The Washington Post

The Circuit: SOPA is dead, Dodd says; Apple, publishers face DOJ suit; ICANN deadline extended

SOPA is dead, Dodd says: There has been some renewed chatter around the controversial piracy bills the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act, especially following comments made last week by Motion Picture Association of America president and former senator Chris Dodd.

But while Dodd told the Hollywood Reporter last week that talks were underway to revive anti-piracy legislation, the Hill reports that he now says the bill is not coming back.

“It’s gone. In my view, it’s dead,” Dodd reportedly told Bloomberg in an interview set to air this weekend.

Activists have since appeared to turn their attention to the Cyber Intelligences Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which critics worry will allow for too much government monitoring. Supporters of that measure say that CISPA and SOPA are very different bills.

Apple, publishers face DOJ suit: The Justice Department on Wednesday accused five of the nation’s largest publishing houses and Apple of fixing prices on e-books, The Washington Post reported, forcing consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for their favorite titles.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York, the government painted a portrait of an industry desperately trying to turn a profit amid rapid changes in technology and aggressive competition from online retailers. In phone conversations, e-mails and dinners at exclusive New York restaurants, the companies’ top executives colluded to wrest control of the market from and raise prices on e-books, according to the complaint.

Three publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, agreed to settle with Justice; Apple, Penguin and MacMillan have said they will fight the suit in court.

ICANN deadline extended: April 12 was the last day that people and businesses could submit their applications for vanity or specialty top-level domains to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Due to a technical glitch, the Wall Street Journal reported, the deadline will be extended until April 20 at 11:59 p.m., GMT, or 7:59 p.m., Eastern.

The applications, which cost at least $180,000, will contribute to one of the biggest changes the Internet has ever seen. The proliferation of Web suffixes has the potential to vastly change the Internet landscape and the plan has met resistance from copyright holders who worry that the system will make it difficult to keep bad actors from setting up fake company Web sites. Proponents of the change say that it will make for a more specific and democratic Web.

Google earnings: Google is set to report earnings at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. Ahead of the announcement, analysts have said that they believe the company will meet expectations, Reuters reported. The company had a rare miss in January, driving its stock down nearly 9 percent.

Google will have to show that it has grown in the mobile space and that its ad revenue is still high. It has been about a year since Google chief executive Larry Page took over the company, and in a summation of his time in the position, Page said that the company would have to redefine its search and focus on streamlining its products.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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