Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine kicks off tour to fight the TPP

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Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive, secretive deal that poses a serious threat to human rights, the environment, and your Internet freedom. But one of the biggest problems with it is that too many people still don't know what it is or why it's so dangerous." Read the rest

Recreating a classic Moebius comic with Peanuts characters

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Jesse Orion writes, "This is Jean 'Moebius' Giraud's '40 Days in the Desert B' recreated page by page with characters from Charles Schulz' 'Peanuts'!" Read the rest

Europeans: you can save the right to take pictures in public!

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Some EU countries' copyright laws allow rightsholders to make claims against street photographers who capture potentially copyrighted works, from the facades of buildings to public art. The EU's plan to harmonize a "right of panorama" (previously) would protect those of us who document the public world and upload our images to public places, from social media to Wikipedia to news-sites. Read the rest

You are not a wallet: complaining considered helpful

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My new Guardian column, It's your duty to complain – that's how companies improve, is a rebuttal to those who greet public complaints about businesses' actions with, "Well, just don't buy from them, then." Read the rest

Canada Post drops legal claim over crowdsourced postal code database

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Canada Post claimed a "crown copyright" over the postal codes assigned to Canadian homes, meaning that Canadian organisations and businesses could only use this vital information if they paid -- that is, they'd have to pay to access something their taxes already paid for, and the richer you were, the more access you could afford. Read the rest

Deep learning AI "autoencodes" Blade Runner, recreates it so faithfully it gets a takedown notice

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Artist and researcher Terence Broad is working on his master's at Goldsmith's computing department; his dissertation involved training neural networks to "autoencode" movies they've been fed. Read the rest

Class action: publishers paid writers "sale" royalties on ebooks whose fine-print says they're "licensed"

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When you sign a publishing deal, the contract spells out different royalty rates for different kinds of commercial activity; you get so much every time a copy is sold, and significantly more from every licensing deal for the book. Read the rest

How security and privacy pros can help save the web from legal threats over vulnerability disclosure

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I have a new op-ed in today's Privacy Tech, the in-house organ of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, about the risks to security and privacy from the World Wide Web Consortium's DRM project, and how privacy and security pros can help protect people who discover vulnerabilities in browsers from legal aggression. Read the rest

US Patent and Trademark Office refuses to issue "Drumpf" trademark

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When John Oliver revealed that Donald Trump's family name had been changed from "Drumpf" and called on America to #makedonalddrumpfagain, it provided a handy hook for a way of talking about the orange one's micron-thick layer of slickness and the everyday rot within it. Read the rest

Why 3D scans aren't copyrightable

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Something that baffles laypeople about copyright is what is, and is not, copyrightable; US law and international treaties protect the creative part of copyright, but not the labor part of copyright: merely working hard ("the sweat of the brow") on something isn't enough to give rise to a new copyright, but even a trivial amount of creative work is. So copying out the phone book gives you no copyright, even if it takes you all year, doesn't make it copyrightable. But writing a single haiku does. Read the rest

The MPAA lobbyist who wrote SOPA will help draft the Democratic Party platform

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"Hollywood" Howard Berman, former-Congressman-turned-MPAA-lobbyist is one of the 15-member panel selected by the Democratic Party establishment to draft the party's platform for this summer's convention. Read the rest

German court hands Kraftwerk its ass, rules sampling is legal

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Today, Kraftwerk lost its vindictive, 19-year-long copyright suit against Sabrina Setlur, whose 1997 song "Nur mir" looped a drum sequence from Kraftwerk's 1977 "Metall auf Metall." Read the rest

Jury hands Oracle its ass, says Google doesn't owe it a penny for Java

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When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, they acquired Java, Sun's popular programming language, pitched from its inception as an open standard for the networked computer. Read the rest

FBI is investigating copyright trolls Prenda Law for fraud

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For more than four years, we've been writing about Prenda Law, a prolific copyright troll (that is, a company that sends dire legal threats and demands for money to people they accuse of copyright infringement, based on the flimsiest of evidence), whose conduct is so breathtakingly illegal that it feels like satire or performance art (but it's not). Read the rest

"Pickup artist" douche uses copyright to sue Youtube critics, fans raise $100K defense fund

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Ewan McGee writes, "Creators of the YouTube channel H3H3 productions are being sued by the creator of the YouTube channel MattHossZone for showing/talking about one of his 'pick up' videos. YouTuber Philip DeFranco talks about the story in his YouTube show, sets up a GoFundMe page for the creators of H3H3 to help them with their legal fees, and donations come pouring in, including support from well-known names like Mark "Markiplier" Fischbach, Markus "Notch" Persson and others. In just 12 hours over 3,000 people have already donated more than $95,000 in total." Read the rest

The best thing you will read about the revelation that Captain America was a Nazi spy

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This week, Marvel Comics published the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers in which it's revealed that since his earliest days, Captain America has been a double agent for Hydra, the thinly veiled allegory for the Nazis; in an epic Twitter rant, Livejournal alumnus and Dreamwidth cofounder Denise Paolucci explains the way that perpetual copyright and business concentration has neutralized the ancient custom of collective storytelling of epic narratives, magnifying the harm from bad corporate decisions. Read the rest

Sex Criminals: Robin Hood bank robbers who can stop time when they orgasm

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Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's creator-owned comic Sex Criminals is a filthy, hilarious heist story about a couple who discover that they can stop time while orgasming, and keep it frozen until they become horny again -- so they use their power to rob banks in order to rescue a library from foreclosure (naturally). The first two series of the comic are collected in Big Hard Sex Criminals, a fabulous hardcover whose plain pink wrapper comes off to make it look like you're reading a book on DIY pet euthanasia.

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