Press review

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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[NetworkWorld] EU looks to micro-licensing for user generated content issues

European Union lawmakers believe that micro-licensing could solve copyright problems related to user generated content (UGC), according to a European Commission document leaked on Monday. […]

However some digital rights activists say the Commission has missed the point. “Users who are generating content are in general not worried about getting paid. They worried about getting sued for using the pre-existing work,” said Caroline de Cock, coordinator of Copyright4creativity. […]

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2014/042814-eu-looks-to-micro-licensing...

[TechDirt] Meet TISA: Another Major Treaty Negotiated In Secret Alongside TPP And TTIP

[...] TISA: the Trade in Services Agreement. If, like me, you've never heard of this, you might think it's a new initiative. But it turns out that it's been under way for more than a year: the previous USTR, Ron Kirk, informed Congress about it back in January 2013 (pdf). Aside from the occasional laconic press release from the USTR, a page put together by the Australian government, and a rather poorly-publicized consultation by the European Commission last year, there has been almost no public information about this agreement. A cynic might even think they were trying to keep it quiet.

Perhaps the best introduction to TISA comes from the Public Services International (PSI) organization [...]

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140428/10593427051/meet-tisa-another-...

[ComputerworldUK] TTIP Update XXIII

Why the European Commission's consultation on ISDS is a sham, and fails to provide the promised "draft"

In my last update, I noted that the problems with investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) are multiplying, as lawyers latch on to the fact that it is an extremely efficient way of extracting large sums of money for very little cost (for example, I mentioned one case where an investment of $5 million led to an award of $900 million for "lost profits".) In fact, things are so bad even the European Commission has noticed. [...]

http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2014/04/ttip-update-xxi...

[NewYorker] Goodbye, Net Neutrality; Hello, Net Discrimination : The New Yorker

A blog post by Tim Wu, inventor of the term "network neutrality", comments on the implications on the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, who have "proposed a new rule that [...] permits and encourages [...] broadband carriers acting as gatekeepers and charging Web sites a payola payment to reach customers through a “fast lane.”[...]"

"This is what one might call a net-discrimination rule, and, if enacted, it will profoundly change the Internet as a platform for free speech and small-scale innovation. It threatens to make the Internet just like everything else in American society: unequal in a way that deeply threatens our long-term prosperity."

[...] "The new rule gives broadband providers what they’ve wanted for about a decade now: the right to speed up some traffic and degrade others. (With broadband, there is no such thing as accelerating some traffic without degrading other traffic.) We take it for granted that bloggers, start-ups, or nonprofits on an open Internet reach their audiences roughly the same way as everyone else. Now they won’t. They’ll be behind in the queue, watching as companies that can pay tolls to the cable companies speed ahead. The motivation is not complicated. The broadband carriers want to make more money for doing what they already do. [...]"

http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/04/the-end-of-net-neut...

[NYTimes] F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic

The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose.

“If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst,” said Todd O’Boyle, program director of Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. “Americans were promised, and deserve, an Internet that is free of toll roads, fast lanes and censorship — corporate or governmental.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rule...

[TechDirt] UK Filters And The Slippery Slope Of Mass Censorship

We've covered the ridiculousness of the UK's "voluntary" web filters. UK officials have been pushing such things for years and finally pushed them through by focusing on stopping "pornography" (for the children, of course). While it quickly came out that the filters were blocking tons of legitimate content (as filters always do), the UK government quickly moved to talk about ways to expand what the filters covered. [...]

That appears to be happening at an astonishingly fast pace in the UK. Index On Censorship has a fantastic article, discussing how a UK government official has already admitted to plans to expand the filter to "unsavoury" content rather than just "illegal." [...]

Of course, if you recognize that the continued expansion of such filters was likely the plan from the beginning, then everything is going according to plan. The fact that it doesn't solve any problems the public are dealing with is meaningless. [...]

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140418/15545526961/uk-filters-slipper...

[TechDirt] Protests Mount Against Mexico's Proposed Telecommunications Law, Which Would Bring In Censorship, Allow Real-time Surveillance And Kill Net Neutrality

[...] On the face of it then, a new Mexican telecoms law that aims to loosen the grip of those dominant companies should be a good thing. But increasingly people are worried that its bad elements may outweigh the good [...].

That's a pretty toxic mix -- censorship, real-time surveillance and no net neutrality. The good news is that Mexicans are starting to mobilize against the proposed measures:

ContingenteMX, a nonprofit collective consisting of Human Rights, environmental and social network activists and citizens, hereby demands a guarantee that the inalienable right of free Internet access

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140418/08095326958/protests-mount-aga...

[NYTimes] F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic

The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead.

The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rule...

[TechDirt] Revolving Door: MPAA Hires Chief USTR Negotiator Behind ACTA And TPP's IP Chapter

For the past five years or so, the USTR's [Office of the United States Trade Representative] chief intellectual property negotiator has been Stan McCoy. McCoy has long positioned himself as an intellectual property maximalist, repeating talking points from lobbyists regularly, while condescending to anyone who questions the legitimacy of those claims. McCoy famously was the chief negotiator behind the US's disastrous (and mostly failed) attempt to push ACTA through, as well as the lead on the TPP's intellectual property chapter [...].

Given all that, it should be no surprise at all that McCoy, the failed strategist behind ACTA and the TPP's IP provisions... has received his reward and pat on the back from the industry: a shiny new job at the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America]. As Tim Lee notes in that link, this is just the latest in the never-ending revolving door between maximalist lobbying groups and the USTR [...].

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140422/06011926988/revolving-door-mpa...

[TorrentFreak] Record Labels: Used MP3s Too Good and Convenient to Resell

Responding to a consultation of the EU Commission, various music industry groups are warning against a right for consumers to sell their MP3s. IFPI notes that people should be barred from selling their digital purchases because it's too convenient, while the quality of digital copies remains top-notch. Interestingly, the UK Government opposes this stance with a rather progressive view.

[...] In the United States the ReDigi case has been the center of this debate, with a federal court ruling in favor of Capitol Records last year. In the EU, however, the Court of Justice previously ruled that consumers are free to resell games and software, even when there’s no physical copy.

http://torrentfreak.com/record-labels-used-mp3s-too-good-and-convenient-...

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