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Submission + - President Trump Signs Executive Order to Withdraw from the TPP (

Dangerous_Minds writes: President Donald Trump has signed an executive order for the US to pull out of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It was a campaign promise he is seemingly following through on. The agreement would have instituted laws that would unmask DNS registrants trying to protect their privacy, added criminal liability to the circumvention of a DRM (Digital Rights Management), mandated government spying on online copyright infringement, and even allow enforcement of copyright laws even when infringement does not take place. For many, the move represents a significant blow to the future of the agreement.

Comment A lot of errors in the summary (Score 1) 87

First of all, there was a shift in revenue for the last several years. People were moving from physical to digital as various platforms dragged the industry kicking and screaming into the year 2000. Labels were not "losing money left and right", their revenues dipped briefly as the changes were made. Digital music sales surged for a number of years. While it may or may not offset the losses from the albums as the industry sued everyone, the shift happened.

Secondly, piracy is responsible for offsetting many of the losses. Studies have shown that people who pirate music are often the music industries biggest customers. This is little more than RIAA whining that it's no longer 1975 and the labels using piracy as a scapegoat. The RIAA is notorious for fabricating losses (at one point, even going so far as to claim they lost the entire GDP of France in a year). Someone has been reading one too many RIAA press releases.

Virtually every problem the RIAA faces can be attributed to wrongheaded thinking on the RIAA's part (suing teenagers and grandparents, three strikes laws, DRM, attempted INDUCE act, attempted SOPA, ripping off artists with terrible contracts, 360 "deals"). If they listened to the people on the ground for the last decade+ who said that they needed to adapt to a changing marketplace, they would still be an overwhelming dominant force in the market today. Instead, they opened the door for independently run labels and independent artists who didn't want this whole "internet thing" "to just go away".

Comment Re:Does not compute (Score 1) 541

then the products those jobs produce will decrease in price

That presumes that capitalism will cease as a system in the process (not likely going to happen any time soon). Until that happens, then the price of products will remain high because companies still want to make as big of a profit as possible. In short, the companies will retain the difference for the sake of profit.

Comment Who Becomes Executioner? (Score 1) 294

A lot of small news sites use Google Adsense because the connections are small to non-existent. The resources to negotiate deals directly is virtually non-existent which is why some simply throw these ads on in the first place. Another reason is that it is a pretty good way to ensure journalistic independence. You aren't beholden necessarily to your advertisers in the same way some traditional news organizations (i.e. TV broadcasting) are beholden to theirs. These policies need to be very carefully weighed and not rushed through. A lot more could be at stake than blacklisting clickbait sites and alt-right "news" sites that post the most ludicrous conspiracy theories as facts.

One reason I would personally worry about such a policy is who plays the role of executioner? How does Google determine a site is real or fake? Is there independent reporting involved? If so, what's to stop someone from maliciously reporting a competing site as a fake news site to cut off their funding?

On the flip side, this kind of policy also has the potential of hurting Google. What's to stop sites, regardless if they are fairly or unfairly targeted crying foul and holding Google up on anti-trust allegations? Google does, in fact, hold a lot of power. If Google comes knocking with some kind of notice saying you've been cut off, what are the alternatives to Adsense? How many other ad distribution networks distribute ads with drive-by malware, etc.?

I personally can only see things getting messy even if Google has the best intentions in mind for everyone.

Submission + - CETA Signed Off As Wallonia Folds Under Pressure (

Dangerous_Minds writes: The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed off. The government of Wallonia appeared to be holding off on the agreement, but has since folded under the pressure. Two days after Wallonia agreed to the trade deal, countries signed off on the agreement. The agreement contains provisions surrounding a three strikes law, a global DMCA, site blocking, and the hugely controversial ISDS provisions to name a few. The deal still needs to be ratified for these laws to take effect.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 4, Insightful) 172

Indeed. By all means big publishers, demand money from Google. When Google delists you, all that juicy traffic will go to the smaller independent news sites who will be more than happy to make some extra ad impressions. Heck, I would go so far as to say some of them are jumping up and down in excitement over the prospect of some of the big media outlets cutting themselves out of that stream of traffic.

Comment Not For Me (Score 1) 503

I knew someone who was insistent on upgrading to Windows 10. I mentioned to her what I found out about the operating system. She even heard some of her friends having problems upgrading - mainly it would "lock up" and render the computer useless during the so-called "upgrade" process. She succumbed to the pressure Microsoft was exerting on her and finally upgraded one machine from 8 to 10 and another from 7 to 10. The reasoning behind that was the worry that the old OS would "dry up" (which apparently was her way of worrying about security updates finally coming to a halt). She let me sit in to watch the process of going from 8 to 10. I tried to keep an open mind about the process. After the slideshow which lasted forever (it was still installing, but it wasn't until 10 minutes in that the slideshow finally mentioned that), I watched Windows 10 begin pushing ads all over the place. At the same time, I got to witness it de-install programs the OS didn't like because of "compatibility" reasons. The programs were admittedly minor anyway (i.e. Rapid Storage technology), but the idea of the OS just uninstalling programs without your permission alone unnerved me.

Once the process was complete, she was horrified that her card games had vanished. Hearts, solitaire, spider solitaire, freecell, etc. were all gone. She eventually found it by scrolling through the start menu, but when she booted it up, it began telling her that she had a one month free trial of solitaire before she could upgrade to premium solitaire. We both had the same thought, "So much for "everything is exactly where you left it"!". It took some digging, but she was able to find a free version in the store so she wouldn't have to pay something like 10 bucks a year for a simple card game.

Suffice to say, after that first hand experience, I was more convinced than ever that I'm sticking with Windows 7. I was already one foot out the door with all the news, but seeing the install process sealed the deal for me.

Submission + - SPAM: Study: File-sharing On the Decline As Legal Services Rise

Dangerous_Minds writes: There is no shortage of people out there who argue that if the big entertainment industries simply offered a compelling legal alternative to file-sharing, piracy would be less attractive. Freezenet is reporting that a new Kantar study is seemingly showing further evidence that this might be true. The findings say that consumption of digital content is on the rise, legal services such as the BBC iPlayer and Spotify continue to show growth, and unauthorized services continue to erode. The EFF has also made similar comments on the study.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Brexit Could Spell Trouble for CETA, TTIP, and TPP (

Dangerous_Minds writes: After the Brexit vote, many are fearing the unknown in the face of uncertainty. While a lot of the coverage surrounding the aftermath of Brexit has been generally negative, there could be a silver lining. Freezenet is pointing out that there are those that believe that CETA, TPP, and TTIP could be in jeopardy. These trade agreements contain provisions surrounding a three strikes law, government mandated surveillance at the ISP level, criminal liabilities for circumvention of a DRM, the unmasking of DNS owners, the seizure of cellphones at the border for the purposes of enforcing copyright laws, and, of course, the infamous ISDS provisions that would allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws that gets in the way of profit or future potential profit. A compelling case that Brexit may not be all bad news.

Submission + - Chief CETA Negotiator Says CETA "Virtually Complete" (

Dangerous_Minds writes: Steve Verheul, chief negotiator of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is saying that the agreement is "virtually complete". He also says that translated versions are to be completed by May and that the agreement is likely to be implemented in 2017. CETA contains provisions that would compel countries to implement Internet censorship through site blocking, anti-circumvention laws as seen in the US, and compel border security to seize digital storage devices (i.e. cell phones) at the border for the purpose of looking for copyright infringement.

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