Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rambus, Eircom developments

"A month after a San Jose jury exonerated Los Altos-based Rambus from claims that it had engaged in anti-competitive practices, a federal appeals court today came to the same conclusion.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit overturned a Federal Trade Commission determination that Rambus - whose memory-chip technology is inside most personal computers - tried to monopolize the memory-chip market.

The FTC had found in 2006 that Rambus acted deceptively to obtain patents for its dynamic random access memory chips. But in its ruling today, the appeals court said "the commission failed to demonstrate that Rambus inflicted any harm on competition," and the court chided the agency for having "taken an aggressive interpretation of rather weak evidence.""

And via RTE:
"Eircom has rejected claims by four major record companies that it, as the largest broadband internet service provider in the State, must bear some liability for the illegal free downloading of music by computer users.

The companies have claimed Eircom's networks are being used 'on a grand scale' for illegal downloading.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said today he expected to fix a July date for the hearing of the unique action brought by the record companies against Eircom. The action is the first here aimed at internet service providers, rather than individual illegal downloaders, and reflects growing concern within the music industry about the scale and cost of illegal downloading...

Mr Justice Kelly was told by Mr Paul Coughlan, for Eircom, there would be considerable technical evidence in the case relating to the claims that his side was failing to remove copyright infringing material from its systems. Eircom claims the companies have failed to identify such 'infringing material' and, if they have identified such material, then Eircom claims such material cannot be removed without damaging Eircom's systems/equipment or internet services...

Mr Willie Kavanagh, managing director of EMI Ireland and chairman of the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), has said that, because of illegal downloading and other factors, the Irish music industry is experiencing 'a dramatic and accelerating decline' in income."

Thanks to Michael Geist for the pointers.

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