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March 7, 2013

Technology News Briefs — March 7, 2013

Google Not Liable for Name Search Results: Court

Wisconsin resident Beverly Stayart has failed to convince a federal court of appeals that Google is liable for its search engine linking her name to an erectile dysfunction drug — an action that she says tarnishes her “wholesome” reputation.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said Stayart was unable to prove Google breached Wisconsin privacy laws by using a variation of her name to generate advertising dollars, according to a Reuters report.

A search for “bev stayart” brings up a recommended search for “bev stayart levitra,” which can lead users to websites selling erectile dysfunction treatments.

Stayart maintained such search results hurt her “positive and wholesome image” as an animal rights activist, a genealogy researcher and a published poet.

The three-judge appeals court panel disagreed, saying the use of Stayart’s name fell within the “public interest” and “incidental use” exceptions to Wisconsin’s misappropriation laws, both of which would nullify the lawsuit.

Apple Could Team With Beats Electronics

Apple is discussing a music-streaming service partnership with Beats Electronics LLC, the audio technology firm headed by hip-hop artist and producer Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, sources have told Reuters.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Internet products chief Eddy Cue met with Iovine, Beats CEO, during a visit to Los Angeles late last month to learn more about Beats’ “Project Daisy,” a music subscription service the firm announced in January, the sources said, adding, as yet, few details have been released.

The sources told Reuters Cook has expressed interest in Daisy’s business model and its rollout plans.

The meeting between Cook and Iovine was “informational” and touched on a number of music-related topics, the sources said.

Beats announced earlier this week it has secured $60 million in funding for Daisy. Investors include Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass, and Australian financier James Packer. The money will fund the music service’s launch later this year.

Microsoft Relaxes Office 2013 License Agreement

Microsoft has changed its Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another.

This means customers can now transfer Office 2013 to a different device if their computer fails or they buy a new one. Under the old policy, customers were only permitted to transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their computer failed under warranty.

“While the license agreement accompanying Office 2013 software will be updated in a future release, this change is effective immediately and applies to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013 and the standalone Office 2013 applications,” says Office team member Jevon Fark in a blog post.  “These transferability options are equivalent to those found in the Office 2010 retail license terms.”

Fark said the policy change was a response to user feedback.

The updated text is as follows:

Updated transferability provision to the Retail License Terms of the Software License Agreement for Microsoft Office 2013 Desktop Application Software:

You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the “licensed computer.” You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.