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12.30.10

Links 30/12/2010: Linux 2.6.37-RC8, Interview with Chris DiBona

Posted in News Roundup at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 2010′s Top Five Linux and Open-Source Stories

    Sure, unlike me, you’re probably not reading this on a Linux desktop–Mint 10 for those who care about such things–but do you use Google, Facebook or Twitter? If so, you’re using Linux. That Android phone in your pocket? Linux. DVRs, network attached storage (NAS), trade stocks? Linux, Linux, Linux.

  • Cuba sets to migrate to free, open-source software

    Cuba has set a strategic goal in 2011 to migrate most of its computers to open-source software, a move designed to strengthen the country’s technological security and sovereignty.

    Once the migration is fully implemented on the ground, the Cuban Nova Linux will be the operating system used in 90 percent of all working places, and Microsoft Office will be replaced by Open Office in all government institutions, Vice Minister of Information and Telecommunications Boris Moreno told Xinhua Tuesday.

  • Is Open Source a Failure?

    I agree with him that “The Year of the Linux Desktop” is a myth that will never materialize (at least it won’t be called “Linux desktop”), but “niche OS” is a bunch of bologna. It ignores the fact that most of the world’s servers are run by this niche OS, but it also ignores the fact that people choose to use software for reasons other than how successful it is in a highly anticompetitive market. People use GNU/Linux not just because it’s easier to use, more featureful and more reliable than Microsoft Windows (if you disagree then you haven’t tried GNU/Linux lately), they use it because of the freedom it allows them. Everything else (ease-of-use, features, stability) just comes along for the ride. (not to mention that his argument about Google needing device drivers is BS, too; he obviously forgot what ChromeOS is supposed to do; I’ve never had trouble with keyboards and mice, as those are most of the time controlled by the BIOS; duh)

  • Google

    • Geek Time with Chris DiBona

      The end of the year is always a great time to take a moment and look back at the developments of the past twelve months. Two members of the Google Open Source Programs Office, Chris DiBona and Jeremy Allison, sat down together for a review of open source accomplishments in 2010, and the conversation is shared with you here. Chris is the Open Source Programs Manager at Google, which means he directs Google’s open source compliance, releasing, and outreach efforts. He reveals lots of insights into Google’s approach towards open source and the influence of open source on technology and business.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.37-rc8 Kernel Ends Out The Year

      For those hoping Linux 2.6.37-rc7 was the last release candidate of the Linux 2.6.37 kernel before going gold, it’s not. Linus this evening decided to go ahead and make a Linux 2.6.37-rc8 release.

      Linux 2.6.37-rc8 was tagged in Git two hours ago and we’ve been waiting for an official announcement but so far nothing has come down. Though unless there ends up being some severe last minute issues, it would be quite surprising if a Linux 2.6.37-rc9 emerges in the coming days.

    • Linux 2.6.37-rc8

      Another week, another -rc. This should be the last for the 37 series, so I still expect the merge window to open early January when people are hopefully back to working order after having eaten (and drunk) too much.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The 3Dfx KMS Developer Now Working On VIA TTM

        With VIA not really doing anything for open-source and Linux as all of their efforts seemed to have stalled, the small open-source development community centered around VIA has become quite fragmented as we have talked about multiple times now. There’s multiple X.Org drivers for VIA, with not a single one clearly dominating or being feature-complete and well maintained, while other areas like the DRM/KMS and Mesa/Gallium3D support are just in shambles.

      • The Fourth Version Of X.Org Multi-Touch Support

        Earlier this month we reported that the X.Org multi-touch work was nearing completion and now this work is getting even more readied for X.Org Server 1.11 once its merge window opens in February. Daniel Stone has today put out a fourth version of these X patches that provide proper multi-touch support to Linux and other operating systems running X.Org.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Season of KDE 2010

        Season of KDE (SoK) allows KDE to help support students and worthwhile projects who didn’t manage to get one of the limited places in the Google Summer of Code program. Each SoK student works on their chosen project with a mentor from KDE with experience in that area to help and guide them.

        [...]

        Please enjoy the gifts from KDE and Google commemorating your contributions. They will be sent to you soon.

      • Beta of the Qt Creator Buildservice Plugin released (Project Bretzn)

        The plugin lets you perform all the actions required to get data sent to the various build services and publishing sites, by contacting the server part, which then distributes the information to the appropriate places. The implementation of this also prompted ammending the Attica library with new features. As some will already know, Attica is the full featured implementation of a OCS client library built by KDE which is now officially included in the MeeGo platform as well.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • GIMP 2.8 Is Struggling To Make It Out The Door

    Martin is one of the core GIMP developers but this past spring after coming up with this release schedule he ended up becoming too busy with other work to contribute to GIMP on a daily basis, which left this free software project with less than three dedicated developers. That ended up being a significant setback for the GIMP project and has now pushed back the GIMP 2.8 release by at least a month or more.

  • Web Browsers

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Will Cleantech Open to Open Source?

      The software world has turned this process on its head, at least with respect to certain types of fundamental technology. Open source software has come to play a significant role in the infrastructure of the Internet and open source programs such as Linux, Apache and BIND are commonly used tools in the Internet and business systems. (for a good background article, see Kennedy, A Primer on Open Source Legal Issues.) Leading software companies with proprietary technology portfolios, such as IBM, Novell, and Oracle have learned to work with open source programs and even to profit from them. See Koenig, Open Source Business Strategies. Not to mention the successful enterprises founded with the goal of supporting, integrating and maintaining open source platforms (Red Hat, Progeny, 10X Software).

    • Open Data

Leftovers

  • Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die
  • 2011: A Brave New Dystopia

    The result is a monochromatic system of information. Celebrity courtiers, masquerading as journalists, experts and specialists, identify our problems and patiently explain the parameters. All those who argue outside the imposed parameters are dismissed as irrelevant cranks, extremists or members of a radical left. Prescient social critics, from Ralph Nader to Noam Chomsky, are banished. Acceptable opinions have a range of A to B. The culture, under the tutelage of these corporate courtiers, becomes, as Huxley noted, a world of cheerful conformity, as well as an endless and finally fatal optimism. We busy ourselves buying products that promise to change our lives, make us more beautiful, confident or successful as we are steadily stripped of rights, money and influence. All messages we receive through these systems of communication, whether on the nightly news or talk shows like “Oprah,” promise a brighter, happier tomorrow. And this, as Wolin points out, is “the same ideology that invites corporate executives to exaggerate profits and conceal losses, but always with a sunny face.” We have been entranced, as Wolin writes, by “continuous technological advances” that “encourage elaborate fantasies of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, actions measured in nanoseconds: a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility, whose denizens are prone to fantasies because the vast majority have imagination but little scientific knowledge.”

    [...]

    The façade is crumbling. And as more and more people realize that they have been used and robbed, we will move swiftly from Huxley’s “Brave New World” to Orwell’s “1984.” The public, at some point, will have to face some very unpleasant truths. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. The largest deficits in human history mean that we are trapped in a debt peonage system that will be used by the corporate state to eradicate the last vestiges of social protection for citizens, including Social Security. The state has devolved from a capitalist democracy to neo-feudalism. And when these truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed cheerful conformity. The bleakness of our post-industrial pockets, where some 40 million Americans live in a state of poverty and tens of millions in a category called “near poverty,” coupled with the lack of credit to save families from foreclosures, bank repossessions and bankruptcy from medical bills, means that inverted totalitarianism will no longer work.

  • Media Industry Predictions for 2011

    If we have learned anything about the Internet economy it is that it moves faster than most organisations ability to adapt. Our internal view at Briefing Media, is that the coming thing is curation. It is a topic that has been bubbling under for a year or two and has begun to be more mainstream in 2010, with a couple of conference events and some interesting online debate from many quarters on both sides of the Atlantic. The premise of curation (it is not aggregation), is that some kinds of content are more valuable and useful if they are organised and contextualised. The very essence of curation is that although technology plays a part, human editing is vital. That’s why we spend a lot of time improving our taxonomy, making it unique to our community needs.

  • Adsense, no sense at all – what it’s like being sacked by a computer…

    On Monday the 13th of December – two weeks before Christmas – I was sacked by a Google algorithm.

    It sent an email to me and summarily killed my main source of income. No humans were involved in this process at all. It was, literally, the most inhumane letting go I have ever experienced.

    As well as ‘letting me go’ the Google Algorithm also confiscated all my earned income October 31st to December 13th. Tough indeed – and no human has ever done that to me; they have always paid me for work done.

    Then twio days before Christmas I got a letter from my bank saying that the check for October – worth £1,700 had been stopped.
    That is £3,700 gone from my family fiancés in the two weeks before Chisitmas.

    Welcome to the world of Google. Kafka would be proud of Google, whilst Orwell would be perfectly unsurprised.

  • Delicious In Purgatory

    On December 16 Yahoo accidentally told the world they were shutting down popular bookmarking site Delicious. They fired most or all of the Delicious staff. Then they untold that story, saying they intended to sell it off and that the press got it all wrong.

    Ok great. So how’s that sale process going?

  • Sarah Palin: Americans Have “God-Given Right” to Be Fat?

    Americans don’t usually get fitness advice from Sarah Palin, but last week the mother of five lashed out at Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program to help curb childhood obesity by helping kids eat well and stay active.

    “Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat,” Palin said on Laura Ingraham’s national radio show.

  • Asia

    • Japan – One of the Top Pirates in Somalia

      Japan just poached the impoverished country’s top-level Internet domain, the so called Top Level Country Code (TLCC) dot SO (.so), at a time when the state of the embattled nation is at an all-time low.

      “Governed” only for the sake of whitewashing the dealings of their UN-, US- and EU-masters by a Transitional Federal Government, which rules over two roads, a villa and the air-and seaport with he help of mercenary troops from US- and EU-paid African nations assembled in the African Union (AU), Somalia continues to be pillaged again and again by the UN, the U.S., the EU, the AU and other robber-baron-conglomerates. Under the oversight of a pseudo-governmental parliament, whose members were chain-selected by the UN, who is playing on the one hand the role of an overlord towards the Somalis and on the other the stir-up holder for the interests of the most powerful UN member states like U.S., France and the UK, the robbery continues even in cyberspace.

      Japan – now closing shoulders with the U.S. in the emerging power-games with China and Russia – has a particular role and uses that window to fill their own pockets.

    • China counts £130bn cost of economic growth

      China’s economic growth is inflicting more than a trillion yuan’s worth of damage on its environment each year, according to a government report that increases pressure on planners to slow the breakneck speed of development.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Paper That Finally Changed The Law on Drugs

      The case for the end of the war on drugs has never been stronger than it is today. The Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs published a paper in The Lancet last month demonstrating the clear scientific evidence that stands to oppose UK government drugs policy. This follows a recent paper directly calling for an end to the “War on Drugs” in the British Medical Journal. Two former UK Government drugs tzars have now come out publicly in opposition to the war on drugs.

    • Panel challenges Gulf seafood safety all-clear

      A New Orleans law firm is challenging government assurances that Gulf Coast seafood is safe to eat in the wake of the BP oil spill, saying it poses “a significant danger to public health.”

      It’s a high-stakes tug-of-war that will almost certainly end up in the courts, with two armies of scientists arguing over technical findings that could have real-world impact for seafood consumers and producers.

  • Twitter

    • General FAIL: The Military’s Worst Tweeters
    • Evan Williams: The Challenges of a Web of Infinite Info

      Evan Williams and I have known each other for a long time. From a struggling entrepreneur who started Blogger, to a successful founder who got liberal funding for his podcasting start-up Odeo, to the accidental launch of Twitter — to me, he has been pretty much the same person. He prefers to stay out of the limelight, leaving (most if not all the media duties) to his co-founder Biz Stone. And even in crowds he is quiet.

    • How Newark Mayor Cory Booker Made All Politics Super Local With Twitter Following The Blizzard

      I’m getting a similar feeling after reading about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s use of Twitter in response to the big blizzard that hit the northeast this past weekend. He’s been tweeting up a storm, as he travels around Newark helping to plow streets and dig out cars and help people in trouble. As you look down the thread, he’s specifically responding to different people calling out for help — either sending people to help or showing up himself, such as the case of the woman who was stuck in her home and needed diapers, which the mayor brought himself.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • MP backs G20 outlay

      The Beacon Herald kicks off a series of year-end interviews with local political leaders with Perth- Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger. Wednesday, Perth-Wellington MPP and provincial Environment Minister John Wilkinson.

      Perth-Wellington’s MP is backing the government all the way on its controversial pension reform plan and on its stand that spending close to $1 billion on security for a weekend G20 summit in Toronto was justified.

    • DATA: Don’t get too excited about speed camera data just yet

      One of the most frustrating and bizarre Freedom of Information request standoffs could be about to come to an end after the Government said more data about speed cameras must be released.

    • Police demand new powers to stop and search terror suspects

      Police have asked the government for a new counter-terrorism power to stop and search people without having to suspect them of involvement in crime, the Guardian has learned.

      Senior officers have told the government the new law is needed to better protect the public against attempted attacks on large numbers of people, and are hopeful they can win ministers’ backing.

    • Kettling – an attack on the right to protest

      As night fell, and the House of Commons moved towards its vote on tripling student fees, the police in full riot gear closed in on the protestors in Parliament Square on 10 December. They began to corral them towards Westminster Bridge having formed a ‘kettle’ to contain them. They then trapped them onto the bridge which the demonstrators thought was being used as an exit – and a long cold walk – away from Whitehall. Once they had captured them there the police were ordered to squeeze the ‘kettle’ and crush the demonstrators so that they could barely breathe. This was indeed an operation of gross police brutality.

    • World much stupider than returning soldier remembered [TSA]

      The eminent minds at TSA saw fit to confiscate an armed soldier’s nail clippers because he might use them to take over the plane. At this point I would like to point out that he was not armed with nail clippers, he was armed with an assault rifle – which was apparently acceptable because it didn’t have bullets.

  • Cablegate

    • 2010: The Year We Lost Free Use of Our Money

      I’m really concerned with the public complacency about the recent blocking of donations to Wikileaks by the biggest bank in the US: Bank of America, one of the leading credit card companies: Mastercard and the largest online payment provider: PayPal.

    • FBI Raids Web Hosts Over Wikileaks Advocates’ Operation Payback

      The FBI has reportedly raided a Texas web host and worked with international authorities to search servers in pursuit of the anonymous leaders of the group Anonymous, who blocked the website of PayPal earlier this month in retribution to the company’s decision to stop its customers from making donations to Wikileaks. That according to an affidavit posted in part by the legal watchdog website The Smoking Gun today.

      “These coordinated attacks, investigators allege,” writes The Smoking Gun, “amount to felony violations of a federal law covering the ‘unauthorized and knowing transmission of code or commands resulting in intentional damage to a protected computer system.’” How several hours of inaccessibility constituted damage to the system was not described in the part of the affidavit posted online.

    • Conspiracy Theories Linking Israel to WikiLeaks Circulate on the Internet

      Although the theory that Israel orchestrated the WikiLeaks’ affair is circulating on a relatively small number of Web sites, it has gained traction with those catering to the far right and the left, as well as on some Arab and Islamic sites, and others dedicated to spreading “anti-Zionist” messages like Islam Times and Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Web site.

    • A killing in Dubai

      On Thursday, Julian Assange told reporters that WikiLeaks would be releasing State Department cables concerning the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January, and he has made good on the promise with a couple of short dispatches from the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi. They don’t offer any more insight into the still-unsolved killing, but they do paint a picture of the diplomatic conundrum the incident posed for the United Emirates and the United States.

    • The curious case of Glenn Greenwald vs. Wired magazine

      Four days later, Poulsen and Zetter published a new article on Manning, as well as an incomplete transcript of Lamo and Manning’s chats, which had begun on May 21 and continued for a few days. “The excerpts represent about 25 percent of the logs,” they wrote. “Portions of the chats that discuss deeply personal information about Manning or that reveal apparently sensitive military information are not included.”

    • Putting the Record Straight on the Lamo-Manning Chat Logs

      Armchair critics, apparently unhappy that Manning was arrested, have eagerly second-guessed our motives, dreamed up imaginary conflicts and pounded the table for more information: Why would Manning open himself up to a complete stranger and discuss alleged crimes that could send him to prison for decades? How is it possible that Wired.com just happened to have a connection with the one random individual Manning picked out to confide in, only to send him down for it?

    • Wired’s refusal to release or comment on the Manning chat logs

      …Wired, with no justification, continues to conceal this evidence and, worse, refuses even to comment on its content, thus blinding journalists and others trying to find out what really happened here, while enabling gross distortions of the truth by Poulsen’s long-time confidant and source, the government informant Adrian Lamo.

    • Greenwald vs. Wired in 1000 words or thereabouts

      The Washington Post also received yet another version of these mysteriously never-quite-identical logs. But no-one cares about that, because discussing journalism with the Washington Post would be like discussing metaphysics with a melting knob of butter.

    • The Unlikely Story of Adrian Lamo, Bradley Manning, Wired Magazine and the Federal Government

      I’ve now gone through just about everything I can find of various accounts of what transpired between Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo, Wired and the federal government. (A data base of all the relevant media can be found here.)

      And having reviewed all the material, I cannot tell you how implausible I find the cover story to be (Wired 6/6/2010, CJR 6/18 2010). Furthermore, I cannot believe that anyone of any journalistic standing has not seriously questioned it before going into print using Lamo as a source.

    • Haikuleaks: “Cable is Poetry”

      HaikuLeaks searches through the Wikileaks “Cablegate” data for haikus. I’m not sure if it’s fully automated, or human-generated—seems too perfect to be computerized. Either way, genius.

    • My Parents Were Executed Under the Unconstitutional Espionage Act — Here’s Why We Must Fight to Protect Julian Assange

      It appears obvious that the Espionage Act is unconstitutional because it does exactly what the Constitution prohibits. It is, in other words, an effort to make an end run around the Treason Clause of the Constitution. Not surprisingly, however, as we’ve seen in times of political stress, the Supreme Court upheld its validity in a 5-4 decision. Although later decisions seemed to criticize and limit its scope, the Espionage Act of 1917 has never been declared unconstitutional. To this day, with a few notable exceptions that include my parents’ case, it has been a dormant sword of Damocles, awaiting the right political moment and an authoritarian Supreme Court to spring to life and slash at dissenters.

      It is no accident that Julian Assange may face a “conspiracy” charge just as my parents did. All that is required of the prosecution to prove a conspiracy is to present evidence that two or more people got together and took one act in furtherance of an illegal plan. It could be a phone call or a conversation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Supported by Tea Party polluters, incoming GOP energy chair Upton flips on threat of global warming

      In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, incoming energy chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) joined Americans For Prosperity (AFP) president Tim Phillips — a global warming denier who pushes the dumbest denier myth — to support the lawsuits by global warming polluters against climate rules. One of the companies leading the charge against the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding is Koch Industries, the private pollution giant whose billionaire owners have been directing the Tea Party movement through its AFP front group.

    • Science is self-correcting: Lessons from the arsenic controversy

      Recent attention to NASA’s announcement of ‘arsenic-based life’ has provided a very public window into how science and scientists operate. Debate surrounds the announcement of any controversial scientific finding. In the case of arseno-DNA, the discussion that is playing out on the blogs is very similar to the process that usually plays out in conferences and seminars. This discussion is a core process by which science works.

  • Finance

    • The 10 Greediest People of the Year
    • Obama to Name His Top Economist in January

      Among the first announcements President Barack Obama will make upon returning from his Hawaiian Vacation is his choice for top economic adviser, a decision that could si

    • Where are the jobs? For many companies, overseas

      Actually, many American companies are – just maybe not in your town. They’re hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat.

    • Obama administration steps up monitoring of banks that miss TARP payments

      The Obama administration has begun monitoring the high-level board meetings of nearly 20 banks that received emergency taxpayer assistance but repeatedly failed to pay the required dividends, according to Treasury Department officials and documents. And it may soon install new directors on some of their boards.

    • After holiday spree, doubts about economy linger

      Holiday spending surged this year, but Americans still have their doubts about the economy.

      With unemployment high and home prices falling in the nation’s largest cities, consumer confidence took an unexpected turn for the worse in December.

    • Michigan Town Is Left Pleading for Bankruptcy

      Leaders of this city met for more than seven hours on a Saturday not long ago, searching for something to cut from a budget that has already been cut, over and over.

    • Obama & Wall St.: Still Venus & Mars

      On the mental list of slights and outrages that just about every major figure on Wall Street is believed to keep on President Barack Obama, add this one: When he met recently with a group of CEOs at Blair House, there was no representative from any of the six biggest banks in America.

    • Retail Sales Rebound, Beating Forecasts

      Shoppers spent more money this holiday season than even before the recession, according to preliminary retail data released on Monday.

    • New Voters May Sway Fed Actions

      As the Federal Reserve debates whether to scale back, continue or expand its $600 billion effort to nurse the economic recovery, four men will have a newly prominent role in influencing the central bank’s path.

    • Baby boomers near 65 with retirements in jeopardy

      Through a combination of procrastination and bad timing, many baby boomers are facing a personal finance disaster just as they’re hoping to retire. Starting in January, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years.

      The boomers, who in their youth revolutionized everything from music to race relations, are set to redefine retirement. But a generation that made its mark in the tumultuous 1960s now faces a crisis as it hits its own mid-60s.

    • Alternate Unemployment Charts

      The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China’s MIIT Declares Most VoIP Services, Including Skype, Illegal

      China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently issued a circular declaring that VOIP services other than those offered by State-owned giants China Telecom and China Unicom are illegal.

    • Spanish Web Censorship Supporter Calls Opponents Dictators, Cowards and Likens Them to Terrorists

      There are very few times we see someone who supports restricting copyright laws that are so direct, but Alejandro Sanz probably should win an award for most direct and honest opinion (and maybe rather asinine as well) of those who don’t agree with his point of view on matters. Still, it appears to be quite a good indicator of just how tense the debate over Spanish web censorship has become. Maybe the defeat of the web censorship bill has only served to infuriate foreign interests as well as those who side with them.

      The Sinde Law, a law that would allow the Spanish government to censor any website they deem to contain pirated material, was defeated in a government vote shortly after Wikileaks revealed that such laws were brought forth due to, what some would argue, foreign (US) interference. In spite of the law being defeated once it was brought to a vote, the minister responsible for the law vowed to pass the law anyway, regardless of any difficulty she may have passing it after it was defeated once already.

    • Binayak Sen Judgment/ Shiv Viswanathan’s Letter to the PM

      The point I wish to make is simple. We do not have to agree with Binayak Sen, anymore than we have to agree with Mahaswta Devi or Arundhati Roy or Baba Amte. But these have been voices of conscience. These are people who have care and healed, given a voice to the voiceless. They represent the essential goodness of our society. They are Indians and outstanding Indians and no nation state can negate that. I admit that such people are not easy people. They irritate, they agonize over things we take for granted or ignore. They take the ethical to the very core of our lives. Let us be clear. It is not Sen’s ideology that threatens us. It is his ethics, his sense of goodness. We have arrested him because we have arrested that very sense of justice in ourselves.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • MDY v. Blizzard Opinion

      Though there was an interesting tortious interference decision in the appeal, I’m going to focus on the two copyright issues that were decided by the Ninth Circuit, one involving a claim that users of MDY’s Glider program breached World of Warcraft (WoW)’s software license and the other claiming that users of MDY’s Glider program violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)’s prohibitions on circumventing technological protection measures that limit access to copyrighted works. This second claim focused on the operation of Blizzard’s Warden program, which monitors a player’s computer to see if it is running any unauthorized software.

    • 2010 Trend Watch Update: Fair Use of Trademarks

      We’re watching this one closely, as it may set important precedent for political fair use. And the Chamber of Commerce continue to pursue their trumped-up trademark claims against the Yes Men, in retaliation for a Fall 2009 press conference in which the activists put out a press release and held a spoof news conference on Monday, claiming that the Chamber of Commerce had reversed its position and would stop lobbying against a climate bill currently in the Senate. We’re looking forward to a court decision affirming the legality of the Yes Men’s actions in early 2011.

    • The DMCA Re-Fanged: Courts Now At Odds Over Copyright Protection for Software Security Devices

      The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it unlawful to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected by copyright, and to traffic in devices designed to accomplish that end.

      In last month’s IP Update, we expressed wonderment at the reasoning of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in MGE UPS Systems Inc. v. GE Consumer and Industrial Inc. In that case, the court was unable to find a violation of the DMCA where software had been modified without authorization so that it would not check for the presence of an external hardware device that the software vendor distributed only to authorized users of the software.

    • ‘Spinning’ Trademarked; Gyms Being Threatened For Holding Spinning Classes Sans License

      If you’ve been to a gym lately, you’ve probably seen how “spinning” classes have become quite popular these days. When I first heard of them, I couldn’t figure out why they called them “spinning,” rather than just “stationary bike” classes, but now I know: apparently “spinning” is a trademarked term, held by a company called Mad Dogg Athletics, and the company is gaining a reputation for trying to enforce that trademark around the globe. If you look at the USPTO, the company appears to have a ton of different trademarks on “spinning,” covering not just exercise classes, but also sports drinks, lotions and creams, nutritional supplements and computer software. It looks like the original spinning trademark was filed for back in 1992 — so it’s entirely possible that this company really did come up with the term and popularize it.

    • “Against Intellectual Property” in ePub
    • Copyrights

      • The Well-Pilfered Clavier

        A new study by a German economic historian hints at an answer. In his two-volume History and Nature of Copyright, Eckhard Höffner compares and contrasts the industrial-age economic histories of Britain (which provided copyright protection beginning with the 1710 Statute of Anne) and the 39 German states (where a uniform copyright code was impossible to enforce across a loose federation).

        Höffner’s discovery: German writers produced more books and made more money than their English counterparts. Through the middle of the 19th century, the German book market produced and sold roughly five times as many books as the British. The advantage was interrupted only by the Napoleonic occupation, and it did not end permanently until after 1848, when Germany began to enforce consistent copyright rules.

      • Kindergartens told to pay up before singing

        A group representing German musicians found itself accused of Scrooge-like meanness on Tuesday after pressing kindergartens to pay up for singing songs that are protected by copyright.

      • Kindergartens ordered to pay copyright for songs

        A tightening of copyright rules means kindergartens now have to pay fees to Germany’s music licensing agency, GEMA, to use songs that they reproduce and perform. The organization has begun notifying creches and other daycare facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license.

      • Hadopi Sends 100,000 Warning Emails To Suspected Pirates

        Hadopi, the French authority with responsibility for issuing warnings to illicit file-sharers, has just announced that so far it has sent out 100,000 email warnings. While the figure is far below the 50-70,000 reports filed by the entertainment industry every day, around 15% of warning recipients have responded by email, some with confessions, some with confusion.

      • FilmOn Founder Plans to Sue CBS, CNET for Distributing Piracy Software

        FilmOn founder Alki David charges CNET, a subsidiary of CBS, with the distribution of “illegal software” that allows users to circumvent DRM technology in violation of the Copyright Act as well as other software that lets users illegally stream and download copyrighted material. Countersuit is in response to claims by CBS and other TV broadcasters that FilmOn illegally retransmits copyrighted programming.

      • Court Rejects Agence France-Presse’s Attempt to Claim License to Haiti Earthquake Photos Through Twitter/Twitpic Terms of Service — AFP v. Morel

        The Southern District of New York issued an order denying AFP’s request to dismiss photographer Daniel Morel’s copyright claims, rejecting AFP’s argument that uploading pictures to Twitter/Twitpic granted third parties (including AFP) a broad license to exploit this content. The result is not surprising from a legal standpoint, but should allow photographers (and others who upload content into Twitter’s ecosystem) to breathe a sigh of relief.

      • Piracy Isn’t The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem

        And this is where I think some of the confusion often comes in in these discussions. No one (well, I’m sure there are a few, but they’re a minority) denies that there is value in the works created. The question is where is that value captured. Many content creators feel that it should be captured in you paying up before you’ve consumed their work for the first time. Many content consumers don’t like that bargain. And so they seek out something else. But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t value created when someone experiences the music or the film. It’s that value that Barnard was discussing in the emotional impact of the work. The trick then is not to worry about getting paid for every copy or every download, but to set up all sorts of opportunities for people to support you as a content creator. Now, this can come in all sorts of formats. Fan-funding has become popular these days, via platforms like Kickstarter, and that can work for some artists. Others are doing creative things like selling related tangible goods that are made more valuable due to their connection to music or movies (Amanda Palmer selling off special ukuleles). Others are selling their experience (Kevin Smith is offering a wonderful 10-week “film school” discussing how he made his latest film). Others are selling a wide variety of things (Nina Paley’s long list of ways in which she makes money from her film, Sita Sings the Blues).

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Chris DiBona interviewed by Jeremy Allison – PART 1


Chris DiBona interviewed by Jeremy Allison – PART 2


Chris DiBona interviewed by Jeremy Allison – PART 3


Chris DiBona interviewed by Jeremy Allison – PART 4


Chris DiBona interviewed by Jeremy Allison – PART 5


Credit: TinyOgg

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