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Comment Re:Promoting Progress of Science and useful Arts? (Score 1) 137

2. To maximize the outflow of cash from the local economy into foreign wallets.

A good example would be: Directive 2011/77/EU on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights.
As EDRi put it:

In short, this is a piece of European legislation which is almost impressively bad. It achieves the worst of all available outcomes, disadvantaging young performers, placing a barrier between citizens and their culture and producing a net loss of money from the EU to the US.

Comment Re:That worked great in Germany (Score 5, Informative) 172

This is a leaked draft impact assessment(PDF alert), you can read more about it here: European Copyright Leak Exposes Plans to Force the Internet to Subsidize Publishers

This is what Julia Reda (MEP) says about it: Commissioner Oettinger is about to turn EU copyright reform into another ACTA:

This is not a copyright fit for the digital age. It’s a copyright that tries to protect the big players of the past from the future.

Europe’s publishing, film and music industries have clearly found that influencing Commissioner Oettinger to write laws is easier and more lucrative than adapting to progress and competing fairly.

Comment Re:It should be obvious (Score 2) 375

An interesting reaction to Joris Luyendijk in The Guardian, is from Noah Smith on his blog Lazy econ critiques:

It's Econ Nobel season, and so someone needs to do the job of standing up and repeating all the old disses. This year, it's Joris Luyendijk in The Guardian. [...] Anyway, this litany of critiques, repeated ad infinitum since the crisis, strikes me as mostly pretty lazy. There are good critiques out there. These are not they.
That said, I like Luyendijk's idea of adding a general social science prize to the Nobel roster. Nobels are silly anyway, so why not have one for every field? While we're at it, how about one in math and computer science, and one in psych/neuro/cognitive science? And one in visual arts? And one in writing snarky point-by-point rebuttals in blog posts?

Comment Re:Orwell (Score 2) 98

Paul Krugman leans negative about TPP. For this is not a trade agreement. It’s about intellectual property and dispute settlement; the big beneficiaries are likely to be pharma companies and firms that want to sue governments.
In a direct sense, protecting intellectual property means creating a monopoly - letting the holders of a patent or copyright charge a price for something (the use of knowledge) that has a zero social marginal cost. In that direct sense this introduces a distortion that makes the world a bit poorer.

Intellectual property: leaked text suggests very strong, even draconian IP regime on copyright, patents, pharma, etc.

Submission + - URL shortening service Bitly converts URLs into advertising links ( 1

wabrandsma writes: German website brings the news:
Users of URL shortening service Bitly unknowingly spread advertising links and tracking cookies. Bitly converts certain URLs into affiliate links. The long URL's shortened by Bitly also get an ID, which can also be used to send users to a commercial site. In some cases the ID allows for setting a tracking cookie. If the user buys a product after clicking on an advertising link, Bitly and their partner will get a commission. Bitly is working together with Viglink, a company that specializes in online marketing and advertising links.

Comment Re:Anybody remember? (Score 1) 96

I'd take prosperity and safety over "freedom" anytime.

Ronald Reagan: we believe that freedom and security go together.
Or to paraphrase him:

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the United Kingdom can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. Prime Minster Cameron, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the United Kingdom and Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this portal. Mr. Cameron, open this portal. Mr. Cameron, tear down this firewall of censorship!

Submission + - Joseph Goebbels' estate sues publisher for Nazi war criminal's diary royalties (

wabrandsma writes: The Guardian:
The estate of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda, is taking legal action against the publisher Random House over a new biography, claiming payment for the use of extracts from his diaries. Peter Longerich's biography of Goebbels is to be published in May (Random House/ Siedler).
Longerich, who is the professor at Royal Holloway's Holocaust Research Centre, maintains this case has important censorship implications. “If you accept that a private person controls the rights to Goebbels’ diaries, then – theoretically – you give this person the right to control research,” he said.

Submission + - Swiss launch of Apple Watch hit by patent issue (

wabrandsma writes: (Reuters) — Apple is not able to launch its new smartwatch in Switzerland until at least the end of this year because of an intellectual property rights issue, Swiss broadcaster RTS reported on its website.

The U.S. tech giant cannot use the image of an apple nor the word "apple" to launch its watch within Switzerland, the home of luxury watches, because of a patent from 1985, RTS reported, citing a document from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

Submission + - Microsoft Corp. decided not to invest in Cyanogen (

wabrandsma writes: (Bloomberg) — Cyanogen Inc. is close to an agreement on a new $110 million round of financing, people with knowledge of the matter said, as the startup seeks to get its version of Android software into more smartphones.

While Microsoft and Cyanogen failed to strike an investment deal, talks between the two illustrate how Microsoft is trying to get its applications and services on rival operating systems, a key goal embraced by Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. Microsoft has in the past complained that Google Inc., which manages Android, has blocked its programs from the operating system.

The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Microsoft was investing in Cyanogen. Bloomberg reported then that the companies were engaged in talks and that no decision had been made.

Submission + - Uber sued over driver data breach, adding to legal woes (

wabrandsma writes: (Reuters) — Uber Technologies Inc has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit over a recently disclosed data breach involving the personal information of about 50,000 drivers, the latest in a series of legal woes to hit the Internet car service.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco by Sasha Antman, an Uber driver in Portland, Oregon, says the company did not do enough to prevent the 2014 breach and waited too long — about five months — to disclose it.

Antman says Uber violated a California law requiring companies to safeguard employee's personal information.

Submission + - Court overturns Dutch data retention law, privacy more important ( 1

wabrandsma writes: writes:
Internet providers no longer have to keep their clients phone, internet and email details because privacy is more important, a Dutch court ruled on Wednesday.

Digital Rights organisation Bits of Freedom writes in a Blog:
The law’s underlying European directive was meant as a tool in the fight against serious crimes. The Dutch law, however, is much more expansive, including everything from terrorism to bike theft. During the hearing, the state’s attorneys avowed that the Public Prosecution does not take the law lightly, and would not call on the law to request data in case of a bicycle theft. The judge’s response: it doesn’t matter if you exploit the possibility or not, the fact that the possibility exists is already reason enough to conclude that the current safeguards are unsatisfactory.

Submission + - Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links (

wabrandsma writes: From NewScientist:
Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team ( The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.

The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

Comment Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 180

According to this article they will not sue Sony:

A spokesperson for the agency told Billboard that the artists were "hesitant" to allow the song to appear in the film, given that it's plot, which features the assassination of Kim Jong-Un, is "very sensitive topic in Korea" at the moment. It seems that at this point Sony Pictures will be spared the brunt of the lawsuit, FeelGhoodMusic instead intends to take the agency who handled the negotiations with Sony, DFSB, to court instead.

Submission + - Quantum physics just got less complicated (

wabrandsma writes: From
Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.
Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

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