Last week, our lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent a reply to Bird, the scooter company, which had sent us an intimidating letter seeking to censor this post on Bird conversion kits, which let you unlock the hundreds of Bird scooters that are auctioned off by cities after Bird fails to claim them from their impound lots.
Having been publicly dragged, Bird has issued a traditional corporate nonpology:
"Bird celebrates freedom in many ways—freedom from traffic [and] congestion as well as freedom of speech," the company said. "In the quest for curbing illegal activities related to our vehicles, our legal team overstretched and sent a takedown request related to the issue to a member of the media. This was our mistake and we apologize to Cory Doctorow."
Here's a rough translation, with notes:
1. We are so groovy!
2. We accidentally formulated a laughable legal theory and sent it to a journalist. Who among us has never done something like that.
3. We're not going to come right out and claim that motherboard swaps are a violation of Section 1201 of the DMCA, but we're sure gonna imply it!
tldr: "We're sorry you're angry at us."
While this apology is better than a threat, it raises more questions than it answers, like "Would it be OK to threaten someone who wasn't a journalist?" and "Which illegal activity, precisely, are you referring to?"
Since the earliest days of the "semantic web,", millions of dollars and hours of coding effort have been thrown at the problem of really organizing large corpuses of information, with two approaches emerging: rigid ontologies (like the Dewey Decimal system) that require a system's users to be deeply expert in the structures they're working in; […]
In 1971, the Australian indigenous artist Harold Thomas created the iconic Australian Aboriginal Flag which has since been named one of the "official flags of Australia," which resulted in Thomas successfully suing to assert copyright over the design.
[Editor's note: Whenever governments review their copyright, one of two things happens: either they only listen to industry reps and then come to the "conclusion" that more copyright is always better; or they listen to stakeholders and experts and conclude that a little goes a long way. Normally, when the latter happens, the government that […]
This all-in-one computing solution packs a healthy dose of processing power packed inside a 21.5″ HD LED display. It also features an Intel Core i3-2100 Dual-Core 3.1GHz CPU with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM for next-level multitasking and an impressive 250 GB SATA hard drive that can safely store your important files and media. So […]
So you cut the cord and got rid of cable? Join the steadily growing club. But while you’re out picking a streaming service, you might find one big blind spot: Local TV and sports, not to mention first-run programming from the big cable networks. Luckily, there’s a throwback way to get it for free: The […]
Even if you feel like AirPods are worth the price tag, you’ve got to admit there’s a certain anxiety that comes with using them. What if I lose them? What if they get wet in the rain? Or drenched in sweat? Or fall into the drink you dropped them into? Shiny tech is great, but […]