Open College Textbook Act (S. 1714) promises seed money for the open education cause

The Open College Textbook Act proposes "to authorize grants for the creation, update, or adaption of open textbooks."

Specifically, it would authorize the Secretary of Education to award 1-year grants on a competitive basis to higher education institutions, professors, non-profit, or for profit-organizations that produce textbooks. The textbooks would be open licensed and available to be downloaded, redistributed, changed, revised, or altered by any member of the public.

Learn more here and then please sign our petition supporting the Open College Textbook Act.

How FCC Chairman's net neutrality proposal will affect broadband, cell phones, and an "Open Internet"

FCC Chairman Genachowski has proposed six net neutrality principles be adopted as rules by the FCC. This welcome sign for an "Open" Internet could effect everything from your home Internet Service to your cell phone and broadband data card service.

But this is just the first step. Learn about what the FCC Chairman proposes and how it affects your Internet service.

Veoh triumphs over Universal Music in lawsuit on social media liability, gives lesson in the DMCA safe harbor

"Jump on the Social Media Bandwagon" by Matt Hamm, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 2.0. It is uncertain whether Veoh will be a major player in the future of online video. There is little doubt, however, that it has had a significant role in defining the boundaries of social media liability.

Veoh's victories against IoGroup and Universal Music have helped provide a model for social media and web 2.0 services in protecting themselves from liability.

Veoh's newest triumph is getting the district court to grant summary judgement that it is "entitled to the section 512(c) safe harbor."

Youtube puts ads on videos without permission

Youtube's filtering technology may be causing advertisements to appear on content without permission.  Besides the possible contract violations, the ads create catch 22's when uploading openly licensed (ie. Creative Commons) content to Youtube.   Youtube could have a significant effect on the future openly licensed video content.  This is appears to be a slap in the face to open content and step in the wrong direction.

Lost in Translation: Rosetta Stone sues Google for Trademark infringement

Rosetta Stone, a foreign language education provider, filed suit against Google in federal court last week for allegedly infringing on the company's trademark.  The conflict arose over Google's AdWords program which allows third parties to purchase keywords for advertising purposes. The result is that when a consumer runs a Google search for "Rosetta Stone", their search results will display paid advertisements of competitors as "sponsored links". What do you thingk, trademark infringement or fair competition?

Trademark holders rush to secure usernames on Facebook

Trademark holders are rushing to protect their marks on Facebook as a result of the new "username" feature.  Facebook recently granted all registered users the right to create personalized usernames in the form of URLs (www.facebook.com/username) because it expedites the search process for individuals and businesses.  With the creation of the username, you can now be linked directly to the profile you are looking for instead of wasting time scanning thousands of search results. While it seems the username is a helpful tool, many trademark holders are worried that cybersquatters will jump on this opportunity to wrongfully register their marks. How will the new Facebook policy towards markholders affect legitimate free speech.

RIAA wins $1.9 million judgment in retrial of alleged filesharer Jammie Thomas

A retrial of Jammie Thomas, who has been unique in her refusal to settle with the RIAA's filesharing gestapo, has ended with an even greater jury verdict against her. This time, instead of $9,250 per song allegedly shared on Kazaa, the jury found her guilty of "willful" infringement at $80,000 per song. As if you weren't already scratching your head at the current state of copyright law (think the failure of the DMCA to account for fair use, copyright term of 70 years plus life of the author)

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