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Comment Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (Score 1) 168

Another I just thought of is the fact that any decision taken in Europe will not apply to the UK. It is well established case law (recent decisions and reason by Judge LJ [] repeated from previous decisions such as those of Baroness Hale of Richmond and Sir Nicolas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court) that EU Law does not supercede UK domestic Law*.

EU law does not superceede any national law in any country (well, perhaps with very few exceptions which I not aware off).
The EU law system works like this: every new EU law is basically "reference" for wich the participating countries craft a similar national law. For that they usually have a grace period of about 5 years.
And: the UK do the same, they also incorporate EU laws by issuing the relevant national laws.

European regulations work directly in all memberstates (even in the UK). For instance a the regulations on the Common Agricultural Policy work directly in memberstates. This is mostly about paying out European money. Other harmonisation in the EU works with directives, that the memberstates have to implement (and the EU commission has a right to sue memberstates who do not implement). I would presume that the data law is a directive: it would need implementation in the memberstates. Directives can have a direct influence: if a memberstate does not implement and the directive would give citizens a clearly identifiable right, you could use local courts to reach the European court. This has been happening at least since the sixties of the last century...


Why Sony Cannot Stop PS3 Pirates 378

Sam writes "A former Ubisoft exec believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles. Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware." An anonymous reader adds commentary from PS3 hacker Mathieu Hervais about Sony's legal posturing.

Comment Re:Anyway, downloading is *not* necessarily illega (Score 1) 367

Who says downloading, or making copies for private use is illegal? It depends on where you are.

In many countries, people are forced to pay fees on blank CDs, on printers, on copy machines, even on the memory in MP3 players. Why? The justification for these fees is that people do, in fact, make copies of copyrighted media. Irritating: whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? More irritating: extraordinarily little of this money actually makes it to the artists.

A very few countries got it right: "if our consumers must pay these fees, because you assume they are copying, then they have paid for the right to copy, and this must then be legal". Two countries that I am aware of: Switzerland and Italy. As I understand the law in these two countries (IANAL), uploading is illegal, as is making copies for sale. However, making copies for private use is legal, and this includes both downloading and also making individual copies for friends. The claim that downloading is illegal is therefore disingenuous. The MAFIAA would like for it to be illegal, but it depends on your jurisdiction.

Does anyone know of other countries where downloading is legal? Or have more specific information on the situation in Switzerland and Italy?

In the Netherlands downloading music is not illegal, uploading without permission is. We also have a blank CD/DVD fee.


The Almighty Buck

When DLC Goes Wrong 261

kube00 writes "Poorly done downloadable content is one of a gamer's worst nightmares right now. Where a publisher stands to make some money, gamers get screwed. Whether it's the overpriced extra maps/costumes DLC, on-the-disc-at-launch DLC, or DLC that is nothing more than a remake of other content, no game is safe from bad DLC. That includes Modern Warfare 2, Bioshock 2, Uncharted 2 and a host of many other popular games. Is there a chance to fix this system?"
PC Games (Games)

Valve Apologizes For 12,000 Erroneous Anti-Cheating Bans 202

Earlier this week, there were reports that large numbers of Modern Warfare 2 players on Steam were getting erroneously banned by Valve's Anti-Cheat software. While such claims are usually best taken with a grain of salt, the quantity and suddenness caused speculation that Valve's software wasn't operating correctly. A few days later, Valve president Gabe Newell sent out an email acknowledging that roughly 12,000 players had been inappropriately banned over the preceding two weeks. "The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version. This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game." Valve reversed the bans and gave free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 to everyone who was affected.

Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell 361

climenole writes "Finally! The much discussed F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono."

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."
PC Games (Games)

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."

Comment It's very possible (Score 1) 613

At least in the Netherlands. We have digital form, that downloads the data the goverment posseses when you start it up with your social security number. The conflict of interest line is bullshit to me: You only get the figures the goverment got from banks and employers, nothing more (or less). Works like a charm, I get my taxes done (and those of my wife) in about an hour. (And businesses are required to use a digital tax return and all vendors of accounting software can file a tax return from within the accounting software, this is not exactly rocketscience. Intuit should be the one asking for a facillity to make this possible in their program)


The Almighty Buck

How Do You Measure a Game's Worth? 188

RamblingJosh writes "Video games can be very expensive these days, especially with so many great games on the horizon. So I wonder: how exactly do you get the most gaming entertainment for your dollar? '... the first thing I personally thought about when approaching this was money spent versus time played. Using Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions as an example: I bought the game for about $30 Canadian, and played it for roughly 85 hours. That comes out to 2.83 hours per dollar spent, a pretty good number. In this case, the game was a lot of fun and it was cheap, and so the system works fairly well. There are so many other things to think about, though. What if the game wasn't so good? What about the fact that it's portable? ... What about the new content? Multiplayer?'"

Duke Nukem 3D Ported To Nokia N900 95

andylim writes "It looks as if Duke Nukem isn't completely 'nuked' after all. Someone has ported the 90s classic on to a Nokia N900. As you'll see in the video, you control Duke using the Qwerty keypad and shoot using the touchscreen. I'm wondering how long it will take for this to get on other mobile platforms." In other Duke news, reader Jupix points out that 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller recently said, "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."

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