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[News] Telecoms and MAFIAA Attack the Internet's Openness

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EU looks into telecoms blocking Internet calls

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| European Union regulators are looking into whether mobile phone operators who 
| block customers from making inexpensive wireless calls over the Internet are 
| breaking competition rules.  
| The European Commission, the EU antitrust authority, has sent questionnaires 
| to phone companies asking what "tools" they use to "control, manage, block, 
| slow down or otherwise restrict or filter" Internet-based voice calls.  


Napster judge proposes a soviet internet

,----[ Quote ]
| Judge Miriam Hall Patel, who presided over the case that killed off original 
| Napster, is proposing that "Manufacturers and developers would need approval 
| from this body before introducing an application or device capable of 
| recording, distributing or copying music to consumers. The body would include 
| technology experts to aid in making those decisions quickly -- Patel 
| described this as "sort of like the FDA, but much faster."".     


Lessig on Culture and Change



DMCA Week, Part I: How the DMCA Was Born

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| Thirdly, and most importantly, the globalized birth of the DMCA provides a
| cautionary tale for the future. The currently proposed ACTA
| (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), is a next-generation treaty that would
| cover online piracy, among other matters. Its exact contents are under
| wraps--the public outcry and litigation that have surrounded the measure stem
| mostly from a leaked memo outlining possible principles for inclusion in the
| treaty. Proposals include creating or strengthening penalties for those who
| promote infringement non-commercially, and enhanced ability to seize and
| destroy infringing media at international borders. Absent the text of a
| proposed agreement, it's hard to respond in detail to ACTA. But if the
| genesis of the DMCA teaches us anything, it is that these international
| agreements deserve close scrutiny. When an agreement is created in opaque,
| closed-door negotiations, and then presented to the legislature as a fait
| accompli, it deserves close and skeptical scrutiny.


Harvard professor challenges RIAA anti-piracy campaign

,----[ Quote ]
| A Harvard law professor has opened a new front in the battle between the
| Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and alleged music pirates by
| challenging the constitutionality of a statute being used by the industry
| group to bring lawsuits against alleged copyright violators.


750,000 lost jobs? The dodgy digits behind the war on piracy

,----[ Quote ]
| First, the estimate of 750,000 jobs lost. (Is that supposed to be per year? A
| cumulative total over some undefined span? Those who cite the figure seldom
| say.) Customs is most often given as the source for this, and indeed, you can
| find press releases from as recently as 2002 giving that figure as a U.S.
| Customs and Border Patrol estimate. Eureka! But when we contacted CBP to
| determine how they had arrived at that imposing figure, we were informed that
| it was, in essence, a goof. The figure, Customs assured us, came from
| somewhere else, and was mistakenly described as the agency's own. This should
| come as no great surprise: CBP is an enforcement agency, whereas calculating
| the total loss of jobs from IP infringement would require some terrifyingly
| complex counterfactual modeling by trained economists. Similar claims have
| appeared in Customs releases dating back at least to 1993, but a CBP
| spokesperson assured us that the agency has never been in the business of
| developing such estimates in-house.


Judge halts sales of RealDVD

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| Representatives from the MPAA and RealNetworks could not be reached Sunday.


Music stars unite to seek control

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| UK pop and rock stars are taking action to try to gain ownership and control
| of their work from record labels.


US presidential candidate is a pirate

,----[ Quote ]
| THE PRESUMED Republican US presidential candidate John McCain favours
| draconian copyright enforcement, except when his own election campaign uses
| other people's music.

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