Boing Boing 

After lying and covering up, Facebook finally changes rules for inmates' pages


After at least four years of lying about its rubberstamp takedown process for prison authorities and omitting prison takedowns from its transparency reports, Facebook is finally bringing a crumb of due process to its treatment of prisoners.

Read the rest

Atlanta pays $20,000 to critic forced to post pro-cop message to Facebook

Atlanta police Lt. Jeffrey Cantin told Baton Bob, a street performer, that he wouldn't be released on Bond unless he posted complementary remarks about the Atlanta police department to his Facebook page.

Read the rest

Comics Connector: matching comics professionals with teachers/librarians for visits

Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund writes, "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues the celebration of Children's Book Week by launching its newest resource -- the Comics Connector, a directory that connects educators and librarians with comics professionals who are able to provide classroom/library visits."

Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists


A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online.

Read the rest

Clean Reader is a free speech issue


My latest Guardian column, Allow Clean Reader to swap 'bad' words in books – it's a matter of free speech expands on last week's editorial about the controversial ebook reader, which lets readers mangle the books they read by programatically swapping swear-words for milder alternatives.

Read the rest

I hate your censorship, but I'll defend to the death your right to censor

An app called Clean Reader lets silly bluenoses swap swear words out of the ebooks they read, an idea I hate: but I hate the idea that anyone can tell me how to read even more.Read the rest

Freedom of speech is now compulsory


A timely reminder from Scarfolk town council.

Kenya's Parliament erupts into chaos as government rams through brutal "anti-terrorism" law

MPs shredded their papers and threw them, and got into fistfights with one another over the new law, which allows the government to imprison suspects for 360 days without charge, and to fine press outlets millions for publishing articles "likely to cause fear or alarm" (this term is not defined in the statute).

Read the rest

Georgia cops pay $100K for jailing woman who said "Fuck the police"


Amy Barnes was jailed and held in solitary in 2012 when she called out "fuck the police" as she bicycled past Cobb County cops who were questioning a suspect by the roadside.

Read the rest

San Francisco's Monkeybrains ISP offering gigabit home wireless connections


It's $35/month for the service, from San Francisco's coolest indie ISP (founded by Rudy Rucker's son, Rudy Jr, it was the inspiration for Pigspleen, the fictional ISP in my novel Little Brother) and if you opt to pay a little extra, they'll install a free link in a low/medium income neighborhood, too.

Read the rest

Pennsylvania passes a "Gag Mumia" law to silence prisoner's voices

The "Revictimization Relief Act" allows suits against offenders whose "conduct...perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim," but the fact that it was aimed at silencing jailed activist Mumia Abu-Jamal was never made a secret -- the governor signed it into law saying that it "was inspired by the excesses and pious hypocrisy of one particular killer."

Read the rest

Popehat's #Gamergate rants

Former federal prosecutor, free speech advocate and generally smart dude Ken "Popehat" White has posted "ten short rants" about #Gamergate, which, surprisingly, contain nuance and gloss I haven't yet encountered in the verbiage devoted to the subject elsewhere.

Read the rest

Australian bill will put journos in prison for 10 years for reporting leaks

The bill was introduced on Wednesday by Attorney General George Brandis, and it gives the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation the power to imprison leakers (including reporters) for five years, with ten year sentences for anything regarding "special intelligence operations" (illegal spy operations conducted under promise of immunity).

Read the rest

Indexing pages that Google must hide from Europeans


The controversial "right to be forgotten" European court ruling has Google removing embarrassing (and worse) search results from search-results served in the EU.

Read the rest

Gilbert Hernandez's limited-edition Harbringer cover, to benefit CBLDF (#SDCC)


Going to San Diego Comic Con? Be sure and drop by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's booth (#1920) to pick up this special Harbringer issue with a Gilbert Hernandez cover (see the full art here, exclusive to Boing Boing!), with proceeds to support the CBLDF's excellent anti-censorship work.

Read the rest

CBLDF presents: Liberty!


Every year, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund taps the greatest creators in the business for a highly collectible "annual" full of one-off art and stories celebrating freedom in all its guises. Now, a beautiful hardcover volume collects all these piece from 2008-2012, and it's a strong and bracing tonic.

The book runs 216 pages, and features a who's-who of the greatest names in modern and golden-age comics, from Sergio Argones to Kathryn Immonen, from Mike Mignola to Neil Gaiman.

The stories, most running 1-2 pages, are perfect little bombs of delightful, uncompromising, transgressive material, celebrating sex and sexuality, free thought and freedom of religion, free speech and free inquiry. Sales of the book support the CBLDF, whose work I'm proud to support with donations of both money and time.

LIBERTY is 216 pages total and includes several rare works, such as a The Walking Dead tale by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, 100 Words by Neil Gaiman and Jim Lee, Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, plus stories from Geoff Johns, Mark Millar, J.H. Williams III, Terry Moore, Howard Chaykin, Jason Aaron, Brian Wood, Stuart Immonen, Kathryn Immonen, Mike Allred, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, and dozens more! LIBERTY also includes incredible illustrations from Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Tim Sale, John Romita Jr., Mike Mignola, and many more! All proceeds from this collection benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s work protecting the freedom to read!

“This book is bursting with incredible stories and art from some of the finest people working in the field. CBLDF’s Liberty collection is perfect for comics aficionados because it has so many of their favorite creators in there,” said Charles Brownstein, Executive Director at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. “It’s also a terrific book for fans and retailers to give to the new readers flocking to comics right now as a sampler of all the incredible talent the medium has to offer. Best of all, it helps CBLDF pay for our important work on behalf of readers, retailers and creators everywhere.”

CBLDF Presents: Liberty

Ikea bullies Ikeahackers with bogus trademark claim


Andy writes, "For eight years, Jules' IKEAHackers site has published ways people have hacked their IKEA products. Hundreds of people have combined IKEA products in creative ways to create everything from desks to cat trees. When the fan site turned to a huge part-time job, Jules ran a few small advertisements. Now IKEA's attorneys have sent the site a Cease and Desist."

Ikea's C&D is, as a matter of law, steaming bullshit. There's no trademark violation here -- the use of Ikea's name is purely factual. The fact that money changes hands on Ikeahackers (which Ikea's lawyers seem most upset about) has no bearing on the trademark analysis. There is no chance of confusion or dilution from Ikeahackers' use of the mark. This is pure bullying, an attempt at censorship. I'm shocked to see that Jules has a lawyer who advised her to take such a terrible deal.

We've linked to Ikeahackers many times in the past.

Trademark law is surrounded by urban legends. Trademark does not create the legal right to stop people from making factual uses of a mark ("Ikeahackers" is a site for people who hack Ikea furniture). And while there is a very slim chance of trademarks being "genericized" through a failure to police, this risk is grossly overstated by trademark lawyers (quick, name three modern, active trademarks that have been genericized through a lack of policing), and in any event, you can get the same benefit from offering a royalty-free license as you get from threatening a lawsuit. Finally, trademark is not copyright: there is no parody "defense" (nor is one needed), there is no fair use, there is no need for any of that stuff.

Read the rest