Audio, slides from Jason Schultz's USC talk on Internet Freedom

USC's Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy is hosting audio from last week's speech by Jason Schultz, the EFF lawyer who runs the patent-busting project. Jason gave a great talk on Internet Freedom (his slides are online, too) — the ways in which we've benefitted from an open Internet, and the ways that openness is threatened on all fronts, by legislators, greed, and censors. — Read the rest

Jason Schultz on American Blind versus Google

A company called American Blind (which makes window-coverings) is suing Google because other organizations, like the American Council for the Blind, its competitors have bought the Google AdWord "blind" and so American Blind claims that its trademark is being infringed-upon, and that Google is secondarily liable for the infringement. — Read the rest

The third annual AI Now report: 10 more ways to make AI safe for human flourishing

Every year, NYU's nonprofit, critical activist group AI Now releases a report on the state of AI, with ten recommendations for making machine learning systems equitable, transparent and fail-safe (2016, 2017); this year's report just published, written by a fantastic panel, including Meredith Whittaker (previously — one of the leaders of the successful googler uprising over the company's contract to supply AI tools to the Pentagon's drone project); Kate Crawford (previously — one of the most incisive critics of AI); Jason Schultz (previously — a former EFF attorney now at NYU) and many others.

How DRM and EULAs make us into "digital serfs"

Washington and Lee law professor Joshua Fairfield is the author of a recent book called Owned: Property, Privacy, and the New Digital Serfdom, which takes up the argument that DRM and license agreements mean that we have no real property rights anymore, just a kind of feudal tenancy in which distant aristocrats (corporations) dictate how we may and may not use the things we "buy," backed by the power of the state to fine or jail us if we fail to arrange our affairs to the company's shareholders.

A Clinton-era tech law has quietly, profoundly redefined the very nature of property in the IoT age

An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz's The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using them in unapproved ways is an actual felony.

Blogging History: Manning defense rests; Pages Toronto to close; DMCA vs tape-drives

One year ago today

US vs. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning: defense rests, Manning won't testify, Wikileaks gets respect: Xen traveled to Ft. Meade, Maryland to observe the trial of Army PFC. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native has admitted to providing Wikileaks with more than 700,000 leaked documents, which included battle reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department diplomatic cables, and military videos from combat zones. — Read the rest

EFF creates the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents" founder Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson have donated $500,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to endow the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents," which will be occupied by an attorney tasked with hunting down and destroying crappy patents that have been recklessly granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office to unscrupulous "inventors" who claim to have invented things that were obvious and/or already extant; and to pay for activists to fight for substantive patent reform:

Cuban's $250,000 donation also funds the hire of a new attorney experienced in patent reform and high profile patent litigation: Daniel Nazer, who will join EFF in January as a Staff Attorney.

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EFF sues Viacom over YouTube takedown of Colbert parody

The Electronic Frontier Foundation today announced that it is suing Viacom on behalf of and Brave New Films, over YouTube's takedown of Colbert parody. Here's a snip from the EFF's statement:

The video, called "Stop the Falsiness," was created by MoveOn and Brave New Films as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Colbert's portrayal of the right-wing media and parodying MoveOn's own reputation for earnest political activism.

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