short copy - this week on the internet

This week on the Internet: €475,000 fine for sharing one movie, Apple Records pull a trick to expand copyright on Beatles songs, how the NSA “saved” the US from cyber-terrorism, and the Pirate Bay moves again.

  • Copyright

In January Harvard University will launch a “ground-breaking MOOC on copyright law”. Apply here!

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, the British Library has uploaded one million public domain images that can be used by anyone with a creative impulse for remix and reuse.

Yet the Library’s project to launch its official Internet archive without Internet access is a bit confusing. It would only be accessible to those “privileged few people eligible for readers’ passes at one of the UK’s six major academic libraries – and only then one at a time, in person, at a terminal in the library.”

One Swedish man’s Christmas will be far from good. He has been sentenced to pay the highest fee in Sweden and possibly in the whole world, €475,000 ($652,000), for sharing one movie, Beck – Buried Alive.

In Italy, a new anti-piracy system proposed by the country’s independent Electronic Communications Authority (AGCOM) has been scheduled to come into force at the end of March 2014.

bootlegs1963-copy
Illustration taken from Cult of Mac

Apple Records has extended the copyright term for 59 Beatles songs, which were supposed to enter the public domain in 2014, by launching a bootleg album, available for purchase only iTunes and only for a few hours. According to the Telegraph, the sole purpose was to save “the Beatles brand”.

[pull_quote_center]“[…] insulting is the fact that the entire release was masterminded solely for benefit of the royalty owners rather than music fans. These are tracks for which Apple Records seems to have no plans for a legitimate release (hence the delay until it was absolutely “necessary”), and yet they want to effectively ensure that you won’t hear them in decent quality for at least another twenty years. Thanks guys.”[/pull_quote_center]

Last week, The Pirate Bay successfully relocated its domain to Peru. However, what appeared to be a long term change didn’t last more then 3 days, after Peru decided to suspend TPB’s domain. The torrent site has relocated to the Guyana-based .GY only to have its domain suspended again. Now, TPB has decided to temporarily return to the Swedish .SE and you can access it from thepiratebay.se. They should solve this problem quickly, since they seem to have quite a heavy Free Software competitor from Spain, torrents.fm.

Remember the  anti-piracy MPAA iconic video “Piracy it’s a crime”, in which they state that “you wouldn’t download a car”? Well, Porsche is proving them wrong and encourages people to do download their 3D Cayman S model.

As of this week, Youtube has a new automated Content ID policy which seems to affect game reviews, walkthroughs and other game related videos. These have been flagged with copyright infringement violations – even for no reason – and there is seemingly nothing their creators can do, but to follow some tips to avoid this from happening with their future game related videos. Extra: a list of all the music companies behind this policy change and the following video from Force Strategy Gaming explaining what this policy means.

  • Surveillance

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly has unanimously approved the resolution to protect privacy across borders, opening further dialogue among the lines of International Principles on Surveillance.

The most common cellphone encryption technology that is used all over the world has proved to be an easy exercise for NSA’s hackers. The agency can now decode almost all the calls and texts which are sent daily over the public airwaves. Moreover, even the strongest encryption, the 4096-bit RSA, has been cracked by scientists by listening to the sounds a computer’s CPU makes.

Edward Snowden has been finally recognized as a whistleblower and not a traitor. Meanwhile, he doesn’t seem to exist for the UK government and, as for the Wall Street Journal, well, they depicted him as a “sociopath with stolen documents”.

We have been complaining about the NSA for quite some time, but below is a video (quite the puff piece), which explains how the agency has “saved” the US from cyber-terrorism and how the First Amendment should be reformed. Then read this related opinion article from Wired!

Until next time, Santa’s NSA is coming to town! Merry Christmas!