Apple ruling opens a can of worms for digital storefronts | OpinionThe Supreme Court ruling could open the floodgate to consumer lawsuits for digital stores — including the content of developer agreementsRob FaheyContributing EditorFriday 17th May 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleAppleCourt cases are not speedy things. This week’s highly publicised US Supreme Court judgement against Apple is a ruling in a case that was originally filed back in 2011 — way back when App Stores were still a pretty novel kind of idea — and it doesn’t even mark the end of that case, with the Supreme Court’s decision merely clearing the path for the substantive case to be heard. This case, Apple vs. Pepper, is actually a pretty good example of how the ponderousness of legal processes and the speedy nature of technological development — always moving fast, always breaking something — can be seriously mismatched. The original case was arguing that Apple’s control of the App Store was monopolistic and being used to drive up the price of software for iPhones, a claim that may still have some legal merit but which looks a little peculiar in an era where the standard price for most smartphone apps has fallen to zero.”The case was originally filed back in 2011 — way back when App Stores were still a pretty novel kind of idea” Of course, Apple could still lose the broader case (we likely won’t know for a couple of years), and if that does happen it would have huge implications across the industry. If Apple, a minority player in the smartphone market, is judged to be a monopoly for running a walled garden App Store, then the knock-on implications for every company with a walled garden digital distribution system would be dramatic — including, of course, every console platform holder. However, we’re a long way from that point. The courts aren’t yet considering any arguments about monopolies or anti-trust, with the rulings made so far being entirely about the plaintiffs’ actual right to bring a case against Apple in the first place. Yet even if that aspect is an unintended stop along the way for this legal process, it’s also got some boat-rocking implications of its own.At the heart of this ruling is an argument over whether a system like the App Store is a service provided to developers in order to help them sell directly to consumers (in which case the developer is Apple’s customer, and the consumer is the developer’s customer), or whether it’s actually effectively a retailer (in which case the consumer is Apple’s customer). Apple argued that it’s the former case; you’re a customer of Apple when you buy an iPhone, but when you then buy an app for that iPhone, you’re a customer of the app developer, while Apple’s role in that second transaction is simply as a service provider to the developer. That’s important here because it impacts who has standing; Apple was arguing that consumers couldn’t take an anti-trust case against the App Store because they’re not customers of the App Store. “The knock-on effects will take years to unravel, and some of those years are likely to be spent in a series of court cases” On the face of it, that might seem a little absurd. When I walk into a convenience store to buy a cold drink, I’m a customer of the convenience store, not of the Coca-Cola Company, so why should different logic apply when I open the App Store on my phone? Yet Apple’s argument wasn’t entirely without merit either (that’s why it made it all the way to the Supreme Court, I guess). Apple isn’t buying the software from the developer and reselling it to you (as a convenience store does with your Coke Zero), it’s providing a storefront to the developer, who has responsibility for how the software is presented, what they put into it, how it’s priced, and so on. In that way the App Store could be argued to be more like something along the lines of Shopify, or other e-commerce service providers that are used across a wide range of different websites. The key difference of course being that the App Store is also a unified store interface for lots of software, not just a kind of “business middleware” that developers plug into to allow them to distribute their creations.Apple’s arguments hinged on some old case law about a company that makes bricks, where it was ruled that a consumer (specifically the State of Illinois, which was annoyed at being overcharged for a building project and reckoned the overcharging could be traced back to hiked prices for some bricks) couldn’t sue the brick manufacturer over an issue they had with the building firm. Apple was basically arguing that it’s equivalent to the brick manufacturer (just supplying something to the developer, who is the entity with the actual consumer relationship). The Supreme Court disagreed; it ruled that the customer relationship clearly exists directly between Apple and the consumer, not via the developer as an intermediary.”Valve and Epic are two firms that will no doubt be watching this closely” I suspect that there are a fair few lawyers across the games business (and the broader media business) who are burning through a lot of billable hours this week figuring out exactly what the implications of this are. The precedent is now set; if Apple’s digital distribution consumers are considered to be direct customers of the company, and thus to have standing to challenge its business practices in court, this also holds true for every digital software or media store out there.That’s a pretty big deal. Walled-garden stores on console platforms are one thing, and they’re now open to the same kind of anti-trust action Apple faces. Honestly, though, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the Apple case, and the much more niche nature of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft’s game consoles compared to iOS devices, plus the availability of disc-based games at retail — for the time being — would make those even tougher cases to argue. This isn’t all just about anti-trust, though; the precedent established here is wider and likely means that almost any digital storefront now faces a subtly but crucially changed relationship with its customers. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games That includes the likes of Steam and the Epic Games Store — and the question of where the line gets drawn will no doubt need to be teased out in further court cases, but could have big implications for service providers like Shopify, which are used by lots of PC indie games developers. The knock-on effects will take years to unravel, and some of those years are likely to be spent in a series of court cases — some meaningful, some frivolous and frustrating — to figure out exactly where the new boundaries lie and how much power the Supreme Court has just, wittingly or unwittingly, handed over to consumers. One potentially enormous corollary to the ruling is that consumers now have standing to take cases over the nature not just of a store’s treatment of them as customers, but over any knock-on impact the terms of the store’s business agreement with developers may have on said consumers. If App Store consumers have standing to sue over Apple’s revenue split with its developers, then consumers of any store can presumably sue over any aspect of the store’s business relationship with developers that they consider to have negatively impacted them — which is going to open the door to a lot of legal messes.That’s why the lawyers will be earning their big bucks this week, even for companies a long way from the smartphone app space. Valve and Epic are two firms that will no doubt be watching this closely, since the competition that’s heating up between them in the PC space is increasingly using developer agreements — revenue shares, exclusivity deals and so on — as a battleground. The very existence of that competition will shield the dominant Steam platform from most anti-trust claims, of course, but if consumers have standing to take legal cases based on the content of those developer agreements, it means there’s now a whole new legal minefield for these companies to tiptoe around as they try to go head-to-head over the future of the PC digital distribution space.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Mobile newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEpic vs Apple – Week One Review: Epic still faces an “uphill battle”Legal experts share their thoughts on the proceedings so far, and what to expect from the coming weekBy James Batchelor 10 hours agoEpic Games claims Fortnite is at “full penetration” on consoleAsserts that mobile with the biggest growth potential as it fights for restoration to iOS App StoreBy James Batchelor 13 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
CONCORD, N.C. — Ford Performance announced Tuesday the addition of Hailie Deegan to its driver development program, ensuring that the next steps of the rising star’s stock-car racing career will be made with the automaker’s backing. The groundwork for that progression was spelled out in the mid-December announcement, with Deegan slated for a full 20-race season in the ARCA Menards Series, plus select sports-car events in a Mustang GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Her ARCA schedule will be contested with the DGR-Crosley organization, which made its own switch to Ford last Wednesday.“It was really cool because they came to me,” Deegan told NASCAR.com about Ford’s interest. “It shows that people care, it shows that they want to be fully invested and want to better your future and have a good relationship for a long time, and that’s something that I was super-interested in when they came to me. I know that it’s going to be a crazy next year, and if everything goes well with David Gilliland Racing, which I think it will because he has such a good program, we should have some good success next year.”RELATED: Key players in Silly Season | Deegan wins at Colorado | 2020 ARCA Menards Series scheduleDeegan became one of NASCAR’s top budding prospects by making history as the first woman to win a race in its developmental K&N Pro Series West (now ARCA Menards Series West) in 2018. The 18-year-old driver added two more series victories this year. All three wins came by bold final-lap passes.That sort of potential mixed with a sometimes-brash driving style is what drew the attention of Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports’ global director. That she has already established an engaging social media presence came as a bonus.“From the competition side, it was seeing her aggression on track, seeing how she races, the results that she delivers, and more importantly what we see off the track in terms of her mindset, her commitment to develop in every way that she can, whether it’s on the simulator, driving her own sim at home, a motorcycle, a quad or whatever,” Rushbrook said. “It’s all about getting in a vehicle and vehicle dynamics.“That’s the biggest thing that attracted us from the competition side, and then also on the marketing side, just the way that she’s already been able to develop such an extensive reach to be able to tell her story at such a young age is very impressive, and that’s only going to continue to grow, we think, as she advances through the different levels inside of NASCAR. We expect her competition level to grow as well as her marketing presence.”Deegan got her first taste of ARCA competition last season, netting four top-10 finishes in a six-race slate for Venturini Motorsports. That partial schedule included a best result of fifth place at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis.Though her new alignment with DGR-Crosley could eventually provide an avenue to the organization’s involvement in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Deegan says she’s concentrating for now on the two-series task that’s ahead.RELATED: DGR-Crosley shifts to Ford | Gray lands Truck ride with DGR-Crosley“I think by the end of the year, I would love to. As of now, we’re fully investing into ARCA and our funding is invested into ARCA,” Deegan says. “If some other deals come along, then yeah, I’ll go truck racing. Man, I want to race Eldora. So I for sure do, but at the end of the day for right now, we’re focusing on the ARCA program and being successful there.”Her aspirations for both series will begin next year in Daytona. Deegan, who has already acclimated herself to Ford’s IMSA entry through simulator work, will drive the Mustang GT4 for real in the Roar Before the 24 test session Jan. 3-5. She’ll team with fellow Ford prospect Chase Briscoe for Multimatic Motorsports in the series’ season opener Jan. 24 on the 3.56-mile oval and road course layout, a day before the annual Rolex 24. Road courses haven’t been a part of Deegan’s varied background, which has its roots in off-road racing with some go-karting spliced in. Time with Ford’s simulator has helped establish a baseline, something she can build on as IMSA’s opening weekend nears.“What makes a good driver is well-rounded drivers, ones that are good at multiple things,” Deegan said, “so I think that coming from dirt racing, getting to asphalt, then having some road-course background thrown into it, it’s going to help the whole, all-around stock-car racing a lot.”Zack Albert | NASCAR Digital MediaDeegan joins a crop of Ford development drivers that includes Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Ben Rhodes and others. Cole Custer, 21, is the most recent graduate from the Ford youth initiative as he joins Stewart-Haas Racing for his rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series next year.Deegan’s shift to Ford also represents a family homecoming. Her father, Brian, drove Fords as part of his decorated X Games career, wheeling a Ford Fiesta to Rallycross gold in 2011. He also drove Fiestas in the Global Rallycross Championship and a Ford Raptor in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series. Tuesday marked the Deegan family’s newest connection to Ford as a No. 4 Fusion with Hailie Deegan’s name above the door sat on the floor of the Ford Performance Technical Center.The younger Deegan’s move also represents a break with Toyota Racing Development, which fostered her career the last two seasons. While eager to begin her next chapter, Deegan took care to express her gratitude for Toyota’s role in her progress.“The Toyota program is a great program, and they develop a lot of drivers,” Deegan says. “It has its pros and cons because there’s so many drivers there. I think that they gave me a good introduction to the NASCAR world, helped me kind of find my place, and I think after that, once Ford came to us, it was just something that, OK, what’s going to be best for us long term?” In the short term, the spotlight has already beamed brightly on Deegan’s emergent career. Her arrival at Ford not only signals the potential for continued on-track performance, but brings the intangibles possessed by one of the sport’s most engaging and marketable young talents.The jump to a full ARCA slate and IMSA will likely ratchet up that attention, scrutiny that relatively few teenagers have to face. Deegan, however, seems to embrace that spot on the larger stage.“It’s really hard because at the end of the day in NASCAR racing, you’re going to have a lot more bad races than good races,” Deegan says. “That’s just how it is. One person wins. You’re going to have a lot of bad days.“The thing is, when the spotlight’s on you, they notice the bad days and the good days. It’s not just the good times and when you’re on top that they notice you. They notice those days that you’re off a little bit, you’re having a bad day or you’re not on top of your game. So that’s something that has its pros and cons, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
About 345 dairy farmers participating in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) will see indemnity payments this month. April’s MPP-Dairy average milk income margin over feed costs fell to just $6.83 per hundredweight, the lowest level in the program’s short history. When combined with March calculations, the average margin for the 2-month pay period was about $7.15 per hundredweight, meaning any farmers insured at $7.50 or $8 per hundredweight margin levels will see payments for one-sixth of their annual milk production. Individual payments will be subject to a 7.3 percent federal sequestration deduction.advertisementadvertisementThe 345 dairy herds with insured margins at $7.50 and $8.00 levels represent about 1.5 percent of the 23,328 total MPP-Dairy participants.April margin factorsAt $15 per hundredweight, April 2016 milk prices continued to slide, while feed prices were higher.Feed costs averaged $8.17 per hundredweight nationally, with more than a $27.50 per ton jump in soybean meal and a $9 per ton increase for alfalfa hay compared to March.See historical factors used in the calculation.Based on projections from the Program on Dairy Markets and Policy, MPP-Dairy margins could dip below $6 per hundredweight in May through July 2016, turning above $8 per hundredweight in October.advertisementAbout 4,425 dairy herds have margins insured at $6 to $8 levels, about 19 percent of the total.Read: Dairy safety net in need of patches.State marginsUSDA uses national average milk, corn and alfalfa hay prices, along with a central soybean meal price to calculate the monthly national MPP-Dairy income margin.Selected state margins for April 2016, using the MPP-Dairy formula and state prices for corn, alfalfa hay and milk reported by USDA, range from a high of $9.10 per hundred weight in South Dakota to a low of $6.07 per hundred weight in Michigan, a difference of $3.03 per hundredweight, according to Progressive Dairyman calculationsNext enrollment period starts July 1The 2017 MPP-Dairy enrollment period is open July 1 to Sept. 30, 2016. Recent USDA adjustments to the program will be in affect.One change, implemented retroactively for all of 2016, ensures all herds enrolled in MPP-Dairy will receive catastrophic coverage at the basic $4 per hundredweight margin level on 90 percent of their production history.advertisementAnother adjustment allows a one-time restructuring of the dairy’s production history to accommodate new family members joining the dairy operation. This intergenerational transfer of production history is for children and grandchildren and their spouses who join a dairy operation.During the July 1 to September 30 period, any dairy operation already enrolled in MPP will be able to use the intergenerational transfer provision to increase the operation’s production history up to 4 million pounds per year. Each participating dairy operation is authorized one intergenerational transfer at any time of its choosing until 2018.USDA also codified a previous policy change giving dairy farmers the opportunity to pay their premium through additional options, such as a periodic milk check deduction handled by their cooperative. PD Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairymanEmail Dave [email protected]
By Steve PilzRIB LAKE — The Marshfield Chaparrals amateur baseball team opened its 2017 season with a Dairyland League victory over the Interwald Woodticks 14-12 in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon.The Mothers’ Day affair saw a little bit of everything as the Chaps struggled to get out of the gate, trailing 3-2 into the fifth inning before grabbing an 11-3 lead at one point.Nate MacDonald got the Chaparrals’ season off to a positive start with a base on balls and scored on a Lucius Messerschmidt sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.Starting pitcher Ryan Metz was the victim of an infield error and a soggy right field as the Woodticks got their first two base runners on. A couple of RBI singles plated two earned runs, and the Chaps trailed 3-1.That score lasted until the fourth when Sam Schwanebeck deposited a home run over the left-center field fence to cut the Ticks’ lead to one.The Chaps erupted for six runs in the top of the fifth.MacDonald drilled a one-out double to right-center field before an RBI single by Justin Rayburn. Riley Erickson followed that with a single before Schwanebeck cleared the bags with another home run, this one down the left field line. After another out, Alex Steines walked in front of Cale Cuddie, who hit the Chaps’ third homer of the game.Metz left the mound after four innings work and was replaced by Bobby Pilz, who struck out the side in the fifth.Metz led the sixth off with a single and ended up on third after another MacDonald double. Rayburn knocked in Metz with a sacrifice fly. Schwanebeck walked later in the inning and scored on a Messerschmidt single. The Chaps left the bases loaded but still led 11-3.Pilz struck out two of the first three batters in the sixth before walking a pair and hitting a batter. A bases-loaded error did not help and the Woodticks scratched their way back with five runs in the inning.Two more errors in the seventh led to Interwald cutting the lead to 12-10.Pilz pitched a scoreless eighth, finishing with nine strikeouts before yielding to Schwanebeck to close the door in the ninth.After a walk, a single, and two more walks, Schwanebeck had a full-blown jam on his hands. A timely strikeout, a sacrifice fly, and an unassisted force play at third limited the damage, but the score was knotted at 12-12.The Chaps went quietly in the 10th, setting the stage for the Woodticks to win it in the home half.Schwanebeck promptly hit the lead-off man, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter walked, and the one after was hit with a pitch that loaded the bases with one out. Schwanebeck was able to wiggle out of the it as Rayburn, the Chaps’ center fielder, caught a fly ball and threw out the runner from third trying to score, ending the inning with a double play.Pilz led off the 11th with a single to center field. He went to second on a wild pitch but had to stay there when Metz flied out to right. A grounder by MacDonald got Pilz to third before Rayburn walked. Erickson plated Pilz with what turned out to be the winning run before Schwanebeck put the cap on a four-hit, five RBI day by driving in Rayburn with a single.Schwanebeck got three groundouts in the bottom of the 11th to finish off the 14-12 win for Marshfield.Marshfield hammered out 22 hits, overcoming four errors and 12 runners left on base. Interwald stranded 13 runners.Schwanebeck had four hits; MacDonald, Erickson, and Steines each had three; and Rayburn, Messerschmidt, Pilz, and Metz each had two. The Chaparrals’ next game is at Marshfield’s Jack Hackman Field next May 21 against Abbotsford.Chaparrals 14, Woodticks 12 (11 inn.)Marshfield 100 163 100 02 – 14 22 4Interwald 300 005 202 00 – 12 10 0Interwald statistics not provided.WP: Sam Schwanebeck.SO: Ryan Metz (4 inn.) 4, Bobby Pilz (4 inn.) 9, Schwanebeck (3 inn.) 1. BB: Metz 1, Pilz 3, Schwanebeck 4.Top hitters: M, Schwanebeck 2 HRs, 5 RBIs; Cale Cuddie HR; Nate McDonald 2 2Bs; Alex Steines 2B.Records: Marshfield 1-0 overall and Dairyland League.
Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne are backing a new Twenty20 league for former cricketing greats that will be played in cities around the world from later this year, the Australian newspaper reported on Friday.Indian batsman Tendulkar and Australian spin bowler Warne, now both retired, are widely regarded as two of the greatest cricketers in the history of the game.The report said Australians Brett Lee, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath, Englishmen Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff as well as South African Jacques Kallis had all been approached with offers of $25,000 a match.Tendulkar and Warne planned to recruit 28 players to play 15 matches in the Cricket All Stars League over the next 3 1/2 years, starting with matches in three cities in the United States in September, the report added.Several of the players targeted have, like Warne, extended their careers with lucrative stints in Twenty20 leagues after retiring from international cricket.While senior tours in tennis and golf have proven successful in providing an income for older players and regular doses of nostalgia for fans, it has never before been attempted in cricket.
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Brighton agree Ezequiel Schelotto can leave after summitby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton have made Ezequiel Schelotto available for the January market.TMW says Schelotto and his agents met with Brighton yesterday where it was agreed he could leave this month.The wing-back, however, has been informed Brighton only want him to leave on-loan rather than an outright sale.A return to Italy is being mooted where SPAL are keen.Schelotto, 29, moved to Brighton 18 months ago from Sporting CP.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Ex-Inter Milan president Moratti: I’d re-sign LA Galaxy striker Ibrahimovicby Carlos Volcano4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti says he’d re-sign LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.Inter need a new striker after losing Alexis Sanchez to a three-month injury layoff.“Maybe I’d have done something so crazy,” Moratti, referring to Ibra, told Sport Mediaset.“Having said that, there’s a balance that needs maintaining and the players already there have to be respected.“In these cases, all these situations have to be considered.”
TORONTO – The Bank of Montreal’s head of digital investing sees two bright spots for the sector: young people and retirees.BMO InvestorLine president Silvio Stroescu says its self-directed investing platforms are seeing a growing number of clients at opposite ends of the spectrum, those under the age of 30 and those in their golden years.He says Canada’s fourth-largest bank is seeing more interest from boomers nearing retirement who want to use their newfound free time to build and manage their own portfolios.“We see them going into retirement right now and saying, ‘I have more time and I understand how to build my portfolio, and I’m more willing to do it on my own’,” Stroescu said.BMO InvestorLine says it has seen a record number of transfers larger than $1 million to its adviceDirect platform between January and September of this year, compared with the past six years since it launched.Meanwhile, Stroescu says its robo-adviser offering SmartFolio has seen the percentage of users under the age of 30 rise from 15 per cent to nearly 25 per cent since it dropped its minimum investment level to $1,000 from $5,000 in late 2017.“We’re seeing more adoption from the millennials,” he said.Stroescu’s comments come as BMO InvestorLine marks its 30th anniversary and interest in do-it-yourself online investing and lower-fee investment options continues to rise.BMO InvestorLine has more than 400,000 clients on its InvestorLine Self-Directed platform, Stroescu says. It also has roughly 5,000 users on SmartFolio and 4,000 on adviceDirect, the latter of which offers guidance for clients, he added.Competition in this space for retail investors is heating up as well. Toronto-Dominion Bank has partnered with U.S. firm Hydrogen to launch its own “robo-guidance” product and completed a $100-million revamp of its WebBroker self-directed investing platform. Meanwhile, robo-adviser Wealthsimple has been ramping up its offerings and recently announced it was launching a zero-commission stock-trading service.Companies in this story: (TSX:BMO)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version stated that SmartFolio and adviceDirect had 50,000 clients each.
Marrakesh: Actor Idris Elba, 46, exchanged wedding vows with longtime girlfriend Sabrina Dhowre, 29, in a three-day ceremony in Morocco. In images captured by British Vogue, the couple, who got engaged last year, looked smitten as they wed at the Ksar Char Bagh hotel in Marrakesh recently, reports dailymail.co.uk. Dhowre opted for two exquisite dresses by Vera Wang for her big day – a bardot style gown for the ceremony and a pearl embroidered number for the reception – while Elba, 46, looked dapper in a bespoke suit by Ozwald Boateng. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerAn image from the fashion magazine shows Dhowre looking ravishing in her form-fitting A-line white gown, while her make-up is executed by Charlotte Tilbury and her hair by Luana Babbi. In another, Elba cuts an incredibly dapper figure in his slick suit as he is seen gazing adoringly at Dhowre. Another photograph shows the pair just after they exchanged their vows, as they passionately embrace while the former beauty queen flashes her dazzling ring. “Congratulations to newlyweds Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre who exchanged vows in Morocco on April 26 2019. Celebrations were spread over three days in Marrakesh,” the caption read. With a ‘colours of the Souk’ themed dinner on Thursday night, and their extravagant nuptials on Friday, the three-day celebrations will culminate with an all-white party at a hotel.