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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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Brian Fung

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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.

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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 09/20/2012

Samsung planning to add iPhone 5 to suit #thecircuit

Samsung planning to add iPhone 5 to lawsuit: Samsung is planning to add the iPhone 5 to a list of devices it says infringe on the company’s patents in an upcoming court case against Apple, but that decision won’t affect the device’s launch Friday.

The Korean company said in court filings Wednesday that it is likely to add the iPhone 5 to its court case in the Northern District Court of California.

Samsung, Reuters reported, told the court that it will come to a decision after it has had “reasonable opportunity” to examine Apple’s new phone, but that it “anticipates” it will find reason to include the phone in its court case.

In a statement, Samsung said: “We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms. However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”

Video privacy: The Senate Judiciary Committee is discussing changes to the Video Privacy Protection Act on Thursday, about an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act that would allow companies such as Netflix to have users share the videos they are watching.

The VPPA was originally put into place after the Washington City Paper obtained a list of movie rentals by Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, and Netflix and others have argued that the law is out of date. The VPPA is the reason that U.S. Facebook users cannot link their Netflix and Facebook accounts to share what they’re watching on the streaming service.

Iran laying groundwork for separate Internet: The Iranian government, trying to curb the influence of Western countries and build walls against cyberattacks, has reportedly taken what looks to be steps to shut its country’s Internet off from the rest of the world.

The Washington Post reported that the Iranian government has laid the groundwork for a “national online network” that would give it strict control over the flow of information.

Both the Obama administration and Internet freedom experts have expressed concern that the launch of such a network could act as a precedent for repressive governments across the globe, the report said.

Caucus names five top piracy countries: The Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus named five countries Thursday that it says have “high levels of piracy and the lack of legal protections for copyright”: China, Russia, Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine. The list identifies countries whose action — or inaction — on piracy “causes grave harm to American creators and to our economy as a whole.”

This is the first year Italy and Switzerland have appeared on the list. Italy, the report says, has not set a “sufficient” framework of laws to address the problem of piracy and has not shown leadership in developing one, the report said. Switzerland’s laws, the report said, are “inadequate.”

The report also identifies Canada and Spain as countries “in transition” following the implementation of stricter laws regarding copyright. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) chair the caucus.

FTC expects to close Google probe by year’s end: By the end of the year, the Federal Trade Commission expects to end its probe of Google and decide whether to seek legal action against the company for anticompetitive practices. According to a report from the New York Times, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said that he believes the commission will meet its previously announced year-end deadline.

He did not say, according to the report, whether FTC staff has made any recommendations about an enforcement action to the commission.

Apple, publishers ask for Amazon interviews: Apple has subpoenaed Amazon in a Washington State court, PaidContent reported, to obtain information on interviews the Department of Justice conducted with Amazon employees regarding an e-book price-fixing case the government has filed against Apple and publishers.

The U.S. government objected to the request, according to a letter posted publicly Thursday.

“Apple is free to depose every one of the fourteen Amazon interviewees,” wrote antitrust lawyer Mark W. Ryan in a letter dated Sept. 13. “Apple may even ask Amazon witnesses about conversations with the government. But Apple is not entitled to invade our work product.”

By  |  12:00 PM ET, 09/20/2012

 
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