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Links 24/10/2012: First GNOME 3.6 Update

Posted in News Roundup at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Big Oil and the US Chamber of Commerce Fight to Keep Foreign Bribery Flourishing

      In a new lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), big energy extractors are pushing for carte blanche in their interactions with foreign governments, making it harder to track whether their deals are padding the coffers of dictators, warlords, or crony capitalists. The United States Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the National Foreign Trade Council filed a lawsuit on October 10, 2012 against a new SEC rule, which requires U.S. oil, mining and gas companies to formally disclose payments made to foreign governments as part of their annual SEC reporting.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • ORG urges caution over web blocking orders

      In response to the BPI’s call to block three websites before Christmas, Jim Killock Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

      “Web blocking is an extreme response. The orders are often indefinite and open ended, and will be blocking legitimate uses. The BPI and the courts need to slow down and be very careful about this approach.

      “The BPI seem to be trying to speed things up and that is not good. It will lead to carelessness and unneeded harms.

      “As an approach, censorship is a bad idea. It leads to more censorship, and is unlikely to solve the problem it seeks to address.

    • How Would Twitter Handle A Crackdown On Free Speech In Saudi Arabia?

      Twitter has put itself out there as being a strong defender of free speech, arguing that it’s not just a principled stand, but one that provides the company with a competitive advantage. Standing up for free speech is good — not just for people, but for Twitter too.

    • Public shame should be punishment enough

      As another individual is sentenced to jail time for causing offense, it seems that at present a week doesn’t go by where outrage over a joke or insensitive comment isn’t splashed across the front pages.

      There have been two notable cases in October: Barry Thew, who wore a T-shirt bearing the message “One less pig; perfect justice” and “Killacopforfun.com haha”, was sentenced to jail for eight months under the Public Order Act and Matthew Woods was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail after posting “grossly offensive” jokes on his Facebook page about missing April Jones under the Malicious Communications Act 2003. It is worth noting on the same day and in the same court that Woods was sentenced, a man was fined £100 and ordered to pay £100 compensation for racially abusing a woman to her face.

    • DPP to issue guidelines on prosecutions over Facebook and Twitter abuse
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Rights? You have no right to your eBooks.

      News spread quickly on the web today of the predicament faced by a woman in Norway, Linn, who has lost all access to the eBooks she legitimately purchased from Amazon. The story first emerged on a friend’s blog, where a sequence of e-mails from Michael Murphy, a customer support representative at Amazon.co.uk were posted. These painted a picture some interpreted as Amazon remotely erasing a customer’s Kindle, but in conversation with Linn I discovered that was not what had happened – something just as bad did, though.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Tim Tebow Trademarking ‘Tebowing’ Tarnishes Trademark

        In case you missed the last two years on the internet and don’t know what ‘Tebowing’ is, it’s essentially genuflecting in prayer on one knee and bowing your head onto your clenched fist.

      • Tiananmen Square Activist Loses Trademark Bullying Case Against Critic, But Ruling Is Weak

        We’ve been covering the absolutely ridiculous lawsuit of educational software firm Jenzabar against documentary filmmakers Long Bow for a few years now. The short version is that Long Bow made a documentary about some of the activists from the Tiananmen Square uprising, that was somewhat critical of them — including a protest organizer named Ling Chai. Chai later moved to the US and founded an educational software company called Jenzabar. She has regularly played up her history as a Tiananmen Square organizer in getting PR for the company. The filmmakers called into question some of her actions back during the protests, and also set up a webpage, associated with the movie, critical of Chai. Chai sued for defamation — which was quickly thrown out. However, she also had Jenzabar sue for trademark infringement, because the page about her on Long Bow’s site mentioned Jenzabar in the title and in the meta tags.

    • Copyrights

      • Korean Music Industry Embraces The Future While US Counterparts Fight It

        The awesome folks over at Planet Money recently did a podcast about why Korean pop music (K-Pop) is taking over the world, using (obviously) Gangnam Style as exhibit number one. Of course, you could argue that one faddish song is not proof that they’re taking over the industry, so there’s a bit of journalistic hyperbole at work here — but the larger point comes clear in the podcast: the US’s music industry was built for the 20th century — a world of scarcity, limited distribution channels, hyperfocus on music and a strong reliance on copyright — but the Korean pop music landscape is focused on a much more 21st century strategy.

      • EFF Files Motion To Have Court Release Seizure Warrant In Megaupload Case
      • October 19 WIPO negotiations on copyright exceptions for disabilities

        After three days, the WIPO intersessional negotiations on copyright exceptions for persons with disabilities adjourned. On July 26, 2012, the SCCR negotiating text (SCCR 24/9) was 26 pages long, with 4051 words, and included 56 brackets, and 20 alternatives. The Final document on Friday (copy here) evening was 26 pages, with 47 brackets, and 22 alternatives.

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