Copyright Troll Lawyer Doesn’t Seem To Understand Copyright Law

The lawyer's DMCA takedown letter included these screengrabs that he alleges infringe on his copyright.

If someone publishes copyrighted content online without permission, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides a process for requesting that content’s removal. But a lawyer who apparently doesn’t like being the subject of negative articles — and who either doesn’t understand the DMCA or is hoping that others don’t — is trying to use the law to have critical comments removed from websites. [More]

This Weekend, You Can Once Again Unlock Your Own Cellphone Without Committing A Crime

This Weekend, You Can Once Again Unlock Your Own Cellphone Without Committing A Crime

A week after the full Congress agreed to pass legislation making it once again legal to unlock a cellphone you own without the permission of your current wireless carrier, President Obama is signing it into law. [More]

Congress Finally Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

(Consumerist)

Nearly two years after the Librarian of Congress decided to make it illegal for consumers to unlock cellphones and take them to a new carrier without getting permission from their current wireless provider, the U.S. Congress has finally signed off on legislation that will restore that right to Americans. [More]

Senate Committee Approves Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Senate Committee Approves Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

The world has moved forward one small but important step in the path toward once again making it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without permission from their current wireless carrier, after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would restore that right to Americans. [More]

Senate To Finally Consider Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Senate To Finally Consider Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Four months after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would override the Librarian of Congress’s industry-backed decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock cellphones and take them to other carriers, members of the U.S. Senate will finally get around to considering a similar piece of legislation, giving some hope that the bill might pass in our lifetime. [More]

What The Heck Is The Trans-Pacific Partnership & Why Should I Be Concerned?

(Philip Cloutier)

It’s 2014, and we’re living in an increasingly globalized economy. International trade has been ramping up for centuries, and a carefully-plotted web of agreements keeps goods, services, and money moving around the world. The U.S. is already a part of many such agreements and organizations —  NATO and NAFTA might sound familiar — but a new international trade agreement, under negotiation right now, has a lot of watchers very worried about potential consequences for everything from healthcare to copyright law in the United States. [More]

(Consumerist)

House Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

A legislative effort to once again make it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without seeking their carriers’ permission is a step closer to reality after being passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. [More]

(Consumerist)

Wireless Companies Adopt Voluntary Unlocking Standards. Are They The Right Ones?

A month after new FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler asked the wireless industry to stop futzing around and agree to some consumer-friendly standards for unlocking wireless devices, the wireless biggies get around to revealing what they believe are guidelines that are the best for everyone. [More]

FCC Chair Asks Wireless Industry To Make Cellphone Unlocking Easier For Consumers

(Consumerist)

A year ago, the Librarian of Congress — who has the authority to interpret the fine points of the much-derided Digital Millennium Copyright Act, inexplicably reversed his previous rulings regarding the rights of consumers to unlock wireless devices by making it illegal for people to unlock new phones and tablets without permission from their wireless provider. That change went into effect in January, and since then, everyone from consumers to lawmakers to the White House have declared it a huge mistake that needs to be rethought. Today, new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urged the wireless industry to put voluntary standards in place that would at least make it easier for consumers to know when they can unlock their devices. [More]

YouTube Copyright Bots Finally Tick Off Someone Who Understands Copyright Law

YouTube Copyright Bots Finally Tick Off Someone Who Understands Copyright Law

Harvard law professor and Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig knows a thing or two about copyright law. So when a record company demanded that he remove a video from YouTube that featured one of their artists’ songs, he not only fought back to keep the clip online, but has now sued that record company in the hopes of getting it, and others, to stop using auto-scanning technology to take advantage of consumers who may not know their rights. [More]

(Consumerist)

Commerce Dept. Asks FCC To Require Wireless Companies To Unlock Cellphones

A year ago, the Librarian of Congress decided that consumers no longer own their cellphones, and that they can not legally unlock that phone to take to another, compatible wireless carrier, without the permission of their current service provider. Because this is idiotic, everyone from consumer advocates to the FCC to members of Congress to the White House has called for this rule change to be reversed. Now another important governmental group has piped in, calling for a rule change that could undo some of the damage done. [More]

(Consumerist)

There’s Hope For Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Back in January, unlocking your new cellphone or other wireless device without your current wireless provider’s permission became illegal, even if you own the device outright, thanks to a wildly off-the-mark interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by the Librarian of Congress. Since then, the FCC, White House and consumer groups have stated that the LOC overstepped his authority and made a decision balanced far in favor of wireless providers. But the only way this rule will change is if Congress acts. [More]

(Consumerist)

Incoming FCC Chair Calls For End To Ban On Unlocking Cell Phones

Earlier this year, an ill-advised ruling by the Librarian of Congress made it illegal for cellphone owners to unlock their new wireless devices — thus allowing the phones to be used on compatible networks — without permission from their current carriers. Recently exited FCC Chair Julius Genachowski had expressed concerns over this new rule, but he’s gone back to the private sector. Luckily, his apparent successor also wants consumers to be able to do what they want with the devices they buy. [More]

The documentary TPB AFK is available for free via BitTorrent.

Movie Studios Ask Google To Remove Links To Free Movie About Pirate Bay

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, movie and TV studios can send requests to Google and other search engines requesting the removal of links to illegally shared content to which it holds the copyright. But some studios have apparently been asking Google to remove links to a movie for which none of these studios holds the copyright, and which just happens to be about file-sharing mega-site The Pirate Bay. [More]

(Consumerist)

Consumers Union Calls On FCC, Lawmakers To Relax Rules On Cellphone Unlocking

As many of you know, the Librarian of Congress, who has the authority to interpret (and reinterpret) the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, recently heeded the siren song of the wireless industry and decided that after the DMCA no longer allowed consumers to unlock their cellphones — i.e., unleash them from their current provider to be used on a competing but compatible network — without getting permission from that current provider. It’s move the public doesn’t like. Neither does the White House, the FCC, or members of Congress, but what’s being done to remedy the issue? [More]

(KitanaOR)

Apple, Amazon Looking To Sell Used Digital Content

When you purchase a digital download, do you actually own it? Some say yes, others say you’re just licensing its use from the copyright holder. This argument is only going to get more heated with news that both Apple and Amazon are looking into how to go about re-selling “used” digital content. [More]

(TheGlassPeople)

Congresswoman To Introduce Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Just days after both the White House and the Federal Communications Commission expressed concerns about the Librarian of Congress’ decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock their own cellphones, a U.S. Representative from California says she intends to introduce legislate to right this wrong. [More]

FCC To Look Into Legality Of Unlocking Cellphones, May Not Be Able To Do Anything

FCC To Look Into Legality Of Unlocking Cellphones, May Not Be Able To Do Anything

Back in January, a new rule changed kicked in that makes it illegal for a consumer to unlock a cellphone purchased after Jan. 25, 2013, without getting the permission of their wireless carrier. Now the Federal Communications Commission is going to look into the matter, but isn’t sure if it can actually do anything. [More]