The UK government has abandoned its plan to establish a copyright-based national firewall that media executives could use to block websites to which they objected. The proposal for a UK Great Firewall was part of the Digital Economy Act, but the expert reviews conducted by Professor Ian Hargreaves and the regulator Ofcom both advised against it. UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has, therefore, nixed the idea, which means that entertainment companies will actually have to win court injunctions ordering ISPs to block sites -- still scary, but at least there's some due process there.
Meanwhile Cable has also announced that the government will include a parody copyright exemption in our fair dealing laws (until now, it's been illegal to reproduce copyrighted works for parodical purpose), a relaxing of the rules on format-shifting, and a rights clearninghouse to make it easier to license works for lawful use. A rare moment of common sense in UK copyright policy!
UK Government Abandons File-Sharing Website Blocking Plans
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It’s the International Day Against DRM, and in honor of the day, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Parker Higgins has written an excellent post explaining why we can’t live with DRM, even on media that you “rent” rather than buying (streaming services like Spotify, Netflix, etc).
White hat hackers get paid to find holes in their own employers’ online systems, and plug those holes before they become serious security risks. It’s a job that pays handsomely…mostly because few job candidates, even experienced IT professionals, have the skills to scamper over firewalls and infiltrate the deepest recesses of a battle-tested network. But […]
Why buy one of those expensive and confusing universal remotes, clogged with enough buttons to launch a space shuttle, when you could accomplish the same electronic control right on your favorite mobile device? The Blumoo Universal Remote, now just $52.99 in the Boing Boing Store, harnesses the audio power of all your household equipment right […]
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]