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Rapidshare Ordered To Filter Content 161

A Cow writes "TorrentFreak reports that the Regional Court in Hamburg, Germany, has ruled that file-hosting service Rapidshare must proactively filter certain content. Music industry outfit GEMA asked the court to ban Rapidshare from making 5,000 tracks from its catalogue available on the Internet." Reader biabia brings an update to a related case in Italy involving four Google executives. The issue in that situation revolves around Google's response time in taking down a video that was deemed to be a privacy violation. Google is worried that a verdict against them could lead to mandatory pre-screening of all public videos that are uploaded onto their websites. Those proceedings have now been postponed until late September.
Update: 6/24 at 17:45 GMT by SS: The article originally reported that Rapidshare was fined $34 million. No such fine has been imposed — $34 million was the estimated value of the tracks hosted on Rapidshare.

Kurzweil on the Future 300

dwrugh writes "With these new tools, [Kurzweil] says, by the 2020s we'll be adding computers to our brains and building machines as smart as ourselves. This serene confidence is not shared by neuroscientists like Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, who discussed future brains with Dr. Kurzweil at the festival. It might be possible to create a thinking, empathetic machine, Dr. Ramachandran said, but it might prove too difficult to reverse-engineer the brain's circuitry because it evolved so haphazardly. 'My colleague Francis Crick used to say that God is a hacker, not an engineer,' Dr. Ramachandran said. 'You can do reverse engineering, but you can't do reverse hacking.'"

MPAA Seeks $15 Million From The Pirate Bay 110

praps writes "Having tasted blood with its victory over TorrentSpy, the MPAA is now stepping up its attack on The Pirate Bay. The association is claiming damages of over $15 million, based on The Pirate Bay's distribution of four films and a TV series — Harry Potter, The Pink Panther, Syriana, Walk the Line and the first season of Prison Break. The Swedish court is unlikely to be as generous as the one in California, although the four Pirate Bay founders are already facing charges of being accessories to breaking copyright law." TorrentSpy, in the meantime, has declined to pay the settlement awarded to the MPAA on Wednesday. In addition to appealing the decision, they have filed for bankruptcy.

FBI Wants Authority To Filter Net Backbone 413

Dionysius, God of Wine and Leaf, writes "There are places where criminal activity is centralized: the backbone hubs located in hosting facilities across the country. All of the Internet's activity, legal and illegal, flows through these 'choke points,' and the feds, of course, are already tapping those points and siphoning off data. What Mueller wants is the legal authority to comb through the backbone data, which is already being siphoned off by the NSA, in order to look for illegal activity."

Senator Proposes to Monitor All P2P Traffic for Illegal Files 626

mytrip writes "Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) has proposed an ambitious plan, costing on the order of $1 billion, aimed at curtailing illegal activities via P2P networks. His plan involves utilizing new software to monitor peer-to-peer traffic on an ongoing basis. 'At an afternoon Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing about child exploitation on the Internet, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said he was under the impression it's "pretty easy to pick out the person engaged in either transmitting or downloading violent scenes of rape, molestation" simply by looking at file names. He urged use of those techniques by investigators to help nab the most egregious offenders."

ICANN Writes US Government Requesting Independence 131

Combat Wombat writes with word that IP address and domain name overseer ICANN has put in a request to the US government, asking to be freed from ties to the United States. A 'lengthy' report was sent to the US Dept. of Commerce, and covers the numerous steps the organization has already completed along the road to independence. The BBC reports that a meeting will be held soon in response to the report, a reaction to the expected end of US control. "The meeting marks the half-way point for the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) under which ICANN was tasked to comply with a series of 'responsibilities' deemed necessary for its release from official oversight. The JPA grew out of the original Memorandum of Understanding that established Icann and signalled the beginning of the end for US control."

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