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Submission + - Court: Open Source Project Liable For 3rd Party DRM-Busting Coding (torrentfreak.com)

Diamonddavej writes: TorrentFreak reports a potentially troubling court decision in Germany. The company Appwork has been threatened with a 250,000 Euro fine fine for functionality committed to its open-source downloader (JDownloader2) repository by a volunteer coder without Appwork's knowledge. The infringing code enables downloading of RTMPE video streams (an encrypted streaming video format developed by Adobe). Since the code decrypted the video streams, the Hamburg Regional Court decided it represented circumvention of an “effective technological measure” under Section 95a of Germany’s Copyright Act and it threatened Appwork with a fine for "production, distribution and possession" of an 'illegal' piece of software.

Submission + - This Whole Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big, Says Bank of America (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: Bank of America has issued a research report suggesting that the crypto-currency Bitcoin could become “a major means of payment for e-commerce” on its way to emerging as “a serious competitor to traditional money transfer providers.” The bank attaches a “maximum market capitalization” of Bitcoin at roughly $1,300, based on its position as a “major player in both e-commerce and money transfer” as well as “a significant store of value with a reputation close to silver.” Bitcoin has come close to exceeding that theoretical ceiling in recent weeks, although its valuation dove today after the People’s Bank of China decided to declare it a volatile “currency” without real legal status; that financial institution is also concerned about its use in money laundering and black markets. Bank of America sees Bitcoins’ advantages as low transaction costs, its finite supply (which will protect its value), and its increasing attractiveness as an alternative to “traditional” cash. As with the People’s Bank of China, however, the bank sees the currency’s extreme volatility and lack of legal backing as a bad thing, and frowns at the possibility that regulators could step in and increase transaction costs. “A 50 minute wait before payment receipt confirmation is received will prohibit wider use,” the report adds. “This is less of an issue for two parties that know each other because they trust the other will not double spend, but when dealing with an anonymous counterparty this creates a high level of unhedgeable risk.” Without a “central counterparty” to verify transactions and thus mitigate that risk, Bitcoin could fail to break into wider use.

Submission + - Debian 7.0 ("Wheezy") released

anarcat writes: After two years since the last Debian release (6.0, nicknamed "squeeze"), the Debian release team finally published Debian 7.0 (nicknamed "Wheezy"). A newly created blog has details on the release, which features multi-arch support (e.g. you can now install packages for both i386 and amd64 on the same install), improvements to multimedia support (no need for third party repositories!) and improved security through hardening flags.

Debian 7.0 also ships with the controversial Gnome 3 release, and the release notes explicitly mention how to revert to the more familiar "Gnome classic" interface. Finally, we can also mention the improved support for virtualization infrastructure with pre-built images available for Amazon EC2, Windows Azure and Google Compute Engine. Debian 7.0 also ships with the OpenStack suite and the Xen Cloud Platform.

More details on the improvements can be found in the release notes and the Debian wiki.

Submission + - One of the largest ISP in Finland ordered to block (elisa.fi)

An anonymous reader writes: The district court in Finland has ordered Elisa, one of the largest Finnish ISPs to block access to the Pirate Bay IP addressess and domain name or else they're getting a fine. Elisa is going to complain about the decision. Elisa says that the decision is so complex and difficult, so it's important to get a decision from a higher court.

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