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2010: Jan-March

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27th February   

Freely Available...

Microsoft aborts attempt to block their guide for snitching to the police
Link Here

Microsoft has rescinded the copyright complaint that resulted in the shutdown of the long-standing whistleblower website, Cryptome.org, after it published Redmond's spy guide for law enforcement.

The company said it has asked Cryptome's ISP, Network Solutions, that the website be restored and that it no longer wants the offending document to be killed.

On Wednesday, Cryptome hosted a 22-page PDF that outlines what information Microsoft gathers about its users and what can be handed over to authorities if required.

Microsoft lawyers swung the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) in an attempt to force Cryptome to pull the document. When it refused to take action, Microsoft complained to Network Solutions, which not only closed the website, but placed a lock on the Cryptome.org domain to keep it closed.

Network Solutions confirmed it has received the withdrawal notification and has restored access to the website.

 

15th February   

No Copyright on the Idea of a Task Force...

Sweden copies US idea to set up Task Force on IP rights
Link Here

USA

US Attorney General Eric Holder Friday gas announced the creation of a Justice Department Task Force on Intellectual Property as part of a new initiative to tackle piracy. The rise in intellectual property crime in the United States and abroad threatens not only our public safety but also our economic well being, Holder said in a statement. The Department of Justice must confront this threat with a strong and coordinated response with federal, state and international partners.

The task force's focus will include issues of piracy that concern Hollywood, as well as issues that affect software companies, such as security and privacy.

It will include representatives from various Justice Department offices, including the FBI and the executive office for U.S. attorneys. It also will work with federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Communications Commission.

Sweden

Based on article from torrentfreak.com

Swedish police and prosecutors are heading up a new specialist team of investigators to deal with infringements. Team members will be designated their own areas but will also be able to operate nationally.

In the spring a new task force will go into operation dealing with file-sharing and other intellectual property violations.

The new unit will consist of nine specially trained investigators forming three groups operating out of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malm? working under Paul Pinter, Stockholm County Police's National Coordinator in the Intellectual Property Crime division.

The team will also consist of two prosecutors, Frederick Ingblad and Henrik Rasmusson who were both involved in the nine recent raids against Direct Connect users.

 

14th February   

Update: Pirate Bay to Continue Unblocked...

Norwegian court refuses music industry appeal
Link Here
Full story: Pirate Party...The Pirate Party starts up arund the world

A Norwegian court has rejected a record industry appeal against telecoms operator Telenor for refusing to block access to popular file sharing website The Pirate Bay, a plaintiff has said.

The Oslo court of appeal said that it is not currently possible, under Norwegian law, for a judge to order an Internet service provider to halt traffic to websites from which illegal downloading happens.

In the spirit of the law on intellectual property, Telenor does not contribute to behaviour that is reprehensible or could be subject to awarding compensation by letting its customers access The Pirate Bay.

Before the case was first heard in November last year, Telenor argued that it refused to implement what it called censorship: You cannot sue a ladder manufacturer because someone used one of his ladders to commit a burglary, Atle Lessum, a spokesman for Telenor, told the newspaper Verdens Gang before the hearing.

 

14th February

 Offsite: Take Down First, Ask Questions Later...

Link Here
Google shuts down music blogs without warning

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

10th February   

Update: Broadside Blocked...

Pirate Bay set to be re-blocked by Italian ISPs
Link Here
Full story: Pirate Party...The Pirate Party starts up arund the world

Following a lengthy legal procedure the Court of Bergamo has once again ruled that Italian ISPs have to censor their networks and prevent customer access to The Pirate Bay.

 Millions of Italian Internet users will be denied access to the popular torrent site in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement.

The Pirate Bay was first censored in Italy in the summer of 2008, when ISPs were ordered to prevent millions of Italians from accessing the world's largest BitTorrent tracker.

The Pirate Bay chose to appeal the decision and eventually won the court case. The Court of Bergamo ruled that no foreign website can be censored for alleged copyright infringement and the block was lifted temporarily as the case was appealed once again.

A few weeks ago the Supreme Court reviewed the case and ruled that ISPs can be forced to block BitTorrent sites, even if they are not hosted in Italy or operated by Italian citizens. According to the decision by the Supreme Court, sites offering torrent files that link to copyrighted material are engaging in criminal activity.

This week the case once again appeared before the Court of Bergamo where it was decided that all Italian ISPs will have to deny their customers access to The Pirate Bay.

According to their lawyers The Pirate Bay is still considering whether to appeal this decision or not. Aside from appealing to the Supreme Court, the Pirate Bay's legal team is also considering bringing the case before the European Court of Justice.

 

7th February   

Sharing Responsibility...

Australian court finds ISP to be not responsible for file sharing customers
Link Here

In the first case of its kind, an Australian court has ruled that an internet service provider cannot be responsible for illegal downloading.

iiNet, Australia's third largest ISP, was taken to court by a group of 34 movie production houses.

The group included the Australian divisions of Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox.

They claimed that iiNet was guilty of copyright infringement for not preventing illegal downloads of films.

The movie group hired investigators to track the numbers of iiNet customers using BitTorrents to illegally download movies.

They wanted iiNet to warn the offenders and then cut them off if they continued to download. The group also wanted certain websites to be blocked by the ISP.

However, the judge ruled iiNet was not responsible for the online behaviour of its customers.

I find that the mere provision of access to the internet is not the 'means' of infringement, said Federal Court Justice Dennis Cowdroy: If the ISPs become responsible for the acts of their customers, essentially they become this giant and very cheap mechanism for anyone with any sort of legal claim.

 

25th January

 Offsite: A lesson from McLibel...

Link Here
Full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
Corporations should be open to uninhibited public scrutiny and criticism

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

16th January   

Naughty Children...

Children not much bothered about copyright ethics
Link Here

Nearly a third of children aged six to 14 admit regularly watching programmes illegally, either by streaming them to a television or downloading them, a survey published yesterday found.

Shows like Glee, Heroes, Lost and House can be downloaded from the internet and played back on a television or computer hours after they are broadcast in the United States. 16% of the 4,347 children surveyed also said they download pirated films before they are released.

We were incredibly surprised by how young these children are for six-year-olds to be downloading is astonishing, said Justin Pearse, editor of in New Media Age magazine, which commissioned the survey: Copyright and legality don't seem to be a barrier for kids if they want to see something before it's on TV or DVD, they'll just get it online .

 

11th January   

Judicial Censorship...

Spain proposes law to allow the government to ban sharing websites
Link Here

A new Internet law to curb piracy was proposed by the Spanish government according to which judges will have the power to ban websites that offer downloads of movies, music and other forms of entertainment illegally.

Speaking at a news conference, Justice Minister Francisco Caamano said that a judge's order was necessary for this decision to be taken quickly within four days after all sides have been heard. The new draft, however, needs an approval by the parliament before it is brought into effect.

When the law was initially proposed in November, a judge's order was not necessary and websites offering illegal downloads could be blocked or shut down by a new regulatory body. This was met by protests from Internet users and bloggers who said that the government could use the law to censor content on websites.

Thousands of people had signed a manifesto opposing the draft law, and Prime Minister Jose Louis Rodriguez Zapatero had assured that a modified version of the draft law would be introduced by the government which would take care of all these matters.

 

6th January   

Updated: Torrents of New Laws...

French 3 strikes internet law comes into force
Link Here
Full story: International 3 Strikes Laws...File sharers threatened with loss of internet access

The first effects of France's new law against internet piracy will begin to be felt as the new year begins.

Illegal downloaders will be sent a warning e-mail, then a letter if they continue, and finally must appear before a judge if they offend again.

The judge can impose a fine, or suspend their access to the internet.

The Creation and Internet Bill set up a new state agency - the Higher Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (Hadopi).

The law was backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy and the entertainment industry.

Update: Constitutional Delay

6th January 2010. Based on article from gamepolitics.com

France's controversial three-strikes law aimed at taking down illegal downloaders appears to have suffered a delay while the government seeks mandatory approval of the law from an independent authority.

France needs an opinion from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) to enact the law writes Paid Content. So far, CNIL has chosen not to issue a decree, reports La Tribune, thus effectively blocking the implementation of the law, which was scheduled to be put into motion this month.

This could mean a delay of three months until the law, also known as the Hadopi Law, is enacted.


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