Mangling an author's text is a clear violation of the author's Moral rights, an element of copyright which is very weak in the United States and very strong elsewhere (primarily in civil law jurisdictions). (The moral right is the right of an author to be identified as the creator of a work, and for the work represented as their creation to be unaltered by other hands, so that the relationship between creator and created work is clear.)Charlie Stross and Cory Doctorow argue about the legality if not morality/desirability of the Clean Reader app, that strips swearwords from ebooks.
The doctrine of Moral Rights varies from territory to territory, but it's a heck of a stretch to extend it to this activity. It's one thing for a publisher or retailer to send out copies of your books in which words are changed around without your permission. It's another thing altogether for the reader themself to decide to read their legally acquired books in such a way as to change the text.
Pirate Bay to be blocked By UK ISPs. "File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled." [more inside]
Anti-ACTA protests have begun around Europe after the secret treaty was signed in Tokyo last Friday. Activists have planned larger protests for Saturday 11 February. The European Parliament will formally consider ACTA in June. (previously) [more inside]
SOPA and PIPA dropped by Congress. The ideas present in both SOPA and PIPA may return, but both bills in their present form—and with their present names—are probably done for good.
"Because we don't know how to make a wheel that is still generally useful for legitimate wheel applications but useless to bad guys."
Cory Doctorow's 28C3 talk The Coming War on General Purpose Computation (abstract, transcript) warns that "the coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race." [more inside]
On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
American Censorship Day is an internet protest against the oft-renamed Stop Online Piracy Act. [more inside]
The U.S. House of Representatives has drafted their version of Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act, renaming the bill the E-Parasites Act. Among other changes discussed previously, the bill now makes internet service providers and websites liable for activities of their users that infringe upon copyrights, effectively overturning parts of the 13-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) has started to be fast-tracked through the legislative process. This bill would create two blacklists (without due process) of domains which ISPs would be forced to block, based on alleged copyright infringement. The RIAA claims that such websites put Americans at risk (but doesn't state exactly what the risk is). Wired Magazine calls it the "Holy Grail of intellectual-property enforcement." The EFF has started an online petition against it and is encouraging internet engineers to speak out against it. [more inside]
The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab is an organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media. You may know them from such projects as How to build a fake Google Street View car, public domain donor stickers, internet famous class, the first rap video to end with a download source code link, or their numerous firefox add-ons (such as China Channel, Tourettes Machine, or Back to the future). FAT members have been hard at work standardizing various open source graffiti-related software packages, including Graffiti Analysis, Laser Tag, Fat Tag Deluxe and EyeWriter [previously] to be GML (Graffiti Markup Language) compliant. Fuck Google. Fuck Twitter. FuckFlickr. Fuck SXSW. Fuck 3D. FAT Lab is Kanye shades for the open source movement.
I got Madonna's big sound comin' outta my left ear, and Toby the chap... I don't know what comin' outta my right
Remember cleanflicks the outfit that digitally sanitized films? The Directors Guild of America recently won their lawsuit against them and companies like them for copyright violation. Prev
Disney's War Against the Counterculture. Parody Mickey Mouse and see your life turn to madness, even if things are more or set straight in the end. “The main point,” O’Neill says, “was to buck corporate thinking. We just didn’t like bullshit.” [via]
Scientology Strikes Again Last Saturday a comment was posted on Slashdot by an anonymous reader that contained text that was copyrighted by the Church of Scientology. They have since followed the DMCA and demanded that Slashdot remove the comment. After consulting with their lawyers, that's exactly what Slashdot did, but posted the above page with oodles of links to anti-Scientology resources. Will Scientology stop at nothing to silence its opponents?
Censorship on a public Blog? - When someone posts a link to content that others find shocking to a public blog (in this case Flazoom.com) how should the blog-master handle it. This got me thinking about how we handle the content at MeFi - which is better? Removing the post a few layers, or bereating the poster with lots of mean comment posts?