Last week on the Internet: strong net neutrality law adopted by EU Parliament, Dropbox’s system to avoid piracy, new NSA leaks

  • Net Neutrality

On 3rd April, the European Parliament passed a strong net neutrality law. While the road was a bit bumpy, Europeans will now have a single telecommunications market, which strengthens equal and indiscriminate access to Internet and no roaming fees. While this calls for celebrations, other parts of the world are not as lucky and their net neutrality is in danger.

In other news, Freenet is a pro net neutrality joint initiative of four Brazilian civil society organizations and a “collaborative documentary film project about the future of freedom in the Internet, particularly from the perspective of developing and emerging economies“. The project’s team needs us to submit videos, suggestions for interviews or even interesting links and be a part of the creative process of their collaborative documentary film project about the future of freedom on the internet.

  • Copyright

British anti-piracy groups have prepared a new strategy to fight pirates. City of London Police have created a directory, “The Infringing Websites List“, with the purpose to provide it to third-party advertisers, like Google or Microsoft, and to force them to ban the listed sites from advertising eligibility. Hollywood has also been working on a new approach to piracy and rebranded an old and seemingly not very efficient anti-piracy organization CreativeAmerica, into Creative Future.

Russian Facebook, vKontakte, has been sued by three of the major music labels for “large scale” music piracy. The social network is accused of creating and deliberately promoting “an unlicensed music service involving a large catalogue of copyright-infringing music“.

New numbers show that, in Africa, software piracy is double the global average, at about 80%. For software companies, it seems that it doesn’t matter that African countries are the poorest in the world and that access to knowledge (and we know what this means for example to Peruvian people) and ICT would empower people and reduce poverty… no, they want Africans to buy legitimate software. Speaking of Peru, some good copyright reforms focused on increasing user rights are on their way!

When launched, Dropbox implemented one of the most successful referral marketing strategies to build their cloud storage empire. (so the experts say!) Now that we are all hooked up to it,  the news is out  that the company has a anti-piracy system that knows when users want to share copyrighted material and prevents them from doing this. This was the bad news! The good news is that their system protects users’ privacy, but I’ll let others more technology savvy explain how it works. Just in case you would want to switch to another cloud storage, Prism Break is a pretty cool project which aggregates alternatives for all the proprietary programs we are using. (useful for anti-surveillance measures as well!) For example, Dropbox alternatives are Git Annex, MyKolab and SparkleShare.

Also, last week we launched our very own webseries! The 2D animated web series Copy-me is going to talk about originality, public domain, digital copies, artists and how they can make money, and lots more. Our biggest goal is to raise awareness and highlight our concerns regarding the copyright realities of today. We think these topics are extremely relevant and could use an update. And hope that, through educating the audience, our webseries will make a difference. Here’s our IndieGogo video. We’re cute 😉

  • Surveillance

In yet another series of NSA leaks, it is revealed that both the American and British agencies have infiltrated private German companies and continued to spy on Angela Merkel, among other 120 leaders. Moreover, an ex- NSA official gives details about the agency’s spying capabilities in Iraq. US intelligence chiefs have, furthermore, confirmed that NSA performed its spying activities without warrant. So, it’s not surprising that many people have changed their online behavior, beginning with the first surveillance revelations, as a new study shows. Last bit not least, new developments in Barret Brown‘s case show that he has signed a guilty plea deal, in return for the authorities to drop most of his charges.

Featured image from Freenet trailer.