Free Culture [en]

Report Explains Rapid Rise In Chinese Patents; Compares Innovation Quotient

IP-Watch - Jue, 11/12/2014 - 10:50
China has been filing patents at far greater rates than any other nation on earth in recent years. This week, a Thomson Reuters report broke down that growth and compared it with other leading nations on the basis of innovation.
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

48 Civil Society Groups and Experts Call on TPP Negotiators to Follow EU's Lead and Release Secret Trade Texts

Electronic Frontier Foundation - Jue, 11/12/2014 - 10:00

EFF joins 47 other civil society groups and experts from around the world to call on trade ministers of countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to publish the current draft of the agreement, as well as all nations' negotiating positions. The TPP has been negotiated in secret for the last five years. But we know from several leaks of its Intellectual Property chapter that it contains various provisions that pose wide-ranging threats to users' rights to free speech and privacy online.

This letter follows the European Commission's recent announcement to make EU-US trade negotiations over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) more transparent—committing themselves to release the EU's negotiating texts and to give access to all TTIP texts to members of the European Parliament. The EU Commission's decision came amidst growing pressure from the public over the secrecy of its trade talks with the US. EU officials have become particularly cautious about facing popular resistance to TTIP, following massive protests across the region against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) two years ago. These public demonstrations led to the agreement's eventual defeat when the European Parliament rejected its ratification.

We have brought together this international public-interest coalition to urge TPP trade ministers to follow Europe's example, and embark on a new era of transparency and openness in trade negotiations. We present this letter as the US Trade Representative seeks to conclude the Pacific trade deal in the coming months, and as President Obama works with some Congressional leaders to pass a fast track trade bill that would hand Congress' constitutionally-mandated authority over trade policy to the Executive branch. Under such a law, Congress members would have extremely limited powers to debate or amend the terms of this secretive international deal. As TPP seems to arrive at its final stage, this is a prime moment for trade ministers to stop the secrecy and re-commit themselves to democratic principles of transparency and public participation in rule making.

Amongst the organizations that have joined us in signing this letter include Consumers International, Creative Commons, and OpenMedia International, who will be handing it over to negotiators in person this week during the latest round of negotiations taking place in Washington DC.

The text of the letter (PDF) is available below, and has also been translated into Spanish:

Dear TPP Ministers and Heads of Delegation,

Ever since talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) began over five years ago, there have been broad public calls on leaders to make negotiations more transparent and open to the public. In statements, in letters, and in face-to-face meetings with trade representatives, we have urged the adoption of concrete practices that would better enable the kind of open debate and oversight that would help demystify these ongoing negotiations by making better, more accurate information available to the public.

The European Commission has recently taken leadership on this issue in the parallel context of negotiations over a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), recommending on 25 November 2014 that the EU's TTIP text proposals henceforth be released to the public, and that other information related to TTIP be shared more broadly with all Members of the European Parliament, beyond the currently limited membership of the International Trade Committee.1

The end of TPP negotiations now seems to be coming into focus. They have come down to high-level political decisions by negotiating countries, and the text is largely completed except for some resolutions on remaining landing zones. At this point, we know that there is a draft of the TPP that is mostly agreed upon by those negotiating the deal.

Today, we strongly urge you to release the unbracketed text and to release the negotiating positions for text that is bracketed, now and going forwards as any future proposals are made. The public has a legitimate interest in knowing what has already been decided on its behalf, and what is now at stake with our various countries' positions on these controversial regulatory issues.

We call on you to consider the recent announcement from the European Commission as a welcome precedent to follow, thereby re-affirming your commitment to fundamental principles of transparency and public participation in rule making. The negotiations in Washington DC this week would provide the perfect opportunity for such a ground-breaking accord to be announced.

Sincerely,

International: Article 19
Creative Commons
Consumers International
Oxfam International
SumOfUs

Australia: Australian Digital Alliance
Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET)
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
Australian Libraries Copyright Committee (ALCC)
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA)
Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)

Canada: Council of Canadians
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (Réseau juridique canadien VIH/sida)
OpenMedia International

Chile: ONG Derechos Digitales
Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios de Chile (ODECU)

Japan: Movements of the Internet Active Users (MIAU)
Creative Commons Japan
thinkC

New Zealand: Consumer NZ
Its Our Future NZ

Malaysia: Blindspot
EcoKnights
Malaysian AIDS Council
Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)

Mexico, Chile, Peru: International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC-LATCA) (Regional Office for
Latin American and Carribean Networks)
Alianza LAC - Global por el Acceso a Medicamentos

Peru: Hiperderecho
Peruvian Association of Consumers and Users (ASPEC)
Acción Internacional para la Salud (AIS)

USA: Action on Smoking and Health
American Library Association
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Fight For the Future
Food & Water Watch
Government Accountability Project
Health GAP
Just Foreign Policy
Knowledge Ecology Inte
rnational
National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices
Public Knowledge
Sunlight Foundation
Association of Research Libraries

Academics: Gabriel J. Michael, Yale Law School
Pam Samuelson, Berkeley Law School
Susan Sell, George Washington U
niversity
Sean Flynn, American University
David Levine, Princeton University

  • 1. http://ec.europa.eu/news/2014/docs/c_2014_9052_en.pdf
Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceInternationalTrans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Password Sharing Isn’t a Crime, EFF Tells Ninth Circuit

Electronic Frontier Foundation - Jue, 11/12/2014 - 09:31

How many times have you logged into a computer or website with someone else’s name and password—maybe to retrieve information for a spouse or a friend—completely with their permission?  Can you imagine spending a year in prison for that? It sounds ridiculous. That’s why EFF filed a “friend of the court” brief in United States v. Nosal this week urging the Ninth Circuit to overturn a troubling conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

David Nosal worked for Korn/Ferry, an executive recruiting company. Korn/Ferry had a proprietary database of information that, under corporate policy, employees could only use for official Korn/Ferry business. After Nosal left to start his own recruiting company, the government claimed he violated the CFAA when he allegedly convinced other ex-employees of Korn/Ferry to access the database by using a current Korn/Ferry employee’s access credentials, with that employee’s knowledge and permission. The district court refused to dismiss the charges, ruling that the act of using someone else’s computer login credentials, even with their knowledge and permission, is a federal crime. Nosal was convicted by a jury, sentenced to one year in prison, and ordered to pay a $60,000 fine and nearly $830,000 to Korn/Ferry in restitution.

Nosal appealed his conviction to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and we’ve filed an amicus brief in support, explaining why the government’s CFAA theory here is dangerous. First, CFAA prosecutions should be focused on hacking: keeping unwanted and unauthorized people from intruding into computer space. But the district court believed the CFAA did not require the government prove there was any “hacking” or the circumvention of a technological barrier to access. That mistake made it easier for the government to prove its case and keeps the CFAA dangerously broad and vague. Second, using an authorized user’s credentials with their permission is not circumventing a technological access barrier. Instead, when a person uses another individual’s password, they effectively act as the authorized user’s agent. To the extent that the authorized Korn/Ferry user was not allowed to share her password, that is simply a violation of Korn/Ferry’s computer use policy—not a violation of criminal law.

If that last part about terms of service sounds familiar, that’s because this is the third amicus brief EFF has filed in this long-running case. We filed two amicus briefs (here and here) in connection with Nosal’s first trip to the Ninth Circuit, which resulted in an extremely important 2012 opinion, with the Ninth Circuit, en banc, ruling that disloyal employees who access workplace computers in violation of corporate policy or use restrictions are not violating the CFAA. Crucial to that 2012 decision was the court’s valid fear of expanding the CFAA far beyond the anti-hacking purpose intended by Congress. We should not make criminals out of millions of law-abiding workers for innocent activities like sending a personal e-mail or checking sports scores from a work computer.

But in some ways the court is now back where it started. Once again, the Ninth Circuit is confronted with an expansive interpretation of the CFAA that criminalizes common, innocuous behavior, like logging in to a spouse’s Facebook account with their permission. While using someone else’s password without their knowledge and permission is certainly bypassing a technological barrier to access, using login credentials with someone’s permission is not inherently illegal. The government’s theory ultimately turns on the fact that Korn/Ferry prohibits employees from sharing their login credentials with others, but as the Ninth Circuit previously held in this very case, violations of corporate policy cannot be the basis for CFAA liability.

Related Issues: Terms Of (Ab)UseRelated Cases: US v. Nosal
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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

California Sues Uber Over Practices

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Jue, 11/12/2014 - 06:35
mpicpp writes with news that California is the latest government to file a lawsuit against Uber. "California prosecutors on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Uber over the ridesharing company's background checks and other allegations, adding to the popular startup's worldwide legal woes. San Francisco County District Attorney George Gascon, meanwhile, said Uber competitor Lyft agreed to pay $500,000 and change some of its business practices to settle its own lawsuit. Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey partnered with Gascon in a probe of the nascent ridesharing industry. A third company — Sidecar — is still under investigation and could face a lawsuit of its own if it can't reach an agreement with prosecutors. Uber faces similar legal issues elsewhere as it tries to expand in cities, states and countries around the world. The companies have popular smartphone apps that allow passengers to order rides in privately driven cars instead of taxis."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Google News Shuttered in Spain Thanks to “Ancillary Copyright” Law

Electronic Frontier Foundation - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:20

Today, Google has announced that it will be permanently shutting down the Spanish version of Google News, effective from December 16, 2014. The shutdown comes in direct response to amendments to the Spanish intellectual property law (Ley De Propiedad Intelectual) imposing a compulsory fee for the use of snippets of text to link to news articles, by online news aggregators that provide a search service.

A similar fee was first introduced in German law in 2013, where it was described as an “ancillary copyright” (or Leistungsschutzrecht). But the fee actually has no heritage in copyright law, which preserves the right to make quotations without remuneration under international law (in fact, it is the only such mandatory limitation to copyright). The German law has been a manifest failure, where publishers willingly forfeited their right to payment from Google, as soon as they realized how much traffic they would lose from not being indexed on Google News.

Spain decided to one-up Germany by making the right to payment inalienable, so that even the news organization quoted is not permitted to waive it. The shuttering of Google News was therefore predictable, and it is hard to see what value this has achieved for the press in Spain or for Spanish (and Spanish speaking) Internet users. Time will tell whether Yahoo News will follow suit—since Yahoo, unlike Google, does monetize its news service with ads.

Are these laws just a big stick for European countries to use against large US tech companies? Certainly, that is part of the motivation; authorities are concerned that US-based tech companies are profiting from European data without paying their fair share of tax on the revenue earned. But if that was all this was about, there would be much more direct ways of addressing it than by passing special-interest amendments to copyright law to benefit press publishers.

What concerns EFF more is that these ancillary copyright laws form part of a broader trend of derogation from the right to link. This can be seen when you examine the other parts of the Spanish copyright amendments that take effect in January (here in PDF)—notably placing criminal liability on website operators who refuse to remove mere links to copyright-infringing material.

This year's European Court of Justice ruling against Google Spain on the so-called Right to be Forgotten, is part of the same larger trend, in requiring search engines to remove links to content judged to be “irrelevant”, even if the content is true. We are also disturbed by comments made by new European Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger who has foreshadowed [German] a broader roll-out of ancillary copyright rules throughout the EU.

Online intermediaries may be a convenient scapegoat for the fading fortunes of European newspaper publishers, but banning the use of text snippets alongside website links is a misguided and—now self-evidently—counter-productive approach. Once it becomes illegal for aggregators to freely link news summaries to publicly-available websites, it becomes that much easier for those who want to prohibit other sorts of links, such as links to political YouTube videos, to make their case.

The chickens have already begun to come home to roost for Spain with the withdrawal of Google News, and this should sound alarm bells for the Commissioner and for other European countries considering similar measures. It's time for Europe to turn back from this misguided path of Internet content regulation before more damage to the open Internet is done.

Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceInternationalSearch Engines
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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned [aerial vehicles], sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued a report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems, as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Report: Big Issues Remain Before Drones Can Safely Access National Airspace

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 23:03
coondoggie writes The story sounds familiar – while the use of unmanned, sometimes illegally, is increasing, there are myriad challenges to ultimately allow them safe access to national airspace. The watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued report on the integration of unmanned aerial systems as it calls them, in US national airspace (NAS) today ahead of a congressional hearing on the topic. As it has noted in past reports, the GAO said the main issues continue to include the ability for drones to avoid other aircraft in the sky; what backup network is available and how should the system behave if it loses its communications link.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Australia Pushes Ahead With Website Blocking In Piracy Fight

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 21:20
angry tapir writes As part of its crackdown on unauthorized downloading of copyright material, the Australian government will push ahead with the introduction of a scheme that will allow rights holders to apply for court orders to force ISPs to block websites. (Previously Slashdot noted that the Australian government had raised such a scheme as a possibility).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Court Bans Sale of Xiaomi Smartphones In India

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 20:36
hypnosec writes The Delhi High Court has banned Xiaomi and India online retailer Flipkart from selling any handsets that Ericsson claim are violating patents. The court has also asked Xiaomi and its agents to refrain from making, assembling, importing or selling any devices which infringe the patents in question. Xiaomi says: "We haven’t received an official note from the Delhi High Court. However, our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have. India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with India laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Pointing Users to DRM-Stripping Software Isn't Copyright Infringement, Judge Rules

Electronic Frontier Foundation - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 20:21

Telling users how to strip the DRM from their legally purchased ebooks is not contributory copyright infringement, according to a ruling last month by a federal judge in New York. Judge Denise Cote dismissed two publishers' claims of contributory infringement and inducement in Abbey House Media v. Apple Inc., one of the many cases to come out of the antitrust litigation against Apple and a handful of major publishers.

Abbey House Media operated an ebook store for the publishers Penguin and Simon & Schuster from 2010, and was contractually obligated to wrap the ebooks sold in that store with DRM. When Abbey House shut down the ebook store in 2013, it gave its customers a month's notice that they would no longer be able to add new devices to read their purchased books on—and also explained that some customers were using the free software package Calibre to remove the DRM so they would be able to move their library to new hardware. Specifically, Abbey House said:

Getting access to your downloaded books if you change reading devices: for those of you who downloaded your books to your PCs or Macs, you can strip DRM from your books after which you will be able to readily port them from device to device through drag and drop or other means, without the need for further downloads. There is a great deal of information online about stripping DRM. (Please be sure to make backup copies of your eBook files in a separate directory before stripping in the event anything goes wrong in your first attempts.) Many of our customers are using Calibre or other tools to strip DRM from their downloaded eBooks in order to have them available indefinitely should they change reading devices. Many argue that this is a legitimate use as long as this is being done for personal use of eBooks purchased, not for piracy. We are told this is in the spirit of the eBook license and that it is common practice.

Penguin and Simon & Schuster argued that, by making that announcement and pointing to a specific piece of software, Abbey House was engaging in contributory infringement and inducing people to infringe. Fortunately, Judge Cote recognized the problems with those claims and dismissed them both.

Judge Cote dismissed the inducement claim by noting that the uses Abbey House was enabling—personal backup and device transfers—were non-infringing. As Judge Cote puts it:

[Simon & Schuster] and Penguin's arguments to the contrary conflate the removal of DRM protection with the infringement alleged in the counterclaims. There is no question that Abbey House encouraged the removal of DRM protection. The act of infringement underlying the inducement claim, however, is not the removal of DRM protection. Rather, it is the copying and distribution of ebooks to others after such protection has been removed. The counterclaims do not allege that Abbey House encouraged such infringing acts.

That's exactly right. And it's an especially significant point as we continue with the triennial rulemaking process seeking exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. There, we are pointing to non-infringing uses that are nevertheless hampered by the presence of DRM software and the legal backing that supports it.

With regard to contributory infringement, Judge Cote noted that neither publisher alleged that Abbey House actually knew of any infringement that followed the stripping of DRM from ebooks (indeed, the publishers failed to identify any specific instance of direct infringement at all). Since contributory infringement requires both knowledge of direct infringement and material assistance to the direct infringer, she dismissed this claim.

Judge Cote’s ruling is a refreshing response to a disappointingly common conflation: if the publishers got their way, readers' technical ability to infringe because they're not restricted by DRM would effectively count as infringement. That's the same faulty logic that the copyright lobby uses to argue for increasing control over secondary uses of purchased works, whether that's importing or re-selling media, or even repairing or modifying devices. It's a cynical view that treats a user's ownership as assumed wrongdoing—so it's nice to see Judge Cote reject it.

DRM, and the laws behind it, have contributed to a sense among rightsholders that they can and should control media and devices even after users have purchased them. Judge Cote's ruling is an important reminder that that's not the case.

Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceDMCADMCA RulemakingDRMDigital Books
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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Orphan Works for Libraries & Archives

Infojustice - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 16:32
The American University Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property,  AU’s Center for Media & Social Impact, and the Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project have released the Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Orphan Works for Libraries & Archives.  Over 150 librarians, archivists and other memory institution professionals have contributed to the development [...]
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Free Bassel

Creative Commons - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 15:07


Bassel / Joi Ito / CC BY

As of today, Creative Commons Syria lead Bassel Khartabil has been in prison for 1000 days. Today, we take a moment to honor Bassel and his contributions to Creative Commons. And we stand with our peers in the free software and free culture communities in demanding that he be freed.

Before Bassel was imprisoned, he worked hard to build digital literacy in Syria. Not only did he play a central role in Syria’s CC community; he was also active in Wikimedia, Openclipart, and numerous other free culture projects. As Lawrence Lessig wrote, “Mr. Khartabil isn’t a partisan, aligned with one Syrian faction against another. He represents a future, aligned against a totalitarian past.”

Bassel’s imprisonment is also a reminder that our fight is real. For those of us that work in relative safety, it can sometimes be easy to forget that a free and open internet is not a theoretical matter. Real lives are at risk.

Visit freebassel.org for more information on Bassel and how you can get involved. If you’re in San Francisco, visit Noisebridge this evening for a Free Bassel letter-writing event.

More information: Bassel Khartabil profile (Free Syrian Voices)

Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Greek Pirate Elected to Board of Athen’s Teacher Association

Pirate Times - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 14:20

Last week “Pirates in Education” achieved another victory. They won a seat (out of a total of seven ) in the elections for the board of Athen’s Teacher Association “Aristotle”, the largest of the 2 teachers associations in Athens with nearly 1,500 members.

The Union Organization of Pirates surpassed the votes for unions backed by PASOK, a party in the government of Greece, and the left party of SYRIZA. Without any financial support, unlike other unions that printed posters and leaflets, Pirates campaigned online and focused on the digital communication with their colleagues.

Thanassis Gounaris, Chairman of the Board of Pirate Party of Greece, talking to Pirate Times about his election to the Board of “Aristotle”:

“Many thanks to all those who supported us with their vote. After two years, since our founding and participation in all elections of our trade union body, teachers are embracing “Pirates in Education” and their principles that are based on the Pirate movement. Teachers are at the forefront of education in a world that is changing rapidly every day.
Technology is affecting teaching and schools and in the new digital era, in which students often know more than their teachers, education has to work in a different way. With a series of small victories, achieved those two years, we persuaded and won the confidence of the teachers of Athens. From our new position we can intervene in the problems we face as professionals and have a better communication with our colleagues”

(Gounaris is also an elected member of the Council of Representatives of Greek Teachers Federation, since May 2013).

Featured Image: Gounaris talking to his colleagues. CC-BY-Pirates In Education

Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Apple DRM Lawsuit Loses Last Plaintiff, but Judge Rules Against Dismissal

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - Mié, 10/12/2014 - 13:28
UnknowingFool writes: In the Apple DRM lawsuit, the last plaintiff in the case has been disqualified. However, due to the number of potential consumers affected, the judge has denied Apple's motion to dismiss. The plaintiffs' lawyers will have to find a qualified plaintiff. To recap, the suit lost both plaintiffs in the last week when Apple reported to the judge that their iPods were not eligible (iPods must be purchased between Sept 2006 and May 2009). The first plaintiff withdrew when all her iPods were found to be outside the time period. The second plaintiff produced one iPod that was not eligible but two others that were eligible; however, Apple challenged the two eligible ones as the plaintiff could not prove she purchased them. They were purchased by her ex-husband's law firm. Since one of the suit's main claims was that the price of the iPod was raised due to Apple's actions, it was important to establish that she purchased them. At the heart of the case is that Apple's use of DRM harmed customers by raising the price of the iPod and that Apple removed other competitor's music from the iPod — namely RealPlayer's Harmony music files. Apple does not dispute that it removed RealPlayer's files, but contends it was done for security reasons as RealPlayer was able to get the music files onto the iPod by posing as Apple FairPlay files. In testimony, Steve Jobs called RealPlayer's move "a hack" and there was considerable discussion at the time."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

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