Google, Facebook and the MPAA take sides in a copyright case over the DMCA safe harbor

Big dogs like Google, Facebook, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and now the Motion Picture Association of America have all filed briefs in an obscure copyright case currently being heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. At stake: what does a service have to do when a takedown notice is filed, and should that site have an additional burden to block repeat offenders?

AOL sells most of its patents to Microsoft for $1B, goosing its stock price 43%

Update 2 p.m. Pacific: AOL stock closed up 43 percent for the day. News hit the wires this morning that AOL plans to sell 800 of its 1,100 patents to Microsoft for $1 billion in cash, money CEO Tim Armstrong says will be used to repay AOL shareholders. This one-time transaction also grants Microsoft a non-exclusive license to to the 300 remaining patents, which cover key technologies such as advertising, search, content generation/management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming, and security.

How Israeli cloud management startup NewVem is cutting its clients’ Amazon Web Service bills by 25%

There are very few tech startups these days that don’t rely, in whole or in part, on Amazon Web Services. The power of the elastic cloud means small startups with limited resources and employees can scale quickly to great size. Many startups that build on AWS, like Tumblr, continue to use the service when they reach web scale, serving up billions of pageviews each month.

Why Max Payne 3 could be this year’s next big blockbuster video game

Beware the ides of May. Max Payne 3 debuts on May 15, a significant time for gamers that Rockstar Games has pretty much owned for the past few years. The game developer, a division of Take-Two Interactive, wants to repeat history by launching one of the year’s blockbuster games at a time when gamers are have traditionally embraced big games. Now that Electronic Arts/BioWare has released Mass Effect 3, gamers are looking for the next big game, and the next big releases will come in mid-May again.