There’s a very important case brewing in Boston where Joel Tenebaum is being sued by the RIAA for what could be $1,000,000 all for downloading seven songs from a popular P2P network.
ArsTech has been covering the story and they have a great overview/update of it on their blog. Here’s a taste:
[Harvard Law Professor] Nesson took the case, acting as Tenenbaum’s attorney, but he outsourced the work of research, strategy, and brief writing to a set of eager Harvard Law students. The students would quickly mount an ambitious defense, not just of Joel Tenenbaum, but of the claim that the RIAA legal campaign was unconstitutionally excessive and improper. Armed with a law library, Twitter, a Web site, and caffeine, the students have already made sure that the upcoming Tenenbaum trial will eclipse the Minnesota Jammie Thomas case for sheer spectacle.
This is great reporting by ArsTech on a story everyone should be following.
I’ve mentioned 3D printers before and now, thanks to Make, here are a couple of videos that begin to show some of the potential to come.
Not only are 3D printers quickly becoming an affordable reality but the opportunities that they represent almost boggle the brain – and I don’t even want to think about how this will effect things like patent law! What happens when I can “print” my own version of a product instead of going to buy it from the original maker?
Here is one of the videos (go to Make to see the other – I like to give credit and views where they are due!)
The UK is widely known to be one of the most surveilled countries in the world. According to The Daily Mail “There are already 4.2million cameras trained on the public.”
Now, The Daily Mail is reporting on new technology that promises to take terrifying new steps towards become a full police-state complete with Dream Police and Tendency Indicators:
“CCTV cameras which can ‘predict’ if a crime is about to take place are being introduced on Britain’s streets. The cameras can alert operators to suspicious behaviour, such as loitering and unusually slow walking. Anyone spotted could then have to explain their behaviour to a police officer.”
Someday people will wonder if it was worth trading in their privacy rights for a false sense of security but by then it will be far too late.
BoingBoing has an excert from a pretty terrifying letter written by Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, in response to some questions about the right to take pictures in public places. After confirming that there is no law against this practice she goes on to state:
“However, the Home Secretary adds that local restrictions might be enforced. ‘Decisions may be made locally to restrict or monitor photography in reasonable circumstances. That is an operational decision for the officers involved based on the individual circumstances of each situation.”
So, it’s legal but any cop can stop you if they think, at the moment, they don’t want you to take pictures. Like, if they’re harrassing an innocent person or using excessive force in an arrest. For instance.
In the ongoing “war” on internet pirates, the MPAA has submitted a court brief claiming that they don’t need evidence to prove guilt of piracy! (via Wired)
“Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances,” MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote Friday to the federal judge overseeing the Jammie Thomas trial.
“It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement,” van Uitert wrote on behalf of the movie studios, a position shared with the Recording Industry Association of America, which sued Thomas, the single mother of two.
As TorrentFreak puts it:
“So, the MPAA is basically saying that is is too hard to come up with solid evidence, and because of this, they should not have to proove anything. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it”
Once the MPAA can convince the courts it doesn’t need evidence they will be one step closer to their supreme goal – imprisoning all of their customers thus making them the perfect captive audience.