That's the only weapon it has and it's never going to be enough because the FTC isn't really set up to handle modern privacy questions like this -- and that would require a new mandate from Congress. This is in Congress's court. That said, my bigger concern, as always, is that everyone's obsession over "protecting privacy" is going to mean significantly less competition. I raised this issue last year, soon after everyone freaked out about Cambridge Analytica, noting that I feared what would happen is that Facebook would be driven to lock down everyone's data rather than making it more accessible to third party and competing services.
There are significant and important trade-offs here. For years now I've been talking about the real way to create more competition on the internet, and much of it involves pressuring the big internet companies into opening up. Have them create APIs that allow others to build services on top of their data so that we're not so locked into the giant platforms.
Enable more competition at the service level, rather than the data collection level. But this agreement does the opposite. It is basically giving up and saying that the FTC and regulators now think that Facebook will be the dominant platform for ages, and therefore it needs to better police data and better lock it down. This is not a good solution except if you're Facebook.
As former Facebook CSO Alex Stamos points out in a very thoughtful thread , while this is a slap on the wrist regarding Facebook's problematic privacy practices, it actually helps stop future competition :. It has the world's second largest ad network. It never again needs data from anybody else to make money or third parties to facilitate growth. This order doesn't include the word competition or include any balancing tests. It's fantastic for FB. I can't believe Facebook didn't pay more for this. This is a natural consequence of the shallow nature of the "techlash".
The US doesn't have a substantive privacy law, and the FTC has to base work on what they consider unfair or misleading practices. If critics don't understand the equities balance, they can't balance equities. This isn't binding on other companies, but it will be interesting to see if they use this as a reason to reduce APIs and favor their own apps.
This is part of the problem I keep trying to highlight. When your only focus is on punishing big tech companies like Facebook, be careful about how you do so, because there are so many important tradeoffs, that if you don't pay attention to what you're doing, all you really end up doing is locking them in as the dominant platforms. And that's really what's happening there. Our lack of understanding about privacy or about data and "ownership" will lead people to a very dangerous place, where we make short term decisions -- such as what happened here -- that are focused on "punishing" one particular set of companies for one particular set of actions many of which were really bad.
But the end result is even worse. You've set up the system such that the only logical and reasonable way out of this bad situation is foreclosed. The best way out of Facebook's dominance is to have it give up total control over the data it collects. But, here, the FTC has done the reverse. It has given Facebook more control over the data it collects in the name of "protecting" privacy.
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This is backwards. Rather than saying that Facebook shouldn't be the one protecting all that data, the FTC is just saying "protect it better, and don't let any other service be allowed to come in and do anything. I know a lot of people are mad the fine wasn't larger, but the fine doesn't matter.
All that really matters is whether or not competitive services are enabled or not, and this agreement forecloses the best way to actually chip away at Facebook's market position. And that's the real shame. Filed Under: apis , competition , fines , ftc , openness , privacy , regulations , settlement , sharing Companies: facebook. If you beat the average price, you unlock 8 more courses covering multiple tools and topics to help you learn more about becoming an ethical hacker.
A portion of all sales from Techdirt Deals helps support Techdirt. The products featured do not reflect endorsements by our editorial team. As established at trial, ducks in nature are often yellow and usually have wings, bills, and tails. As pointed out by lawyer Rick Sanders , a copyright lawsuit over two floating pool ducks has ended after a trial!?!
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Straight from the complaint, here is the floatable duck produced by the Great American Duck Races Inc. Apparently, there is some sort of rule that such floatation toys must be advertised with women in bikinis. Who knew? This case certainly is reminiscent of the fight over copycat banana costumes. In fact, that case also involved Kangaroo Manufacturing as the defendant.
Indeed, as the ruling in this case lays out, Kangaroo is very much in the business of finding hot products online and making something of a copycat product:. Ligeri and Kangaroo experienced substantial success selling products on Amazon At one point, Ligeri offered live seminars to teach other individuals how to successfully sell products on Amazon.
In advertising those seminars, Ligeri very confidently appeared in a video where he presented his business model. In practice, it was clear that Ligeri and his companies would identify successful products on Amazon and then make slightly different versions of those products without apparent concern about possible intellectual property violations. That design process was described in detail at trial. Follett did not instruct Oliver to copy the product in its entirety.
It has got to be better, but basically, this is the product we are making. Follett looked at the available pool floats and discovered four duck pool floats sold by four different companies Oliver designed the new pool float and Kangaroo manufactured its own duck-wearing-sunglasses pool float. Oliver did not, however, slavishly copy the Derby Duck. Thus, while there are some similarities, there are also significant differences.
It turns out that those "significant differences" are what saves Kangaroo's bacon. Even though it seems clear that Kangaroo at least partially copied the other duck as its inspiration, it is different enough that it's not deemed infringing. All of those attributes are found on ducks in nature. Nike, Inc. The parties have focused on the addition of sunglasses as the crucial protectable element. And the Court agrees that the sunglasses are the key protectable element of the Derby Duck.
That is, GAME is entitled to protection only for the way it expressed the idea of a duck wearing sunglasses. When confronted with the two ducks, and focusing on the sunglasses, there are a few striking differences. The sunglasses on the Derby Duck consist of a double bridge, are solid black, and most importantly are separately inflatable. The fact that the sunglasses are inflatable make the sunglasses a very prominent feature of the Derby Duck.
Rentmeester, F. The Derby Duck has a red bill that is open. And thus, the copyright claim fails even though the trial produced significant evidence that Kangaroo was deliberately "copying" the idea of the floating duck. As the court notes at one point: "the fact that Kangaroo copied the Derby Duck does not establish liability. A separate trademark claim also fails. The court goes through the long list of relevant factors for the "likelihood of confusion," and concludes that while some go in each direction and some are neutral , in the end there's little real likelihood of confusion:.
Even though more factors support GAME than Kangaroo, evaluating the factors as a whole, and in light of all the other evidence, GAME has not established a probability of confusion.
But that is not enough. Murray v. Cable NBC, 86 F. The trademark infringement claim fails. Finally, the court rejects the unfair competition claim, in large part because literally no one seems to have the necessary evidence. At issue: Kangaroo posted its duck to Amazon, but quickly took it down after Great American Duck Races complained, and no one seems to still have a copy of what the Amazon product page looked like -- which is necessary for the unfair competition claim.
It does seem notable that even after Amazon agreed to pull the product, Great American Duck Races still sued Kangaroo. And it seems like that may have backfired, since now Kangaroo may be able to go back to Amazon and point to this ruling as evidence that it can sell its product there. The case has been dismissed without prejudice, so it is still possible that Great American could file an amended complaint, but it's difficult to see what will change this ruling. Oh, and also, this is neither here nor there, but if this is going to show up in a court order, how can I not mention the thinking behind putting sunglasses on a duck:.
Kangaroo manufactures other floats depicting animals wearing sunglasses, such as a flamingo Kangaroo also manufactures a duck float that does not have sunglasses. Filed Under: copyright , ducks , inflatable ducks , trademark Companies: great american duck races , kangaroo , kangaroo manufacturing. A little more than 12 years ago, Verizon was forced to strike an agreement with the New York State Attorney General for marketing data plans as "unlimited" when the plans had very clear limits.
Carriers have received numerous subsequent wrist slaps for the practice in the decade since, but none of these lessons appear to have gotten through. Case in point: Verizon recently launched its first ever 5G hotspot for use on the company's barely available 5G network. And of course, this being Verizon, the company's "unlimited" data plan is not really unlimited:.
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Lancet, is , Richards, T. Roberts, J. Rosenthal, R. Samuels Arthurs and Edisen, C. Sternbach, R. Psychophysiology, 1: , Sternback, R. Academic, Cited by Strupp, H. Stroebel, C. Strupp, H. Tibbets, R. Tyler, D. Vicar, 0. Volgyesi, F. A-: "School for patients" Hypnosis therapy and psychoprophylaxis. Wolf, S. As each one left, the dwarves looked on, hidden away in nearby alleways and other dark corners. Trevor watched with them, anxious to strike. Wouldn't want to run into too much resistance still hanging around, right? Every Sentinel that left the building meant that there would be one fewer Sentinel that he would have to plow through to reach Neo.
An explosion rocked a building a couple of blocks away, and more Sentinels rushed out to deal with this new problem. Ghaiman huffed. That loose cannon again. Ah well, if Pyrox wants to help distract the Sentinels for us, he can go right ahead In a different Headquarters several miles away, Jennifer fastened her body armor and holstered her weapon. Metalneck had done some work without her, but for the most part he was eager to have his partner on the force back in action. He was not about to let her go out in her condition, though; her stitchings had come off recently, but she was told it would be another week before she was allowed to return to active duty.
She needed time to prepare herself physically and mentally; a near-death experience can be traumatic even for hardened officers. When she heard the reports coming in concerning the rioters and thieves assault all around Khazan, however, she felt she had to do something. Then she had an idea. Let's at least fly around on patrol for a bit. We won't engage anyone directly, but we can help out by reporting what's going on, and helping where we can. Finally, he agreed. We'll probably get chewed out for doing this anyway, but I won't feel quite so bad if I can keep you off of the front lines.
Ready to go? Have you tried communicating with headquarters lately? Can you teleport us out of here yet? A few moments later, a plasma cannon appeared in midair and dropped to the ground with a plunk. Joe ran over to it and looked it over. Alright, let's see them handle this! The plasma ate through not only the ceiling above him, but the ceiling of the room above that as well, and kept going.
On ground level, a few dwarves in the kitchen engaged in casual conversation when suddenly one of them had his left side vaporized by a plasma blast shooting up through the ground. The others stared in shock for a few moments. Come on, let's haul him outside, it'll be easier for him to draw from the earth without this tile flooring in the way. Something just shot out of the top of the castle! Take the few dwarves that we have and get down there, we need to stall them longer before Joe starts shooting down the whole castle!
I get the feeling we're going to have to evacuate soon Back down below, Joe stared up at the vertical tunnel he'd just made. From another direction, several dwarves, armed with a variety of bladed melee weapons, charged towards them. Joe aimed his new weapon at the dwarves. Mind handling those two for me? Iola's axe and Mythria's staff were raised in defense, but the strike never came. Seryph charged right past them into the tunnel they'd come from. They looked at each other in confusion for a moment before they both realized what he was doing. The tunnel!
Kioshi watched and participated in the unfolding battle from the relative safety of ground level. He altered the tunnel so that it no longer exited at ground level, then assisted the dwarves with earthen tendrils that ensnared Joe and his lethal weapon. Joe kept firing though, so the dwarves had to approach the tangled mass of dirt and flesh and metal cautiously. Seryph, meanwhile, had turned back and begun his attack in earnest as well. Mythria and Iola were decent guards, but were no match in swordsmanship for the former Avatar. Irritated, Kioshi tried to assist them as well, raising a wall of defense between them and Seryph.
Seryph deftly sliced through it and then kicked the loose debris at Iola. While she jumped back out of harm's way, Seryph focused his attention on Mythria, and with a few swipes he sliced her weapon in twain. Kioshi now had to focus his attention on Seryph, leaving Joe with enough maneuverability to blast a couple of unlucky dwarves. Seryph called out to Joe while dodging several intentional cave-ins. I think we've stopped moving!
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Kioshi swore. He'd been so busy trying to deal with them that he'd forgotten to keep the entire room moving around! Seryph disappeared moments later. Pressing a button on a console next to him, several small spheres of light appeared connecting him to everyone else in the castle. By the time Seryph showed up a few seconds later, Joe was already giving the order to fire on Ramius Castle. Its remaining inhabitants teleported out just in time for Kioshi to watch one of his finest works be reduced to rubble from a few miles away.
It had been a while since the residents of Uptown Khazan had borne witness to the incredibly destructive force of a Death Moon blast, and were it not for the other events of the evening, such an attack without warning would've been the talk of the town for the next few days. Joe addressed the intelligence captain on the bridge. We've discovered that the rioting in Lowtown has come from an unexpected prison break on the Morlobs facility Any sign of him? Shall we order an attack? As important as catching him probably is, we're going to need every soldier we can get cleaning up the mess he's made.
We'll deal with him once we're able to fully focus our attention on him, for now just keep an eye on him in case he does something suspicious. Seryph, I think we should-- Seryph? Joe looked around. Seryph had been there just a minute ago Gibbons was here just a second ago. He said you'd okayed it for us to teleport him down to the surface. He said that he had an idea and had us send him to the Just-Us building. That's okay, right? I'm going back down myself to help clean up this town a little Graves stopped for a moment, and ordered Jeremiah and Klaus to do the same.
He turned, looking up at the sky, to see the pillar of light that was the Death Moon Ray screaming down from space. He knew what the target was.
Jeremiah, Klaus, get to the Complex as fast as you can. I didn't want to go there alone but it looks like we're going to have to speed things up a little, so I'll go on ahead and clear out the building's defenses. Who knows, we might need it tonight after all. I guess I'll try--" "Joe? They had garrisoned nearby buildings and were firing all manner of weaponry at the approaching officers. Then Tanin saw him. He appeared from an alleyway, walking in full view of the camera. The police trained their weapons on him, but when Kaas raised Dorchadas Laan at them, Tanin knew they were doomed.