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EU

Copyright Isn't Working, Says EU Technology Chief Neelie Kroes 314

superglaze writes "Against the backdrop of governments and courts around the world ordering ISPs to block file-sharing sites, European commissioner Neelie Kroes has said people have started to see copyright as 'a tool to punish and withhold, not a tool to recognise and reward. ... Citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it,' the EU's digital chief said, adding that the copyright system also wasn't rewarding the vast majority of artists."
Government

UK Gov't Launches 'Your Freedom' Website To Seek Laws Worth Repealing 332

Firefalcon writes "The UK Government launched Thursday the 'Your Freedom' website, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, to 'identify laws that should be repealed.' In a recent tweet, Police State UK pointed out an article in the New Statesman which appeals for people to call on the Government to repeal the ill thought-out Digital Economy Act that was rushed through Parliament without sufficient scrutiny. While part of the Act is regarding the digital TV switchover, other sections allow for users to be restricted or disconnected from the Internet at the behest of copyright owners, which goes against the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' that has been in place since the Magna Carta."
Government

Regulator Blocks BBC DRM Plans 177

TheRaven64 writes "The BBC's plans to introduce DRM for over-the-air digital broadcasts were today dealt a setback when the regulator, Ofcom, asked them the same question that has been asked of many DRM systems: 'How does this benefit the consumer?' The letter to the BBC is quoted in the article as saying that 'Ofcom received a large number of responses to this consultation, in particular from consumers and consumer groups, who raised a number of potentially significant consumer "fair use" and competition issues that were not addressed in our original consultation.' This does not end the chance of the BBC being allowed to introduce DRM in the future, but it at least delays their opportunity to do so."
Privacy

Massachusetts Police Can't Place GPS On Autos Without Warrant 194

pickens writes "The EFF reports that the Supreme Court of Massachusetts has held in Commonwealth v. Connolly that police may not place GPS tracking devices on cars without first getting a warrant, reasoning that the installation of the GPS device was a seizure of the suspect's vehicle. Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many civil law and common law legal systems whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a person's property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. According to the decision, 'when an electronic surveillance device is installed in a motor vehicle, be it a beeper, radio transmitter, or GPS device, the government's control and use of the defendant's vehicle to track its movements interferes with the defendant's interest in the vehicle notwithstanding that he maintains possession of it.' Although the case only protects drivers in Massachusetts, another recent state court case, People v. Weaver in the State of New York, also held that because modern GPS devices are far more powerful than beepers, police must get a warrant to use the trackers, even on cars and people traveling the public roads."
Government

FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Posted 270

ArmyofGnomes writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski delivered Monday on President Obama's promise to back 'net neutrality' — but he went much further than merely seeking to expand rules that prohibit ISPs from filtering or blocking net traffic by proposing that they cover all broadband connections, including data connections for smartphones. Genachowski stated: 'I understand the Internet is a dynamic network and that technology continues to grow and evolve. I recognize that if we were to create unduly detailed rules that attempted to address every possible assault on openness, such rules would become outdated quickly. But the fact that the Internet is evolving rapidly does not mean we can, or should, abandon the underlying values fostered by an open network, or the important goal of setting rules of the road to protect the free and open Internet. ... In view of these challenges and opportunities, and because it is vital that the Internet continue to be an engine of innovation, economic growth, competition and democratic engagement, I believe the FCC must be a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet.'"

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