Europe_vs._Facebook_29_Mar

Last week on the Internet: Europe v Facebook project,  Netflix plan of ending piracy, Pirate Party popular in Iceland, US-UK mass surveillance programs

Copyright

  • Europe v Facebook vs. Irland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC). What began as an academic assignment is now a promising legal battle for users’ rights outside US and Canada on unaccountable user data use and collection, practiced by companies like Facebook all over the world.
  • In the complicated world of copyright holders, crazy things happen. Here is the story of how a game re-release endeavor died because of Warner Bros., Activision, and 20th Century Fox’ lack of interest in checking their archives to see if they actually own some of the game’s rights. However, their biggest interest seems to be threatening to sue any attempt to re-release the game.
  • A Los Angeles jury found Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams guilty of copyright infringement. Besides having to pay $7.4 million for infringment, this also means bad news for music itself.
  • Beastie Boys is cleared in copyright lawsuit. This is another case of the copyright trolls trying to make money by suing without proper bases.
  • The US is, unfortunately, not keeping the abusive copyright environment only for it self, but it tries to enforce it in other countries too. Japan, Canada, New Zealand and other countries have been experiencing this lately. The situation becomes even more perverse because USTR is forcing other countries to change their laws behind closed doors and call it international trade. No sane government decision could change it without risking to be called “US interference”.
  • The ”True Origin” bills are back and the copyright industry, who is backed by several politicians, is once again, undermining anonymity and free speech.
  • Indie game developer uses copyright to silence Youtube gamer critic, a practice seen over and over again lately.
  • Copyright licensing in 3D printing is another odd realm of distortions around physicality, digital  information and ownership. Cory Doctorow recommends some good reading on these issues.
  • In the full process of the European copyright reform, a group of industry and civil society organizations has sent an open letter to the coordinator of the EU Copyright Working Group, Jean-Marie Cavada, calling for a more balanced representation of views. One of the problems in this area is that lawmakers  engage rarely with “the widest range of stakeholders and civil society”; instead, they tend to listen to what the copyright industries tell them, and act accordingly.

Here’s Europe v Facebook, Max Schrems’s talk Amsterdam 2012 (still relevant in 2015):


  • Pirate Party has just become Iceland’s most popular political party. The founder of the first Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge speaks about it in an interview for TorrentFreak.
  • Microsoft finally gives a sign of adaptation and makes upgrading to Windows 10 available for free even for the people who own pirated versions of Windows, but only in China.
  • A NO-NO guide: How File-Sharers Can Ruin Their Online Privacy.
  • Due to its new increased security measures, The Pirate Bay makes the service safer for its users and they also succeed to evade UK piracy blockade.
  • Popcorn Time is growing at a rate of 100,000 downloads per day. It has likely surpassed the original version, which was an instant hit when it launched just over a year ago. The video streaming service made BitTorrent piracy as easy as Netflix and promises to become “unstoppable”.
  • Creative Commons logo had been acquired as part of the MoMA museum’s permanent collection, where the icons and their history will enjoy perpetual protection and recognition.

Surveillance

  • In a recent leak of German diplomatic cables, Germany, followed by UK, is leading the group of EU governments which are making most efforts to weaken the EU’s data protection bill. The German move contradict once again last year’s call by Chancellor Angela Merkel for tough data protection rules.
  • It seems that in the light of US-UK mass surveillance programs, the European Commission admitted “it cannot guarantee adequate protection of EU citizen data at the moment.” The European Commission’s attorney Bernhard Schima, has a quite surprising recommendation in front of EU’s highest court:

consider closing your Facebook account if you have one.

  • US’ partner in crime, UK Government, admits intelligence services are allowed to break into any system, anywhere, for any reason as the documents presented in the court cases started last year against GCHQ show.
  • A group of European lawmakers has called on the US government to allow the whistleblower Edward Snowden to return to the US from Russia. The call comes in a resolution by the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Under the present conditions Edward Snowden faces 30 years in prison under the US Espionage Act of 1917, which does not allow a public interest defense, thus does not allow any mitigations.
Featured image based on: Europe V Facebook project media materials