CEOs tell Congress: Patent trolls are giving us the shakedown

CEOs met with the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the ongoing plague of patent trolls. Overstock’s top lawyer called them “a tax on innocent operating companies” and many have found it easier and cheaper to pay them off rather than fight lengthy and expensive legal battles. The article also addressed ideas currently bouncing around Congress to stop this such as the Innovation Act which would require company’s to define the infringement in their complaint.

Does the consumer want Tidal?

Twitter has not been responding well to Jay-Z’s relaunch of a music-streaming service (with a $20 monthly fee).  Is this new service too artist-centric?  It costs more than Netflix and does not provide the same 8 hour binge-distraction on Saturdays.

Did Aereo make things legally clearer for rival companies?

In class we discussed how Aereo received millions of dollars to develop its technology but was forced into bankruptcy from legal fees and its competitors were able to purchase the technology at incredibly low prices. Another perspective to the story is that the Aereo lawsuit also helped to establish and define the legal landscape for its competitors, which is also a significant advantage.

For example, streaming service competitor says: that it will satisfy the requirement under copyright law that the transmissions be private performances, because where the signal is captured makes all the difference and its product is “squarely in fair use.”