
I Fought the Law
Under the moniker “Queen Phara,” Hana Amal Beshara became known to her followers as the public face of the highly-popular pirated TV and movie site NinjaVideo.net, which she co-founded back in 2008. Along with the App Store and Twitter, PC World named the site (motto: “This shit is Ninja”) one of the top products of 2009.
Ms. Bahara, who grew up in Brooklyn and New Jersey to strict Egyptian- born parents, had an unlikely resume for the job: She was valedictorian of her high school class and studied political science at NYU. Before graduating in 2003, she interned at the Clinton Foundation and the East West Institute in Prague.
On Friday, Ms. Bahara was sentenced to 22-months in prison after pleading guilty in September to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. Three of her co-defendants also plead guilty, and are awaiting sentencing. A Virginia judge ordered Ms. Beshara, who was identified as a resident of North Brunswick, New Jersey, to serve two years of supervised release, complete 500 hours of community service, forfeit financial accounts related to NinjaVideo and repay $209,826.95 that she personally obtained. The checks are supposed to go directly to the Motion Picture Association of America.
In the ongoing quest to end the vile practice of illegally downloading music and movies, Congress is considering new legislation, SOPA, or Stop Online Piracy Act. But according to the EFF, the new law would allow for domain takedowns and eliminate the DMCA safe harbor, radically shifting the level of enforcement possible.