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Australia

Fair Use Threatens Innovation, Copyright Holders Warn (torrentfreak.com) 148

An anonymous reader shares a TorrentFreak report: Various music and movie industry groups have warned that fair use exceptions are a threat. The groups were responding to proposals put forward in Australia by the Government's Productivity Commission. They claim that content creators will be severely disadvantaged if fair use is introduced Down Under . Several rightsholder groups argue that strong copyright protections are essential for the survival of their businesses. This includes a long copyright term of 70 years, as well as the ability to block access to content based on the location of a consumer. In addition, many believe that fair use exceptions will do more harm than good. For example, music group IFPI warns that fair use will threaten innovation and create legal uncertainty. "Licensing, not exceptions to copyright, drives innovation. Innovation is best achieved through licensing agreements between content owners and users, including technological innovators," IFPI writes.
Businesses

Tesla: Model X Accident Caused By Driver Error, Not Autopilot (computerworld.com) 596

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla has responded to a recent report from a Model X owner claiming their vehicle suddenly accelerated at "maximum speed" by itself, jumped a curb and slammed into the side of a building while his wife was sitting behind the wheel. They said it analyzed vehicle logs, "which confirm that this Model X was operating correctly under manual control and was never in Autopilot or cruise control at the time of the incident or in the minutes before. Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100%. Consistent with the driver's action, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed. Safety is the top priority at Tesla and we engineer and build our cars with this foremost in mind. We are pleased that the driver is ok and ask our customers to exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles." When will people stop lying about Tesla's Autopilot mode crashing their cars? One Tesla owner recently filed a Lemon Law claim against the company over a high number of quality control issues.
Movies

Piracy Fails To Prevent Another Box Office Record (torrentfreak.com) 221

An anonymous reader writes: The movie industry has reported global box office records reached $38.4 billion in 2015, up 5% on 2014's total, according to the MPAA's Theatrical Market Statistics report. The U.S. and Canada turned in $11.1 billion with international box office revenues hitting $27.2 billion. "I'm proud to say that the state of our industry has never been stronger," the former U.S. senator, MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said. "To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of the movies has been greatly exaggerated," Dodd said. It begs the question whether or not piracy is truly killing the movie business -- the MPAA insists it is. According to Dodd, the box office would be more healthy to the tune of $1.5 billion if piracy could be brought under control. Some possible theories to achieve such a goal would be based off making content more readily available to the consumer. Napster co-found Sean Parker has a Screening Room project which hopes to bring first-run movies into the home via a set-top box. Though it has a trick up its sleeve: Customers prepared to pay the required $50 to watch at home would get two tickets to watch the movie in the cinema, which could either boost or at least maintain box office attendance. The Art House Convergence (AHC) said it "strongly opposes" the plan, warning it would only fuel torrent sites and piracy. National Assosciation of Theatre Owners chief John Fithian said, "More sophisticated window modeling may be needed for the growing success of a modern movie industry."
Communications

The Widely Reported ISIS Encrypted Messaging App Is Not Real 113

blottsie writes: Despite widespread reports to the contrary, an app created for Islamic State militants to send private encrypted messages does not exist, a week-long Daily Dot investigation found. All of the media articles on the Alrawi app showed screenshots of a different app entirely, one that is a glorified RSS reader with a totally different name. The Defense One journalist who first reported on GSG's claims about the app told the Daily Dot that he hadn't seen any version of Alrawi at all, and the subsequent reports on the app largely relied on Defense One's reporting. The Daily Dot was the first media outlet to receive, on Jan. 18, what GSG claimed was the Alrawi encryption app. The app, called "Alrawi.apk," contained no ability to send or encrypt messages. It was created using MIT's App Inventor, a plug-and-play tool meant primarily for children.
Encryption

Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness' 431

Jason Koebler writes: Leslie Caldwell, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said Tuesday that the department is "very concerned" by the Google's and Apple's decision to automatically encrypt all data on Android and iOS devices.

"We understand the value of encryption and the importance of security," she said. "But we're very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a 'zone of lawlessness,' where there's evidence that we could have lawful access through a court order that we're prohibited from getting because of a company's technological choices.
Privacy

DOJ Launches New Cybercrime Unit, Claims Privacy Top Priority 61

msm1267 writes: Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Department of Justice, announced on Thursday the creation of a new Cybercrime Unit, tasked with enhancing public-private security efforts. A large part of the Cybersecurity Unit's mission will be to quell the growing distrust many Americans have toward law enforcement's high-tech investigative techniques. (Even if that lack of trust, as Caldwell claimed, is based largely on misinformation about the technical abilities of the law enforcement tools and the manners in which they are used.) "In fact, almost every decision we make during an investigation requires us to weigh the effect on privacy and civil liberties, and we take that responsibility seriously," Caldwell said. "Privacy concerns are not just tacked onto our investigations, they are baked in."
United Kingdom

Britain's Conservatives Scrub Speeches from the Internet 234

An anonymous reader writes news of an attempt to erase a bit of history. From the article: "The Conservative Party have attempted to delete all their speeches and press releases online from the past 10 years, including one in which David Cameron promises to use the Internet to make politicians 'more accountable'. The Tory party have deleted the backlog of speeches from the main website and the Internet Archive — which aims to make a permanent record of websites and their content — between 2000 and May 2010."
Security

Video Recovering Data From Broken Hard Drives and SSDs (Video) 173

Russell Chozick owns a small company in Austin. TX, called Flashback Data that recovers data from messed-up hard drives. And SSDs and Flash memory, too. How badly damaged does a drive have to be to defeat Russell and his crew? Apparently, smashed to bits. Not long aqo we did a video about a company that destroys data on hard drives, and we've had at least one Ask Slashdot where the question was, "What's the Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?" In today's video, Russell is talking about the opposite of destruction -- except that he destroys data upon request, too. Obviously, checking the wrong box on a customer order form could cause big problems at Flashback Data, couldn't it? Let's hope they never do that -- and let's hope we all back up all of our data so we never need to use a data recovery service. You do back up all your data, don't you?
Businesses

EA Responds To Its Appearance In the 'Worst Company In America' Poll 208

beerdragoon writes "Electronic Arts CEO Peter Moore has responded to the company's appearance in the finals of the Consumerist's Worst Company In America poll. Moore accepts some responsibility for some of EA's past failings: 'I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made plenty of mistakes. These include server shut downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and most recently, severely fumbling the launch of SimCity. We owe gamers better performance than this.' However, he ignores or contests many of the common complaints about the company — issues that earned it a spot in the finals for the second year in a row. Quoting: 'Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period. ... Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."
Handhelds

Nokia Apologizes For Misleading Lumia 920 Ad 233

hypnosec writes "During Nokia's press event for the launch of its flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone — the Lumia 920 — the Finnish company made available some promotional materials wherein there was a video showcasing PureView's main feature: optical image stabilization (OIS) but, it turns out these ads were faked following which Nokia has issued an official apology. In the video was 'a reflection that revealed the footage wasn't shot on a Lumia 920, but a regular camera inside a white van.' If we go to 0:27 of the video, a reflection of a white van keeping pace with the girl is seen whereby a person is holding a DSLR camera. Fast forward to 0:48 of the video and you will clearly see the shadow of a DSLR hooked to the swing. In its apology through a blog post Nokia confirms that the video 'was not shot with a Lumia 920.'"

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