Canadian judge: No warrant needed to see ISP logs

13 02 2009


Your activities on the Internet are akin to your activities out in public—they’re not private and are possibly open for police scrutiny, according to an Ontario Superior Court. The ruling was made by Justice Lynne Leitch on—surprise!—a child pornography case. The judge said that there’s “no reasonable expectation of privacy” when it comes to logs kept by ISPs. Canadians, watch out, because everything you do online could soon be turned into legal fodder, even without a warrant.

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Music copyright to be extended to 95 years in the EU

13 02 2009

Bad news for copyleftists. The measure still needs ratification from the European Parliament and member states, but 95-year copyright terms in recordings look increasingly likely. A plenary vote will take place on 24–26 March. The Greens, at least, intend to vote against.

The Times have claimed this as a victory for musicians as go-ahead given for copyright to be extended to 95 years. But the pensions of Cliff Richard and Feargal Sharkey are hardly the whole story.

Here is Andrew Gowers in December explaining, once again, that “copyright extension has high costs to the public and negligible benefits for the creative community”:

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Copyright is for losers* or What’s yours & mine is ours

12 02 2009

By Rupert Grey

On the way over here I read the obituary of Francoise Demulder.  Some of you will remember that she was the first woman to win the World Press Photo of the year Award in 1977. The photograph was topical enough – Palestinians in Beirut. She was one of the stars of the Paris – based agencies which made France the centre of world photo-journalism during the last years of the golden age of European and US photographic magazines. Like many photographers here in the sub- continent/Bangladesh she felt “compelled to document how it always was the innocent who suffered while the powerful get richer and richer”. Like a lot of photographers here she was an artist, and she bore witness to the times during which she lived.

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Germany says “nein” to three-strikes infringement plan

6 02 2009

While some countries are eager to implement a “three strikes” Internet piracy law, others are slowly backing away into the dugout. German lawmakers sat down privately with ISPs to talk about a proposed P2P policy that would take repeat filesharing offenders offline, but both sides have agreed that the policy’s methods would be at odds with the country’s privacy laws.

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ACTA draft leaks: nonprofit P2P faces criminal penalties

4 02 2009

It’s becoming clear that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is not, as backers have  suggested, just a minor tuneup to worldwide intellectual property law, one done for the purpose of cracking down on fake DVD imports or Coach handbag ripoffs.

Such a law—one that amounted essentially to some streamlining and coordination in the fight against actual pirates—might well be hashed out between nations operating in secret. But a treaty that seeks to apply criminal penalties to peer-to-peer file-sharing? Let’s open a window and let the sunlight in.

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Google privacy trial opens in Milan

4 02 2009

Computerworld

Case called a ‘test’ of Internet privacy laws

February 3, 2009 (IDG News Service) ROME — The trial of four Google Inc. executives charged with privacy violations opened in Milan today in a groundbreaking test of European Internet law.

The Google executives are accused of defamation and failure to exercise control over personal data following the posting of a cell-phone video showing a teenage boy with Down Syndrome being harassed by four classmates.

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Kiwis get strict copyright, three-strikes law at month’s end

3 02 2009

“It is a strange fate we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing,” says Boromir in the recent movie adaptation of the Lord of the Rings. The scene, shot in New Zealand, might pop into the minds of many Kiwis these days, as one tiny legislative change to copyright law is poised to bring “graduated response” (or “three strikes”) rules to the country. And disconnection of users isn’t just on the table—it’s mandatory.

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What’s Going on Between the Government and the British Music Industry?

28 01 2009

Most readers will be aware of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between leading UK ISPs and the UK music industry body the BPI, with the government and Ofcom effectively acting as mediators. The MOU focuses on pursuing co-regulatory solutions, including a trial in which ISPs send letters to file sharers. There’s been lots of vociferous debate about how far government involvement should go, and whether the UK should ultimately end up with a ‘Three Strikes’ policy whereby repeat serial offenders get their broadband disconnected.

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British Government will not introduce laws about ‘piracy’

28 01 2009

Every now and then a politician does something sensible. The UK’s Intellectual Property minister David Lammy has announced that the Government will not force internet service providers to pursue file sharers.

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China’s WTO Cooperation

27 01 2009

Hot on the heels of Taiwan being removed from the US’ list of countries in violation of IP laws, China has recently been cited by the World Trade Organization for breaching its obligations to protect international Intellectual Property.

The US wanted the WTO to fine China for failing to prosecute pirates, but the organization did not follow through with this recommendation.

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