Uh-oh: Cox Cable's insurer won't back them in court against BMG Music


BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. has been trying to enlist Cox Cable as an accomplice in a copyright trolling scheme, demanding that the company pass on copyright infringement notices that accuse users of downloading music and order them to pay large sums of music or face punishing lawsuits. Read the rest

Randall "XCKD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: delightful exploded diagrams labelled with simple words

Randall "XKCD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.

Google steps up to defend fair use, will fund Youtubers' legal defenses


After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims. Read the rest

Is Batman's evidence admissible in court?


Law and the Multiverse uses comics and movies to explain the law; today they turn their hands to the evidence that Batman provides to Commissioner Gordon, and how district attorneys like Harvey Dent would be constrained in using that evidence to prosecute the crooks that Batman helped catch. Read the rest

China routinely tortures human rights lawyers


Amnesty International's No End in Sight: Torture and Forced Confessions in China interviews 37 Chinese lawyers and analyzes 590 court decisions in the process of documenting the routine torture of human rights lawyers in China. Read the rest

House GOP defends the right of racist car-dealers to overcharge people of color


House Bill HR1737 will create penalties for auto-lenders who substantially overcharge black and latino customers through gouging on dealer markups. Read the rest

Congressional hearings are bad news for gag orders banning online reviews


Last week's Senate Commerce Committee hearings invited testimony on the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which would ban the increasingly widespread practice of inserting "non-disparagement" clauses in consumer contracts that are used on products and services from apartment buildings to cellphones to dental care. Read the rest

Federal judge orders NSA to stop collecting and searching plaintiffs' phone records


United States District Judge Richard Leon has affirmed his 2013 ruling and has ordered the NSA to stop collecting phone records belonging to J.J. Little and his firm J.J. Little & Associates, P.C., and to segregate all the records collected to date so that they aren't searched. Read the rest

Apple employees lose bag-search lawsuit


Apple store workers' class-action lawsuit, complaining of "demeaning" security searches conducted off the clock, was defeated this weekend by the company. Read the rest

Spy at will! FCC won't force companies to honor Do Not Track


The FCC has rejected Consumer Watchdog's petition to force Internet companies like "Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn") to honor the "Do Not Track" flag that browsers can send to web-servers, informing them that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties. Read the rest

Publicity Rights could give celebrities a veto over creative works


EFF, the Organization for Transformative Works, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund have filed a brief [PDF] in a Supreme Court case over "publicity rights" -- the right of famous people to veto the use of their names and likenesses in other works, like caricatures, documentaries, and biographies. Read the rest

Washington Redskins' lawyers enumerate other grossly offensive trademarks for the USPTO


The US Patent and Trademark Office and the Washington Redskins are embroiled in a fight over whether the Redskins name is too offensive to qualify as a trademark. The Redskins have tried various tacks, including invoking the First Amendment, arguing that the Constitution guarantees them the right to be offensive and to then have the government stop other people from copying their offensiveness, but now they've taken a new -- and surprisingly compelling -- direction. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning publishes a 129-page surveillance reform bill from her cell in Leavenworth


Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Imprisoned Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning has written a groundbreaking bill to reform the U.S. government's unpopular mass surveillance programs, starting by abolishing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court." Read the rest

Itunes terms and conditions as a graphic novel in many cartoonists' styles


Artist Robert Sikoryak is creating a full-length graphic novel based on the terms and conditions for Apple's Itunes, a novella-length document of eye-watering legalese that you "agree" to without ever reading. Read the rest

Patent trolls: The Eastern District of Texas must die so that we all may live


Ever since VE Holding, a 1990 Federal Circuit decision, patent holders have been able to sue their adversaries in practically any court in America, leading to competition among jurisdictions to see which one bend the furthest backwards to deliver patent-friendly decisions and so tempt the nation's most litigious companies to sue in their local courthouse. Read the rest

Appeals court holds the FBI is allowed to kidnap and torture Americans outside US borders


The DC Appeals Court has just ruled against Amir Meshal, a US citizen who was arrested in Kenya by a joint US-Kenyan-Ethiopian law enforcement operation, held for months, tortured with FBI agents present and threatened with his secret murder, then released without any charges. Read the rest

Secret surveillance laws make it impossible to have an informed debate about privacy


James Losey's new, open access, peer-reviewed article in the Journal of International Communication analyzes how secret laws underpinning surveillance undermine democratic principles and how transparency from both companies and governments is a critical first step for supporting an informed debate.. Read the rest

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