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US Government Restricting Research Libraries 753

An anonymous reader writes: "In a move that has been termed 'positively Orwellian' by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Executive Director Jeff Ruch, George W. Bush is ending public access to research materials at EPA regional libraries without Congressional consent. This all-out effort to impede research and public access is a [loosely] covert operation to close down 26 technical libraries under the guise of budgetary constraint. Scientists are protesting, but at least 15 of the libraries will be closed by Sept. 30, 2006."

French Lawmakers Approve 'iTunes Law' 423

An anonymous reader writes "Lawmakers in the French government have passed a controversial iTunes law, which has the stated intention of forcing Apple to allow purchased music to be universally useable." From the article: "In a statement issued after lawmakers hashed out the final compromise text last week, Apple said it hoped the market would be left to decide 'which music players and online music stores are offered to consumers.' The final compromise asserts that companies should share the required technical data with any rival that wants to offer compatible music players and online stores, but it toned down many of the tougher measures backed by lower-house lawmakers early on."

Canadian Gov't Gives Big Bucks to Copyright Lobby 173

5degreez writes "The Toronto Star is reporting that the Canadian government is providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a copyright lobby group that claims that education groups are 'devoted to abolishing creators' rights on the Internet.' Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act by Prof Michael Geist reveal that government officials recognized that the funding established a bad precedent, yet they still plan to pay big bucks until 2008."

Google to Launch Government Search Site 123

Billosaur writes "Word has come out via the Washington Post on Google's plan to launch a a tool for searching US Government web sites. The tool,, is meant to be used by Federal employees who may need to search across several different sites for information, and ' also designed to help citizens navigate convoluted pages of government-speak and tailor news feeds to their interests. Users can customize the layout of their page to remain updated on government-related news from official and commercial sources, including the White House, Department of Defense, The Washington Post and CNN. Google is also working with agencies to increase the frequency of news updates to keep content current.'"

U.S. Joins Hollywood in War on Piracy 358

Section_Ei8ht writes to mention a Washington Post article about a new joint initiative between the U.S. government and the entertainment industry. The government will now be aiding efforts abroad to stop copyright infringement. They cite the recent Pirate Bay fiasco, as well as the problems Russia is having with the WTO as a result of their thriving IP black market. From the article: "The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates, who swap digital copies of 'The DaVinci Code,' Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free."

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