Laws and Legalities

Lawsuit filed against Apple over lethal fire caused by defective iPad battery pack

Lawsuit filed against Apple over lethal fire caused by defective iPad battery pack

Apple sued over defective iPad battery that caught fatal fire killing Parsippany Man

Apple has been sued by the children of a deceased Parsippany man who was killed in a fire in 2017 allegedly caused due to a faulty iPad battery. The civil lawsuit has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Bradley Ireland, 64, suffered severe injuries in the early morning fire that took place at his Colonial Heights apartment on February 22, 2017. The victim died later that day in a local hospital, says the lawsuit filed by Bradley’s daughter Julia Ireland Meo and son Benjamin Ireland.

“The fire was caused by a defect in the subject tablet, specifically affecting the tablet’s battery pack,” the lawsuit said. The fire started near an “electrical appliance” in the kitchen.

“The subject tablet was unreasonably dangerous and unsafe for its intended purpose by reasons of defects in its design and/or its manufacture and/or a lack of adequate warnings which existed when Defendant Apple placed the subject tablet into the stream of commerce and/or when Defendant distributed and/or sold ‘updates’ to the subject tablet,” Apple Insider reports, citing the lawsuit.

The lawsuit has been filed against Apple on three counts: “Strict Products Liability,” “Wrongful Death” and “Survival Action,” the time where Ireland “experienced significant pain and suffering” between receiving the burns and his death on the same day.

While the lawsuit asks for a jury trial, it doesn’t mention a specific figure. The Irelands are basically seeking compensatory damages, interest, costs, and attorney fees from Apple.

Apple has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

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Facebook could be hit with a record settling multi-billion dollar fine from the FTC for privacy violation

Facebook Is Negotiating A Multi-Billion Dollar Fine

Facebook is negotiating a multi-billion dollar fine with the FTC over privacy probe

Facebook could be slapped a multi-billion dollar fine from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) over recent privacy lapses, according to a report from The Washington Post. The FTC has been investigating into Facebook’s privacy and security-violating practices related to the leaking of data of Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica last year.

For those unaware, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook were involved in a privacy scandal wherein the former had illegally lifted data of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge and consent and used it to influence voter trends in several countries. Facebook allowed thousands of app developers to harvest data through third-party online games and quizzes and then used it to target American voters with emotionally specific messaging. Facebook believes that as many as 87 million users’ personal data have been collected without their permission.

According to The Washington Post, Facebook and the FTC are negotiating a “multi-billion dollar” fine for the social networking giant’s privacy violations. However, the two sides haven’t agreed on an amount, as Facebook has allegedly disputed some of the FTC’s stipulations, The Washington Post said citing two unnamed sources.

Currently, the issue is whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 consent agreement with the FTC, which required the social network to have a “comprehensive privacy program” and to get the “express consent” of users before sharing their data.

The fine imposed for privacy lapses on Facebook could be the largest ever for a tech company. Previous largest-ever FTC fines imposed on a tech firm was the $22.5 million penalty that Google was made to pay for violating an earlier privacy agreement with the agency. 

Both Facebook and the FTC have declined to comment on the issue.

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Apple bricked its own iPhone chargers, alleges class-action lawsuit

Apple accused of blocking its own iPhone chargers

Apple accused of blocking its own iPhone chargers in 2016 through iOS updates

A California resident has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple for allegedly ‘blocking support for old chargers’ in 2016 through iOS updates (via AppleInsider).

The main plaintiff identified as Monica Emerson in the lawsuit filed the suit via a law firm in the United States District Court for the Central District of California “on behalf of all other members of the public similarly situated.”

According to the lawsuit, around November 2016, “thousands” of iPhone owners in the U.S. and other countries began to experience problems with their older iPhones where their devices stopped recognizing or accepting their chargers.

The lawsuit note that the chargers were functioning normally before September 13, 2016. However, an iOS update that was released in October 2017 caused Emerson’s charger to stop working and started showing a pop-up, “this accessory may not be supported” when attempting to charge. The Apple iOS update also took place without Emerson’s approval, notes the suit.

“In or around October 2017, Plaintiff attempted to use her Apple Charger and received a message that read “This accessory may not be supported.” Thus, requiring that people buy a new charger for her iPhone. Upon learning this, Plaintiff felt ripped off, cheated, and violated by Defendant.”

The company is accused of releasing “forced updates to the iPhones which were specifically designed and programmed to reject old iPhone chargers.” Apple is said to have done this “in an effort to dominate the cellular telephone marketplace,” with an aim to force customers to purchase either new iPhones or new chargers.

The lawsuit further notes that the chargers were produced by the iPhone-maker, and not a third-party company.

Demanding a jury trial, the suit wants class-action status, for Apple to inform class members of its “unlawful and deceptive conduct,” and that Apple must engage in corrective advertising, actual and punitive damages, any and all statutory enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, interest, and any other available relief, in order to rectify the malpractice.

Meanwhile, Apple’s own support advises if you see the “Accessory may not be supported” alert, could be either due to defective, damaged accessory, or it is not Apple-certified, or the accessory isn’t supported by the device or the iOS device has a dirty or damaged connector. It could also possibly mean that users need to update to a newer version of iOS for certain kinds of accessories.

Apple has yet to officially respond to the lawsuit.

In December last year, two Apple users had jointly filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of California accusing Apple of making fraudulent claims regarding the screen sizes and pixel counts of the displays in its new iPhone X series (iPhone X, XS, and XS Max) smartphones.

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Indian government approves jail term for cam piracy of movies

jail term for cam piracy

Film pirates in India could serve up to three years in prison for cam piracy

Earlier last month, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) in India had proposed a new amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, to target unauthorized cam piracy in theaters and punish offenders.

The Union Cabinet on February 6 approved the proposal to introduce the Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019 and amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952 to combat the peril of film piracy, which includes a three-year prison sentence or Rs 10 lakh (US$14,000) fine or both for those found guilty of film piracy and copyright infringement.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday told the media: “If one, without authorisation, undertakes digital duplication of various creative works or by any other means of digital technology, one can be made to suffer three-year jail punishment and Rs 10 lakh fine.”

“This step will help our film industry in dealing with the menace of piracy,” he said.

According to the proposed amendment, any person, who without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, “uses any audiovisual recording device to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy or visual recording or sound recording embodying a cinematograph film or audiovisual recording or any part thereof or a copy of sound recording accompanying such cinematograph film or audiovisual recording or any part thereof during subsistence of copyright in such cinematograph film or sound recording, shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding three years and shall also be liable to fine not exceeding Rs.10 Lakhs, or to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.”

Bollywood film fraternity members like Siddharth Roy Kapur, Omung Kumar B, and Indra Kumar welcomed the decision and considered it as a significant move to deter piracy. The proposed amendment would increase industry revenues, boost job creation, and fulfill objectives of the National IP policy, the government said.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of the Producers Guild of India, said in a statement: “This is a significant move to protect intellectual property in our country. This communicates to all stakeholders that as a country we respect and reward innovation and creativity, and will ensure that the rights of owners and creators of this intellectual property are safeguarded.”

Filmmaker Anees Bazmee called it an “excellent decision” and said “it will combat the threats of piracy and hopefully, eradicate it completely. The producers and shareholders will be in a better space as their creativity and property will be secured.”

National Award-winning director Omung Kumar B welcomed the move by the government. “This will ensure that whoever indulges in piracy or cam-cording will be penalized. For the longest time, many films have suffered because they have either been leaked online or prints have been stolen from cinema halls.

“I believe that with the fear of being penalized and with the law being after those who indulge in piracy, it will act as a huge deterrent, at least significantly.”

Filmmaker Indra Kumar, whose 2016 movie “Great Grand Masti” was severely affected due to piracy said: “It was one of my most traumatic moments in my life… During ‘Great Grand Masti’, the losses were so huge that I can’t even begin to think of how I survived those days.

“It was like a massive truck had run over me, and the impact was so big, that no filmmaker or anyone for that matter, who creates something, should go through this. Crores of rupees were lost, all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears of my team went down the drain in a single night because of the piracy.”

He termed piracy as “a menace, a disease that must be treated”.

Producer Anand Pandit added: “Issues like copyright infringement, film piracy, cam-cording, and content leakage have definitely led to weakening the Indian film industry by hampering the deserved revenue production.

“I welcome the amendment to the Cinematograph Act which will penalize anyone who indulges in piracy.”

Apparently, 90% of India’s piracy activities are traced to in-theater recordings done on camcorders and smartphones, which are then released on pirate websites.

Recently, Motion Picture Distributors’ Association (India)’s Managing Director Uday Singh stated: “Content theft or piracy in the film industry originates from ‘camcording’ in cinema halls. The Indian film industry loses around Rs 18,000 crore ($2.7 billion) and over 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy.”

It will be interesting to see how the announcement stops heavy-weight piracy group, TamilRockers from running its piracy business in India. The popular anti-piracy group has continued to remain active and strong despite court orders blocking a large number of domains owned by them.

Source: ET

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Spanish ISPs ordered to block 1337x, LimeTorrents, and other domains

Spanish ISPs ordered to block 1337x

Court Orders Spanish ISPs To Block Access To 7 Torrent Sites, Including 1337x And LimeTorrents

Spanish ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have been ordered by a Barcelona Commercial Court to block 7 torrent sites, following action by local music industry players.

The targeted torrent sites include,,,,, and the most popular,

The local anti-piracy group, AGEDI, had submitted a lawsuit that led to the enforcement of the blocking measures on the aforementioned torrent sites.

For those unaware, AGEDI (Association for the Management of Intellectual Property) is a non-profit association constituted by music producers to collectively manage the rights that the Intellectual Property Law (text recast of April 12, 1996) grants to producers of phonograms. It is the collective management entity of the producers of phonograms and music videos.

The decision by the Barcelona court means that major ISPs including Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, and others will have to carry out the blocking injunction. However, internet users who still want access to the blocked torrent sites can still do so by changing their DNS.

Nevertheless, the decision of the Barcelona Court was welcomed by the local music industry group, Promusicae (Productores de Música de España). President of Promusicae Antonio Guisasola noted that the decision contributes to “the end of the era of impunity” for pirates.

“We have suffered for many years at the hands of those who believed that music was a product that could be plundered and distributed without the slightest scruple,” Guisasola says.

“In the end, the efforts of creators and producers do not fall on deaf ears. Beyond the harsh generalized economic crisis, the music industry has suffered a bloody time that destroyed tens of thousands of jobs and put at serious risk the very development of our cultural fabric.

“The decisive changes implemented to favor new and more accessible modes of consumption require the backing of administrative and judicial authorities to rid themselves of the unfair competition of fraudulent businesses and resolutions such as this show that we are all moving in the right direction,” Guisasola concludes.

The torrent site 1337x, which has more than 85 million visits over the past year, had risen to 274 worldwide in the Alexa ranking, according to data compiled by SimilarWeb. Promusicae states that this website could be generating an annual profit of around $1.3 million, according to the Site Worth Traffic service, which is specialized in calculating the benefits of web pages.

Last year, Greek ISPs were ordered to block The Pirate Bay, 1337x, YTS and other domains following an accusation from a local anti-piracy group, Society for the Protection of Audiovisual Works (EPOE), for involvement in large-scale copyright infringement.

Similarly, local ISPs in Romania were also ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay following a court order obtained by several Hollywood studios including Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Sony, Paramount, Universal, and Columbia.

Source: TorrentFreak

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Hollywood studios sue the operator behind Popcorn Time in US Court

Hollywood studios sue the operator behind Popcorn Time in US Court

Popcorn Time operator sued in US Court by movie companies

Popcorn Time, the popular multi-platform, free software BitTorrent client that is often compared to Netflix for its ease of use, took the internet by storm five years ago. Despite increased popularity, the program was abruptly taken down by its original developers in March 2014 due to pressure from the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).

However, the shutdown did not stop other developers from forking the application over and over. While many of these forks were shut down, there were still some which continued to operate., originally operating from, is one of the longest standing forks that is operational since 2014 until today.

For those unaware, Popcorn Time software is in itself legal, but if the app is used to share copyrighted content that they don’t own rights to, it becomes illegal. As a result, content creators including Hollywood studios have been threatening such apps, their distributors, as well as users with legal consequences for quite some time now.

Venice PI, Millennium Funding, and Bodyguard Productions, which own the rights to prominent film titles such as “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” “London Has Fallen,” and “Once Upon a Time in Venice” are working hard to shut down through a federal court in Hawaii.

Although the movie companies had filed a case against over a year ago, the alleged mastermind behind the Popcorn Time fork was revealed in an amended complaint filed only a few days ago, reports TorrentFreak.

Stanislav Amelychyts, a Ukrainian resident, whose name was obtained by the filmmakers through a former hosting provider, BlackHOST, has been identified as the brain behind the operation. BlackHOST had served the website last year.

“Plaintiffs bring this action to stop the massive piracy of their motion pictures brought on by the BitTorrent protocol software application Popcorn Time,” the movie companies write in their complaint.

“Defendant STANISLAV AMELYCHYTS distributes copies of Popcorn time and promotes it for the infringing purpose of ‘watch torrent movies instantly’, including Plaintiffs’ copyright protected Works, via various distribution channels.”

The defendant has been accused of running the entire operation including distributing copies of the software through the Google Play store and the website. Popcorn Time was also advertised as a ‘pirate’ tool on the latter’s site.

“Here, once again Defendant makes no secret of Popcorn Time’s illegitimate purpose – infringing Copyright protected content by stating ‘Popcorn Time is an app that enables you to watch tons of streaming movies – from classics to new releases…’,” the movie companies write.

The movie companies also found out that the Windows and Android versions of – another popular source – were downloaded more than 4 million and 12 million times respectively.

While the lawsuit originally started as a case against several anonymous BitTorrent pirates, all but one has been dismissed now. Clinton Bovee, a Hawaiian resident is the remaining ‘user’ who is accused of using Popcorn Time and downloading several movies without permission.

The movie companies have blamed Bovee of direct copyright infringement and the Ukranian mastermind behind Popcorn Time of contributory copyright infringement.

They have also demanded damages, which can go up to $150,000 per pirated film, in the lawsuit. Additionally, the companies have requested an injunction to shut down and have the domain transferred to an account under their control. The Court has yet to provide a ruling on the request.

Although the lawsuit gives a detailed explanation of the allegations against Popcorn Time, the only information related to the Ukranian defendant comes from hosting company BlackHOST, which can be accurate. However, this information could also be inaccurate, since ‘pirate’ operations mostly depend on fake account details.

The Popcorn Time team has yet to comment on the allegations.

In the past, the attorney representing the movie studios has filed similar actions against other alleged pirates and pirate services, including Showbox and Dragon Box.

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Apple sued for lying about screen size and pixel count in its iPhone X series

Apple accused for lying about screen size and pixel count in its iPhone X series

Apple sued for falsely advertising size and resolution of iPhone X, XS & XS Max

Two Apple users on Friday jointly filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Districting of California accusing Apple for making fraudulent claims regarding the screen sizes and pixel counts of the displays in its new iPhone X series (iPhone X, XS, and XS Max) smartphones.

Also Read- Apple restarts iPhone X production over poor iPhone XS, XS Max sales

“The pixel deception is rooted in the misrepresentation of the Products’ screens, which do not use true screen pixels,” law offices of David A. Makman representing plaintiffs Christian Sponchiado and Courtney Davis wrote in the 55-page complaint.

“Defendant’s nominal screen pixel resolution counts misleadingly count false pixels as if they were true pixels. This is in contrast to every other iPhone — phones whose screens Defendant directly compares to the iPhone X screen in its effort to mislead consumers into believing that the iPhone X has more pixels (and better screen resolution) than it really does.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Apple made false claims about the true screen size of the iPhone X, which is advertised to be 5.8 inches but is “only about 5.6875 inches” when measured. Apparently, Apple pretended “that the screen does not have rounded corners” or a sensor cutout.

Apple Lawsuit by on Scribd

Further, iPhone X has a lower screen resolution as opposed to the advertised screen resolution of 2436×1125 pixels, says the lawsuit.

“Defendant’s marketing of its Products falsely inflates their screens’ supposed pixel counts, resolutions, and sizes to make the Products seem more appealing to consumers,” the complaint said. “Defendant does so because screen resolution is an important factor to consumers when evaluating smartphones.”

Additionally, Apple has been accused of using deceptive marketing, especially wallpapers to disguise notch on newer iPhones leading potential customers to believe the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max come without notches.

“Images that disguise the missing pixels on the products’ screens are prominent on the Defendant’s website, as well as in the advertisements of retailers who sell the products. These images were relied on by Plaintiff DAVIS, who believed that the iPhone XS and XS Max would not have a notch at the top of the phone,” the complaint reads.

The plaintiffs are now demanding class-action status for the lawsuit, as well as seeking damages for anyone participating in the class action.

There is no guarantee whether the lawsuit will make it to the court given that class-action lawsuits usually take years to progress. Apple has yet to comment on the issue.

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Torrent Tracker ‘Leechers Paradise’ Calls It Quit After 12 Years

Leechers Paradise shuts down

Leechers Paradise shuts down after 12 years of torrent tracking

Leechers Paradise, one of the world’s oldest and most vital open BitTorrent trackers, has shut down for good over upcoming ‘Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ proposed by European Union (EU), reports TorrentFreak.

For those unaware, Leechers Paradise is an open torrent sharing service that does not host any ads or torrent files. Basically, torrent tracking co-ordinates the torrent sharing process. It helps in peers finding each other. When the peer sends a message to the tracker to register its interest in a torrent, the tracker responds with a list of other peers who have expressed interest in the past. Then, the peer connects directly to each of the peers it received from the tracker.

Bidding goodbye on its website, Leechers Paradise operator ‘Eddie’ wrote, “Sadly after 12 years, I am calling it quits. Article 13 of the new EU copyright law requires that all uploads are screened. This is impossible which would make this site illegal.

“This coupled with my ISP kindly asking to move my site out of there [sic] datacenter. Means no more: leechers-paradise.”

Article 13 states that “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorized protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.”

This means if the Directive on Copyright is approved, social platforms (such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) would be responsible for any type of content that users upload and would be responsible for taking down that content if it infringes on copyright.

Since it is impossible for websites and online services such as Leechers Paradise to do the screening process. Hence, Eddie decided to pull down curtains on Leechers Paradise, as he felt that the risk of continuing was not worth the gains.

While it is unclear when the finalized Article 13 text will be applicable to torrent-tracking services, looks like Eddie has his own strong reasons to shut down the service.

As we can see from the image above, the tracker was servicing 132.3 million peers at the end of July. Further, according to figures published in August, the tracker was serving just over six million torrents using IPV4 and just over 54,000 using IPV6.

Both the figures above clearly indicate how important the tracking service had been to torrent users around the world and the shutting down news is definitely a big blow for the world of torrent sharing.

Source: TorrentFreak

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12,564 Sites Blocked To Stop Movie 2.0 leaks In India

12,564 Sites Blocked To Stop Movie 2.0 leaks In India

2.0 Movie: Madras High Court orders blocking of over 12,000+ websites to prevent piracy of the most expensive movie made in India

In the age of piracy, viewers nowadays are able to watch a new movie online or download it at the comfort of their home even before it is released in theatres.

While more and more countries are looking to adopt the site-blocking movement to stop piracy, some critics claim the process is too aggressive and can lead to collateral damage, reports TorrentFreak.

In a move to stop piracy, Madras High Court in India on Wednesday ordered 37 ISPs (internet service providers) across the country to stop torrent downloads of the sci-fi movie ‘2.0’ through 12,564 possible URLs (uniform resource locators) ahead of its release on Friday, 29 November 2018.

The pre-emptive interim order that was passed by Justice M Sundar on a civil suit filed by the producer of the film, Lyca Productions Private Limited, is being considered as one of the most aggressive site-blocking orders granted anywhere in the world.

Lyca’s counsel Vijayan Subramanian had produced a list of 12,564 illegal websites that were a threat to online piracy and asked the court to block them.

The producers and counsel, in particular, asked the Madras HC to prevent infamous movie website, TamilRockers from releasing the pirated version of the movie online.

Apparently, the list of illegal websites includes 2,000 websites that operated by TamilRockers, who is known for uploading pirated versions of various movies on the day of its release. The counsel sought an injunction against all such websites.

According to them, when the TamilRockers website is blocked, it immediately creates mirror websites by modifying a non-significant part of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or any other extension, which allows them to restore the copyrighted material with minimal effort.

Despite the order, 2.0 movie was leaked on the Internet within hours of its release yesterday by TamilRockers and was available for download. Several fans took to Twitter to report about the leak and urged the producers to take action.

Following the leak, producers of the movie took to Twitter urging audiences to not ‘spoil the experience’ considering the hard work, time, money and manpower that went into creating the ‘visual spectacle’. They also advised their fans to say ‘no to piracy’ and send all pirated links to [email protected] to ‘help Tamil cinema shine’.

Apparently, the website links or URLs have been blocked. The link of the pirated version of ‘2.0’ movie that was circulating on Twitter now shows ‘Web page blocked’.

The movie 2.0, which is one of the most expensive films made in India so far, has been made on a budget of Rs 543 crores.

The film stars southern megastar Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, and Amy Jackson and is directed by S Shankar. The movie has been released in around 14 languages, including Mandarin in China.

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UK Parliament Seizes Facebook’s Internal Documents

UK Parliament Seizes Facebook’s Internal Documents

Facebook’s internal documents seized by the UK Parliament to investigate privacy practices

As a part of an investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the UK Parliament has used its legal powers to seize a cache of internal Facebook documents, according to The Observer, which first reported the story.

It is alleged that the documents contain significant revelations about Facebook decisions on data and privacy controls that caused the Cambridge Analytica scandal, including correspondence between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company executives.

Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee used a rare parliamentary mechanism and compelled Ted Kramer, the founder of Six4Three, a US app software company, to hand over the documents who was on a business trip in London last week.

Kramer was given a final warning and a two-hour deadline to comply with the order sent along with a serjeant at arms.

When Kramer failed to produce these documents within the prescribed two-hour deadline, he was escorted to Parliament warned that he could face possible fines or imprisonment.

“We are in uncharted territory. This is an unprecedented move but it’s an unprecedented situation. We’ve failed to get answers from Facebook and we believe the documents contain information of very high public interest,” Collins said.

“We have very serious questions for Facebook. It misled us about Russian involvement on the platform. And it has not answered our questions about who knew what, when with regards to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“We have followed this court case in America and we believed these documents contained answers to some of the questions we have been seeking about the use of data, especially by external developers.”

Apparently, the company Six4Three is involved in a legal case against Facebook in the U.S., where the documents were obtained through legal procedures. The company had invested $250,000 in Facebook and claims that the media giant exploited its privacy policy.

The social networking giant has asked the DCMS committee to refrain from reviewing those documents, as they are subject to a protective order in the U.S.

“The materials obtained by the DCMS committee are subject to a protective order of the San Mateo Superior Court restricting their disclosure,” Facebook told the Observer.

“We have asked the DCMS committee to refrain from reviewing them and to return them to counsel or to Facebook. We have no further comment.”

Apparently, since the files are subject to an order of the California superior court, they cannot be made public in the U.S.

However, since the summons was issued in the UK, where Parliament has superiority, the Six4Three founder was obliged to hand over the documents. It is believed that the founder has informed both Facebook and the Californian court in the US.

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