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In the complicated world of intellectual property litigation, sometimes a loss is a win.
Just ask Apple, which failed to convince a UK high court judge to ban sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
If you were to download a copy of a copyrighted book through BitTorrent, you might be accused of stealing. And as piracy becomes a larger problem for publishers, you might even find yourself in court facing a lawsuit.
But there's good news: if you're the government, you don't have anything to worry about.
Parts of the internet will go black tomorrow. From Wikipedia and Reddit to the Cheezburger network and Major League Gaming, numerous highly-trafficked web properties say they'll shut down to protest the SOPA legislation that would make the internet far less free in the name of fighting piracy.
Even Google is going to be making a statement using its homepage.
The blackouts are going on despite the fact that SOPA is effectively dead -- for the time being.
The protections afforded by intellectual property law have immensely benefitted technology companies, but that doesn't mean that they're not sometimes problematic. From ridiculous patent lawsuits to reverse domain name hijacking, IP is often a means to questionable ends.
Unfortunately, when it comes to trademark, some companies are making abuse all too easy.
Last November, I suggested that ACTA, the not-so-secret-anymore Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that governments have been negotiating for more than a year, could be "the worst thing for the internet - ever."
And with a 331-294 approval in the EU Parliament, it's one step closer to reality.
Building a successful career as a freelancer is about more than acquiring clients; it's no different than building a successful business.
Contracts, of course, are a necessity for every business. Yet when it comes to contracts, freelancers often make plenty of mistakes, some of which can carry huge costs. Here are eight of those mistakes...
One of the best ways to start a flame war online: make a claim about the costs of online piracy.
Some, of course, argue that online piracy isn't a problem. Free downloads are free promotion, the argument usually goes. Others, especially those in media industries that have found adjusting to the internet difficult, claim that online piracy is responsible for their woes.
ICANN, the private, non-profit governing body that oversees, amongst other things, the domain name system, is mulling a plan that would accelerate the introduction of hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs).
Under the plan, companies and organizations wanting to run their own TLD may be able to express interest in doing so as early as the middle of this year.
If the leaks that have been released in the past day are to be believed, the internet may be facing its biggest threat yet: the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The negotiators who are sitting down behind closed doors today to iron out this international trade agreement have the internet on their mind.
And that's not a good thing.
As far as companies go, Twitter is pretty laid back. When it comes to legal issues, Twitter has been anything but aggressive.
The creators of popular applications like Twitteriffic and TweetDeck have never, to my knowledge, been threatened by Twitter over trademark abuse. Twitter even promotes them on its apps page.