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03.29.17

Links 29/3/2017: End of Linux Action Show, Top NSA Partner Pays Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Plesk teams with Kolab for open source groupware

    Plesk, one of the major providers of website management solutions, has chosen Kolab Systems’ groupware solution for its millions of users.

    “You can now deploy Kolab in your Plesk installation with the Premium Email powered by Kolab extension. this extension is a step forward in the field of turn key groupware and online collaboration software. This package is easy and convenient to deploy — it can literally be installed in a few clicks, and it provides full Kolab functionality without the inconveniences and potential pitfalls of having to install Kolab from the ground up,” said Kolab Systems in a press release.

    This deal shows us why smart companies put their eggs in the open source basket instead of relying on proprietary solutions.

  • Survey seeks to discover the motivations behind open source contributions

    Peer production is one of three fundamental ways to organize human economic activity, along with markets and firms. Yet, although it underlies billions of dollars in open source software production, it is the least understood. Participants in open source are not organized in firms, where they would work under the supervision of managers and earn a salary, nor are they individuals in a market, responding to price signals.

    The economics of peer production is an interesting area of study that raises many important questions regarding the incentives behind voluntary participation, the efficiency of production, the tools and models that can quantify and explain how the process works, and so forth.

    My doctoral research at Harvard University considered incentives issues that arise in a software economy. In particular, my work used principles from market design and mechanism design to address problems, such as how to incentivize high-quality submissions to address bugs or features, and how to elicit truthful prediction of task completion time.

  • The Apache® Software Foundation Announces 18 Years of Open Source Leadership

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today its 18th Anniversary and accomplishments, and rallied support to ensure future innovation.

  • Open source software is for everyone – so where are the women?

    We all know that there is a diversity problem in tech. The depressing stats from numerous reports and studies all point to stereotypes and bias hitting young girls’ perceptions of STEM negatively, with this sitting alongside poor retention figures and a lack of women at the board level.

    However, one particular branch of tech may be struggling in more when it comes to diversity and inclusion – the one branch, in fact, which has inclusiveness at the very core of its ethos.

  • Extend open source collaboration techniques to skills development

    The skills shortage in South Africa could possibly be addressed by organisations extending their willingness to collaborate as part of the open source community to collaborating on skills development and training.

    That’s the view of Muggie van Staden, MD of open source software provider Obsidian Systems, who said that rapid skills development was particularly important in non-traditional IT areas such as big data – and open source big data in particular.

  • German Federal Police uses Pentaho for daily statistics

    The German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) is using the Pentaho Business Intelligence (BI) suite to perform business analytics for the deployment of police officers. The organisation aggregates information from various systems — more than twenty fields of operations in e.g. border entry, asylum seekers, crimes and detectives — into its data warehouse, and works this data into statistics. The resulting information is used, for example, for shift service management, specifically at the national airports, and to fulfil the department’s reporting obligations to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

  • Google presents its open-source goodies to the world
  • Google launches new site to showcase its open source projects and processes

    Google is launching a new site today that brings all of the company’s open source projects under a single umbrella.

    The code of these projects will still live on GitHub and Google’s self-hosted git service, of course, with the new site functioning as a central directory for them. While this new project is obviously meant to showcase Google’s projects, the company says it also wants to use it to provide “a look under the hood” of how it “does” open source.

  • Google launches website to give its open source projects a new home
  • Google publishes its documentation for open-sourcing technology
  • Google unveils new site to highlight open source projects and processes
  • Google launches new open source website
  • A New Home for Google Open Source

    Free and open source software has been part of our technical and organizational foundation since Google’s early beginnings. From servers running the Linux kernel to an internal culture of being able to patch any other team’s code, open source is part of everything we do. In return, we’ve released millions of lines of open source code, run programs like Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in, and sponsor open source projects and communities through organizations like Software Freedom Conservancy, the Apache Software Foundation, and many others.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • [Old] Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say

      The Hadoop community has so far failed to account for the poor performance and high complexity of Hadoop, Johnson says. “The Hadoop ecosystem is still basically in the hands of a small number of experts,” he says. “If you have that power and you’ve learned know how to use these tools and you’re programmer, then this thing is super powerful. But there aren’t a lot of those people. I’ve read all these things how we need another million data scientists in the world, which I think means our tools aren’t very good.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Healthcare

    • Can Open Source EHRs Offer a New Path for Health IT Usability?

      More than half a decade after the EHR Incentive Programs sparked a frenzied rush to purchase and implement certified health IT tools, the electronic health record market has largely coalesced around a core set of commercial vendors.

      The names of the industry’s leading lights – Cerner, Epic, Allscripts, MEDITECH, NextGen, athenahealth – have become very familiar to anyone with an interest in data and documentation.

      When searching for a new EHR, a population health management solution, or a big data analytics toolset, providers have a lot of decisions to make. Cloud or server-based? CommonWell or Carequality? API-compatible or largely proprietary?

    • Bolton goes live with OpenEyes open source software

      A million-pound open source electronic patient record has gone live in a northern NHS trust’s eye department.

      Bolton NHS Foundation Trust deployed the ophthalmic OpenEyes software in January.

      David Haider, consultant ophthalmologist and chief clinical information officer at Bolton, told Digital Health News that he was doing a “slow deployment”, with the EPR being used in cataracts first.

      “Because we’re running from a fairly digitally immature trust, we didn’t want to do anything to fast.”

      Haider said the deployment had “not been particularly painful at all”.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Benchmarks & Trying Out DragonFlyBSD 4.8

      With DragonFlyBSD 4.8 making its debut yesterday, I was excited to give this updated BSD operating system a try now that it has UEFI support and some performance improvements. Here are some early benchmark results of DragonFlyBSD 4.8 compared to 4.6 and Intel’s Clear Linux for some additional reference points.

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • IEEE Looks Beyond Moore’s Law with IRDS Technology Roadmap

      IEEE is taking a lead role in building a comprehensive, end-to-end view of the computing ecosystem, including devices, components, systems, architecture, and software. In May 2016, IEEE announced the formation of the IRDS under the sponsorship of IEEE RC. The historical integration of IEEE RC and the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) 2.0 addresses mapping the ecosystem of the new reborn electronics industry. The new beginning of the evolved roadmap—with the migration from ITRS to IRDS—is proceeding seamlessly as all the reports produced by the ITRS 2.0 represent the starting point of IRDS.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Yazidi ‘superhero’ earns award for helping survivors of ISIS atrocities

      “The story of the Yazidis forced to flee the Islamic State genocide shocked the world in 2014, but the story of those who returned, who today risk their lives to help others, is still to be recognized,”

    • NYT Says Congress Has ‘Duty’ to Make War–Rather Than the Right to Reject It

      As reports come in detailing the degree to which Donald Trump has escalated the “War on ISIS”—and killed hundreds more civilians in the process—this would seem like a good time for the country to sit back and examine the United States’ approach to fighting “terrorism” and its recent iteration, the so-called Islamic State.

      Not for the New York Times editorial board, which didn’t take the wave of civilians deaths as a reason to question the wisdom of America’s various “counter-terror,” nation-building and regime-change projects in the Middle East, but instead chose to browbeat Congress into rubber-stamping a war that’s been going on for almost three years.

    • Advocate of Saddam/Al Qaeda Conspiracy Will Save Us From Fake News

      The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg (3/26/17), alarmed by right-wing websites with “no commitment to truth,” is eager to balance them out with some respectable conservative journalists—and seems to think he has found one in Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes.

    • Warning that Beijing’s military bases in South China Sea are ready for use

      “Beijing can now deploy military assets, including combat aircraft and mobile missile launchers, to the Spratly Islands at any time,” said the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Humans are ‘learning to think as a species’

      Humanity is in the early stages of the most significant evolution in its history: learning to think as a species.

    • Sea Urchins Help Combat Invasive Algae on Corals

      Tiny sea urchins are helping to combat invasive algae in Kaneohe Bay—part of a restoration plan from the settlement of the 2005 grounding of the ship M/V Cape Flattery on the coral reefs south of Oahu. The grounding, and response efforts to free the ship, injured 19.5 acres of coral. Despite the injuries, the reef began recovering on its own. Rather than mess with that natural recovery, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Hawaii’s Division of Aquacitec Resources focused on restoring coral reefs in Kaneohe Bay.

    • The Rebirth of a Healthy Eelgrass Meadow

      The largest and most successful eelgrass restoration project on the planet is now growing in the very place where, since the 1930s, eelgrass had been uprooted by successive hurricanes and destroyed by disease. Located on the Atlantic side of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the project’s innovative methods—supported by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program—are rapidly expanding eelgrass in the region and restoring habitat using methods that may be effective in other regions around the world.

      Seagrass beds not only improve coastal water quality by absorbing nutrients and trapping fine sediments but they also provide critical habitat for commercially important juvenile fish and crabs while absorbing large quantities of carbon dioxide from the air.

  • Finance

    • ‘Dog kennel’ flats in Barnet will be 40% smaller than Travelodge room

      Homes converted from London council offices are permitted to be far below national minimum size due to deregulation of planning rules.

    • Tencent Emerges as Musk’s China Booster With 5% Tesla Stake

      The Chinese internet giant isn’t just an investor, Musk said after his electric-car maker disclosed Tencent had bought a 5 percent stake in his company for $1.8 billion. He also referred to the owner of the WeChat and QQ messaging services as an adviser.

    • Tesla sells 5 percent stake to Chinese firm Tencent

      The same Chinese company that bought League of Legends a couple of years ago just became one of Tesla’s largest shareholders. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated March 24th, Tencent Holdings Ltd. has purchased a five percent stake in the company—8,167,544 shares to be exact. According to TechCrunch, the deal was arranged a week earlier, and Tencent paid $1.7 billion for the shares.

    • Uber to shut down Denmark operation over new taxi laws

      A company spokesman, Kristian Agerbo, said on Tuesday Uber “must take the consequences” of the new rules, which among other things will require cabs to be fitted with seat occupancy sensors and fare meters.

    • GameStop closing at least 150 stores due to poor Q4 sales

      Specific closures have yet to be announced, but the number makes up 2-3% of its overall business.

      Supposedly the closures are happening due to poor holiday sales. The Q4 window is often the high point of video game sales, yet despite the launch of new hardware in the PlayStation 4 Pro and a few major releases, it wasn’t enough in the company’s eyes.

    • Robots do destroy jobs and lower wages, says new study

      They found that each new robot added to the workforce meant the loss of between 3 and 5.6 jobs in the local commuting area. Meanwhile, for each new robot added per 1,000 workers, wages in the surrounding area would fall between 0.25 and 0.5 percent.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Is Donald Trump Functionally Illiterate?

      His use of Twitter demonstrates another one of his failings. The man cannot spell simple words, even with spellcheck on his phone. “Honor” becomes “honer.” Unprecedented” became “unpresidented.” This is also a common failing of people with dyslexia. The reading public can now easily distinguish between tweets written by Trump and those written by someone on his staff. You don’t need to know which phone was used to figure it out. The staff-written tweets contain complete sentences and correctly spelled words. They rarely, if ever, contain exclamation points. Twitter has been a perfect medium for Trump as he never has to write more than 148 characters. And don’t forget that this is a man who also never uses e-mail, something of a startling admission now that most business communications are conducted via e-mail.

    • Donald Trump Keeps Taking Credit For Tech Sector Jobs He Had Absolutely Nothing To Do With

      Last week, buried under the fracas surrounding the failed update to the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration conducted an adorable little stage play few actually noticed. The Administration invited Charter CEO Tom Rutledge to the Oval Office, where the CEO — alongside Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, repeatedly implied that Trump’s policies were somehow to thank for the creation of 20,000 jobs and $25 billion in investment at the cable giant. Press Secretary Sean Spicer was quick to applaud the “new” jobs on Twitter.

    • Sexism is OK (As Long as it’s Aimed at Melania, Apparently)

      She doesn’t sleep with him. They have separate beds, according to one anonymous source. And him?

      He has had a lot of women, some public and much, much younger, some only rumored about (but we know.) One of the most talked-about involved him, an older, powerful man, bedding a younger woman infatuated with him, and likely controlled by him.

      And it’s apparently OK to talk about all this, and shame the dutiful wife, even by feminists. At least as long as it is about Melania Trump, and not, for heaven’s sake, about that other White House power “couple.”

    • ‘He’s Going to Find a Way to Rule With the Corporations’

      The Washington Post ran an op-ed last month by a Princeton professor headlined “Ignore the Attacks on Neil Gorsuch. He’s an Intellectual Giant—and a Good Man.” But at that point, especially, you had to ask—what attacks?

      Well, it’s somewhat different now, with an announcement just this morning that Democrats may filibuster the nomination. But for media, it’s all over. The New York Times says Gorsuch will probably be confirmed, the Chicago Tribune said he’s earned it, USA Today says he “sailed through.”

    • Trump signs order dismantling Obama-era climate policies

      President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, keeping a campaign promise to support the coal industry and calling into question U.S. support for an international deal to fight global warming.

      Flanked by coal miners and coal company executives, Trump proclaimed his “Energy Independence” executive order at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.

      The move drew swift backlash from a coalition of 23 states and local governments, as well as environmental groups, which called the decree a threat to public health and vowed to fight it in court.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate

      Amid the frenzy over the Trump team’s talks with Russians, are we missing a darker story, how the Deep State’s surveillance powers control the nation’s leaders, ask U.S. intelligence veterans Ray McGovern and Bill Binney.

      [...]

      This news presents Trump with an unwelcome but unavoidable choice: confront those who have kept him in the dark about such rogue activities or live fearfully in their shadow. (The latter was the path chosen by President Obama. Will Trump choose the road less traveled?)

      What President Trump decides will largely determine the freedom of action he enjoys as president on many key security and other issues. But even more so, his choice may decide whether there is a future for this constitutional republic. Either he can acquiesce to or fight against a Deep State of intelligence officials who have a myriad of ways to spy on politicians (and other citizens) and thus amass derogatory material that can be easily transformed into blackmail.

      This crisis (yes, “crisis” is an overused word, but in this highly unusual set of circumstances we believe it is appropriate) came to light mostly by accident after President Trump tweeted on March 4 that his team in New York City’s Trump Towers had been “wiretapped” by President Obama.

    • ORG calls out Amber Rudd on Investigatory Powers codes consultations

      The Open Rights Group (ORG), and a number of other such groups, were given a six-week period in which to respond to the Investigatory Powers crap that started in February. They’ve finished early and voiced a number of criticisms and concerns. They are concerned that the Home Office has been a bit of a dick here, and chose to communicate in lawyer speak, presumably with the intention of bamboozling people.

    • Amber Rudd will break encryption

      Today Home Secretary Amber Rudd claimed that end-to-end encryption is “absolutely unacceptable” when referring to how she believed terrorists primarily communicate.

      Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, the Home Secretary said: “It used to be people just steam open envelopes or just listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what they were doing” and has further added “…but in this situation we need to make sure our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.”

      When Rudd was told directly that she may need to legislate in order to achieve this goal, she responded by saying “…we would not resile from taking action if we need to.” and later added that she was not stepping away from legislation.

    • Republicans in Congress Are Disregarding Their Own Privacy Policies

      Under the repeal, the companies that provide your broadband service—be it Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, AT&T, or Verizon—will be able to engage in all sorts of underhanded ways to monetize your personal information. They’ll be allowed to collect your browsing history, hijack your search results, insert unwanted advertisements, and sell your data to marketers. In other words, if this repeal passes, no user should rest assured again.

    • Five Ways Cybersecurity Will Suffer If Congress Repeals the FCC Privacy Rules

      Back in October of 2016, the Federal Communications Commission passed some pretty awesome rules that would bar your Internet provider from invading your privacy. The rules would keep Internet providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable from doing things like selling your personal information to marketers, inserting undetectable tracking headers into your traffic, or recording your browsing history to build up a behavioral advertising profile on you—unless they got your permission first. The rules were a huge victory for U.S. Internet users who value their privacy.

    • Small ISPs Oppose Congress’s Move to Abolish Privacy Protections

      The Internet is up in arms over Congress’s plan to drastically reduce your privacy online, and that includes small Internet providers and networking companies. Many of them agree that we need the Federal Communication Commission’s rules to protect our privacy online, and seventeen of them have written to Congress today to express their concerns.

      The situation before the FCC’s intervention was succinctly described in the fine print of Verizon’s privacy policy: “If you do not want information collected for marketing purposes from services such as the Verizon Wireless Mobile Internet services, you should not use those particular services.” That was refreshingly honest. Other ISPs including AT&T, Charter, and Sprint also monitored their customers in intrusive ways, but were less frank in admitting it, even in their privacy policies.

    • Privacy By Practice, Not Just By Policy: A System Administrator Advocating for Student Privacy

      When Matt L. started to raise the alarm about educational technology in his school district, he knew it would ruffle some feathers.

      As a system administrator (or sysadmin), Matt has had a front-row seat to the increasing use of technology in his rural, public school district. At first, the district only issued Chromebooks to students in guest “kiosk” mode for test-taking. Over time, though, each of the district’s 10,000 students got individual access to school-issued devices, from iPads for younger students who cannot yet type to Chromebooks and G-Suite for Education logins for students as young as third grade.

    • Consumer Broadband Privacy Protections Are Dead

      Last week, the Senate voted 50-48 along party lines to kill consumer broadband privacy protections. That vote then continued today in the House, where GOP lawmakers finished the job, apparently happy to advertise how ISP campaign contributions consistently, directly manifest in anti-consumer policy with a 215 to 205 vote (you can find a full vote breakdown here). The rules, which were supposed to take effect this month, were killed using the Congressional Review Act — which not only eliminates the protections, but limits the agency’s ability to issue similar rules down the road.

      The broadband industry’s effort to kill the rules is one of the uglier examples of pay-to-play government in recent memory. The protections, originally passed last October by the FCC, have been endlessly demonized by the broadband industry, despite the fact that they’re relatively straight forward. The rules would have simply required that ISPs are transparent about what they collect (and who they sell it to), and provide working opt out tools. ISPs were also required to have consumers opt in for more sensitive data collection (financial, browser history data).

    • [Older] Your browsing history may be up for sale soon. Here’s what you need to know
    • For sale: Your private browsing history

      The White House issued a statement today supporting the House’s action, and saying that Trump’s advisors will recommend that he sign the legislation. That would make the death of the Federal Communications Commission’s privacy rules official.

    • House of Representatives votes 215-205 to do away with Broadband Privacy, allow ISPs to sell your private internet history

      After only one hour of debate and no allowance for amendments, S.J. Res 34 passed through the House of Representatives with a majority vote of 215-205 along party lines. President Trump has signaled that he supports S.J.Res 34 and will sign it.

    • More Prosecutors Abusing Their Access And Power To Illegally Eavesdrop On Conversations

      Last time we checked in with (former) Brooklyn prosecutor Tara Lenich, she was facing state charges for abusing wiretap warrants to listen in on conversations between a police detective and one of her colleagues. This stemmed from what was termed a “personal entanglement” between her and the detective.

      The wiretap warrants couldn’t be obtained without a judge’s signature. Since there was no probable cause for the warrant, no judge would sign them. Lenich had a solution. She just forged the judge’s signature on the warrant. And then she kept forging judges’ signatures, stretching out her illicit surveillance for more than a year, with a faked signature on every 30-day renewal.

    • Facial recognition database used by FBI is out of control, House committee hears

      Database contains photos of half of US adults without consent, and algorithm is wrong nearly 15% of time and is more likely to misidentify black people

    • When border patrol demands your phone: Our view

      Shibly — a 23-year-old filmmaker, New York native and the son of Syrian immigrants — had already given up his cellphone and password for an unwarranted search a few days prior while re-entering the USA. This time, he refused. Within seconds, Shibly was surrounded by officers who grabbed his legs, placed him in a chokehold and physically removed his cellphone, according to an NBC News report. Watching this, McCormick dutifully complied when asked to surrender her phone.

    • Erdogan’s International Network of Muslim Cleric Spies

      it also reflects a longer-standing problem specific to Turkey and Europe — namely, the Turkish government’s conviction that diaspora Turks everywhere in the world owe their first allegiance to Turkey. Erdogan doesn’t just want Turkish expats’ votes; he wants their unwavering loyalty, and, to the consternation of European governments, he has proved willing to go to extreme lengths to secure it.

    • German official accuses Turkey of ‘unacceptable’ spying against Gulen supporters

      Prosecutors are already investigating the use of imams to transmit information on Gulenists to Ankara from German mosques.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Large Amount Of Consumer Tech Is Counterfeit, OECD Report Finds

      The report was launched ahead of the 2017 OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum on 30-31 March.

    • Trademarks

      • Urban Homesteaders Win Cancellation of Bogus Trademarks

        Urban homesteaders can speak freely about their global movement for sustainable living, after convincing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel bogus trademarks for the terms “urban homesteading” and “urban homestead.” The authors and activists were represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and law firm of Winston & Strawn.

        “This is a victory for free speech and common sense. Threats over this trademark harmed us and the whole urban homesteading community—a group of people who are dedicated to sharing information about sustainable living online and elsewhere,” said Kelly Coyne, co-author with Erik Knutzen of The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City. “We are so pleased to have this issue settled at last, so we can concentrate on making urban life healthier and happier for anyone who wants to participate in this global effort.”

    • Copyrights

      • Let’s Make The Copyright Office Less Political, Not More

        After three years of discussing changes to copyright law, Congress’s first bill is a strange one. House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders have introduced a bill that would radically change the way the Register of Copyrights is picked – taking the process out of the hands of the Librarian of Congress and putting it into the hands of Congress and the President. That sounds like a pretty technical move, but it could have real consequences for future innovation and creativity. Let’s break it down.

        As it stands now, the Register is appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and serves under her direction and oversight. The “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017” would require that the head of the Copyright Office be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and would authorize the President to remove the Register. This would make the Register’s appointment process more democratic – but also more a captive of special interests.

      • Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case About Copyright Protection Of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

        For many years now, we’ve been talking about the copyright questions surrounding pre-1972 sound recordings. There are a ton of ongoing cases about this and it may be a bit confusing to keep up with it all. In short, under old copyright law, copyright only applied to the composition itself, but not the recordings. Many states then tried to step in and created state copyright laws (or common law doctrine via the courts) that gave sound recordings some form of copyright protection — some of it much crazier than ordinary copyright law. Eventually Congress federalized copyright for sound recordings, but it didn’t apply to any sound recordings from before 1972 (and a few at the very, very, very beginning of 1972, but it’s easier just to say “pre-1972 sound recordings.”) And then, even though the 1976 Copyright Act took away state copyright laws having any power, they still applied to certain aspects of pre-1972 sound recordings. This has… made a mess of things. The easiest solution would be to just admit this is dumb and say that pre-1972 works should be covered by federal copyright law, but lots of folks have been against this, starting with the RIAA (more on that in a bit).

        And with things being confusing, some copyright holders have been using the weird status on pre-1972 sound recordings to effectively try to shakedown online streaming music sites into giving them better deals. The various cases have been all over the place, with the first few cases coming out saying that because pre-1972 sound recordings aren’t covered under federal copyright law, things are different and copyright holders can sue over them. This upended decades of what was considered settled law.

      • The Web Screws Artists Again… By Letting Them Have A Normal Life

        For pretty much all of the history of Techdirt, we’ve been hearing from the legacy entertainment industries about how the internet has been destroying art and destroying culture. They were making things worse, and we’d have more starving artists and less content — and whatever content we did have would definitely be terrible. That’s the story we were told over and over and over again — and there are still a few in the industry who pitch this story.

        The problem is it’s simply not true.

        [...]

      • DMCA Doesn’t Shield Cloudflare From Anti-Piracy Injunctions, Court Rules
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  12. Japan Demonstrates Sanity on SEP Policy While US Patent Policy is Influenced by Lobbyists

    Japan's commendable response to a classic pattern of patent misuse; US patent policy is still being subjected to never-ending intervention and there is now a lobbyist in charge of antitrust matters and a lawyer in charge of the US patent office (both Trump appointees)



  13. The Patent Microcosm's Embrace of Buzzwords and False Marketing Strives to Make Patent Examiners Redundant and Patent Quality Extremely Low

    Patent maximalists, who are profiting from abundance of low-quality patents (and frivolous lawsuits/legal threats these can entail), are riding the hype wave and participating in the rush to put patent systems at the hands of machines



  14. Today, at 12:30 CET, Bavarian State Parliament Will Speak About EPO Abuses (Updated)

    The politicians of Bavaria are prepared to wrestle with some serious questions about the illegality of the EPO's actions and what that may mean to constitutional aspects of German law



  15. Another Loud Warning From EPO Workers About the Decline of Patent Quality

    Yet more patent quality warnings are being issued by EPO insiders (examiners) who are seeing their senior colleagues vanishing and wonder what will be left of their employer



  16. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  17. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  18. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  19. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  20. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  21. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  22. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  23. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  24. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  25. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  26. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  27. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  28. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  29. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  30. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts


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