OLIVE: a system for emulating old OSes on old processors that saves old data from extinction

Olive ("Open Library of Images for Virtualized Execution") is an experimental service from Carnegie Mellon University that stores images of old processors, as well as the old operating systems that ran on top of them, along with software packages for those old OSes; this allows users to access old data from obsolete systems inside simulations of the computers that originally ran that data, using the original operating systems and applications. Read the rest

Research shows that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents to companies they later work for

In their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper From Revolving Doors to Regulatory Capture? Evidence from Patent Examiners (Sci-Hub Mirror), Business School profs Haris Tabakovic (Harvard) and Thomas Wollmann (Chicago) show that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents for companies that they subequently go to work for; they also go easier on patents applied for by companies associated with their alma maters (where they have more connections and will find it easier to get a job after their turn in government service). Read the rest

California farm lobby's sellout to John Deere will cost its members their right to repair

As I wrote last week, the California Farm Bureau (which lobbies for the state's farmers) struck a deal to gut the state's Right to Repair legislation, a move that will cost farmers their right to fix their own tractors and other heavy equipment. Read the rest

Europe's copyright catastrophe is a harbinger of bad times for Canadians

Last week's catastrophic EU vote to censor and surveil the whole internet to catch copyright infringers isn't a local affair; the same corporations who were willing to sacrifice the internet to eke out a few percentage point gains in licensing revenue are busily at work in Canada, where a rewrite of copyright laws is underway. Read the rest

Cloud computing and DRM: a match made in hell

As part of yesterday's International Day Against DRM, Public Knowledge's John Bergmayer published It’s Always DRM’s Fault, which uses this month's viral story about an Apple user named Anders G da Silva whose movie was deleted from his Itunes because he moved from one country to another. Read the rest

Sony: OK, OK, we don't own Bach

When pianist James Rhodes uploaded a recording of his own performance of a Bach composition to Facebook, it was immediately blocked thanks to a match with a recording that Sony had claimed copyright in; Facebook uses an automated filter of the sort that the EU voted to make mandatory for all content types and services yesterday and it can't distinguish any competent rendition of Bach from any other competent rendition. Read the rest

Europe just voted to wreck the internet, spying on everything and censoring vast swathes of our communications

Lobbyists for "creators" threw their lot in with the giant entertainment companies and the newspaper proprietors and managed to pass the new EU Copyright Directive by a hair's-breadth this morning, in an act of colossal malpractice to harm to working artists will only be exceeded by the harm to everyone who uses the internet for everything else. Read the rest

What's next after tomorrow's EU internet regulation vote?

Tomorrow's the day: the EU will vote on the text of the new Copyright Directive, including the most sweeping and invasive internet regulations in European history: Article 11, letting news sites decide who can link to them and charge for the privilege; and Article 13, creating vast, unaccountable databases of "copyrighted works" and censoring anything that appears to be a match. Read the rest

Wanting It Badly Is Not Enough: Real Problems For Creators Deserve Real Solutions

As the European Parliament prepares for tomorrow's vote on the new Copyright Directive with its provisions requiring mass-scale filtering of all public communications to check for copyright infringement (Article 13) and its provisions requiring paid permission to link to the news if you include as little as two words from the headline in your link text (Article 11), a dismaying number of "creators groups" are supporting it, telling their members that this will be good for them and their flagging financial fortunes. Read the rest

What developers need to do to save the internet from the EU's looming copyright disaster

On Wednesday, the EU will vote on whether to force all online platforms to filter user-generated content against massive databases of copyrighted works (anyone can add anything to these databases, without penalties for abuse); not only is this a catastrophe for everyone who writes software that will have to comply with this bonkers idea, it's also a catastrophe for anyone who writes software, period. Read the rest

Not in our name: Why European creators must oppose the EU's proposal to limit linking and censor the internet

The European Copyright Directive vote is in three days and it will be a doozy: what was once a largely uncontroversial grab bag of fixes to copyright is now a political firestorm, thanks to the actions of Axel Voss, the German MEP who changed the Directive at the last minute, sneaking in two widely rejected proposals on the same day the GDPR came into effect, forming a perfect distraction (you can contact your MEP about these at Save Your Internet). Read the rest

The amendments for the EU's catastrophic copyright proposals don't fix a goddamned thing

Next Wednesday, the EU will vote on a potentially internet-destroying regulation that will ban linking to the news unless you're using a service that has paid for a "linking license" from the news site you're linking to; and that will force all user-submitted content (text, audio, video, code, stills) through copyright filters that will censor anything that matches a database of works that anyone can put anything in, whether or not it is in copyright. Read the rest

Creative Commons: next week's EU vote could cost us the internet

In just five days, a key EU vote could visit untold harm on the whole world's internet by subjecting all public communications to algorithmic censorship: the proposed Article 13 of the new Copyright Directive will force sites to build vast databases of known copyrighted works, and then block any user submissions (text, audio, video, code, stills) that seems to match a copyrighted work, and anyone can add anything to the blacklist of unpublishable works, without any proof of copyright and without any regard to fair dealing and other vital protections for free expression. Read the rest

Don't just fine Big Tech for abuses; instead, cut them down to size

My latest Locus Magazine column is Big Tech: We Can Do Better Than Constitutional Monarchies, and it's a warning that the techlash is turning into a devil's bargain, where we make Big Tech pay for a few cosmetic changes that do little to improve bullying, harassment, and disinformation campaigns, and because only Big Tech can afford these useless fripperies, they no longer have to fear being displaced by new challengers with better ways of doing things. Read the rest

6 days until the EU votes on an extinction-level event for the internet: here's what they'll debate

In six days, the EU will debate and vote on a pair of copyright regulations that constitute an extinction-level event for the internet: "censorship machines" (Article 13, forcing all user-generated text, video, photos, code, etc through copyright filters that anyone can add anything to; anything judged to be a copyrighted work is automatically censored) and "the link tax" (users are banned from linking to news stories unless the site they're linking to has sold a "linking license" to the platform the users are on). Read the rest

Everyone -- not just Europeans -- needs to save the internet from the EU's terrible copyright proposal

We have just a week until the European Parliament debates and votes on the new Copyright Directive, including the dreaded censorship machines (every website has to censor anything that appears to be a copyrighted work and link tax (no linking to news articles unless the platform you're using has negotiated a license with the site you're linking to). Read the rest

The future is here today: you can't play Bach on Facebook because Sony says they own his compositions

James Rhodes, a pianist, performed a Bach composition for his Facebook account, but it didn't go up -- Facebook's copyright filtering system pulled it down and accused him of copyright infringement because Sony Music Global had claimed that they owned 47 seconds' worth of his personal performance of a song whose composer has been dead for 300 years. Read the rest

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