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US Copyright Czar Cozied Up To Content Industry 162

Nemesisghost writes "According to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information request, the U.S. Copyright Czar played an important role in brokering the deals between ISPs and copyright holders to punish subscribers whose IP addresses participated in copyright infringement. From the article: 'The records show the government clearly had a voice in the closed-door negotiations, though it was not a signatory to the historic accord, which isn’t an actual government policy. ... [T]he communications show that a wide range of officials — from Vice President Joe Biden’s deputy chief of staff Alan Hoffman, the Justice Department’s criminal chief Lanny Breuer to copyright czar Victoria Espinel — were in the loop well ahead of the accord’s unveiling. "These kind of backroom voluntary deals are quite scary, particularly because they are not subject to judicial review. I wanted to find out what role the White House has played in the negotiation, but unfortunately, the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) withheld key documents that would shed further light on it," Soghoian said when asked why he sought the documents.'"

Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site 354

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that as the European Parliament elections loom, StudiVZ, Germany's largest social networking site, has opened up to political parties for election campaigning. That is, if you aren't the Pirate Party. "The other political parties were allowed to have a special account to show they are an organization and not an individual. The Pirate Party, however, was not allowed to have one and instead operated on a standard user account registered by an individual. StudiVZ noticed that the Pirate Party account was not a "real person" and despite it having a thriving network with hundreds of followers, it was summarily deleted. This means that it is impossible for the Pirate Party to have a presence at all on the largest social networking site in Germany." Update: 05/02 19:17 GMT by T : Reader riot notes: "FYI: I just translated the press release to English."

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