Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Archive for the month “September, 2008”

Peer2peer software not automatically infringing

The Center for Democracy & Technology asks the court in a case against Limewire not to deem peer2peer software illegal simply because illegal use is possible.

I would say this should be blatantly obvious, especially in a country where people wear t-shirts with “People kill people, not guns”.

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Center for Democracy and Technology

Working for Democratic Values in a Digital Age

Legal Brief Stresses Proper Limits of Secondary Copyright Liability
CDT, joined by groups from EFF to ITAA, told a federal court today that the law requires caution in assessing whether to impose copyright liability on the makers of multi-use technologies. In a legal brief filed in a lawsuit against the peer-to-peer file sharing service LimeWire, CDT and its allies did not take sides but rather urged the court to decide the case within the careful framework established by previous Supreme Court cases in this area. Those cases make clear that distributing a technology with “substantial noninfringing uses” should not raise rise copyright liability concerns, as long as the distributor does not actively promote the technology’s use for infringement. Reinterpreting or expanding secondary copyright liability in ways that undermine this crucial limitation, the brief warned, it could significantly chill technological innovation. September 26, 2008

  • Amicus Brief
    September 26, 2008
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    A touch of irony: uTorrent for Mac leaked on The Pirate Bay

    I can only consider it a touch of irony that a program that rose to popularity due to the need to have a good program to dowload Linux distributions and legal music/movies (none of the illegal stuff, no doubt) has already been pirated. On the PIrate Bay one can find an alpha version of uTorrent for the Mac. Oh, uTorrent isn’t open source….
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    uTorrent For Mac Makes Its Way to The Pirate Bay

    In what will surely make every BitTorrent lover jump for joy, a rough alpha version of uTorrent for the Mac has surfaced on The Pirate Bay and BitTorrent isn’t too happy about it.

    uTorrent, which was acquired by BitTorrent in 2006, has always been a Windows-only service. But ever since the acquisition, BitTorrent has promised that uTorrent would be coming to the Mac. For almost two years, Mac users have waited for uTorrent to make an appearance and it finally has — much to the dismay of BitTorrent.

    Speaking to TorrentFreak, BitTorrent’s product development VP Simon Morris said the leaked alpha version is not for public use and those that try it out should be warned that it’s still in development.

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    Sanity on Linux security

    Ah, this is one article to my liking. No “Linux is secure, so why bother” but some down-to-earth sane advice on Linux security. Or do you think all those security applications wound up in the repositories by accident?
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    Keeping your Linux safe – How security is not always what you think. Or maybe it is

    So, what’s an admin to do? Be it a server or network at home or in a small business, heck, even at the enterprise level, there is no shortage of advice on how to handle security.

    Meaning. Start at the basics. Begin with practices and habits. Don’t be lazy, use secure passwords, don’t write them down. Exercise that flabby memory!

    There are lots of great, cool tools and apps to help secure and tighten down a system. They do absolutely no good though, if you don’t use them. Take the time to read how they work. Install them. USE them.

    Remember, just as in securing a home or office, if someone wants in bad enough they will find a way in. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend, how many tools you use, locks you install. Greed and desperation are fierce opponents. Never think you are impenetrable.

    What does that mean? Never let your guard down.
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    New Lobbying group calls for internet filtering

    The Threat Level blog runs an article about Arts+Labs, a new group of industry lobbyists that think net neutrality isn’t the right way to go.
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    Threat Level

    New Lobbying Group Calls for Internet Filtering

    A just-formed lobbying group of content producers, equipment makers and internet gatekeepers said Thursday that internet service providers should embrace filtering.

    Behind the lobby are AT&T, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, NBC Universal,
    Viacom and the Songwriters Guild of America. Among other things, the
    lobby, called Arts+Labs, says “network operators must have the flexibility to manage and
    expand their networks to defend against net pollution and illegal
    file-trafficking which threatens to congest and delay the network for
    all consumers.”

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    I just love Dropbox

    I am doing some serious editing on one of my books this weekend. For that I go from computer to computer. I put all the files in my Dropbox and it works great with almost instant synchronization.
    The more I work with Dropbox, the more the coming 50 Gb account offer looks like a bargain

    OpenCourseware and teaching

    One of the finer things of being involved in ‘open’ is the feeling that you are really involved in something greater, in a world where people and organizations actually want to contribute because it is the right thing to do. Yes, ego comes into play, perhaps the lure of future monetary rewards. Organizations and commercial institutions might jump on the ‘open’ bandwagon with a keen eye to their revenues and market shares. Be that as it may, the majority of contributions simply share out an enormous wealth of knowledge and skills with which we can enhance our skills and competencies.

    OpenCourseware is part of the open realm and the venerable MIT started it. It’s MIT OpenCourseware site now holds 1800 courses. MIT isn’t the only institutions offering top notch course materials online, for free. The OpenCourseware Consortium is made up of dozens of institutes of higher learning from all over the globe.

    There is so much available material that articles that try to list some highlights. Christina Laun compiled a list of over 60 courses that teachers can use to become up to date. A few courses help teachers to understand the open source tools that are widely available now:

    A great list and it is good to see open source tools in there.

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