Why I won't buy an Ipad: ten years later

Ten years ago, Apple released the Ipad. I was in a hotel room in Seattle, jetlagged and awake at 4AM while my wife and daughter slept. Read the rest

Brexit means the UK will shelve the EU Copyright Directive (for now)

Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable blacklist of supposedly copyrighted works; and to allow news sites to veto or charge for links to their articles. Read the rest

Three years after the W3C approved a DRM standard, it's no longer possible to make a functional indie browser

Back in 2017, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) approved the most controversial standard in its long history: Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME, which enabled Netflix and other big media companies to use DRM despite changes to browsers extensions that eliminated the kinds of deep hooks that DRM requires. Read the rest

1975 Disneyland Haunted Mansion Standard Operating Procedures manual

If you ever find yourself time-traveling to 1975 and need to impersonate a Disneyland Haunted Mansion ride-operator, we've got you covered: just remember that in 1975, food and drinks were absolutely not allowed past the main gate, and that E-tickets should be torn in half and placed in the ticket box. (Thanks, Changa!) Read the rest

Public Domain Game Jam: what games can you design with the bounty of 1924?

Randy Lubin (previously) writes, "New work is entering the public domain and Mike Masnick and I are hosting a game jam to celebrate. Designers have all of January to design analog and digital games about, inspired by, or remixing works from 1924. We have amazing judges, great prizes, and are excited to see what you make!" Read the rest

Using Stylegan to age everyone in 1985's hit video "Cry"

Shardcore (previously) writes, "I took Godley & Creme's seminal 1985 video and sent it through a StyleGAN network." Read the rest

Happy Public Domain Day 2020!

Jennifer Jenkins from the Duke Center for the Public Domain writes, "January 1, 2020 is Public Domain Day! Works published in 1924 are entering the US public domain. They include George Gershwin’s 'Rhapsody in Blue' and 'Fascinating Rhythm,' silent films by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and Thomas Mann’s 'The Magic Mountain,' E. M. Forster’s 'A Passage to India,' and A. A. Milne’s 'When We Were Very Young.' These works were supposed to go into the public domain in 2000, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit a 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years. See what will (finally) be open to all!" Read the rest

Americans should definitely be worried about the EU's new copyright rules

The passage -- through MEPs erroneously pushing the wrong buttons! -- of the new EU Copyright Directive last March means that online platforms operating in the EU will have to implement filters that allow anyone, anywhere, to claim anything as their copyright, whereupon the platforms will have to detect any attempt by anyone else to upload those claimed works and block them. Read the rest

Abbott Labs kills free tool that lets you own the blood-sugar data from your glucose monitor, saying it violates copyright law

Abbott Labs makes a continuous glucose monitor -- used by people with diabetes to monitor their blood-sugar levels -- called (ironically, as you'll see below) the Freestyle Libre. Read the rest

Teespring removes Techdirt's "Copying is Not Theft" tees for copyright infringement, and won't discuss the matter any further

As pranksters target skeezy t-shirt sellers that mine Twitter for replies containing "I want that on a t-shirt" and then put the original Tweet on a t-shirt and shame online t-shirt sellers for underpolicing copyright, let's not lose sight of what happens when they overpolice copyright. Read the rest

DJ Riko is back with the 18th annual Merry Mixmas mashup album!

We love DJ Rijo's annual Merry Mixmas albums, and for the 18th consecutive year, the legendary mashup DJ has released an album-length mashup of Christmas rarities (MP3), just in time for your holiday parties! Read the rest

The true nature of creativity: pilfering and recombining the work of your forebears (who, in turn, pilfered and recombined)

Alex from Copy Me (previously) writes, "Copying is one of the most essential steps to creativity. And if we don’t understand how it works, copyright can easily become detrimental to the very creativity we want to protect. Copy-Me's got a new video about how even the great geniuses copied others and how this practice goes waaaay back to the most famous artists and inventions. With loads of examples and quotes from experts. We tried to reach the emotion behind the beliefs we all carry with us because facts alone don’t change anyone’s mind, especially when those beliefs are so woven into every aspect of our society. It’s called, appropriately, 'Geniuses Steal', the 3rd part in a miniseries about how minds really work and how the romantic notions about creation hinder our own ability to create. Read the rest

Youtube copyright trolls Adrev claim to own a homemade MIDI rendition of 1899's Flight of the Bumblebee

Chris Knight recorded a video of the bees in his backyard and wanted to accompany it with a rendition of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's 1899 composition "The Flight of the Bumblebee." Read the rest

Make: a non-patent-infringing enclosure for your 3D printer

3D printing is a dumpster fire of stupid, obvious patents, but thankfully many of these are expiring; this year, the stupid patent on putting sides on a 3D printer (extrusion printers are very sensitive to errant breezes and just a puff of wind can ruin a print that took hours, just minutes before it completes). Read the rest

The Supreme Court just heard the State of Georgia's argument for copyrighting the law and charging for access to it

For years, rogue archivist Carl Malamud (previously) has been scanning and posting proprietary elements of the law, such as standard annotations or building and safety codes developed by outside parties and then incorporated into legislation, on the theory that if you are expected to follow the law, you must be able to read, write and share that law. Read the rest

Coop's Randotti skulls: now available as tights!

Artist Coop's revival of the outstanding skulls of the Randotti Corporation (as seen at Disneyland and Walt Disney World!) continues with a line of tights featuring Haunted Skull, Voodoo Skull and Pirate Skull. Read the rest

Writer asks for an exclusive trademark on the use of the word "dark" in "Series of fiction works, namely, novels and books"

Christine Feehan is the author of several bestselling series, including one simply called "Dark" -- in her trademark application with the USPTO, she has applied for the exclusive right to use the word "Dark" (in "standard characters without claim to any particular font style, size, or color") in "Series of fiction works, namely, novels and books." Read the rest

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