Imports of Digital Goods Face Test

In a proceeding closely watched by tech companies and the movie, music and publishing industries, the commission expanded its approach last year while reviewing a trade dispute over orthodontic devices. The ITC decided it could take action against virtual material coming into the U.S. and ordered a Texas-based company, ClearCorrect, to stop receiving digital models and data from Pakistan for the manufacture of teeth aligners, invisible mouthpieces used as an alternative to braces.

Source: Imports of Digital Goods Face Test – WSJ

The ITC in court papers said ClearCorrect hoped to skirt U.S. patent law by farming out part of its process to Pakistan. The commission argues it would be unreasonable to say it could block physical dental molds at the border yet do nothing to stop digital ones.

The Soaring Financial Cost of Blocking Pirate Sites

But these 36 new sites to be blocked on copyright grounds are potentially just the tip of a quite enormous iceberg now that blocking on trademark grounds is being permitted.

Richemont has identified approximately 239,000 sites potentially infringing on their trademarks, 46,000 of which have been confirmed as infringing and are waiting for enforcement action.

via The Soaring Financial Cost of Blocking Pirate Sites | TorrentFreak.

The UK Government Is Already Censoring The Global Internet

There is one group of people that can stop this madness before it’s too late – the domain name registrars themselves. In the middle of October, Mark Jeftovic, CEO of the Canadian hosting company EasyDNS, vocally refused to comply with a request from PIPCU. Has he suffered the wrath of the British authorities? Nope. Was EasyDNS’s accreditation revoked? No. Is the company still in business? Oh yes.

via The UK Government Is Already Censoring The Global Internet.

AT&T Invents The Ultimate Anti-Piracy System

The patent in question is named “Real-time content detection in ISP transmissions” and focuses exclusively on tracking and deterring online piracy. According to the telco, copyright infringement is a “recurring problem in Internet usage” that is hard to police without the proper tools..

via PRISM for Pirates: AT&T Invents The Ultimate Anti-Piracy System | TorrentFreak.

It looks like deep packet inspection comparing against hashes of known violating content that constantly updates.  Even the patent seems obvious as I had that idea circling in my head how they would do that as soon as I read the headline of this article.   This is not innovative.  AT&T must feel comfortable with their monopoly status to screw over customers like this.  I can’t imagine keeping hash tables of content violations accurate will be very easy.   Add to that the security implications of hackers infecting these tables with bogus hashes and you have a recipe for disaster.  Only a company with monopoly status can take such a risk because many of their “customers” have no other choice for Internet access.

USA Intellectual Property Theft Commission Recommends Malware!

“Additionally, software can be written that will allow only authorized users to open files containing valuable information. If an unauthorized person accesses the information, a range of actions might then occur. For example, the file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized user’s computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the account. Such measures do not violate existing laws on the use of the Internet, yet they serve to blunt attacks and stabilize a cyber incident to provide both time and evidence for law enforcement to become involved.”

via Lauren Weinstein’s Blog: USA Intellectual Property Theft Commission Recommends Malware!.

A Race, a Crash and the Nascar Approach to YouTube Video Takedowns

A video of the wreck, shot by a fan and uploaded almost immediately to YouTube, detailed some of the carnage that swept across the stands and the race-goers that filled them. In a particularly intense moment, one person appeared to be pinned down by an errant wheel that flew off one of the wrecked cars.

But just as quickly as it was uploaded, the video was taken down from YouTube at Nascar’s request, citing copyright concerns.

via A Race, a Crash and the Nascar Approach to YouTube Video Takedowns – Mike Isaac – Media – AllThingsD.

The copyright to any video or photograph is owned by the person taking that video or photograph.  This is clearly an abuse of DMCA.  Here’s an update from the above linked to site with a restored link to the video in question.

Update 7:45 pm PT: Well would you look at that. Not more than a few hours later, the video in question has been unblocked, and is now viewable on YouTube user Tyler4DX’s page.

Site plagiarizes blog posts, then files DMCA takedown on originals

A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher’s career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, and then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.

via Site plagiarizes blog posts, then files DMCA takedown on originals | Ars Technica.

What could possibly go wrong with SOPA?  🙂

Takedowns run amok? The strange Secret Service/GoDaddy assault on JotForm

The shutdown of his entire domain, without notice, for something a user had done even after protections were in place against it, seemed hugely unfair to Tank; he made his public case in terms that would also apply to other user-generated sites like YouTube. “We have 2 millions user generated forms,” he wrote. “It is not possible for us to manually review all forms. This can happen to any Web site that allows user-generated content.”

via Takedowns run amok? The strange Secret Service/GoDaddy assault on JotForm (updated). is back up and it seems like an interesting idea.  Creating a form on that site is very easy but creating one locally in WordPress is easy too.  They seem to have a lot of users however.  It will also be interesting to see what happens with dns should the government abuse its authority (or lack thereof) in taking down sites capriciously and without due process.  The Internet was designed to route around damage.  Also this …

JotForm today moved its domains away from GoDaddy to registrars NameCheap and Hover. Tank still doesn’t know why his domain was suspended or when it might be returned; however, a WHOIS search this afternoon revealed that GoDaddy has at last removed the domain from its penalty box.

MegaBust’s MegaQuestions Cloud the Net’s Future

It is however the viewpoint of this article that the Megaupload indictment will likely be seen in the long run as having a more significant impact on Internet business models and innovation than the withdrawal of PIPA and SOPA — and this would be the case even if those bills had been enacted in some combined form.

That is because those bills, problematic as they were, created new forms of civil copyright enforcement — blocking of infringing foreign websites by both search engines and ISPs, and termination of third party payment and ad services for both foreign and domestic infringing websites. Such remedies might of course curtail a website’s income and even lead to its demise, as well as to executive and worker unemployment and investor monetary losses. But they would not threaten executives and investors with involuntary, decades-long incarceration in Club Fed.

via MegaBust’s MegaQuestions Cloud the Net’s Future.

This opinion piece makes some important points but it’s clearly biased in favour of megaupload.