WHAT IF: Hermione made Harry and Ron do their own goddamned homework?

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Anyone who's paid close attention knows that the series should really be called "Hermoine Granger and the Repeated Rescue of the Lazy, Glory-Hogging Boys," but as usual, Mallory Ortberg (previously) brings it all home with some scathing and witty fanfic: Read the rest

ORG celebrates its tenth birthday: a decade of UK digital rights!


It's been ten years since Danny O'Brien, Suw Charman and I announced the formation of the UK Open Rights Group at the 2005 Open Tech conference and asked the assembled people to pledge to pay £5/month to help fund a UK-based digital rights group that would fight for their rights online -- and everywhere. Read the rest

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls

Remember the Sherlock Holmes case where the Conan Doyle Estate was shaking everyone down for sub-litigation payoffs and asserting claims over Holmes (despite serious copyright scholars all saying they had no right to do so) until Les Klinger stuck to his guns?

Now it’s happening again, with some minor variations, only this time the weapon of choice is Buck Rogers.

Titanic victory for fair use: appeals court says Google's book-scanning is legal

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just dropped a bombshell, ruling against the Authors Guild in its bid to force Google to stop scanning books and making them searchable.

Star Trek hand-towels


Elizabeth Dean's Etsy store has these great, $12 Star Trek: TOS hand-towels in Science Blue, Command Yellow and, of course, Expendable Security Red (also available in TNG). Read the rest

Fury Road as a vintage run-and-gun side-scroller

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8-Bit Cinema's vision of Mad Max: Fury Road as a vintage Sunset Riders-style side-scroller looks like possibly the greatest game ever. It's a good thing that this wasn't a) real b) 25 years ago, or I'd have taken ten years to get out of high-school instead of seven.

Mad Max: Fury Road - 8 Bit Cinema

(via Kotaku) Read the rest

Amazing, surreal science fiction photo-collages


Good photo-collages are pretty easy to make, just contrasting things in ways that are quirky and eye-catching. But great photo-collages are hard, and when they work: woah. Read the rest

SRSLY, they want to put DRM in JPEGs


The Joint Photographic Expert Group, which oversees the JPEG format, met in Brussels today to discuss adding DRM to its format, so that there would be images that would be able to force your computer to stop you from uploading pictures to Pintrest or social media. Read the rest

Star Wars and Avengers collar clips


Collar Clips from Migardian Treasure in Gravesend, England makes collar clips in a variety of pop-culture motifs, some obvious and some very subtle indeed: Captain America shields, Captain America stars, Hawkeye and Hydra vs SHIELD; Boba Fett, Vader and Stormtroopers (also available as brooches and earrings). Read the rest

Leaked (final?) TPP Intellectual Property chapter spells doom for free speech online

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Wikileaks has published a leaked draft -- dated Oct, 5, and thus possibly the final text -- of the "Intellectual Property Chapter" of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and it's grim reading. Read the rest

Court tells millionaire yoga troll Bikram Choudhury that poses can't be copyrighted


Bikram Choudhury, the millionaire accused serial rapist who popularized hot yoga in America, sued other hot yoga studios in 2003, including "open source yoga" practicioners, asserting that he held a copyright over the sequence of poses conducted in his class. Read the rest

It's been ten years since Sony Music infected the world with its rootkit


Oct 31 2005: Security researcher Mark Russinovich blows the whistle on Sony-BMG, whose latest "audio CDs" were actually multi-session data-discs, deliberately designed to covertly infect Windows computers when inserted into their optical drives. Read the rest

T-shirt: Bugs and Gossamer as Han and Chewy

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Deep Fried Art's t-shirt "Scoundrels" ($20 with shipping) depicts Gossamer (the Looney Toons monster) and Bugs as Han and Chewbacca: "I wonder what their ship would look like? The Millenium Carrot??" Read the rest

Algorithmic guilt: defendants must be able to inspect source code in forensic devices


Some day, you may be the defendant in a criminal trial that turns on whether the software in a forensic device reached a reliable conclusion about a DNA test or other piece of evidence. Wouldn't you like to have your own experts check the source code on that device? Read the rest

NZ government leaks on TPP: copyright terms will go to life plus 70 years


An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday's conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA's bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms. Read the rest

What's the objectively optimal copyright term?


Tim Harford, the Financial Times's Undercover Economist, writes about the Happy Birthday to You court case, which finally settled the question of whether the familiar birthday song was still in copyright (it isn't) and uses that as a springboard to ask the question: how long should copyright last? Read the rest

Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, the real fight starts


For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a "trade deal" that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world's biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty. Read the rest

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