Universal Music Claims Copyright Over Newly Public Domain 'Yes! We Have No Bananas'

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 14 November 2019
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One of the signature works of the public domain class of 1923 was the song Yes! We Have No Bananas by composers Irving Cohn and Frank Silver. As of January 1st, anyone was free to make use of that song.

Glenn Fleishman had posted a video of the song to YouTube in celebration of it entering the public domain earlier this year.

However, that video has now been "claimed" by Universal Music and various subsidiaries, meaning that they could "monetize" it or force it offline, despite them literally having no rights to speak of.

An ownership claim for a public domain work is so weak that even Youtube should have refused it.

Google Play Removes Perfect Player After “Bogus” Copyright Complaint

Found on Torrentfreak on Friday, 25 October 2019
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This week Google removed the popular IPTV software Perfect Player from its Play Store following a hard-to-fathom copyright complaint. A major pay TV provider claimed it was possible to stream pirate content in the app so it must be illegal. However, the app ships with no links to content whatsoever, so anything infringing must've been added at a later stage.

Perfect Player contains no playlists when supplied directly from Google Play, it’s content-neutral.

With the help of a lawyer, the developer is now filing a DMCA counter-notice with Google Play which will require the pay-TV company to either double down or back off. Unless Google chooses to restore Perfect Player in the meantime, of course.

They should also take down browsers, because they can access illegal websites.

Pointing a finger gun lands 12-year-old Johnson County student in handcuffs

Found on Kansas City Star on Wednesday, 16 October 2019
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A 12-year-old Overland Park girl formed a gun with her fingers, pointed at four of her Westridge Middle School classmates one at a time, and then turned the pretend weapon toward herself.

In 2015, a Colorado first-grader was suspended from school after forming his fingers into the shape of a gun, pointing toward a classmate and saying, “You’re dead.”

A year earlier, in Columbus, Ohio, a 10-year-old boy was suspended for three days for pretending his finger was a gun.

Let's not forget other massive threads, like pastry guns. This kind of zero-tolerance is so ridiculous that those in charge should get their heads checked.

EU court: Facebook can be forced to remove content worldwide

Found on AP News on Saturday, 05 October 2019
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Ruling in the case of an Austrian politician who objected to what she regarded as a libelous news story, the European court said Internet companies can be forced to take action worldwide to remove objectionable material when ordered to do so by a court in an EU country.

“The ruling essentially allows one country or region to decide what Internet users around the world can say and what information they can access,” said CCIA Europe senior manager Victoria de Posson.

Great news. Now China, North Korea, Russia, Iran and all other nations worldwide can demand that content they do not like has to be taken down globally too, because in the end, everybody on the world is equal, so has equal rights. Right?

YouTube CEO: Politicians can break our content rules

Found on Politico on Sunday, 29 September 2019
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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said today that content by politicians would stay up on the video-sharing website even if it violates the company's standards, echoing a position staked out by Facebook this week.

Wojcicki's remarks came a day after Facebook's global affairs chief Nick Clegg told the same conference in Washington that political leaders would be allowed to break the social network's content rules. Earlier this year, Twitter announced it would label and demote, but not remove, content from politicians that violates its standards.

All are equal, but some are above the laws. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter just proved that they do not care about equality.

EU Copyright Directive's Link Tax Won't Lead To Google Paying Publishers

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 28 September 2019
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Not only was the following story totally predictable, but many of us directly warned the EU of what would happen if they instituted a "link" or "snippet" tax as part of the EU Copyright Directive.

Google has told publishers in France that in order to respect the new Copyright Directive link tax, it is removing all snippets unless the publishers opt-in via the tools mentioned above, to voluntarily choose to add back the snippets.

What's incredible is that these same politicians will now whine and complain and lie, saying that Google is evading the tax when it's actually complying with the law as written -- and complying in the same way they complied with similar laws in the past.

At least this time, Google did the right thing and leaves politicians like red-faced, foot-stomping little kids. All this was fully predictable because it happened before.

Men arrested for breaking into Dallas County Courthouse after judicial branch hires them

Found on Des Moines Register on Sunday, 15 September 2019
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Authorities later found out the state court administration did, in fact, hire the men to attempt "unauthorized access" to court records "through various means" in order to check for potential security vulnerabilities of Iowa's electronic court records.

But, the state court administration "did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include the forced entry into a building," a Wednesday news release from the Iowa Judicial Branch read.

The fine print of the conract should offer a few more details; but if they were really hired, they should be let off the hook.

Google to pay €1bn to end French tax probe

Found on BBC News on Friday, 13 September 2019
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Investigators said Google owed about €1.6bn in unpaid taxes amid a wider crackdown on tax planning of big firms.

The search giant, which is part of Alphabet, pays little tax in most European countries because it reports almost all of its sales in Ireland.

In March, the EU hit Google with a €1.5bn fine for blocking rival online search advertisers and last year the European Commission levelled a record €4.3bn fine against the firm over its Android mobile operating system.

Maybe this will help them to understand that creative tax manipulation is not just a little problem.

Alleged “snake oil” crypto company sues over boos at Black Hat

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 25 August 2019
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Grant and Ghannam's paper suggests that their method could quickly find the primes in question and essentially break RSA-2048 and any other semiprime-based encryption. Crown Sterling's answer to this potential crisis in encryption, called TIME AI, is something the company calls "five-dimensional" encryption, "the world's first 'non-factor' based quantum AI encryption" based on polygons, AI-composed music, Fibonacci's sequence, and various other things.

The Black Hat talk did not go smoothly. People had to be ejected from the room by security because they were heckling and booing Grant.

If you produce snakeoil, at least don't try to sell it at a place full of experts on that topic.

Man sued for using bogus YouTube takedowns to get address for swatting

Found on Ars Technica on Saturday, 24 August 2019
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Brady allegedly made fraudulent takedown notices against YouTube videos from at least three well-known Minecraft streamers.

A few days after filing a counter-notice, the targeted YouTuber "announced via Twitter that he had been the victim of a swatting scheme."

YouTube's accusations against Brady appear to be in a totally different category: straight-up fraud. That could allow YouTube to score a quick victory and thereby strike some fear into the hearts of others thinking about abusing YouTube's takedown system.

Sounds like Brady isn't the brightest lamp out there.