For all you polyamorous types out there who don't like the long-term monogamy demanded by most American wireless carriers when it comes to smartphones, I have bad news.
Starting this Saturday, it becomes illegal in this great land to unlock a new smartphone without the permission of the carrier that locked it in the first place.
This all goes back to a final rule issued in late October by the Librarian of Congress (PDF) -- the Library of Congress handles the rulemaking for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is the specific law we're talking about here. The … Read more
If Twitter receives a complaint that a tweet has breached copyright, the site will now transparently display a notice explaining why the tweet was pulled instead of just yanking the infringing tweet.
A policy shift will now see infringing tweets replaced with a warning, such as: "This Tweet from [username] has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder," along with a link to Twitter's copyright policy and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Other Twitter users will also be made aware that the tweet was withdrawn and can reply to the withdrawn tweet notice … Read more
John Mellencamp, the rock musician turned political activist who jointly launched the Farm Aid concert series, has found a new cause: attacking Internet copyright law.
Mellencamp says that U.S. copyright law should be rewritten to compel Google and other search engines to police Web pages they index -- that number in the billions -- and delete links to infringing Web sites.
The musician, once known as John Cougar Mellencamp, wrote in an op-ed yesterday that:
What's happening is your search engine leads you to an illegal downloading site where you can download -- you name the artist -- … Read more
The U.S. Copyright Office published its new set of rules on whether people can jailbreak smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles today; it also outlined the guidelines on DVD copying.
Overwhelmingly, its conclusions were that besides smartphones, all of the above remain illegal.
Every three years the Copyright Office takes requests from digital rights proponents and opponents to re-examine the laws under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that dictate whether people can unlock or jailbreak their varied devices. Today, in a lengthy document (PDF), the government listed all of the changes it made.
The key developments are that people cannot … Read more
MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom has proven to be unstoppable. After the U.S. government's major takedown of the cloud-storage service, which came with charges of racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering, and more, DotCom has escaped extradition to the U.S. for now and was given a formal apology by New Zealand's prime minister.
Emboldened, DotCom has announced that he is building a new file-sharing site called Mega. According to Wired, this new site will work slightly different than MegaUpload but will still let users upload, store, and share data files. DotCom also intends to make it raid-proof.
"… Read more
Google denies that its new copyright-policing policy won't affect Google-owned YouTube as it does other Web sites, despite the fact that YouTube has been known to play host to illegally posted copyrighted material.
The new policy, announced yesterday, knocks sites down in search results if Google receives a lot of "valid copyright removal notices" involving content on those sites.
But Search Engine Land reports that flagging supposedly illegal content on most sites involves using an online process that starts on a page labeled "Removing Content From Google," whereas flagging content on YouTube involves using the … Read more
Twitter released its first ever Transparency Report detailing statistics on international requests for user data and content removal today, the same day news came out that it would have to hand over user information in a court case in New York.
The Twitter Transparency Report breaks down the countries from where such requests come and specifies how many requests it has received, what percentage it complied with, and numbers of user accounts affected, all spanning the first six months of this year.
The company has received more government requests in the first half of this year than in all of … Read more
Wal-Mart this week ushered in a high-profile outing of Hollywood's UltraViolet scheme for digital streaming of movies and TV. And it's the same old song it ever was: complicated, restrictive DRM with a big side helping of "pay me again."
In theory, UltraViolet gives you an easier--or at least, legal--way to digitally stream your movies to multiple devices. The UV standard, developed by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, offers dizzying promises of an easy-to-access digital library, "total freedom" to view your UV-enabled movies on any device, and future-proof DVD buying where every disc includes … Read more
Some Twitter users are trying to wield the organizing power of the social-networking site against the site itself: they're using the hashtags #TwitterBlackout, #TwitterCensored, and #J28 to spread news of a Twitter boycott planned for tomorrow.
Yesterday, Twitter said it was willing to remove tweets on a country-by-country basis when there are local restrictions against content in the tweets, and when a country requires the tweets to be taken down. That's why these Twitter users are up in arms.
The company said the new plan promotes freedom of expression, transparency, and accountability because even though these tweets may … Read more