U.K. Govt Plans $82,000 Fines For Online IP Offenses Billboard
The U.K. Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has outlined proposals to improve copyright licensing and increase financial penalties for online infringers. The proposals, which were part of the Digital Britain report, include legislative changes to remove the infringement risk that currently prevents collecting societies licensing orphan works, as they do not have a mandate from the rights holder; new powers for government to authorize collecting societies to set up extended licensing schemes, allowing certain societies to act for a group of rights holders even if they are not all members of the society, unless a specific rights holder has opted out; and underpinning the operation of collecting societies with a statutory backed framework. The proposal for such a framework to improve the operation of collecting societies would require formal public consultation. There is also a measure being proposed to match online and physical IP infringement penalties, with a statutory maximum penalty of £50,000 [$82,000] for all IP offenses. The online penalty is currently £5,000 [$8,200].
Copyright report ‘lacked sufficient balance’: Conf. Board Canwest News Service
The Conference Board of Canada admitted Wednesday there was “undue reliance” on feedback from a funder with ties to the entertainment industry for a copyright report that wrongly chastised Canada as the file-swapping capital of the world. The self-styled “independent” research organization recalled three reports last month after initially standing by the reports and asserting clients don’t have a say in the editorial direction of papers they fund. “The evidence indicates there was undue reliance on feedback from a funder who was deemed to have important technical expertise. We failed to seek similar feedback from a broad range of stakeholders. The report relied heavily on too few sources and lacked sufficient balance,” the conference board said in a statement, after completing a review of the research project.
Microsoft kills Visual Studio’s Oracle data connection The Register
Coders have reacted with disappointment and frustration to Microsoft’s decision to cease development of a connector to Oracle in its .NET Framework, a move that looks like another budget cut. Microsoft has said it will no longer develop OracleClient, or System.Data.OracleClient, with the the up-coming .NET Framework 4.0. It will still be included with the framework but will be “marked as deprecated.” The .NET Framework 4.0 is the basis of Visual Studio 2010 – both due later this year – and therefore the programming model for new and recent versions of Windows. Oracle is the industry’s number-one database in terms market share. “We strongly recommend customers to use our partners’ ADO.NET Provider for Oracle instead of continuing to use Microsoft’s OracleClient for new application development,” ADO.NET OracleClient program manager Himanshu Vasishth blogged. He added Microsoft would continue to provide bug fixes for “critical” issues in OracleClient and development of new applications using OracleClient would be supported.
Web standards group scrutinizing Apple patent CNet News
The World Wide Web Consortium is opening the possibility of pushing back against an Apple patent on software updates that Apple had refused to license royalty-free for use in a proposed Web standard. The W3C announced June 12 that it’s seeking prior art relating to Apple’s patent No. 5,764,992–in other words, examples of the patent’s technology in use that predate the patent itself. The patent, which Apple applied for in 1995 and was granted in 1998, involves this scenario: “a software program running on a computer automatically replaces itself with a newer version in a completely automated fashion, without interruption of its primary function, and in a manner that is completely transparent to the user of the computer.” The consortium, which oversees standards including the HTML for Web page publishing and the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) image format, is working on a draft standard called Widgets 1.0: Updates that governs how Web-based applications can update themselves. Apple in March said it wasn’t willing to include the patent’s 30 claims in the royalty-free licensing requirements of W3C standards.
Scientology Media Blitz to Counter Critics Seems Counter-Productive Wired
The Church of Scientology is in the midst of a multi-million dollar media campaign that includes running ads on news sites, satellite dish networks, 37 cable stations, and even Wired.com â a blitz that seems to have not so much won new friends or influenced people as stir up more animosity towards the group many consider nothing more than a greedy cult. A typical video: “You are not your name. You are not your job. [...] You are not your fears. You are hope. [...] You are a spirit that will never die. [...] Scientology. Know yourself. Know life. A typical reaction: “Just saw a commercial for scientology. seriously? it claimed truth. i pray that nobody buys into that lie,” wrote HannaSheeps on Monday via Twitter. That reception is to be expected given the internet and Scientology are still fighting what might be the net’s longest running flame war, dating back to the early days of alt.religion.scientology news group. That bitter fight led to lawsuits, raids by the feds and criminal prosecutions of church critics. The criticism of the church has been the same for more than 15 years â that it’s a cult which charges believers thousands of dollars for trainings and uses strong-arm tactics to keep members and critics in line. The church’s line hasn’t changed either â we are misunderstood and we will use the law to silence critics.
Swedish politician sings Hitler’s praises The Local
A local Christian Democratic politician in northern Sweden is in hot water after praising Adolf Hitler for his skill in solving economic crises. “Adolf Hitler built motorways and that turned around the German economy. But things got worse for some people,” said Karl-GÃ¶ran VÃ¤livaara during a meeting of the Norrbotten County Council in GÃ¤llivare, according to the Norrbottens Kuriren newspaper. The remarks came in the context of a debate about the council`s master plan for 2010-2012 and were meant to serve as an example of a successful economic stimulus measure. VÃ¤livaara`s complimentary words about the former leader of Nazi Germany prompted a sharp rebuttal from Social Democratic council member Kent Ãgren. “You`re talking about a man who dedicated himself to ethnic cleansing,” said Ãgren.
Virgin Doing Unlimited Music Package, Will Suspend Illegal Downloaders paidContent UK
Five months after abandoning plans to launch a service that would legalise P2P music traffic, Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) has finally gone public with the replacement – a new subscription bundle offering streaming and even download of an unlimited number of tracks. Virgin confirmed to us that the new service will use DRM-less MP3s. Just like Sky, which trailed a new all-you-can-eat music service in February, Virgin is using Universal Music, whose artists include Amy Winehouse, as a stalking horse – the label is so far the only taker for both services. But Sky`s service is so far vapourware and Virgin hasn`t put a launch date beyond “later this year”; Virgin is “negotiating with other UK major and independent music labels and publishers to ensure it can offer a complete, compelling catalogue by the time it launches”. There will be an entry package offering a limited number of tracks, but the whole repertoire on the top package will cost less than the price of two albums, we understand. Clearly designed to coincide with Tuesday`s Digital Britain announcement, Virgin also says it will “implementing a range of different strategies to educate file sharers about online piracy and to raise awareness of legal alternatives”. The company told us that will range from an extension of the letter-writing campaign trialled by ISPs and labels last year, “under Universal`s auspices”, to “a temporary suspension of internet access … as a last resort for persistent offenders”. It`s a carrot-and-stick approach, designed to force people away from illegal downloading and toward its pay-for package.
France’s SPPF Sues YouTube Billboard
French independent labels collecting society SPPF has filed a lawsuit against YouTube for alleged copyright infringement. In a statement, the producers’ body said that more than 100 music videos of its catalog, which had been taken down by YouTube in 2008 following SPPF’s request, were again available on the service in some form. SPPF is claiming â¬10 million [$13.9 million] in damages. Google-owned YouTube responded by pointing out that SPPF has not signed up to its Content ID technical measures to identify any infringement. In France, YouTube partners with organizations including Europacorp, AFP, and France 24 on Content ID to identify unauthorized use of content and then monetize or block it.
Linux learns multi-touch Heise Online
A team of developers from the Interactive Computing Lab at the ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile) aeronautics academy in Toulouse, France have successfully created proof-of-concept multi-touch drivers for Linux. Unlike the Multi-Pointer X (MPX) technology that’s currently being integrated into X.Org 7.5 and X Server 1.7, the ENAC drivers works directly with the kernel and can provide native multi-touch support. In principle, the technology could then be used with other devices, such as embedded devices. The multi-touch support requires the latest 2.6.30 Linux kernel, in addition to several other requirements.
Keeping a True Identity Becomes a Battle Online New York Times
Since Facebook started giving out customized Web addresses like facebook.com/yourname last Friday, some 9.5 million people have rushed to grab their top choice. Chris Hardwick, a stand-up comedian, got home from a performance too late to get his address of choice on Facebook. On Twitter, public fights have broken out over so-called impostor accounts, like those that should probably be in the hands of Kanye West or Bank of America. And somewhere out there on the Web, another new service or social network is on the rise, threatening to start yet another online land grab. Celebrities, companies and even regular people can be excused for feeling a bit of dÃ©jÃ vu. Staking out and protecting their names and trademarks on the Internet has become a seemingly never-ending battle. With the rise of social networks, registering a simple Web address like pepsi.com or mileycyrus .com is no longer enough to plant one`s flag firmly in the virtual terra firma.
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