Microsoft's been hoist on its own petard in an Indian tax dispute. Microsoft argued that it should be exempt from paying a royalty tax on sales of its software, since the transaction was a sale, not a license, and so the money wasn't really a royalty. The clever Indian authorities noticed that every inch of Microsoft's packaging and presentation is plastered in license agreements sternly informing customers that they don't own Windows, that they're only licensing it, and furthermore, the license terms are onerous and must be obeyed.
This have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too approach to licensing and sales isn't unique to Microsoft. The musician T-Bone Burnett once explained to me that the standard record deal gives artists seven percent royalties on sales and fifty percent royalties on licenses. However, when artists get paid by their labels for iTunes downloads, they're only paid the seven percent sales royalty, despite the fact that the record companies keep telling courts, Congress and customers that a download is not a sale, it's only a license, and don't you dare try to resell your music, loan it, or give it away -- all stuff you're allowed to do with purchased goods.
So Microsoft uses the sales/license flip-flop to avoid its taxes, and the record companies use it to pocket six-sevenths of the money they owe artists for downloads.
In 2014, the British discount grocers Iceland Foods (so named for their pioneering role in selling frozen food) was granted an EU-wide trademark on the word "Iceland" by the EU Intellectual Property Organisation, which apparently saw no risk in giving a British grocer a monopoly over the use of the name of a sovereign nation […]
The EU Copyright Directive was voted through the Parliament because a handful of MEPs accidentally pushed the wrong button; this week, it passed through the Council -- representing the national governments of the EU -- and as it did, the German government admitted what opponents had said all along: even though the Directive doesn't mention […]
Torrentfreak published an article disclosing the fact that screeners of American Gods had leaked online ahead of their air date (they did not make the screeners available, nor did they link to any of the places where the screeners could be downloaded from) and they tweeted about the story.
The digital age is well and truly upon us, but let’s not forget there’s a load of free TV content floating literally over our heads. No, we’re not talking about the internet. Signals from major broadcast networks are still gratis for anyone who can pick them up with an antenna. And before you envision those […]
Who said LEGO® had to be ground bound? With The Force Flyers DIY Building Block Fly ‘n Drive Drone, you can turn LEGO® and other building-block creations into fully-functional flying machines. It’s available now in the Boing Boing Store for $39.99. This kit comes with everything you need for remote-controlled long distance flight, including a […]
When businesses need big cloud projects done right, they need experts in DevOps. For the uninitiated, that’s shorthand for the framework that allows development and operations teams to work together toward the same goal – not as independent departments with their own agendas. There’s an arsenal of software that has cropped up to help in […]