Your Rights

Tue
23
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Is a Copyright Tax on Music Downloads Imminent?

If copyright boards in the United States are to ever tax our downloaded music files, we'll have one Big White scapegoat. If and when that day comes, you can BLAME CANADA. I don't mean to be a jerk, but the Copyright Board of Canada has indeed set ... the precedent for similar American bodies to follow. Given the immense popularity of legal downloading sites like iTunes and Napster, there surely is good reason for boards to impose an excise. So, what are the Canadians charging? The tariffs will be charged to companies that legally distribute music over the web. For Canucks, this will mean the ... (view more)

Mon
22
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

One Step Forward, Two Back for RIAA?

A few days ago, I reported on the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) victory over Jammie Thomas, a single mother and the first defendant in a crusade against a parade of supposed copyright offenders. As expected, many anti-copyright ... groups are now emerging to support Thomas in the fight against the increasingly despised RIAA. For those that missed it, Thomas was recently found guilty of "making available" about 24 songs (not even two full records) on Kazaa's now defunct illegal network. That essentially made the songs free and clear to be downloaded illegally by others, and that's ... (view more)

Mon
15
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

RIAA's First Victim to Appeal

The defendant found guilty of file-sharing in her case against the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) has decided to appeal. Hey, if you were a single mother facing a $222,000 fine, what would you do? The decision stems from the story I ... reported a few days ago, in which one Jammie Thomas was staring down the full weight of the RIAA. Since then, Thomas has been found guilty and ordered to pay the $200,000-plus fine, representing almost ten thousand dollars for each of the 24 songs she illegally downloaded and shared on now-defunct protocol Kazaa. (Source: pcworld.com ) The RIAA ... (view more)

Tue
02
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

eBay Customers' Financial Details Leaked

It took my parents years to relinquish their cynical ways and begin using the web to purchase items, even join auctions for everything from DVDs to glassware. If they get word of the recent hack and exploitation of personal details on eBay, it might ... just scare them back into the department store forever. According to reports, the names and private data of some 1,200 eBay users were leaked onto the company's public Trust ... (view more)

Thu
20
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Updating Computers Without User Permission

In yet another shining example of Microsoft having too much control of your PC, the company is reportedly up to its old tricks again by secretively updating files on Windows XP and Windows Vista without consent of the user. Even with automatic ... updates turned off, nine small executable files needed by Windows Update in Windows XP and Windows Vista were secretly altered by Microsoft. Companies requiring testing of patches before deployment are not happy about receiving the updates. For what it's worth, Microsoft claims that only consumer editions of Vista were affected. No mention of the ... (view more)

Thu
21
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Grinded for Pathetic Privacy

Those who own (and survive upon) web pages are well aware that Google controls the universe. For a webmaster, ranking high on its searches, be they organic or paid, can make the difference between driving an Infiniti and an infinitely shop-ridden ... vehicle. That's why it's particularly interesting that one watchdog group is chipping away at Google's monstrous success, attacking the search engine's inability to protect the privacy of its users. The report comes from Privacy International (PI), which recently completed a six month study of 23 different web entities. Google finished dead last, ... (view more)

Thu
31
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Cyber Gossip Deemed Inappropriate by Employers

A survey by UK human resources firm Croner revealed that an astonishing 39 percent of bloggers have written something sensitive or damaging about the people they work with. That's a lot of office gossip leaking into the public -- and that could be ... quite dangerous. (Source: arstechnica.com ) But why would so many people write unflattering information in such a public place? According to Croner, many are treating blogs the same way that email was first treated when it was new. When email first came out, "many recipients received rude, angry or otherwise inflammatory emails which had been ... (view more)

Tue
24
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Consumer Privacy Issues Threaten Google/DoubleClick Merger

Three consumer advocate organizations have filed a joint complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting that the Google/DoubleClick merger be stopped. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the ... US Public Interest Research Group submitted the complaint on April 20th. The complaint asserts that "neither Google or DoubleClick have taken adequate steps to safeguard the personal data that is collected." The 11 page document goes on to ask the FTC to halt the merger until the "unfair and deceptive trade practices" are changed. (Source: ... (view more)

Fri
02
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Record Labels Consider Removing Restrictions On Digital Music

The rapid decline in digital music revenue, stemming from the rampant file-sharing continually done by consumers, has finally forced the major record labels to take notice. Many of the same record labels that vowed never to release their music on ... the Internet without copyright restrictions are now actually reconsidering this option. (Source: iht.com ) At Midem, the name for the annual international music trade exhibition held in France, many within the industry estimate that at least one out of the four major record companies are considering the sale of their unrestricted music files in MP3 ... (view more)

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