Tag Archives: US Law

САЩ: неутралност на мрежата

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/net_neutr-4/

Сенатът на САЩ гласува ( 52-47) да се възстанови  защитата на неутралността на мрежата, която Федералната комисия по съобщенията (FCC) реши да отмени през декември миналата година.

За да се възстанови неутралността на мрежата, трябва да се случат още две неща. Първо,  мнозинство от членовете на Камарата на представителите.  Второ, подпис на президента.

Но идват и избори на 6 ноември 2018  – така че прогнозите са трудни.

2018 Специален доклад 301

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/2018-301/

В изпълнение на Търговския закон от 1974 г. американското правителство публикува доклад  – т.нар. Доклад 301 – за наличието на адекватна и ефективна защита на правата  на интелектуалната собственост по света – в държавите-търговски партньори на САЩ.

Сега  е оповестен Доклад 301 за 2018 година (2018 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights).

За миналата година 11 държави са в  т.нар. Priority Watch List, между тях Китай, Индия, Русия, Украйна,   и 23 – в  Watch List, между тях България. Тази година България е извадена от Watch List – с обяснението на стр. 28, че България през март 2018 г. е приела изменения на закона за авторското право,  участвала е в операция  ЕВРОПОЛ  срещу голяма пиратска мрежа в региона,  отделила е  допълнителни ресурси на звеното за разследване на онлайн пиратството, а Главна прокуратура се е ангажирала да предприеме допълнителни стъпки за подобряване на прилагането. Според доклада проблемите, свързани с прилагането на законодателството, продължават да се отнасят до високите нива на онлайн пиратството, недостатъчното съдебно преследване, недостатъчно възспиращото действие на наказателните санкции.

Министерството на външните работи е отбелязало новия доклад 301 с отделно съобщение, в което се казва, че “в резултат на дългогодишните усилия на посолството на Република България във Вашингтон и българските институции  страната ни вече е изключена от т.нар. „черен списък“ за защита на интелектуалната собственост на САЩ.”

Няма съмнение, че напускането на Watch List  е изисквало усилия. Все пак съобщението е можело да бъде по-прецизно по отношение на т.нар. в съобщението черен списък, защото – както се вижда, има черен, има и по-черен. 

Критично отношение към доклада изразява EFF:  “Някои доклади и публикации от американските правителствени агенции имат репутация на задълбочени, актуални и основани на факти[…] Специален доклад  301, чието последно годишно издание е публикуванo миналата седмица, не е такъв.” Според EFF докладът разкрива законите, политиките и практиките, които не осигуряват адекватна и ефективна защита на интелектуалната собственост, но  няма последователна методология за оценка  кое  е  адекватно и ефективно.

Неотдавна ЕК обяви обществена консултация относно евентуално наблюдение на защитата на интелектуалната собственост по света.

Права върху снимка: маймуната в джунглата

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/naruto/

Във вторник 9 -ти апелативен съд отхвърли искането, свързано с известното вече  селфи на маймуна (делото Наруто срещу Слейтър).

Дейвид Слейтър оставя оборудването си в джунглата и маймуната се е заснела сама. Организацията за защита на животните ПЕТА   твърди, че Слейтър е нарушил авторските права на маймуната, като е издал книга за фотография “Wildlife Personalities”.

Решението:  Животните   нямат право на защита на права по Закона за авторските права.

Решението подлежи на обжалване.

 

Facebook изключва милиард и половина потребители от обхвата на GDPR

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/facebook-13/

Под това заглавие (ексклузивно) Reuters информира за следното:

Потребителите на Facebook (извън Съединените щати и Канада), независимо дали   знаят или не,  сега имат договор за услугата с компанията Facebook със седалище в Ирландия. Както Google,  LinkedIn и други компании,  Facebook също работи чрез калифорнийска и ирландска компания –  Facebook Inc/Калифорния, Менло Парк  u Facebook Ireland – като последното е под ирландска юрисдикция.

Facebook планира договорът c Facebook Ireland  да остане валиден само за европейски потребители, т.е. 1,5 милиарда потребители от Африка, Азия, Австралия и Латинска Америка няма да попаднат в обхвата на Общия регламент за защита на данните на Европейския съюз (GDPR), който влиза в сила на 25 май 2018 г. Най-голямата онлайн социална мрежа в света   намалява обхвата на прилагане на GDPR – регламентът позволява на европейските регулаторни органи да наказват компаниите за събиране или използване на лични данни без съгласието на потребителите.

Така се избягва огромен риск, пише Reuters,   тъй като новият регламент позволява да се налагат глоби в размер до 4% от глобалните годишни приходи за нарушения –  в случая с Facebook това означава  милиарди долари.

В същото време Зукърбърг е говорил вчера на конференция в Сан Хосе, Калифорния и е казал, че   въвежда нови настройки за защита на личния живот и личните данни в Европа, които в крайна сметка щели да обхванат потребителите по целия свят.”Ние не само искаме да спазваме закона, но и надхвърлим задълженията си и да изграждаме нови и по-добри практики за поверителност за всеки във Facebook”.

САЩ: право на заснемане на полицейските служители, когато изпълняват задълженията си

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/us_privacy/

В Съединените щати хората продължават да се сблъскват с репресивни мерки, дори арести, за опити за заснемане на полицейска дейност на обществени места. Това е неприемливо в една конституционна демокрация, а по-специално в САЩ нарушава Първата поправка, се казва в коментар по делото Fields v. City of Philadelphia. В решението съдът се присъединява към други предходни решения:

 Днес се присъединяваме към този все по-голям консенсус.  Първата поправка защитава акта на заснемане или по друг начин записване на полицейски служители, изпълняващи публичните си задължения.

Правото да се регистрира полицията не включва само правата на човека, който прави записа. Това засяга правото на обществеността да получава информация и идеи.

Правото на гражданите да записват и филмират полицията на обществени места е ясно установено право под защитата на Първата поправка, завършва статията.

 

Извличане на данни (web scraping)

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/web-scraping/

Според съд в DC използването на автоматизирани инструменти (“web scrapers”) за достъп до публично достъпна информация   не е компютърно престъпление. Делото е Sandvig v. Sessions.

Изследователи, компютърни специалисти и журналисти  искат да използват автоматизирани инструменти за достъп до данни онлайн. Според някои тълкувания 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) забранява това. Така се стига до  произнасяне на съда, FCC съобщава:

Първата поправка на Конституцията защитава не само правото на изказване, но и правото на получаване на информация.  Фактът, че “ищецът желае да получава по автоматизиран път данни от уеб сайтове, а не да записва ръчно информация, не променя заключението”. Използването на автоматизирани инструменти е просто технологичен напредък, който прави събирането на информация по-лесно. То не е по същество различно от използването на средства за звукозапис, вместо да се правят писмени бележки или  от използването на  панорамна функция на смартфон, вместо да се правят серии от снимки от различни позиции, смята съдът.

Това е второто произнасяне – отново в същия смисъл, преди това съдът заключава, че “широкото тълкуване на CFАA,  ако бъде прието, би могло да има дълбок ефект върху отворения достъп до интернет, което Конгресът не би могъл да възнамерява, когато е приел закона преди три десетилетия.”

Миналата седмица широко се обсъждаше  нивото на технологична експертиза на сенаторите в САЩ, но и на съдиите не им е лесно – като гледам как прибягват до сравнения с по-познати неща. Още преди години това правеше силно впечатление.

Колективен иск срещу Facebook и CA

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/facebook-ca/

Както съобщава The Guardian, британски и американски адвокати започват производство по колективен иск срещу Facebook, Cambridge Analytica,  SCL Group Limited и Global Science Research Limited (GSR)   за предполагаема злоупотреба с личните данни на повече от 71 милиона души. Седем индивидуални ищци, всички потребители на Facebook – пет американци и двама британци – са инициатори на процеса.

Според тях компаниите са получили лични данни на потребителите от социалната медийна мрежа, за да разработят пропагандни кампании  в Обединеното кралство и САЩ.  Александър Коган създава психологически тест, който изисква от хората да използват своите идентификационни данни за вход в Facebook, за да проведат теста. Приблизително 270 000 потребители на Facebook инсталират приложението и дават личната си информация на Коган и Cambridge Analytica. Дизайнът на приложението  позволява   да се събират личните данни на повече от 72 милиона потребители на Facebook, които са били приятели на първоначалните 270 000 потребители. Данните включват имена, телефонни номера, пощенски и имейл адреси, политически и религиозни връзки и други интереси. Те са използвани за психологически профили на гласоподавателите, които да повлияят на изборите в Обединеното кралство и САЩ. Може и да са повлияли, по някои оценки ролята на дезинформацията при кампаниите е достатъчно съществена.

Facebook  не реагира отговорно и навреме, за да защити данните.

Законодателството предвижда минимална глоба от 1000 щ.д. за всяко нарушение, установено от съда, което означава, че ако решението е против Facebook, компанията би могла да понесе щети над 70 милиарда долара.

 

 

 

Две изслушвания на Марк Зукърбърг пред парламентарни комисии в САЩ

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/fb_hearings/

Предстоят две изслушвания на Марк Зукърбърг  на 10 и 11 април 2018 г.  пред три парламентарни комисии в САЩ

Подготвените писмени показания на  Зукърбърг могат да се прочетат в американските медии.

Показанията имат  две части – за Кеймбридж Аналитика и за   намеса в изборите, свързана с Русия, като по всеки от двата въпроса Зукърбърг излага какво се е случило и какво прави компанията FB в отговор.

Изслушванията ще се проведат по предварителни съобщения  днес от 21.15 българско време (пред две сенатски  комисии – на живо тук –  https://cs.pn/2IxEXj7 ) и утре от 17 часа българско време (пред комисия на Камарата на представителите – на живо тук  https://cs.pn/2uMK392)

Междувременно той е провел и предварителни срещи с представители на Конгреса, а медиите предлагат нови и нови въпроси, които да му бъдат поставени.

Но мнението на Зейнеп Тюфекчи е по-различно: Какво го да питат в Конгреса: нищо. По-хубаво да си гледат работата.

 

Facebook и отговорността за съдържанието

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/facebook-11/

Facebook е на път да наеме 20 000 души, за да идентифицира речта на омразата, защото законите – като NetzDG в Германия – и медиите го изискват, пише професорът по журналистика Джеф Джарвис. В същото време  общият брой на  журналистите в Америка е бил 32 900 през 2015 г. и вероятно е под 30 000 днес. И тези числа са на път да се изравнят.

Какво се случва – и това ли е прочутото саморегулиране на платформите, за което всички говорят като перспектива – за да се избегне  плашещата медиите  нова регулация?

И кое е по-приемливо за аудиторията: съдебен контрол, следователно съдебна преценка, за законност на съдържанието – или собственият съд на компании като Facebook

Самият Зукърбърг дава противоречиви сигнали, вероятно осъзнал ясно тежестта на отговорността да вземаш решения. Известната на медиите редакционна отговорност. И  ето какво казва той  към този момент (защото мненията му са доста динамични, например за 24 часа се преобърна становището му да не прилага принципите на EDPR):

Първо, прозрачността. В момента не мисля, че сме достатъчно прозрачни по отношение на  проблемите на платформата. Както и по отношение на тенденциите  и как се движим с течение на времето.

Второ,  независим процес на обжалване. В момента, ако публикувате нещо във Facebook и някой го докладва,  а  екипът за преглед вземе решение съдържанието да се свали, решението не може да се обжалва.  Мисля, че във всяка добре функционираща демократична система трябва да има начин да се обжалва. Мисля, че можем да изградим такова звено вътрешно като първа стъпка. Но в дългосрочен план това, което наистина бих искал да постигна, е обжалване пред независима структура, почти като Върховен съд, която е съставена от независими хора, които не работят във Facebook, и в крайна сметка правят окончателна преценка за това какво е приемливо слово в една общност, която отразява социалните норми и ценности на хората от целия свят.

Защото, да си спомним и друго интервю, Зукърбърг изпитва  “фундаментален дискомфорт” да седи  в Калифорния в един офис и да  взема решения  по отношение на съдържанието за хора от целия свят. Логичното очакване е, че ще се опита да запази привлекателните страни на властта и да се освободи от отговорността за много сложни преценки.

На 10 април Зукърбърг ще отговаря на въпросите на две сенатски комисии във Вашингтон. Сесията е обявена под заглавие  Facebook, социалните медии, поверителността, използването и злоупотребата с данни.

Ефектите на медийната консолидация: по сценарий

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/sinclair-2/

 Sinclair Broadcast Group е най-голяма тв група по брой медии и също така по покритие в САЩ. Известни са с  новинарско съдържание и предавания, които популяризират консервативни политически позиции  и са в подкрепа на Републиканската партия.

 Когато Тръмп каже следното –

 

– ето какво следва в медиите на Синклер  – каскада от еднотипни изпълнения по сценарий, както се вижда във видеото:

“Някои  медии  използват своите платформи, за да наложат своето лично пристрастие. Това е изключително опасно за нашата демокрация.”

Видеото е публикувано и в NYT:

 

Показва ефектите  на медийната консолидация за правото на информация.  А също показва и как това управление означава критиката като fake.

+ op-ed от вчера

 

GreyKey iPhone Unlocker

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/03/greykey_iphone_.html

Some details about the iPhone unlocker from the US company Greyshift, with photos.

Little is known about Grayshift or its sales model at this point. We don’t know whether sales are limited to US law enforcement, or if it is also selling in other parts of the world. Regardless of that, it’s highly likely that these devices will ultimately end up in the hands of agents of an oppressive regime, whether directly from Grayshift or indirectly through the black market.

It’s also entirely possible, based on the history of the IP-Box, that Grayshift devices will end up being available to anyone who wants them and can find a way to purchase them, perhaps by being reverse-engineered and reproduced by an enterprising hacker, then sold for a couple hundred bucks on eBay.

Forbes originally wrote about this, and I blogged that article.

After Section 702 Reauthorization

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/01/after_section_7.html

For over a decade, civil libertarians have been fighting government mass surveillance of innocent Americans over the Internet. We’ve just lost an important battle. On January 18, President Trump signed the renewal of Section 702, domestic mass surveillance became effectively a permanent part of US law.

Section 702 was initially passed in 2008, as an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. As the title of that law says, it was billed as a way for the NSA to spy on non-Americans located outside the United States. It was supposed to be an efficiency and cost-saving measure: the NSA was already permitted to tap communications cables located outside the country, and it was already permitted to tap communications cables from one foreign country to another that passed through the United States. Section 702 allowed it to tap those cables from inside the United States, where it was easier. It also allowed the NSA to request surveillance data directly from Internet companies under a program called PRISM.

The problem is that this authority also gave the NSA the ability to collect foreign communications and data in a way that inherently and intentionally also swept up Americans’ communications as well, without a warrant. Other law enforcement agencies are allowed to ask the NSA to search those communications, give their contents to the FBI and other agencies and then lie about their origins in court.

In 1978, after Watergate had revealed the Nixon administration’s abuses of power, we erected a wall between intelligence and law enforcement that prevented precisely this kind of sharing of surveillance data under any authority less restrictive than the Fourth Amendment. Weakening that wall is incredibly dangerous, and the NSA should never have been given this authority in the first place.

Arguably, it never was. The NSA had been doing this type of surveillance illegally for years, something that was first made public in 2006. Section 702 was secretly used as a way to paper over that illegal collection, but nothing in the text of the later amendment gives the NSA this authority. We didn’t know that the NSA was using this law as the statutory basis for this surveillance until Edward Snowden showed us in 2013.

Civil libertarians have been battling this law in both Congress and the courts ever since it was proposed, and the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities even longer. What this most recent vote tells me is that we’ve lost that fight.

Section 702 was passed under George W. Bush in 2008, reauthorized under Barack Obama in 2012, and now reauthorized again under Trump. In all three cases, congressional support was bipartisan. It has survived multiple lawsuits by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, and others. It has survived the revelations by Snowden that it was being used far more extensively than Congress or the public believed, and numerous public reports of violations of the law. It has even survived Trump’s belief that he was being personally spied on by the intelligence community, as well as any congressional fears that Trump could abuse the authority in the coming years. And though this extension lasts only six years, it’s inconceivable to me that it will ever be repealed at this point.

So what do we do? If we can’t fight this particular statutory authority, where’s the new front on surveillance? There are, it turns out, reasonable modifications that target surveillance more generally, and not in terms of any particular statutory authority. We need to look at US surveillance law more generally.

First, we need to strengthen the minimization procedures to limit incidental collection. Since the Internet was developed, all the world’s communications travel around in a single global network. It’s impossible to collect only foreign communications, because they’re invariably mixed in with domestic communications. This is called “incidental” collection, but that’s a misleading name. It’s collected knowingly, and searched regularly. The intelligence community needs much stronger restrictions on which American communications channels it can access without a court order, and rules that require they delete the data if they inadvertently collect it. More importantly, “collection” is defined as the point the NSA takes a copy of the communications, and not later when they search their databases.

Second, we need to limit how other law enforcement agencies can use incidentally collected information. Today, those agencies can query a database of incidental collection on Americans. The NSA can legally pass information to those other agencies. This has to stop. Data collected by the NSA under its foreign surveillance authority should not be used as a vehicle for domestic surveillance.

The most recent reauthorization modified this lightly, forcing the FBI to obtain a court order when querying the 702 data for a criminal investigation. There are still exceptions and loopholes, though.

Third, we need to end what’s called “parallel construction.” Today, when a law enforcement agency uses evidence found in this NSA database to arrest someone, it doesn’t have to disclose that fact in court. It can reconstruct the evidence in some other manner once it knows about it, and then pretend it learned of it that way. This right to lie to the judge and the defense is corrosive to liberty, and it must end.

Pressure to reform the NSA will probably first come from Europe. Already, European Union courts have pointed to warrantless NSA surveillance as a reason to keep Europeans’ data out of US hands. Right now, there is a fragile agreement between the EU and the United States ­– called “Privacy Shield” — ­that requires Americans to maintain certain safeguards for international data flows. NSA surveillance goes against that, and it’s only a matter of time before EU courts start ruling this way. That’ll have significant effects on both government and corporate surveillance of Europeans and, by extension, the entire world.

Further pressure will come from the increased surveillance coming from the Internet of Things. When your home, car, and body are awash in sensors, privacy from both governments and corporations will become increasingly important. Sooner or later, society will reach a tipping point where it’s all too much. When that happens, we’re going to see significant pushback against surveillance of all kinds. That’s when we’ll get new laws that revise all government authorities in this area: a clean sweep for a new world, one with new norms and new fears.

It’s possible that a federal court will rule on Section 702. Although there have been many lawsuits challenging the legality of what the NSA is doing and the constitutionality of the 702 program, no court has ever ruled on those questions. The Bush and Obama administrations successfully argued that defendants don’t have legal standing to sue. That is, they have no right to sue because they don’t know they’re being targeted. If any of the lawsuits can get past that, things might change dramatically.

Meanwhile, much of this is the responsibility of the tech sector. This problem exists primarily because Internet companies collect and retain so much personal data and allow it to be sent across the network with minimal security. Since the government has abdicated its responsibility to protect our privacy and security, these companies need to step up: Minimize data collection. Don’t save data longer than absolutely necessary. Encrypt what has to be saved. Well-designed Internet services will safeguard users, regardless of government surveillance authority.

For the rest of us concerned about this, it’s important not to give up hope. Everything we do to keep the issue in the public eye ­– and not just when the authority comes up for reauthorization again in 2024 — hastens the day when we will reaffirm our rights to privacy in the digital age.

This essay previously appeared in the Washington Post.

No Level of Copyright Enforcement Will Ever Be Enough For Big Media

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/no-level-of-copyright-enforcement-will-ever-be-enough-for-big-media-180107/

For more than ten years TorrentFreak has documented a continuous stream of piracy battles so it’s natural that, every now and then, we pause to consider when this war might stop. The answer is always “no time soon” and certainly not in 2018.

When swapping files over the Internet first began it wasn’t a particularly widespread activity. A reasonable amount of content was available, but it was relatively inaccessible. Then peer-to-peer came along and it sparked a revolution.

From the beginning, copyright holders felt that the law would answer their problems, whether that was by suing Napster, Kazaa, or even end users. Some industry players genuinely believed this strategy was just a few steps away from achieving its goals. Just a little bit more pressure and all would be under control.

Then, when the landmark MGM Studios v. Grokster decision was handed down in the studios’ favor during 2005, the excitement online was palpable. As copyright holders rejoiced in this body blow for the pirating masses, file-sharing communities literally shook under the weight of the ruling. For a day, maybe two.

For the majority of file-sharers, the ruling meant absolutely nothing. So what if some company could be held responsible for other people’s infringements? Another will come along, outside of the US if need be, people said. They were right not to be concerned – that’s exactly what happened.

Ever since, this cycle has continued. Eager to stem the tide of content being shared without their permission, rightsholders have advocated stronger anti-piracy enforcement and lobbied for more restrictive interpretations of copyright law. Thus far, however, literally nothing has provided a solution.

One would have thought that given the military-style raid on Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload, a huge void would’ve appeared in the sharing landscape. Instead, the file-locker business took itself apart and reinvented itself in jurisdictions outside the United States. Meanwhile, the BitTorrent scene continued in the background, somewhat obliviously.

With the SOPA debacle still fresh in relatively recent memory, copyright holders are still doggedly pursuing their aims. Site-blocking is rampant, advertisers are being pressured into compliance, and ISPs like Cox Communications now find themselves responsible for the infringements of their users. But has any of this caused any fatal damage to the sharing landscape? Not really.

Instead, we’re seeing a rise in the use of streaming sites, each far more accessible to the newcomer than their predecessors and vastly more difficult for copyright holders to police.

Systems built into Kodi are transforming these platforms into a plug-and-play piracy playground, one in which sites skirt US law and users can consume both at will and in complete privacy. Meanwhile, commercial and unauthorized IPTV offerings are gathering momentum, even as rightsholders try to pull them back.

Faced with problems like these we are now seeing calls for even tougher legislation. While groups like the RIAA dream of filtering the Internet, over in the UK a 2017 consultation had copyright holders excited that end users could be criminalized for simply consuming infringing content, let alone distributing it.

While the introduction of both or either of these measures would cause uproar (and rightly so), history tells us that each would fail in its stated aim of stopping piracy. With that eventuality all but guaranteed, calls for even tougher legislation are being readied for later down the line.

In short, there is no law that can stop piracy and therefore no law that will stop the entertainment industries coming back for harsher measures, pursuing the dream. This much we’ve established from close to two decades of litigation and little to no progress.

But really, is anyone genuinely surprised that they’re still taking this route? Draconian efforts to maintain control over the distribution of content predate the file-sharing wars by a couple of hundred years, at the very least. Why would rightsholders stop now, when the prize is even more valuable?

No one wants a minefield of copyright law. No one wants a restricted Internet. No one wants extended liability for innovators, service providers, or the public. But this is what we’ll get if this problem isn’t solved soon. Something drastic needs to happen, but who will be brave enough to admit it, let alone do something about it?

During a discussion about piracy last year on the BBC, the interviewer challenged a caller who freely admitted to pirating sports content online. The caller’s response was clear:

For far too long, broadcasters and rightsholders have abused their monopoly position, charging ever-increasing amounts for popular content, even while making billions. Piracy is a natural response to that, and effectively a chance for the little guy to get back some control, he argued.

Exactly the same happened in the music market during the late 1990s and 2000s. In response to artificial restriction of the market and the unrealistic hiking of prices, people turned to peer-to-peer networks for their fix. Thanks to this pressure but after years of turmoil, services like Spotify emerged, converting millions of former pirates in the process. Netflix, it appears, is attempting to do the same thing with video.

When people feel that they aren’t getting ripped off and that they have no further use for sub-standard piracy services in the face of stunning legal alternatives, things will change. But be under no illusion, people won’t be bullied there.

If we end up with an Internet stifled in favor of rightsholders, one in which service providers are too scared to innovate, the next generation of consumers will never forget. This will be a major problem for two key reasons. Not only will consumers become enemies but piracy will still exist. We will have come full circle, fueled only by division and hatred.

It’s a natural response to reject monopolistic behavior and it’s a natural response, for most, to be fair when treated with fairness. Destroying freedom is far from fair and will not create a better future – for anyone.

Laws have their place, no sane person will argue against that, but when the entertainment industries are making billions yet still want more, they’ll have to decide whether this will go on forever with building resentment, or if making a bit less profit now makes more sense longer term.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

САЩ: FCC отмени правилата за неутралност на мрежата

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/fcc-netneutr/

Отхвърлянето на правилата за неутралност на мрежата е най-значимото и противоречиво действие на американския регулатор FCC под ръководството на новоназначения председател Ажит Пай, пише Ню Йорк Таймс. През първите  11 месеца в качеството си на председател, той вдигна и ограниченията за собствеността на медиите.

Netflix заявява, че решението “е началото на по-дълга съдебна битка”.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

И нашата  – европейска –  реакция:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Filed under: Digital, US Law

Hollywood and Netflix Ask Court to Seize Tickbox Streaming Devices

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/hollywood-and-netflix-ask-court-to-seize-tickbox-streaming-devices-171209/

More and more people are starting to use Kodi-powered set-top boxes to stream video content to their TVs.

While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, sellers who ship devices with unauthorized add-ons give it a bad reputation.

According to the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy partnership between Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon, and more than two dozen other companies, Tickbox TV is one of these bad actors.

Earlier this year, ACE filed a lawsuit against the Georgia-based company, which sells set-top boxes that allow users to stream a variety of popular media. The Tickbox devices use the Kodi media player and come with instructions on how to add various add-ons.

According to ACE, these devices are nothing more than pirate tools, allowing buyers to stream copyright infringing content. “TickBox promotes and distributes TickBox TV for infringing use, and that is exactly the result of its use,” they told court this week.

After the complaint was filed in October, Tickbox made some cosmetic changes to the site, removing some allegedly inducing language. The streaming devices are still for sale, however, but not for long if it’s up to the media giants.

This week ACE submitted a request for a preliminary injunction to the court, hoping to stop Tickbox’s sales activities.

“TickBox is intentionally inducing infringement, pure and simple. Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court enter a preliminary injunction that requires TickBox to halt its flagrantly illegal conduct immediately,” they write in their application.

The companies explain that that since Tickbox is causing irreparable harm, all existing devices should be impounded.

“[A]ll TickBox TV devices in the possession of TickBox and all of its officers, directors, agents, servants, and employees, and all persons in active concert or participation or in privity with any of them are to be impounded and shall be retained by Defendant until further order of the Court,” the proposed order reads.

In addition, Tickbox should push out a software update which remove all infringing add-ons from the devices that were previously sold.

“TickBox shall, via software update, remove from all distributed TickBox TV devices all Kodi ‘Themes,’ ‘Builds,’ ‘Addons,’ or any other software that facilitates the infringing public performances of Plaintiffs’ Copyrighted Works.”

Among others, the list of allegedly infringing add-ons and themes includes Spinz, Lodi Black, Stream on Fire, Wookie, Aqua, CMM, Spanish Quasar, Paradox, Covenant, Elysium, UK Turk, Gurzil, Maverick, and Poseidon.

The filing shows that ACE is serious about its efforts to stop the sale of these type of streaming devices. Tickbox has yet to reply to the original complaint or the injunction request.

While this is the first US lawsuit of its kind, the anti-piracy conglomerate has been rather active in recent weeks. The group has successfully pressured several addon developers to quit and has been involved in enforcement actions around the globe.

A copy of the proposed preliminary injunction is available here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Digital Rights Groups Warn Against Copyright “Parking Tickets” Bill

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/digital-rights-groups-warn-against-copyright-parking-tickets-bill-171203/

Nearly five years ago, US lawmakers agreed to carry out a comprehensive review of United States copyright law.

In the following years, the House Judiciary Committee held dozens of hearings on various topics, from DMCA reform and fair use exemptions to the possibility of a small claims court for copyright offenses.

While many of the topics never got far beyond the discussion stage, there’s now a new bill on the table that introduces a small claims process for copyright offenses.

The CASE Act, short for Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement, proposes to establish a small claims court to resolve copyright disputes outside the federal courts. This means that legal costs will be significantly reduced.

The idea behind the bill is to lower the barrier for smaller copyright holders with limited resources, who usually refrain from going to court. Starting a federal case with proper representation is quite costly, while the outcome is rather uncertain.

While this may sound noble, digital rights groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge, warn that the bill could do more harm than good.

One of the problems they signal is that the proposed “Copyright Claims Board” would be connected to the US Copyright Office. Given this connection, the groups fear that the three judges might be somewhat biased towards copyright holders.

“Unfortunately, the Copyright Office has a history of putting copyright holders’ interests ahead of other important legal rights and policy concerns. We fear that any small claims process the Copyright Office conducts will tend to follow that pattern,” EFF’s Mitch Stoltz warns.

The copyright claims board will have three judges who can hear cases from all over the country. They can award damages awards of up to $15,000 per infringement, or $30,000 per case.

Participation is voluntary and potential defendants can opt-out. However, if they fail to do so, any order against them can still be binding and enforceable through a federal court.

An opt-in system would be much better, according to EFF, as that would prevent abuse by copyright holders who are looking for cheap default judgments.

“[A]n opt-in approach would help ensure that both participants affirmatively choose to litigate their dispute in this new court, and help prevent copyright holders from abusing the system to obtain inexpensive default judgments that will be hard to appeal.”

While smart defendants would opt-out in certain situations, those who are less familiar with the law might become the target of what are essentially copyright parking tickets.

“Knowledgeable defendants will opt out of such proceedings, while legally unsophisticated targets, including ordinary Internet users, could find themselves committed to an unfair, accelerated process handing out largely unappealable $5,000 copyright parking tickets,” EFF adds.

In its current form, the small claims court may prove to be an ideal tool for copyright trolls, including those who made a business out of filing federal cases against alleged BitTorrent pirates.

This copyright troll issue angle highlighted by both EFF and Public Knowlege, who urge lawmakers to revise the bill.

“[I]t’s not hard to see how trolls and default judgments could come to dominate the system,” Public Knowledge says.

“Instead of creating a reliable, fair mechanism for independent artists to pursue scaled infringement claims online, it would establish an opaque, unaccountable legislation mill that will likely get bogged down by copyright trolls and questionable claimants looking for a payout,” they conclude.

Various copyright holder groups are more positive about the bill. The Copyright Alliance, for example, says that it will empower creators with smaller budgets to protect their rights.

“The next generation of creators deserves copyright protection that is as pioneering and forward-thinking as they are. They deserve practical solutions to the real-life problems they face as creators. This bill is the first step.”

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Mashup Site Hit With Domain Suspension Following IFPI Copyright Complaint

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/mashup-site-hit-with-domain-suspension-following-ifpi-copyright-complaint-171127/

Mashups are musical compositions, usually made up of two or more tracks seamlessly blended together, which bring something fresh and new to the listener.

There are hundreds of stunning examples online, many created in hobbyist circles, with dedicated communities sharing their often brilliant work.

However, the majority of mashups have something in common – they’re created without any permission from the copyright holders’ of the original tracks. As such they remain controversial, as mashup platform Sowndhaus has just discovered.

This Canada-based platform allows users to upload, share and network with other like-minded mashup enthusiasts. It has an inbuilt player, somewhat like Soundcloud, through which people can play a wide range of user-created mashups. However, sometime last Tuesday, Sowndhaus’ main domain, Sowndhaus.com, became unreachable.

Sowndhaus: High-quality mashups

The site’s operators say that they initially believed there was some kind of configuration issue. Later, however, they discovered that their domain had been “purposefully de-listed” from its DNS servers by its registrar.

“DomainBox had received a DMCA notification from the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) and immediately suspended our .com domain,” Sowndhaus’ operators report.

At this point it’s worth noting that while Sowndhaus is based and hosted in Canada, DomainBox is owned by UK-based Mesh Digital Limited, which is in turn owned by GoDaddy. IFPI, however, reportedly sent a US-focused DMCA notice to the registrar which noted that the music group had “a good faith belief” that activity on Sowndhaus “is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”

While mashups have always proved controversial, Sowndhaus believe that they operate well within Canadian law.

“We have a good faith belief that the audio files allegedly ‘infringing copyright’ in the DMCA notification are clearly transformative works and meet all criteria for ‘Non-commercial User-generated Content’ under Section 29.21 of the Copyright Act (Canada), and as such are authorized by the law,” the site says.

“Our service, servers, and files are located in Canada which has a ‘Notice and Notice regime’ and where DMCA (a US law) has no jurisdiction. However, the jurisdiction for our .com domain is within the US/EU and thus subject to its laws.”

Despite a belief that the site operates lawfully, Sowndhaus took a decision to not only take down the files listed in IFPI’s complaint but also to ditch its .com domain completely. While this convinced DomainBox to give control of the domain back to the mashup platform, Sowndhaus has now moved to a completely new domain (sowndhaus.audio), to avoid further issues.

“We neither admit nor accept that any unlawful activity or copyright infringement with respect to the DMCA claim had taken place, or has ever been permitted on our servers, or that it was necessary to remove the files or service under Section 29.21 of the Copyright Act (Canada) with which we have always been, and continue to be, in full compliance,” the site notes.

“The use of copyright material as Non-commercial User-generated Content is authorized by law in Canada, where our service resides. We believe that the IFPI are well aware of this, are aware of the jurisdiction of our service, and therefore that their DMCA notification is a misrepresentation of copyright.”

Aside from what appears to have been a rapid suspension of Sowndhaus’ .com domain, the site says that it is being held to a higher standard of copyright protection that others operating under the DMCA.

Unlike YouTube, for example, Sowndhaus says it pro-actively removes files found to infringe copyright. It also bans users who use the site to commit piracy, as per its Terms of Service.

“This is a much stronger regime than would be required under the DMCA guidelines where users generally receive warnings and strikes before being banned, and where websites complying with the DMCA and seeking to avoid legal liability do not actively seek out cases of infringement, leading to some cases of genuine piracy remaining undetected on their services,” the site says.

However, the site remains defiant in respect of the content it hosts, noting that mashups are transformative works that use copyright content “in new and creative ways to form new works of art” and as such are legal for non-commercial purposes.

That hasn’t stopped it from being targeted by copyright holders in the past, however.

This year three music-based organizations (IFPI, RIAA, and France’s SCPP) have sent complaints to Google about the platform, targeting close to 200 URLs. However, at least for more recent complaints, Google hasn’t been removing the URLs from its indexes.

Complaints sent to Google about Sowndhaus in 2017<

Noting that corporations are using their powers “to hinder, stifle, and silence protected new forms of artistic expression with no repercussions”, Sowndhaus says that it is still prepared to work with copyright holders but wishes they would “reconsider their current policies and accept non-commercial transformative works as legitimate art forms with legal protections and/or exemptions in all jurisdictions.”

While Sowndhaus is now operating from a new domain, the switch is not without its inconveniences. All URLs with links to files on sowndhaus.com are broken but can be fixed by changing the .com to .audio.

DomainBox did not respond to TorrentFreak’s request for comment.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Supreme Court Will Decide if ISP Can Charge Money to Expose Pirates

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/supreme-court-to-decide-if-isp-can-charge-money-to-expose-pirates-171124/

Movie studio Voltage Pictures is no stranger to suing BitTorrent users.

The company has filed numerous lawsuits against alleged pirates in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia, and is estimated to have made a lot of money doing so.

Voltage and other copyright holders who initiate these cases generally rely on IP addresses as evidence. This information is collected from BitTorrent swarms and linked to an ISP using an IP-database.

With this information in hand, they then ask the courts to direct Internet providers to hand over the personal details of the associated account holders, in order to go after the alleged pirates.

In Canada, this so-called copyright trolling practice hasn’t been without controversy.

Last year Voltage Pictures launched a “reverse class action” to demand damages from an unspecified number of Internet users whom they accuse of sharing films, including The Cobbler, Pay the Ghost, Good Kill, Fathers and Daughters, and American Heist.

The application of a reverse class action in a copyright case was unprecedented in itself. In a single swoop, many of Internet subscribers were at risk of having their personal details exposed. However, Internet provider Rogers was not willing to hand over this information freely.

Instead, Rogers demanded compensation for every IP-address lookup, as is permitted by copyright law. The provider asked for $100 per hour of work, plus taxes, to link the addresses to subscriber accounts.

The Federal Court agreed that the charges were permitted under the Copyright Act. However, when Voltage Pictures appealed the decision, this was reversed. The Appeals Court noted that there’s currently no fixed maximum charge defined by law. As long as this is the case, ISPs can charge no fees at all, the argument was.

In addition, the court stressed that it’s important for copyright holders to be able to protect their rights in the digital era.

“The internet must not become a collection of safe houses from which pirates, with impunity, can pilfer the products of others’ dedication, creativity and industry,” the appeal court Justice David Stratas wrote.

Not happy with the decision, Rogers decided to take the matter to the Supreme Court, which just decided that it will hear the case.

The Supreme Court hasn’t given an explanation for its decision to take the case. For the accused BitTorrent pirates in Canada, it’s certainly one to watch though.

The case will in large part determine how profitable the copyright trolling scheme is in Canada. When ISPs can charge a substantial fee for the IP-address lookups the efforts might not bring in enough money through settlements, making them less likely to continue.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Линкинг: Playboy съди BoingBoing

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/playboyg/

Playboy Entertainment Group съди BoingBoing – блог с публикации по разнообразни въпроси, свързани с културата и технологиите. Делото е   по повод връзка към колекция от изображения. Според Playboy който отразява една колекция по магически начин носи отговорност за използването на изображенията, пише techdirt.comBoingBoing не разпространява  файловете, не ги хоства и не ги копира, сайтът просто съобщава за съществуването им (и казва хубави неща за тях).

Очаква се ново решение за линкинг,  междувременно Playboy участва в  дело за линкинг  пред Съда на ЕС – C-160/15, GS Media BV v. Sanoma Media – където според решението

за да се установи дали поставянето на уебсайт на хипервръзки към произведения, обект на закрила, които са свободно достъпни на друг уебсайт без разрешение от носителя на авторското право, представлява „публично разгласяване“ по смисъла на тази разпоредба, следва да се прецени дали тези връзки са предоставени, без да се цели получаване на печалба, от лице, което не е знаело и нормално не е могло да знае, че публикуването на тези произведения на другия уебсайт е незаконно или, напротив, посочените връзки са предоставени с цел печалба, в който случай знанието се предполага.

вж  и тук

Filed under: Digital, EU Law, Media Law, US Law Tagged: линкинг, съд на ес

MPAA Lobbies US Congress on Streaming Piracy Boxes

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-lobbies-us-congress-on-streaming-piracy-boxes-171112/

As part of its quest to reduce piracy, the MPAA continues to spend money on its lobbying activities, hoping to sway lawmakers in its direction.

While the lobbying talks take place behind closed doors, quarterly disclosure reports provide some insight into the items under discussion.

The MPAA’s most recent lobbying disclosure form features several new topics that weren’t on the agenda last year.

Among other issues, the Hollywood group lobbied the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on set-top boxes, preloaded streaming piracy devices, and streaming piracy in general.

The details of these discussions remain behind closed doors. The only thing we know for sure is what Hollywood is lobbying on, but it doesn’t take much imagination to take an educated guess on the ‘why’ part.

Just over a year ago streaming piracy boxes were hardly mentioned in anti-piracy circles, but today they are on the top of the enforcement list. The MPAA is reporting these concerns to lawmakers, to see whether they can be of assistance in curbing this growing threat.

Some of the lobbying topics

It’s clear that pirate streaming players are a prime concern for Hollywood. MPA boss Stan McCoy recently characterized the use of these devices as “Piracy 3.0” and a coalition of industry players sued a US-based seller of streaming boxes earlier this month.

The lobbying efforts themselves are nothing new of course. Every year the MPAA spends around $4 million to influence the decisions of lawmakers, both directly and through external lobbying firms such as Covington & Burling, Capitol Tax Partners, and Sentinel Worldwide.

While piracy streaming boxes are new on the agenda this year, they are not the only topics under discussion. Other items include trade deals such as the TPP, TTIP, and NAFTA, voluntary domain name initiatives, EU digital single market proposals, and cybersecurity.

TorrentFreak reached out to the MPAA for more information on the streaming box lobbying efforts, but we have yet to hear back.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons