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DRM

WHSmith Putting DRM In EBooks Without Permission From the Authors 88

sgroyle (author Simon Royle) writes with an excerpt from an article he wrote about discovering that publisher WHSmith has been adding DRM to books without their authors' permission, and against their intent: "DRM had, without my knowledge, been added to my book. I quickly checked my other books; same thing. Then I checked the books of authors who, because of their vocal and public opposition, I know are against DRM – Konrath, Howey, and Doctorow, to name a few – same result. ALL books on WHSmith have DRM in them. Rather than assume WHSmith where at fault, I checked with my distributor, Draft2Digital. They send my books to Kobo, who in turn send my books to WHSmith. D2D assured me the DRM was not being added by them and were distressed to hear that this was the case. Kobo haven't replied to any of the messages in this thread: 'WHSmith putting DRM in books distributed via Kobo'. I'm not holding my breath." Update: 03/22 21:02 GMT by T : Problem resolved. Hanno Liem of the Kobo team wrote with good news that the DRM notices that were appended were done so in error, and since corrected: "The original site has been updated – it was just a bug on our site, and was resolved within a day I think. We're all slashdot readers here at Kobo Operations, and this is kinda painful :p" Thanks, Hanno.
Businesses

Apple Pays Only 2% Corporate Tax Outside US 432

New submitter dryriver writes with this snippet from the BBC: "Apple paid only $713m (£445m) Tax in the year to 29 September on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8bn (£23.0bn), a remarkably low rate of 1.9%. Apple channels much of its business in Europe through a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland, which has lower corporation tax than Britain. But even Ireland charges 12.5%, compared with Britain's 24%. Apple is the latest company to be identified as paying low rates of overseas tax, following Starbucks, Facebook and Google in recent weeks. It has not been suggested that any of their tax avoidance schemes are illegal. Many multinational companies manage to pay substantially below the official corporation tax rates by using tax havens such as the Caribbean islands."
Verizon

Verizon Claims Net Neutrality Violates Their Free Speech Rights 430

New submitter WickedLilMonkies writes "In a stretch of the meaning of 'free speech' that defies the most liberal interpretation, Verizon defends throttling your data speed." In its continuing case to strike down the FCC net neutrality regulations, Verizon is arguing that Congress has not authorized the FCC to implement such regulations, and therefore the FCC is overstepping its regulatory bounds, but (from the article): "Verizon believes that even if Congress had authorized network neutrality regulations, those regulations would be unconstitutional under the First Amendment. 'Broadband networks are the modern-day microphone by which their owners [e.g. Verizon] engage in First Amendment speech,' Verizon writes." They are also arguing that "... the rules violate the Fifth Amendment's protections for private property rights. Verizon argues that the rules amount to 'government compulsion to turn over [network owners'] private property for use by others without compensation.'"
Government

Congress Capitulates To TSA; Refuses To Let Bruce Schneier Testify 435

McGruber writes "Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing titled 'TSA Oversight Part III: Effective Security or Security Theater?' ... In a blog update, Bruce Schneier says that 'at the request of the TSA' he was removed from the witness list. Bruce also said 'it's pretty clear that the TSA is afraid of public testimony on the topic, and especially of being challenged in front of Congress. They want to control the story, and it's easier for them to do that if I'm not sitting next to them pointing out all the holes in their position. Unfortunately, the committee went along with them.'"
Canada

Canadian Government Says DRM Circumvention Not Related To Copyright 119

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist has followed up a recent release of internal government talking points on copyright with the full, internal clause-by-clause analysis of Bill C-32. A new copyright bill is expected as soon as this week and the government document confirms there is no defense to violations of the digital lock rules, noting 'a contravention of this prohibition is not an infringement of copyright and the defenses to infringement of copyright are not defenses to these prohibitions.' The government's own words on the digital lock provisions confirm that they may be unconstitutional since they fall outside the boundaries of copyright." Basically, if you break DRM even without violating copyright in the process you can still be held liable, and from this any defense based on copyright law (fair use, etc.) is not valid in such cases. On the flipside, several legal experts think that makes those provisions of the law less likely to stand up in court.
Sony

New Sony PSN ToS: Class Action Waiver Included 378

rwven writes "Yesterday Sony sent an email to PlayStation Network members regarding a change in the Terms of Service for PSN. When agreeing to this new terms of service, you must waive your rights to a class action suit against Sony. I, for one, will not be agreeing to any such thing. You can view section 15 of the new ToS here (PDF)."
The Internet

House Passes Amendment To Block Funds For Net Neutrality 393

Charliemopps sends this quote from the National Journal: "The House passed an amendment Thursday that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from using any funding to implement the network-neutrality order it approved in December. The amendment, approved on a 244-181 vote, was offered by Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., to legislation that would fund government agencies for the rest of fiscal year 2011. Walden and other critics of the FCC's net-neutrality order argue it will stifle innovation and investment in broadband. "
Censorship

RIAA Wants 'Net Neutrality' To Include Filtering 212

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The RIAA is now worried about the FCC's rulemaking concerning Net Neutrality. Specifically, they're worried that the rules might make it difficult for ISPs to filter out copyright infringement and child pornography, so they want to make sure that spying on and filtering internet traffic is okay, so long as it's being done for a good reason, even if it doesn't work correctly and blocks non-infringing content. Incidentally, the RIAA has some justification to lump child pornography and copyright infringement: after all, people might infringe upon the original cover art for the album 'Virgin Killer,' which featured a naked under-aged girl in a way that some consider pornographic. The copyright on it belongs to RCA Records."

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