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99.7% Of Original Comments Opposed FCC Repeal Of Net Neutrality

A new study has once again confirmed that the vast, vast majority of the public opposed the FCC‘s ham-fisted repeal of net neutrality. Like most government proceedings, the FCC‘s net neutrality killing order‘s public comment period was filled will all manner of comments (both in favor and against) generated by automatic letter-writing campaigns. Like most government proceedings in the post-truth era, the net neutrality repeal

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DOJ, Trump Decide The Federal Government Needs To Give Chicago The Police Department It Doesn‘t Want

In a move that‘s tone deaf if nothing else, the DOJ is going to court to block a consent decree put in place to overhaul Chicago‘s unconstitutional policing. This announcement comes days after a jury convicted Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He was also convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery -- one count for each bullet he fired at the teen as the teen walke

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African Nations Rife With Illegitimate Collection Societies: Nigeria Files Criminal Complaint Against COSON

You may recall that we have discussed the complete chaos that is copyright collection societies in Kenya over the past few years. At issue in Kenya is that the country has multiple collection societies, which are overseen by a government sanctioned body that can request to look at their books to make sure artists are being paid appropriately, and officially licenses the collection societies themselves. Some of those collection groups have appare

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Vizio Customers Get A Pittance In Settlement Over Snooping Televisions

As we frequently note, most of the "smart" products you buy are anything but intelligent when it comes to your privacy and security. Whether it‘s your refrigerator leaking your gmail credentials or your new webcam being hacked in mere minutes for use in massive new DDoS attacks, the so-called "smart" home is actually often dumb as nails and potentially hazardous. So-called smart-televisions have been particularly problematic, whether that

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A Decade‘s Worth Of Meth Convictions Overturned Due To Drug Lab Employee‘s Misconduct

Massachusetts prosecutors are seeing a bunch more Drug War wins turned into losses by drug lab misconduct. Annie Dookhan, a drug lab technician, falsified countless tests, ultimately resulting in the overturning of more than 20,000 convictions. Dookhan was valued for her productivity, but no one above her bothered to wonder why she was able to process samples so quickly. Turns out tests go much faster when you don‘t actually perform the tes

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Stairway To Heaven Is Not Blurred Lines

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the 9th Circuit overturning the district court‘s ruling in a copyright case questioning whether the song "Stairway to Heaven" had infringed on the song "Taurus" by Spirit. We were less than pleased with this result, as we felt the original ruling was correct. Copyright lawyer Rick Sanders disagreed with part of our analysis and made some really great points in a two part blog post series, which he‘s gr

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Daily Deal: Zoolz Cloud Storage Subscription Of 1TB Instant Vault And 1TB Of Cold Storage

Let‘s face it, cloud storage can get pricey no matter how good the bargain. With this Zoolz Cloud Storage Subscription of Cold Storage and Instant Vault, you‘ll have an extremely affordable place to safely store 1 TB of data that rarely gets revisited, as well as a home for 1 TB of data you need to access regularly. You can quickly and easily select the files you want to store with Smart Selection. The Instant Vault is drag and drop

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‘Missing, Sex Trafficked‘ Children Neither Missing, Nor Victims Of Sex Trafficking

For quite some time we‘ve highlighted the horrible laws being pushed by aggressively misrepresenting the size of the problem of sex trafficking -- and especially sex trafficking of children. This is not to say that it never happens. Nor is it to suggest that the crime of sex trafficking, especially of minors, is not horrific and hugely problematic. But we shouldn‘t overreact to false information. A year ago, we looked at some of the

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Epson ‘Security Update‘ Bricks Third-Party Ink Refills, Opens Up Possibility Of A Competitive Trades Investigation

It‘s no secret the printer business relies on hefty ink refill markups. The printers are disposable, often cheaper than the ink they come packaged with. But customers aren‘t usually willing to toss out a printer when it runs out of ink, even if refilling it costs more than replacing it. And good for them! I mean, at least in an environmental sense. Let‘s not toss a bunch more non-decomposables into the nearest landfill the mome

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Epson ‘Security Update‘ Bricks Third-Party Ink Refills, Opens Up Possibility Of An Competitive Trades Investigation

It‘s no secret the printer business relies on hefty ink refill markups. The printers are disposable, often cheaper than the ink they come packaged with. But customers aren‘t usually willing to toss out a printer when it runs out of ink, even if refilling it costs more than replacing it. And good for them! I mean, at least in an environmental sense. Let‘s not toss a bunch more non-decomposables into the nearest landfill the mome

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Wall Street Quietly Warns That 5G Wireless Is Being Aggressively Over-hyped

As hardware vendors and cellular carriers prepare deployment of fifth-generation wireless networks, you may have noticed that the hype has gotten a little out of control. Claims that 5G will magically revolutionize the broadband sector sound nice and all, but as we‘ve noted repeatedly, 5G is really more of a modest evolution in existing networks, not some kind of revolutionary panacea that‘s going to change everything. Still, claims

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NYC Prosecutors Accidentally Admit They Use Bail To Deprive Presumably-Innocent People Of Their Freedom

New York City‘s prosecutors just admitted they use the bail system to punish people for being accused of criminal acts. It‘s not there to serve its intended purpose: to ensure the return of charged individuals to court, where they‘re presumed innocent until proven guilty. The bail system isn‘t supposed to keep people locked up. But that‘s the way it‘s been used for years. Prosecutors often ask for excessive ba

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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Gary with a response to the Texas cops who seized an anti-GOP sign from a homeowner‘s lawn: Makes sense Because the people who shout "Snowflake" the loudest are the most easily offended. Some people, however, oddly presumed that the sign - which is uncomfortable to say the least, but intentionally so to make a point - must somehow violate some law, and our second place win

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This Week In Techdirt History: October 7th - 13th

Five Years Ago This week in 2013, the US government shut down. Former CIA director Morell used that as an excuse to skip an NSA surveillance review board meeting, while James Clapper warned that failing to pay the agency‘s mercenary contractors might lead to security problems. The TSA similarly used the shutdown as an excuse for letting a nine-year-old sneak on to a flight, and a lawsuit by tech companies over NSA surveillance was put on

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Warner Media Opposes Trademark Filed By Actual ‘Wicked Witch‘ Over Its Wizard Of Oz Trademarks

Thanks to the convoluted nonsense that is copyright law, readers here will likely be familiar with the insanity that is intellectual property rights revolving around The Wizard of Oz. Thanks to some of the works being in the public domain, some of them being under copyright, and the courts mostly treating all of this on a case by case basis, it‘s fairly clear at this point that basically nobody knows who is allowed to do what with anything

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Report Shows LA Sheriff‘s Deputies Engaging In Biased Policing, Performing Tons Of Questionable Traffic Stops

The LA Times has put together a blockbuster piece showing local law enforcement engaging in some arguably biased policing. Analyzing over 9,000 traffic stops recorded by the LA Sheriff‘s Department over the last five years, the LA Times noticed some alarming statistics. Latino drivers comprised 69% of the stops and had their vehicles searched two-thirds of the time. Other drivers -- the remaining 31% -- were subjected to searches less than

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The American Idol People Bullied A Local County Fair Out Of Its ‘Yolo Idol‘ Event For Some Reason

American Idol, the famous singing competition franchise that has been around for roughly ever, has mostly stayed out of our headlines for years, save for some hiccups centering around how technology has messed up their voting processes. That is set to change, as FremantleMedia, the company that owns the trademark rights for the franchise, has decided to lawyer up against the trademark threat presented by a local county festival holding a singing

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Oh Look, The FCC Is Lying Again In Its Latest Court Filings On Net Neutrality

As the FCC gears up for legal battle against the numerous net neutrality lawsuits headed its way, its latest filing with the courts acts as a sort of a greatest hits of the agency‘s biggest fallacies to date. 23 State AGs have sued the FCC, stating last fall‘s repeal of net neutrality ignored the law, ignored standard FCC procedure, and ignored the public interest. The FCC‘s new filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals (pdf) for t

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Daily Deal: The Complete Six Sigma Training Bundle

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process, and Lean Six Sigma is a business management methodology that combines Lean and Six Sigma, two methodologies intended to improve performance by systematically removing waste. The Complete Six Sigma Training Bundle combines two of the top bundles we have on Six Sigma to help you get up to speed with these two management strategies. The six cour

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Washington Post Gives ‘Three Pinocchios‘ To Rep. Ann Wagner For Falsely Claiming FOSTA Stopped 90% Of Sex Trafficking Ads

Back in July we were flabbergasted to see a stunningly misleading and dishonest video put out by the the House Judiciary Committee trying to claim that FOSTA had been a huge success in stopping sex trafficking. There is literally no evidence to suggest this, while there‘s plenty of evidence to show the harm that has been created by FOSTA. One of the claims in the video came from Rep. Ann Wagner, who was the original sponsor of FOSTA and ha

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Another Critic Of Egypt‘s Government Gets Hit With ‘Fake News‘ Charges

Fake news is a handy term deployed by authoritarians to criticize speech they don‘t like. Since it‘s such a malleable term, it‘s been co-opted by a handful of foreign governments as the basis for new laws. We don‘t have a fake news law here, fortunately, but it‘s Trump‘s frequent use of the term that has given it worldwide traction. Egypt‘s "fake news" laws comes bundled with lots of other speech-censori

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Washington State Laughs At Federal Attack On State Net Neutrality Laws

In the wake of the FCC‘s net neutrality repeal, nearly half of the states in the union are now in the process of passing new net neutrality rules. Some states are pushing for legislation that mirrors the discarded FCC rules, while others (including Montana) have signed executive orders banning states from doing business with ISPs that engage in anti-competitive net neutrality violations. Of course incumbent ISPs saw this coming, which is

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Politicians Start To Push For Autonomous Vehicle Data To Be Protected By Copyright Or Database Rights

Autonomous vehicles are much in the news these days, and seem poised to enter the mainstream soon. One of their key aspects is that they are digital systems -- essentially, computers with wheels. As such they gather and generate huge amounts of data as they move around and interact with their surroundings. This kind of data is increasingly valuable, so an important question poses itself: what should happen to all that information from autonomous

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Netflix Reminds Everyone That The Internet Isn‘t A Broadcast Medium With New Choose Your Own Adventure Shows

For over a decade, we have been making the point that the internet is a communications platform, not a broadcast medium. This seemingly obvious statement of fact has long been the subject of legacy content provider objections, which is part of what has led to much of the ongoing conflicts centering around intellectual property and digital business models. With big content players feeling control over their content slipping away in the internet,

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