Last week a flurry of articles popped up showing that Microsoft had sent improper DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take down notices claiming infringing material on sites that criticized their new Metro (or not Metro) UI. The move appeared to be done in order to directly harm these sites search rating. Some of the sites affected were Betanews.com, ngohq.com, gHacks.com, Hardware Canuck.com Technize.com and more. It was a very unusual move, but one that we predicted after Google changed their search algorithm to reduce site’s search rankings after “valid” DMCA takedown notices were received.
Over the last couple of days we have talked about the expected push from the copyright lobby for harsher laws and longer copyright periods (not to mention more control over the internet). This is a campaign that has been going on since the days of affordable internet (56kbps) and is one that will never really stop. However during this long battle there have been some highlights that make us all wonder at the motives and sanity of the key players involved. We are talking about the many domain seizures (for sites that are operating legally) and also some of the highly publicized threats that the MPAA (the leading group in this war) have made over the course of the last year.
Judge Lucy Koh has apparently decided the fate of the Samsung V Apple case all on her own. In fact she has even ordered evidence to be destroyed. Now correct me if I am wrong, but why on earth would ANY judge interested in making a sound and fair decision ask for evidence to be destroyed. The only reason I can think of is that Luck Koh knows that the evidence is valid and would hurt Apple significantly during this trial. It is apparently also something that Samsung knows as well. Samsung are the ones that leaked this rejected evidence to the press. The move was partly to prove the point that Apple borrowed from Sony for the iPhone design and also to show Judge Koh’s bias in the trial.
The Megaupload case has become an embarrassment for the US Government, but because of their close ties to the MPAA, RIAA and the entertainment industry as a whole they are not able to bow out gracefully at this point. It also seems that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is not going to let them bow out. Instead he has launched a website that is dedicated to “the war for the Internet”. This term is one that has been used in the past to refer to laws like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, CISPA and many, many more. It is a very interesting battle that is only in its infancy right now and unless things change quickly will only get worse.
There is an old (very old saying); “don’t poke the bear”. It is one of those saying that people toss out to remind us that there are some things that you should just not do. It is a saying that the gang over at the MPAA, RIAA, BSA and even members of the US Government should listen to (maybe we should tell them). Unfortunately for them they have not only poked the bear, but have kicked it too. This group of people is so out of touch with the way the world works that they actually think they can control technological progress. We are talking about the constant attempts to control the internet, communications and anything that travels over it; all in the name of maintaining a broken and outdated business model.
Remember the original trial for the “criminal” copyright infringement case against The Pirate Bay (TPB) and some of the shady things that went on behind the scenes? Well now we find that the copyright industry is doing it again, this time with the legal proceedings that just arranged for all links, proxies and any other references to The Pirate Bay banned in the Netherlands. This is actually popping up right after we talked about the methods the industry will go to just to maintain control.
Apple, the big company that likes to brag about their “originality” and accuse everybody else of stealing their ideas, apparently stole something from Switzerland. This is the country famous for inventing clocks and watches, and not just any kind of it, but truly of the highest quality and with beautiful design. Now, the Swiss Federal Railways have accused Apple that of copying their official railway clock.
With all of the hype going on around recent news conferences from big companies (like Intel, Microsoft and Apple), not so many people noticed that Demonoid’s domain name servers were updated. Even though that doesn’t mean they are coming back it is still a small sign that they are not completely dead. Demonoid's tech admin said that they are “not looking into putting the site back up at the moment.” The Site was taken down last month after they were DDoS-ed. Demonoid was hosted in the Ukraine and local authorities stated that Interpol asked them to take action against the site owners that were in Mexico.
We have always been a supporter of certain Internet freedoms as well as individual privacy (no surprise there huh). Bills like PIPA and SOPA showed us a glaring issue with the existing level of knowledge currently held by the people that make our laws (and not just in the US). This is not a big shocker to most people either. It is fairly common knowledge that our law makers get into office based on little more than a popularity contest that is held every few years. Once in office they are like the gullible kid in school that gets talked into things, by the “cool kids”, but in this case the cool kids are lobbyists and are not looking for a laugh they are looking to improve their control and profit.
Not that long ago I received an email from a reader that asked a simple and valid question; “why do you care about what Apple and Samsung are doing?” Like we said; a simple and valid question, but not one that is simple to answer. The obvious although inaccurate answer is that it is news and it is news about the consumer electronic world. However, that answer (as we just said) is not the whole truth, it is not even close to the whole truth. The reason it is so difficult to answer is that the real reason has nothing to do with Apple or Samsung. The real reason boils down to a few simple concepts; control, innovation and competition.