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YouTube Yanks Fair-Use Protest Video at Behest of International Olympic

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| Last Thursday night, protesters projected human rights images including:
| monks being arrested, olympic rings turning into handcuffs, and so on, onto
| the side of the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan. Video of this event was
| uploaded to YouTube, and has since been removed at the request of the
| International Olympic Committee (IOC). The video is a crystal clear case of
| fair use —it’s 100% legal and non-infringing— and the IOC has absolutely no
| right to force the video out of view.


Answering Questions on Border Laptop Searches

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| We’ve received several comments from readers regarding my recent post about
| laptop searches at the border. I’d like to take a few minutes to try to
| answer some of your questions and set straight some misinformation that is
| circulating with regard to this long-standing policy.


The comments are better than this face-saving dross.


Act Now on ACTA

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| One of the things that has amazed me recently is the power of the letter –
| or, more specifically, the power of the letter when sent to an MP or MEP.
| Naively, I would have expected a deafening silence from these exalted beings
| in receipt of my ever so 'umble communications, but by and large they are
| astonishingly quick to respond, often with personal replies. From this I draw
| an important lesson: that it is always worth writing to your Mps/MEPs about
| things that matter to you.
| Against that background, over the next few weeks, I aim to present a few
| worthy causes to readers of this blog that they might like to take up with
| representatives. Remember, finding the latter – and sending stuff to them –
| is trivially easy thanks to the wonders of the WriteToThem site, so there's
| no excuse for not joining in.


Why We Must React to ACTA

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| The name of the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” – ACTA – is indicative
| of the overall approach being taken. First, this is a trade agreement, which
| means that it by-passes many of the more open processes for drawing up
| international agreements. This has allowed it to be discussed in secret,
| amongst a cosy club of interested parties and their chums – notably, those in
| industries based on exploiting intellectual monopolies.
| Moreover, this is an invitation-only club, which has led to the exclusion of
| most developing countries, and hence most of the world in terms of
| population. It is nothing less than cyber-imperialism by the rich countries
| that for so long have imposed their agendas on the rest of the globe, but
| which finally see their traditional hegemony threatened by the rise of new
| powers – and new ideas. ACTA is a last-ditch attempt to lock the world into
| an old and outdated mindset.


The right to peer inside your iPod

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| An agreement on intellectual property rights to be ratified by the G8 heads
| of government highlights conflicts between ownership and privacy


Digital copyright: it's all wrong

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| The ACTA draft is a scary document. If a treaty based on its provisions were
| adopted, it would enable any border guard, in any treaty country, to check
| any electronic device for any content that they suspect infringes copyright
| laws. They need no proof, only suspicion.
| They would be able to seize any device - laptop, iPod, DVD recorder, mobile
| phone, etc - and confiscate it or destroy anything on it, merely on
| suspicion. On the spot, no lawyers, no right of appeal, no nothing.


Embattled ACTA Negotiations Next Week In Geneva; US Sees Signing This Year

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| Criticism from NGOs
| Canadian law expert David Fewer, staff counsel at the University of Ottawa’s
| Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, told the Ottawa Citizen
| that the discussion paper was very close to a potential Christmas wish-list
| by Hollywood companies.
| Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), in an earlier statement filed to USTR,
| warned against a lack in differentiation and clearness of core terms, like
| counterfeiting, infringement or piracy. “Is Microsoft a “pirate” for
| insisting on the right to continue to infringe the z4 patents in order to use
| an infringing DRM technology to protect Microsoft software itself from
| infringement by unauthorised uses?” KEI asked in its statement.


Stop the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

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| I just heard about the proposed ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)
| over at Free Software Daily and from the Free Software Foundation. Right now
| the governments of the United States, the European Commission, Japan,
| Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico are
| secretly negotiating this new treaty which aims to increase the enforcement
| of intellectual property laws yet again.

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