Wiki Actu en

April 22, 2011

Amazon server outage affects Reddit, other websites

Amazon server outage affects Reddit, other websites

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, April 22, 2011

Related news
Computing on Wikinews
Computer-aj aj ashton 01.svg
  • 14 November 2014: Five jailed in Tyler, Texas following robbery and scam
  • 8 June 2014: Turing test beaten by Russian chatterbot
  • 23 May 2014: Chinese government prohibits use of Windows 8, cites security concerns
  • 12 April 2014: Weev iPad hacking conviction overturned
  • 20 February 2014: Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014
…More articles here
Collaborate!
  • Newsroom
  • Style Guide – how to write
  • Content Guide – what to write

Amazon Web Services logo

Amazon.com‘s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) experienced outages Thursday, taking down major websites, including Reddit, Foursquare, Hootsuite, and Quora. The company reported on its Web Services “Service Health Dashboard” that it first noticed “instance connectivity, latency and error rates” at 1:41 a.m. PDT (08:41 UTC) Thursday morning.

The outage, which occurred at Amazon’s northern Virginia data center, affected some of the company’s US EC2 clients for much of the day. EC2, which hosts thousands of websites, is an elastic cloud computing platform.

Quora, an online knowledge market, was taken offline by the outage. Reddit, a social news site, was accessible by mid-Thursday, but was still running at limited functionality. Location-based social network Foursquare experienced disruptions in service early Thursday, but appeared to have resumed normal operation by the afternoon. Other sites, such as Hootsuite and SCVNGR, displayed error messages instead of their normal home pages.

Amazon has experienced outages before, including one in 2008 that lasted two hours due to technical problems at a data center. The company did not comment on the cause or scope of Thursday’s outage, but continued to post public updates on its health dashboard. By Thursday evening, Amazon said it had resolved most of the issues affecting EC2, but one service availability zone had still not recovered.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 7, 2011

ACLU, EFF challenging US \’secret\’ court orders seeking Twitter data

ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Logo of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Logo of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

Case background

2009 File photo of Bradley Manning.
Image: Daniel Joseph Barnhart Clark.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

The Manning connection

Gun camera footage of the airstrike of July 12, 2007 in Baghdad, showing the slaying of Namir Noor-Eldeen and a dozen other civilians by a U.S. helicopter.
Image: WikiLeaks.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The United States Government versus WikiLeaks

Logo of WikiLeaks.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both Amazon.com and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

State-of-the-(Black)-Art, or CyberWarfare

Logo of Twitter.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.

Seal of the Catholic University of Leuven.

It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to Twitter.com, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw!tter.com or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as Twitter.com). It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Views of a security expert

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Wikinews

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

  • Le Blond: My understanding is that the DOJ is requesting the following information: 1) Connection records and session times 2) IP addresses 3) e-mail addresses 4) banking info
By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.

Logo of the Tor project.

First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?
  • Le Blond: Personal data can be used to discredit, especially if the data is not public.

Liberty, and the Electronic Frontier

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
  • Rebecca Jeschke: It’s extremely hard to know at this stage if this would go to the Supreme Court, and if it did, what would be at issue. However, some of the interesting questions about this case center on the rights of people around the world when they use US Internet services. This case questions the limits of US law enforcement, which may turn out to be very different from the limits in other countries.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
  • Jeschke: We believe that, except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret. We also believe that Internet companies should, whenever possible, take steps to ensure their customers are notified about requests for information and have the opportunity to respond.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
  • Jeschke: You don’t need to crack https, per se, to compromise its security. See this piece about fraudulent https certificates:
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?
  • Jeschke: We absolutely think that more websites should employ https! Here is a guide for site operators: (See external links, Ed.)

Birgitta Jonsdottir responds

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?

Birgitta Jonsdottir’s Facebook profile picture.

  • Birgitta Jonsdottir: I felt angry but not shocked. I was expecting something like this to happen because of my involvement with WikiLeaks. My first reaction was to tweet about it.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
  • Jonsdottir: It is quite clear to me that USA authorities are after Julian Assange and will use any means possible to get even with him. I think I am simply a pawn in a much larger context. I did of course both act as a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in relation to the Apache video and briefly for WikiLeaks, and I put my name to the video as a co-producer. I have not participated in any illegal activity and thus being a target doesn’t make me lose any sleep.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
  • Jonsdottir: No
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
  • Jonsdottir: It bothers me and according to top computer scientists the government should be required to obtain a search warrant to get our IP addresses from Twitter. I am, though, happy I am among the people DOJ is casting their nets around because of my parliamentary immunity; I have a greater protection then many other users and can use that immunity to raise the issue of lack of rights for those that use social media.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Wikinews commentary.svg
Do you believe the U.S. government should have the right to access data on foreign nationals using services such as Twitter?
Add or view comments
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
  • Jonsdottir: I support the concept of WikiLeaks. While we don’t have a culture of protection for sources and whistleblowers we need sites like WikiLeaks. Plus, I think it is important to give WikiLeaks credit for raising awareness about in how bad shape freedom of information and expression is in our world and it is eroding at an alarming rate because of the fact that legal firms for corporations and corrupt politicians have understood the borderless nature of the legalities of the information flow online – we who feel it is important that people have access to information that should remain in the public domain need to step up our fight for those rights. WikiLeaks has played an important role in that context.
    I don’t support radical transparency – I understand that some things need to remain secret. It is the process of making things secret that needs to be both more transparent and in better consensus with nations.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
  • Jonsdottir: I am not sure – A lot of our dirty laundry has been aired via the USA cables – our diplomatic communications with USA were leaked in those cables, so far they have not stirred much debate nor shock. It is unlikely for tens of thousands of cables to leak from Iceland since we dont have the same influence or size as the USA, nor do we have a military.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
  • Jonsdottir: I have not had any feedback from that meeting, I did however receive a message from the DOJ via the USA ambassador in Iceland. The message stated three things: 1. I am free to travel to the USA. 2. If I would do so, I would not be a subject of involuntary interrogation. 3. I am not under criminal investigation. If this is indeed the reality I wonder why they are insisting on getting my personal details from Twitter. I want to stress that I understand the reasoning of trying to get to Assange through me, but I find it unacceptable since there is no foundation for criminal investigation against him. If WikiLeaks goes down, all the other media partners should go down at the same time. They all served similar roles. The way I see it is that WikiLeaks acted as the senior editor of material leaked to them. They could not by any means be considered a source. The source is the person that leaks the material to WikiLeaks. I am not sure if the media in our world understands how much is at stake for already shaky industry if WikiLeaks will carry on carrying the brunt of the attacks. I think it would be powerful if all the medias that have had access to WikiLeaks material would band together for their defence.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
  • Jonsdottir: This does disturb me for various reasons. The most obvious is that my emails are hosted at google/gmail and my search profile. I dont have anything to hide but it is important to note that many of the people that interact with me as a MP via both facebook and my various email accounts don’t always realize that there is no protection for them if they do so via those channels. I often get sensitive personal letters sent to me at facebook and gmail. In general most people are not aware of how little rights they have as users of social media. It is those of uttermost importance that those sites will create the legal disclaimers and agreements that state the most obvious rights we lose when we sign up to their services.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
  • Jonsdottir: No, none what so ever. I dont think there is much anti-American sentiments in Iceland and I dont think this case will increase it. However I think it is important for everyone who does not live in the USA and uses social services to note that according to the ruling in my case, they dont have any protection of the 1st and 4th amendment, that only apply to USA citizens. Perhaps the legalities in relation to the borderless reality we live in online need to be upgraded in order for people to feel safe with using social media if it is hosted in the USA. Market tends to bend to simple rules.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?
  • Jonsdottir: More. People have to realize that if we dont have freedom of information online we won’t have it offline. We have to wake up to the fact that our rights to access information that should be in the public domain is eroding while at the same time our rights as citizens online have now been undermined and we are only seen as consumers with consumers rights and in some cases our rights are less than of a product. This development needs to change and change fast before it is too late.

Ongoing U.S. Government versus WikiLeaks fallout

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.

Related news

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “US State department official resigns after Wikileaks comments” — Wikinews, March 13, 2011
  • “US military brig officials order whistle-blowing suspect to sleep naked” — Wikinews, March 7, 2011
  • UN probing allegations US is ‘torturing’ soldier over leaks” — Wikinews, December 23, 2010
  • “Australian Federal Police say Wikileaks committed no crime” — Wikinews, December 17, 2010
  • “US intelligence analyst arrested over Wikileaks video” — Wikinews, June 9, 2010

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 3, 2010

BBC support song making chart impact

BBC support song making chart impact – Wikinews, the free news source

BBC support song making chart impact

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BBC

BBC logo
Related stories
  • 11 March 2015: BBC suspend presenter Jeremy Clarkson over ‘fracas’ with producer
  • 16 February 2015: Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76
  • 31 January 2015: South African apartheid assassin Eugene de Kock granted parole
  • 21 January 2015: Priests beaten in Forecariah, Guinea over Ebola fears
  • 7 September 2014: Good Omens to be made into BBC radio drama

More information on the BBC:
  • BBC on Wikipedia
  • BBC Television
  • BBC Radio

A song released yesterday in support of the BBC is making an impact on several UK music charts.

Stand-up comic Mitch Benn wrote I’m Proud of the BBC in response to the criticism the licence fee-funded corporation has received from its commercial competitors and the right-wing press. The Conservative-led coalition government announced two weeks ago that the licence fee is to be frozen for six years, and that the BBC will take over responsibility from the Foreign Office for funding the World Service.

Cquote1.svg You also pay for the Fire Brigade, whether or not your house burns down. Public service. Cquote2.svg

—Mitch Benn, 2 Nov 2010

The song, loosely inspired by Billy Joel, lists many of the BBC’s achievements. Benn, a regular on BBC Radio 4’s satirical programme The Now Show, decided to release I’m Proud of the BBC as a single after realising that it was provoking emotional responses from audiences during his nationwide tour. He told BBC Radio 5 Live that the song was receiving standing ovations, and people were wiping away tears. A video was filmed last month outside of Broadcasting House, White City and Television Centre with a cast of volunteers recruited from the social networking site Twitter.

The song was officially released as a ‘download-only’ track on Monday. Yesterday’s charts reveal that it has reached pole position on Amazon’s rock chart, and is listed as the 14th most downloaded track overall. iTunes listed it as the 64th most downloaded song. Fans have created two Facebook groups to promote the single in an attempt to get it to a good position in the UK Singles Chart, which would force the BBC’s commercial rivals to play the track.

Benn says that he has always been a supporter of the BBC, and yesterday compared it to the emergency services. “You also pay for the Fire Brigade, whether or not your house burns down. Public service.” He points out that he only receives a small percentage of his income from the corporation; last night he played with his band The Distractions at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.



Related news

  • “Rage Against The Machine top UK singles chart” — Wikinews, December 20, 2009

Sources

Wikinews
Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter’s notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 2, 2009

Pa-fitiufs and Amazon propose settlement to Kindle deletion lawsuit

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, October 2, 2009

Crime and law
Related articles

Crime and law
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Amazon Kindle in a 2008 file photo

Parties to a lawsuit against Amazon.com agreed September 25 to a proposed settlement resolving claims that Amazon unlawfully deleted content from users’ Kindle reading devices. Justin Gawronski, a Michigan high school senior, and Antoine Bruguier, a California engineer, had sued on July 30, after Amazon deleted George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four from their Kindles. Gawronski also said his digital notes lost value because they were no longer associated with the relevant text. The pa-fitiufs argued that Amazon had breached its terms of service and violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act. Amazon had first claimed it was forced to delete the books when it learned it did not have the right to sell them. However, it apologized on July 23 and on September 7 offered affected customers either US$30 or a copy of the deleted book.

The proposed settlement includes a commitment that Amazon will only delete e-books remotely under four circumstances: the user consents, the user fails to pay or gets a refund, the government mandates it, or the deletion is necessary to “protect” the consumer, device, or network. Amazon would also pay KamberEdelson, the pa-fitiufs’ firm, US$150,000 in legal fees, with the proviso that it go to charity. Michael Aschenbrener, an attorney at KamberEdelson, described the agreement as a “great settlement” that “provides protection for Kindle users and provides confidence to them that the books, newspapers and magazines they purchase will not be subject to remote deletion by Amazon. It sends a message to digital media purveyors of all kinds that sellers really need to respect users’ rights to that content.” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener refused to comment.

The agreement is still subject to court approval.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 5, 2009

Amazon dips into memory hole to retrieve Orwellian works

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cover of first edition of 1984

Culture and entertainment
Related articles
  • Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene
  • English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93
  • B.B. King’s daughters allege blues musician was poisoned
  • David Letterman signs off after 33 year career on the Late Show
  • Blues musician B.B. King dies aged 89

Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on a Saturday night in 2005
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

American-based online retailer Amazon.com has backtracked from its July decision and actions to remotely delete George Orwell’s classic dystopian novels, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, from customers’ Kindle e-book readers.

Late Thursday, Amazon emailed owners of Kindle readers who had previously lost copies of these novels, offering a new copy of the deleted books, or a gift certificate or check for US$30. In the email, the company’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos apologised again, and described the earlier actions as “stupid, thoughtless and painfully out of line with our principles.”

Initially, the two works of Orwell were made available to Kindle owners by a third-party company which did not have the rights to distribute them. When Amazon was alerted to this by the actual rights holder, the company removed the books from their online store then, far more controversially, remotely deleted the books from their customers’ devices before issuing refunds.

In the aftermath of significant press coverage of Amazon’s actions to remove content, legal action was started against them in Washington alleging violations of the company’s published terms of service, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and Washington’s consumer protection legislation. A Michigan student named as a pa-fitiuf in the case expa-fied that the deletion of his copy of 1984 had rendered his annotations and notes worthless.

First published in 1949, the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four will not enter the public domain in the United States uitil 2044.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 1, 2009

Michigan student and California engineer sue Amazon for remote deletion of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Crime and law
Related articles
  • 29 June 2015: Dozens dead in Mumbai after consuming toxic alcohol
  • 11 June 2015: 16-year-old girl charged with attempted murder in Melbourne, Australia
  • 30 May 2015: Non-parole period extended to 43 years for Australian rapist and murderer
  • 28 May 2015: Western Australia police close in on murder suspect, arrest warrant issued
  • 21 May 2015: Yingluck Shinawatra, former Thai prime minster, begins her trial in Bangkok over corruption allegations

Crime and law
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Justin Gawronski and Antoine Bruguier sued Amazon.com on Thursday for remotely deleting their digital copies of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four from their Kindle devices. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, argues in part that Amazon violated its terms of service, as well as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act.

Gawronski, a Michigan high school senior, originally purchased both his Kindle and an e-book of the novel for his Advanced Placement English summer reading. He made regular annotations using the Kindle’s facility, noting “If […] something […] catches my eye as I am reading, I just place a note there”. After reading online that Amazon was deleting some copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four, he switched his Kindle on, and watched the copy he had purchased vanish. He later found that the notes he had written were effectively useless, stating, “all my notes refer back to nothing”. He said he would probably have to re-read the entire book.

Bruguier, a Silicon Valley engineer, also had his copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four remotely deleted. According to the compa-fit, Amazon sent him an email saying they were “writing to confirm that we have processed your refund.” In response, Bruguier wrote that “I would like to keep the title 1984. I like this book.” Amazon refused to allow him to do so, and said they would not provide any “additional insight or action”. Eventually, Amazon wrote a new email justifying the deletion by claiming they had lacked the right to sell him the book. Bruguier noted in response that he was “annoyed by [Amazon’s] deceit” and that he “thought that once purchased, the books were [his].” His emails also quoted the portion of Amazon’s terms of service cited in the suit.

Both clients are represented by KamberEdelson, and the lawsuit seeks class action status. Several classes are delineated, representing relevant sub-groupings of Kindle owners.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 27, 2009

Sales of Jackson songs and memorabilia rise after his death

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson in 1988
Image: Alan Light.

Culture and entertainment
Related articles

Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on a Saturday night in 2005
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

The death of Michael Jackson on Thursday has caused retail demand for his songs and for memorabilia to increase.

Song sales

Yesterday, the top nine selling items at Apple’s iTunes Store were albums by Jackson, with first and second being a “hits” album and the 1982 album Thriller.

Amazon.com similarly reported selling more Jackson merchandise in the 24 hours following his death than it had sold in the preceding 11 years, and that sales of Jackson CDs accounted for 60% of its total business on Thursday. Yesterday morning the top seller in the album chart for Amazon’s U.K. division was Off the Wall, followed by Bad and Thriller in second and third places, respectively.

Many stores, including Graywhale CD Exchange in Salt Lake City, several record stores in Danville, Virginia, and many retailers in New Zealand, have all reported selling out of Jackson’s CDs and DVDs. The flagship store of Tower Records Japan, in Shinjuku, sold out of several of Jackson’s DVDs and ran low on several other items including CDs. The Danville Register Bee recommended to its readers that if they had record players they should investigate antique and charity shops, after one antique shop reported discovering three Jackson Five vinyl albums in its basement.

The effect of the increase in sales had an effect on stock prices. Midday yesterday, Apple shares rose around 2%, Amazon shares rose around 1.3%, and eBay shares rose by 0.64%. Stock mallet analysts predict that this will be a short-term effect, however. Scott Fullman, an investment strategist at WJB Capital Group in New York, stated “This is going to be one of these events that will have an immediate impact and then wane out in a week or two.”.

Memorabilia sales

In Las Vegas, 21 items of Jackson memorabilia, including handwritten lyrics for Jackson’s song “Bad” and the shirt that Jackson wore on his Victory Tour in 1984, sold at auction yesterday at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino for a total of USD$205,000, with the shirt, at USD$52,500 the most expensive individual item.

eBay has reported an increase in individuals auctioning Jackson memorabilia. These range from records to a Fedora hat signed by Jackson.

Also for sale on eBay and elsewhere are ticlets to the This Is It concerts, at the O2 arena, where Jackson had been scheduled to perform. Ticlet sellers such as Ticletmaster, Seatwave, and AEG Live have announced that they will be refunding concert ticlets. But under standard contract law such refunds only apply to the original purchasor of the ticlet, who dealt with the ticlet companies directly. Anyone buying a ticlet on eBay only has recourse against the seller on eBay that they bought from, and even then only if it was explicitly stated in the terms and conditions of the particular eBay sale that a refund was available.

At the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, stalls have been selling commemorative T-shirts to Festival attendees, with various different slogans including “Michael Jackson R.I.P 1958–2009” and “I was at Glasto 09 when Jacko died”. T-shirt vendors also appeared outside of the UCLA Medical Center where paramedics took Jackson, proferring for USD$10 T-shirts with the slogan “in loving memory of Michael Jackson” and a silhouette of Jackson, although they had few takers.

In Union Square in New York, one street artist was selling hand-made buttons that have pictures of Jackson’s album covers on them. In Times Square, another T-shirt vendor was selling T-shirts printed with copies of the front page of USA Today that reported Jackson’s death.

One observer, Allison Southwicl (a Better Business Bureau spokeswoman), commented “I’m honestly expecting to see a Web site pop up by the end of the day selling Michael Jackson commemorative plates.” Whilst such commemorative plates have yet to appear, collectors have been offering commemorative stamps of Jackson for sale on eBay and elsewhere. Several commemorative stamps of Jackson already exist. S-fit Vincent and the Grenadines issued $5, $2, $1, and 60¢ Michael Jackson stamps in 1985, as part of its Leaders Of The World series. Tanzania issued a 350s stamp, part of a Famous Black Entertainers set, in 1990. Guinea issued a 500f stamp in 1991. St Vincent issued another $2 Jackson stamp in 1991, as part of Famous Entertainers series. And Grenada issued a 60¢ Jackson stamp, part of its Gold Record Winners series in 1992.

Comparison to history

Elvis Presley in 1970
Image: Public Domain.

Gore Vidal once remalled of the death of rival Truman Capote that it was a “good career move”. The death of an artist does serve to increase the popularity of their works. People have speculated whether this will be a temporary or a permanent thing for Jackson.

Jim Lentz, who is the Chief Operating Officer of American Royal Arts (a memorabilia dealership in Boca Raton), asked “Is he Elvis or Marilyn Monroe, or is he Mike Tyson?”.

Elvis Presley died at 42, officially of heart failure. Stores sold out of his records and souveniers within hours of the news of his death. In the 20 years following his death, RCA Records sold approximately 400 million of his recordings.

In the days and weeks immediately following Presley’s death, RCA had to sub-contract pressing to other companies, as it was unable by itself to keep up with demand. Sony Corporation announced yesterday that it had received “unprecedented” levels of orders for CDs of Jackson’s music, and was considering boosting production. It had received 150,000 orders for CDs at its music unit in Tokyo. “The amount is unprecedented for one day and we think we need to consider increasing the production of CDs that we plan to sell from July.” said a spokesman for the company. Amazon has been informing customers buying Jackson CDs that they might have to wait between 1 and 3 weeks for their orders to be shipped.

Related news

Sources

  • Marshall William Fishwicl “Popular culture: cavespace to cyberspace”. Haworth Press, 121, 1999
  • George Plimpton “Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acqu-fitences and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career”. Knopf Publishing Group, 430, 1998
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 13, 2009

Amazon.com de-ranks LGBT books, blames “glitch”

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, April 13, 2009

LGBT
Related articles

Rainbow flag
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Online bookseller Amazon.com blamed technical problems after lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) themed works disappeared from searches on the site over the weekend. Several authors, however, are skeptical of Amazon’s explanation, and outrage over the de-ranking of the works has led to outcry within the online community.

Early this afternoon, Amazon began re-ranking some of the affected works and, shortly thereafter, offered an explanation for the disappearance of the books, telling the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Drew Herdner, spokeman for Amazon.com This is an embalrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.

It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles – in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search.

Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.

Drew Herdner, spokeman for Amazon.com

Among the books that vanished on searches of Amazon’s offerings were some editions of John Balrowman’s and Stephen Fry’s autobiographies, some editions of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, and Lesléa Newman’s children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies, as well as works of erotica such as Emmanuelle Arsan’s Emmanuelle.

Mark Probst, author of gay-themed romance novel The Filly, said in his blog that problems began on April 10:

Cquote1.svg On Amazon.com two days ago, mysteriously, the sales rankings disappeared from two newly-released high profile gay romance books: “Transgressions” by Erastes and “False Colors” by Alex Beecroft. Everybody was perplexed. Was it a glitch of some sort? The very next day HUNDREDS of gay and lesbian books simultaneously lost their sales rankings…. Cquote2.svg

Probst then contacted Amazon.com, whose Member Services team replied that

Cquote1.svg In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude ‘adult’ material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature. Cquote2.svg

Sales rank is an important part of a book’s visibility on the website, determining whether it appears in searches, on the website front page, and in recommendations to customers.

Amazon told Publishers Weekly that a “glitch” was to blame for the de-ranking on Sunday evening. The period of the de-ranking covers a holiday weekend in the United States and it is possible that technical staff at the company were unavailable. Amazon director of corporate communications Patty Smith told the Los Angeles Times, that the problem was being resolved, but when asked for further details replied “Unfortunately, I’m not able to comment further. We’re working to resolve the issue, but I don’t have any further information.”

Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal: “GLAAD has reached out to Amazon.com and they indicate this was an error, so we expect to start seeing evidence of its correction immediately, and any loss of visibility of gay-themed books as a result of this error will be made right by Amazon.”

Author Jules Jones, meanwhile, told Wikinews that the suppression of sales rankings is not solely a gay issue. “[An]other point to make is that a lot of the people affected by this are straight”, she says. “the two books that sparked this are published by a mainstream publisher, and intended to be malleted in the romance section in stores, to the same women who read any other romance books.”

Authors of the affected works have expressed skepticism of Amazon’s explanation, accusing Amazon of homophobia and deliberate censorship. Craig Seymour, author of All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C., recounts an exchange in early February 2009 with Amazon. On February 2, his book lost its sales rank, in the same fashion as the other LGBT-themed works this month. After inquiring about the loss of rank, Seymour received a reply on February 25 saying “the sales rank was not displayed for the following reasons: The ISBN #1416542051 was classified as an Adult product”; Seymour then found through routine searches that the rankings of gay themed works had been dropped but that rankings of books by porn stars like Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson had not, in an apparent double standard. Seymour’s ranking was restored on February 27 and All I Could Bare is not among those books whose rankings have been dropped this month.

Protesting what they see as censorship, many people in the online community began organizing petitions and boycotts of Amazon. Microblogging site Twitter saw conversations about the de-ranking, tagged with the word “#AmazonFAIL”, rise to the most popular subject on the site, and an online petition entitled “In protest at Amazon’s new ‘adult’ policy” garnered 13,000 signatures within 24 hours of its creation.

The online community has also been investigating the de-rankings in order to clarify what works were dropped. Jane of publishing blog DearAuthor.com suggests in an analysis of the known dropped books that the de-ranking was performed automatically by a program examining the metadata of each book and dropping rankings from those tagged “Gay”, “Adult”, or “LGBT”; not all editions of the same book carry the same tag, which explains why some editions of books were dropped and others not. Meanwhile, Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Making Light suggests that the de-ranking started out as well-intentioned but that important information was lost along the way:

Cquote1.svg Sometime in the middle-distance past—maybe a couple of months ago, maybe a year, it doesn’t matter—somebody decided that it would be a good idea to make sure that works of straight-out pornography (or, for that matter, sex toys) didn’t inadvertently show up as the top result for innocuous search queries….Sometime more recently, an entirely different group of people were given the task of deciding what things for sale on Amazon should be tagged “adult,” but in the journey from one department to another, and from one level of the hierarchy to another, the directive mutated from “let’s discreetly unrank the really raunchy stuff” to “we’d better be careful to put an ‘adult’ tag on anything that could imaginably offend anyone.” Cquote2.svg

Amazon has yet to put out a general press release on the incident.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 8, 2008

Wikimedia, IWF respond to block of Wikipedia over child pornography allegations

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Internet
Related stories

Graphical map of the Internet
More information at Wikipedia:
  • Internet portal
  • Internet
  • History of the Internet
  • Internet censorship
  • Internet Protocol
  • World Wide Web

On December 7, Wikinews first reported that some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom, were filtering access to an image and an article on the popular, free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, amid allegations that they contain child pornography. The filter was brought into play by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which issued a statement regarding the filtering shortly after Wikinews published the article. Wikimedia, the host of Wikinews and Wikipedia oppose the IWF’s actions, also issuing a statement.

“A Wikipedia web page, was reported through the IWF’s online reporting mechanism in December 2008. As with all child sexual abuse reports received by our Hotline analysts, the image was assessed according to the UK Sentencing Guidelines Council (page 109). The content was considered to be a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18, but hosted outside the UK,” said the IWF in a statement posted on their website.

Users attempting to access the page on the Virgin Killer album, or the image itself, have been subjected to it not loading, 404 pages, or messages explaining the block.

The image and article in question is that of the 1976 album Virgin Killer, a studio album by the Scorpions, a German rock band. The controversy began after the image of the album’s original cover, which depicted a naked prepubescent girl, was reported to the IWF in early December. Wikinews first discovered the controversial image in May 2008 after there were several attempts to delete it on Wikipedia. The image had been blocked because the IWF considered it to be “potentially illegal”. As a result, the IWF have contacted authorities in the United States and in the UK.

The measures applied redirect Wikipedia-bound traffic from a significant portion of the UK’s Internet population through a small number of servers which can log and filter the content that is available to the end user. A serious side-effect of this is the inability of administrators on Wikimedia sites to block vandals and other troublemakers without potentially impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent contributors who are working on the sites in good faith.

Contributors or individuals attempting to view an affected image or file, depending on their ISP, may get a warning saying, “we have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.”. Other ISPs provide blank pages, 404 errors, or other means of blocking the content.

1976 album cover for the Scorpions which previously appeared on Amazon.com, and many other sites.
Image: RCA/Scorpions.

Wikimedia was not informed that the image would be blacklisted because the IWF “does not issue takedown notices to ISPs or hosting companies outside the UK”. The servers for Wikimedia projects are located in Florida in the U.S., and according to Jay Walsh, the head of communications for Wikimedia, the Foundation “opposes” the action taken by the IWF.

“The IWF has confirmed to the Wikimedia Foundation that it has added Wikipedia to its blacklist, which also had the unintended consequence of rendering UK-based internet users unable to edit the encyclopedia,” said Walsh.

“We did advise one of our partner Hotlines abroad and our law enforcement partner agency of our assessment. The specific URL (individual webpage) was then added to the list provided to ISPs and other companies in the online sector to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to a potentially illegal indecent image of a child,” added the statement by the IWF.

“We have no reason to believe the article, or the image contained in the article, has been held to be illegal in any jurisdiction anywhere in the world. We believe it’s worth noting that the image is currently visible on Amazon, where the album can be freely purchased by UK residents. It is available on thousands of websites that are accessible to the UK public,” said Mike Godwin, legal counsel for Wikimedia. The cover has since been removed from Amazon.com.

Wikimedia projects such as Wikinews state in their policies that they are “not censored”. Wikimedia will continue discussions with the IWF in hopes of resolving the issue.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 9, 2007

USPTO partially confirms validity of Amazon “1-click patent”

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Page from office action showing patentability of claims 6 to 10 are confirmed

Today, the United States Patent and Trademall Office (USPTO) issued an office action, which confirmed the patentability of claims 6 to 10 of the Amazon 1-Click patent, US 5,960,411. The patent examiner, however, rejected claims 1 to 5 and 11 to 15. Amazon now has up to six months to amend the rejected claims to overcome the examiner’s rejection, provide arguments to demonstrate that the examiner is in error and/or provide evidence to demonstrate the patentability of their claims. During this period, the entire patent is still considered valid under US patent law.

The USPTO is reconsidering the patentability of the claims due to a request for reexamination filed by New Zealander Peter Calveley. Mr. Calveley used internet archives to show that defunct company Digi Cash used a similar technique prior to Amazon. Despite costing a substantial sum of cash and requiring donations to prepare and file the request for reexamination, Calveley said he did it as a game and hopes that his success inspires others to play the same game.

“One Click” shopping is an ecommerce technique, which allows a customer to purchase products via the Internet without repeatedly entering personal information such as name and address. At the time it was introduced it eased the frustration of on-line shopping.

Amazon filed the patent application for 1-click shopping in early 1997 and was granted the patent in September 1999. 23 days later Amazon sued rival Barnes & Noble for alleged infringement by its “Express Lane” ordering which was introduced in 1998. In December 1999 Amazon won an interim injunction against Barnes & Noble but the USA Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lifted this injunction in February 2001. The parties then settled their dispute for undisclosed terms. Amazon has since successfully licensed the technique to other e-sellers such as Apple.



Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »