Over The Aereo

Streaming Service Aereo Files for Bankruptcy

Broadcast networks were pissed that Aereo let people do this. (Facebook)

Following a series of dramatic court battles this past summer, as well as dozens of recent lay-offs, streaming service Aereo today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The service, which is funded by IAC’s Barry Diller, long butted heads with broadcast TV networks, as it used antennae to collect TV signals from the airwaves, and — for $8 per month — let users stream live TV on their Internet-connected devices.

Networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Univision and PBS claimed Aereo was violating copyright laws and stealing their content, and proceeded to take the company to court. Ultimately, things didn’t go in Aereo’s favor. Read More

Legal Matters

Groupon Concedes Defeat in Battle to Use GNOME Foundation’s Name

It doesn't even look like a good product. (Groupon)

After numerous conversations and a threat of legal action from the GNOME Foundation, Groupon has finally decided to find a new name for the goofy-looking tablet-based platform for merchants it launched in May.

“Groupon has agreed to change its Gnome product name to resolve the GNOME Foundation’s concerns,” a joint announcement said. “Groupon is now abandoning all of its 28 pending trademark applications. The parties are working together on a mutually acceptable solution, a process that has already begun.” Read More

All Covered With Vines

FBI Releases Vine Star Jerome Jarre From Custody After Reading Fans’ Tweets

Mr. Jarre snapped a selfie before cops boarded his flight in Miami. (Twitter)

A funny thing happened on the way to Miami, when Vine celeb Jerome Jarre tried to shoot one of his six-second videos on an American Airlines flight.

The drama began when the social media star attempted to make a video of himself exiting the airplane bathroom wearing nothing but a speedo and an inflatable duck. Unfortunately, an American Airlines crew member was not impressed, and told Mr. Jarre he’d be arrested once the flight landed in Miami. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Austrian Student Leading Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook Over Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg presumably contemplating life. (Wikimedia Commons)

Facebook could soon be in big trouble, and not just because Slingshot is probably gonna stink.

An Austrian law student, Max Schrems, is leading the charge in what could become a massive lawsuit against Facebook over privacy issues, the Daily Mail reports. Mr. Schrems is asking Facebook users worldwide to join him in demanding damages of €500 each over alleged violations of the European Union’s privacy policies. Read More

Legal Matters

EXCLUSIVE: Terrorism Victims Sue for ICANN to Revoke Domain Names Being Used by Iran

ICANN, the organization that administers domain names, is being sued by victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism. (Getty)

Still waiting on billions of dollars in unpaid damages, American victims of Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks are attempting to seize Internet properties the United States has provided to Iran.

The victims and their family members today filed a lawsuit against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the U.S.-based non-profit that administers Internet properties worldwide. In it, the plaintiffs demand ICANN turn over all the top-level domain names provided by the U.S. to Iran, including .ir,  ایران, and any other IP address being used by the Iranian government and its agencies. Read More

The Future of the Ebook

Ebook Authors No Longer Hot for Harlequin, Slap the Romance Publisher with a Lawsuit [UPDATED]

One of the books at issue.

Three romance novelists have filed a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against juggernaut Harlequin Enterprises, alleging that the publisher is not coughing up the ebook royalties they were promised.

Broken Promises–now that sounds like something that would catch our eye while browsing the bookshelves.

First, a bit of context: Harlequin Enterprises is the world’s largest publisher of romance novels. In the U.S. alone, that’s a billion-dollar market. As the suit points out, the company churns out books for 114 international markets, in 34 languages, to the tune of more than 100 books a month.

Second (and this is why Betabeat gives a damn), Harlequin has embraced digital formats in a big way, going all the way back to the pre-Kindle Dark Ages. And in 2010, the company even launched Carina Press, its own digital-only subsidiary. Carina, it should be noted, eschews the traditional advance model and promises higher royalties. (None of the books at issue were published by Carina, however.) Read More