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Anti-Net-Neutrality “Fast Lanes” Are Bullshit

Marco Arment with some strong language about the gross marketing campaign to rebrand the destruction of net neutrality as allowing ISPs to create “fast lanes”:

Be honest.

This is not building anything new — it’s discriminating and restricting what we already have.

This is not making anything faster — it’s allowing ISPs to selectively slow down traffic that they don’t strategically or financially benefit from, and only permit traffic from their partners to run at the speeds that everything runs at today.

It’s ostensibly the FCC’s job to see through this bullshit language and do what’s right for the country and the people, but only the fool who believed that ISPs are trying to build something beneficial here would believe that the FCC gives a damn about what’s best for American citizens.

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Court strikes down FCC’s anti-blocking rules

Ars Technica:

The Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules were partially struck down today by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said the Commission did not properly justify its anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules.

I have an extreme and intense dislike for the FCC (an unconstitutional entity which has done nothing but make itself important and block my favorite artists from appearing on TV or radio) but I was just glad ANYONE was standing up to the cable companies on Net Neutrality. Looks like we’re going to have to do it on our own. Again.

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Yahoo Files Suit Demanding Greater Accountability from the U.S. Government

I doubt it’ll do much good, but I’m really glad to see Yahoo! trying something.

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New Zealand bans software patents

A major new patent bill, passed in a 117-4 vote by New Zealand’s Parliament after five years of debate, has banned software patents.

This is great news for Kiwis. I really hope that their results inspire the similar movements in the US, UK, and elsewhere.

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Hunger Striking at Guantánamo Bay

Our children will look upon Guantanamo Bay with the same sheepish, embarrassed, confused, eye that we look upon the rounding up of Japanese Americans in camps like Manzanar during World War II. If we’re lucky.

It is brutal, it is inhuman, and it is the antithesis of the very ideals our country was founded upon. The existence of America’s (torture) detention facility in Guantanamo Bay makes me feel sick to my stomach and rotten to my core. We should be ashamed of ourselves, and so much more than that.

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Feds force Oregon to surrender medical marijuana patient records

Federal agents have forced the Oregon Public Health Division to turn over an untold number of patients’ medical marijuana records, according to court records recently uncovered by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

These people just want to be able to have their medicine and not be afraid, and this is EXACTLY why a lot of people on the lefty fringe are against legalizing Marijuana in the first place. They’re afraid of being on “some government list” just like this one.

Now that they know where you live the feds can break down the door at any moment and arrest you, charge you with a federal crime, seize all of your property, etc.

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Fix The DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is broken, is stifling innovation, and is giving entrenched businesses an unfair advantage over new ones. Let’s fix it.

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Every Time You Torrent, Feds Log Your IP in Just Three Hours

Gizmodo:

Anyone who has downloaded pirated music, video or ebooks using a BitTorrent client has probably had their IP address logged by copyright-enforcement authorities within three hours of doing so. So say computer scientists who placed a fake pirate server online—and very quickly found monitoring systems checking out who was taking what from the servers.

A honeypot for government and entertainment industry (aren’t they basically the same now?) spies that they just couldn’t resist.

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Smug ignorance

John August:

When you stir stupid and lazy together, they form a toxic compound called Smug Ignorance. It’s non-partisan and always fatal. The symptoms are phrases like, “I don’t know much about computers, but…” or “Look, no one knows if climate change is real.”

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Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works

This is just more bad news from a Supreme Court who doesn’t understand the importance of the public domain, which is ironic considering that much of the legal history they have used in their entire careers is in fact public domain.

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Strike Against SOPA

What I’ve been working on for the last few days: A site for the January 18th internet blackout to oppose SOPA. Sign up to blackout your site, and send requests to others.

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PROTECT IP Act Breaks the Internet

A 4 minute video you need to watch today. PIPA is a truly disgusting piece of legislative bile which exists entirely to give big media companies even more control over the internet and your life.

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Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, and Fan Art

A primer for the uninitiated and the knowledgable alike:

Technically, this means fan art, fan music, and fan fictions are illegal in and of themselves because they are derivative works of protected content.

r o f l

But before you get your panties all in a bunch, it’s pretty clear that no creative entity in their right mind gives a shit.

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CBC Bans Use of Creative Commons Music On Podcasts

I’m not quite sure how this is legal, if it is an official policy, or if someone just let a cat out of a bag. Regardless, it’s both pathetic on the part of the agents CBC goes through and sad for every musician who knows better.

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U.S. Ninth-Circuit Court Rules Against Right of First Sale

If the clickwrap EULA forbids sale, then you can’t sell it, no matter how much you don’t want it anymore.

In other words, goodbye to used game sales. How long before they classify films and TV show files as Software? What do I do with the Xbox games I don’t want anymore? Throw them out? Give them away? Somehow I think they’d have a problem with that, too. Some Blu-Ray releases of films contain games. Are they covered?

The ruling makes note of a “license” .vs. a “sale”. Are we allowed to own anything anymore? The software in question, AutoCAD, costs $4000. That makes a $4000 invisible license to use software that you throw away if you don’t want it anymore. Hell of a way to make money.

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Appeals Court Strikes Down Indecency Rule

A tiny bit of good news on a dreary day:

A United States appeals court tossed out the indecency policy of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, calling it a violation of the First Amendment.

Let’s hope we can make it stick.

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Ars Technia on Indie Filmmakers’ P2P Lawsuits

It’s not just for the MPAA anymore. Lots of these films probably made more from the lawsuits than they did in the theater.

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S.E.C. Sues Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs, which emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis, was accused of securities fraud in a civil suit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which claims the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly devised to fail.

If convicted, I want all these fucks behind bars for the rest of their lives. It’s not about revenge, it’s about the punishment fitting the crime. How many lives did they personally help destroy?

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YouTube Alleges Viacom ‘Secretly Uploaded’ Content To YouTube, While Suing Them For It’s Presence

This kind of thing is par for the course with major conglomerates like Viacom. They want the “buzz” but have to pretend they’re being horribly damaged financially.

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European Parliament Demands Transparency For ACTA

The European Parliament today voted on a resolution that demands transparency in the ACTA negotiations, and that the Commission puts all papers on the table.

The resolution was carried by 633 votes in favour, 13 against, and 16 abstentions.

Way to go, EU. See also: Christian Engström’s talk on ACTA from the European Parliament floor.