Copy-Less Book Scanning, A Detailed Case of iPhone App Piracy, and More

  • A new bill could undermine EFF’s DMCA exemption petition
    The EFF has gone to bat for consumers seeking a DMCA exemption for unlocking phones. While they are waiting on a ruling, some providers have lobbied to get a bill introduced that would make the DMCA moot, legislating to directly forbid unlocking or otherwise modifying prepaid phones. Hopefully there will be opportunity for comment on the bill, soon, and an action alert from the EFF.
  • An engineer’s proposal for copy-less book scanning
    Via Hacker News. I had to admire the will to try to think through this solution but I don’t think any amount of technical indirection is not going to pass legal muster. Big content has not been shy about making arguments about certain ephemeral copies being infringing, even if they are destroyed promptly. Not all courts have agreed with this notion, but enough to muddy the waters. I really hate having to say this just isn’t a technical problem, it really is a legal one. We need copyright reform, not obfuscation and encryption.
  • YouTube being investigated in Germany for criminal infringement
    As the linked article notes, it is not clear whether this will culminate in a court case. The fact that the rights holders here are pursuing criminal charges seems to be an escalation from civil proceedings from which they claim they did not get a response, or at least not an adequate response.
  • iPhone app developer speaks out about piracy
    The sample set is admittedly small but does appear to be a damning case study for pirates not using illegitimate copies to try before buying. The silver lining is that the developer is not just implementing a knee jerk protection scheme, but thinking about how to change their business model to capture more sales, such as giving the game away and charging for fresh, downloadable content.
  • Apple discontinues port effort around ZFS
    A lot of speculation as to why, ranging from uncertainty around Oracle’s acquisition of Sun and its stake in ZFS to a patent claim over the file system. Both point to better models to protect open source innovation in the face of problematic copyright ownership, like the raging debate over Oracle and MySQL, and the threats of software patents.
  • Live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell
    IO9 has the details, none of which I am pleased with. I was massively disappointed by the animated film and slightly less so with its sequel. Standalone Complex made me feel a bit better, as I felt it followed the themes and visual style of Shirow’s work more closely. I just can’t conceive of how a live action version would do anything other than fall completely flat.

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