Mois : mars 2011 (Page 1 of 6)

A federal judge rejected a Google settlement that would allow it to post millions of books online. It’s the latest blow in Google’s long effort to scan and make books available electronically. Amir Efrati explains the latest to Stacey Delo.

Google, by helping to facilitate transactions and redemptions of coupons and discounts, may also be able to gain insight into consumer-spending behavior, said a person familiar with the matter. A representative of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. confirmed the company had a briefing with Google about the technology, but characterized it as very preliminary discussions and said it hasn’t been asked to adopt it. The local business ad market is a massive opportunity that has begun to be exploited by Internet companies such as Groupon Inc., social network Facebook Inc., and business-reviews site Yelp Inc.

Several experts in digital music say that the music locker business is still legally ambiguous. For example, though some companies let people upload their music and listen to it elsewhere without any outcry from the labels, others, like MP3tunes, have been sued by music labels. Another issue: it is impossible for Web companies to tell whether a song was bought legally or downloaded illegally. Amazon says it has sidestepped the problem, because its users would upload their songs, in MP3 or A.A.C. format, to the cloud-based service, just like backing them up on an external hard drive or a Web-based computer backup service. “We don’t need a license to store music,” said Craig Pape, director of music at Amazon. “The functionality is the same as an external hard drive.”

“Information is the gold or the oil of the economy in the information age,” said Paul M. Schwartz, a law professor and expert in information technology at the law school at the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Schwartz said Facebook seemed to have learned quickly that demands for regulation would pile up, not just from users and advocacy groups but from competitors.

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