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ai

The New York Times Is Suing Microsoft And OpenAI Over Copyright Infringement 

OpenAI and Microsoft are being sued by the New York Times over copyright infringement, alleging that the two companies’ artificial intelligence technology has illegally copied millions of articles from the Times to train AI services like ChatGPT.

tiktok

Indiana State’s Lawsuit Against TikTok Over Child Safety Dismissed By Judge

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit in Indiana state that was filed against TikTok over accusations of making false claims about safety of children on the app and age-appropriate content. 

According to CNN, Judge Jennifer DeGroote of Allen County Superior Court in Fort Wayne, Indiana stated that the court lacks “personal jurisdiction” over the social media platform, and that downloading an app for free is not considered “consumer transaction” under the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.” 

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The lawsuit was initially filed in December 2022, and was originally two separate lawsuits that were later consolidated. This was the first lawsuit filed by a state against TikTok, however, similar lawsuits are currently active in other states. 

“[The state respects the ruling] but we also disagree with it on various points and are considering appellate options at this time,” the office of Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement to CNN

“We were the first state to file suit against TikTok, but not the last, and it’s reassuring to see others take up this ongoing fight against a foreign Big Tech threat, in any jurisdiction.”

Rokita also stated that TikTok is a “malicious and menacing threat unleashed on unsuspecting Indiana consumers by a Chinese company that knows full well the harms it inflicts on users.”

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The lawsuit alleged that the social media platform advertises to younger individuals with the sentiment that it’s a safe app, however, the app itself easily grants access for users to see inappropriate content such as nudity, profanity, and drug and alcohol use. 

The lawsuit also stated that TikTok collects sensitive data from its users and uses their personal information. “[TikTok] has deceived those consumers to believe that this information is protected from the Chinese government and Communist Party.”

Indiana also has been involved in a lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Instagram, for its addictive nature and harm to young users’ mental health. Dozens of other states have filed similar lawsuits against Meta as well. 

Indiana was also one of the first states to ban TikTok on any government-issued devices over “the threat of gaining access to critical US information and infrastructure.”

osu

32 Female Athletes Sue University Of Oregon For Alleged Title IX Violations

Thirty-two female athletes at the University of Oregon have filed a lawsuit against the school alleging that they’re violating Title IX requirements, stating that their “shabby facilities and inadequate supplies” violate the equal treatment law.

meta

Meta, Instagram-Parent Company, Sued By Multiple States Over ‘Addictive’ Features And Negative Mental Health Impacts On Youths

Dozens of states are suing Meta, the parent-company of Instagram, accusing the major tech company of harming young users’ mental health through addictive features, such as infinite news feeds and frequent notifications that demand users’ attention.

jp morgan

JPMorgan Reaches $290 Million Settlement For Jeffrey Epstein Victims 

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $290 million in settlement money for a class-action lawsuit from Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse victims. The victims had accused the company of enabling sex trafficking from Epstein when he was a client, according to one of the victims’ attorneys David Boies. 

In a joint statement from JPMorgan and the attorneys for the victims, they stated that they “have informed the court that they have reached an agreement in principle to settle the putative class action lawsuit related to Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes.” 

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Boies told CNN that “the agreement is subject to court approval. Under terms of the settlement, JPMorgan Chase will not admit liability in the case, but upon the settlement’s approval the bank will put out a statement regretting its association with Epstein.”

“The settlement is in the best interests of all parties, especially the survivors who were the victims of Epstein’s terrible abuse,” according to the joint statement.

“It’s hard to say how many victims will ultimately benefit from the settlement funds, but more than 100 women are expected to seek compensation. Many women who filed a claim with Epstein’s estate through the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program are likely to be included in the two pending bank settlements,” Boies said.

“Money, which for far too long flowed with impunity between Jeffrey Epstein’s global sex trafficking enterprise and Wall Street’s leading banks, is decisively being used for good. The settlements signal that financial institutions have an important role to play in spotting and shutting down sex trafficking,” said Sigrid McCawley, managing partner at the firm Boies Schiller Flexner. 

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“It has taken a long time, too long, but today is a great day for Jeffrey Epstein survivors, and a great day for justice.”

Federal Judge Jed Rakoff, who is hearing the case, approved a class of eligible victims defined as “all women who were sexually abused or trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein during the time when JP Morgan maintained [accounts] for Epstein and/or Epstein-related entities. That period runs from January 1, 1998, through August 19, 2013, as well as the subsequent period until his death on August 10, 2019.”

There is also ongoing litigation still pending between JPMorgan and the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein’s home was located. Additionally, the bank is continuing to pursue its case against Jes Staley, a former JPMorgan executive who is cited in the lawsuit as someone who’s largely responsible for the bank’s relationship with Epstein for 15 years. 

“The information and support the US Virgin Islands and its legal team provided to the survivors was enormously valuable, and we recognize the importance of the government’s continued litigation against JPMorgan Chase to prevent future crimes,” Brad Edwards, the victims’ attorney, told CNN.

“The US Virgin Islands will continue to proceed with its enforcement action to ensure full accountability for JPMorgan’s violations of law and prevent the bank from assisting and profiting from human trafficking in the future. The attorney general’s office is committed to protecting women and girls who could otherwise become victims going forward,” a spokesperson for the US Virgin Islands’ attorney general said.

lawsuit

Ed Sheeran And Marvin Gaye Copyright Trial Begins In New York 

The copyright trial between Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ is beginning today in New York with jury selection and opening statements. 

The trial began with the heirs of Ed Townsend, co-writer for Gaye’s 1973 ‘Let’s Get it On,’ suing Sheeran alleging that the singer’s 2014 hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ has “striking similarities and overt common elements that violate their copyright” of ‘Let’s Get It On.’

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The lawsuit was initially filed in 2017, and is now going to trial which will likely last a week in the Manhattan federal courtroom. Sheeren is among the witnesses expected to testify. 

The jury will likely hear recordings of both songs and read their lyrics multiple times throughout the trial, as jurors are supposed to only consider the raw elements of the melody, harmony, and rhythm that make up the composition of Gaye’s song as it’s documented with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

Sheeran’s attorney’s have stated that the song’s similarities only work to emphasize the basis of pop music. In a court filing, they stated: “The two songs share versions of a similar and un-protectable chord progression that was freely available to all songwriters.”

The Townsend family attorney has emphasized in the lawsuit that Sheeran himself has mashed together the two songs during his own live performances of ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ and are planning to use a YouTube video of one of the performances as evidence for the jury. 

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Judge Louis Stanton initially denied the request to submit the video as evidence, but will reconsider after other evidence is presented. 

Atlantic Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing are named as defendants in the lawsuit as well. Plaintiffs in copyright lawsuits tend to list a wide range of defendants which the judge has the power to dwindle down. 

One year ago, Sheeran won a copyright lawsuit in the UK over his 2017 song, ‘Shape Of You,’ and then took to Twitter to discuss the “culture” of these types of lawsuits. 

“I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no basis for the claim. It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry.”

bowl

Chipotle Sues Sweetgreen for Trademark Infringement Over New Menu Item

On Wednesday morning, Sweetgreen stocks dropped by 10% after Chipotle Mexican Grill sued the company for trademark infringement over its new “Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl.” The lawsuit comes less than a week after the menu item was announced.

Sweetgreen is well-known for providing healthy food at scale, and the company has recently been attempting to diversify beyond its signature salads. The bowl will only be available for a limited time.

In its complaint, Chipotle claims to have sent Sweetgreen a cease and desist notice asking the company to drop “Chipotle” from the item’s name. Sweetgreen did not respond.

Chipotle alleges that it also suggested Sweetgreen alter the name to something that uses “chipotle in lower-case, in a textual sentence, to accurately describe ingredients of its menu item,” like a “chicken bowl with chipotle.”

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In a statement during the product’s release, Sweetgreen’s co-founder and chief concept officer Nicolas Jammet explained that diner suggestions prompted the addition to the menu.

“Our customers’ feedback plays a major role in the new menu items we introduce, and the Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl is our answer to heartier meal options that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Inspired by bold chipotle spices, this protein-heavy option balances a brand-new flavor profile for Sweetgreen with whole grains and better-for-you ingredients that our customers love.”

The lawsuit further claims that the new product’s advertisements feature the word “Chipotle” in a font very similar to the one used in Chipotle’s logo and occasionally uses a shade of red that resembles Chipotle’s trademarked Adobo Red. Chipotle also alleges that the two chains are competitors in the fast-casual dining industry.

Along with asking for an injunction against Sweetgreen using “Chipotle” in the bowl’s name, Chipotle is also asking the courts for the profits made by Sweetgreen off the menu items.

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In a statement to CNBC, Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer, said that the lawsuit is a matter of protecting the company’s brand. The lawsuit states the item is “very similar and directly competitive.”

“We don’t typically comment on litigation, but we will say generally that we’re committed to protecting our valuable trademarks and intellectual property. Consistent with that, we will take appropriate actions whenever necessary to protect our rights and our brand.”

Shares of Sweetgreen have dropped 24% in 2023, reducing the company’s market value to $726 million and causing investors to worry about the company’s future.

However, despite general economic uncertainty, Chipotle has continued to enjoy robust business. During the same period, the fast food behemoth saw its stock value increase by 22% to $47 billion.

lawsuit

Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde’s Former Nanny Files Lawsuit Alleging Wrongful Termination

Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde’s former nanny has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the pair after they abruptly fired her when she sought a three-day medical leave for depression and anxiety caused by their tumultuous breakup.

Tweet

Elon Musk Among Witnesses Expected to Take the Stand This Week in Tesla Tweet Trial

Elon Musk is among the expected witnesses to appear this week in the ongoing federal trial accusing him of deceptively driving up the price of Tesla stock by tweeting about taking the company private, which never happened.

The August 2018 tweet in question stated that Musk had “secured” funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The company’s stock was slumping at the time due to production problems.

Tesla shareholders filed a class-action lawsuit suing Musk for billions of dollars in damages for money investors say they lost after the tweet inflated share price. The trial, taking place in San Francisco, is expected to last for three weeks. 

Investor Glen Littleton from Kansas City, Missouri, is seeking damages on behalf of shareholders who traded the company’s stock in the days after Musk’s tweet. 

Littleton had purchased Tesla investments with hopes that the automaker’s stock would eventually be worth far more than $420. Upon seeing Musk’s tweet, he felt compelled to sell his Tesla stock options since he knew the completed deal would have rendered them worthless. 

He stated he sold off most of his Tesla positions to try and limit his losses, but even after doing so, the value of his Tesla portfolio plunged by 75%.

“The damage was done. I was in a state of shock.”

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The case’s outcome may depend on whether Musk knowingly raised Tesla’s stock price by tweeting that he had secured money for a $72 billion takeover of the business. The stock plummeted in value when it became apparent that he lacked the funding to complete the deal a week later. 

On Wednesday, Nicholas Porritt, lead attorney for the investors, told the trial’s jury of nine that “millions of dollars were lost when his lies were exposed.” 

“Why are we here? We are here because Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive of Tesla, lied. His lies caused regular people like Glen Littleton to lose millions and millions of dollars.” 

Porritt also pointed out that not only did Musk’s tweet cause investors to lose money, but it also affected pension funds and other organizations that owned Tesla stock.

The trial’s presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, has already ruled that Musk’s tweet was false and reckless. 

Porritt took advantage of the judge’s verdict and told the jury they should presume Musk’s tweet was false, which the judge permitted.

“When the CEO of a public company like Tesla lies about his company and hurts investors, it’s critical that he is held accountable for that harm that he causes.”

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In his opening statements, Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro insisted that Musk was “serious” about the buyout when he tweeted about securing funding.

“You will come to learn very soon that this was not fraud, not even close.”

Spiro argued that the rise in Tesla’s stock price after the tweet was due to investors’ faith in Musk’s capabilities and reputation as a visionary.

“Mr. Musk tries to do things that have never been done before. Everyone knows that.”

According to Spiro, Musk and representatives from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia had already discussed taking Tesla private.

“He didn’t plan to tweet this. It was a split-second decision.”

Spiro said Musk used the “wrong words” in a rush to be transparent about the potential deal with the Saudi fund.

Musk is on the witness list for both sides of the case. Porritt told The Associated Press that Musk is expected to take the stand when the trial resumes on Friday, if time permits, or on Monday.

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Judge Rules Elon Musk Can Use Whistleblower Claims in Twitter Lawsuit

Twitter paid $7 million to former security chief Peiter Zatko before he filed a whistleblower complaint against the company. A judge has ruled that Zatko’s allegations can be part of Elon Musk’s defense in his legal battle with Twitter.

Zatko alleges the social media giant covered up known security issues and used weak safeguarding measures to protect its users’ sensitive data.

The settlement between Zatko and Twitter occurred before Zatko filed his whistleblower complaint in July and concerned Zatko’s lost compensation after being fired from the company in January. It contained a nondisclosure agreement restricting him from speaking poorly about the company or releasing information about his time as cybersecurity head at Twitter.

The settlement contained a clause that allows him to speak at congressional hearings and governmental whistleblower complaints, as many NDAs do.

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On Tuesday, Zatko will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about his knowledge of the security flaws in Twitter’s infrastructure. Zatko claims that he “uncovered extreme, egregious deficiencies by Twitter in every area of his mandate.”

Employees had access to integral company software, which led to the “commandeering of accounts” held by high-profile figures. Several heads of state, government officials and well-known celebrities have long used the website to communicate with the public.

Since July, Musk has been trying to back out of his deal to buy the company for $44 billion. Twitter has begun a legal battle against him, citing Musk’s bad faith in breaching his contract with the company. In a 62-page legal document, Twitter documented Musk’s behavior throughout the ordeal with colorful language and photos of his many tweets regarding the acquisition.

“Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he—unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law—is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value and walk away.”

Musk’s lawyers plan to use the information Zatko divulged about Twitter’s security vulnerabilities as a central part of their case. Twitter’s shareholders will also cast votes on Musk’s takeover of the company Tuesday.

Musk’s defense to back out of the acquisition is that the company did not disclose the number of bots its userbase contains, tweeting, “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”

The timeline of Musk’s tech deal with Twitter is erratic and turbulent. The lawsuit document cites many of Musk’s posted memes and tweets, which Twitter’s legal team will use to show how Musk treated the process as an “elaborate joke.” At one point, he responded to a Twitter thread by Twitter’s CEO Parag Agarwal, which explains Twitter’s handling of spam accounts, with a “poop emoji.”

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On April 4, Musk was revealed to be Twitter’s largest shareholder at 9% of the company’s shares.

On April 5, CEO Parag Agarwal announced that Musk would join Twitter’s board of directors with the agreement that Musk could not acquire more than 15% of shares before 2024. Musk had been purchasing shares since January.

On April 10, Agarwal revealed that Musk would no longer be joining the board.

On April 14, Musk offered to buy the remaining Twitter shares for $41.4 billion. In response to this, Twitter adopted a “poison-pill strategy,” which allows other shareholders to buy more shares at a discounted rate if a person or entity purchases more than a certain percentage of common stock without the board’s approval. It is used to prevent a company takeover by a hostile buyer.

On April 25, Twitter agreed to sell itself to Musk for $44 billion.

On May 13, Musk tweeted that the deal was temporarily on hold, citing his concerns about spam accounts. Shares of the company immediately plummeted.

On July 8, Musk tried to terminate the acquisition agreement.

On July 12, Twitter sued Musk for failing to meet contractual obligations.

Zatko’s complaint supports Musk’s allegations about the percentage of bots the website’s user base contains.

“There are many millions of active accounts that are not considered “mDAU,” either because they are spam bots or because Twitter does not believe it can monetize them. These millions of non-mDAU accounts are part of the median user’s experience on the platform. And for this vast set of non-mDAU active accounts, Musk is correct: Twitter executives have little or no personal incentive to accurately “detect” or measure the prevalence of spam bots.”

Twitter believes that Musk started to back out of the deal when Tesla stocks began to decline due to stock market trends. Most of Musk’s wealth is not liquid, and he was planning to finance most of the deal with Twitter using Tesla stock.