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August 08 2012

20:30

All nations lose with Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement expansion of copyright terms

EFF | Electronic Frontier Foundation :: EFF has previously written about various troubling provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that is being negotiated under wraps. One other major concern is that TPP seeks to propagate the excessive copyright terms currently found in American copyright legislation, and will become yet another tool of the second enclosure movement: “the enclosure of the intangible commons of the mind”.

A report by Carolina Rossini | Yana Welinder, www.eff.org

August 01 2012

18:14

Federation of American Scientists: What is an unauthorized disclosure?

Secrecy News | Federation of American Scientists :: The anti-leak provisions [pdf direct download link] proposed by the Senate Intelligence Committee in the pending FY2013 intelligence authorization act have been widely criticized as misconceived and ill-suited to achieving their presumed goals. But they also suffer from a lack of clarity and an absence of definitions of crucial terms. For example, there is no clear definition of “the news media” to whom unauthorized disclosures are to be prohibited.

Continue to read here Steven Aftergood, www.fas.org

HT: Jack Shafer, here:

RT @fascientists: Secrecy News: What is an Unauthorized Disclosure? bit.ly/OJv81w

— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) August 1, 2012

April 28 2012

05:26

A $1.3b dollar forest: How the big tech companies are selling you out

ReadWriteWeb :: Focusing on one bill, like CISPA, misses the bigger power that the computer and Internet industry has developed in Washington. In the last 14 years, its companies have become some of the biggest spenders on lobbying, paying a combined total of nearly $1.3 billion to ensure that they have their say in legislation.

"Lobbying" - Continue to read Abraham Hyatt, www.readwriteweb.com

April 27 2012

05:33

April 26 2012

05:07

White House threatens to veto CISPA cybersecurity bill, ahead of Friday's vote

The Verge :: On Friday, the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA for short. It's a controversial bill, to be sure.Even should the bill pass, though, the White House has threatened a veto: today, a letter from the Executive Office of the President (PDF) says that the Obama administration strongly opposes CISPA due to a lack of civilian oversight and privacy protections.

Continue to read Sean Hollister, www.theverge.com

Tags: Legislation

April 20 2012

05:17

January 28 2012

20:04

Jeff Roberts: Five ways Twitter is changing media law

paidContent :: Why does Twitter get involved in so many interesting lawsuits? In its short life, the company has kicked up legal hornet nests involving everything from stalking to satire. While technology companies always outgrow the laws that govern them, Twitter’s 140-character message system is proving to be particularly disruptive. At the same time, the microblog has been more aggressive in defending free speech than established companies like Facebook and Google. Jeff Roberts collected five examples that show how Twitter’s unique platform is creating a new set of media rules that are forcing the law to play catch up.

Continue to read Jeff Roberts, paidcontent.org

January 22 2012

07:25

WikiLeaks - unfortunate trend to make court processes less open and transparent

New York Times :: This much is known: In its hunt for information about three people it believes to be associated with the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks, the Justice Department has sought to extract details about them and their communications on Twitter. What is not yet known is where else the Justice Department went looking. On Friday, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked a federal court in Virginia to reveal the names of the other Internet companies from whom the Justice Department solicited information.

Continue to read Somini Sengupta, bits.blogs.nytimes.com

January 21 2012

15:58

European Commission, Neelie Kroes: Defending media pluralism in Hungary

Europe.eu :: In 2011 the European Commission used the full extent of its legal powers to improve the Hungarian Media Law. The original version of that law could have breached fundamental rights and EU laws in four areas. Without hesitation I pushed for change and achieved those changes. These four issues comprise disproportionate application of rules on balanced information, application of fines to broadcasters legally established and authorised in other Member States, rules on registration and authorisation of media service providers and rules against offending individuals, minorities or majorities.

In taking this action the Commission abided by the binding principle that the EU can enforce fundamental rights only in areas subject to EU law, while in other respects this is the task of national courts and, if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights.

This left the Hungarian Constitutional Court to address matters of concern outside of EU law, which it did in a ruling on 19 December stating that media law “unconstitutionally limited freedom of the written press.” The judgement continues to be valid after the recent judicial changes in Hungary.

Some key elements of the judgement take immediate effect.  For example, the court has tightened the conditions under which journalists can be required to reveal their sources; while the Hungarian media authority cannot compel media outlets to hand over data. Other changes must be made by 31 May 2012, including removing the institution of the Media Ombudsman and removing the obligation for the written press to “respect human dignity” and not to use its content to invade privacy.

I urge the Hungarian authorities to respect this court ruling, and to implement it with the same speed and efficiency they applied to the Commission’s assessment on the EU law aspects of this media law.

[Neelie Kroes:] But I know that media pluralism and freedom cannot be defined and defended by laws alone. At the end of the day the successful practice of pluralism depends also on an atmosphere and a political culture that supports these ideas.

That is why we have followed up our legal demands on Hungary with an EU-wide high level group that is examining what media pluralism and freedom means in practice, and what can be done to improve the culture and law that supports it. That group is led by former President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga of Latvia. We need to think seriously about whether the EU has sufficient powers in this area to meet public expectations about the defence of media pluralism.

Neelie Kroes is Vice President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Above part is an excerpt of the original post - Continue to read Neelie Kroes, blogs.ec.europa.eu

15:32

Clay Shirky: Pick up the pitchforks: David Pogue underestimates Hollywood

Shirky.com :: Writing in his blog on the New York Times yesterday, David Pogue, one of the Times’ tech columnists, advises toning down the alarmist rhetoric over SOPA, suggesting that opponents of the bill (and its Senate cousin PIPA) should Put Down the Pitchforks. He takes particular issue with people who have criticized SOPA without actually understanding the text of the bill. Then, after this preamble, Pogue proceeds to offer an explanation of SOPA that makes it clear that he does not understand the text of the bill.

Continue to read Clay Shirky, www.shirky.com

15:28
06:40

January 16 2012

20:35

NBC Universal "is not at all neutral" - SOPA and conspiracy theories

New York Times | Media Decoder :: A pair of bills (SOPA, PIPA) that would strengthen antipiracy laws — and that could essentially censor the Internet, according to heavyw eights like Google — have received scant coverage from the major television networks. The parent companies of the TV networks are among the chief supporters of the bills, having lobbied Congress to write them in the first place. Those two facts, taken together, have caused conspiracy theories to flourish online about corporate interference in news coverage.

[Chris Hayes, Up:] (NBC Universal) is not at all neutral in this legislative battle.

Continue to read Brian Stelter, mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com

January 13 2012

07:07

10 years later cleared of defamation - French landmark case: A new dawn for investigative journalism?

journalism.co.uk :: At the end of last year the French courts finally ended a long running legal battle which saw Denis Robert, an investigative journalist cleared of defamation 10 years after he first reported on Clearstream, a financial institution based in Luxembourg. The landmark ruling stated that although the work of journalist Robert contained inaccuracies, the thoroughness of his investigation and the public interest in the story outweighed the defamatory claims. The case has already been used as a legal precedent.

[Court ruling:] When dealing with a debate in the public interest, press freedom allows the possible use of a degree of exaggeration, or even of provocation, in remarks.

Continue to read Marianne Bouchart, www.journalism.co.uk

January 02 2012

12:08

David Carr: The danger of an attack on piracy online (SOPA)

New York Times :: By invoking the acronym SOPA right at the get-go, I may be daring many of you to check the next column over for something a little less chewy. After all, SOPA, which stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, sounds like a piece of arcane Internet government regulation — legislation that entertainment companies desperately care about and that leaves Web nation and free-speech crusaders frothing at the mouth. The rest of us? What were we talking about again?

David Carr: Stay with me here.

Continue to read David Carr, www.nytimes.com

December 29 2011

05:59

Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA: what if false allegations would cost accusers dearly?

GigaOM :: What if the answer to all this political theatre with the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was an amendment forcing copyright holders to put their money where there mouths are? Maybe some of SOPA’s terribly harsh penalties for infringement can stay, but making false allegations would cost accusers dearly. Law professor and blogger Eric Goldman thinks that might be a good start, and that the future of the Internet economy might depend on it.

Continue to read Derrick Harris, gigaom.com

December 21 2011

18:09

SOPA - trying to "melt the Congress’s phone system" with 400,000 calls

Forbes :: The politicians behind the SOPA have received four times as much campaign money from the entertainment industry as from the Internet industry, notes Maplight. The Internet industry is similarly outstripped when it comes to lobbying dollars.

So instead, the Internet approach has been to try to rile up public opposition to the bill. Tumblr came up with the most innovative method - it put a link on its homepage to “stop the law that will censor the Internet.” Those who clicked could enter their phone number to get a recorded call from Tumblr CEO David Karp about the bill, and then be connected with their congressperson to voice their opposition. On the first day, this generated 87,000 calls. When other organizations joined in –expressing a desire to “melt Congress’s phone system” - the number of calls pouring into congressional offices reached 400,000.

Continue to read Kashmir Hill, www.forbes.com

May 26 2011

06:38

New EU cookie laws: websites get a year to comply. Are you ready?

Journalism.co.uk :: Changes to the law in relation to accessing information on user's computers will be "phased in", communications minister Ed Vaizey confirmed today.

[Ed Vaizey, ICO:] We recognise that some website users have real concerns around online privacy, but also recognise that cookies play a key role in the smooth running of the internet. This Europe-wide legislation will ultimately help improve the control that individuals have over their personal data and help ensure they can use the internet with confidence.

In a letter to representatives of the online industry Vaizey said changes to website operations will not be expected overnight as the new EU rules on 'cookies' come into force tomorrow. The Information Commissioner's office (ICO) said websites will have up to 12 months to "get their house in order" before enforcement of the new law will begin.

Continue to read www.journalism.co.uk

Download Ed Vaizey's letter (PDF)

Download ICO announcement The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) (PDF)

Press release "Cookie rules to be phased in" www.culture.gov.uk

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