While details are still a bit sketchy, an Oakley, California teen has been arrested for attempted murder after an altercation while playing a video game online turned to real-world violence. The incident occurred on Monday afternoon after two friends - an unnamed twenty-year-old man and a seventeen-year-old boy got into an altercation. According to Jimmy Lee from the Costa County Sheriff's Department, the two men were playing an unnamed video game online, which led to an argument about something.
Today Sauropod Studio pitched its game Castle Story to the public for some much needed funding on Kickstarter. In the early hours of the campaign, the game has already met its goal. Sauropod Studios was looking to raise $80,000 to bring the game to the PC and Mac, but with the help of 3,348 backers it has already raised $95,055. If you watch the video (embedded to your left) you will quickly understand why this project has gotten early buzz.
Jury selection for the trial between Samsung and Apple over patents will begin on July 30 in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. The case will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. Jurors will have to wade through the particulars of the case and decide which company has a valid claim that the other infringed on its patents related to their respective smartphone devices.
A class action lawsuit claims that the adult entertainment industry has found a new business model to earn money: threatening alleged illegal downloaders with an embarrassing and very public lawsuit if they do not settle out of court. The lead plaintiff in the case is Jennifer Barker. Her lawsuit names Patrick Collins Inc., Malibu Media, K-Beech, Third Degree Films, and London-based Raw Films.
According to a post on The Hill privacy groups remain unimpressed with efforts to draft a revised version of the SECURE IT Act. Senate Republicans released a revised version of their cybersecurity bill on Wednesday, but privacy groups shrugged off the changes as minor.
GamesBeat is reporting that SimCity and The Sims creator Will Wright's young company HiveMind has been stalled by litigation between the founders of the company. Wright's gaming start-up hoped to realize the concept of "personal gaming" where the studio's designers would use demographic data to create personal gaming experiences for individuals rather than the masses.
City National Bank has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Konami and developer Autumn Games for allegedly defrauding the financial institution of money it is owed related to a $15 million line of credit. City National Bank claims that Konami and Autumn Games defrauded it of $15 million in credit for the development of Def Jam Rapstar. They also alleged that both parties "lied" to the bank in order to secure the credit line, promising to pay it back with the sales of the game.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken has shot down an Electronic Arts request to have a major class action lawsuit against it dismissed. According to a Courthouse News report (see also this PDF) the lawsuit filed by former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes accusing EA of using their likenesses without providing them with any compensation will go forward.
In March of last year the state of Illinois decided to pass a law that collected Internet sales tax from online companies like Amazon.com and eBay. Commonly referred to as an "affiliate nexus tax," the law passed by Illinois and other states including California, Connecticut, and New York, required online retailers who advertised on "affiliate sites" that had a physical presence in the same state to collect sales tax. The Illinois law had broad support among lawmakers and the state’s governor, Gov. Pat Quinn (D).
A man, who police describe as a "transient," robbed a house in Roseville, California, but as he was stealing video game equipment he accidently dropped his wallet at the crime scene. The story began for police at 7:30 am on April 12, when they responded to a burglar alarm that had been tripped at a house on Ajay Drive. The occupants were not home at the time. When police arrived they noticed that someone had broken a back window to gain entry into the home. According to Dee Dee Gunther of the Roseville Police Department, whoever broke in stole "video game equipment."
Law firm Baron and Budd has reached a settlement agreement with GameStop over DLC. The firm filed a class action lawsuit against the video game retailer over DLC and labeling related to used games. In the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Senior District Judge Thelton E. Henderson entered an order approving a class action settlement Baron and Budd reached with GameStop.
A Federal Court has ruled that Sony has the right to change the terms of service on its PlayStation Network service because it is a "choice" for its users. Sony changed its TOS for the PlayStation Network last year by adding a clause that anyone wanting to sue the company would instead have to go to what some like to call "mandatory arbitration."
The lawsuit filed against Electronic Arts by retired NFL players is moving forward. A California judge has rejected EA's motion to have the case dismissed. The suit, filed by several retired NFL players wants it to turn into a class action so that some 6,000 defendants can be represented. The lawsuit alleges that EA through its EA Sports brand used their likenesses without consent in multiple Madden NFL games over the years. Electronic Arts argues that it is basically fair use and that real names were never used.
When you are on the run from the U.S. Military, committing a major act of fraud and identity theft is probably not the brightest idea. The FBI says that they have apprehended an AWOL Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania soldier who pretended to be former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. In an indictment unsealed on Monday, investigators allege that 28-year-old Brandon Lee Price called Citibank in January and requested a change of address on Paul Allen's bank account - from Seattle, Washington to Pittsburgh.
Representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and California's Attorney General's office will address mobile app safety for children at the Digital Kids Conference on Wednesday, April 25 from 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. (Room 1, Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA). Federal Trade Commission Staff Attorney Kenneth H. Abbe and Travis LeBlanc, Special Assistant Attorney General for Technology for the State of California will deliver their remarks on the topic as part of conference's Digital Kids Safety Track.
On May 4 Campus Gamers will launch the 2012 Education and Gaming Symposium at California State University, Bakersfield. Leaders in the game industry will be attending the event to illuminate attendees on how the games they play can be used to improve education. Confirmed speakers include James Portnow (Extra Credits), Leslie Redd (Director of Educational Programming at Valve), and Geoffrey Zatkin (EEDAR).
Common sense dictates that you can't scream "fire!" in a crowded movie theater and that doing so isn't considered protected speech. In the wake of the recent Ohio school shootings, making public jokes about shooting up your local high school also falls under the purview of widely held common sense doctrine.
The Federal District Court in Oakland, California has denied a motion to dismiss a suit against Zynga brought by game developer SocialApps LLC. The developer accused Zynga of copying its Facebook game, myFarm. SocialApps claimed that Zynga had shown interest in buying the rights and code for myFarm and began the process sharing due diligence material. The companies entered into a letter agreement in May 2009 and SocialApps began sharing information and source code.
Netflix announced that it will settle a lawsuit that claimed that it illegally retained customers’ rental histories, an act that ran afoul of Video Privacy Protection Act and California consumer laws. The settlement, which was disclosed in a Netflix securities filing with the SEC, puts to bed a 2011 lawsuit that accused the company of VPAA and California consumer law violations. The VPPA restricts video rental companies from disclosing customer information and requires them to destroy rental history data within one year.
The state of California has agreed to pay the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) $950,000 in legal fees related to arguing Brown v. EMA before the U.S. Supreme Court. When combined with reimbursements for the 2008 case (which the state already paid), the grand total that California paid the ESA comes to $1,327,000.
On Monday federal prosecutors announced that a Los Gatos, California game developer pled guilty to several charges including conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, the former owner of UltraCade Technologies said that some of what the government announced on Monday was "inaccurate."
Square Enix announced on Friday that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California has dismissed with prejudice a class action lawsuit involving its MMORPG Final Fantasy XI. The ruling came on December 20. The lawsuit was filed by San Francisco's Esther Leong in 2009 on behalf of a class (Final Fantasy XI subscribers), that accused the publisher of "deceptive advertising, unfair business practices, and fraudulent concealment with respect to the online games at the point of purchase." The game was released in North America in 2003.
In September Sony updated the PlayStation Network's terms of service to include a new clause removing the ability for customers (who were more than likely upset over the major security breach that happened earlier in the year) to file future class action lawsuits. Users who accepted the new TOS had to agree to individual arbitration instead of a lawsuit if they had a grievance against Sony. Since users had to agree to the new TOS in order to sign in to PSN, many simply agreed and moved on.
California has launched a new eCrime unit to combat various online crimes. The new law enforcement unit created by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and announced Tuesday, aims take on various "cyber crimes" such as email scams, online fraud, piracy, child pornography, and real-world theft of computer gear by organized crime.
"Today's criminals increasingly use the Internet, smartphones, and other digital devices to victimize people online and offline," Harris said while unveiling the unit in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.
It might have seemed cute when marketing company TrashTalkFCM pitched the idea of releasing thousands of balloons into the San Francisco sky to promote Homefront during the Game Developers Conference earlier this year. But THQ realized as the balloons flew upwards and then inevitably fell down into the San Francisco Bay that maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all. The bad local and national publicity wasn't worth it.
Video games retailer GameStop faces a lawsuit filed by a former employee who claims that employees who endured constant security checks during breaks and meals were not properly compensated for the time it took. GameStop has a policy of conducting mandatory security checks on employees when they take breaks or finish a shift. The lawsuit filed in California isn't about privacy or employee dignity, but about the amount of uncompensated time it takes.
A temporary Zynga employee was arrested this week for allegedly stealing $100,000 in merchandise. 21-year-old Keith Brown of San Ramon, California was arrested on Tuesday, according to District Attorney’s Office spokesman Omid Talai. He stands accused of stealing laptop and desktop computers and software valued at approximately $100,000 between Oct. 31 and the date of his arrest. Zynga security took him into custody and brought him to police, Talai said.