mfioretti: copyright madness*

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  1. 1)The UK Government have announced they have developed an algorithmic tool to remove ISIS presence from the web.
    2) Copyright industries have called for similar programs to be installed that can remove un-approved creative content in the United States.
    3) The European Commission has suggested that filters can be used to “proactively detect, identify, and remove” anything illegal – from comments sections on news sites to Facebook posts.
    4) The Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, currently being debated by MEPs, is proposing using technical filters to block copyrighted content from being posted.

    There’s a recklessness to all of these proposals – because so much of them involve sidestepping legal processes.

    EFF coined the term “shadow regulation” for rules that are made outside of the legislative process, and that’s what is happening here. A cosy relationship between business and governments has developed that the public are being left outside of when it comes to limiting online speech.
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  2. Ever since the European Commission presented its hugely controversial proposal to force internet platforms to employ censorship machines, the copyright world has been eagerly awaiting the position of the European Parliament. Today, the person tasked with steering the copyright reform through Parliament, rapporteur Axel Voss, has finally issued the text he wants the Parliament to go forward with.

    It’s a green light for censorship machines: Mr. Voss has kept the proposal originally penned by his German party colleague, former Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger, almost completely intact.

    In doing so, he is dismissing calls from across the political spectrum to stop the censorship machines. He is ignoring one and a half years of intense academic and political debate pointing out the proposal’s many glaring flaws. He is discarding the work of several committees of the Parliament which came out against upload filters, and of his predecessor and party colleague MEP Comodini, who had correctly identified the problems almost a year ago. He is brushing off the concerns about the proposal’s legality several national governments have voiced in Council. And he is going against the recently published coalition agreement of the new German government – which is going to include Voss’ own Christian Democratic Party – where filtering obligations are rejected as disproportionate.
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  3. Beyond how vomit-inducing the video is generally, one wonders just how closely the message in the video overlaps with actual UK law. While UK law is more stringent on free speech when it comes to so-called "insulting" speech, it seems far too simple an explanation to state that any parody that is found insulting would be illegal. Let's say, for instance, that Ed Sheeran considers this parody depiction of him, complete with an anti-piracy message that comes off as the opposite of his own, is insulting. Is the UK's IPO really saying that its own video suddenly becomes illegal?

    Now, while the videos generally tread upon long-debunked ground...

    After the Meerkats found out that people were downloading their tracks from pirate sites and became outraged, their manager Big Joe explained that file-sharing is just the same as stealing a CD from a physical store.

    “In a way, all those people who downloaded free copies are doing the same thing as walking out of the shop with a CD and forgetting to go the till,” he says.

    “What these sites are doing is sometimes called piracy. It not only affects music but also videos, books, and movies.If someone owns the copyright to something, well, it is stealing. Simple as that,” Big Joe adds.

    ...there is also some almost hilarious over-statements on the importance of this messaging and intellectual property as a whole. For instance, were you aware that the reason it's so important to teach 7 year olds about copyright and trademark is because navigating intellectual property is a full-blown "life skill?"
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  4. The Authors Guild -- notorious for advancing extremely broad, censorious theories of copyright -- told Lee that the Guild "does not support extending the copyright term, especially since many of our members benefit from having access to a thriving and substantial public domain of older works,If anything, we would likely support a rollback to a term of life-plus-50 if it were politically feasible." It will be very difficult to sell term extension as a measure to benefit artists if prominent artists' groups are speaking out against it.

    The other factor is that Congress is a total shambles, its calendar dominated by shutdowns and chaotic attempts to ram through the extreme agenda of the GOP electoral majority that represents a numeric minority of Americans, and the chances of any laws getting passed are slim.

    But there's always the possibility that copyright term extension would be slipped into must-pass legislation, a budget or a key appropriation. That's a risky game, given the possibility that this would spark a public uprising to kill it (there's plenty of Conservative animus for the entertainment industry, after all, and the 1998 term extension was counted as a major achievement by Bill Clinton and his acolytes, so this could be painted as greedy, corporate-money-fattened Republicans helping to preserve the hated legacy of the Clintons).
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  5. Armstrong Zoom, a northeastern US ISP with about a million subscribers, has sent its customers warnings that they have been accused of copyright infringement, and that subsequent accusations would lead to having their network connections slowed to the point of uselessness, which could impair their ability to control their internet-connected thermostats.

    In the regions in which Armstrong Zoom operates, a malfunctioning thermostat in winter could result in frozen pipes, floods, and death of pets and even people.

    Note that the punishments Armstrong Zoom is threatening have no due process, and the customers are considered guilty without even the chance to prove themselves innocent.

    “Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services.”

    Accused pirates who want their full service restored, and regain control over their thermostats, have to answer some copyright questions and read an educational piece about copyright infringement.

    When they sign an agreement acknowledging that they have done so, full Internet access is restored. However, if more complaints come in later, the consequences will be more severe.

    Piracy Notices Can Mess With Your Thermostat, ISP Warns Ernesto/Torrentfreak »
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  6. Last October, the Dr Seuss estate used legal threats to halt a wildly successful crowdfunded Seuss/Star Trek mashup called "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go," whose contributors included comics legend Ty Templeton and Tribbles creator David Gerrold.

    The Seuss estate argued that the book infringed its trademarks and copyrights. Now, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California court has ruled on the trademark question and found that there is no valid trademark claim thanks to "nominative fair use," and also indicated that it would be favorably disposed to fair use defenses on the copyright question.
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  7. The X-Men and the Avengers can appear in the same magazine but not the same film. Spiderman can only meet Captain America with Sony’s permission. After five decades, the world of special powers is fraught with personal issues
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  8. On September 13, owners of HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X began contacting third-party ink vendors by the thousand, reporting that their HP printers no longer accepted third-party ink.

    The last HP printer firmware update was pushed in March 2016, and it appears that with that update (or possibly an earlier one), HP had set a time-bomb ticking in its customers' printers counting down to the date when they'd begin refusing to follow their owners' orders.

    HP says that the March update's purpose was "to protect HP's innovations and intellectual property."

    In 2003, Lexmark (then an IBM division) sued Static Controls, saying that the company had violated Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by reverse-engineering its toner cartridges and refilling old ones that could successfully pass Lexmark's checks for valid, full cartridges.

    Lexmark had an "I am empty" bit in their cartridges; when the cartridge ran out of toner, the bit flipped to "true." Even if you refilled your cartridge, your printer wouldn't use it, because it saw the cartridge as empty. Static Controls figured out how to flip that bit back to "false."

    Lexmark invoked Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a criminal and civil offense to bypass an "effective means of access control" for a copyrighted work. The DC Circuit court asked Lexmark which copyrighted work was being protected by its access control, and it argued that the checking routine itself was copyrighted, as well as the "Empty" bit. The court found that the DMCA could only be invoked where there was a copyrighted work apart from the access control, and that a single bit didn't qualify as a copyrightable work. Lexmark lost.

    (Coda: Lexmark was eventually sold to Static Controls)

    HP will likely raise similar arguments when, inevitably, its competitors start making cartridges that trick your printer into obeying you, rather than HP. But there's a potential difference between HP and Lexmark: namely that HP cartridges now have lots of copyrighted software, not just "I am empty" bits and access control systems.

    This isn't just true of HP cartridges: software, and access controls that give manufacturers the legal right to reach into your home and boss you around via your gadgets, has proliferated into pacemakers, insulin pumps and implanted defibrillators; into thermostats, baby monitors, and home security systems; into cars and tractors; into voting machines and seismic dampers in skyscrapers.

    Worst of all is that security researchers who disclose defects in systems covered by Section 1201 of the DMCA face civil and criminal penalties, and so they routinely sit on these disclosures, putting us all at risk. Remember, HP printers have already been successfully targeted by attacks that let bad guys take over your whole network just by tricking you into printing a single page. Once HP can invoke the DMCA to shut down these disclosures, the bugs will continue to fester, but our ability to know about them in a timely fashion will end.
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  9. Start by understanding this: copyright lets you do a lot of stuff without permission (and even against the wishes) of rightsholders. For example, it let Apple launch the Ipod and Itunes, both of which were bitterly denounced by the record industry at their launch -- as far as they were concerned, "Rip, Mix, Burn" was an invitation to piracy, and Apple was wrong to encourage this behavior. But because copyright has limits -- fair use, and the limits on copyrightability itself -- Apple was able to revolutionize music.

    Enter the DMCA: in 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 1201 of which says that breaking DRM, even to accomplish those legal activities that lead to so much improvement and innovation in the entertainment industry (like Itunes and Ipods and Iphones) is illegal.

    This matters a lot. The Supreme Court told us that the only way copyright -- a government-issued monopoly over the utterance of certain words, sounds and images -- can square up with the First Amendment is through those limits on copyright, fair use and copyrightabaility's limitations. Then the Supreme Court repeated this.

    That's part of the basis of EFF's lawsuit to invalidate Section 1201 of the DMCA. Until we win that case, though, any digital interface with a thin scrim of DRM on it becomes a copyright no-go zone. Bypassing the DRM opens you up to felony prosecution and punishing civil penalties.

    That's why, if you have a CD you want to play on your Iphone, Apple provides software that automatically rips the music and seamlessly moves it to your device. But if you have a DVD -- the same kind of disc, but with a creaking DRM that was broken more than a decade ago -- Apple will invite you to buy that movie again on Itunes. The DRM on DVDs has kept them stuck in the 1990s, while the music on CDs has roared into the 21st century.

    Once all the audio coming out of an Iphone is digital -- once there's no analog output -- Apple gets a lot more options about how it can relate to its competitors, and they're all good for Apple and bad for Apple's customers. Just by wrapping that audio in DRM, Apple gets a veto over which of your devices can connect to your phone. They can arbitrarily withhold permission to headphone manufacturers, insist that mixers be designed with no analog outputs, or even demand that any company that makes an Apple-compatible device must not make that device compatible with Apple's competitors, so home theater components that receive Apple signals could be pressured to lock out Samsung's signals, or Amazon's.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2016-08-12)
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  10. Ron Paulk you have "invented" a workbench years ago, OK.
    And for years you are beating a dead horse!
    In every youtube video "Ron Paulk: Designer of the Paulk Workbench"
    "Ron Paulk: Designer of the Awsome rolling Wayntraintoolbox"
    "Ron Paulk: Designer of the Whaterver Station"
    For this reasons i had cancelled my subscription to your youtube channel.
    I always waitet for "as seen on TV". I cant hear it anymore, its so annoying!
    act like Apple!
    You also copied parts from other workbenches an claim
    that you invented all alone.
    Benchdogholes an Clampingholes and all this
    things where inventetd long long before you lived.
    Do you have a patend on this workbench?
    Ok, mtilemans workbench is a simillar AND IMPROVED design.
    His workbenchsize is much better for the Homeworkshop, yours for the professional.
    He should mentioned your workbench in his instructable, OK.
    IMHO on this instructable (helping) site is no place to take money for plans.
    Takeing money for an explanation, an instructable, an plan is not helping, its selling!
    I hope he puts the Plans online again, i consider to build it for my small garage.
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