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Holland Considers Banning DRM, Legalizing Filesharing

Posted on January 31st, 2007 at 13:40 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote:]

Last year the Dutch tried to tax all MP3 players, but that proposal didn’t make it into law. But not to worry, they have other brilliant ideas. Earlier this week, Dutch politicians suggested that it might be a good idea to tax Internet traffic, and use this money to compensate the music industry. This, under the condition that DRM is abandoned, and people can’t be charged for downloads. Say what?

netherlands dutch flagRecently Dutch Record Companies decided to no longer use copy protection on CDs because the costs didn’t outweigh the benefits. Politicians are now looking for alternative ways to compensate the Music Industry.

Martijn van Dam, a member of one of the bigger political parties in The Netherlands said, “Taxing Internet traffic is great way to compensate the Music Industry for the loss in sales by illegal filesharing?. He added that a prerequisite would be that DRM and copy protection should be abandoned. The battle against piracy is lost according to Van Dam, he says that the Music Industry has to accept that their products will be traded over the internet.

Surprisingly, Van Dam is not alone in this. Nicolien van Vroonhoven, a politician from the leading party (CDA) in the Netherlands, also thinks that this pirate tax would be a good idea. She adds that this could only work if people can’t be charged for downloading music anymore.

The statements (Dutch source) from these leading politicians basically say that piracy should be condoned, as long as Internet traffic is taxed.

Trust politicians to find a new way to tax. I have no interest at all in downloading any music, but they’re going to tax me anyway.


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Sony BMG settles FTC charges

Posted on January 31st, 2007 at 13:33 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote:]

U.S. regulators said Tuesday Sony BMG Music Entertainment agreed to reimburse consumers up to $150 for damage to their computers for selling CDs with hidden anti-piracy software.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, which announced the settlement with the big media company, its anti-piracy software limited the devices on which music could be played to those made by Sony Corp. or Microsoft Corp. It also restricted the number of copies that could be made and monitored consumers’ listening habits to send them marketing messages.

The FTC said the software also “exposed consumers to significant security risks and was unreasonably difficult to uninstall.”

The settlement requires the company to allow consumers to exchange through the end of June the affected CDs purchased before Dec. 31, 2006, and reimburse them up to $150 to repair damage done when they tried to remove the software. It also requires Sony BMG to clearly disclose limitations on consumers’ use of music CDs, bars it from using collected information for marketing and prohibits it from installing software without consumer consent.

Malware penalty, per computer: $150
Copyright penalty, per song: $2000
Calling it “the justice system”: priceless


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Rep. Cooper: White House Barred Negroponte From Saying ‘Global’ And ‘Warming’ In Same Sentence

Posted on January 31st, 2007 at 13:31 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?

[Transcript:]

REP. JIM COOPER (D-TN): Second, let me mention a dinner party I attended about two months ago here in Washington. The honoree was John Negroponte. He was then the director of national intelligence. He was there to receive an environmental award.

It was very interesting because in anticipation of his remarks, word slipped through the crowd he was not allowed to utter the words “global warming,? at least not in the same sentence. Apparently, he was allowed to say the word “global? in a separate sentence, and “warming? in a separate sentence, but not together. So it became a little parlor game during his remarks, to see how closely he would fit the words “global? and “warming? and not incur the wrath of the White House.

I thought this was a sad statement of the current condition of our scientific community when a very eminent statesman like John Negroponte would be so hamstrung by the administration that he would not be allowed to utter the two words in conjunction. I thought that was an indignity to Mr. Negroponte and a sad comment on the level of the Bush administration to so hamstring its talented and capable appointees.


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Gates Crash!

Posted on January 31st, 2007 at 13:29 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


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Woman jailed after reporting rape

Posted on January 31st, 2007 at 12:49 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Pastafarian News

[Quote:]

A woman who told police she had been raped was jailed for two days after officers found an old warrant accusing her of failing to pay restitution for a 2003 theft arrest.

While she was behind bars, according to the college student’s attorney, a jail worker refused to give her a second dose of the morning-after contraceptive pill because of the worker’s religious convictions.

The 21-year-old woman was released Monday only after attorney Vic Moore reported her plight to the local media.

“Shocked. Stunned. Outraged. I don’t have words to describe it,” Moore said. “She is not a victim of any one person. She is a victim of the system. There’s just got to be some humanity involved when it’s a victim of rape.”

Moore said the woman was not allowed to take the second emergency contraceptive pill until Monday afternoon, a day late, after reporters called police and jail officials.


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Cartoons

Posted on January 31st, 2007 at 10:01 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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