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Digital rights Law & Freedom

Quick and Honest Guide to Creative Commons Licenses

CCGuide.png

In a way, the best way to fight piracy is by making it impossible for people to do illegal things with your works.

Zacqary Adam Green came up with this handy guide to Creative Commons for his article on copyright reform. Funny as it may seem, it is a very practical and straight-to-the-point analysis of the licenses, since it seems that you can only enforce a license as long as you can afford the legal battle.

In the case of software licensing, it is not recommended to use a Creative Commons license, since they were not designed for that use. CC was thought for artistic works, and although software is considered “art” in some countries’ copyright laws, they are practical works, more than just artistic ones. That is why using a Free Software license is recommended instead. They were designed to cover any technical and practical use for the work that you need to protect. Also, there are organizations like the Software Freedom Law Center that help developers and non-profit organizations to enforce their licenses among many other services with little or no budget.

I don’t know if there is something similar to defend works under a CC or similar free license. Maybe there’s an unexplored business opportunity for law firms.

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom

Youtube Copyright School video


This video is horrible! It reminds me of the 50’s anti socialism/communism propaganda with the voice, tone and the graphic tactics used in it.

And while it doesn’t omit the topic of Fair Use, it does try to avoid it, or so it seems, by speeding up the audio and moving the letters so you can’t read the text about it comfortably.

What’s funny is that all the examples mentioned as a copyright violation are examples of maybe about 90% of the videos in YouTube.

I remember those days where you could “freely” make a cassette tapes with romantic dedicated tracks for your girlfriend. I think things like this make it clear that those days are over…just when you could send video instead of audio and instantly instead of waiting to deliver the tape.

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

Gave DRM talk at UANL

Today I gave a talk about DRM technologies and how they affect everyone that consumes products with them. It took place at the UANL physics and mathematics faculty.

It interests me very much the fact that its the second time they invite me to give this talk (and I hope to get invited many more) because typically at schools and universities, at least in general in Mexico, this topic never shows up on anyone’s radar. Probably software licensing, but not DRM technologies and issues.

I hope more universities follow this trend and call people to talk to them about current topics and not just stick to the education program and teach how to be code monkeys.

Maybe it has something to do with the mathematics (cryptography) on the DRM technologies and that’s why I got invited by the physics and mathematics faculty instead of the computer science faculty. I thought about that so I updated my talk and slides to explain a bit more on the cryptography side (very basic stuff) this time.

The talk went very well and got good response from the audience. I even gave out stickers!

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

More ugly stories about depending on cloud computing

storm
Depending on “the cloud” to provide all software has increasingly shown some of its issues. What’s strange is that not many people are concerned about it.

Google marking all sites as unsafe

Google marked all search results as unsafe websites, and when you clicked on the link, it warned you again and you had to agree to go to the website. This might not cause a big issue for computer savvy people that know where they’re going, but for other people (and that actually read warning messages) this might scared them away. Probably a lot of business was lost from users going for the first time to a site and got this warning.

You can read more about this at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5251742.stm
http://techtrends.co.uk/news/google-marks-the-whole-internet-as-unsafe
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/07/172231

Youtube’s fair use massacre

Warner music and Youtube have been taking down videos with copyrighted music on this service. If you have a video of your kid dancing to a Warner music song, so someone is whistling one or if its in the background of your birthday video, it might be taken down.

The EFF has called this “The fair use massacre” since these videos are righfully using the material under fair use terms but they are being taken down anyway.

You can read more about this with these links:

http://www.getmiro.com/blog/2009/02/youtubes-fair-use-massacre/
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10150588-93.html

It is becoming more and more evident that support for free networking service software is needed before we loose our data and specially our freedom. Support projects like Laconica with Identica being its biggest implementation (follow me on identica http://identi.ca/gabrielsaldana”), Wikipedia, Launchpad (now that it will be AGPL licensed), Elgg and many others listed here. Learn more about free network services at the autonomo.us website.

“Before the storm” image is Creative Commons by Steve Wall.
Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

Facebook terms for your uploaded content

facebook

Maybe this is old news, but I was checking Facebook’s terms of service to see if something had changed since the last time I saw them. But everytime I read this, I keep getting surprised and annoyed. The following is the exact quote from the terms of use that makes me think twice about uploading any pictures to my photo gallery.

I’ve highlighted the parts you should watch out for:

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.

And the other day I found some local TV advertising studio photographs, from the biggest TV network in latinamerica, posted on the photographer’s photo gallery. He could get sued by his client!

Good think Flickr exists and provides us with our own licensing terms. And even more for providing the option of Creative Commons licensing.

It would be interesting and a huge challenge, to come up with a social networking site like Facebook that follows the Franklin Street statement.

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

Soviet-like antipiracy campaign targeted at kids in Mexico

vendetta image by hawken.dadako on flickr
The mexican newspaper El Universal published a contest for kids sponsored by IMPI (the organization that in charge of “intelectual property” and patents in Mexico) which invites kids to report to the IMPI for any “piracy” acts their parents, teachers and friends do.

Gunnar Wolf sent an open letter (in spanish) to the newspaper and the chairman of the IMPI about the concerns and attrocities this campaign is doing on kids and society in general.

This technique of making society turn into itself by spying and reporting on each other is a well known tactic used by the Soviet Union (and now in USA). We must not tolerate this kind of education on kids.

Vendetta image is creative commons by hawken.dadako