You know who took the iPad 2 launch pretty seriously? Samsung, that’s who. Just as we had heard, the company’s executives were impressed by Apple’s ability to slim down its tablet and, well, it turns out that it took it as a challenge to come up with some thinner tablets of its own. That’s right, in addition to theSamsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 that we have seen repeatedly teased over the last few weeks the company’s announcing a totally revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1, and both slates are incredibly thin yet very well spec’d. On top of that, both will be the first Honeycomb tablets to stray from the pure Android 3.0 experience and add what Samsung’s taken to calling its TouchWiz UX or TouchWiz 4.0. We’ve got all the details and some hands-on impressions waiting below, so hit the break!
Updated: Samsung came clean with the pricing at its press conference this morning. The WiFi 10.1 will hit on June 8th — the 16GB version will cost you $499 and the 32GB $599. The 8.9 is $469 and $569 for 16GB and 32GB, respectively.
The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That’s right … $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request “absurd.”
You’re telling me. To put that number into perspective (I bet a lot of you didn’t even know “trillion” was a real number), the U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion — less than one fifth of what the music industry is requesting. Heck, the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That’s right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.
According to Law.com, the RIAA and the 13 record companies that are suing LimeWire for copyright infringement have demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, and have claimed that Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act allow them to request damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable. In other words, the RIAA thinks it should be entitled to damages not only for the individual works, but for every time that work was infringed (i.e. downloaded by another user).
At the moment, about 11,000 songs have been identified as “infringed” material, and each song probably has probably been downloaded thousands of times. The RIAA thinks it should be compensated for each individual download.
Judge Wood disagrees. In a 14-page ruling (PDF), Judge Wood said that the music industry is entitled only to a “single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed,” for several reasons, including “Absurd Result.” According to the document, the “Plaintiffs’ position on statutory damages also offends the ‘canon that we should avoid endorsing statutory interpretations that would lead to absurd results.’”
The document goes on to read: “As it stands now, Defendants face a damage award that ‘could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not over a billion dollars.’”
Judge Wood also points out that “if one multiplies the maximum statutory damage award ($150,000) by approximately 10,000 post-1972 works, Defendants face a potential award of over a billion dollars in statutory damages alone. If Plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, Defendants’ damages could reach into the trillions. As Defendants note, Plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is ‘more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.’”
This “absurd results” clause isn’t anything new, Judge Wood points out. She mentions the 2010 Arista Records LLC v. Usenet.com, Inc. case, in which Arista Records requested the court calculate the damages by multiplying the maximum amount of damages ($150,000) by the number of infringements (878), or $131,700,000. The court found the defendants liable for $6,585,000, by multiplying the number of infringements by $7,500.
Unfortunately, this still isn’t great news for LimeWire — while Judge Wood says the music industry is entitled to only a single statutory damage award per infringed work, there are still 11,000 works. That means LimeWire could still be liable for damages in excess of one billion.
The folks over at MacRumors heard a story that’s unsourced and most likely apocryphal, but it’s just too good to not share. According to “an individual close to Apple,” the company in Cupertino has been going over iPad 2 returns to keep track of various problems with the new tablet, and among the returns was one affixed with just a little Post-it note saying something every would-be early tech adopter husband will probably understand: “Wife says no.”
Supposedly, the return was sent up the corporate lines as something funny, and as MacRumors says, “two of the VPs got wind of it.” They decided to do something nice for the guy, and reportedly sent him out a free iPad 2, along with their own note: “Apple says yes.”
Very cute. We’ve contacted Apple to see if there’s any truth to this one, and we’ll let you know if we hear back. Urban legend or not, it’s a great story.
Building on the growing number of rumors pointing to a larger screen on the iPhone 5, 9to5Mac cites a reliable source at Foxconn who divulged that the iPhone 5 will soon begin the normal stages of mass production. More tantalizing, though, is that the iPhone 5, while looking similar to the iPhone 4, will come with a larger screen.