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High Court Orders UK ISPs To Block EBook Sites 138

An anonymous reader writes: The UK High Court has ordered British ISPs to block seven websites that help users find unauthorized copies of eBooks. Under the order, BT, Virgin, Sky, EE and TalkTalk must block AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre, Ebookee, Freebookspot, Freshwap and LibGen within the next ten days. “We are very pleased that the High Court has granted this order and, in doing so, recognizes the damage being inflicted on UK publishers and authors by these infringing websites,” says Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of The Publishers Association. “A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement. Our members need to be able to protect their authors’ works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.”

Submission + - Intel Insider DRM Risks Monopoly Investigations (

Blacklaw writes: Intel's Sandy Bridge line of processors is impressing the tech community with its power, but a sneaky little feature designed to appease Hollywood has some concerned about Intel's intentions: Intel Insider.
If a major video streaming service, such as Lovefilm or the US-based Hulu, were to implement Intel Insider technology on their movie streams — as a way of convincing Hollywood to release films sooner and in high definition without worrying about piracy — it would mean that only those who use Intel's very latest Sandy Bridge CPUs would be able to stream movies. Not only would those using older Intel chips that don't support the technology be cut off from the service, but those on systems featuring CPUs from rival manufacturers such as AMD and low-power specialist VIA would also be excluded.


Submission + - China to ban non state-controlled VoIP services. (

ferongr writes: The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has decided that VoIP services in mainland china are illegal unless they are provided by China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom Ltd. This could affect Skype and Google Voice and limit the freedom of Chinese users.

Submission + - Citi uses DMCA to hide embarassing opinions

An anonymous reader writes: After posting online an investment analysis by banking giant Citi, several economists received DMCA take-down notices.

The document in question states that the U.S. Treasury's "stress tests" for banks during 2009 were actually "investor-friendly" and "bank-friendly." One threatened economist explains, Citi "seems to be a little embarrassed by having a public record of their early 2009 assessment of President Obama's banking plans. Back then, it seemed straightforwardly correct and politically uncontroversial to say that Obama's plans did not look like an attack on the financial sector. But, with the Republicans on the ascendancy lately, that kind of language might be sounding a bit off message about now."

As of today is still hosting the document but also received a take-down notice.
The Courts

Submission + - Jammie Thomas hit with $1.5 million verdict (

suraj.sun writes: Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota woman who has been fighting the recording industry over 24 songs she illegally downloaded and shared online four years ago, has lost another round in court as a jury in Minneapolis decided today that she was liable for $1.5 million in copyright infringement damages to Capitol Records, for songs she illegally shared in April 2006.

The trial is the third for Thomas-Rasset, after one jury found her liable for copyright infringement in 2007 and ordered her to pay $222,000, the judge in the case later ruled that he erred in instructing the jury and called for a retrial. In the second trial, which took place in 2009, a jury found Thomas-Rasset liable for $1.92 million.

Thomas-Rasset subsequently asked the federal court for a new trial or a reduction in the amount of damages in July 2009. But earlier this year, the judge found that amount to be "monstrous and shocking" and reduced the amount to $54,000.

CNET News:


Submission + - EFF Sues US Govt Over Social Network Tapping ( 1

gzipped_tar writes: Has the federal government overreached in tapping social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to investigate possible criminal activity? The non-profit civil liberties' group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) doesn't know, but it has filed suit to find out the scope of the government's investigations.

The lawsuit, filed at the Northern District of California's San Francisco division court, seeks information from a number of federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act who are listed as defendants in the case. These agencies include EFF the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, the CIA, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"An agency normally has 20 working days, about a month, to respond to a request for documents but that rarely happens," said Marcia Hoffman, staff attorney for the EFF, in an interview by "Considering these agencies have violated the law by not responding by the deadline, we want to get the courts involved. Once we get the information we'll make it available to the public on our Web site."

"Internet users deserve to know what information is collected, under what circumstances, and who has access to it," said Shane Witnov, a law student also working on the case. "These agencies need to abide by the law and release their records on social networking surveillance."


Submission + - Only miscreants worry about net privacy (

sopssa writes: If you're concerned about Google retaining your personal data, then you must be doing something you shouldn't be doing. At least that's the word from Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," Schmidt tells CNBC, sparking howls of incredulity from the likes of Gawker, who highlights the irony of Schmidt's typically haughty proclamations. After all, this is the man who banned CNet for a year after the news site published information about him it had gleaned from, yes, Google. But the larger point here is that Schmidt isn't even addressing the issue at hand. Per usual. When the privacy question appears, Google likes to talk about the people asking the questions. But the problem lies elsewhere: with the millions upon millions blissfully unaware of the questions.

Submission + - Court says Fair Use May Hold in Some RIAA Cases (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Boston RIAA case in which the defendant, represented by Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School, admitted liability at his trial, the Court has entered judgment in favor of the RIAA for the monetary award of $625,000 fixed by the jury. However, the Court left open the questions of whether the amount is excessive, and whether attorneys fees and/or sanctions should be awarded, and has scheduled further briefing of those issues. The Court granted the RIAA much, but not all, of the injunctive relief it rquested. In an unusual step, the Court issued a 38-page decision (PDF) explaining in some detail the Court's views of the Fair Use defense in the context of cases like this, and indicating that there are some factual scenarios — not applicable in this particular case — in which it might have concluded that the claims were barred by Fair Use. E.g. it declined to rule out the possibility that creation of mp3 files exclusively for space-shifting purposes from audio CDs a defendant had previously purchased might constitute fair use.

Submission + - Canada Outlaws Talking to Children Online ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: "If you're an adult and if you're having conversations with a child on the Internet, be warned because even if your conversations aren't sexual and even if your conversations are not for the purpose of meeting a child and committing an offence against a child, what you're doing is potentially a crime,"--Mark Hecht, of Beyond Borders

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz