feeds | grep links > RIAA Says DMCA Not Working (Hard Enough for Them), Jury Invalidates EFF’s Top Patent, Proposed Apple Spyware Goes Too Far, and More

  • Apple seeking to patent spyware and traitorware
    I have to agree with the incredulous tone in EFF’s analysis of Apple’s patent application. This goes well beyond anti-theft measures, none of the included techniques are worth it for a phone no matter how expensive or the risk of a breach of personal info. Simple encryption would be a more suitable solution for the latter and insuring the device if it is that important the former. I am really far more concerned about the potential privacy implications than Apple using this as some sort of spite based DRM to increase the pain of jail breaking a device despite it now being authorized under the DMCA section 2101 rulemaking.
  • Jury invalidates one of EFF’s “Most Wanted” patents
  • Google Marketplace DRM cracked
    As the Register explains, the break was relatively simple predicated on the ease of de-compiling Java bytecode. To be more specific, as they clarify if you read the article, the DRM itself actually has not be broken but the application code that uses the simple affirmative or negative response from the platform can be re-engineered to essentially ignore the secure check. Each app would then have to be broken in turn but the break would hold for all copies of the cracked version.
  • The RIAA may have hurt its own arguments against innocent infringement
  • RIAA pushing to eliminate DMCA safe harbors
    Mike Masnick at Techdirt does an excellent job digging out what might otherwise be a confusing claim made in the course of this story, that the RIAA doesn’t think the DMCA is working. Clearly, what they think is a failure is the small and flawed free speech safety valve of safe harbors from liability for ISPs. Their reasoning tends to the absurd, that because the trade association cannot monitor enough traffic to reach whatever its current goals are in curbing infringement through DMCA takedown requests, they think the law should be re-written to directly deputize ISPs to do their enforcement work for them.

Following Up for the Week Ending 7/25/2010

feeds | grep links > Problem Privacy Bill in Canada, VLC Update Supports WebM, RIAA Case Reaches SCOTUS, and Japan Considers Censorship to Deal with Child Porn

  • Canada’s not very privacy friendly privacy refrom bill
    Michael Geist has all of the pertinent details. Cory at Boing Boing likened this to the US’s PATRIOT Act but it actually reads like a subset of the US law, focusing in on handling of disclosures and some coordination between companies and law enforcers. As such, the consumer protections are indeed very disappointing, much like the erosion of civil liberties by the PATRIOT Act.
  • VLC release candidate drops, with WEbM, VP-8 support
    This should prove less disruptive than a nightly build of a browser. Now all I need to do is find some content to try with VLC and put claims for and against WebM/VP-8 to my own test.
  • RIAA case makes it to the Supreme Court
    I hadn’t heard of this case before reading this Wired article by David Kravets. At issue is the lower court ruling the defendant, a teenager at the time, qualified for the innocent infringer exemption to the minimum statutory damages. The Supremes haven’t agree to hear the case, it merely has made it into their hopper for a decision to proceed or decline to hear it.
  • Japan moves towards blocking child porn online
    Slashdot has a link to the story where the truly critical element is that mere possession is not illegal in Japan. As ticklish as it is to talk about problematic censorship when it is being considered under the auspices of preventing exploitation of this kind, a less fraught solution would be to criminalize possession.

Following Up for the Week Ending 1/31/2010

RIAA Reaction to Criticism of Piracy Loophole in Net Neutrality Rules

In reading through Greg Sandoval’s post at cnet on the trade associations remarks, I am amused at how they choose to interpret the outcry over the loophole in the FCC’s network neutrality draft rules.

Of course they want to suggest that opponents to the loophole are saying they should deal with the real problem of copyright infringement. Don’t be fooled. This is a clear example of a Hobson’s choice, a lopsided way of presenting their arguments that suggest we either accept the loophole or allow pirates to savage the entertainment industry to death. If we close the loophole, nothing prevents continuing discussions of how to deal with infringement online as an orthogonal concern.

A Bit Torrent Tracker for CC Licensed Works, Considering Copyright Puzzlers, and More

  • Pirate Party of Canada launches Creative Commons bit torrent tracker

    Saw this on Prof. Geist’s blog, what looks like a pretty clever idea. The party is only serving torrents to CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 works and includes some pages with more details about included artists, including rotating a new one onto the front page of the tracker each week. No details on how to get your works into the tracker, though.

  • Canadian schools facing stiff retroactive copyright access fees

    Another story from Prof. Geist, this time the culmination of several years of negotiation between educators and the Copyright Board. Despite the surprisingly large fees, this is apparently a much lower rate than originally proposed. It would be easy to ignore the context and suggest schools are being treated unfairly, but these fees are apparently well established and at least some of the educators expect to have to pay them as a matter of course.

  • Research advances in computing with excitons

    According to The Register, the improvements are around the operational temperature of prototype components using a phenomenon that bridges the interaction between optics and electronics.

  • It may be cheaper to skip court than face the RIAA suits

    At Ars, Nate Anderson discusses a couple of cases where the defendants did just that and the default judgement was fair more manageable than the awards in the Thomas and Tenebaum cases. Nate has an update on the post that answered my first question about how settling compares to defaulting, with settling being the cheapest option of all, other than gambling and winning on proving you are innocent.

  • Is it legal to download if you do not upload?

    In this Ars piece, Nate Anderson does an excellent job of parsing through the complaints in the Thomas and Tenenbaum cases. He also considers the state of law and concludes that merely downloading can be argued to violate the reproduction right under the Copyright Act even if a user doesn’t infringe on the distribution right. Well worth the read since he also considers other countries, not just the US.

  • Australian group conflates unlimited bandwidth with piracy

    Via the Net Neutrality Squad list, an IT News AU piece describing a tortured bit of rhetoric by what I am guessing is an industry group. The article does not that AFACT is representing the film industry in a relevant court case, trying to hold an ISP liable for infringing downloads on its network.