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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

That Link You Just Posted Could Cost You 300 Euros

January 2nd, 2013 01:23 admin View Comments

The Internet

Nate the greatest writes “Do you like to tweet or share links to interesting news articles? According to a coalition of Irish newspapers, that makes you a pirate. The National Newspapers of Ireland has adopted a new policy. Any website which links to one of the 15 NNI member newspapers will have to pay a minimum of 300 Euros, with the license fee going up if you post more links. Note that this is not a fee to post an excerpt or some punitive measure for the copying of an entire article. No, the NNI wants to charge for links alone. It’s almost as if this organization has no idea how the web works. Or maybe they have found an elaborate way to commit suicide.”

Source: That Link You Just Posted Could Cost You 300 Euros

Facebook Paid 0.3% Taxes On $1.34 Billion Profits

December 28th, 2012 12:14 admin View Comments

Facebook

theodp writes “Facebook is unlikely to make many new (non-investor) friends with reports that it paid Irish taxes of about $4.64 million on its entire non-U.S. profits of $1.344 billion for 2011. ‘Facebook operates a second subsidiary that is incorporated in Ireland but controlled in the Cayman Islands,’ Kenneth Thomas explains. ‘This subsidiary owns Facebook Ireland, but the setup allows the two companies to be considered as one for U.S. tax purposes, but separate for Irish tax purposes. The Caymans-operated subsidiary owns the rights to use Facebook’s intellectual property outside the U.S., for which Facebook Ireland pays hefty royalties to use. This lets Facebook Ireland transfer the profits from low-tax Ireland to no-tax Cayman Islands.’ In 2008, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg cited ‘local world-class talent’ as the motivation behind Facebook’s choice of tax-haven Dublin for its international HQ. Similar tax moves by Google, Microsoft, and others who have sought the luck-of-the-Double-Irish present quite a dilemma for tax revenue-seeking governments. Invoking Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous common sense definition of ethics (‘Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do’) is unlikely to sway corporations whose top execs send the message that tax avoidance is the right thing to do and something to be proud of.”

Source: Facebook Paid 0.3% Taxes On $1.34 Billion Profits

Spectacular Fireball Lights Up UK Sky

September 22nd, 2012 09:31 admin View Comments

Earth

The Bad Astronomer writes “An extremely bright meteor burned up over Ireland and the northern UK around 22:00 UTC on Friday night, and was apparently witnessed by thousands of people. It traveled east to west, and was moving relatively slowly. It may have been an actual rock, or it may have been some human-made space debris — a satellite or rocket booster — burning up. Space junk tends to move more slowly, so that’s a potential suspect, though orbiting debris usually moves in the opposite direction. I’m collecting pictures and images on my Bad Astronomy blog.”

Source: Spectacular Fireball Lights Up UK Sky

Faulty Patch Freezes Millions of UK Bank Accounts

June 22nd, 2012 06:31 admin View Comments

Bug

frisket writes with news from The Register about ongoing problems for some UK banks: “‘RBS and Natwest have failed to register inbound payments for up to three days, customers have reported, leaving people unable to pay for bills, travel and even food. The banks — both owned by RBS Group — have confirmed that technical glitches have left bank accounts displaying the wrong balances and certain services unavailable. There is no fix date available.’ Customers of NatWest subsidiary Ulster Bank in Ireland have also been left without banking services. RTE reports that ‘the problem had arisen within the systems of parent bank RBOS when an incorrect patch was applied.’”

Source: Faulty Patch Freezes Millions of UK Bank Accounts

Taxes Lead Angry Birds Maker Rovio To Consider Move To Ireland

June 10th, 2012 06:15 admin View Comments

Businesses

jones_supa writes with this news, straight from The Irish Times: “Rovio, the Finnish company behind Angry Birds, is considering moving its headquarters to Ireland, chief executive Mikael Hed has said. Rovio employs approximately 400 people, mostly in Finland, but Rovio is in contact with IDA Ireland about establishing headquarters here. The reason for the move would be corporation tax rate, which in Finland is 24.5%, while Ireland’s rate is 12.5%. Companies such as Google and Facebook have also set up European headquarter operations in Dublin for the same reason. Hed said that if the decision was made to move to Ireland, the company would then decide exactly what elements of its operations would move. ‘If we did make that decision then it would be a natural thing to do to have some production [in Ireland] also.’”

Source: Taxes Lead Angry Birds Maker Rovio To Consider Move To Ireland

Canada No Pirate Nation: Global Leader In Music Download Sales

June 6th, 2012 06:51 admin View Comments

Canada

An anonymous reader writes “The IFPI, the global recording industry association, recently released its Recording Industry in Numbers 2012, which provides detailed sales data from countries around the world. While CRIA talks about ‘rebuilding the marketplace,’ the industry’s own data indicates that Canada already stands among the global leaders in digital music sales. Michael Geist digs into the data and finds that Canadians purchased more single track downloads than Germany or Japan, and more than double the sales in France, despite the fact that each of those countries has far larger populations. In fact, Canadian sales were larger than all the sales from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden combined. Not only is the Canadian digital market far larger than virtually every European market, it continues to grow faster than the U.S. digital music market as well. In fact, the Canadian digital music market has grown faster than the U.S. market for the past six consecutive years.”

Source: Canada No Pirate Nation: Global Leader In Music Download Sales

Canada No Pirate Nation: Global Leader In Music Download Sales

June 6th, 2012 06:51 admin View Comments

Canada

An anonymous reader writes “The IFPI, the global recording industry association, recently released its Recording Industry in Numbers 2012, which provides detailed sales data from countries around the world. While CRIA talks about ‘rebuilding the marketplace,’ the industry’s own data indicates that Canada already stands among the global leaders in digital music sales. Michael Geist digs into the data and finds that Canadians purchased more single track downloads than Germany or Japan, and more than double the sales in France, despite the fact that each of those countries has far larger populations. In fact, Canadian sales were larger than all the sales from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden combined. Not only is the Canadian digital market far larger than virtually every European market, it continues to grow faster than the U.S. digital music market as well. In fact, the Canadian digital music market has grown faster than the U.S. market for the past six consecutive years.”

Source: Canada No Pirate Nation: Global Leader In Music Download Sales

Facebook’s Sponsored Stories Settlement Could Have Broader Implications

May 23rd, 2012 05:30 admin View Comments

Facebook is staying quiet on Tuesday’s settlement of a lawsuit brought by five members who objected to their likenesses being used in Sponsored Stories, and perhaps with good reason.

After all, court documents filed on behalf of the plaintiffs quote Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg as saying Sponsored Stories are two to three times more valuable than a standard Facebook ad. How Facebook proceeds in carrying out the settlement will not only dictate the future of a significant portion of its advertising revenue, but will also speak volumes on how Facebook will respond to regulation efforts.

The lawsuit accused Facebook of a “misleading advertising scheme” that implied that users who “liked” a certain product or brand had endorsed it when ads for that brand were displayed to their friends. “Even if members had read [Facebook's] terms of use, they could not know that their likenesses and names would be later used in Sponsored Stories ads sent to their Facebook friends,” the plaintiffs said in the complaint.

The lawsuit, as dictated by Facebook’s service terms, was filed in California but was later moved to federal court in San Jose. California is Facebook’s home state, but it is also a state known for having a consumer-friendly court system. Facebook hasn’t publicly commented on the settlement, and terms were not disclosed, but it presumably will require Facebook to either curtail the practice or make it an opt-in feature of membership.

Precedents Hint at Possible Paths

Facebook may, however, have a choice. It could choose to implement a new policy stemming from the settlement across the social network, much like it did when it reached a settlement with Irish authorities over the data it keeps. Or Facebook may only implement the policy in California, essentially creating a separate set of rules and mirroring the tactic Facebook took when it voluntarily agreed to comply with German privacy laws.

In Ireland, Facebook reached a settlement after users in that country and Austria raised complaints that Facebook was keeping user data that was thought to have been deleted. While the enforcement action Facebook agreed to in December only applied to its users in Ireland, where Facebook has its European headquarters, the agreement and policy changes extend to all Facebook users.

In Germany, however, Facebook said it would abide by a voluntary code of conduct after officials said the company’s practice of building profiles of users and the websites they visited, using tracking cookies, had run afoul of German privacy law. Like the California settlement, details of the code of conduct have not been made public, although Wired reported that details of the California law will eventually be released.

With Each New User, Regulation Grows More Complicated

Lawsuits, regulatory actions and settlements like the one announced Friday accent an ever-growing problem: With more than 80% of its nearly one billion members located outside of the U.S., Facebook is increasingly becoming difficult to regulate. 

An academic paper by Anupam Chander of the University of California-Davis School of Law, published last week, outlined how Facebook resisted some regulation attempts and complied (or at least bent) on others. Chander noted that if each state and country with jurisdiction over Facebook exerted its control over the site, there would be a confusing and often contradictory array of laws for users to understand.

At the same time, putting in a global, one-size-fits-all system also presents problems. Germany’s privacy laws, for example, may run counter to the United States’ free speech standards, which may in turn violate France’s hate speech rules.

“With Facebook, we see both the company and governments stumbling over borders, uncertain which way to step or who should lead,” Chander wrote. “The jurisdictional dance here is hardly graceful, but is rather characterized by what we might call jurisdiction confusion.”

Often, in smaller jurisdictions, the penalties are too small to reform Facebook, and it’s questionable if those jurisdictions have oversight of Facebook. In France, for example, Facebook didn’t send representation to a hearing, presumably because the 2,000 euro fine was less than it would have cost to hire an attorney for the day.

For its part, Facebook has generally resisted regulatory pushes by smaller and foreign jurisdictions, and its service terms say users must file complaints in California. “Even if California law offers a robust set of consumer protections,” Chander notes, “many users around the world may lack the resources to bring claims in California.”

Source: Facebook’s Sponsored Stories Settlement Could Have Broader Implications

Scientists Solve Mystery of Ireland’s Moving Boulders

May 8th, 2012 05:08 admin View Comments

Earth

Hugh Pickens writes “How has a 78-ton boulder traveled 130 meters inland from the sea since 1991? Live Science reports that geologists have puzzled for years over the mysterious boulders that litter the desolate coastline of Ireland’s Aran Islands that somehow move on their own when no one is looking. The sizes of the boulders in the formations range ‘from merely impressive to mind-bogglingly stupendous,’ writes geoscientist Rónadh Cox. While some researchers contend that only a tsunami could push these stones, new research finds that plain old ocean waves, with the help of some strong storms, do the job. Some boulders move inland at an average rate of nearly 3 meters per decade, with one rock moving 3.5 meters vertically and 69 meters horizontally in one year. The team compared modern high-altitude photos of the coastline to a set of meticulous maps from 1839 that identified the location of the boulders’ ridges — nearly 100 years after the most recent tsunami to hit the region, which struck in 1755. The Aran cliffs rise nearly vertically out of the Atlantic (video), leaving very deep water close to the shore. As waves slam into the sheer cliff, that water is abruptly deflected back out toward the oncoming waves. This backflow may amplify subsequent waves resulting an occasional storm wave that is much larger than one would expect. ‘There’s a tendency to attribute the movement of large objects to tsunami,’ says Cox. ‘We’re saying hold the phone. Big boulders are getting moved by storm waves.’”

Source: Scientists Solve Mystery of Ireland’s Moving Boulders

How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes

April 28th, 2012 04:18 admin View Comments

Government

An anonymous reader writes “An article at the NY Times explains the how the most profitable tech company in the world becomes even more profitable by finding ways to avoid or minimize taxes. Quoting: ‘Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains. California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero. … As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world. … Without such tactics, Apple’s federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to a recent study (PDF) by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin A. Sullivan. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent.”

Source: How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes

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