Yahoo Delaying the Inevitable
Some things in life are inevitable, like death, taxes...and a screaming match
in the Yahoo boardroom.
Varhol reported yesterday in his Redmond Report, Yahoo has postponed the
showdown at the Icahn Corral. By putting off its annual meeting -- and the ensuing
head-bashing that it will invariably include -- Yahoo seems to be giving itself
more time to get its act together, with or without Microsoft as a partner.
It's the second time Yahoo has pushed back its annual meeting, which -- what
with everything that's going on in Sunnyvale these days -- is sure to be a smackdown.
In a filing with the SEC in which it announced the postponement, Yahoo stated
it needs additional time to prepare materials it plans to file for the looming
proxy battle. That battle will be waged with Team Icahn, as Carl Icahn has put
together his own dream team he hopes will be able to wrangle
control of Yahoo. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at that meeting?
In other Yahoo news, proof that it's unwise to nip at the beleaguered company
just because it might be too distracted to pay attention these days: Yahoo has
suit against a group of spammers that uses the time-honored tradition of
trying to dupe people out of their hard-earned coin by making them think they've
won a lottery. In this case, the defendants are unnamed and unknown, yet they're
using Yahoo's name in their bogus solicitations.
"The unauthorized use of Yahoo's trademarks is misleading, fraudulent
and has actually confused, misled and deceived the public," said Joe Siino,
senior vice president of Yahoo global intellectual property and business strategy,
in a prepared statement earlier this week.
Yahoo has filed suit to get these anonymous slime balls to cease and desist,
and for an unspecified amount of damages. I'm sure Yahoo will be able to get
them to stop, but any damage award could be sketchy.
What do you think of Yahoo's predicaments? Do you think there's any sane modicum
of partnership to be found with Microsoft? With Google? With anyone else? Shoot
me a spam-free note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Windows You Can Touch
Seems like the next iteration of Windows will be configured for touch screen
input. Earlier this week at the "D6:
All Things Digital" conference put on by the Wall Street Journal
in Carlsbad, Calif., Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed
off parts of the now under-development Windows 7, currently scheduled for
release in 2009.
During the demo, the Microsoft reps showed
touch screen-appropriate applications like scrolling around a map and manipulating
photos. Microsoft execs extolled the touch screen as the new interface of choice.
"Today, almost all the interaction is keyboard/mouse," said Bill Gates
at the event. "Over years to come, the role of speech, vision, ink -- all
of those -- will be huge."
Have you ever used touch screen applications? Do you think a touch screen could
ever replace a keyboard or mouse? Let me know at email@example.com.
Google Blasts Suit
It's a clash of the titans, a battle of the heavyweights: traditional media
versus digital media. Google has lashed
back at Viacom, which had filed a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit
against YouTube (which is owned by Google).
In its response to the suit, filed in the U.S. District court in New York,
Google's army of attorneys said the suit threatens the manner in which people
use the Web to share information and has led to an "explosion" of
copyright infringement suits.
In the original
lawsuit filed last year, Viacom sought damages for unauthorized clips posted
on YouTube from MTV, Comedy Central and several of its other networks. Viacom
further stated it had pinpointed more than 150,000 unauthorized clips taken
directly from copyrighted programs like "SpongeBob SquarePants" and
Google said in its response papers filed last week that YouTube "goes
far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their
works." It also said that YouTube adheres to the provision of the 1998
Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Now it's in the hands of the U.S. attorneys.
This one isn't likely to be over soon.
Vitriolic lawsuits like this show that the Web hasn't entirely lost its "wild
west" panache. What do you think about lawsuits of this nature? Where should
the line in the sand be drawn on copyright issues? Is it OK to send sneak peeks,
or is that infringement? Let me know where you stand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don't forget to check for more news and headlines, including more details
on the stories presented here, on our breaking news Web site RedmondReport.com.
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.