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EU ruling restricts rights to resell back-up copies of software where originals are damaged, destroyed or lost

Software companies must enable customers that acquire an unlimited licence to use their product to download a copy of that software to replace originals that have been damaged, destroyed or lost, the EU's highest court has ruled. The right to access a replacement for damaged, destroyed or lost software exists in this way under …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Oct 2016

EU legal eagle: Euro court should review Intel's €1.6bn fine

An EU High Court Advocate General has recommended a review of the case that saw Intel slapped with a record fine after it was found to have coerced OEMs to avoid using rival companies' x86 CPUs. Back in 2009, the EC imposed a €1.06bn penalty - 4.15 per cent of Intel's turnover - following a multi-year legal battle but …

NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

Comment As production and usage of data keeps growing globally, it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it. That’s not news and the US government has many tools in its box. Many had already heard of the Uniting and Strengthening America by …
Frank Jennings, 20 Oct 2016
An angry woman steaming from the ears

Microsoft tries, fails to crush 'gender bias' lawsuit brought by its own women engineers

Microsoft has failed in a bid to shoot down a lawsuit alleging that its employee rating system was biased against women. A US district court in Washington has tossed out [PDF] the Redmond giant's motion to dismiss a complaint lobbed at it by three women engineers, who allege the system for evaluating engineering and technical …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2016

US government wants Microsoft 'Irish email' case reopened

The United States Department of Justice has asked the nation's Second Circuit Court of Appeals to re-open its three-year-old case attempt to have Microsoft hand over e-mails stored on servers in the Republic of Ireland. At the same time, the Department has dropped more than a hint that Google's in the cross-hairs. In July, …

You've been hacked. What are you liable for?

Hacking is big news and we’re all susceptible. In the UK, hackers could face jail time under the Computer Misuse Act, but the question on many businesses’ minds will be where the liability lies if they are hacked. The list of successful mega breaches continues to grow; extra-marital affairs site Ashley Madison hit the …
Frank Jennings, 14 Oct 2016

Oracle rip-off merchants Rimini Street fined another $28m, hit with permanent ban

Rimini Street has been hit with yet another fine for infringing Oracle's copyright, as well as a permanent injunction barring it from providing any Oracle software to customers. In a judgment [PDF] on Tuesday, a Nevada judge fined the company $27.7m in prejudgment interest – with more to come. He also issued a permanent …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Oct 2016
MP Margaret Hodge in the Commons

'Facebook and eBay need to be subject to greater scrutiny' - Margaret Hodge

Former chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge has renewed calls for greater transparency of global companies' tax affairs - following revelations of Facebook and eBay's recent tax affairs. Companies House filings revealed this week that Facebook's UK business generated an £11.3m tax credit last year while …
Kat Hall, 11 Oct 2016

Bloke gets six years in slammer after fessing up to £4.75m tax scam

A businessman from Essex, UK, has been jailed for six years for claiming back sales tax on computer memory sold overseas in a deception also known at carousel fraud. Robert Waterman funded a lavish lifestyle of expensive houses, luxury cars and a Marbella holiday home through a scam in which he pretended to trade memory sticks …
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Quadsys Five walk free after hacking rival company

Five senior staffers at security reseller Quadsys managed to avoid imprisonment today. The Quadsys Five walked free from Oxford Crown Court this afternoon after a sentencing hearing - they had pleaded guilty in July to charges of securing unauthorised access to computer material, contrary to section 1 of the Computer Misuse …
The word futile

Oracle loses (again) in battle to get Google Java case retried (again)

Oracle has been turned away in its latest effort to get a new trial for its Java API copyright claim against Google. San Francisco District Court Judge William Alsup denied [PDF] Oracle's latest motion to have the case reheard, this time on grounds of misconduct on the part of Google's lawyers. The legal war, which has been …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Sep 2016
Cheque, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft paid me $650 to scrub Windows 10 from my grandpa's PC, says man

Microsoft has paid the relative of an Alzheimer’s patient for having to scrub his PC clean of Windows 10. Jesse Worley said he'd received a cheque for $650 from Microsoft – seen by The Register – which he told us he'd received after threatening the giant with court action over an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade. Tech consultant …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Sep 2016
Oracle corporate HQ

Oracle lawyers prevail in copyright case (No, not that, the other one)

Oracle has been awarded $46.2m in its copyright battle with Rimini Street. The Nevada Federal Court awarded the cash [PDF] to cover the legal bills Oracle has racked up in its years-long battle with Rimini – which repackaged and sold support services for Oracle products without a license. The federal court also put in place a …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Sep 2016

Windows 10 backlash: Which? demands compo for forced upgrades

Microsoft has been given a roasting by consumer group Which? over Windows 10 woes reported by users, with the organisation calling for compensation for those who found their PCs bricked after auto-updates. Which? said that it had surveyed its members for their experiences with the latest version of Windows, which was released …
Dan Robinson, 22 Sep 2016

Seagate sued by its own staff for leaking personal info to identity thieves

Seagate is trying to fight off a lawsuit filed by employees whose personal information was lost when the storage giant was hit with a phishing attack. The company is in the midst of a hearing over whether the aggrieved workers have grounds to sue their employer for negligence after someone in human resources was duped into …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016

Quadsys Five sentencing hearing delayed

The sentencing hearing for the Quadsys Five, who pleaded guilty in July to hacking into a rival security reseller, has been postponed as relevant paperwork remains uncompleted. Oxford Crown Court confirmed the “pre-sentence report” was not yet ready and 29 September is new date the defendants will be put before the beak. “It …
Paul Kunert, 09 Sep 2016

Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Apple held court in San Francisco on Tuesday to announce updates for the iPhone and Apple Watch lines. Speaking to a hand-picked crowd at the Bill Graham Auditorium (The Register was not invited), CEO Tim Cook showcased the annual updates for both the smartwatch and smartphone pieces of Apple's lineup. A very swimmable Apple …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Sep 2016

Dude, you got a Dell lawyer: HPE sues high-flying ex-exec after defection to EMC

HPE is suing a former senior executive who absconded to Dell with a head allegedly full of trade secrets. In a complaint [PDF] filed to the Delaware State Chancery Court, HPE alleges that KC Choi, the departed Vice President of Global Solutions Architecture, violated a 12-month non-compete agreement when he fled to EMC just …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Sep 2016

McAfee-the-man wants McAfee-the-brand, Chipzilla says no

John McAfee wants to put his name on a business again, and that's got Intel hot under the collar, so it's off to court they go. Documents filed (PDF) in the Manhattan federal court over the weekend tell us that in June, Intel wrote to McAfee-the-man's investmentvehicle, MGT Capital Investments, telling it not to try changing …

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

The Irish government formally decided to appeal the European Commission's $14.5 billion back-tax demand on Friday. "There are some very important principles at stake in this case," said the country's finance minister Michael Noonan. "A robust legal challenge before the courts is essential to defend Ireland's interests." "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Sep 2016

EMC-Pure Storage patent sueball circus sent back to square one

EMC's $14m patent award against Pure Storage has been set aside by a judge who has ordered a new trial. The judge in the Delaware District federal court case ruled that the jury didn't consider the notion that EMC's patent, number 7,434,015 dealing with deduplication, is invalid due to an earlier patent issued to Sun …
Chris Mellor, 02 Sep 2016

Kaspersky 'terminates' deal with security reseller Quadsys

Kaspersky Lab is the first big vendor to publicly rip up its contract with disgraced security reseller Quadsys in the wake of the hacking scandal that the company’s bosses recently admitted to. On 22 July, Quadsys owner Paul Streeter, MD Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davis and security consultant …
Paul Kunert, 02 Sep 2016
An unhappy man

Both HPs allegedly axed people just for being old, California court told

The two offshoots of Hewlett Packard have been hit with a class action lawsuit in the US, accusing the pre-split IT giant of discriminating against older employees during job culls. The suit was filed with the US Northern District Court in San Jose, California, this week by four plaintiffs on behalf of former employees. It …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Aug 2016

Tech Data swings and misses Wall Street moneymen's target

Tech Data's latest quarterly financials show a distributor wrestling with “weaker than expected” IT spending and trying to dip into “pockets of demand” across Europe and the Americas. The world’s second largest tech wholesaler filed turnover of $6.4bn for Q2 of fiscal year 2017 ended 31 July. This was down three per cent as …
Paul Kunert, 25 Aug 2016

Arista slapped with import ban after US Trade Rep lays down law

The US Trade Representative has upheld a ban on all Arista Networks products, following a complaint of patent infringement by Cisco. A federal commission found in June that the company's products infringed patents owned by the switchzilla. "The International Trade Commission determined that Arista wilfully and intentionally …
Kat Hall, 24 Aug 2016

Cops to let the private sector chase after cybercrims' assets

The City of London Police is piloting a scheme to allow the private sector to chase after miscreants in civil courts in return for a share of the loot. The scheme, which is set to run for two years, has been launched explicitly because of the lower standard of proof necessary for the recovery of assets in civil courts. City …

IBM: Illegally Bleeding Mortgages (...allegedly)

IBM has found itself in the crosshairs of the US government after one of its subsidiaries has been accused of financial fraud. A lawsuit [PDF] filed in the US District Court of Southern New York accuses both Big Blue and its Seterus loan servicing company of taking more than $13m from Fannie Mae in reimbursements it was not …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2016
Businesswoman shoots arrow from cliff at balloon holding up rival... Bit silly conceptual art. Photo by Shutterstock

Sweating Springpath fails to defuse SimpliVity's patent bomb

Hyperconverged software biz Springpath has lost an attempt to have SimpliVity's patent infringement case against it thrown out. If SimpliVity wins its legal fight at trial, Springpath's Data Platform product could be banned from sale, triggering the collapse of its Cisco OEM deal. Cisco's HyperFlex product is based on …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2016

HP awarded £1.95m in reseller grey market fraud case

Hewlett Packard Enterprise was this week awarded £1.95m after a UK High Court judge ruled against reseller minnow International Computer Purchasing over allegations it abused special bid pricing. The US giant told us the successful claim against ICP and director Matthew Archer was for “fraud, conspiracy and inducement of …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jul 2016

Skyscape rebrands to UKCloud following legal challenge by Sky

Hosting provider Skyscape is changing its name to UKCloud, following allegations from Sky that it has infringed the broadcaster's registered trademarks. In July 2014, Sky's solicitors wrote to Skyscape alleging that Skyscape was infringing registered trademarks owned by companies within the Sky Group. Sky pointed to the …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016

Europe gives Privacy Shield one year to work

Europe's data protection authorities will hold fire for one year on the new Privacy Shield agreement, withholding any potential legal challenges until mid-2017. In a statement [PDF] by the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), the influential body noted it was still unhappy with the final text of the agreement – which replaces the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jul 2016
A businessman in handcuffs

IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'

A former lead systems engineer with a US software development company has been accused of laundering $2.4m (£1.8m) in an IT consulting scheme. The office of the Texas Attorney General has filed 11 counts of fraud and money laundering against Albert Shih-Der Chang, who worked at One Technologies, a Dallas-based firm that …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016

Bosses at UK infosec biz Quadsys confess to hacking rival reseller

Five men working at UK-based IT security reseller Quadsys confessed today to hacking into a rival's database. Owner Paul Streeter, managing director Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davies and security consultant Jon Townsend appeared before the beak at Oxford Crown Court. All five pleaded guilty to …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016

Everyone's favorite infosec biz – Blue Coat – must cough up $40m to rival in patent rip-off row

Blue Coat has lost its appeal challenging a nearly $40m patent infringement lawsuit brought by rival security company Finjan. The California Northern District Court upheld the 2015 jury decision awarding $39,528,487 to Finjan for infringement by Blue Coat on five of its patents: 6,804,780 identifying downloadable files 6, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

Software can be considered 'goods' for purpose of commercial agent rules – High Court

Software suppliers can be forced to pay damages to self-employed intermediaries they contract with to promote their products under UK commercial agents regulations, according to a recent High Court ruling. The High Court ordered Computer Associates UK Ltd (CA) to pay The Software Incubator (TSI) £475,000 in compensation under …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jul 2016
Privacy image

Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016

Server techies 'stiffed on overtime pay' banned from ganging up on HP

Hewlett-Packard has succeeded in breaking up a class-action lawsuit brought by its tech support workers who say the IT giant stiffed them on overtime pay. In an order [PDF] handed down yesterday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman said the enterprise field-support technicians can't band together against the Palo Alto goliath, and must …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2016

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Updated Microsoft has won a landmark legal action against the US government over protecting the privacy of non-US citizens on non-US servers. The appeals court decision invalidates a key legal tool the US government uses to apply extraterritorially. The software company voluntarily put itself in contempt of court by challenging Uncle …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Analysis The European Union's attempts to make data transfers to the United States compliant with privacy laws are an opaque exercise, so much is obvious, but will they work? It's clear that it is necessary to retain the Transatlantic data trade – in economic terms, but also as a means of preventing the Balkanization of the internet. …

Mike Lynch's cybersec biz Darktrace hoovers up $65m in VC dosh

Darktrace, the machine-learning cybersec outfit backed by one-time Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, has pulled in another $65m in VC funding. Lynch previously founded enterprise search firm Autonomy, which was sold to HP and ultimately cost that company $8.8bn in impairment and other charges. This led Patrick White, the head of start- …

Larry Ellison, Oracle and litigation: A business that's not a business

Analysis Oracle's chalked up yet another stunning courtroom loss. In May, the database giant failed in its bid to have Google stump up $9bn on Android and stake a sweeping claim over APIs and how they're broadly used. And now, this week, Oracle was ordered to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) $3bn for reneging on a commitment to …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jul 2016
Titanic, image via shutterstock

Jury awards US$3 BEEELION to HPE in Oracle/Itanium lawsuit

Oracle is set to appeal a decision which, if it stands, will require Big Red to make a US$3 billion contribution to HPE's top line. HP launched the action in Oracle's 2011 decision to quit developing software for Intel's Itanium processors. Oracle believed there was no future in the Itanium architecture, but HP pressed ahead …
A man refusing

No means no: Windows 10 nagware's red X will stop update – Microsoft

Microsoft will change the controversial way it has been force-feeding people Windows 10 upgrades. The Redmond spreadsheet maker said that when someone clicks on the red "X" to close its infamous your-Windows-10-upgrade-is-ready pop-up, they will actually hold off the installation rather than accept it. One-way dialog ... The …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2016

'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

A California woman has won $10,000 from Microsoft after a sneaky Windows 10 update wrecked the computer she used to run her business. Now she's urging everyone to follow suit and "fight back." Teri Goldstein – who manages a travel agency in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco – told The Register she landed the compensation …
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

You spend months or years building up a client list for your employer. You nurture the relationship and build up personal ties with the client. When you leave the employer, naturally the client goes with you. And so does the client list, via a USB stick or Dropbox or your webmail account. If you don’t get all the details before …
Frank Jennings, 20 Jun 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Stopped buying Oracle's kit? You've literally decimated its profit

Oracle is talking up soaring sales for its cloudy operations – while the IT giant's profit has taken a big hit over the past 12 months. "We dramatically overachieved again in the cloud," gushed co-CEO Safra Catz in a conference call with analysts, putting her bruised revenue and net income figures aside. "As the business grows …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution

Ex-SAP exec and pals accused of $500,000 insider trading scam

A former SAP executive and his associates allegedly ran an insider trading ring to net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Chris Salis was, until recently, global vice president and general manager for procurement at SAP. US financial watchdog the SEC claims he used his inside knowledge of SAP's takeover of Business Objects in …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2016
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported that two-thirds of …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe