law

  • Germany Passes New Internet Copyright Law After Watering It Down To Spare Google From Having To Pay

    Germany Passes New Internet Copyright Law After Watering It Down To Spare Google From Having To Pay

    The German Bundestag passed an addendum to the country’s copyright laws earlier today, the so-called “Leistungsschutzrecht,” that allows publishers to charge aggregators and search engines for the content they index and re-publish on their sites and in their apps. Read More

  • Keen On...Could WCIT Really Mean the End of the Internet?

    Keen On… WCIT: Is This The End Of The Internet? [TCTV]

    Today, the dark day Syria shut down its Internet, web freedom should be at the very forefront of all of our minds. Web freedom was also center stage earlier this week when Stanford Law School hosted an event called “Sticky WCIT: Is This The End Of The Internet.” I asked several of the experts attending the event whether a WCIT meeting next week in Dubai might be a big threat to… Read More

  • SnapTerms: Terms Of Service As A Service

    SnapTerms: Terms Of Service As A Service

    You might not think that something like a website’s Terms of Service would be all that interesting, but you’d be wrong. After that post about how awesome 500px’s Terms of Service are (tl;dr: they translate them into human speak), the inbox kind of blew up with questions. Is anyone else doing this?, emailers wanted to know, can I talk to them? (Also: hey, stupid, Aviary has… Read More

  • 500px’s Terms Of Service Are Kind Of Awesome

    500px’s Terms Of Service Are Kind Of Awesome

    Your access to and use of the Site may be interrupted from time to time as a result of equipment malfunction, updating, maintenance or repair of the Site or any other reason within or outside the control of the company. The company reserves the right to suspend or discontinue the availability of the Site and/or any Service and/or remove any Content at any time at its sole discretion and… Read More

  • Facebook Threatens To Sue TechCrunch Commenter

    Facebook Threatens To Sue TechCrunch Commenter

    Last year, Alexia covered a funny Chrome web browser extension called “Defaceable” that allowed you to comment anonymously on Facebook and on other websites using Facebook Comments. Instead of having to associate your comment with your real name and identity, the Defaceable extension let you once again post your troll-isms to friends’ walls and blogs like TechCrunch (which… Read More

  • House Shoots Down Legislation That Would Have Stopped Employers From Demanding Your Facebook Password

    House Shoots Down Legislation That Would Have Stopped Employers From Demanding Your Facebook Password

    Well, that didn’t take long. A proposed Facebook user protection amendment introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives has already been shot down. The legislation, offered by Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter, would have added new restrictions to FCC rules that would have prohibited employers from demanding workers’ social networking usernames and passwords. The… Read More

  • Scribd Protests SOPA By Making A Billion Pages On The Web Disappear

    Scribd Protests SOPA By Making A Billion Pages On The Web Disappear

    The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is delayed in Congress, but it is definitely not dead. The media company lobbyists and their Congressmen (hello, Lamar Smith!) are simply regrouping. Some of the more controversial aspects of the bill include transferring liability for copyright infringement to sites that host user-generated content and blocking that content via DNS servers. To highlight… Read More

  • EU Court's Advocate General: Internet Filtering May Conflict With Charter Of Fundamental Rights

    The Advocate General of the European Union Court of Justice, Cruz Villalón, says that national courts there should not have the ability to tell Internet Service Providers to filter their connections in order to prevent copyright infringement because such a move would conflict with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. That was a mouthful, yes. It should be noted that the Advocate… Read More

  • Congressman Proposes New Warning Label For Violent Video Games

    How many of you have played “violent video games” since you were a wee pup? I certainly have, and you don’t see me stealing cars or robbing banks, do you? Exactly. The most violent I get is when I boo the TV when stupid Manchester United improbably comes back against the most entertaining team in England, Blackpool. I bring this up because a congressman from California… Read More

  • California Can Now Search Arrestee's Mobile Phones Without A Warrant

    Good news: the state of California can now seize and search your cellphone without a warrant. The new regime will only affect people who have already been arrested, so it’s not as if police officers will be able to search your cellphone at routine traffic stops. But still: yeah, it’s sorta lame. In 2011, even more of your rights will be chipped away. Read More

  • The Supreme Court Punts On Business Method Patents

    The Supreme Court Punts On Business Method Patents

    Amazon and other holders of business method patents can breathe easy for now. (One of the most famous business method patents is Amazon’s One-Click shopping cart patent). In a ruling today, the Supreme Court basically punted on whether or not business method patents, in general, should be upheld. Instead, it ruled narrowly on the business method patent in question in the case, Bilski v. Read More

  • Relax: President Obama will not flip an Internet kill switch

    Part of me wishes President Obama would flip that so-called “Internet kill switch.” Imagine: a world without the Internet! That would be grand, indeed. But let’s not indulge in fantasies: there is no such kill switch. Well, there is, but it’s not as if the president is going to say, “I disagree with Nicholas’ opinion of anti-virus protection, I’m going… Read More

  • We're doomed: The U.S. Supreme Court doesn't know the difference between text messages and pagers

    So this is either great or dumb, and I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind. The Supreme Court is currently hearing a sexting case, in which police officers have sued their sergeant for reading sexually explicit messages that were supposed to be privately read amongst themselves. The question is, did the sergeant violate the officers’ privacy by reading the messages? It… Read More

  • Should we even bother going after cyber-criminals?

    At what point do you stop trying to track and prosecute cyber-criminals? Obviously, you can’t let criminals run around willy-nilly, but when you look at the resources involved in bringing those guys to justice—and are you really nabbing the right guys in the first place?—it’s worth at least talking about. Is fighting cyber-crime about as futile as fighting the war on drugs? Read More

  • Outrage: School accused of using laptop to take photos of student at his home without his knowledge

    It’s the start of yet another lazy Saturday, so let’s make things a little more interesting with a side dish of outrage. A 15-year-old student in Pennsylvania has accused his high school of spying on him using a school-supplied MacBook. The school had accused the boy “inappropriate behavior” that it found him engaged in via the built-in Webcam. Lawsuits are flying, as… Read More

  • Should mobile phones be subject to warrantless police search?

    At what point do you consider something “unreasonable”? Let’s say you’re pulled over while speeding—do the police have the right to search your mobile phone? And let’s say they do, and they find other verboten material on the phone? Should you also be on the hook for that, on top of your speeding ticket? It’s a pretty important debate, and it’s… Read More

  • Judge: RealDVD is totally illegal as per the DMCA

    Yesterday, August 11, wasn’t just Joe Rogan’s birthday. Nope, it was also the date when a judge in San Francisco ruled that RealDVD was illegal, and reiterated that it was illegal to manufacture or traffic software that makes it possible to copy DVDs. So, every time you fire up DVD Copier on your PC, make a copy of a DVD that you bought, well, you’re breaking the law. The… Read More

  • Greek Bloggers to give up anonymity? Not without a fight

    Back in 2004, one of the most well known members of the English House of Lords, Baroness Hale, stated that it is always difficult for the courts to make balanced judgements when more than one fundamental Human Right is in play. It seems, however, that today there are still people who cannot accept that in the era of social media and the Web the Law as applied by some European governments… Read More

  • French National Assembly rejects anti-piracy law (for now)

    Another day, another twist in that proposed French anti-piracy law. While the French upper house, the Senate, approved the bill as it was presented earlier today, the lower house, the National Assembly, rejected it. Oh don’t worry, since the Government said it will present a revised edition of the bill that would remove the main clause that upset the National Assembly. Read More

  • Utah's anti-video game bill has Jack Thompson written all over it

    Have any of you guys been following this anti-video game/movie bill that’s currently bouncing around Utah’s legislature? It’s gotten attention for a few reasons, one of which is because the original version of the bill—it has since been amended—was either written by or conceived by (depending on to whom you talk) famous video game hater (and disbarred lawyer)… Read More