Artist celebrates Patriot Act's anniversary by handing out "Official Air Travel Replacement Knives" to arriving SFO passengers

Last week, artist Michelle Pred celebrated the anniversary of the Patriot Act by dressing up as an old-timey Pan Am flight attendant (she wore her mother's old Pan Am hat!) and handing out "Official Air Travel Replacement Knives" to people waiting for their bags at SFO (she had 50 knives, but it took more than 50 tries to give them away, as more than half of the people she approached refused to engage with her). Read the rest

After North Carolina Republicans banned cities selling internet, a town decided to give it away instead

North Carolina is one of many states in which telcoms lobbyists have gotten the state house to ban towns and cities from selling high-speed internet to the public -- even in places where the cable/phone duopoly refuses to supply broadband. Read the rest

Warner Bros angry that someone other than the MPAA is running an illegal internal movie server

Warner Bros has sued talent agency Innovative Artists for running an internal-use Google Drive folder that let its clients and staff review movies in the course of their duties. They say the company ripped "screeners" (DVDs sent for review purposes) and put them on the server, whence they leaked onto torrent sites. Read the rest

1940: sf writer predicts the imminent and welcome end of science fiction comic books

Scott Edelman writes, "Science fiction writer Thomas S. Gardner says in a 1940 issue of the fanzine Fantasy News that science fiction comic books hurt science fiction, but don't worry -- he also says that comics likely won't be around for long anyway:" Read the rest

Despite Brexit, the UK is going to end up sending billions to the EU

If the UK wants access to the EU markets, it's going to have to pay billions of pounds, something that the Brexit Leave campaign conveniently neglected to mention (they also conveniently neglected to mention that even if this wasn't true, the money the UK used to pay to the EU wasn't going to be spent on the NHS). Read the rest

The Trolls: hilarious comedy about...patent trolls?

The Trolls is a new indie feature about plucky entrepreneurs who have their lives destroyed by patent trolls, so they patent the act of being a patent troll, and turn the tables! Read the rest

Chelsea bomber's other bombs were discovered by thieves who liked the bags they were hidden in

The Chelsea bomber (Ahmad Khan Rahami is accused of being this person) set more bombs around New York and New Jersey, but two of them were discovered and defused before they could go off because they were hidden in bags that thieves and homeless people took an interest in. Read the rest

Brexit's proposed racist immigration policy will backfire

The UK's Brexit Minister, Boris Johnson, has proposed a new immigration regime for a post-EU UK, in which the "white Commonwealth" countries (Canada, Australia and New Zealand) will have a relatively easy time migrating to the UK, while EU nationals, Africans, and post-colonial, racialised people will be excluded. Read the rest

Warner Bros flags its own website as a piracy portal in copyright takedowns

It turns out that asking a piece of software to decide which websites should be censored and which ones are legitimate has some problems, which I think comes as a surprise to all of us. Read the rest

Zoe Quinn and Chuck Tingle are making an amazing game

Gamergate bogeywoman Zoe Quinn is making a new punk game, in collaboration with Amazon deep weird porn-writer (and table-turning, MRA-confounding Hugo nominee Chuck Tingle, and It. Looks. Awesome. Read the rest

After repeated budget cuts, Missouri's underfunded Public Defender drafts the Governor to work for him

Brother Phil writes, "The Public Defender's Office in Missouri is chronically underfunded by a governor who can always find money for his pet projects. However, they do have the power to draft any lawyer to serve as the defense in a case if they don't have one spare.Guess who just happens to be a lawyer..." Read the rest

Someone built a wall around Donald Trump's Walk of Fame Star

RidleyScotch/Reddit (via Mitch Wagner) Read the rest

Surprise: Copyright trolls rip off the rightsholders they supposedly "represent"

The copyright troll business-model: a sleazy lawyer gets copyright holders to one or more films (often, but not always, porn) to deputize them to police those rights; then the lawyer's company uses sloppy investigative techniques to accuse internet users of violating those copyrights; they use deceptive notices to get ISPs to give them contact details for those users (or to get the ISPs to pass notices on to the users); then they send "speculative invoices" to their victims, demanding money not to sue -- usually a sum that's calculated to be less than it would cost to ask a lawyer whether it's worth paying. Read the rest

A law prof responds to students who anonymously complained about #blacklivesmatter tee

This redacted pair of letters surfaced two months ago: the first one is a letter from an anonymous law student (or group of students) who wrote to a prof to object to their choice to wear a Black Lives Matter t-shirt in class; the second, a devastating takedown from the prof, is a tiny masterclass in legal thinking, persuasive writing, and the nature and character of a legal education. Read the rest

One of the copyright's scummiest trolls loses his law license

For more than four years, we've chronicled the sleazy story of Prenda Law, a copyright troll whose extortion racket included genuinely bizarre acts of identity theft, even weirder random homophobic dog-whistles, and uploading their own porn movies to entrap new victims, and, naturally, an FBI investigation into the firm's partners' illegal conduct. Read the rest

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

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

Xenophobic UK politician ranting about "political correctness" gets a public spanking from an historian

Chris Wood is a councillor from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a xenophobic party known for its leader and lawmakers' racist and sexist gaffes; this week, he added to the annals of UKIP inanity when he took to Twitter to complain that the BBC had cast a person of color as Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI. Read the rest

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