Hotfile forks over $80 million to settle MPAA copyright suit

Another digital locker appears to be on the verge of biting the dust.

Hotfile agreed on Tuesday to pay $80 million to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Motion Picture Association of America. It was also ordered to cease all operations unless it instituted "digital fingerprinting" copyright filtering technology.

Hotfile is an uber-popular cyberlocker reportedly operated by Florida resident Anton Titov. The site made a business out of offering digital file storage and letting users swap files. The MPAA has alleged that Hotfile was "one of the 100 most trafficked sites in the world."… Read more

Bitcoin mining dispute ends with $1M settlement

A company accused of submitting its unaware customers to a Bitcoin mining army has settled with a New Jersey's attorney and will pay a settlement of $1 million.

Online video game company E-Sports Entertainment has been accused of infecting thousands of computers belonging to customers to illegally mine Bitcoins.

E-Sports was established in 2006 and charges subscribers $6.95 per month for its game subscription service. Malware was injected within users' computers through software that was necessary to play games through the subscription service. Once downloaded and installed, the digital currency was mined without user consent.

Court documents state … Read more

Google settles with states in Safari-tracking case for $17M

Google agreed Monday to pay $17 million to settle claims from 36 states and the District of Columbia that the company violated user privacy when circumventing the tracking cookie blockers in Apple's Safari browser.

The fine follows revelations that Google installed tracking cookies on Safari users' computers without permission to assist its DoubleClick advertising business, bypassing Safari's default settings that block third-party tracking cookies.

Google has denied that the violations occurred intentionally, but agreed to the fines nonetheless.

The fine follows the company's year-old settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on the same matter, which cost Google $22.5 million. … Read more

Isohunt BitTorrent site rises from the dead as

It's been two weeks since BitTorrent search engine Isohunt agreed to exit the Internet after reaching a $110 million settlement deal over copyright infringement with the Motion Picture Association of America. But, a quick glance at the site and it seems the search engine appears to be alive.

No, Isohunt founder Gary Fung didn't renege on his settlement -- rather, fans of the site decided to make an exact clone of the original Isohunt, according to TorrentFreak. is almost a perfect replica of; it has the same interface, categories, and torrent pages.… Read more

Aaron's computer rental chain settles FTC spying charges

Imagine getting set up with a rent-to-own computer only to later find out that the retailer was surreptitiously snapping Webcam photos of you and recording your keystrokes via spyware. As bad as this sounds, it reportedly happened.

Atlanta-based Aaron's rent-to-own computer chain has been accused of knowingly installing software onto its computers that secretly monitored its customers. The Federal Trade Commission caught onto the Aaron's alleged tactics and filed a complaint against the company earlier this year. On Tuesday, the chain agreed to settle with the FTC.

According to the FTC's complaint (PDF), Aaron's software tracked … Read more

Isohunt to permanently shutter after settlement with MPAA

Popular BitTorrent search engine Isohunt has been slated to shutter indefinitely. After years of court battles over copyright infringement with the Motion Picture Association of America, Isohunt has agreed to settle.

Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), which was issued on Thursday, Isohunt's founder Gary Fung has seven days to shut down the site, as well as close three other sites that redirect to Isohunt -- Podtropolis, TorrentBox, and Fung has also agreed to pay $110 million in damages.

"It's sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight, I … Read more

Zynga settles suit with hookup app Bang with Friends

Bang with Friends has been no stranger to controversy in its short life span. But, it appears the hookup app could now be on the straight and narrow.

Not only has Bang with Friends ironed out a spat it had with Apple over its salacious name, the app has also settled a lawsuit with Zynga over alleged trademark infringement.

Here is a joint statement that Zynga and Bang with Friends sent to CNET:

Zynga Inc. and Bang With Friends, Inc. are pleased that they have reached an amicable resolution of their dispute. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, … Read more

Facebook's privacy policy won't be finalized for another week

After a review on the language changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use policy, Facebook could decide to go back to the drawing board.

Last week, the social network made a host of changes to the language it uses to describe its privacy policy, and these changes were up for user review for one week. Now that the review period has ended, it's unclear whether the social network will keep the language or massage it some more.

"We are taking the time to ensure that user comments are reviewed and taken into consideration to … Read more

Facebook faces criticism over its privacy policy

A handful of civil liberties groups are claiming that while Facebook's new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use policy is supposed to give users more privacy, it's actually giving them less. And, these groups have taken their complaints to the US Federal Trade Commission.

Six organizations, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy, penned a letter (PDF) to the FTC on Wednesday claiming that Facebook's new policy allows the social network "to routinely use the images and names of Facebook users for commercial advertising without consent."

The changes … Read more

Facebook wins final approval for 'Sponsored Stories' settlement

It appears the road has finally come to the end in Facebook's "Sponsored Stories" lawsuit. US District Judge Richard Seeborg gave final approval to the suit's $20 million settlement on Monday.

"While not incorporating all features that some of the objectors might prefer, [the settlement] has significant value," Seeborg wrote in an order on Monday, according to Reuters.

The crux of the case focuses on Facebook's use of advertising in its Sponsored Stories. The original five plaintiffs, who aimed at representing more than 100 million members in a class-action suit, claimed the social … Read more