Victory: format shifting and parody clear last hurdleWednesday, July 30, 2014
OPEN RIGHTS GROUP. London, 30 July 2014. After nine years of campaigning, we have finally done it, writes Javier Ruiz of the Open Rights Group. The House of Lords yesterday cleared the last hurdle for parody and private copies to be legal under copyright law in the UK. Several new limitations to update copyright were agreed in June, but private copying, often called format shifting, and parody were held back, creating fears that they might be dropped.
Net neutrality and the global digital divideWednesday, July 30, 2014
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION. San Franciscso, 28 July 2014. EFF's position on net neutrality simply calls for all data that travels over the Internet to be treated equally, writes Jeremy Malcolm. This means that we oppose ISPs blocking content based on its source or destination, or discriminating against certain applications (such as BitTorrent), or imposing special access fees that would make it harder for small websites to reach their users. We have called for the FCC to assume firm legal authority to protect the neutrality of the net from these sorts of abuses, while explicitly forbearing from going any further to regulate the Internet.
The new face of ‘networking’Friday, July 25, 2014
NEW YORK TIMES. New York, 4 June 2014. The anemic labor (sic) market has forced the unemployed into various contortions in their efforts to get a job. The latest: joining a special social network so that maybe, someday, they can work for Zappos.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Zappos, the online shoe store, would replace its job listings with something called Zappos Insiders, where job seekers can “network with current employees and demonstrate their passion for the company — in some cases publicly — in hopes that recruiters will tap them when jobs come open.” It’s unclear how long applicants will need to stay on the network to get a job, but the company’s head of talent acquisition “thinks those who identify with the company’s vision will stay connected for as long as it takes.”
NEW YORK TIMES. London, 10 July 2014. Google is about to start a grand tour of Europe, writes NYT correspondent Mark Scott.The search engine company will soon send a group of executives and legal experts, including the company’s executive chairman, Eric E. Schmidt, around the region to explain Google’s stance on online privacy.
The series of meetings, which is expected to start as early as September and last up to nine months, will form part of the company’s response to a recent European court ruling that gives people the right to ask that links about themselves be removed from certain Internet searches.
International PR firms agree to stop abusing WikipediaWednesday, June 18, 2014
Some of the biggest PR companies in the world have signed a collective pledge to abide by the policies of Wikipedia after a “sock puppet” scandal in which spin doctors manipulated references to their clients on the site, according to Ian Burrell writing in the Independent.
Late last year Wikipedia named and shamed a Texas company after discovering that 300 so-called “sock puppet” accounts – created using false identities – could be traced to the same firm.
The company, Wiki-PR, was issued with a “cease and desist” warning by lawyers acting for the Wikimedia Foundation, the charitable organisation behind the giant volunteer-authored site which contains more than 30 million articles in nearly 290 languages.
Eleven leading top PR frims, including Ogilvy & Mather and Edelman, produced a statement yesterday in which they promised to “abide” by the “fundamental principles guiding Wikipedia”.
Google and US universities cleared to copy books without seeking authors' permissionWednesday, June 11, 2014
According to David Kravets, writing on the Ars Technica website, 'a federal appeals court (in the US has) ... upheld the right of universities, in conjunction with Google, to scan millions of library books without the authors' permission.
'The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in a case brought by the Authors Guild and other writers' groups, argued that the universities were not breaching federal copyright law, because the institutions were protected by the so-called "fair use" doctrine. More than 73 percent of the volumes were copyrighted.
The guild accused 13 universities in all of copyright infringement for reproducing more than 10 million works without permission and including them in what is called the HathiTrust Digital Library (HDL) available at 80 universities. The institutions named in the case include the University of California, Cornell University, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan.'
Don't Spy on UsFriday, May 23, 2014
Join the Don't Spy On Us coalition on Saturday 7th June for the biggest privacy event of the year.
It will be one year since Edward Snowden revealed the NSA and GCHQ's mass surveillance. To mark the anniversary, the Don't Spy On Us coalition is bringing together a host of incredible speakers in London's Shoreditch Town Hall for a day-long event.
With Cory Doctorow, Alan Rusbridger, Stephen Fry, Jimmy Wales, Bruce Schneier and many more to be confirmed, this really is an event not to be missed.
US tech companies agree to pay workers $324 million in wage-fixing settlementFriday, May 2, 2014
REUTERS. San Francisco. 24 April, 2014. Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, sources familiar with the deal said, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin.
Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. They planned to ask for $3 billion in damages at trial, according to court filings. That could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.
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