College Student's Facebook Folly Could Cost $80K
Today in international tech news: An American university student might have cost her family $80,000 -- and herself a trip to Europe -- with an ill-advised Facebook update. Also: Some Pakistanis want YouTube reinstated now that Innocence of Muslims has been taken down; a German court throws out a case against Apple; and Mt. Gox is officially bankrupt.
A student at Boston College may have cost her family US$80,000 -- and cost herself a trip to Europe.
The student, Dana Snay, posted a Facebook status update boasting of her father's victory in an age discrimination case. The father, 69, was the headmaster of a school for years, but his contract was not renewed in 2010. This prompted an age discrimination suit, which was settled for $80,000 in late 2011 between father Snay and the Gulliver Preparatory School.
Alas, the settlement was contingent upon a confidentiality agreement -- an agreement that was egregiously breached when Snay posted this update on Facebook days later: "Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."
A number of Dana's 1,200 Facebook friends were Gulliver alumni, and the post was eventually relayed to attorneys. Thus did an appeals court tossed out the settlement last week: "His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent," a judge wrote.
The father in question can appeal the decision.
Pakistanis Push for Reintroducing YouTube
Following a U.S. court ruling on the YouTube film Innocence of Muslims, Pakistani Internet campaigners are imploring the government to reinstate access to the video platform.
YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan since September 2012, when Innocence of Muslims gained international notoriety. An estimated 20 people died following protests linked to the film in Pakistan, where some 97 percent of the population is Muslim.
The film, which is seen as an affront to Islam, was taken down last week after a U.S. appeals court ruled that it infringed the copyright of one of the actresses, who said she was duped into playing the role and had no idea the film was about religion. The ruling had nothing to do with the film's offensiveness, but rather centered on the actress' copyright to her performance.
At any rate, the film has been removed, and now some in Pakistan -- including domestic technology think-tank Bytes for All -- said that the government no longer has a legitimate rationale for continuing its YouTube block.
Despite the furor caused by the film, Google is fighting the takedown order.
German Court Throws Out Claim Against Apple
A German court threw out a legal claim filed by domestic company IPCom, which sought about $2 billion from Apple for using technology without permission.
IPCom claimed that Apple lifted a patented system that enabled phones to make emergency calls even when networks are overloaded.
IPCom had filed a similar claim against phone-maker HTC; that also was dismissed.
Mt. Gox Files for Bankruptcy
Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection after its chief executive, Mark Karpeles, said several hundred million dollars-worth of Bitcoins had gone missing.
Karpeles, a Frenchman, faced Japanese TV news cameras to concede that a weakness in the exchange led to the enormous loss -- roughly $425 million at recent prices. That said, it is still not entirely clear if the disappearing Bitcoins were stolen or voided (or something else).
Japan's finance minister, Taro Aso, wasn't all that sympathetic to the plight of Karpeles or those who are now out loads of money. "I expected such a thing to collapse," Aso said.