Colombian researcher cleared of prison-term criminal charges for sharing one academic paper online




Three years ago, Colombian researcher Diego Gomez was charged with copyright infringement for uploading one (1) academic paper to Scribd, and was facing four to eight years in prison for the allegedly heinous act of sharing knowledge. This week, the Colombian court acquitted him of all charges. The Right-to-Research Coalition celebrates the ruling, and says … Continue reading “Colombian researcher cleared of prison-term criminal charges for sharing one academic paper online”

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The six worst recent hypocrisies of the copyright industry




The copyright industry keeps pounding a simplistic message to legislators – that copyright law is simple and that nobody honest could ever break it, and that it’s easy to “tell right from wrong”. But when you look at the deeds of the copyright industry instead of their words, they don’t seem very eager to follow … Continue reading “The six worst recent hypocrisies of the copyright industry”

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Is it reasonable for a private industry to demand governmental censorship power over general communications?




The copyright industry is trying – again – to forcefully conscript Internet Service Providers into doing their bidding. This time, the RIAA and other organizations are demanding “filtering”, which is a pretty word for censorship, of anything they don’t want people to send to each other privately. Ask yourself this one question: is it any … Continue reading “Is it reasonable for a private industry to demand governmental censorship power over general communications?”

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Why Google is making a mistake in demoting “pirate” sites from search results




Google has agreed to demote so-called “pirate” sites from its search results, at the demands of the copyright industry. All experience from the past 600 years says this is a mistake. A story in Ars Technica and elsewhere celebrates that Google will hide the sites people are looking for, because there are others that don’t … Continue reading “Why Google is making a mistake in demoting “pirate” sites from search results”

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How the copyright industry works methodically to erode your civil liberties and human rights




In a previous column, I outlined how the copyright monopoly is fundamentally, irreparably incompatible with privacy at the conceptual level. While the copyright industry may appear behind the times — even outright dumb — it is a mistake to believe they’re unaware of this incompatibility. To the contrary, their persistent and consistent actions show they’re … Continue reading “How the copyright industry works methodically to erode your civil liberties and human rights”

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In an EU without Britain and France, weaker and sensible copyright policy would emerge




Britain and France have been the primary copyright hawks in the EU, pushing for stronger distribution monopolies and harsher penalties at every turn. With Brexit in the cards, and a possible Frexit following this spring’s French elections, a hypothetical future EU copyright law looks much more sensible. Let’s review the dynamics at play. Britain has … Continue reading “In an EU without Britain and France, weaker and sensible copyright policy would emerge”

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Understanding the fundamental, irreconcilable conflict between copyright enforcement and privacy of communication




Enforcement of copyright is fundamentally, conceptually incompatible with privacy of correspondence. You can't have the sealed and private letter in existence at the same time as you enforce copyright, once communications have gone digital. This is the reason you see VPN companies and other privacy advocates fight copyright enforcement and copyright law: because society has … Continue reading “Understanding the fundamental, irreconcilable conflict between copyright enforcement and privacy of communication”

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The entire modern copyright was built on one fundamental assumption that the Internet has reversed




When copyright was reinstated in 1710, the justification was that of publishing being many orders of magnitude more expensive than authoring, and so without it, nothing would get published. But the Internet has reversed this assumption completely: publishing is now many orders of magnitude cheaper than writing the piece you want to publish. The copyright … Continue reading “The entire modern copyright was built on one fundamental assumption that the Internet has reversed”

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Tensions are rising, there are cracks in the façade, and change is in the air. When and how will things snap?




Tensions between the industrial-age establishment and the networked people-at-large have been rising for years, if not for two decades. Politicians and elites striving to paint themselves on moral high horses are seen as increasingly isolated from the real world, enriching themselves at the expense of everybody else – not just expense in a monetary sense, … Continue reading “Tensions are rising, there are cracks in the façade, and change is in the air. When and how will things snap?”

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European Commission promises harshened copyright and untraceable free wifi everywhere on the same day




The European Commission has promised a number of things related to IT in its State of the European Union address. Two promises that stand out are another harshening of the copyright monopoly in combination with a promise of public and free wifi from all public authorities. These are obviously in direct conflict, as a public … Continue reading “European Commission promises harshened copyright and untraceable free wifi everywhere on the same day”

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