Sign the ACTA Communiqué and Tell Negotiators to Protect Your Rights

The next round of negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will be underway in less than a week. The ATCA was originally supposed to reduce the flow of fake physical goods across borders. Unfortunately, it’s grown into something that reaches FAR beyond counterfeit physical goods. It is being used as a way to clamp down tight controls on the internet.

These controls will limit your freedom considerably. Under the ATCA, people that are merely accused of copyright violations will be disconnected without even so much as the slightest chance to defend themselves.

ISPs will be required to serve as copyright cops, monitoring people’s downloads and cutting them off for suspected or accused violations.

This is no longer about fake physical goods. The ATCA has been turned into a weapon that “big content” is using against everyone, even the innocent in their efforts to control and essentially own all creative content.

Public Knowledge has issued an action alert, inviting users to send a wake-up call to the Administration about the dangerous policies in ACTA. Visit Public Knowledge NOW and make your voice heard!

It takes less than a minute to fill out the form on that page and add your voice to the effort to get the Obama administration to wake up and realize that the ATCA must be stopped.

Isn’t your internet freedom worth one measly minute?

I sure think so. Here’s the link again, click on it and take a stand for your rights!

Or

You can ignore it and some day you will wish that you had taken that one minute to be part of stopping the ATCA.

[tags]atca, copyright, treaty, internet freedom, copyright cops, big content[/tags]

Spanish Judge Rules In Favor Of P2P Link Sites And Networks

barcelonareporter.com has a story up that shows there actually is some hope for P2P filesharing winning the war against “big content” and it’s efforts to shut such sites down.

Last year a BitTorrent link site called elrincondejesus.com was sued by SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores), which is their local version of the hated RIAA, accusing the website of copyright infringement.

After a long legal battle the judge ruled against SGAE:

just linking to content that might be infringing wasn’t a violation and was not the same as distributing that content. He also noted that the law in Spain at the moment allowed this kind of sites to operate.

Apparently Spain has some sensible laws on the subject, particularly that file sharing is legal as long as there is no financial benefit involved.

Imagine that, sensible laws. Get your cameras ready, pigs are about to fly coast to coast nonstop.

[Tags]p2p, filesharing, sgae, riaa, lawsuit, p2p victory, spain[/tags]

My Front Yard Has An Excellent Memory

Seriously, it really does. This is because somewhere in my front yard is a four gigabyte flash drive that was lost early last December. It happened because of carelessness on my part and the fact that it wasn’t one of those that can have a lanyard or key chain attached to it.

Seriously, it really does. This is because somewhere in my front yard is a four gigabyte flash drive that was lost early last December. It happened because of carelessness on my part and the fact that it wasn’t one of those that can have a lanyard or key chain attached to it.

If you’ve ever lost something as small as flash drive in a largish front yard you’ll know how very nearly impossible it is to find again. Especially since about a week after it was lost is when the trees in my neighborhood decided to drop their leaves. In the space of just a few days I could almost swear that 80% of the fallen leaves on my street were in my front yard.

At this point I decided that there was no point in even trying to find that flash drive. Oh, I’ll keep an eye out for it but given the time that’s passed and the leaves, storms and high winds we’ve had around here since then it’s pretty unlikely I’ll ever see it again.

So that means it’s time to start shopping around for a replacement since I’ve found the devices to be incredibly handy for moving files from one computer to another. I’ve been looking around for a really good deal and tonight I think I’ve found one on the buy.com weekly deals sale page.

The one I think I’ve settled on is a Kingston 8GB DataTraveler. For one thing, it’s got twice the capacity of the one I lost. For another, it’s got the Kingston name behind it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kingston memory devices for years. Not only do they make quality stuff, they stand behind it too.

Then there’s the price. You just can’t beat it (at least *I* couldn’t). Y’see, the 4gb unit that I lost ran about $20 or so. This thing normally sells for around $60 when you buy it from Kingston or most computer outlets. I have no idea how they managed it, maybe they bought a million of ’em or something, I don’t know. Buy.com has them selling for 71% off of the regular price … $16.99! And you get free shipping to go along with that.

Hello? Mcfly?

Finally there’s the feature that the old unit should have had but didn’t. The case on this one has an opening on one end that allows you to attache a lanyard, key chain or even a string to thing so that you don’t end up losing it like I did!

At the risk of sounding corny I’ll say it anyway. Buy.com Rocks!

[Tags]Flash Drive, High Winds, Carelessness, Key Chain, Gigabyte, Storms, Leaves, Neighborhood Trees, Kingston Memory, Computer Outlets, Memory Devices, Datatraveler, Front Yard[/tags]

CNN Shares With Your Bandwidth

Are you one of the millions of people who watched the live video stream on CNN’s website of Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20? If you are, then it’s very likely that your computer and your bandwidth was probably used without your direct knowledge to send that video to other people who were watching it.

Are you one of the millions of people who watched the live video stream on CNN’s website of Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20? If you are, then it’s very likely that your computer and your bandwidth was probably used without your direct knowledge to send that video to other people who were watching it.

According to a story on Windows Secrets, CNN has started using a P2P app called “Octoshape Grid Delivery”. Apparently, the first time you try to watch a live video feed the flash player informs you that the Octoshape Grid Delivery add on for Adobe’s flash player is required in order to get the feed.

octoshape install

The truth of the matter is that you don’t need Octoshape to watch those feeds. On the lower right corner of the playback window are links for using the normal Adobe flash player or Windows Media Player to watch the feed. They’re just saying it’s “required” because they want as many people as possible to get with the Octoshape program.

Essentially CNN end up using your bandwidth for it’s purposes (without paying you for it I might add!). As you might expect, this plays havoc with your available bandwidth. Octoshape grabs any where from 320 to as much as 600 kilobits per second of your upstream bandwidth. This can make a major dent in your total available bandwidth and I don’t doubt that it’d slow a lot of other connections down in the process.

This is bad enough for a single user setup but then there’s the growing number of people that are connecting two or more computers to their router. On one machine somebody’s looking over some websites for ideas for their next Orlando vacations and then on another machine using the same connection somebody starts watching one of those Octoshape aware CNN things and the 1st person suddenly might think about taking a vacation or at least a nap while their pages load.

What’s really sneaky about it is that the fact that it’s going to take over a big chunk of your pc’s resources and internet bandwidth isn’t made clear up front. Instead it’s written in legalese and hidden in the license agreement (you know, the one’s that hardly anyone reads on account of how convoluted they are.) and you don’t get to see it until after you have to click yes or no to install it.

There’s a lot more on the Windows Secrets site and it’s very much well worth reading. Suffice it to say that in MY opinion, if you get a dialog box asking if you want to install Octoshape, Click NO just as fast as you can.

[tags]octoshape grid delivery, octoshape flash, flash add on, cnn, p2p, evil p2p, deceptive license, bandwidth, bandwidth hog, just say no[/tags]

RIAA Drops Another Discovery Case

It seems like only a week or two ago when I heard about the RIAA deciding to walk away from one of their infamous “Discovery” cases. You know the kind, where they bring a lawsuit against a whole bunch of John Doe’s and come in demanding that their real identities be handed over so that they can sue the pants off of each one.

It seems like only a week or two ago when I heard about the RIAA deciding to walk away from one of their infamous “Discovery” cases. You know the kind, where they bring a lawsuit against a whole bunch of John Doe’s and come in demanding that their real identities be handed over so that they can sue the pants off of each one.

Well, apparently just a few days ago in the case of BMG Music v. Does 1-14, in Greensboro, North Carolina they’ve done it again. The downside is that two of them had already reached a settlement with the RIAA. Because the case has been dismissed without prejudice, the remaining 12 defendants will now never be identified to the RIAA or BMG Music.

Do you see a trend growing here? This is like the third or fourth time they’ve had to walk away from these cases. Could it be at least in part because more and more judges are unwilling to rubber stamp those ex-parte discovery orders anymore? Think maybe that the legal system is getting tired of being used to hammer people that don’t really need it?

Maybe it could have something do with judges realizing that, like I’ve said many times, “Big Content” would be much better served going after the big time commercial pirates and leaving the file sharing people alone. In a very real way “Big content”, the RIAA, MPAA and assorted other reps of “Big Content” have been shooting themselves in the foot for a long time now. They need to get the idea that file sharing and P2P is not going to go away. They really ought to think of ways to take advantage of it instead of squashing it.

[Tags]john doe, greensboro north carolina, riaa, mpaa, big content, without prejudice, p2p, pirates, discovery, ex parte discovery, bmg music, ex parte[/tags]