Local company no avid fan of California-based file-sharing service; sues

Avid Technology of Burlington, which makes tools for managing movies, audio tracks and other media files, says a California file-sharing company not only poached some of its employees, it's illegally using its proprietary software.

In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court in Boston, Avid accuses Gobbler of copyright and trademark violations and of violating the non-compete agreements four former Avid employees signed. Non-compete clauses are legal in Massachusetts, but not California.

Avid says Gobbler hired four of its key employees - two are now Gobbler vice presidents - after it learned Avid was developing its own service that would let media developers collaborate on large files, a fact that "would render the Gobbler platform largely irrelevant."

After that, Avid says, it canceled a contract that let Gobbler use its software development kit to handle Avid files on its network, yet Gobbler continued to use the software and promote it on its Web site.

Avid is seeking an immediate end to the use of Avid's software and trademarks, plus enough damages to put the fear of God into Gobbler.


Bay State Banner owner's New Hampshire retreat goes up in flames

Fire destroyed the Plainfield, NH home owned by Bay State Banner publisher Mel Miller Sunday night and now fire officials are trying to figure out what caused the fire, the Valley News reports:

All that remained of the house on Monday afternoon was the stucco and stone foundation spanning the perimeter of the home and a massive chimney standing some 50 feet high.

Miller had used the house - where he is registered to vote - as collateral for a now infamous loan from the city to the Banner in 2009. In January, the Globe reported Miller had only ever made one payment on the loan and that the BRA was expecting him to sell the New Hampshire house to repay the loan.

The house was listed for sale, but Miller told the Valley News he was selling because he's gotten too old to spend much time there, not because he owes the BRA money.


Quiet Roslindale Square breakfast nook could become full-service restaurant with liquor

Derna's at 753 South St., where regulars can pour their own coffee, goes before the Boston Licensing Board next week seeking an all-alcohol license and permission to stay open until 1 a.m. and open a patio.

Stephen Judge, owner of Delfino, across the street, bought Derna's and the adjoining Minerva's Owl space earlier this year. Under his proposal, Derna's would expand into the former clothing store and add a 12-seat bar and also a 48-seat patio out back, with proposed hours of 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Because Derna's is in the Roslindale Village Main Street district, it could be eligible for one of the 25 new liquor licenses available to Boston to promote restaurants outside of the waterfront and downtown areas.

The board's hearings begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in its eighth-floor hearing room in City Hall.


Woman pushed to ground in Boylston Street mugging

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 20:30

Sgt. Luke Traxter at District D-4 report a woman walking in front of 729 Boylston St. around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday was pushed to the ground and robbed of her iPhone.

The mugger, described as a black female teen, then fled on a bike, along with two males, also on bikes.


Free tagging: 



Police: Barking dogs may have spooked man sexually attacking woman at knifepoint in Saugus

Saugus Police are hunting a man they say grabbed a woman at knifepoint Tuesday night and was getting ready to rape her when he suddenly fled, possibly spooked when first her dog and then other dogs in the area began to bark.

Police described the 10:30 p.m. incident:

The victim told police that she had been out running with her dog on Nason Road in Saugus when she heard fast footsteps approaching from behind her. A male grabbed her by the hair and pushed her into a tree. The suspect told the victim that he had a knife and ordered her not to scream. The suspect then grabbed her chest and genitals. He then struck her in the face. At this time,the victim's dog began to bark, causing other neighborhood dogs to bark.

The man was tall, thin and wearing cologne, police say. He wore a long-sleeved red shirt, dark pants, possibly jeans, and clean white sneakers.

The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone who may have been in the area or who may have any information on this crime is asked to call Saugus Police at 781-941-1199 or the Anonymous Tip Line at 781-231-4037.


Off with their heads: Councilors demand zoning board explain itself to them

City councilors said today they're not going to stand for being disrespected by the Zoning Board of Appeals. So they're calling a hearing.

Councilors Steve Murphy (at large) and Councilor Josh Zakim (Fenway, Mission Hill, Back Bay, Beacon Hill) say they were infuriated and aghast at a Sept. 23 zoning hearing on a project on Hereford Street. The two councilors and Mayor Walsh asked the board to defer any action on the proposal, in part because not all nearby residents had been notified of the hearing. Murphy said the board acknowledged the requests and yet still voted 5-2 to approve the work.

"They completely disrespected Councilor Zakim and embarrassed me and my office and that can't stand in 2014," especially given that most of the zoning board's members are "holdovers from the previous administration," Murphy said.

At-large Councilor Michael Flaherty agreed with the need for a tete-a-tete, but said he had the flip problem with deferrals: Developers show up for a hearing, see a lot of people waiting to testify against them, then ask for and get a vote deferral knowing the board doesn't send out notices of rescheduled hearings. Then the developers show up a few months later and win approval without much dissent from opponents, he said.


City Councilors: Leave Faneuil Hall pushcarts alone

City councilors talked tough today: They don't want the current operator of Faneuil Hall Marketplace to ditch the pushcart vendors that have long peddled their wares there.

City Councilors Michael Flaherty and Tito Jackson both accused Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. of duplicity, telling different city agencies different stories about the fate of the pushcarts.

"This is really an interesting question because we have a larger organziation and probably national chains who are now coming in, now that things are OK," Jackson said. "These pushcart vendors were literally there through thick and thin."

Flaherty and Councilor Steve Murphy submitted a formal request for a hearing on the issue involving some 60 pushcarts and 300 employees.

Murphy said Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market have served as a public market for the city since the 1700s and that history demands it remain that sort of civic space for residents of the city.


Linehan defers vote on city-council raises

City Council President Bill Linehan today announced he's keeping the proposed 29% wage hike for councilors in a committee for now, rather than letting councilors vote.

Linehan has vociferously backed increasing councilor pay to $112,500, saying councilors are well worth it, have not gotten raises in eight years and cost city residents less than $9 apiece a year. But at a hearing on Monday, a city attorney warned councilors could be risking fines and prison time if they gave themselves pay hikes under state conflict-of-interest laws.