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Cheese: The Final Frontier For The Completion Of The Canada-EU Trade Deal CETA

Remember CETA , the "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" between the EU and Canada? After years of on-off moments, including one last burst of uncertainty in March of this year, it finally seemed that everything had been settled, and that the deal would soon come into force. But it turns out that there is another, hitherto-unsuspected problem -- cheese: Canada's CBC reported on its website that plans to have CETA (the Comprehensive ...
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Techdirt Podcast Episode 127: Copyright, Music & 'Theft'

This week's episode is all about copyright and culture, with a pair of the best guests you could ask for on the subject. Almost ten years ago, law professors Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins released a comic book about copyright called Bound By Law, and now they are back with a sequel: Theft: A History of Music . This week, James and Jennifer join us to discuss the new comic and the history of copyright and music (with lots of f...
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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, after a Wisconson senator attacked net neutrality by bemoaning the supposed lack of "fast lanes" online, JoeCool won first place for insightful by summing up why that's nonsense : The internet is ONE BIG "FAST LANE". What the ISPs want is to create a bunch of "slow lanes" to shove people into unless they pay a premium to get what they originally had. In second place on the insightful side, we've got the first of several winning c...
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This Week In Techdirt History: June 11th - 17th

Five Years Ago It was this week in 2012 that The Oatmeal wrote a level-headed criticism of FunnyJunk and received, in return, a somewhat scattershot threat of a defamation lawsuit . As a result, a whole lot of internet attention and ire was turned on one man, whose name we'd become very familiar with: Charles Carreon, who dug in his heels and tried to shut down The Oatmeal's fundraiser. Then he lashed out and accused Matt Inman of "instigat...
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2008 FISA Transcript Shows NSA Already Knew It Might Have An Incidental Collection Problem

The ODNI has released several documents in response to FOIA lawsuits (EFF, ACLU). The EFF scored 18 of these ( handy zip link here ) and the ACLU seven. The ACLU's batch has proven more interesting (at least initially). One document it obtained shows a tech company challenged a Section 702 surveillance order in 2014. The challenge was shut down by the FISA court, but with the exception of Yahoo's short-lived defiance, we haven't seen any ot...
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Another Judge Says The Microsoft Decision Doesn't Matter; Orders Google To Hand Over Overseas Data

Microsoft may not have to respond to government demands for US persons' data held overseas, but it looks like everyone else (specifically, Google) will have to keep trawling their foreign data stores for US law enforcement. The Second Circuit Appeals Court ruled US government warrants don't apply to overseas data. Courts outside of the Second Circuit are finding this ruling doesn't apply to Google's foreign data storage. The most obvious re...
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TV Cord Cutting Poised To Smash Records During Second Quarter

So we've already noted that with the rise of streaming video competition, more people cut the TV cord last year than any other time in history . MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett has noted that 2016's 1.7% decline in traditional cable TV viewers was the biggest cord cutting acceleration on record. SNL Kagan agrees, noting that traditional pay TV providers lost around 1.9 million traditional cable subscribers. That was notably worse tha...
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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, we wrote about the ongoing plague of skewed priorities among law enforcement agencies when it comes to bodycam footage. That One Guy latched on to a particular detail and racked up the votes for most insightful comment of the week : "I don't get it, why don't the people we beat and shoot respect us?" Officer Mader was fired. The other cop was praised. According to the department, Mader "put two other officers in danger" by not im...
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How The Death Of Net Neutrality Could Hamstring The Internet Of Things

So we've already spent a lot of time talking about how underneath the hype, the "internet of things" is a bit of a shitshow . A lack of device security and a general apathy toward anything resembling privacy standards has resulted in an absolute torrent of new attack vectors being introduced into millions of homes and devices nationwide. Many of these devices are being quickly compromised in a matter of minutes for use in historically massi...
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Two Big Copyright Cases Sent To Top EU Court: One On Sampling, The Other On Freedom Of The Press

Back in 2012, Techdirt wrote about one of the longest-running copyright sagas. It involved a 2-second rhythmic sample from the Kraftwerk track " Metall auf Metall ", which was used by the German rapper Sabrina Setlur in a single called " Nur Mir ". After the case had ping-ponged around various German courts for 12 years, a decision by Hamburg's highest regional court seemed to be the end of the matter, as Tim Cushing described in his compre...
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Comcast Pinky Swears That The Death Of Net Neutrality Won't Hurt In The Slightest

In the wake of the FCC's attempt to kill net neutrality, ISPs like Comcast have been working overtime trying to convince the press and public that nothing bad is actually happening. Shortly after the FCC voted to begin killing the rules, Comcast posted a trifecta of press statement , comment from company CEO Brian Roberts and commentary from top lobbyist David Cohen all saying the same thing: nothing bad is happening, and whatever happens -...
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The Music Licensing Swamp: Spotify Settles Over Failure To Obtain Mechanical Licenses

A year and a half ago we wrote about a lawsuit, filed by musician/songwriter/Techdirt-hater (with a few perhaps surprising exceptions ) David Lowery against Spotify, for failing to pay mechanical licenses. As we noted at the time, the more interesting thing to us beyond the lawsuit itself was how it demonstrated what an amazing clusterfuck music licensing is. That's because copyright law has not done a very good job keeping up with the time...
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This Week In Techdirt History: May 28th - June 3rd

Five Years Ago This week in 2012, Google's recently-unveiled tool for looking at DMCA takedown requests was revealing just how unbelievably stupid and bogus those requests so frequently are — but the RIAA was doing its best to blame its own failure to use the tools properly on Google, of course . Meanwhile, the government hit some speedbumps in its pursuit of Kim Dotcom when the New Zealand judge refused to rubber-stamp the extradition orde...
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Proposed DHS Rules May Cause The Deaths They Claim To Prevent

Back at the end of March, the Department of Homeland [in]Security issued rules stating that all electronics larger than a smartphone should be checked instead of kept in a carry-on on flights into the US from 10 airports or on 9 airlines from mainly Muslim countries in the middle east and north Africa. This was following claims by US and UK intelligence that terrorists are smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items to 'target com...
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Court Says Password Protection Doesn't Restore An Abandoned Phone's Privacy Expectations

In a decision reached recently by a Florida federal court, a person has no expectation of privacy in a phone that was thrown away. [h/t Orin Kerr ] In this case, the defendant was sought in connection with a missing child investigation. He was questioned by police and released. A few days later (when he was supposed to be meeting detectives at his house), the defendant (allegedly) went for a walk in the rain and got lost. He discovered his ...
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Judge Smacks NYPD For Its 'Gotcha' Tactics In Forfeiture Public Records Lawsuit

New York's court system is finally pushing back against the NYPD's refusal to provide better accounting of its forfeiture programs. Late last year , the NYPD informed people requesting information on seizures it had no way of compiling this data for them. Its $12 million software -- meant to provide "cradle-to-grave" tracking of seized property -- apparently couldn't handle routine inquiries about seizure totals. When the NYPD did decide to...
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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, both winning comments on the insightful side came in response to our post about more legislators jumping on the "blue lives matter" bandwagon. Since the top comment was actually further down the same thread as the runner up, this week we'll present the winners in reverse order, starting with the second place winner from Anonymous Anonymous Coward who swooped in with the first comment on the post : Another good take on this subjec...
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This Week In Techdirt History: May 21st - 27th

Five Years Ago This week in 2012, the jury in the Oracle/Google patent trial ruled that there was no infringement , while Judge Alsup revealed his coding knowledge on the copyright side. MPAA boss Chris Dodd was saying they should stop calling infringement "theft" despite the MPAA's own website doing exactly that many times, Congress proposed giving ICE another ten million dollars to fight intellectual property infringement , and TV network...
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Congress Busted Using Cable Lobbyist Talking Points In Attacks On Net Neutrality

By now, most Techdirt readers realize that far too many members of Congress don't so much have thoughts about technology policy, as they do bulleted mental lists of talking points provided by a lobbyist happy to do their thinking for them. That has been particularly true when it comes to telecom policy over the last few months, especially the GOP's ham-fisted attack on popular consumer broadband privacy protections and the telecom sector's ...
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Senate Should Either Fix Or Get Off The Pot On Copyright Office Bill

The U.S. Senate is about to consider mostly pointless legislation that would make the nation's register of copyrights—the individual who heads the U.S. Copyright Office, officially a part of the Library of Congress—a presidential appointment that would be subject to Senate confirmation. While the measure has earned praise from some in the content industry, including the Motion Picture Association of America , unless senators can find better...
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FBI Insider Threat Program Documents Show How Little It Takes To Be Branded A Threat To The Agency

Jason Leopold has obtained the FBI's training slides for its "insider threat" program . This would be the same program the FBI refused to discuss in detail with the Senate, walking out of the briefing when asked how the program would avoid sweeping up legitimate whistleblowers. The federal government acts as though it's receptive to whistleblowing, but then undermines that sentiment with pretty much everything else it does. These insider th...
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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, we covered the disturbing story of a cop whose huge number of impaired driving arrests turned out to stem from his arbitrary decisions about who was impaired as though it was some sort of magical ability. Roger Strong took a firm line on responding to this, and enough people agreed to make it the first place winner for insightful : Officer T.T. Carroll is a known serial liar. The Cobb County police department supports and encoura...
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Senate Given The Go-Ahead To Use Encrypted Messaging App Signal

Certain senators have repeatedly pushed for encryption bans or encryption backdoors, sacrificing personal security for national security in a move that will definitively result in less of both. Former FBI Director James Comey's incessant beating of his " Going Dark " drum didn't help. Several legislators always managed to get sucked in by his narrative of thousands of unsearched phones presumably being tied to thousands of unsolved crimes a...
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As The Battleground For Warfare Moves To Cyberspace, DOD Contemplates Altering Recruitment Requirements

While we've viewed much of the hyped up discussions about cyberwarfare with some trepidation here, we now live in a reality where it would be clearly silly to suggest that the internet and internet-connected devices are not an emerging battleground for rival nations. While much was made these past few years about what mostly amounted to the penetration of private business networks, the discussion about several democratic elections throughou...
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It's Time For The FCC To Actually Listen: The Vast Majority Of FCC Commenters Support Net Neutrality

The vast majority of consumers (from both parties) support net neutrality. This has been supported repeatedly not only by independent polls , but even the cable industry's own surveys . Yet for most of the last decade, ISP lobbyists and think tankers have managed to frame the subject in the media as a partisan one -- quite successfully using the country's deep political divisions to fuel disagreement and stall real progress. In reality, our...
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