jm + law   127

Texas Judge References 'The Big Lebowski'
"The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is similarly suspicious of prior restraints," wrote Justice Lehrmann in the decision highlighting a cornerstone that has "been reaffirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, this Court, Texas courts of appeals, legal treatises, and even popular culture." That last reference to popular culture contained an interesting footnote citing none other than Walter Sobchak, a character in ['The Big Lebowski'].
lebowski  movies  coen-brothers  prior-restraint  law  supreme-court  walter-sobchak  funny 
yesterday by jm
UK's ICO spam regulator even more toothless now
We appealed this decision, but on June 2014 the Upper Tribunal agreed with the First-tier Tribunal, cancelling our monetary penalty notice against Niebel and McNeish, and largely rendering our power to issue fines for breaches of PECR involving spam texts redundant.


This is pretty terrible. The UK appears to have the weakest anti-spam regime in Europe due to the lack of powers given to ICO.
ico  anti-spam  uk  law  regulation  spam  sms 
2 days ago by jm
Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court
Now a series of decisions from lower courts is starting to bring the ruling's practical consequences into focus. And the results have been ugly for fans of software patents. By my count there have been 11 court rulings on the patentability of software since the Supreme Court's decision — including six that were decided this month.  Every single one of them has led to the patent being invalidated. This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll.
patents  law  alice  swpats  software  supreme-court  patent-trolls 
3 days ago by jm
Open Invention Network Symposium on Open Source Software and Patents in Context
Dublin, 24th September 2014, hosted by Enterprise Ireland. Hosted by former Ubuntu
counsel (via gcarr)
via:gcarr  ubuntu  law  legal  open-source  floss  oss  oin  inventions  patents  swpat  software  ireland  ei  events 
7 days ago by jm
SI336 - current Irish anti-spam law
"European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011". Spam is covered under 13.1, "Unsolicited communications", on page 16 of this PDF
spam  anti-spam  law  ireland  eu  ec  sms  email  si336  privacy  regulation 
10 days ago by jm
Irish Water Data Protection Notice: A review…
Tried and came up wanting. Particularly notable for its illegal "Marketing" section, which attempts to evade opt-in-required anti-spam law with a "consent landgrab" on SMS and email
irish-water  law  dpc  data-protection  privacy  spam  opt-in  si336  sms  email  ireland 
10 days ago by jm
Girl Not Against Fluoride
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) lists water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century. Today, Dublin City Council will vote on whether to remove fluoride from our water supply, and when they do, it will not be because the CDC or the WHO have changed their mind about fluoridation, or because new and compelling information makes it the only choice. It will be because people who believe in angel healing, homeopathy, and chemtrails, have somehow gained the ability to influence public policy.
dcc  dublin  law  flouride  science  zenbuffy  homeopathy  woo  health  teeth 
17 days ago by jm
Some UX Dark Patterns now illegal in the EU
The EU’s new consumer rights law bans certain dark patterns related to e-commerce across Europe. The “sneak into basket” pattern is now illegal. Full stop, end of story. You cannot create a situation where additional items and services are added by default. [...]

Hidden costs are now illegal, whether that’s an undeclared subscription, extra shipping charges, or extra items. [....]

Forced continuity, when imposed on the user as a form of bait-and-switch, has been banned. Just the other day a web designer mentioned to me that he had only just discovered he had been charged for four years of annual membership dues in a “theme club”, having bought what he thought was a one-off theme. Since he lives in Europe, he may be able to claim all of this money back. All he needs to do is prove that the website did not inform him that the purchase included a membership with recurring payments.
design  europe  law  ecommerce  ux  dark-patterns  scams  ryanair  selling  online  consumer  consumer-rights  bait-and-switch 
17 days ago by jm
The Broadcasting Association of Ireland and the NUJ agree: the internet must be regulated so that it can be 'brought into line'
'The Irish Times podcast ends with both the NUJ’s Seamus Dooley and Prof Kenny agreeing that somebody must regulate the internet so that it can be brought into line.'
regulation  ireland  law  dangerous  nuj  bai  journalism  censorship 
21 days ago by jm
Punished for Being Poor: Big Data in the Justice System
This is awful. Totally the wrong tool for the job -- a false positive rate which is miniscule for something like spam filtering, could translate to a really horrible outcome for a human life.
Currently, over 20 states use data-crunching risk-assessment programs for sentencing decisions, usually consisting of proprietary software whose exact methods are unknown, to determine which individuals are most likely to re-offend. The Senate and House are also considering similar tools for federal sentencing. These data programs look at a variety of factors, many of them relatively static, like criminal and employment history, age, gender, education, finances, family background, and residence. Indiana, for example, uses the LSI-R, the legality of which was upheld by the state’s supreme court in 2010. Other states use a model called COMPAS, which uses many of the same variables as LSI-R and even includes high school grades. Others are currently considering the practice as a way to reduce the number of inmates and ensure public safety. (Many more states use or endorse similar assessments when sentencing sex offenders, and the programs have been used in parole hearings for years.) Even the American Law Institute has embraced the practice, adding it to the Model Penal Code, attesting to the tool’s legitimacy.



(via stroan)
via:stroan  statistics  false-positives  big-data  law  law-enforcement  penal-code  risk  sentencing 
4 weeks ago by jm
BAI says Mooney Show was wrong to broadcast programme supporting same-sex marriage
This is a terrible decision. As Fintan O'Toole wrote afterwards: [The] 'BAI decision actually makes the point: a gay couple is a political "issue"; a straight couple is just a couple'
ireland  law  bai  radio  derek-mooney  same-sex-marriage  gay  equal-rights 
5 weeks ago by jm
European Commission Consultation On Copyright Reveals Chasm Between Views Of Public And Publishers | Techdirt
The two charts indicate that current EU copyright is very unbalanced. When one side is completely satisfied with the status quo and the other is very unhappy then this is not a balanced situation. Given that a good compromise should leave everybody equally unhappy, the results of the consultation also show the direction for copyright reform efforts of the new EU Commission: re-balancing copyright requires at least some reform as demanded by end users and institutional users, most importantly a more harmonized and flexible system of exceptions and limitations.
copyright  views  publishers  eu  ec  europe  reform  law 
6 weeks ago by jm
UK private copying exception plans face possible legal action
Under the proposed private copying exception, individuals in the UK would be given a new right to make a copy of copyrighted material they have lawfully and permanently acquired for their private use, provided it was not for commercial ends. Making a private copy of the material in these circumstances would not be an act of copyright infringement, although making a private copy of a computer program would still be prohibited under the plans.

There is no mechanism envisaged in the draft legislation for rights holders to be specifically compensated for the act of private copying. This prompted the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI), tasked with scrutinising the proposals, to warn parliamentarians that the rules may be deemed to be in breach of EU copyright laws as a result of the lack of 'fair compensation' mechanism. [...]

"We are disappointed that the private copying exception will be introduced without providing fair compensation for British songwriters, performers and other rights holders within the creative sector. A mechanism for fair compensation is a requirement of European law. In response we are considering our legal options," [UK Music] said.
uk  law  copyright  music  copying  private-copying  personal  infringement  piracy  transcoding  backup 
7 weeks ago by jm
Spain pushes for 'Google tax' to restrict linking
The government wants to put a tax on linking on the internet. They say that if you want to link to some newspaper's content, you have to pay a tax. The primary targets of this law are Google News and other aggregators. It would be absurd enough just like that, but the law goes further: they declared it an "inalienable right" so even if I have a blog or a new small digital media publication and I want to let people freely link to my content, I can't opt-out--they are charging the levy, and giving it to the big press media.

It was just the last and only way that the old traditional media companies can get some money from the government, and they strongly lobbied for it. The bill has passed in the Congress where the party in the government has majority (PP, Partido Popular) and it's headed to the Senate, where they have a majority also.
spain  stupidity  law  via:boingboing  linking  links  web  news  google  google-news  newspapers  old-media  taxes 
7 weeks ago by jm
Google's mighty mess-up on 'right to be forgotten' - Independent.ie
In this context, the search giant says that it has "a team of people reviewing each application individually". Really? Did this team of people decide that redacting links to an article reporting a criminal conviction was consistent with an individual's right to privacy and 'right to be forgotten'?

Either Google is deliberately letting egregious errors through to try and bait journalists and freedom of expression activists into protesting or its system at vetting 'right to be forgotten' applications is awfully flawed.
google  right-to-be-forgotten  privacy  law  ireland  adrian-weckler  journalism  freedom-of-expression  censorship  redaction 
8 weeks ago by jm
Obama administration says the world’s servers are ours | Ars Technica
In its briefs filed last week, the US government said that content stored online doesn't enjoy the same type of Fourth Amendment protections as data stored in the physical world. The government cited (PDF) the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a President Ronald Reagan-era regulation.


Michael McDowell has filed a declaration in support of MS' position (attached to that article a couple of paras down) suggesting that the MLAT between the US and Ireland is the correct avenue.
privacy  eu  us-politics  microsoft  michael-mcdowell  law  surveillance  servers  sca  internet 
9 weeks ago by jm
Irish parliament pressing ahead with increased access to retained telecoms data
While much of the new bill is concerned with the dissolution of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency and the formation of a new merged Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) the new bill also proposed to extend the powers of the new CCPC to help it investigate serious anticompetitive behaviour.

Strikingly the new bill proposes to give members of the CCPC the power to access data retained under the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011. As readers will recall this act implements Directive 2006/24/EC which obliges telecommunications companies to archive traffic and location data for a period of up to two years to facilitate the investigation of serious crime.

Ireland chose to implement the maximum two year retention period and provided access to An Garda Siochana, The Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners. The current reform of Irish competition law now proposes to extend data access powers to the members of the CCPC for the purposes of investigating cartel offences.
data-retention  privacy  surveillance  competition  ccpc  ireland  law  dri 
10 weeks ago by jm
IRS says free software projects can't be nonprofits - Boing Boing
In a disturbing precedent, the Yorba Foundation, which makes apps for [GNOME], has had its nonprofit status application rejected by the IRS because some of [its] projects may benefit for-profit entities.
law  us  gnome  yorba-foundation  linux  gpl  free-software  oss  nonprofits  501c3  tax 
11 weeks ago by jm
Tor exit node operator prosecuted in Austria
'The operator of an exit node is guilty of complicity, because he enabled others to transmit content of an illegal nature through the service.'

Via Tony Finch.
austria  tor  security  law  liability  internet  tunnelling  eu  via:fanf 
11 weeks ago by jm
Data sharing deal with U.S. referred to EU's top court | Reuters
High Court Justice Gerard Hogan said that given the Safe Harbour agreement, which says that U.S. has sufficient data safeguards in place, the Irish regulator did not have the authority to investigate. If Safe Harbour stands, the student group's application must fail, he said. "The critical issue which arises is whether the proper interpretation of the 1995 [EU data protection] directive and the 2000 Commission decision [on the Safe Harbour principles] should be re-evaluated in the light of the subsequent entry into force of article 8 of the EU charter," on the right to the protection of personal data, Hogan said.
eu  safe-harbor  privacy  high-court  ireland  law  data-protection 
june 2014 by jm
Hanging on the telephone – has anyone got it right on the new ban on text driving?
Some good legal commentary on this new Irish law.
There has been much hand-wringing and concern about whether or not the 2014 Regulations prohibit the use of Google Maps or Hailo, for example. They don’t, but this does not mean that drivers should feel free to use non-texting functions of their phones while driving – holding a mobile phone (which could include a tablet) while driving remains prohibited, whatever the use it is being put to. Moreover, offences of dangerous and careless driving and driving without due care and attention could cover a wide range of bad driving, and could include, for example, driving while zooming in and out of maps on your phone or sending stickers on WhatsApp.
ireland  law  driving  safety  mobile-phones  texting  google-maps  satnav 
may 2014 by jm
Actually, Mr. Waxman, Consumers Are Sued For Patent Infringement All the Time | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Patent trolls have sued or threatened to sue tens of thousands of end-users. For example, Innovatio attacked cafes, bakeries, and even a funeral parlor for using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi routers. And the notorious scanner troll, MPHJ, targeted small businesses and nonprofits around the country for using ordinary office equipment. As a recent paper explained: “Mass suits against technology customers have become too common, involving building block technologies like wi-fi, scanning, email and website technologies.”

The growth in patent suits against customers reveals the importance of the Limelight case. A ruling that made it even easier to sue customers (by allowing suits against someone who performs just some steps of a patent) would encourage patent trolls to launch more abusive litigation campaigns. We hope the Supreme Court will restore the sensible rule that only a single entity (or its agents) can infringe a patent.
patents  uspto  swpats  eff  consumer  law  legal  patent-infringement  scanners  wifi  printers 
may 2014 by jm
BBC News - Microsoft 'must release' data held on Dublin server
Messy. I can't see this lasting beyond an appeal.
Law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded and the burden on the government would be substantial if they had to co-ordinate with foreign governments to obtain this sort of information from internet service providers such as Microsoft and Google, Judge Francis said. In a blog post, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, David Howard, said: "A US prosecutor cannot obtain a US warrant to search someone's home located in another country, just as another country's prosecutor cannot obtain a court order in her home country to conduct a search in the United States. "We think the same rules should apply in the online world, but the government disagrees."
microsoft  regions  law  us-law  privacy  google  cloud  international-law  surveillance 
april 2014 by jm
Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City
The law-enforcement pervasive-surveillance CCTV PVR.
In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren't told about the spying, which happened in 2012. "We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people," Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he's trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren't watching in real time. 


(via New Aesthetic)
pvr  cctv  law-enforcement  police  compton  los-angeles  law  surveillance  future 
april 2014 by jm
Using AWS in the context of Australian Privacy Considerations
interesting new white paper from Amazon regarding recent strengthening of the Aussie privacy laws, particularly w.r.t. geographic location of data and access by overseas law enforcement agencies...
amazon  aws  security  law  privacy  data-protection  ec2  s3  nsa  gchq  five-eyes 
april 2014 by jm
DRI wins their case at the ECJ!
Great stuff!
The Court has found that data retention “entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data” and that it “entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European population”. TJ McIntyre, Chairman of Digital Rights Ireland, said that “This is the first assessment of mass surveillance by a supreme court since the Snowden revelations. The ECJ’s judgement finds that untargeted monitoring of the entire population is unacceptable in a democratic society.”

[...] Though the Directive has now been struck down, the issue will remain live in all the countries who have passed domestic law to implement the data retention mass surveillance regime. Digital Rights Ireland’s challenge to the Irish data retention system will return to the High Court in Dublin for the next phase of litigation.
dri  digital-rights  ireland  eu  ecj  surveillance  snooping  law  data-retention 
april 2014 by jm
Microsoft "Scroogles" Itself
'Microsoft went through a blogger’s private Hotmail account in order to trace the identity of a source who allegedly leaked trade secrets.'

Bear in mind that the alleged violation which MS allege allows them to read their email was a breach of the terms of service, which also include distribution of content which 'incites, advocates, or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, [or] profanity'. So no dirty jokes on Hotmail!
hotmail  fail  scroogled  microsoft  stupid  tos  law  privacy  data-protection  trade-secrets  ip 
march 2014 by jm
Enemies of the Internet 2014: entities at the heart of censorship and surveillance | Enemies of the Internet
The mass surveillance methods employed in [the UK, USA, and India], many of them exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, are all the more intolerable because they will be used and indeed are already being used by authoritarians countries such as Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to justify their own violations of freedom of information. How will so-called democratic countries will able to press for the protection of journalists if they adopt the very practices they are criticizing authoritarian regimes for?


This is utterly jaw-dropping -- throughout the world, real-time mass-monitoring infrastructure is silently being dropped into place. France and India are particularly pervasive
journalism  censorship  internet  france  india  privacy  data-protection  surveillance  spying  law  snowden  authoritarianism 
march 2014 by jm
RTE star Sharon Ni Bheolain stalked for six months - Independent.ie
as @Fergal says: '[this] case shows (a) the internet isn't anonymous, (b) we [ie. Ireland -jm] have laws to deal with threats and harassment'
law  ireland  harassment  internet  twitter  email  abuse  cyberstalking 
february 2014 by jm
GPLv2 being tested in US court
The case is still ongoing, so one to watch.
Plaintiff wrote an XML parser and made it available as open source software under the GPLv2. Defendant acquired from another vendor software that included the code, and allegedly distributed that software to parties outside the organization. According to plaintiff, defendant did not comply with the conditions of the GPL, so plaintiff sued for copyright infringement. Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court denied the motion.
gpl  open-source  licensing  software  law  legal  via:fplogue 
february 2014 by jm
British American Tobacco - Plain packaging of tobacco products
Compare and contrast with the Law Society's comments:
We believe we are entitled to use our packs to distinguish our products from those of our competitors. Our brands are our intellectual property which we have created and invested in. Plain packaging would deny us the right to use brands.

But also, a brand is also an important tool for consumers. As the British Brands Group has stated  , plain packaging legislation "ignores the crucial role that branding plays in providing consumers with high quality, consistent products they can trust".

The restriction of valuable corporate brands by any government would risk placing it in breach of legal obligations relating to intellectual property rights and, in most cases, international trade.
law-society  branding  ip  ireland  tobacco  cigarettes  law  trademarks 
february 2014 by jm
Irish Law Society takes a stand for "brand owners IP rights"
The Law Society will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee today to outline its strong opposition to the Government proposals to introduce legislation that will require tobacco products to use plain packaging. The society’s director general Ken Murphy will be its principal representative at the meeting today to discuss its submission on the legislation, and to discuss its concerns that a plain packaging regime will undermine registered trade mark, and design, systems and will amount to an “expropriation of brand owners intellectual property rights’.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Murphy told The Irish Times the views contained in it represent those of the Law Society as a whole, and its 10,000 members, and have been endorsed by the society as a whole, rather than the committee.

Mr Murphy also said the purpose of the Law Society submission was not to protect the tobacco industry, rather the wider effect and impact such a law would have on intellectual property rights, trade marks, in other areas.
“There is a real concern also that plain packaging in the tobacco industry is just the beginning of a trend that will severely undermine intellectual property owners’ rights in other sectors such as alcohol, soft drinks and fast foods.”


Judging by some reactions on Twitter, "endorsed by the society as a whole" may be over-egging it a little.
law-society  gubu  law  ireland  ip  packaging  branding  trademarks  cigarettes  health  tobacco 
february 2014 by jm
CJEU in #Svensson says that in general it is OK to hyperlink to protected works without permission
IPKat says 'this morning the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its keenly awaited decision in Case C-466/12 Svensson [...]: The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site. This is so even if the internet users who click on the link have the impression that the work is appearing on the site that contains the link.'

This is potentially big news. Not so much for the torrent-site scenario, but for the NNI/NLI linking-to-newspaper-stories scenario.
ip  svensson  cjeu  eu  law  linking  hyperlinks  pirate-bay  internet  web  links  http  copyright 
february 2014 by jm
"A reason to hang him": how mass surveillance, secret courts, confirmation bias and the FBI can ruin your life - Boing Boing
This is bananas. Confirmation bias running amok.
Brandon Mayfield was a US Army veteran and an attorney in Portland, OR. After the 2004 Madrid train bombing, his fingerprint was partially matched to one belonging to one of the suspected bombers, but the match was a poor one. But by this point, the FBI was already convinced they had their man, so they rationalized away the non-matching elements of the print, and set in motion a train of events that led to Mayfield being jailed without charge; his home and office burgled by the FBI; his client-attorney privilege violated; his life upended.
confirmation-bias  bias  law  brandon-mayfield  terrorism  fingerprints  false-positives  fbi  scary 
february 2014 by jm
The Gardai haven't requested info on any Twitter accounts in the past 6 months
This seems to imply they haven't been investigating any allegations of cyber-bullying/harassment from "anonymous" Twitter handles, despite having the legal standing to do so. Enforcement is needed, not new laws
cyber-bullying  twitter  social-media  enforcement  gardai  policing  harassment  online  society  law  government 
february 2014 by jm
Opinion: How can we get over ‘Pantigate’?
The fact that RTÉ had agreed to pay damages (€80,000 in total, according to reports yesterday) to the ‘injured parties’, only came to light in an email from the [far-right Catholic lobby group Iona Institute] to its members last Tuesday.
Given the ramifications of the decision to make any kind of payment – regardless of the amount – both for the TV licence payer and those who voice contrarian opinions, the lack of coverage in print media as soon as the Iona email came to light marked a low point for print journalism in Ireland. Aside from a lead story on the damages printed in this paper last Wednesday and ongoing debate online, the media has been glacially slow with commentary and even reportage of the affair.
The debacle has untold ramifications for public life in this country. That many liberal commentators may now baulk at the opportunity to speak and write openly and honestly about homophobia is the most obvious issue here. Most worrying of all, however, is the question that with a referendum on the introduction of gay marriage on the horizon, how can we expect the national broadcaster to facilitate even-handed debate on the subject when they’ve already found themselves cowed before reaching the first hurdle?
homophobia  politics  ireland  libel  dissent  lobbying  defamation  law  gay-marriage  iona-institute  journalism  newspapers 
february 2014 by jm
How to invoke section 4 of the Data Protection Acts in Ireland
One wierd trick to get your personal data (in any format) from any random organisation, for only EUR6.35 and up to 40 days wait! Good to know.
Hospitals and doctors’ offices in Ireland will give a person their medical records if they ask for them. Mostly. Eventually. When they get to it. And, sometimes, if you pay them over €100 (for a large file).

But, like so much else in the legal world, there is a set of magic words you can incant to place a 40 day deadline on the delivery of your papers and limit the cost to €6.35 -- you invoke the Data Protection Acts data access request procedure.
data-protection  privacy  data-retention  dpa-section-4  data  ireland  medical  law  dpa 
february 2014 by jm
Transport Minister planning to make hi-vis jackets mandatory for cyclists
The minister also spoke of a number of new transport initiatives, such  as mandatory use of high visibility jackets by cyclists.
cycling  safety  law  ireland  leo-varadkar 
january 2014 by jm
Docracy
'The web's only open collection of legal contracts and the best way to negotiate and sign documents online'. (via Kowalshki)
via:kowalshki  business  documents  legal  law  contracts 
january 2014 by jm
Creative Commons event in Dublin this Friday
'Maximising Digital Creativity, Sharing and Innovation', Event organised by Creative Commons Ireland and Faculty of Law, University College Cork, Lecture Theatre, National Gallery of Ireland, Clare Street entrance, Dublin 2, Friday 17 January 2014, 9.45 a.m. to 1 p.m. (via Darius Whelan)
creative-commons  ireland  dublin  events  talks  law  copyright 
january 2014 by jm
URGENT: Input needed on EU copyright consultation - Boing Boing
The EC is looking for feedback -- but not much, and pretty sharpish.
Go to www.copywrongs.eu and answer the questions which are important to you. You do not have to answer all the questions, only the ones that matter to you. [...] The deadline is 5 February 2014. Until then, we should provide the European Commission with as many responses as possible!
ec  eu  copyright  law  europe  boing-boing  reform 
january 2014 by jm
We need your help to keep working for European digital rights in 2014
Grim. DRI are facing a 5-figure legal bill from the music industry - they need your donations to avoid shutdown
donations  dri  funding  amicus-curiae  law  ireland  digital-rights-ireland  emi  irma 
january 2014 by jm
Difference Engine: Obituary for software patents
The Economist reckons we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel where the patent troll shakedown is concerned:
If the use of state consumer-protection laws to ward off frivolous patent suits were to catch on, it could give the trolls serious pause for thought—especially if their mass mailings of threatening letters to businesses were met by dozens of law suits from attorneys general demanding their presence in state courts across the land. One way or another, things are beginning to look ominous for those who would exploit the inadequacies of America’s patent system.
the-economist  patents  swpats  trolls  us  east-texas  law 
december 2013 by jm
Karlin Lillington on DRI's looming victory in the European Court of Justice
If the full European Court of Justice (ECJ) accepts the opinion of its advocate general in a final ruling due early next year – and it almost always does – it will prove a huge vindication of Ireland’s small privacy advocacy group, Digital Rights Ireland (DRI).
Its case against Irish retention laws, which began in 2006, forms the basis of this broader David v Goliath challenge and initial opinion.
The advocate general’s advice largely upholds the key concerns put forward by DRI against Ireland’s laws. Withholding so much data about every citizen, including children, in case someone commits a future crime, is too intrusive into private life, and could allow authorities to create a “faithful and exhaustive map of a large portion of a person’s [private] conduct”.
Retained data is so comprehensive that they could easily reveal private identities, which are supposed to remain anonymous. And the data, entrusted to third parties, is at too much risk of fraudulent or malicious use.
Cruz Villalón argues that there must be far greater oversight to the retention process, and controls on access to data, and that citizens should have the right to be notified after the fact if their data has been scrutinised. The Irish Government had repeatedly waved off such concerns from Digital Rights Ireland in the past.
dri  rights  ireland  internet  surveillance  data-retention  privacy  eu  ecj  law 
december 2013 by jm
Same Old Stories From Sean Sherlock
Sherlock’s record is spotty at best when it comes to engagement. Setting aside the 80,680 people who were ignored by the minister, he was hostile and counter productive to debate from the beginning, going so far as to threaten to pull out of a public debate because a campaigner against the ['Irish SOPA'] SI would be in attendance. His habit of blocking people online who publicly ask him tough yet legitimate questions has earned him the nickname “Sherblock”.
sean-sherlock  sherblock  labour  ireland  politics  blocking  filtering  internet  freedom  copyright  emi  music  law  piracy  debate  twitter 
december 2013 by jm
Photographer wins $1.2 million from companies that took pictures off Twitter | Reuters
The jury found that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images willfully violated the Copyright Act when they used photos Daniel Morel took in his native Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people, Morel's lawyer, Joseph Baio, said
copyright  twitter  facebook  social-media  via:niall-harbison  law  getty-images  afp  daniel-morel  haiti  photography 
november 2013 by jm
'No basis in law' : Gardai probe Ballyphehane group after raid
Freemen wackiness in Cork.
The house of one member of the group was raided by gardaí last week, but it is not thought that any arrests were made, according to an eyewitness. Gardaí broke down the front door of the house.
The group, which appears to be part of the Freemen of the Land movement, which does not recognise the State, has attempted to hold 'trials' in Ballyphehane Community Centre. It attempted to summon HSE staff, gardaí, social workers, solicitors and others to appear to be tried by a self-selected jury earlier this month.
The group handed out documents purporting to be a summons to HSE staff and garda stations, demanding that named people attend a trial by 'éire court' on Tuesday 5 November at 9am “to stand trial for their acts of terrorism against mothers, their offspring and others in our community”, according to the group's literature.
This week the group has begun posting about UCC, saying the college is “a private for profit corporation, and a business partner of and partly owned by Pfizers and Bank of Ireland”. The group suggest that UCC bases its “authority” on Maritime Law. UCC has yet to respond to the group's allegations.
freemen  crazy  cork  politics  ireland  hse  gardai  ucc  law 
november 2013 by jm
Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland
TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime. We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights. The legislation was gutted in 2003 and it is being gutted again. More generally the number of requests from journalists from all news organisations in Ireland will fall as a result of these amendments, and the resulting efforts to shine a light on the administration of the State will certainly deteriorate. And secrecy will prevail.
ireland  politics  foi  information  secrecy  law 
november 2013 by jm
European ruling raises questions over liability and online comment
'A recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has called into question [...] the liability of media organisations for online comment.' Delfi, a news website in Estonia, found liable for a user's comments by the ECHR
echr  comments  news  web  law  regulation  estonia  delfi  liability  slander  defamation 
november 2013 by jm
Link without fear – Copyright in Ireland in a Digital Age
The Copyright Review Committee report has been published. Headline recommendations:

Ensure the right of free speech is a central element of the new copyright regime, including in the areas of parody and satire;
Legalise legitimate forms of copying by introducing an explicit and broadly defined “Fair Use” policy.
Ensure the extent of copyright ownership is balanced against the public good;
Design a system which is clear to all parties, including end users;
Design an enforcement mechanism which is easy to understand, transparent and accessible to all parties;
Target penalties at those who infringe on copyright rather than on third parties such as intermediaries;
Future-proof the new regime by basing it on applicable principles rather than rules relevant to today’s technology only;
Make it easy for end-users to identify and engage with owners of copyright material.


Here's hoping Sean Sherlock now does what he said he'd do, and acts on these recommendations.
copyright  law  ireland  reports  fair-use  free-speech  satire  parody  copying  copyfight  ownership  ip  drm  linking 
october 2013 by jm
DNS registrars that complied with "shakedown" anti-piracy requests may now be in violation of ICANN Transfers Policy
According to EasyDNS:
Any registrar that has taken one of these sites offline that now impedes the registrants of those domains from simply getting their domain names out of there and back online somewhere else will then be subject to the TDRP – Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy and if they lose (which they will) they will be subject to TDRP fees assesed by the registry operator, and to quote the TDRP itself "Transfer dispute resolution fees can be substantial".
This is why it is never a good idea to just react to pressure in the face of obnoxious bluster – in the very act of trying to diffuse any perceived culpability you end up opening yourself to real liability.
tdrp  easydns  dns  registrars  domains  piracy  law  due-process 
october 2013 by jm
The Ethics of Autonomous Cars
Sometimes good judgment can compel us to act illegally. Should a self-driving vehicle get to make that same decision?
ethics  stories  via:chris-horn  the-atlantic  driving  cars  law  robots  self-driving-vehicles 
october 2013 by jm
Patent troll Lodsys chickens out, folds case rather than face Eugene Kaspersky
In Kaspersky's view, patent trolls are no better than the extortionists who cropped up in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, when crime ran rampant. Kaspersky saw more and more people becoming victims of various extortion schemes. US patent trolls seemed very similar. "Kaspersky's view was that paying patent trolls was like paying a protection racket," said Kniser. He wasn't going to do it.


yay! pity it didn't manage to establish precedent, though. But go Kaspersky!
eugene-kaspersky  shakedowns  law  east-texas  swpats  patents  patent-trolls 
october 2013 by jm
The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.
This is not a gently sloping downward curve. Publishers seem unwilling to sell their books on Amazon for more than a few years after their initial publication. The data suggest that publishing business models make books disappear fairly shortly after their publication and long before they are scheduled to fall into the public domain. Copyright law then deters their reappearance as long as they are owned. On the left side of the graph before 1920, the decline presents a more gentle time-sensitive downward sloping curve.
business  books  legal  copyright  law  public-domain  reading  history  publishers  amazon  papers 
september 2013 by jm
How not to stop spammers
Spam Arrest is a company that sells an anti-spam service. They attempted to sue some spammers and, as has been widely reported, lost badly. This case emphasizes three points that litigious antispammers seem not to grasp:

Under CAN SPAM, a lot of spam is legal.
Judges hate plaintiffs who try to be too clever, and hate sloppy preparation even more.
Never, ever, file a spam suit in Seattle.
anti-spam  spam  law  seattle  us  can-spam  spamarrest  sentient-jets 
september 2013 by jm
Former NSA and CIA director says terrorists love using Gmail
At one point, Hayden expressed a distaste for online anonymity, saying "The problem I have with the Internet is that it's anonymous." But he noted, there is a struggle over that issue even inside government. The issue came to a head during the Arab Spring movement when the State Department was funding technology [presumably Tor?] to protect the anonymity of activists so governments could not track down or repress their voices.

"We have a very difficult time with this," Hayden said. He then asked, "is our vision of the World Wide Web the global digital commons -- at this point you should see butterflies flying here and soft background meadow-like music -- or a global free fire zone?" Given that Hayden also compared the Internet to the wild west and Somalia, Hayden clearly leans toward the "global free fire zone" vision of the Internet.


well, that's a good analogy for where we're going -- a global free-fire zone.
gmail  cia  nsa  surveillance  michael-hayden  security  snooping  law  tor  arab-spring 
september 2013 by jm
Necessary and Proportionate -- In Which Civil Society is Caught Between a Cop and a Spy
Modern telecommunications technology implied the development of modern telecommunications surveillance, because it moved the scope of action from the physical world (where intelligence, generally seen as part of the military mission, had acted) to the virtual world—including the scope of those actions that could threaten state power. While the public line may have been, as US Secretary of State Henry Stimson said in 1929, “gentlemen do not open each other’s mail”, you can bet that they always did keep a keen eye on the comings and goings of each other’s shipping traffic.

The real reason that surveillance in the context of state intelligence was limited until recently was because it was too expensive, and it was too expensive for everyone. The Westphalian compromise demands equality of agency as tied to territory. As soon as one side gains a significant advantage, the structure of sovereignty itself is threatened at a conceptual level — hence Oppenheimer as the death of any hope of international rule of law. Once surveillance became cheap enough, all states were (and will increasingly be) forced to attempt it at scale, as a reaction to this pernicious efficiency. The US may be ahead of the game now, but Moore’s law and productization will work their magic here.
government  telecoms  snooping  gchq  nsa  surveillance  law  politics  intelligence  spying  internet 
september 2013 by jm
In historic vote, New Zealand bans software patents | Ars Technica
This is amazing news. Paying attention, Sean Sherlock?
A major new patent bill, passed in a 117-4 vote by New Zealand's Parliament after five years of debate, has banned software patents. The relevant clause of the patent bill actually states that a computer program is "not an invention." Some have suggested that was a way to get around the wording of the TRIPS intellectual property treaty, which requires patents to be "available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology." [...]

One Member of Parliament who was deeply involved in the debate, Clare Curran, quoted several heads of software firms complaining about how the patenting process allowed "obvious things" to get patented and that "in general software patents are counter-productive." Curran quoted one developer as saying, "It's near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of patents granted around the world for obvious work."
"These are the heavyweights of the new economy in software development," said Curran. "These are the people that needed to be listened to, and thankfully, they were."
new-zealand  nz  patents  swpats  law  trips  ip  software-patents  yay 
august 2013 by jm
Newest YouTube user to fight a takedown is copyright guru Lawrence Lessig
This is lovely. Here's hoping it provides a solid precedent.
Illegitimate or simply unnecessary copyright claims are, unfortunately, commonplace in the Internet era. But if there's one person who's probably not going to back down from a claim of copyright infringement, it's Larry Lessig, one of the foremost writers and thinkers on digital-age copyright. [..] If Liberation Music was thinking they'd have an easy go of it when they demanded that YouTube take down a 2010 lecture of Lessig's entitled "Open," they were mistaken. Lessig has teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue Liberation, claiming that its overly aggressive takedown violates the DMCA and that it should be made to pay damages.
liberation-music  eff  copyright  law  larry-lessig  fair-use 
august 2013 by jm
Groklaw - Forced Exposure ~pj
I loved doing Groklaw, and I believe we really made a significant contribution. But even that turns out to be less than we thought, or less than I hoped for, anyway. My hope was always to show you that there is beauty and safety in the rule of law, that civilization actually depends on it. How quaint.

If you have to stay on the Internet, my research indicates that the short term safety from surveillance, to the degree that is even possible, is to use a service like Kolab for email, which is located in Switzerland, and hence is under different laws than the US, laws which attempt to afford more privacy to citizens. I have now gotten for myself an email there, p.jones at mykolab.com in case anyone wishes to contact me over something really important and feels squeamish about writing to an email address on a server in the US. But both emails still work. It's your choice.

My personal decision is to get off of the Internet to the degree it's possible. I'm just an ordinary person. But I really know, after all my research and some serious thinking things through, that I can't stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write. I've always been a private person. That's why I never wanted to be a celebrity and why I fought hard to maintain both my privacy and yours.

Oddly, if everyone did that, leap off the Internet, the world's economy would collapse, I suppose. I can't really hope for that. But for me, the Internet is over. So this is the last Groklaw article. I won't turn on comments. Thank you for all you've done. I will never forget you and our work together. I hope you'll remember me too. I'm sorry I can't overcome these feelings, but I yam what I yam, and I tried, but I can't.
nsa  surveillance  privacy  groklaw  law  us-politics  data-protection  snooping  mail  kolab 
august 2013 by jm
The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet - Bruce Schneier
You, an executive in one of those companies, can fight. You'll probably lose, but you need to take the stand. And you might win. It's time we called the government's actions what it really is: commandeering. Commandeering is a practice we're used to in wartime, where commercial ships are taken for military use, or production lines are converted to military production. But now it's happening in peacetime. Vast swaths of the Internet are being commandeered to support this surveillance state.

If this is happening to your company, do what you can to isolate the actions. Do you have employees with security clearances who can't tell you what they're doing? Cut off all automatic lines of communication with them, and make sure that only specific, required, authorized acts are being taken on behalf of government. Only then can you look your customers and the public in the face and say that you don't know what is going on -- that your company has been commandeered.
nsa  america  politics  privacy  data-protection  data-retention  law  google  microsoft  security  bruce-schneier 
august 2013 by jm
Latest leak of EU Data Protection Regulation makes fines impossible
Well, isn't this convenient. The leaked proposed regulation document from the Irish EU presidency contains the following changes from current law:
what is new is a set of prescriptive conditions which, if adopted, appears to make a Monetary Penalty Notice (MPN) almost impracticable to serve. This is because the [Data Protection] Commissioner would have consider a dozen factors (many of which will give no doubt rise to appeal). [...]

In addition, the fines in the Regulation require consideration of the actual damage caused; this compares unfavourably with the current MPN where large fines have been contingent on grave security errors on the part of the data controller (i.e. the MPN of the UK DPA does not need damage to data subjects – only the likelihood of substantial distress or damage which should have been preventable/foreseeable).
data-protection  law  eu  ec  ireland  privacy  fines  regulation  mpn 
june 2013 by jm
Why I won’t give the European Parliament the data protection analysis it wanted
Holy crap. Simon Davies rips into the EU data-protection reform disaster with gusto:
The situation was an utter disgrace. The advertising industry even gave an award to an Irish Minister for destroying some of the rights in the regulation while the UK managed to force a provision that would make the direct marketing industry a “legitimate” processing operation in its own right, putting it on the same level of lawful processing as fraud prevention. Things got to the point where even the most senior data protection officials in Europe stopped trying to influence events and had told me “let the chips fall as they may”.
[...]

But let’s take a step back for a moment from this travesty. Out on the streets – while most may not know what data protection is – people certainly know what it is supposed to protect. People value their privacy and they will be vocal about attempts to destroy it.
I had said as much to the joint parliamentary meeting, observing “the one element that has been left out of all these efforts is the public”. However, as the months rolled on, the only message being sent to the public was that data protection is an anachronism stitched together with self interest and impracticality.
[...]

I wasn’t aware at the time that there was a vast stitch-up to kill the reforms. I cannot bring myself to present a temperate report with measured wording that pretends this is all just normal business. It isn’t normal business, and it should never be normal business in any civilized society. How does one talk in measured tones about such endemic hypocrisy and deception? If you want to know who the real enemy of privacy is, don’t just look to the American agencies. The real enemy is right here in the European Parliament in the guise of MEPs who have knowingly sold our rights away to maintain powerful relationships. I’d like to say they were merely hoodwinked into supporting the vandalism, but many are smart people who knew exactly what they were doing.


Nice work, Irish presidency! His bottom line:
Is there a way forward? I believe so. First, governments should yield to common decency and scrap the illegitimate and poisoned Irish Council draft and hand the task to the Lithuanian Presidency that commences next month. Second, the Irish and British governments should be infinitely more transparent about their cooperation with intrusive interests that fuelled the deception.
ireland  eu  europe  reform  law  data-protection  privacy  simon-davies  meps  iab 
june 2013 by jm
Record companies to target 20 more pirate sites after court ruling - Independent.ie
Looks like IRMA are following the lead of the UK's BPI, by chasing the proxy sites next:
Up to 20 internet sites are to be targeted by an organisation representing record companies in a move to stamp out the illegal pirating of music and other copyright material. The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) said it would be immediately moving against the 20 "worst offenders" to "take out" internet sites involved in the illegal downloading of copyright work.


However, looks like this will involve more court time:
Last night IRMA director general, Dick Doyle said the High Court ruling was only the first step in "taking out many internet sites involved in illegally downloading music. "We will be back in court very shortly to take out five to 10 other sites. We have already selected a total of 20 of the worst offender sites and we will go after the next five in the very near future," he said.


That's not going to be cheap!
courts  ireland  law  irma  piracy  pirate-bay  bpi  proxies  filesharing  copyright 
june 2013 by jm
Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pay Back Millions Of License Fees | Techdirt
The issue [...] is that it's just not cost effective for anyone to actually stand up and challenge Warner Music, who has strong financial incentive to pretend the copyright is still valid. Well, apparently, someone is pissed off enough to try. The creatively named Good Morning to You Productions, a documentary film company planning a film about the song Happy Birthday, has now filed a lawsuit concerning the copyright of Happy Birthday and are seeking to force Warner/Chappell to return the millions of dollars it has collected over the years. That's going to make this an interesting case.
music  copyright  law  via:bwalsh  public-domain  happy-birthday  songs  warner-music  lawsuits 
june 2013 by jm
Spamalot reigns: the spoils of Ireland’s EU kingship | The Irish Times - Thu, Jun 13, 2013
The spam presidency. As European citizens are made the miserable targets of unimpeded “direct marketing”, that may be how Ireland’s stint in the EU presidency seat is recalled for years to come.
Under the guiding hand of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, the Council of the European Union has submitted proposals for amendments to a proposed new data protection regulation, all of which overwhelmingly favour business and big organisations, not citizens.
The most obviously repugnant and surprising element in the amendments is a watering down of existing protections for EU citizens against the willy-nilly marketing Americans are forced to endure. In the US there are few meaningful restrictions on what businesses can do with people’s personal information when pitching products and services at them.
In the EU, this has always been strictly controlled; information gathered for one purpose cannot be used by a business to sell whatever it wants – unless you have opted in to receive such solicitations. This means you are not constantly bombarded by emails and junk mail, nor do you get non-stop phone calls from telemarketers.
Under the proposed amendments to the draft data protection regulation, direct marketing would become a legal form of data processing. In effect, this would legitimise spam email, junk print mail and marketing calls. This unexpected provision signals just how successful powerful corporate lobbyists have been in convincing ministers that business matters more than privacy or giving citizens reasonable control over their personal information.
Far worse is contained in other amendments, which in effect turn the original draft of the regulation upside down.


Fantastic article from Karlin Lillington in today's Times on the terrible amendments proposed for the EU's data protection law.
eu  law  prism  data-protection  privacy  ireland  ec  marketing  spam  anti-spam  email 
june 2013 by jm
EDRI's comments on EU proposals to reform privacy law
Amendments 762, 764 and 765 in particular seem to move portions of the law from "confirmed opt-in required" to "opt-out is ok" -- which sounds like a risk where spam and unsolicited actions on a person's data are concerned
law  privacy  anti-spam  eu  spam  edri 
june 2013 by jm
Resisting the lure of the Freeman movement | Workers Solidarity Movement
An anarchist critique of the Freeman movement from the WSM:
This has been a very brief overview of the Freeman movement that has tried to capture with broad strokes its nature and possible responses. There is room for much more work, including a more in-depth analysis of the various flaws in the approach to the law. The greatest danger however is allowing a movement to develop within anarchist circles that ignores the principle of mutual aid and implicitly promotes private ownership of resources, that by granting absolute right to individuals gives them the ability to ignore their responsibilities to the wider community and ecology that sustains them. In more traditional terms, the movement is one all about negative freedoms, ignoring positive freedom as a concept.
anarchism  freeman-on-the-land  politics  ireland  law  wsm 
may 2013 by jm
one Canadian judge's 192-page judgement eviscerating the Freeman-on-the-Land and related "Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Argument" litigants
This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following descriptions: Detaxers; Freemen or Freemen-on-the-Land; Sovereign Men or Sovereign Citizens; Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International (CERI); Moorish Law; and other labels - there is no closed list. In the absence of a better moniker, I have collectively labelled them as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument litigants [“OPCA litigants”], to functionally define them collectively for what they literally are. These persons employ a collection of techniques and arguments promoted and sold by ‘gurus’ (as hereafter defined) to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.
 
Over a decade of reported cases have proven that the individual concepts advanced by OPCA litigants are invalid. What remains is to categorize these schemes and concepts, identify global defects to simplify future response to variations of identified and invalid OPCA themes, and develop court procedures and sanctions for persons who adopt and advance these vexatious litigation strategies.
 
One participant in this matter [...] appears to be a sophisticated and educated person, but is also an OPCA litigant. One of the purposes of these Reasons is, through this litigant, to uncover, expose, collate, and publish the tactics employed by the OPCA community, as a part of a process to eradicate the growing abuse that these litigants direct towards the justice and legal system we otherwise enjoy in Alberta and across Canada. I will respond on a point-by-point basis to the broad spectrum of OPCA schemes, concepts, and arguments advanced in this action by [him].


Via Ronan Lupton
via:ronanlupton  law  canada  legal  freeman  opca  court  tax  judgements 
may 2013 by jm
Did Conroy’s AFP filter wrongly block 1,200 sites?
Looks like many Aussie network operators were legally required to block 1,200 websites (presumably, one target and 1199 false positives), in secret.

Quoting http://lists.ausnog.net/pipermail/ausnog/2013-April/017993.html : "You get a notice to
block. You block or either get fined, go to jail or lose your carrier
licence. It is a blunt instrument and it is a condition of being at 'the
big boys table' i.e. you're a carrier or a carriage service provider."
australia  law  afp  filtering  internet  blocking  censorship  secret  eff 
may 2013 by jm
Expert in Savita inquiry confirms Irish women get lower standard of care with chorioamnionitis
Dr. Jen Gunter again:

Dr. Knowles’ testimony confirms for me that the law played a role, because her statements indicate the standard of care for treatment of chorioamnionitis is less aggressive in Ireland. This can only be because of the law as there is no medical evidence to support delaying delivery when chorioamnionitis is diagnosed. Standard of care is not to wait until a woman is sick enough to need a termination, the idea is to treat her, you know, before she gets sick enough. An elevated white count and ruptured membranes at 17 weeks is typically enough to make the diagnosis, so Dr. Knowles needs to testify as to what in Savita’s medical record made it safe to not recommend a delivery.

By the way, I also disagree with Dr. Knowles about her interpretation of Savita’s medical record, the chart doesn’t have “subtle indicators” of infection, it screams chorioamnionitis long before Wednesday morning. In North America the standard of care with chorioamnionitis is to recommend delivery as soon as the diagnosis is made, not wait until women enter the antechamber of death in the hopes that we can somehow snatch them back from the brink. If Irish law, or the interpretation thereof, had nothing to do with Savita’s death no expert would be mentioning sick enough at all.
jen-gunter  ob-gyn  medicine  savita  law  ireland  abortion  tragedy  galway  hospital 
april 2013 by jm
Adding Insult to Plagiary?
A few days old, but already an instant Streisand-Effect classic:
Sometimes people borrow [Colin Purrington's free guide about making scientific posters] without giving him credit. This happens fairly regularly, and when he finds out about it, he sends an e-mail asking them to take it down. Usually they do. But when he sent an e-mail to the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research, asking that a roughly 1,200-word, near-verbatim, uncredited chunk from his guide be removed from the consortium’s materials, the response was unexpected. Rather than apologise, a lawyer sent him a cease-and-desist letter accusing him of plagiarizing the consortium’s materials and demanding that he take down his guide or face a lawsuit seeking damages up to $150,000.
streisand-effect  lawsuits  law  infringement  copyright  cpbr  bullying  science  posters 
april 2013 by jm
East Texas Judge Says Mathematical Algorithms Can’t Be Patented, Dismisses Uniloc Claim Against Rackspace
This seems pretty significant. Is the tide turning in the Texas Eastern District against patent trolls, at last? And does it establish sufficient precedent?

A federal judge has thrown out a patent claim against Rackspace, ruling that mathematical algorithms can’t be patented. The ruling in the Eastern Disrict stemmed from a 2012 complaint filed by Uniloc USA asserting that processing of floating point numbers by the Linux operating system was a patent violation.

Chief Judge Leonard Davis based the ruling on U.S. Supreme Court case law that prohibits the patenting of mathematical algorithms. According to Rackspace, this is the first reported instance in which the Eastern District of Texas has granted an early motion to dismiss finding a patent invalid because it claimed unpatentable subject matter.

Red Hat, which supplies Linux to Rackspace, provided Rackspace’s defense. Red Hat has a policy of standing behind customers through its Open Source Assurance program.


See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5455869 for more discussion.
east-texas  patents  swpats  maths  patenting  law  judges  rackspace  linux  red-hat  uniloc-usa  floating-point 
march 2013 by jm
How the America Invents Act Will Change Patenting Forever
Bet you didn't think the US software patents situation could get worse? wrong!
“Now it’s really important to be the first to file, and it’s really important to file before somebody else puts a product out, or puts the invention in their product,” says Barr, adding that it will “create a new urgency on the part of everyone to file faster -- and that’s going to be a problem for the small inventor.”
first-to-file  omnishambles  uspto  swpats  patents  software-patents  law  legal 
march 2013 by jm
'The Impact of Copyright Policy Changes on Venture Capital Investment in Cloud Computing Companies' [pdf]
'Our results suggest that the Cablevision decision, [which was widely seen as easing certain ambiguities surrounding intellectual property], led to additional incremental investment in U.S. cloud computing firms that ranged from $728 million to approximately $1.3 billion over the two-and-a-half years after the decision. When paired with the findings of the enhanced effects of VC investment relative to corporate investment, this may be the equivalent of $2 to $5 billion in traditional R&D investment.'

via Fred Logue.
via:fplogue  law  ip  copyright  policy  cablevision  funding  vc  cloud-computing  investment  legal  buffering 
march 2013 by jm
more details on the UK distance selling regulations governing Raspberry Pi RS orders
'my understanding is that according to the Distance Selling Regulations [...], unless you agreed otherwise with RS, then they were obligated to fulfill their side of the contract within thirty days from the day after you ordered, and if they were unable to do so they were also obligated to inform you that they could not and repay you within thirty days;ons (more info here in a nice, easy-to-read format), unless you agreed otherwise with RS, then they were obligated to fulfill their side of the contract within thirty days from the day after you ordered, and if they were unable to do so they were also obligated to inform you that they could not and repay you within thirty days'
rs  shopping  etailers  inept  distance-selling  uk  law 
february 2013 by jm
Fox DMCA Takedowns Order Google to Remove Fox DMCA Takedowns
Chilling Effects is setup to stop the ‘chilling effects’ of Internet censorship. Google sees this as a good thing and sends takedown requests it receives to be added to the database. Fox sends takedown requests to Google for pages which the company says contain links to material it holds the copyright to. Those pages include those on Chilling Effects which show which links Fox wants taken down. Google delists the Chilling Effects pages from its search engine, thus completing the circle and defeating the very reason Chilling Effects was set up for in the first place.
chilling-effects  copyright  internet  legal  dmca  google  law 
january 2013 by jm
Lesser known crimes: do you own that copyright?
A very interesting crime on the Irish statute books:

Section 141 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 provides: A person who, for financial gain, makes a claim to enjoy a right under this Part [ie. copyright] which is, and which he or she knows or has reason to believe is, false, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding £100,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or both.
ireland  copyright  ip  false-claims  law 
january 2013 by jm
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