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Legislators Take Another Stab At Eliminating Fees For PACER Access

An new annual tradition in the halls of Congress is being celebrated with the introduction of legislation targeting PACER fees. Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) reintroduced the Electronic Court Records Reform Act as HR 1164 Wednesday with cosponsors Mike Quigley (D-IL), David Roe (R-TN), and Henry ‘Hank‘ C. Johnson, Jr. (D-GA). The full title of the bill is ‘To direct the Director of the Administrative Office of the Uni

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YouTube Filters At It Again: Pokemon YouTubers Have Accounts Nuked Over Child Porn Discussions That Weren‘t Occurring

It‘s clear at this point that the automated filtering and flagging done by YouTube is simply not good. Whatever legitimacy the platform might want to have by touting its successes must certainly be diminished by the repeated cases of YouTube flagging videos for infringing content that isn‘t infringing and the fact that the whole setup has been successfully repurposed by blackmailers that hold accounts hostage through strikes. While

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AI Writes Article About AI: Does The Newspaper Hold The Copyright?

For many years, we wrote about the infamous monkey selfie copyright situation (and lawsuit) not just because it was hellishly entertaining, but also because the legal questions underlying the issue were likely to become a lot more important. Specifically, while I don‘t think anyone is expecting a rush of monkey-authored works to enter the market any time soon, we certainly do expect that works created by computers will be all over the damn

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Investigating the Higbee & Associates Copyright Trolling Operation

Yesterday, we wrote about web developer Daniel Quinn‘s harrowing experience receiving a 20,000 payment demand from copyright troll Higbee Associaties. That post ended with Quinn explaining how he found lawyer Carolyn Homer to represent him. Today, we have a companion post by Homer to talk about her experience investigating and dealing with Higbee, and calling out some of his questionable legal practices. The moment I saw Higbee‘s

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Supreme Court Says Civil Asset Forfeiture Violates Constitutional Protections Against Excessive Fines

Great news on the asset forfeiture front, courtesy of the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court has ruled that forfeitures can violate the Eighth Amendment‘s protections against excessive fines. The case the Supreme Court ruled on deals with Indiana native Tyson Timbs. Timbs sold 260 worth of heroin to undercover officers. He pled guilty to criminal charges. The state decided to forfeit his 42,000 Land Rover via civil asset forfei

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Announcing The Winners Of The Public Domain Game Jam!

The votes are in, and it‘s time to announce the winners of the Gaming Like It‘s 1923 game jam! At the beginning of January, we decided to celebrate the long-awaited entry of new works into the public domain with a game jam, inviting designers to submit games of all kinds based on newly-copyright-free works from 1923. We got way more entries than we expected, and handed them off to our huge judging panel of game designers and copyri

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Daily Deal: SCOUT Wireless Portable Charger

Between our smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and the like, we tote around a wide variety of gadgets on the daily. And, keeping them all energized is next to impossible, unless you‘re willing to lug a tangled mass of chargers wherever you go. Enter SCOUT Portable Charger. Sporting a built-in wall charger, built-in cables, quick-charging USB port, and intelligent charging technology, SCOUT is hands-down a good way to juice up your entire

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Does Twitter Have An Anti-Conservative Bias, Or Just An Anti-Nazi Bias?

In an article for Quillette titled, ‘It Isn‘t Your Imagination: Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals,‘ Columbia University research fellow Richard Hanania offers us proofonce and for allthat social media companies are biased against conservatives. Either that, or it‘s the latest in a growing list of bogus, exaggerated or otherwise dubious anti-conservative bias claims (I‘ll let you judge for yours

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Investigators, Reporters Close In On The Origins Of Those Fake Net Neutrality Comments

As several Attorneys General and the FBI investigate who was behind the fake net neutrality comments that plagued the FCC website during the late 2017 repeal, reporters like Jason Prechtel and Gizmodo‘s Dell Cameron continue to slowly and methodically connect the dots. Last month, Cameron obtained leaked investigation data linking many of the bogus comments to several Trumpland-linked astroturfing and policy operations like "Free Our Inter

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European Journalists Point Out That Article 11 Will Enrich Publishers At The Expense Of Journalists

Promoters of the EU destructive copyright directive keep pushing the bogus line that it is necessary to give money to "artists and journalists." Take, for example, MEP Axel Voss (the EU Parliament member in charge of all of this nonsense) and his press release touting the final text: Internet platforms face incentives to pay for artists and journalists‘ work used Except, actual journalists in the EU are realizing exactly what many of

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Japanese Academics Issue The Tamest ‘Emergency‘ Statement Over Proposed Copyright Amendment

Recently, we discussed a proposed change to Japanese copyright law that would make literally all downloading of copyrighted material a criminal matter, rather than a civil one. This change would be fairly bonkers for an entire host of reasons. It has the potential to clog up the criminal courts with the same kind of minor copyright infringement cases that clog up America‘s civil courts. It would put a decisive chill on the sharing culture

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Google Fesses Up To Hidden Microphone In Nest Home Security Platform

Google this week found itself in luke warm water after Nest Secure users discovered that their home security system contained a "hidden" microphone the company had never publicly disclosed. The reveal came via a Google announcement sent to Nest customers earlier this month, informing them that their Nest Secure base stations (the motion detector and keypad at the heart of the system) would soon be updated to include Google Assistant functionalit

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Facebook Ups Surveillance Of Users To Keep Tabs On People Who Don‘t Like Facebook

Tech companies are becoming far more than useful repositories of third party records. They‘re becoming far more active in terms of surveillance, pivoting from platform providers to private sector Big Brothers, weaponizing their data collection capabilities to keep tabs on customers and users. Facebook has decided to start scanning its platform for threats. Not threats against the many nations it serves or threats targeting other users, b

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One Person‘s Unsettling Experience With A 20k Higbee Copyright Troll Demand Letter

Last week we wrote about the questionable practices of copyright troll Mathew Higbee, based on thorough research from lawyer Paul Levy. As we noted in the post, we‘ve heard from a few recipients of Higbee‘s questionable letters, and one has agreed to share his experience. This will be a two part series, with the first part, below, written by the recipient of the threat, web developer Daniel Quinn, and tomorrow, more information from

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Catholic School Teen‘s Lawyers File 250M Defamation Suit Against The Washington Post; Fail To List Any Actual Defamation

Lawsuits were threatened after students from a Kentucky Catholic school were portrayed as engaging in racist behavior during an anti-abortion march at the nation‘s capital. An edited video swiftly circulated the internet, showing student Nick Sandmann facing off with a Native American protester while wearing a seemingly-smug file on his face and a Make America Great Again hat on his head. More footage of the incident appeared later provi

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Daily Deal: The DevOps Training Master Class Bundle

DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development with information technology operations in order to shorten the system development life cycle. Most software companies today employ extensive DevOps staffs and engineers are in constant demand. The DevOps Training Master Class Bundle will help you Master configuration management continuous integration deployment, delivery and monitoring using DevOps tools such as Git

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Teen Musician Turns Down 3 Million Record Deal: No Need For A Label Thanks To The Internet

There‘s a pretty fascinating profile last week in Billboard magazine of teenage musician/rapper NLE Choppa who just turned down a 3 million record label deal. Choppa (real name: Bryson Potts) rocketed to fame thanks to YouTube, where his Shotta Flow video was uploaded just last month, but has over 10 million views. When given the chance to sign with a bunch of different labels all bidding for him, he decided to take a very different deal

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Industry Claims That Cord Cutting Would Be A Fad Aren‘t Looking So Hot

Remember when the cable industry used to pretend that cord cutting wasn‘t real? Or perhaps you remember that once the industry was actually willing to admit it was a real trend, they‘d claim it was only something being done by losers living in their parents‘ basement? Or perhaps you‘ll remember the cable and broadcast industry claims that cord cutting was just a temporary phenomenon that would go away once the housing mar

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Another California Court Rules Against Law Enforcement Secrecy, Says Agencies Must Release Old Misconduct Files

If an appeals court doesn‘t step in within the next few days, California law enforcement agencies will have to start handing out police misconduct records to records requesters. Since the new transparency law went into effect at the beginning of this year, California police unions have been rushing to stop it from having any meaningful effect. The unions are hoping courts will side with their take on the law -- a take that allows law enf

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The Latest In Trademark Abuse Is Registering Marks To Obtain Ownership Of Instagram Accounts

When one thinks about an Instagram account being taken over by a malicious actor, one usually imagines some kind of hack or social engineering resulting in the theft of an account password. The refrain "It wasn‘t me, I was hacked!" that you hear from some whose social media profiles are the subject of social scrutiny relies on this impression. But there are many different ways to hack a cat. The latest in Instagram account takeovers appe

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One Of The People Suing Fortnite Over ‘Stolen‘ Dance Steps Gets His Dance Rejected By The US Copyright Office

A handful of semi-famous people rang in the New Year by bringing copyright infringement lawsuits against online gaming juggernaut, Fortnite. The plaintiffs all accused Fortnite‘s developers of swiping their dances to use as sellable "emotes" for players‘ avatars. There were several problems with these lawsuits, not the least of which were the claims Fortnite infringed on uncopyrightable dance steps. While the copyright office is wi

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California Sheriff‘s Dept. Tells Journalists It Will Cost 350,000 To Process 48 Use Of Force Cases [Updated]

California law enforcement‘s fight against transparency and accountability continues. Since a new law allowing the public to access police misconduct record went into effect, the following has happened: The City of Inglewood allowed the Inglewood PD to shred all of its pre-2019 misconduct records. A sheriff‘s union asked the state Supreme Court to declare that the new law did not apply retroactively. The court declined the union&l

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A Conversation With EU Parliament Member Marietje Schaake About Digital Platforms And Regulation, Part II

Yesterday we published Part I of Danish journalist/author and Cato Institute Fellow Flemming Rose‘s very interesting conversation with Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake concerning questions around internet platforms and regulation. This is the second and final part of that conversation. FR: I want to focus on the small players. People concerned about regulation say that if you only focus on the big players like Facebook, Google or Twitter and h

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Daily Deal: TREBLAB Z2 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones

TREBLAB Z2 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones feature top-grade, high-performance neodymium-backed 40mm speakers. The Z2s use T-Quiet active noise canceling technology to drown out unwanted background noise and have a signal range of 38 feet. With a 35 hour battery life, you can listen for multiple days between charges. They‘re on sale for 79. Note: The Techdirt Deals Store is powered and curated by StackCommerce. A portion of all s

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