Tim Jones of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good commentary on the news that the MPAA has asked Obama to spy on the entire Internet, and to establish a system where being accused
of copyright infringement would result in loss of your Internet connection (and your VoIP line, your access to your university, your lifeline to your parents in the old country, your means of participating in civic life, your means of fighting your parking ticket, etc etc etc). The MPAA also wants Obama to lean on other countries (notably Canada!) and force them to adopt US copyright laws.
Here, the MPAA is advocating for a number of things, the most problematic of which is a "three strikes" internet termination policy. This would require ISPs to terminate customers' internet accounts upon a rights-holder's repeat allegation of copyright ingfringement. This could be done potentially without any due process or judicial review. A three-strikes policy was recently adopted by legislation in France, where all ISPs are now banned from providing blacklisted citizens with internet access for up to one year.
MPAA Asks Obama for More Copyright Surveillance of the Internet
Because three-strikes policies do not guarantee due process or judicial oversight of whether the accusations of copyright infringement are valid, they effectively grant the content industry the ability to exile any individual they want from the internet. Lest we forget, there is a history of innocents getting caught up in these anti-piracy dragnets. (Copyfighter Cory Doctorow has wondered what would happen if the MPAA's erroneous notices were subject to a similar three-strikes law.)
Thankfully, members of the European Parliament vehemently rejected these measures, resolving that "The cut of Internet access is a disproportionate measure regarding the objectives. It is a sanction with powerful effects, which could have profound repercussions in a society where access to the Internet is an imperative right for social inclusion." Let's hope the US government's decisions on this are as wise.
We’ve followed Annalee Newitz’s career here for more than a decade, from her science writing fellowship to her work as an EFF staffer to her founding of IO9 and her move to Ars Technica and the 2013 publication of her first book, nonfiction guidance on surviving the end of the world and rebooting civilization: now, I’m pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from Autonomous, her debut novel, which Tor will publish in September 2017, along with the first look at her cover, designed by the incomparable Will Staehle. As her editor, Liz Gorinsky, notes, “Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee’s well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that’s accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart.” I’m three quarters of the way through an early copy, and I heartily agree.
Nintendo’s nostalgic instant sellout NES Classic (still available from scalpers) only comes with 30 games and no way to add more: but it only took two months from the announcement date for intrepid hackers to jailbreak the device and come up with a way to load your favorite ROMs, using a USB cable and a PC.
The $38 Millennium Falcon wall clock is handmade to order from plywood, birch and MDF by Hamstercheeks in Nottingham, UK, who uses a laser-cutter to turn orders around in 2-5 business days (the clock itself is an AA-powered quartz sweep movement). (via Geekymerch)
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