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August 27 2012


Google reacts to Apple-Samsung verdict (and Kara Swisher translates)

Kara Swisher's report includes a "translation for those who don’t speak passive-aggressive."

AllThingsD :: Google — which went curiously silent on Friday after a blockbuster court win by rival Apple against its Android partner Samsung — finally found its voice today by releasing a statement about the patent infringement verdict.

A report by Kara Swisher, allthingsd.com

August 22 2012


Accessible content: Web TV needs to have captions starting next month, the FCC rules

GigaOM :: Deaf and hard-of-hearing web video viewers have long pressed for a faster adoption of closed captioning, and it looks like the FCC got their back: Content also shown on TV will have to have closed captions when streamed online starting next month, the commission recently ruled.

A report by Janko Roettgers, gigaom.com

Sponsored post

August 18 2012


'Sponsored stories': Judge rejects Facebook ad settlement

paidContent :: A judge put the brakes on a legal settlement over “Sponsored Stories,” in which Facebook made users product pitchmen without their permission. The case is significant because it is the first in which a court calls out this type of settlement for giving nothing to users.

A report by Jeff John Roberts, paidcontent.org


Oracle, Google file list of paid journalists

paidContent :: Concerned that Google and Oracle were paying authors and journalists to influence a highly-publicized trial, a federal judge asked them to name names. Today, the parties filed their lists – Oracle names FOSS Patents blogger Florian Müller and Google names no one.

A report by Jeff John Roberts, paidcontent.org

August 17 2012


Who's responsible and for what? German officials want Facebook to pay fines for illegal parties

Interesting case. It is only one click to invite your friends or the whole world. Technically it should be trivial to implement more precautionary measures, e.g. more windows to actively confirm your decision, to avoid careless mistakes. Too late for the "organizer" in this case. The 20-year old guy will have to pay some 227,000 euro after over 1,500 people hit the “join” the party button. €227,000 can easily ruin someone.

What would you do?

RT :: German officials have lost their tolerance for massive benders coordinated via Facebook. Their solution: make the social network share the burden of six-figure fines that party organizers receive over costly police operations to clean up the mess.

A report by rt.com

HT: Tristan Bailey, via Jeff Jarvis, here:

Shoot the platform RT @tristanbailey: Shoot the messenger? Germany wants Facebook to pay fines for illegal parties bit.ly/MnZJ5r

— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) August 17, 2012

August 15 2012


Massachusetts Courts Allow Citizen Journalists to Register to Live-Blog

The information office of the highest court in Massachusetts just launched a new online registration process for citizens and news organizations wishing to use cameras and other electronic equipment to cover court hearings throughout the state.


The process is a lead-in for amended courtroom media rules that become effective next month. Key changes to Rule 1:19, the state's cameras-in-the-courtroom statute, include:

  • A redefining of the media to include citizen journalists "who are regularly engaged in the reporting and publishing of news or information about matters of public interest," and
  • Allowance, with permission of the judge, to use laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices to cover the proceedings, including live-blogging.

Once a news media organization or individual has registered, the state will return a signed acknowledgment form which must be presented alongside photo ID to courthouse officials if electronic devices would be brought into a courthouse or courtroom.

Additionally, as is the current policy, the news media must request permission beforehand from the presiding judge to use a pool camera or electronic device in the courtroom during those proceedings.

The SJC's amended Rule 1:19 is effective on September 17, 2012.

Joe Spurr is a multimedia journalist and a web developer. Before coming to WBUR, he was the staff web developer for San Diego's NPR station, which he helped completely overhaul in 2009. He pioneered the station's adoption of Twitter and Google "My Maps" which culminated during the 2007 California wildfires, built layered, interactive maps to help track the drug-related murder surge in Tijuana, and produced in a roving, three-person skeleton crew from the DNC and RNC in 2008. Joe is a Boston native, a graduate of Northeastern University, and a former freelance reporter at The Boston Globe.

This post originally appeared on the OpenCourt blog.


Eric Goldman: Heavy dose of hyperlinks gets defamation lawsuit against Gizmodo tossed

Ars Technica :: A properly cited article, filled with hyperlinks to original source materials, should be extra-resistant to defamation claims—even if written with typical blogger snark. Readers can easily inspect the source materials themselves and make their own judgments about the article's veracity.

The defamation lawsuit against Gizmodo, a comment by Eric Goldman, arstechnica.com

Blog Post: Using Links as Citations Helps @gizmodo Defeat a Defamation Claim--Redmond v @gawker Media j.mp/OcspfV

— Eric Goldman (@ericgoldman) August 12, 2012

August 10 2012


Facebook and FTC finalize privacy settlement

ReadWriteWeb :: Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission have a final settlement concerning charges that Facebook deceived members when it said they could keep their information private on the social platform while allowing it to go public.

A report by Dan Rowinski, www.readwriteweb.com

August 08 2012


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


Judge in Google, Oracle case seeks names of paid reporters, bloggers

Reuters :: Google Inc and Oracle Corp's copyright and patent battle took a strange twist on Tuesday, after a judge ordered the companies to disclose the names of journalists, bloggers and other commentators on their payrolls.

A report by Alexei Oreskovic, www.reuters.com

Share source link:

August 04 2012


We don't need new laws for Twitter trolls, say police chiefs

Guardian :: The body representing Britain's chief police officers has rejected calls for new laws to govern how the police deal with the abuse of Twitter, saying that problems may eventually be resolved by the microblogging website itself. The intervention by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) comes amid a debate over the policing of Twitter following a number of recent cases.

A report by Ben Quinn, www.guardian.co.uk

August 03 2012


UK Media Company, CEO drop bogus attempt to out author of spoof Twitter account

Electronic Frontier Foundation :: Frivolous, abusive legal attempts to intimidate and silence online critics are hardly rare. From school superintendents to developers to mayors to businesses, bogus lawsuits are often tempting tools for those looking to expose and embarrass critics or simply intimidate them into silence. While we've seen many ridiculous lawsuits filed in recent years aimed at improperly unmasking anonymous online speakers, however, an action filed in the Northern District of California last month stands out given its unusually high number of abusive elements.

A report by Matt Zimmermann, www.eff.org

Tags: Legal Issues

August 01 2012


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

July 31 2012


What if it's were up to the government to choose what kind of Twitter speech is allowed?

Nieman Lab :: What if it were up to the government to choose what kind of Twitter speech is allowed? What if instead of account suspensions, Twitter users had to worry about being arrested for what they tweet? That’s a question that Yale Law School lecturer Margot Kaminski has been thinking about a lot these days. The premise of her recent research is that as people increasingly use social media as a tool for community organizing, government will try to impose regulations.

Summary and discussion, continue here Adrienne LaFrance, www.niemanlab.org

"Incitement to Riot in the age of Flash Mobs, " - Margot Kaminski, Executive Director, Yale Information Society Project

July 25 2012


Washington D.C. officers are directed to leave citizen photographers alone

Washington Post :: District police cannot interfere with citizens as they photograph or videotape officers performing their jobs in public, according to a new directive issued by Chief Cathy L. Lanier as part of settlement in a civil lawsuit.

A report by Peter Hermann, www.washingtonpost.com

May 04 2012


April 29 2012


Facebook "likes" aren't speech protected by the First Amendment

ars technica :: Bobby Bland and his cohorts worked in the Hampton Sheriff’s Office, under B.J. Roberts. Roberts ran for re-election against Jim Adams, and the plaintiffs were lukewarm in their support of Roberts. In fact, three of the plaintiffs went so far as to "like" Adams' Facebook page. Roberts won the election, and he decided to not retain the plaintiffs. He justified the terminations on cost-cutting and budgeting grounds, but plaintiffs argued that their termination violated their First Amendment rights.

Bland v. Roberts, 4-11cv45 (E.D. Va.; Apr. 24, 2012)

HT: Jeff Jarvis, here referring to a post by Lauren Weinstein (link in the tweet) on Google+:

Court says Facebook Like's are not protected speech. plus.google.com/u/0/1147530286…

— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) April 29, 2012

Continue to read Venkat Balasubramani with comments from Eric Goldman, arstechnica.com

April 27 2012


CISPA just got way worse, and then passed on rushed vote

techdirt :: Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that's not even the worst part. The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government's power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used.

HT: Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

Continue to read Leigh Beadon, www.techdirt.com

Tags: Legal Issues
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