Newegg Beats Patent Troll, Sony Becomes DMCA Troll, NSA/PRISM Dropbox Blocks Accounts Based on Suspicion
Buildings around Sony HQ in Tokyo
Summary: New examples of so-called ‘IP’ being used to oppress society, censor society, and perform extensive surveillance on it
THERE IS some real criticism of the so-called “IP” (intellectual monopolies) movement these days, even in some of the corporate press. TechDirt points out that Newegg has just crushed a patent troll . The problem, however, is that the media mostly tackles the issue which is trolls (tackling one patent at a time) rather than cover the real issue, which large corporations don’t want fixed (right now they lobby against patent scope reform at SCOTUS).
It’s not just about patents, either. Copyright monopolies are getting more draconian over time and according to [2,3], the company which attacks Android using patents (Sony) is now attacking Open Source films using bogus DMCA requests. Over the years we have covered many other reasons to avoid anything from Sony. Now there is yet another reason. This abuse is systematic, not an “oops”. Simon Phipps (OSI) said he had tried to upload the original video (“Sintel”) and was blocked, whereupon he appealed and asked others to do the same. British law and British politics mostly overlook these serious abuses  which are monopolies on ideas and works. British politicians are generally quite horrible; they serve corporations, not people. Just look how many British politicians lobbied against net neutrality in the European Parliament last week.
“What we have right now is the criminalisation of more and more digital activities which were perfectly legitimate activities before digitisation.”Not too long ago, a business of a German living in New Zealand was shut down using an illegal raid along with abuses of surveillance and police powers (and literal stealing of people’s personal and business data ). Dropbox, which was on the leaked PRISM slides as “coming soon” (Microsoft was first in PRISM’s slides/timeline), plays ball with those who are abusing powers , using suspicion alone as justification for suspension and/or censorship. This also means that Dropbox is accessing all files that people are uploading. Copyright provides/equips Dropbox with a convenient excuse for doing so, showing again that copyright, surveillance and censorship typically go hand in hand. Dropbox is definitely something to boycott (better now than later).
The world needs to learn how to share. Corporations need to learn how to cooperate. What we have right now is the criminalisation of more and more digital activities which were perfectly legitimate activities before digitisation. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
MacroSolve is a company that got a lot of (generally negative) attention when it turned full-blown “patent troll” in 2011, suing dozens of companies (including small app development shops) over patent No. 7,822,816, which it claims covers using questionnaires on a mobile app.
Now, a coalition of defendants led by Newegg and Geico Insurance has stopped MacroSolve in its tracks. MacroSolve has dismissed all remaining cases, and it has admitted that it can’t proceed to go forward with a trial that was scheduled to take place this June in East Texas.
Sony Pictures has demanded the removal of the CGI short film Sintel from YouTube due to a claim of copyright infringement. One small problem: they don’t actually own anything in the film.
Sintel, a film by Colin Levy which has been featured before on Cartoon Brew, was created by the Blender Foundation, the non-profit organization which promotes the free, open source 3D software Blender. The crowdfunded short was made using entirely original materials, and was licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, which means that anyone can freely share the movie.
While Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg kicked around old political footballs like immigration on Wednesday night, there was a glaring omission from the debate: digital rights.
Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided, and there’s little chance that they will have them returned in the near future. Despite efforts from both Megaupload and its former hosting company to negotiate a solution, the servers are still gathering dust in a Virginia warehouse.
A tweet that appeared late last night took everyone by surprise. The tweet talked about a DMCA notice that blocked a file from being shared on a Dropbox user’s account.