Ultra-cheap discounter Dollar Tree has turned off the in-store music in all of its stores, citing cost issues. On the company’s Facebook page, shoppers keep complaining that the company is being too cheap (many don’t seem to know about licensing fees for music), but Dollar Tree’s official response is that it freed up expenses to keep prices low. [More]
The future of Disney merchandising will hit a lot more demographics than the mostly kid-oriented stuff of today, if Disney has any say over it. Disney has already angered theater chains by shortening the theatrical release window on its new movie-like product Alice in Wonderland, cutting into theaters’ profit models in order to bump up the DVD release date. But CNBC notes that it’s also launching the “most wide-ranging array of consumer products ever” for a Disney flick–and that includes thousand dollar necklaces, nail polish, and dresses that cost as much as $600. [More]
Cory Doctorow is self-publishing a book and documenting the process for Publishers Weekly. His latest column is about selling audiobook versions of his past works, and how both Apple and Audible have refused to budge on their anti-consumer policies when it comes to digital rights management (DRM) and end user license agreements (EULAs). Even though both companies get paid the same either way, and even though both Doctorow and his publisher, Random House, want to sell the content without these restrictions, Apple and Audible have said no. [More]
The new “premium” (their word) iPhone app from Sirius XM will cost $2.99 a month for customers who aren’t already subscribers. It also doesn’t include Howard Stern, MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play and Sirius Nascar Radio. Sirius blames licensing issues for most of the missing content, but not for the absence of Howard Stern, about which it won’t comment.
Who wouldn’t want to start their prom by watching a stretch limo cruise down their street an hour and a half late before crashing into their parent’s car? Apparently a bunch of high school students in Washington state, that’s who. And they’re not the only ones angry that they booked with Blessed Limo. The notorious local operator apparently has a knack for showing up late and then stranding kids at prom. Complaining to state authorities only goes so far because these guys don’t even bother with bureaucratic backaches like “operating licenses.”
We are open to putting the documents up to a vote. The rules people must do when on the site and what we must do, a two way thing. There will be Comment periods, a council that will help on future revisions.
Now that Facebook has said they’re drafting a new Terms of Service based on community input, that community has eagerly put forth their proposals in the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Facebook group. Forum admin Julius Harper went through the 27 pages of feedback and pulled out the three major areas the community seemed most concerned about. Here’s what the people are demanding:
It appears in the wake of global attention and outcry, Facebook has, as of at least 12:27 am, reverted back to the previous Terms of Service. Phew, now we can all go back to sending each other digital cupcakes without Big Brother watching us. This is a temporary move until Facebook can draft a new Terms of Service that addresses the users’ concerns. CEO Zuckerberg wrote a new blog post, and Facebook spokesperson Barry Schnitt released this statement:
Online, in print and on TV, Consumerist’s Facebook terms of service change story, and the ensuing global uproar, has spread like Ebola in a monkey house…
Well, yesterday’s Facebook post certainly blew up today, and it looks like Facebook is currently preparing an official response. In the meantime, a Facebook rep has written to the Industry Standard to emphasize that all rights are subject to your privacy settings, so even if they don’t expire when you close your account, they’ll still be subject to whatever restrictions you had when the account was active. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has also posted a more philosophical response on the Facebook blog saying that while the new Terms of Service are “overly formal,” they’re only meant to give Facebook the legal ability to enable content sharing among users.
This post has generated a lot of responses, including from Facebook. Check them out here.
One of the bloggers at BoingBoing attempted to install World of Warcraft on his Ubuntu Linux laptop, but first he had to agree to… something. Full picture inside.
Jay wanted to update his copy of Adobe Creative Suite 2 to CS3 and simultaneously switch the license over to the Mac platform. The first sales rep he spoke with did everything right and Jay was very happy. Then that sales rep disappeared forever, only to be replaced by a comically inept parade of CSRs who can’t figure out Adobe’s own systems, who make up their job titles, give out fax numbers to call, and who—in one case—claim to be on a phone system that doesn’t connect to the outside world.
The House this week voted 291-127 to pass the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, Congress’ first major attempt to prevent a recurrence of the ongoing subprime meltdown. The bill, supported by every Democrat and 64 Republicans, stabs at the heart of the meltdown by:
- Establishing a national licensing and registration system for mortgage lenders;
- Establishing the Office of Housing Counseling within HUD to help borrowers avoid foreclosure;
- Banning loans that a borrower cannot reasonably repay;
- Banning lenders from steering borrowers towards loans with predatory characteristics;
- Making banks that securitize mortgages liable for violating lending laws.
Home Depot has been fined $750 by Westchester County, NY for operating without a license after one of their subcontractors allegedly gut the kitchen of a resident, dumped the debris on the customer’s driveway, then never showed up again.