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Submission + - Harrassment online for the uninitiated (

Brendan Kehoe writes: "Customer service has reached a new low: if you complain enough on your blog about lost luggage and poor customer service, adolescent employees in the company you describe will decide to show you who's boss — by trying to harrass you with "anonymous" subscriptions to gay dating services. It might work unless you happen to be a prominent blogger in Ireland who is also technically savvy and can read an IP address. The company even served him with papers to remove his blog posts — putting free speech at the fore and keeping the odds firmly in favor of the friend and not the foe."
The Internet

Submission + - Helio Charging Users For Access To YouTube Mobile (

john2618 writes: "'As of sometime last night, visiting Youtube Mobile [from a Helio Ocean] prompts you to subscribe to a new package: "Video Virus". 6 dollars a month. Wait a second — is a free service. We've been able to access it for a few days. Heck, you can still view it on pretty much any browser. With that, Helio is now picking and choosing what you can access on the internet on your "Unlimited" plan.'

Read the full story at Heliocity."


Submission + - Microsoft Patents Digital Money (

morlock_man writes: "Microsoft has sucessfully patented a sharable digital media economy that would allow the average consumer to buy and sell digital media. United States Patent 20070136608: Off-line economies for digital media Having finally secured a patent for money, the root of all evil, Bill Gates can rest easy with the knowledge that Microsoft is truly, and for all time, the Evil Empire."

Submission + - Dataleak detection that moves files to an employer (

UnsignedInt32 writes: "Japanese security vendor, "NetAgent" released the software solution aimed to detect unauthorized data takeout called Winny Tokubetsu Cyousain 2 (Japanese of "Winny Special Detective 2.") This solution is a set of client and server, and employees run the client in their personal computer at home. The client software searchs through files in employees' personal computer to find the file with matching keywords, which are specified by their employer. What makes this solution controversial is that the client software can be "factory configured" by their employer (but not by employee) to send detected files to the company server, and then deletes those files from employees' computer. Employees then must ask their employer to get back false positive files transferred to company server."

Submission + - The Decline and Fall of the Record Industry

wiredog writes: From Rolling Stone, an overview of The Record Industry's Decline, with accompanying graph of sales decline.

Some snippets (and [commentary]):

[W]e have a business that's dying. There won't be any major labels pretty soon. [They'll surely not be missed!]

In 2000, U.S. consumers bought 785.1 million albums; last year, they bought 588.2 million [A 25% decline.]

In 2000, the ten top-selling albums in the U.S. sold a combined 60 million copies; in 2006, the top ten sold just 25 million [Ouch!]

More than 5,000 record-company employees have been laid off since 2000. [That /does/ suck.]

About 2,700 record stores have closed across the country since 2003, [Including all the local stores around here.]

Around sixty-five percent of all music sales now take place in big-box stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which carry fewer titles than specialty stores and put less effort behind promoting new artists. [Rough on the artists, that.]

The Internet appears to be the most consequential technological shift for the business of selling music since the 1920s, when phonograph records replaced sheet music as the industry's profit center. [No! Really?]

[M]any in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels' failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. "They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster — that was the moment that the labels killed themselves," [Not that we in the online world didn't realize it at the time...]

In the fall of 2003, the RIAA filed its first copyright-infringement lawsuits against file sharers. They've since sued more than 20,000 music fans. ... there was a 4.4 percent increase in the number of peer-to-peer users in 2006, with about a billion tracks downloaded illegally per month, [Guess that didn't work out too well, did it?]

Submission + - Washington State to try RFID drivers licenses

Nkwe writes: In order to ease border crossings Washington State is introducing 'Enhanced' (with RFID) driver's licenses.

"They will look much like conventional driver's licenses, but will be loaded with proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border."
The requirement for a passport at all US borders is an issue local commerce between Washington State and Canada, and the new driver's license is less expensive then a passport, but what "other" costs will it create?

Submission + - Viacom Says "YouTube Depends on Us"

Anonycat writes: "Michael Fricklas, a lawyer for Viacom, has an opinion piece in the Washington Post that asserts that YouTube is responsible for damages in the $1B lawsuit initiated by Viacom. Fricklas attacks on several fronts, including that the DMCA's "safe harbor" provisions don't apply because YouTube is knowledgeable to infringement and furthermore derives financial benefit from it, that putting the burden of spotting infringement on the content providers is an undue burden to them, and notably that "Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws" in defending the relevance of the IP sector. Whether you agree with the case being made or not, it's a nice look into the minds on the pro-Viacom side."

Submission + - Protest over free speech online turns violent

BitterOak writes: Four high school students were arrested in Toronto Friday, charged with assaulting police and obstruction, during a protest over the suspension of students for posting derogatory comments about the vice principal on their private Facebook pages. 60 students showed up for the protest, and only four were charged with any wrong doing. This story raises interesting questions. I'm sure no one condones disorderly conduct at a protest, but should public schools have the right to suspend students over online speech? The article doesn't make it clear whether or not the student used school computers to post the comments.

Submission + - Korean Music Industry Thieves Commit Irony

ghost-maker writes: "User gets sued by the music industry for posting an "illegal" video. Sounds like the same old same old, right? Not quite. This user, Curio11, posted a video which exposed the startling similarity between music from Korean music "stars" which sounded disturbingly similar to music from the U.S. and Japan. After doing research, I have also noticed that they do not credit nor list the "sources" for their music. Ironically, the Korean Music Industry is eager to find this user and sue him for "illegally reproducing media without express permission". Let us sit here and ponder this phrase while you review. Here are some places you can enjoy the mind numbingly stupidity and lack of creativity of the Music Industry of another nation besides the U.S. Here are several links to the videos"

Submission + - YouTube bans makers of the Blashphemy Challenge

Da_Weasel writes: If you followed the YouTube censorship and deletion of of Nick Gisburne's account after he posted quotations from the Quran, here's another slap in the face to freedom of expression. The Rational Response Squad, of Blasphemy Challenge fame, has had their account suspended by YouTube. No explanation yet why the account was suspended.

Submission + - Internet Radio to be killed by the RIAA

Anonymous Coward writes: "Just got this in the mail from Tim Westergren, Pandora's CEO: "I'm writing today to ask for your help. We've had a disastrous turn of events recently for internet radio: Following an intensive lobbying effort on the part of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has just dramatically increased the fees internet radio sites must pay to the record labels — tripling fees and adding enormous retroactive payments! Left unchanged by Congress, this will kill all internet radio sites, including Pandora. Tomorrow afternoon there is an important U.S. Senate hearing on the future of internet radio."

This issue has started to get blog coverage: es-go-up/ and /03/the_vast_potent.html

If you live in the US, please contact your local Congressman now!

Please note that I have no Pandora affiliation except as a very happy user."

Submission + - BBC has lost original 9/11 tapes

zimba42 writes: "Maybe the citizens of the UK should all stop paying their TV tax. The BBC editor's blog is currently carrying the following statement from Richard Porter, editor of BBC news: "We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our output, I'd love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don't help clear up the issue one way or another." Blog: _of_the_conspiracy.html"
The Courts

Submission + - Kaleidescape finally gets its day in court

Naviztirf writes: Kaleidescape, the maker of those $20,000 DVD servers, is being sued by the DVD CCA for "Breach of Contract". Today, Kaleidescape CEO Michael Malcolm will appear in court to defend his company. From the article: "The DVD CCA, which licenses the Content Scramble System (CSS) for copy-protecting DVDs, sued Kaleidescape in December 2004, claiming the maker of video servers breached a contract by building "a system to do precisely what the license and CSS are designed to prevent ... the wholesale copying of protected DVDs," according to a statement released by the DVD CCA back then."

Submission + - RIAA and University of Wisconsin-Madison

stephencrane writes: sity-of-wisconsin-stands-up-to-riaa/ A student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shares what his school is doing in response to the RIAA campaign. In this campaign, attorneys for Sony, Universal, EMI, Warner Music Group and more sent letters to several colleges demanding that they be forwarded to students. The letter (PDF) threatens students with a lawsuit and instructs them to identify themselves and pay a settlement to the recording companies via the website UW-M has sent an email informing students that although they've been given letters to forward to students, they university will not comply without a written subpoena.

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