Copyright extortion startup wants to hijack your browser until you pay

Rightscorp, the extortion-based startup whose business-model is blackmailing Internet users over unproven accusations of infringement, made record revenues last quarter, thanks to cowardly ISPs who agreed to lock 75,000 users out of the Web until they sent Rightscorp $20-$500 in protection money.

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A prison visit with The Pirate Bay's Peter "brokep" Sunde


Julia Reda, a German Pirate Party MEP, was allowed to visit Sunde in a Swedish prison, and came away with a sad and important report on his tenure there, and his views on the future of the Internet and copyright.

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Fictional products don't violate trademark laws


The makers of Clean Slate, a drive-wiping program, sued Warner over a fictional product with the same name in The Dark Knight Rises; the judge quite sensibly told them that trademark protects you from unfair competition -- it doesn't let you own words.

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NES kleenex box


The NES tissue box is $25 from Toronto's K8bithero, who combines textiles, nerdery and housewares to brilliant effect. (via Geekymerch)

Libraries can't afford to ignore Itunes' awful licensing terms

Jessamyn writes, "Itunes-only music is licensed for personal use. This does not include libraries' ability to offer it for lending. Kevin Smith, Duke University's Scholarly Communications Officer, outlines the real problems libraries encounter when trying to obtain legal access to digital-only files that have restrictive licensing."

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Biology student in Colombia faces jail for reposting scholarly article


Colombia's draconian copyright law (passed after US pressure) provides for prison sentences for simple copyright infringement; Diego Gomez, a biodiversity conservation Master's candidate at University of Quindío shared a paper related to his fieldwork, and the paper's author has brought a prosecution against him.

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NZ TV won't air ads for geo-unblocking ISP

Callum writes, "A New Zealand ISP has had its TV ads rejected by multiple NZ TV Networks (there are three in total, bless) citing a possible 'breach of copyright'."

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What's original? Cloning games versus making games


Raph "Theory of Fun" Koster has a wonderful, readable, theory-rich article that helps unpick the discussion about when a game is a clone of another game, when it's a skin, when it's a variant, and when it's a new game.

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Comixology adds DRM-free option! Excelsior!

Unlike some of its stablemates, the Amazon-owned comics platform is to allow authors and publishers to distribute their work without the shackles of proprietary rights-management, writes Cory Doctorow

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DRM-free indie ebooks outsell DRM-locked ones 2:1


Author Earnings has published its latest eye-popping data-analysis of ebook sales and rankings on Amazon.

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Yet another Ikea fan-site threatened by the company


It's not just Ikeahackers: Ikea has gone all-out war on its web-fans.

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Senate passes phone unlocking bill


The Senate has approved a bill (which already passed in the House) that makes it legal for you to unlock the phones you own so you can choose which carrier you use.

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Economist examines empirical evidence of file-sharing on box-office revenue

A paper from University of Kansas economist Koleman Strumpf (whose work we've featured here for years) empirically examines the impact of file-sharing on box-office revenues.

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EFF releases high-resolution photo of NSA's Utah data-center


One particularly welcome dividend from the blimp flight over the NSA data-center in Bluffdale, Utah is a much-needed piece of stock art.

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Disneyland rarities and Imagineering goodies to 3D print


Grant Fowler, an Imagineering enthusiast, has a marvellous Thingiverse account full of fascinating historical Disneyland items to download and print.