11.23.20

Links 23/11/2020: Linux 5.10-rc5, GIMP Turns 25, 4MLinux 34.2, Escuelas Linux 6.11, MPV Player 0.33

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • The quest for a good AMD Ryzen Notebook with Linux support – Winner: Lenovo Thinkpad L15

      My personal quest was to find a solid notebook which I could use as a daily driver, but which essentially should not replace my desktop PC. My job requires me to travel frequently (yes, also in lock-down times), but only between 3 places where I don’t want to have the same desktop setups installed. Since Lenovo has been announcing that they “are bringing Linux certification to ThinkPads and ThinkStations” and further that they will be “launching Linux-ready ThinkPad and ThinkStation PCs” — for me that meant that I want a Lenovo system. The recent benchmarks of AMD 4000 and 5000 series CPUs have been fantastic — and more so the Linux Kernel, which has a substantial amount of AMD Radeon code (more than 10% of the Linux Kernel is from AMD) made me look for an AMD Ryzen Lenovo notebook. Waiting for quite some time, I finally received the Lenovo L15 AMD Ryzen.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: November 22nd, 2020

      The eighth installment of the 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup is here, for the week ending on November 22nd, keeping you guys up to date with the most important things that have happened in the Linux world.

      It’s been a really great week for Linux news, despite the fact that there weren’t any major announcements expected for this part of the year, so you can imagine my surprise. Of course, let’s not forget about all the cool new software releases and some distro updates, which you can check out below!

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #105

      Hello and welcome to this week’s Linux roundup of Linux Releases.

      We had a good week with Linux Releases, with Bluestar Linux 5.9.8 and KaOS 2020.11.

      We hope that you will have a wonderful week and please stay safe!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 381

        **rzip** , **sc** , **GNU Screen** , from the **ap** software series of Slackware.

      • youtube-dl Restored by GitHub, KDE PinePhone, Kali Linux, SUSE IPO? | This Week in Linux 126

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a great show packed with news. youtube-dl’s repo has been restored by GitHub. Pine64 announced a new KDE Community Edition of the PinePhone. We’ve got some distro news for Kali Linux, SUSE and a new Ubuntu Web Remix aimed at being an alternative to ChromeOS. We’ve got some Mozilla news to discuss with the latest release of Firefox 83 and their new DoH Rollout. We’ve also got a new image editor app to check out called LazPaint. All that and much more coming up right now on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Linux Action News 164

        The details behind youtube-dl’s return to GitHub, our thoughts on the rumored SUSE IPO, and our concerns with Servo’s new home.

      • Tspeed: Reading Faster Than The Speed Of Sound – YouTube

        Speed reading is a concept that I had never heard of before I found this tool but the propents of it claim that it can massively boost their reading speed and tspreed this terminal speed reading app is one such app.

      • Why Do You Need All That Hardware? – YouTube

        I see this way too often in the comments of my videos and just browsing the Internet.

      • Episode 225 – Who is responsible if IoT burns down your house? – Open Source Security

        Josh and Kurt talk about the safety and liability of new devices. What happens when your doorbell can burn down your house? What if it’s your fault the doorbell burned down your house? There isn’t really any prior art for where our devices are taking us, who knows what the future will look like.

      • Full Circle Weekly News #191

        Getting Root on Ubuntu 20.04

        https://securitylab.github.com/research/Ubuntu-gdm3-accountsservice-LPE

        Intel Vulnerabilities in All Supported Ubuntus

        https://9to5linux.com/new-intel-vulnerabilities-now-patched-in-all-supported-ubuntu-releases

        Ubuntu Reverts Intel Microcode Flaws

        https://9to5linux.com/canonical-reverts-intel-microcode-update-in-ubuntu-due-to-boot-failures-in-tiger-lake-systems

        KDE Announces a Pinephone and Framework and an Update

        https://kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.76.0/

        https://kde.org/announcements/pinephone-plasma-mobile-edition/

        https://kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.20.3/

        Debian Has a New Theme

        https://bits.debian.org/2020/11/homeworld-will-be-the-default-theme-for-debian-11.html

        Feren OS November Snapshot Out

        https://medium.com/feren-os/the-feren-os-november-2020-snapshot-is-now-available-eeabf6806fb

        MX Linux 19.3 Out

        https://mxlinux.org/blog/mx-19-3-now-available/

        CentOS 7.9 Out

        https://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2020-November/035820.html

        Proton 5.13-2 Out

        https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Proton-5.13-2-Released

        System76’s Galago Pro Refresh Out

        https://9to5linux.com/system76-launches-new-galago-pro-linux-laptop-with-11th-gen-intel-core-cpus

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9.10
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.9.10 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.9 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.9.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.9.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.4.79
      • Linux 4.19.159
      • Linux 4.14.208
      • Linux 4.9.245
      • Linux 4.4.245
      • F2FS With Linux 5.11 To Support Casefolding With Encryption – Phoronix

        For over one year the Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) has supported case-folding for optional case-insensitive file/folder support. The past number of years F2FS has also supported FSCRYPT-based file encryption. But now as we roll into 2021, support is finally seemingly ready for mainline in supporting casefolding with encryption enabled.

        The combination of having case-folding and encryption on the same data hasn’t been supported by F2FS. For the past number of months the FSCRYPT file-system encryption framework leveraged by F2FS and other file-systems has been working on the case-folding with FSCRYPT and ironing out all those details.

      • Security Vulnerability In VIOS, AIX, And Maybe IBM i

        IBM i shops that use the Virtual I/O Server, which is a cut-down version of the AIX implementation of Unix created by Big Blue, have to be aware that there is a security vulnerability that affects recent releases of AIX and VIOS.

        The vulnerability, announced in Security Vulnerability CVE-2020-4788, affects Power9 machinery running VIOS 3.1 or AIX 7.1 and AIX 7.2, and under what are called “extenuating circumstances” the vulnerability could allow a local user on the system to obtain sensitive information stored on the L1 cache on the Power9 cores.

      • Linux Sees A Slew Of Point Releases Due To That Nasty IBM POWER9 Vulnerability – Phoronix

        Greg Kroah-Hartman has issued new point releases for all of the Linux kernel series he is still maintaining as a result of that IBM POWER9 processor vulnerability plus other random fixes that have accumulated.

        Made public on Friday was that IBM POWER9 processor vulnerability whereby the L1 data cache needs to be flushed when crossing privilege boundaries. To fend off the potential and improper leakage of L1 data if paired with other side channels, the Linux kernel by default is now set to flush the L1d when entering the kernel and on user accesses. As outlined in that prior article there are ways to disable that behavior but that is the new default on POWER9 processors. This is sure to hurt the performance and I’ll have up some performance tests soon.

      • Linux 5.10-rc5
        Hmm. The 5.10 release candidates stubbornly keeps staying fairly big,
        even though by rc5 we really should be seeing things starting to calm
        down and shrink.
        
        There's nothing in here that makes me particularly nervous, but in
        pure numbers of commits, this is the largest rc5 we've had in the 5.x
        series. Number of diff lines too, for that matter. And I can't even
        claim that it's because previous rc's have been small and missing
        stuff and we were just catching up.
        
        Anyway, changes all over, and apart from it being a bit more than I'd
        like, it all looks fairly normal. About half of the patch is drivers,
        with the rest being fairly evenly spread out all over - architecture
        fixes, filesystems, networking, self tests..
        
        We'll have to see how this release shapes up, but I'm still hopeful
        for things to calm down.   Otherwise we get into uncomfortable
        territory for the next release with the holiday season coming up too.
        
        So go forth and test,
        
                     Linus
        
      • Linux 5.10-rc5 Released And It’s Still Seeing Too Much Churn – Phoronix

        Linux 5.10-rc4 last weekend was still rather heavy on changes but this evening now brings Linux 5.10-rc5 and unfortunately the situation has not improved…

        With Linux 5.10-rc5 it’s more bug fixing as usual for getting into the late stage of the cycle. But there are some additional changes this week to also note: AMD “Arcturus” GPU support is no longer experimental and the first product launched in the form of the AMD Instinct MI100, there is a regression fix for stress-ng that was causing as much as a 70% drop, and the POWER9 L1d cache flushing security change is in place for Linux 5.10 as well as the stable Linux series.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.10-rc5

        The 5.10-rc5 kernel prepatch is out. “The 5.10 release candidates stubbornly keeps staying fairly big, even though by rc5 we really should be seeing things starting to calm down and shrink. There’s nothing in here that makes me particularly nervous, but in pure numbers of commits, this is the largest rc5 we’ve had in the 5.x series.”

      • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • Ardour 6.4 Free Digital Audio Workstation Released with Support for VST3 Plugins

        The biggest new feature in Ardour 6.4 is support for plugins in Steinberg’s VST3 plugin format. Yes, that’s right, you can now use VST3 plugins in Ardour, and they work on all platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.

        To use them, go to Preferences > Plugins and click the “Scan Now” button, which will automatically discover all the VST3 plugins you might have installed in your system. If you don’t have them installed in the standard location, you can specify the folder where they’re installed.

      • GNU Parallel 20201122 (‘Biden’) released [stable]

        GNU Parallel 20201122 (‘Biden’) [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
        No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
        Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
        It does not have to be as detailed as Juan’s. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

      • MPV Player 0.33 Brings Nearly A Year’s Worth Of Improvements

        MPV as the open-source, cross-platform media player based long ago off the MPlayer/MPlayer2 code-base is out with a new feature release ahead of the holiday season.

        MPV 0.33 is the first release since MPV 0.32 that happened back in January, thus there are a lot of changes in store.

      • Musical Midi Accompaniment: Understanding the Format | Adam Young’s Web Log

        Saxophone is a solo instrument. Unless you are into the sounds of Saxophone multiphonics, harmony requires playing with some other instrument. For Jazz, this tends to be a rhythms section of Piano, Bass, and Drums. As a kid, my practicing (without a live Rhythm section) required playing along with pre-recordings of tunes. I had my share of Jamie Aebersold records.

        Nowadays, the tool of choice for most Jazz muscians, myself included is iReal Pro. A lovely little app for the phone. All of the Real Book tunes have their chord progressions been posted and generated. The format is simple enough.

        But it is a proprietary app. While I continue to support and use it, I am also looking for alternatives that let me get more involved. One such tool is Musical MIDI Accompaniment. I’m just getting started with it, and I want to keep my notes here.

        First is just getting it to play. Whether you get the tarball or checkout from Git, there is a trick that you need to do in order to even play examples: regenerate the libraries.

      • Flatpak’s New Repo Format For Greater Flathub Scalability, More Architectures To Come

        Flatpak and the Flathub “app store” and build service are rolling out a new repository format in order to scale better now that there are around one thousand applications on Flathub.

        Flathub continues seeing new Flatpak packages added to the service and thus better scalability is on the mind of developers, especially in wanting to support additional CPU architectures.

      • App Highlight of the Week: Compare Files and Folders Graphically in Linux With Meld

        The good old diff command may not be everyone’s cup of tea. On desktop Linux, you can use Meld GUI tool to compare files and folders for differences.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Setting up a ThinkPad x250 with Linux

        Two chapters in this article are Debian-specific, the rest is more or less Archlinux-specific. It never grew into the device-specific alround tutorial I envisioned and has been partially superseded by this article. The ThinkPad itself is in daily use. No regrets there!

      • Exploring ROS 2 Kubernetes configurations | Ubuntu

        Kubernetes and robotics make a great match. However, as we have seen, robots running ROS 2 can be tricky to set up on Kubernetes. This blog series has explored running ROS 2 on Kubernetes, set up a simple talker and listener, and distributed that demo across three machines.

        The configurations presented may not quite fit your implementation, and you may want to dig a bit deeper into network traffic when troubleshooting. This post addresses these concerns by demonstrating two general principles for setting up a ROS 2 system within Kubernetes….

      • Using GeoJSON with Apache Camel K for spatial data transformation

        In this article, we will define and run a workflow that demonstrates how Apache Camel K interacts with spatial data in the standardized GeoJSON format. While the example is simplified, you can use the same workflow to handle big data and more complex data transformations.

        You will learn how to use Camel K to transform data in common formats like XML and JSON. You will also see how to connect to a database and extract the data that you want from it. After we’ve defined the workflow, we’ll run the integration on Red Hat OpenShift.

      • A beginner’s guide to Kubernetes Jobs and CronJobs | Opensource.com

        Each of these features has its own purpose, with the common function to ensure that pods run continuously. In failure scenarios, these controllers either restart or reschedule pods to ensure the services in the pods continue running.

        As the Kubernetes documentation explains, a Kubernetes Job creates one or more pods and ensures that a specified number of the pods terminates when the task (Job) completes.

      • How To Install GNOME Desktop on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GNOME Desktop on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, By default, Debian 10 server installed as minimal without any Graphical Desktop support. Installing GNOME Desktop on the Debian system is fairly straightforward. Most Debian servers are run on CLI (Command-Line Interface) mode. But in some cases, one may need to have a desktop to install some applications with GUI (Graphic User Interface) mode. In this case, we will use GNOME, the most popular user-friendly desktop for any UNIX based system.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of GNOME Desktop Environment on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How To Install Akaunting on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Akaunting on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Akaunting is a free, open-source, and online accounting software designed for small businesses and freelancers. This tool is built with modern technologies such as Laravel, Bootstrap, jQuery, RESTful API, and others.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Akaunting Self-Hosted Accounting Software on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Everything you need to know about flatpak | Arcolinux.com

        Flatpak is another way to install software on your ArcoLinux system. You can check out their website here.

        More importantly what packages can I install with flatpak.

      • Set Up ParseDMARC on Ubuntu 20.04 to Analyze DMARC Reports

        ParseDMARC is an open-source, self-hosted DMARC report analyzer. For those who don’t know, DMARC is an email security standard that can protect your domain name from email spoofing and also identify incoming spoofed emails to protect end users. In a previous article, we discussed how to create DMARC DNS record for your domain name and used a third-party tool called PostMark to analyze DMARC reports. In this tutorial, we are going to set up ParseDMARC on Ubuntu 20.04 server so we can analyze DMARC reports without having to share the data with a third-party.

      • Install Deepin Desktop Environment on Ubuntu [Simple Steps]

        Developed and maintained by the Wuhan Deepin technology, Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) is a stylish, visually appealing desktop environment that gives your system a splash of color and sophistication.

        While we have Deepin Linux which is based on Ubuntu and natively ships with Deepin Desktop environment, the Deepin Desktop environment can be installed on various Linux distributions to provide an amazing user experience. Additionally, you get additional Deepin applications such as Deepin terminal, Deepin screenshot, Deepin Image viewer, and Deeping voice recorder to mention a few.

        Here are easy steps with screenshots by which you can setup Desktop Desktop Environment on Ubuntu 20.04 and its derivatives like Linux Mint, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, etc.

      • How to Install Cockpit Web Console on Debian 10

        Cockpit is free and open-source remote server management web console. Using cockpit web console one can do almost all day to day administrative tasks without login in server’s cli. Apart from administrative tasks, Cockpit provides real time RAM, CPU and DISK utilization report of your system. One of the major advantages of using cockpit tool is that it will not consume much resources from your system. In this article, we will demonstrate how to install and use cockpit web console on Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Mattermost Omnibus: How to install on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS linux server

        Mattermost is the open source collaboration platform that can be installed on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 with just one Omnibus commnad.

      • Everything you need to know about snap

        Snapcraft from Canonical wants to provide the app store for Linux.

        Not all packages come from Arch Linux or AUR.

        There will always be packages that are (not yet) on AUR.

        In that case you can see if there is a snap package.

      • Removing a corrupted data pack in a Restic backup

        I recently ran into a corrupted data pack in a Restic backup on my GnuBee.

      • How to use NixOS Package Manager?

        The NixOS package manager is a system of its own. You can use it under any Linux Distribution.

        What does NixOS Package Manager do?

        Most package managers use a file that contains the executable or source code. They then calculate what it needs on the system and then make sure that it exists. In Nix, things work very similarly. The big difference is that Nix creates all the files, and compiles them if necessary, then put them in one place; the nix-store. The first question you have may be, “Will the files not have the same name?” The system avoids this by having one directory for each version AND naming all files with a hash. To make the application “feel at home”, all dependencies are then linked to their correct directories using ordinary symlinks. A profile keeps track of which version each user runs.

      • How to install Minecraft on Ubuntu 20.10

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Minecraft on Ubuntu 20.10.

      • How to replace multiple lines using the `sed` command – Linux Hint

        Sometimes it requires to replace multiple lines of a file with any particular character or text. Different commands exist in Linux to replace multiple lines of a file. `sed` command is one of them to do this type of task. The full form of `sed` is Steam Editor, and it is mainly used to read and convert the text in different ways by using a regular expression. How this command can be used to replace the multiple lines of a file in different ways are explained in this tutorial.

      • How to replace the last occurrence using `sed` – Linux Hint

        `sed` command is used in Linux for various types of text operations, such as insert, delete, replace, etc. Different types of replacement tasks can be done by using the `sed` command easily. Any replacement task can be done based on the searching text or pattern. The searching text or pattern may occur multiple times in the string or a file where the searching will be done. How you can replace the last occurrence of the searching text or pattern has been shown in this tutorial.

      • How to install PyCharm on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install PyCharm, community edition, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Copy and Paste in PuTTY

        Many PuTTY users complain about not being able to copy and paste shell commands to and from the app’s interface. PuTTY supports both these functions. However, the problem lies in the fact that the copy/paste process itself is different from other apps.

      • How to play Satisfactory on Linux

        Satisfactory is a simulation game that puts the player into a 3D open world and tasks them with creating a functioning factory. Satisfactory was developed and published by Coffee Stain Studios. It was released on Steam in early access, allowing it to run on Linux via Proton/Steam Play.

      • Encrypting directories with eCryptfs in linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        eCryptfs is a POSIX-compliant enterprise-class stacked cryptographic filesystem for Linux. It is derived from Erez Zadok’s Cryptfs, implemented through the FiST framework for generating stacked filesystems. eCryptfs extends Cryptfs to provide advanced key management and policy features. eCryptfs is already included in the official Ubuntu repositories and encrypting directories is a simple matter of mounting them with the ecryptfs filesystem

      • [Quick Tip] How to Install Syncthing-GTK in Ubuntu 20.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Syncthing-gtk, GTK3-based GUI and indicator for Syncthing, was removed from Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy’s main repository due to old Python library dependencies.

        For those sticking to this program, the Python 3 port now works in progress. It has been made into main repository for the next Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo. And you can download & install the package in Ubuntu 20.10.

      • How to scan QR codes from the Linux desktop

        Many people use their smartphones to scan QR codes that they see in various places. But what if you need to scan a QR code and you have your Linux PC and no smartphone? Use CoBang!

      • Encrypting files in linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        You may work for a super-secret government agency, or you may be just a regular citizen. Either way, you still have sensitive data in your linux system that you need to protect from prying eyes. For that, we can use GNU Privacy Guard to encrypt or cryptographically sign files or messages in our linux machine. GPG uses strong, hard-to-crack encryption algorithms and You can use GPG to just encrypt your own files for your own use

      • How To Install Brave Browser on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Brave Browser on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, The brave browser is a free and open-source browser. it’s Fast, speed, security, and privacy by blocking trackers and still based on chromium so you have all the extension and features you might be looking for.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of the Brave Browser on CentOS 8.

      • Collect logs with journald in linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        You’ll find the journald logging system on any Linux distro that uses the systemd ecosystem. Instead of sending its messages to text files, journald sends messages to binary files. Instead of using normal Linux text file utilities to extract information, you have to use the journalctl utility.

      • How to Install Eclipse IDE on Debian 10 Linux – Linux Concept

        Eclipse is the most famous and widely used Java integrated development environment (IDE). It supports many plugins to enhance the capabilities to use for other programming language development environments such as PHP, C++, and JavaScript.

        You can install Eclipse IDE using your Debian repositories, but the Debian repositories’ installation package is outdated. If you want to use the latest Eclipse IDE package on your Debian 10 system, use a snappy packaging system.

        This tutorial will explain the process of installing the latest Eclipse IDE on the Debian 10 system step-by-step.

      • Linux log review with logwatch – The Linux Juggernaut

        You know how important it is to do a daily log review. But you also know how much of a drag it is, and that you’d rather take a severe beating. Fortunately, there are various utilities that can make the job easier. Of the various choices in the normal Linux distro repositories, Logwatch is a perfect tool that we can use for this task.

        To deliver its messages, Logwatch requires that the machine also has a running mail server daemon. Depending on the options you chose when installing the operating system, you might or might not already have the Postfix mail server installed. When Postfix is set up as a local server, it will deliver system messages to the root user’s local account.

        To view the Logwatch summaries on the local machine, you’ll also need to install a text- mode mail reader, such as mutt.

      • Install Terasology Minecraft-inspired game on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux

        A free Minecraft clone Terasology can easily be installed on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 LTS Linux to get the block game like Minecraft with impressive graphics and simple gameplay.

        As we know Minecraft is quite a popular game that is also available for Linux systems, therefore, Terasology comes with the same model but to give the game a distinguish touch, the worlds generated by Terasology are much more impressive. However, visually there is hardly any difference but depth of field and flying blocks can easily make a play the game for hours.

        In terms of controls in Teraslogy are not the same as Minecraft but the players who already played have Minecraft would not take a long time to get used to it.

        If you want to try it on Ubuntu, CentOS, Linux Mint, Debian, RedHat, OpenSuse, MX Linux, Kali Linux, etc., then here is a quick tutorial to install Terasology.

      • Web server scanning with Nikto in Linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        Nikto is a special-purpose tool with only one purpose; that is, it’s meant to scan web servers, and only web servers. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and capable of doing a comprehensive scan of a web server fairly quickly.

        Nikto is built on LibWhisker2 (by RFP) and can run on any platform which has a Perl environment. It supports SSL, proxies, host authentication, attack encoding and more. It can be updated automatically from the command-line, and supports the optional submission of updated version data back to the maintainers.

      • Are you typing iso in the terminal and nothing happens – dev-rel and lsb-release | Arcolinux.com

        Starting from the September release of 2020 we went rolling and stopped using ‘versions’.

        Users mistakenly thought that the version was THE indicator to know if the operating system was up-to-date.

        The version number could not be less important. It is just a text file. A text file anyone can change to any version they like.
        It has no value what so ever.

      • Auditing network services with netstat in linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        The following are two reasons why you would want to keep track of what network services are running on your system…

      • Create Snapshot backups using Timeshift in linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        Timeshift is a linux application that we can use to create snapshots in our linux system,. If something bad happens to our linux system (For an example, all the system files and settings are deleted after cyber attack) we can use the snapshot that we create using timeshift to restore the system back and undo all changes that is made to the system. It provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and the Time Machine tool in Mac OS. Timeshift can be configured to take incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to u ando all changes to the system.

        Timeshift can also be used in a GUI mode. However, imagine a situation, where your video driver is broken due to some unstable update or maybe something terrible happens with your system and you are not able to use the Timeshift GUI version to rollback your system to the previous state, then you have only the Timeshift CLI option available.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kubuntu is not Free, it is Free

          A common miss perception with Open Source software is the notion of free. Many people associate free in its simplest form, that of no monetary cost, and unfortunately this ultimately leads to the second conclusion of ‘cheap’ and low quality. Proprietary commercial vendors, and their corporate marketing departments know this and use that knowledge to focus their audience on ‘perceived value’. In some ways free of cost in the open source software world is a significant disadvantage, because it means there are no funds available to pay for a marketing machine to generate ‘perceived value’.

          Think, for a moment, how much of a disadvantage that is when trying to develop a customer/user base.

          Kubuntu is completely and whole contributon driven. It is forged from passion and enthusiasm, built with joy and above all love. Throughout our community; users use it because they love it, supporters help users, and each other, maintainers fix issues and package improvements, developers extend functionality and add features, bloggers write articles and documentation, youtubers make videos and tutorials. All these people do this because they love what they’re doing and it brings them joy doing it.

    • Distributions

      • The release cycle of a Zorin OS Linux distribution explained

        In this article, as part of my Zorin OS beginners course, I want to explain how Linux distribution releases work and why that could be important for you. Unlike many other Linux distributions, the Zorin OS developers focus on absolute reliability and stability and consciously choose not to be a leader in all bleeding edge developments. In order to do that, Zorin OS is always based on what is called an LTS, or Long Term Support, release. So in this short article I will explain in simple terms the release cycle of the Zorin OS Linux distribution.

        In my free Zorin OS tutorial series I explain in an accessible and beginner friendly way everything you need to know to get the most out of Zorin OS. Click below to see a complete overview of all chapters of my Zorin OS beginner course.

      • Educational Distro Escuelas Linux 6.11 Switches to Linux 5.9, Refreshes the Developer Pack

        Powered by the latest Linux 5.9 kernel series, Escuelas Linux 6.11 is packed with some of the most recent Open Source software for all your home office and educational needs during the lockdown created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Among the included apps, there’s the Blender 2.90 free and open 3D creation software, GeoGebra 5.0.613.0-1930 interactive geometry, algebra, statistics and calculus application, Inkscape 1.0.1 vector graphics editor, LibreOffice 7.0.3 complete office suite, as well as LiveCode 9.6.1 development and programming environment.

      • New Releases

        • KaOS 2020.11 Linux Distro Released With A New Plasma System Monitor

          Following the two months development cycle, KaOS team has announced a new stable version KaOS 2020.11 as the last release of 2020 series.

          This November update contains upgraded packages for the KDE Plasma desktop, which include KDE Frameworks 5.76.0, Plasma 5.20.3, and KDE Applications 20.08.3.

          With a new Plasma desktop 5.20.3, KaOS offers a lot of new functions such as grouping behavior for the Task Manager, Notifications when the system is about to run out of space, and Highlight Changed Settings feature.

          Not just features, KaOS also has a new plasma-disk to see the status of all HDD or SDD using a new option available in kinfocenter app. Additionally, you can now use a swap file instead of a swap partition in the Calamares installer.

        • 4MLinux 34.2 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.70. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.46, MariaDB 10.5.6, and PHP 7.4.11 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Has Been Hosting A MiniDebConf Devoted To Linux/Open-Source Gaming – Phoronix

          For those looking for some technical open-source/Linux video content to enjoy this weekend, the Debian crew has been hosting a virtual MiniDebConf devoted to gaming and all of the material is online.

          This MiniDebConf running Saturday and today has included sessions on DRM-free games, gaming utilities to be found within the Debian ecosystem, open-source games like 0 A.D., open-source VR/AR with the likes of Monado, and engine talks like GemRB / Engine / Godot, and other Debian-minded gaming talks.

        • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in October 2020 – gambaru.de

          Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in November) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Sometimes it’s best to use the official upstream versions of software

        There are a number of things that make this less alarming than it looks, somewhat mitigating the problems I pointed out. First, both Prometheus and Grafana actually do provide official binary builds, and in fact it’s the default way to use each project. That it’s the default way means that each project has a relatively strong motivation to make good releases (and fix problems promptly), especially when combined with the development pace. When a new Grafana or Prometheus release comes out, each project knows that a lot of people will be updating to their provided binaries and they cannot sort of wash their hands of any problems that show up.

      • Why should you work on free software (or other technology issues)? | Life on M

        A world in which all technology is just cannot exist under capitalism. It cannot exist under racism or sexism or ableism. It cannot exist in a world that does not exist if we are ravaged by the effects of climate change. At the same time, free software is part of the story of each of these. The modern technology state fuels capitalism, and capitalism fuels it. It cannot exist without transparency at all levels of the creation process. Proprietary software and algorithms reinforce racial and gender injustice. Technology is very guilty of its contributions to the climate crisis. By working on making technology more just, by making it more free, we are working to address these issues. Software makes the world work, and oppressive software creates an oppressive world.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP: This is 25

            Exactly 25 years ago, Peter Mattis wrote a message to several newsgroups announcing a new image editor called GIMP.

          • GIMP Turns 25 Years Old As Leading Open-Source Photoshop Alternative

            It’s been twenty-five years to the day since GIMP was started as an open-source image editor and in turn sparked the creation of the GTK tool-kit.

            There is no major news to share today for GIMP’s 25th birthday, but there is a brief highlight announcement at GIMP.org.

          • Happy 25th Birthday, GIMP — you make Linux a viable Windows 10 alternative

            I’m a big fan of Linux-based operating systems, and I try to convert people whenever I can, No, Linux isn’t right for everyone, and Windows 10 isn’t a bad operating system, but many computer users are better served by a Linux distro such as Ubuntu. After all, many people live in the web browser these days, so they don’t need the bloat of Windows. Not to mention, Linux is arguably more secure.

            Of course, there are always people that fight me on the benefits of Linux, and two pieces of software often enter the conversation — Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. Thankfully, I have some great ammunition in those arguments — LibreOffice and GNU Image Manipulation Program (aka GIMP). True, both of those programs are also available on Windows and not Linux-only, but still, they make Linux a viable Windows alternative for many.

      • Programming/Development

        • Built to Last

          As the catastrophe unfolded, several state governments blamed it on aged, supposedly obsolete computer systems written in COBOL, a programming language that originated in the late 1950s. At least a dozen state unemployment systems still run on this sixty-one-year-old language, including ones that help administer funds of a billion dollars or more in California, Colorado, and New Jersey. When the deluge of unemployment claims hit, the havoc it seemed to wreak on COBOL systems was so widespread that many states apparently didn’t have enough programmers to repair the damage; the governor of New Jersey even publicly pleaded for the help of volunteers who knew the language.

          But then something strange happened. When scores of COBOL programmers rushed to offer their services, the state governments blaming COBOL didn’t accept the help. In fact, it turned out the states didn’t really need it to begin with. For many reasons, COBOL was an easy scapegoat in this crisis—but in reality what failed wasn’t the technology at all.

        • Reducing Streams in Java

          Java 8 introduced streams, among other things, and one of my favourite features is the reduce() method. It combines a stream into a single method.

        • Humility

          Humility helps you respect the people you’re working with and see what they bring. We can’t genuinely respect them if we’re feeling superior; if we think we have all the answers.

          If we have compassion for our teammates (and ourselves) we will desire to minimise their suffering.

          We will want to avoid inflicting difficult merges on anyone. We will want to avoid wasting their time, or forcing them to re-work; having been surprised by our changes. The practice of Continuous Integration can come from the desire to minimise suffering in this way.

          We will want those who come after us in the future to be able to understand our work—understand the important behaviour and decisions we made. We’ll want them to have the best safety net possible. Tests and living documentation such as ADRs can come from this desire.

          We’d desire the next person to have the easiest possible job to change or build upon what we’ve started, regardless of their skill and knowledge. Simplicity and YAGNI can come from this desire.

          Humility and compassion can drive us to be curious: what are the coding and working styles and preferences of our team mates? What’s the best way to collaborate to maximise my colleagues’ effectiveness?

          Without compassion we might write code that is easiest for ourselves to understand—using our preferred idioms and style without regard for how capable the rest of the team is to engage with it.

          Without humility our code might show off our cleverness.

        • Python

          • 7 Best Free and Open Source Python Web Frameworks

            Python is an increasingly popular programming language. It ranks very highly on sites listing the popularity of programming languages, such as the TIOBE Index, IEEE Spectrum ranking, and the PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language.

            The prominence of Python is, in part, due to its flexibility, with the language frequently used by web and desktop developers, system administrators, data scientists, and machine learning engineers. It’s easy to learn and powerful to develop any kind of system with the language. Python’s large user base offers a virtuous circle. There’s more support available from the open source community for budding programmers seeking assistance.

            One of the types of software that’s important for a web developer is the web framework. A framework “is a code library that makes a developer’s life easier when building reliable, scalable, and maintainable web applications” by providing reusable code or extensions for common operations. By saving development time, developers can concentrate on application logic rather than mundane elements.

          • Python Throw Exception – Linux Hint

            An exception appears during program execution and changes its normal flow due to an error. An exception arises on account of an error. The main cause of an exception is a logical error. Like many other programming languages, Python provides several built-in exceptions, i.e., ZeroDivisionError, ImportError, EOFError, etc.; for instance, the ZeroDivisionError exception is raised when a number is divided by zero. The Python exceptions are handled by the try statement. We define a try block and put the code vulnerable code inside this block, which can raise an exception. Next, after the try block, we define an except block to deal with the exception. Besides all these built-in exceptions, sometimes we need to raise or throw an exception when we encounter a specific situation. The Python developer can throw a user-defined exception easily. We use the raise keyword for raising or throwing an exception. This article explains the Python raise keyword usage for throwing the exception with examples.

          • How to use nftables from python

            One of the most interesting (and possibly unknown) features of the nftables framework is the native python interface, which allows python programs to access all nft features programmatically, from the source code.

            There is a high-level library, libnftables, which is responsible for translating the human-readable syntax from the nft binary into low-level expressions that the nf_tables kernel subsystem can run. The nft command line utility basically wraps this library, where all actual nftables logic lives. You can only imagine how powerful this library is. Originally written in C, ctypes is used to allow native wrapping of the shared lib object using pure python.

            To use nftables in your python script or program, first you have to install the libnftables library and the python bindings. In Debian systems, installing the python3-nftables package should be enough to have everything ready to go.

            To interact with libnftables you have 2 options, either use the standard nft syntax or the JSON format. The standard format allows you to send commands exactly like you would do using the nft binary. That format is intended for humans and it doesn’t make a lot of sense in a programmatic interaction. Whereas JSON is pretty convenient, specially in a python environment, where there are direct data structure equivalents.

        • JavaScript

          • Vue.js Change Style – Linux Hint

            Vue.js is used to build User Interfaces (UIs) and Single-Page Applications (SPAs). It is easy to learn how to use Vue.js and the framework of freedom and comfort that is available while developing applications in this program because it has the best-combined features of Angular and ReactJS. That is why it is known for its easy-to-use and clean coding.

            Vue.js provides style binding that you can use to change the style dynamically. You can bind a variable to the style attribute in any HTML tag and change the style when the bound variable is changed. In this article, we will have a look at how to use style binding and change the styling of variables using vue.js.

          • Vue.js Conditional Rendering – Linux Hint

            Vue.js is an easy to learn and approachable library that we can start building web applications in it with the basic knowledge of web development. In Vue.js, developers love to code and feel freedom while developing applications.

  • Leftovers

    • How Reading and Meditation Extend Life

      It’s mindfulness that matters more than meditation here.

      Ideally we would combine the two—experiencing more through reading, and appreciating every experience through a practice of mindfulness.

    • Science

      • The Shadow of Physics

        Perhaps professional physicists would be more willing to admit that while our understanding of nature is vast and comprehensive, vast enough to allow humanity to easily manipulate energy and matter, the physical theories which underlie our understanding are necessarily incomplete because they rely on approximations and unproven axioms. This admission should not carry a negative connotation, nor is it meant to dismiss the civilizational progress which could have not been possible without a thorough understanding of nature. Physics has, as a historically situated web of researchers, institutions, publishers, governmental patrons, etc, produced the greatest technological achievements of mankind. Yet physics is not nature, it is an approximation of nature. It excels in its explanations of fundamental phenomena, in the creation of general laws, of beauty. Its practicality drops off rapidly for systems that are much too big or complex to be quickly, analytically probed with fundamental laws. There are some tricks, and there are many clever approximations that allow us to peek into that seemingly chaotic abyss, just ask Strogatz.

        However, very few analytical solutions for these complex systems are possible. The physicist must become a computer scientist, and create a program to run iterations of the Runge–Kutta method for distasteful differential equations. Still, the complexity of everyday life remains mysterious. It is theoretically predictable, yet these predictions are practically impossible. And at some point in their search for completely satisfying knowledge, the physicist must retire to chemistry, embracing the domain of less fundamental laws as a trade-off for incomplete yet physically incalculable knowledge. And then to biology, to neuroscience, to human behavior, to evolutionary psychology, sociology, politics, literature, and philosophy. It is in these domains that the physicist attaches an emotional meaning to Boltzmann’s constant times the log of the multiplicity, the equation inscribed upon the tombstone of the man who voluntarily ended his own life, a great mind battered down by the fear of failure and inaccuracy. He contained that noble spark which animated his furious theoretical probing, a spark which ignited the kindling of his mind and engulfed him, and swept him off his feet into a rope, hung on the ceiling of a picturesque Italian villa. It is for the psychologist to ask why so many in the field of statistical mechanics chose this fate, Paul Ehrenfest ended his life in a murder-suicide; Gilbert N Lewis injested hydrogen cyanide after not receiving the Nobel Prize, having been nominated 41 times previously.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Linus Torvalds wants Apple’s new M1-powered Macs to run Linux

          Earlier this month, Apple revealed its own ARM-based M1 processor, along with new MacBooks and a desktop Mac Mini powered by this chip. Reviewers across the globe have been praising Apple‘s first attempt, giving it high marks for performance and battery life.

          All this positive coverage has tempted many to take the plunge and buy one of the new machines — even if some apps are not running natively at the moment. Even Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the Linux kernel, wants one.

          [...]

          Linux support on MacBooks would’ve made it a more attractive bet for programmers. However, I don’t think any engineers at the Cupertino campus plan to make that happen anytime soon. Sorry, Linus.

        • New Microsoft chip will come with added costs, says ex-NSA hacker

          Microsoft’s new security chip, announced last week, will have an impact on hardware-only attacks, an American security professional says, adding that it could also assist in firmware security, but would result in added costs.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Airbnb’s Chinese data policies reportedly cost it an executive

              Airbnb’s Chinese business is specifically mentioned in the S-1 filing the company made public Monday ahead of its planned initial public offering. “If [China’s rental] regulations or their interpretation changes in the future,” the prospectus reads, “we could be … forced to cease our operations in China.”

              American tech companies have had to navigate tricky relationships with China for years. China currently blocks major companies like Facebook and Google for not complying with government requests for information. Others like Apple turn a hefty profit in the country but are often criticized for making concessions to the country’s government.

            • Facebook, Instagram Will Switch White House Accounts From Trump to Biden on Jan. 20

              President Trump still refuses to publicly acknowledge that he lost the 2020 election, but in any event he and his administration will lose access to the White House accounts on Facebook and Instagram in less than two months.

              Facebook confirmed that as of Jan. 20, 2021, when president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th U.S. president, the official White House accounts on both Facebook — including @WhiteHouse, @POTUS and @FLOTUS — and those on Instagram will be transferred to the Biden administration.

              Twitter also previously said that on Inauguration Day, @POTUS and other handles will be moved over to the Biden team.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Nature of Islamist Violence in France

        Several other assessments have illuminated the scale of France’s security troubles. In 2017, European Union anti-terror chief Gilles de Kerchove warned there were 17,000 militant Islamists living in the country. Following the December 2018 Christmas market attack in Strasbourg, France 24 reported that approximately “26,000 people who are believed to pose a danger to France are currently categorised as fiché S,” and “roughly 10,000 of those are believed to be religious extremists who have been radicalised, some in fundamentalist mosques, some online, some in prison and others abroad.” Upwards of2000 French nationals have reportedly joined the Islamic State and in 2016 the French government estimated that 1,400 prison inmates were “radicalized”.

      • Y’all Qaeda: Ex-Marines allegedly planned takeover of Michigan capitol and public executions of officials

        Two former Marines and the dozen other men charged with plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan purportedly planned to stage an armed takeover of the capitol building and conduct public executions of government officials, according to the state’s attorney general.

        ABC 7 Chicago reported that the 14 men planned drew up a ‘Plan B’ should their initial attempt to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer fail, a scheme that involved “a takeover of the Michigan capitol building by 200 combatants who would stage a week-long series of televised executions of public officials.”

        According to government documents, the group’s ‘Plan C’ involved torching the building and leaving behind no survivors.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Smart Commentators Must Stop Minimizing Trump’s Ongoing Threat To This Election

        How far will Donald Trump go to stay in power, and how far will enough of his supporters—in Congress, in the military and police, and in the street—go to keep him in power?

      • Black Voters Saved Our Democracy

        Black voters waited in 10-hour lines to show up for Joe Biden. Now Biden needs to return the favor.

      • An American Amazon?

        An American Slave State in the Amazon

        The Baron of Rio Branco, Brazil’s boundary mastermind was well aware of long-standing American interest in Amazonia, due to his own time in the United States and US forays during the Imperial period when Rio Branco’s father was Foreign minister. At that time, Mathew Fontaine Maury, Maury’s brother-in-law William Lewis Herndon, Harvard Museum Director, Louis Agassiz, and their ally, the Brazilian statesman Tavares Bastos had to convince Emperor Pedro II of the virtues of allowing ships from any nation to travel on the Amazon and to let Americans settle there in large numbers.

      • Guatemalan President Reviewing Budget, Which Slashed Healthcare Spending, After Outraged Protesters Set Fire to Legislative Building

        “We are outraged by poverty, injustice, the way they have stolen the public’s money,” a psychology professor who attended the protests told the press. 

      • The 2020 Election and What We Should Do Now

        We shouldn’t give Biden any breathing room and wait to see what he does before acting. We need to build campaigns and social movements and mass action in the streets for progressive policies. 

      • Profiles in Cowardice

        Now America is being subject to a stress test to see if it has enough strength to withstand Trump’s treacherous campaign to discredit the 2020 presidential election.

      • What Trump’s Refusal To Concede Says About American Democracy

        That some Republicans won’t go along with the traditional niceties following a presidential election (like congratulating the victor from the opposing party) isn’t that important. But the sitting president’s refusal to acknowledge electoral defeat is worrisome, as it raises the prospect that he will not uphold a core tenet of democracy: Elections determine who is in power, and those who lose surrender power peacefully. The behavior of top Republican Party officials — subtly acknowledging that Trump must leave office on Jan. 20 but not openly rebuking his conduct — in some ways also violates that core value. And the combination of Trump’s and his party’s behavior raises a serious question: Is America’s democracy in trouble?

        Maybe. People who study democratic norms and values both in the United States and abroad say that the behavior of Trump and the Republican Party over the past week deeply concerns them. Dartmouth College political scientist Brendan Nyhan says it’s important not to think of democracy in binary terms — that either a nation is or is not a democracy. Instead, Nyhan argues, democracy falls more on a spectrum, and based on how Trump broke with democratic values as president and how he is handling the end of his presidency, America does remain a democracy, but it is somewhat less democratic than it was pre-Trump.

      • Mnuchin denies trying to limit Biden’s economic options | Business | gazette.com

        Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied on Friday that he is attempting to limit President-elect Joe Biden’s options for reviving the pandemic-damaged economy by ending several emergency loan programs being run by the Federal Reserve.

        Mnuchin said the programs were not being heavily utilized and Congress can make better use of the money by re-allocating it toward small-business grants and extended unemployment assistance.

        “We’re not trying to hinder anything,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview. “We don’t need this money to buy corporate bonds. We need this money to go help small businesses that are still closed.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ICANN Can Stand Against Censorship (And Avoid Another .ORG Debacle) by Keeping Content Regulation and Other Dangerous Policies Out of Its Registry Contracts

        The Internet’s domain name system is not the place to police speech. ICANN, the organization that regulates that system, is legally bound not to act as the Internet’s speech police, but its legal commitments are riddled with exceptions, and aspiring censors have already used those exceptions in harmful ways. This was one factor that made the failed takeover of the .ORG registry such a dangerous situation. But now, ICANN has an opportunity to curb this abuse and recommit to its narrow mission of keeping the DNS running, by placing firm limits on so-called “voluntary public interest commitments” (PICs, recently renamed Registry Voluntary Commitments, or RVCs).

        For many years, ICANN and the domain name registries it oversees have given mixed messages about their commitments to free speech and to staying within their mission. ICANN’s bylaws declare that “ICANN shall not regulate (i.e., impose rules and restrictions on) services that use the Internet’s unique identifiers or the content that such services carry or provide.” ICANN’s mission, according to its bylaws, “is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.” And ICANN, by its own commitment, “shall not act outside its Mission.”

        Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem? Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle frequently blame Section 230 for…

      • Free Press = Free Assange: Daniel Ellsberg, Marjorie Cohn, Joe Lauria Discuss the Julian Assange Affair

        A discussion presented by the Covid-19 Global Solidarity Coalition with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, former National Lawyers Guild president Marjorie Cohn, and Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria. (The first few minutes are cut off)

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalists paying the price

        Journalists covering the presidential campaigns have faced the wrath of security forces on what seems to be targeted attacks on the media to scare them from covering the violence being meted out on Ugandans.

        Police and other security forces have unleashed violence on journalists especially those covering Opposition presidential candidates, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP) party and Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.

      • Media bosses ramp up pressure on govt over news media code

        With Parliament having just another eight days to sit this year, the bosses of Australia’s media organisations have sought to pressure politicians into getting the promised news media code passed before they rise for the year on 10 December.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Iranian Anti-Hijab Activist Could Face 12 Years in Prison if Deported From Turkey

        “White Wednesdays” is a social media campaign against Iran’s forced headscarf law.

        In May 2019, Shemsai was arrested by the Iranian regime on various charges, including anti-regime activities and insulting sacred values in Islam. After six months in detention, the court released her on parole.

        Last May, Shemsai reportedly went to an Iranian prosecutor’s office, only to have her identification documents and personal belongings confiscated by the Revolutionary Guard. She was told at the prosecutor’s office about an impending 12-year prison sentence, prompting her to flee to neighboring Turkey through smugglers.

    • Monopolies

      • Toward the Peaceful Coexistence of Patent and Antitrust Law

        This chapter explores the interrelationship between these two basic provisions, both as a matter of general theory and through their development in case law over the past 130 years—which spans multiple eras of technological innovation. It is easy to find cases where patent law appears to move in one direction and antitrust law in the opposite. But as a general matter, this chapter defends the thesis that, as the Federal Circuit has written, “[t]he patent and antitrust laws are complementary, the patent system serving to encourage invention and the bringing of new products to market by adjusting investment-based risk, and the antitrust laws serving to foster industrial competition.” As a descriptive matter, today, this thesis is largely, but not uniformly, respected.

        More specifically, the central task of this chapter is to note how the concern with monopolization—explicit in the antitrust laws—plays a powerful, if somewhat concealed, role in the articulation of patent law as well. As is always the case, any concern with monopolization is a two-edged sword: It is always important to make sure that monopoly practices do not go undetected, but it is equally important that the doctrines of both patent and antitrust law do not impose penalties for supposed monopolistic practices that ultimately turn out to be procompetitive.

      • Tech sees opportunity for ‘asymmetric war’ in NPE antitrust suit

        Apple and Intel’s antitrust case against Fortress could have implications for patent aggregation and litigation financing

      • Podcast: IBM and Bird & Bird debate data and IP rights

        Panellists from IBM and Bird & Bird share their thoughts on whether new rights to encourage data collection would further entrench monopolies and stifle innovation.

      • Exclusive: Qualcomm litigation chief speaks out about FTC win

        Deputy general counsel Mark Snyder lays out what went into his firm’s landmark SEP victory at the Ninth Circuit, and what his department is focusing on now

      • Patents

        • EU SEP bombshell; BlackBerry portfolio sale latest; Samsung shops for wireless patents; Germany leads in EPO oppositions; Data is the new IP frontier; plus much more

          EPO opposition proceedings are on the increase, with German entities holding sway in representation instructions against a growing challenge from UK-based firms.

        • A deep dive into EPO opposition representation reveals Germany and the UK dominate

          Diego Alonso-Martinez and Wannes Weymiens of NLO review patentee and opponent nationalities in opposition procedures before the EPO during the 2017-2019 period

        • The fate of UK SPCs in the Brexit era

          The purpose of the SPC Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 469/2009) is to compensate a patentee for the lengthy process of achieving marketing authorisation for a medicinal product. SPCs are national rights that provide an additional period of protection for a medicinal product protected by a patent. The EU SPC Regulation provides a maximum of 5 years additional protection based on the first marketing authorisation for the product in the European Economic Area (EEA). A 2018 statutory instrument (secondary legislation) incorporated the provisions of the SPC Regulation into UK statute in preparation for Brexit.

          CIPA has provided some guidance on the fate of existing UK SPC rights and pending SPC applications. Put simply, UK SPCs will be governed by the EU SPC Regulation until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). UK SPCs granted before the end of the transition period will remain in force after the transition period. After the transition period, UK SPCs will be governed by UK law. The Withdrawal Agreement (Article 56), 2019 amendment to the Patent Rules and related statutory instruments broadly incorporate the provisions of the EU SPC Regulation into UK law with minor amendments to make them UK specific.

          The self-professed aim of the UK government has been to retain the status quo on SPCs as much as possible. However, legal uncoupling is never straightforward, and SPCs are no exception to this rule. There are some important nuances in UK SPC law that will have potentially significant consequences for UK SPC right holders.

        • Italy jurisdiction report: A new route to protection [Ed: When they say "protection" they mean litigation]
        • European patent for treatment of bile duct cancer with the fimaChem technology

          PCI Biotech (OSE: PCIB), a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company, today announces that the European Patent Office (EPO) has informed the company that a new European patent has been granted. The European patent covers the intended use of fimaChem in combination with gemcitabine for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer).

          Per Walday, CEO, comments: We are very happy to see this patent granted in Europe, which provides an extended protection of the intended use of fimaChem lasting several years beyond the potential market exclusivity offered by the orphan designation. Our full focus is now on the successful delivery of the global pivotal RELEASE study.

        • Judge who made Canada’s virtual rules: ‘There’s no going back’ [Ed: Now we have "remote litigation"... for patents. Just what oligarchs wanted. Terrorising people without even having to face them...]

          Mr Justice Lafrenière, who oversaw Canada’s first virtual (patent) trial, describes his role in establishing remote litigation and makes the case for it to stay

        • Strategies patent defendants use to avoid injunctions

          An injunction is a legal remedy that can be awarded by a court to a property owner who proves that a property right has been infringed upon. An injunction is an equitable remedy that may be awarded when the court determines that a remedy available at law, such as monetary damages, is insufficient to cure the infringement of the property right. In the context of patent law, a court may award an injunction if a patent owner proves infringement and shows both that monetary damages are not an effective cure and that future infringement must be prevented.

        • COVID-19 IP update: EPO

          By way of an update, on 10 November 2020, the EPO has decided that all oral proceedings in opposition cases shall be held by videoconference as standard. Only if there are serious reasons preventing the use of video conference (e.g. if evidence needs to be taken directly), oral proceedings will be postponed until after 15 September 2021. It is important to note that the EPO will not allow mixed proceedings where one party attends in person and the other party attends by videoconference. However, contrary to the previous practice, it is no longer required that both parties need to agree to the videoconference.

          The Boards of Appeal have resumed the holding of oral proceedings, to a limited extent, at their premises in Haar from Monday, 18 May 2020. Contrary to the previous practice where parties were contacted to confirm that they expect to be able to attend in person and that they do not anticipate being affected by travel restrictions, the parties now have to indicate on their own motion if they are not able to attend the oral proceedings. The maximum attendance is 2 (!) persons per party. Parties and representatives will be asked to complete a simple screening questionnaire upon arrival. Any person replying to one of the questions in the affirmative will be denied access to the Boards of Appeal premises. The competent board will be informed accordingly and will decide whether the oral proceedings can be held without that person or whether they will need to be postponed. Access of the public will be allowed but only for a limited number of people.

        • Open COVID co-creator: compulsory licensing should be treasured sword

          Hisao Yamasaki explains why compulsory licensing should be used as a last resort and why he helped launch the Open COVID-19 Declaration

        • Plus ça change? How UK patents will be affected from 1 January 2021

          The grant and enforcement of UK European patents will be relatively immune to the end of the Implementation Period.

          This is because the system by which they are granted by the European Patent Office is governed by the European Patent Convention – which is an international treaty, not EU law.

          Consequently, the UK’s participation in the system by which the EPO examines and grants European patent applications centrally is going to remain unchanged.

          That means patents granted by the EPO will continue to be registered in the UK from 1 January 2021, if so designated, and will remain subject to potential opposition in the EPO within the first nine months of grant.

          It follows of course that the substantive law of the EPC, upon which much of the validity law in the Patents Act 1977 is based, also continues to apply in the UK.

        • The EPO embraces video conferencing to reduce the opposition backlog [Ed: Carpmaels & Ransford LLP's Emma Demetriades and David Holland neglecting to say that what #EPO does here is not lega]

          At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EPO introduced a pilot project for opposition oral proceedings to be held by videoconference (VICO) which was due to run until 30th April 2021. Under that pilot scheme, oral proceedings before Opposition Divisions could take place by VICO at the discretion of the Opposition Division and with the agreement of all parties.

          Given the current status of the global pandemic, the EPO has now taken the decision to extend that pilot program through to 15th September 2021. Furthermore, the EPO has now decided that all Opposition Division hearings will take place by VICO, unless there are serious reasons preventing this approach. This move aims to improve certainty for all parties and to prevent lengthy delays in decisions being reached on important cases.

          Under the earlier pilot project, patentees and opponents were each invited to confirm whether they consented to the oral proceedings taking place via VICO. If any one of the parties did not give their consent, the EPO had no choice but to postpone the proceedings to a later date when in-person hearings could resume. This often resulted in the last minute postponement of oral proceedings leaving parties uncertain as to if, and when, to file additional submissions in the run up to the oral proceedings, and unsure of when the hearing would finally take place.

        • FRAND licensing in an Unwired world (jurisdictional issues with global FRAND determinations, component level licensing, the “ND” prong of FRAND)

          What is the impact of the recent UK Supreme court Unwired Planet judgement? What is the current status of the component level licensing debate in Europe? How do courts currently construe the non-discriminatory prong of the FRAND undertaking and what is the role of such element from an economic perspective?

          These are some of the topics discussed in a recent online seminar held by Bocconi University, in the framework of their LL.M. in Law of Internet Technology, and introduced by Professor Laurent Manderieux. The high-profile panelists included Pat Treacy, Partner at Bristows and Deputy Judge at the High Court of England and Wales, Christian Donle, Partner at Preu Bohlig, and Kai-Uwe Kühn, Professor at the Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, and former Chief Economist of DG Competition of the European Commission.

        • Farley on Patents and Power: Where Intellectual Property Law and Military Technology Meet [Ed: Some patents that literally kill spun using propaganda terms like “Intellectual Property”]

          How are patents and power intertwined? In their new book, “Patents for Power: Intellectual Property Law and the Diffusion of Military Technology,” Robert Farley and Davida H. Isaacs explore the linkages between intellectual property law (IP law) and the development of technology. Farley, a senior lecturer at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and longtime contributor to The Diplomat, discussed IP law, military technology, and innovation with The Diplomat’s managing editor, Catherine Putz.

        • Canadian Intellectual Property Office issues Practice Notice regarding patentable subject matter

          The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has issued updated guidance to its patent examiners on reviewing patent applications for patentable subject matter. This is of particular significance to computer-implemented, medical diagnostic and medical use inventions.

          This guidance is in response to the recent decision of Canada’s Federal Court in Choueifaty v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 FC 837 (“Choueifaty”) – see our earlier article. In that decision, the Federal Court found that the problem solution approach in the Manual of Patent Office Practice (“MOPOP”), presently set out in sections 12.02.02d and 12.02.02e, was akin to using the “substance of the invention” approach which was resoundingly rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada in Free World Trust v Électro Santé Inc, 2000 SCC 66 (“Free World Trust”).

          The Attorney General did not appeal the Federal Court’s decision in Choueifaty and updates to the implicated sections of MOPOP are expected at some point in the future after a consultation process. CIPO has issued a practice notice in the interim titled “Patentable Subject-Matter under the Patent Act” that supersedes portions of MOPOP that have been overturned by Choueifaty.

          Prior to the Practice Notice, examiners would have addressed patentable subject matter by identifying a problem and a solution to the problem with guidance from an “examiner’s understanding of the common general knowledge in the art and by the teachings of the description”. In section 12.02.02e of MOPOP, the identification of the problem and solution is then used by the examiner to identify superfluous (non-essential) elements of the claim that are not involved with the identified solution. These superfluous (non-essential) elements would not be considered part of the invention according to MOPOP and thus would not be considered in determining whether the claim included patentable subject matter. This application of MOPOP resulted in many software oriented inventions being declared non-statutory under s. 2 of the Patent Act. As an example, a claim to an apparatus carrying out an innovative computer implemented invention may have all hardware elements involved in carrying out a computer implemented method be declared as non-essential elements leaving an algorithm which would be declared an abstract theorem. Subsequently, the abstract theorem would be objected to under s. 27(8) of the Patent Act as being non-patentable subject matter.

        • In re Nitro Fluids L.L.C. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Venue in patent cases has been a topic of recent Supreme Court (TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC) and Federal Circuit (In re Cray) consideration. Last month, the Federal Circuit again considered venue with regard to a motion to transfer and defendant’s writ of mandamus challenging the District Court’s denial of its transfer motion, in In re Nitro Fluids L.L.C.

          The issue arose when plaintiff Cameron International Corp. filed suit against Nitro Fluids, LLC in the Southern District of Texas in 2018 over three patents; the opinion notes that both parties are headquartered there, making venue proper under 35 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The case lingered: by early 2020 (pre-COVID), there had been no claim construction performed nor trial date set. Cameron then filed suit against Nitro in 2020 in the Western District of Texas, raising patent infringement of two other patents and the same products. Nitro moved the Western District Court either to refuse jurisdiction or transfer to the Southern District for consolidation. The Western District denied the motion. In its reasoning, the District Court recognized that such motions are typically resolved under the first-to-file rule, wherein “the court in which an action is first filed is the appropriate court to determine whether subsequently filed cases involving substantially similar issues should proceed.” Save Power Ltd. v. Syntek Fin. Corp., 121 F.3d 947, 950 (5th Cir. 1997). But the District Court recognized another principle, that such a motion can be denied when there are “sufficiently compelling circumstances” to avoid applying the rule, citing Mann Mfg., Inc. v. Hortex, Inc., 439 F.2d 403, 407 (5th Cir. 1971). And those compelling reasons are determined by a balancing of the “traditional transfer factors” under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and can result in denial of the transfer motion when they do not weigh in favor of transfer.

          The District Court supported its decision to deny the motion by saying that “two of the factors—the relative ease of access to sources of proof and the local interest in having localized interests decided at home— both favored transfer” while “the administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion weighed against transfer,” and the “practical problems factor” weighed “heavily against transfer” because Cameron had filed a co-pending suit against another defendant in the Western District and that could raise inconsistent claim construction issues as a result.

        • You reap what you sow: Brazil participation in the Patent Prosecution Highway [Ed: Brazil giving special treatment, rolling out a red carpet to foreign monopolies with lots of patents]

          The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program is a fast-track examination of a patent application; an applicant request this accelerated process in the national phase which originated on a foreign office and national patent examiners can use the opinion and preliminary examination from the foreign office. The program aims to promote sharing the work among patent offices but the decision of granting patents still remains under the national office. The program run among offices where they agree to share this practice (for more information see WIPO). Brazil does not form part of the Global PPH as its counterparts Chile, Colombia, and Peru; but since 2016, the office has had several bilateral PCT-PPH agreements: European Patent Office (EPO), PROSUR (pilot), Danish Patent and Trademark Office; United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, United States Patent and Trademark Office and Japan Patent Office.

          [...]

          INPI also praised that the average time for assessing priority processing requirements has decreased from an average time of 220 days (2018) to 104 days (2020). This is due to ‘simplifying the process flow and using new information technology tools ‘.

        • RF Venue Receives Important European Diversity Fin® Antenna Patent

          RF Venue, Inc., a global leader in antenna and RF wireless communication products, today announced that it has received notice from the European Patent Office that it will grant a new patent for the company’s innovative Diversity Fin® Antenna platforms stemming from an earlier filing.

        • Microbot Medical (MBOT) Secures Patents in Multiple Global Jurisdictions

          Microbot Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: MBOT) announced that it has received patents in multiple jurisdictions, further demonstrating the Company’s continued execution of expanding and protecting its Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio. The Company now has 40 issued/allowed patents and 23 patent applications pending worldwide.

          [...]

          Additionally, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted an EP Patent covering the Company’s guidewire technology for use with endo-luminal interventions, and related to the Company’s LIBERTYTM development. This is the second European patent granted for this unique technology and extends protection to include the device’s current development, having a double guidewire comprising a first hollow guidewire and a second guidewire deployed within the first guidewire, and an adjuster mechanism operable to displace the second guidewire longitudinally relative to the first guidewire between at least three states.

        • Software Patents

          • Patent Protection and Software Innovation: Evidence from Alice

            Although software innovations are the cornerstone in the modern economy, their patent-ability, as well as the social and private value of software patenting, have continued to be at the center of policy debates pertaining to the U.S. patent system. The landmark 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank had profound impact on software patenting as it drastically limited the scope of patent protection on software innovations. Using Alice as a natural experiment, we found that limiting software patents had no detectable downsides to the value of software firms. Instead, it was associated with improved sales, greater engagements in open source development, and tighter scope of individual patents. Our findings offer implications for the extent to which software firms pursue patenting as a strategy to protect innovation versus pursuing alternative appropriability mechanisms. They also have compelling implications for patent policies on software and software-related inventions, such as artificial intelligence, business methods, and other emerging digital innovations.

          • CIPO’s new guidelines on patentable subject matter explained

            The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) released new guidelines on patentable subject matter and a set of examples applying the new guidelines to computer-implemented inventions, medical diagnostic methods, and medical uses on November 3, 2020. These new guidelines supersede current guidance within the Manual of Patent Office Practice for determining patentable subject matter.

            These new guidelines and examples are in response to the recent decision of the Federal Court in Choueifaty v Canada (Attorney General), 2020 FC 837 [Choueifaty] which rejected CIPO’s previous “problem-solution approach” for determining patentable subject matter. The Commissioner of Patents opted not to appeal the Choueifaty decision. For more information on the Choueifaty decision and CIPO’s previous “problem-solution approach”, refer to our August 31, 2020 article.

            [...]

            Of particular significance, the new guidelines emphasize that the “actual invention” does not necessarily include every element identified to be essential at step 1 above. For example, a claimed element may be an essential element because an applicant intended it to be essential. But this claimed element may not form a part of the actual invention when it has no material effect on the working of the invention and does not cooperate with other elements of the claimed invention.

            The new guidelines and examples require the identification of the actual invention covered by a claim to be based on the essential elements of that claim. In this respect, the identification of the actual invention should be grounded in the purposive construction performed at step 1 above, should consider all essential elements identified at step 1 above which cooperate together to achieve the solution, and cannot be a determination that is not anchored in the language of the claim (and thus cannot be based on a determination of the “substance of the invention” as prohibited by Free World Trust). However, at the same time, the actual invention cannot be determined solely on the basis of a literal reading of the claim.

            This distinction between the “essential elements” and the “actual invention” does not appear to have firm basis in Canadian case law.

          • Patenting video games in Europe – the EPO’s Board of Appeal decide in favour of Nintendo (T1504/17)

            The video game industry is hugely competitive and finding success involves significant investment in innovation. Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and X have each been seven years in the making. As for the games themselves, blockbuster titles can now rival Hollywood films on budget and production time. You don’t even need a games console anymore, with the increasing popularity of smartphone gaming for titles such as Fortnite adding another layer of complexity to the market.

            Obtaining patent protection for innovative features is one way device makers and video game developers can help protect their innovations and stay ahead of the competition. But exactly what can be patented in the video game space? This recent Nintendo case, in which the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) overturned a decision by the EPO’s Examining Division to refuse grant of a patent application, provides some useful guidance.

      • Trademarks

        • What AI means for brands

          Over the next three months, members of the MARQUES Cyberspace Team will publish a series of articles on artificial intelligence (AI). In this first post, Caroline Perriard introduces the topic.

          [...]

          A second article will cover damages caused by AI and the liability thereof. In other words, who is liable when AI gets something wrong? It may certainly not simply refer to the programmer/developer of the technology, or the manufacturer or deployer. But is the user or even the AI itself to blame?

        • One of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Most Famous Trademarks is in Limbo in China

          Created in 1968 as a luxurious take on the four-leaf clover, a timeless symbol of luck, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra jewelry collection is among its most well-known offerings. “The first Alhambra design was an opera-length necklace punctuated with 20 clover-shaped motifs crafted with the design’s signature beaded edges,” according to Sothebys. “As the 1960s made way for the 1970s, the design became hugely popular among celebrity clients, who layered many Alhambra necklaces of different sizes and with different gemstone combinations for the quintessential daytime look.”
          American actress-turned-Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly was among some of the “long-time devotees of Van Cleef & Arpels and collectors of Alhambra necklaces,” further helping to put the design on the map, one that has endured in popularity for more than five decades. In furtherance of such longstanding appeal and in light of the fact that the Alhambra line has (arguably) come to indicate a single source, Netherlands-based Van Cleef has sought legal protections for it across the globe, with one ongoing trademark quest – a back-and-forth in China – proving to be particularly interesting.
          On November 19, 2014, Van Cleef filed an application with the Chinese Trademark Office for a three-dimensional trademark (no.15736970) for its specific clover motif for use in class 14 on goods, including “watches; rings; bracelets; earrings; necklaces; jewelry; [and] watch cases.” Less than two years later, in January 2016, the Chinese Trademark Office gave the application the go-ahead, and issued a registration to Van Cleef for the little clover symbol.

        • This week in IP: EPO video policy ‘misses pain points’, UK changes address rules, INTA elects new president

          USPTO will raise trademark filing and TTAB fees next year

          On Tuesday, November 17, the USPTO set out new fee structures for trademark filings and proceedings at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. They will come into effect after January 2 2021.

          In its published Final Rule, the office has increased fees for the TEAS Plus option for an application from $225 per class to $250 per class, and raised the costs of the TEAS Standard option up to $350 from $275 per class.

          At the TTAB, petitions to cancel or oppose trademarks have been raised from $400 to $600 per class.

          New fees have also been introduced by the USPTO for letters of protest ($50 per application), requests for oral hearings ($500 per proceeding) and appeal briefs in an ex parte appeal filed through ESTTA ($200 per class).

          The new fee for deleting goods, services, and classes from a registration after submitting a Section 8 or 71 declaration, but before the declaration is accepted, will be $250 per class if filed through TEAS.

          The new fee for a second, and subsequent, requests for an extension of time to file an appeal brief in an ex parte appeal filed through ESTTA will be $100 per application.

          On LinkedIn, Kalamaras Law Office partner Stacey Kalamaras said those who have been thinking about filing a new trademark application might want to do so before the new year to save some money.

          This is the first time that the USPTO has adjusted trademark fees in the past three years.

      • Copyrights

        • Tom Scott’s video on copyright

          I still come back to JD Lasica’s Darknet: Hollywood’s War against the Digital Generation as my canonical source here. What is the legal purpose of suing people for the use of copyrighted work where clear financial losses can’t be demonstrated, if not to just extract money in an unethical way? What ends, and who, does this legislation serve? Should financial compensation even be the yard stick we use to measure this?

        • Youtube-dl Wins Reprieve But Deezer & Spotify Downloaders Are On Thin Ice

          The RIAA’s takedown of youtube-dl and its subsequent reinstatement by Github has generated hundreds of headlines and a fierce debate over the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. However, similar takedowns, including those that target Deezer and Spotify-focused tools, are still going ahead. Youtube-dl may have a reprieve but these downloading tools are on very thin ice.

        • Amazon Patents Technology to Track Down Streaming Pirates

          Amazon hopes to protect online streaming content with a newly awarded anti-piracy patent. The company has developed a technique where personally identifiable information can be dynamically added to streaming content, visibly or not. This is a relatively low-resource option to detect the source of pirated movies, TV-shows, and even live events.

        • Amendments to the Copyright Act: Hidden Consultations and the Missing Public Angle of Copyright Law – Part I

          A few weeks ago, NASSCOM had informed its members that the Copyright Office is seeking comments as to whether there was a need for amendments to be carried out to the Copyright Act. Subsequently, Medianama reported that the consultation process seeking opinions on whether to amend the Act seems to only include industry stakeholders. The updated deadline for sending in comments is November 30. It would seem that some law firms also have been invited to this process (for eg, see here). There does not however appear to be any public notice of such consultation process on the website of the Copyright Office. In this two-part post, I shall dissect the implications of this opaque closed-door consultative process adopted by the government in light of larger ramifications of copyright law. I shall then highlight some of the prominent subject areas that need special consideration while discussing any amendments to the Act.

        • Amendments to the Copyright Act: Hidden Consultations and the Missing Public Angle of Copyright Law – Part II

          The fair use principles (for ‘non infringing uses’) are carved out as exceptions and limitations to the rights of a copyright owner, premised on the idea that the societal benefits in allowing such use are larger than any possible loss suffered by the owner. The Copyright Act lays down this regime in Section 52 of the Act. They, in essence, promote innovation, creativity, and free speech and expression in general by allowing new works to be created without fears of repercussions. This becomes particularly important in the digital age with the growth of user generated content that is being published online, inter alia, on social media platforms.

          The provision, however, suffers from a severe inhibition in that it allows for this protection to be claimed only based on the exhaustive list of grounds it mentions. In doing so, it appears to confine the extent of creative permissible uses a work can be subjected to, without factoring the practical effects of the same. Take, for instance, the question of whether parody videos are protected as fair use if they borrow from the original work. The only ground that could cover it would possibly be Section 52(1)(a) wherein it has to be shown that the use was for the purposes of ‘criticism’ or ‘review’. While certain courts have indeed held parody to constitute fair dealing, it is quite possible that it would not pass muster in a different court, especially in the absence of any definition of what is meant by terms such as ‘criticism’ or ‘review’. For instance, as I have discussed on the blog earlier (here and here), though it might be possible to make a claim that sharing short sports clips could be covered by this provision, it is not difficult to imagine a court reaching a different conclusion. In such a scenario, two things become necessary: first, the existing categories of exceptions need to be clearly defined as to what they represent, and second, instead of limiting fair use protection to an exhaustive list, a shift to a broader inclusive model, such as that of the United States, with the presently enumerated exceptions as an indicative list, be made to ensure that uses that are hard to categorise in a particular head but should deserve protection are not excluded.

          [...]

          In this post, I have pointed out some of the major issues that need to be re-assessed under the Indian copyright regime. As highlighted, they have severe ramifications on the right to free speech and access to culture, among other things. A statutory treatment of these issues that have particularly arisen with the proliferation of the digital media is necessary and it cannot be left to the vagaries of inconsistent interpretations of high courts and district courts. They should thus be at the centre of any plans to amend the Copyright Act. Despite this large scale impact on the rights of the public, the move to push for closed door consultations with limited stakeholders raises questions as to the way in which the Copyright Office envisions copyrights. It, prima facie, appears to be a vision sans the public interest involved, and it can be hoped that the doors are opened for a transparent and deliberative consultation soon. Given the lasting impact such amendments might have, it would be great if more informed readers and affected stakeholders could share their thoughts on these issues and possibly highlight areas that the post might have missed.

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