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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.
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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.

Submission + - All 12 Countries Sign off on the TPP (

Dangerous_Minds writes: News is surfacing that the TPP has officially been signed by all 12 countries. This marks the beginning of the final step towards ratification. Freezenet has a quick rundown of what copyright provisions are contained in the agreement including traffic shaping, site blocking, enforcement of copyright when infringement is "imminent", and a government mandate for ISPs to install backdoors for the purpose of tracking copyright infringement on the Internet.

Submission + - Canadian Government Lobby's Europe to Pass CETA (

Dangerous_Minds writes: The Canadian government isn't just siding with the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Justin Trudeau is also actively lobbying Europe to try and pass the Comprehensive economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Freezenet points out that the agreement contains many provisions including a three strikes law and website blocking.

Submission + - Canada's Prime Minister Admits Intention to Sign TPP (

Dangerous_Minds writes: The first round of question period for Canada's new government turned out to be a rather revealing one. After months of denial, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted he intends on signing off on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. The revelation came during questioning by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair who quizzed him on his position while citing evidence the agreement would result in major job losses in Canada. The TPP would lead to, among other things, criminal liability for the circumvention of copy protection, government mandated spying for the purpose of tracking copyright infringement online, and seizure of digital storage devices at the border for the purpose of enforcing copyright. Trudeau said that the reason he is going to sign off on the agreement was so that he could consult with Canadians on the agreement even though the agreement creates legal obligations to ratify as-is.

Submission + - Human Rights Watch Blasts TPP for "Serious Rights Concerns" (

Dangerous_Minds writes: Freezenet is reporting that Human Rights Watch, an international human rights organization, has blasted the TPP over what they call "serious rights concerns". Among the concerns are privacy rights as well as the implications the trade deal would have on free speech. Already, some are expecting all 12 countries to sign off on the TPP next month.

Further reading: Human Rights Watch press release and TPP Q & A.

Submission + - TPP Signing Ceremony to Take Place in February (

Dangerous_Minds writes: New Zealand officials are hoping that the TPP signing ceremony is to take place in February in Auckland, New Zealand. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, it is expected that all 12 countries are going to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Those 12 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam. Freezenet points out that signing doesn't necessarily make the agreement law, but it is one critical step closer to ratification.

Comment Re:I can answer that question. (Score 3) 118

The "Commercial scale" language is also found in the TPP. While this language may just be a UK thing for now, if the TPP is passed, the vague language will become law all over the world. It'll be used to justify busting down the doors of just about anyone Big Content doesn't like from someone posting a YouTube video to someone leaving a comment on Facebook. This may very well be a canary in the coal mine case.

Submission + - Word-For-Word Comparison Between Wikileaks and Official Version of TPP (

Dangerous_Minds writes: In October, Freezenet published an in-depth analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) IP Chapter. It confirmed many of the fears surrounding the agreement. However, that analysis (like every other one at the time) depended on the Wikileaks version. Now that the TPP has been officially released, many have suggested that the worst fears of the TPP have been confirmed. Some TPP supporters suggested that many of the fears are invalid because they still relied on the Wikileaks version. Freezenet has officially put that myth to rest after publishing a word-for-word comparison of the Wikileaks version and the official version. The in-depth analysis of the TPP IP Chapter did reveal a few things. For one, there were apparent attempts to obfuscate the meaning of some of the provisions in an effort to seemingly make it more difficult to read. As an example, numerous trade agreements the chapter referenced have been extremely abbreviated. For example, "WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (1996)" was abbreviated to "WTTP". The differences between the two versions in terms of meaning are few and far between. The only big one that was really found was that the copyright term is to be extended to life +70 years (many countries employ the term of life +50 years). The analysis features screenshots of the Wikileaks version and the final version side-by-side for easier comparisons.

Submission + - Full Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Analyzed ( 1

Dangerous_Minds writes: Freezenet seems to be the first website to publish a full rundown of the final draft of the Intellectual Property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The leak was published on Wikileaks earlier. The analysis seems to confirm what the EFF has said, saying that the chapter "confirms our worst fears about the agreement, and dashes the few hopes that we held out that its most onerous provisions wouldn't survive to the end of the negotiations." The analysis focuses mainly on copyright enforcement on the Internet and the impact the chapter would have on personal devices, VPN services, and ISPs. One noteworthy find by Freezenet is the inclusion of a "TPP Commission" which would decide when different countries are supposed to meet outside of the 10 year cycle discussing "market circumstances" of "the development of new pharmaceutical products". What other roles the TPP Commission takes on is unclear given that it is not mentioned anywhere else in the chapter.

Submission + - Reactions Split on What Canada's Liberal Majority Means for Tech Policy Future (

Dangerous_Minds writes: Few could have predicted the Liberal majority win in Canada's recent election. Now that the Canadian government is in a state of transition, some have speculated what the new government will bring to the table when it comes to a policy on technology. Michael Geist is speculating that the people in the new Liberal government may bring about a positive policy change, concluding "All of this points to real change and the chance for a fresh start on Canadian digital policy in the years ahead." Meanwhile, Freezenet has a very different take. Drew Wilson points out that the last time the Liberal government was in power, the party was very combative on digital rights because they were trying to bring in Lawful Access and the Canadian DMCA before Stephen Harper took power. In one very infamous exchange, Sam Bulte lashed out at people like Michael Geist by calling him and his supporters "pro-user zealots". With digital rights not even on the radar during the election outside of Bill C-51 towards the beginning and the Liberals long history on these files, Wilson paints a very bleak future given that the Liberal party now has a majority government and can push through policies unopposed whether controversial or not.

Submission + - Provisions Found in the TPP, CETA, and TiSA Trade Agreements (

Dangerous_Minds writes: From time to time, the topic of a trade agreement appears in the news. While proponents suggest that these trade agreements are significant to increasing economic prosperity, very few ever go into much detail of what is in these agreements. Freezenet is offering an update to known provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trades in Services Agreement (TiSA). Among the findings are provisions permitting a three strikes law and site blocking, multiple anti-circumvention laws, ISP liability, the search and seizure of personal devices to enforce copyright at the border, and an open door for ISP level surveillance. Freezenet also offers a brief summery of what was found while admitting that provisions found in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as it relates to digital rights remains elusive for the time being.

Comment Re:The Alternative? (Score 1) 307

For one, that presumes that the content being posted is funny cat photo's which is definitely not the case for all websites out there. For another "get a real fucking job" implies that there are real jobs left to be had in this day and age. For a lot of people out there now, this simply isn't attainable anymore in any practical sense. Even if foolhardy, it's not out of the question that some people feel they can try and make something out of becoming a webmaster when their skill set just happens to be suited for that.

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead