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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
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Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 10/04/2012

Google, publishers settle book suit #thecircuit

Google, publishers settle:Google and the American Association of Publishers announced Thursday that they have settled a long-running lawsuit over the company’s digital library project.

The AAP and the tech giant have been in litigation for seven years over claims that Google violated publisher copyright by scanning and posting books and journals online.

Five AAP publishers were part of the suit: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Pearson Education, Inc.; Penguin Group (USA) Inc.; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; and Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Under the settlement, the publishers have a choice over whether or not they want to make works available to Google’s project. If a publisher allows Google to keep a scanned version of its works, the company will provide a digital copy for the publishers’ use.

Publishers may also make individual agreements with Google over other digitally-scanned works.

Disney strikes deal with Cablevision: The Walt Disney Company and Cablevision announced Thursday that they have reached a distribution agreement to deliver family and sports programming to Cablevision TV customers on television, tablets, handheld devices and the Web.

“This significant agreement ensures that our customers will continue to have access to dozens of ABC, Disney and ESPN networks for years to come and, for the first time, they will be able to enjoy Disney and ESPN programming outside the home,” said James L. Dolan, Cablevision's president and CEO. “It includes the launch of new services, like ESPN3, and expanded availability of high-quality On Demand content, which is a key element of our video strategy and value proposition to customers.”

Google and free speech: Google is in the middle of a debate on free speech around the world, The Washington Post reported, and that debate that came into sharp focus in Brazil last week when the tech giant grappled with judge over a video posted on YouTube.

The discussion highlighted both an international debate over free speech and set off a national debate in Brazil, where many citizens criticized the government for ordering the video’s removal.

“It’s a step back in terms of freedom of expression, something like we see happening in countries like China,” Monica Rosina, professor at Fundacao Getulio Vargas Law School, told The Post. “It’s bad for the Brazilian image abroad.”

Google, meanwhile, continues to negotiate a very thorny problem: having an international service subject to national laws.

Facebook adds promoted posts: On Wednesday, Facebook introduced a feature that allows U.S. users with fewer than 5,000 friends to promote their updates — for a fee. The users’ posts would gain prime placement on their friends news feeds. Those currently testing the feature are paying $7 for the service. But a Facebook spokesman said the company hasn’t made a final decision on the price.

Facebook has been allowing companies to pay to promote their posts to U.S. users since May. In other countries, including New Zealand, users have been able to pay to promote their individual musings to friends for months and now the concept is being tested in the United States.

The company followed up the announcement with the news that the social networking site has reached 1 billion users, worldwide.

By  |  01:37 PM ET, 10/04/2012

 
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