DRM discriminates against the visually impaired

DRM – Digital Rights Management, is the digital copyright protection placed on electronic media by the major manufacturers/distributors of content (movies, CDs, etc.).  And while some people argue that some copyright protection is reasonable, the rules regarding DRM are so one-sided and shortsighted that all impartial observers criticize them – for many reasons.

We can now add one more reason for valid and legitimate criticism:  DRM directly discriminates against the visually impaired:

‘Any digital text can be read aloud through text-to-speech, granting people with visual impairments the basic human right to read — unless there’s DRM in the way.

Tricking the technology used by Amazon, Apple, Adobe and Google to stop blind people from adding text-to-speech to their devices isn’t hard — but it is a felony, thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A UN treaty intended to help people with visual, cognitive and sensory disabilities access copyrighted works has been all but killed by the big publishers.’

If you are new to this debate, I encourage you to get informed because there needs to be a balance of rights:  protecting the rights of the content creators/owners must not rob purchasers of said material from being able to access it in a format that they would like.

At the current time, the rules governing content purchased on electronic media are created by politicians on the advice of industry lobbyists – very powerful and rich industry lobbyists – without any weight being given to the needs, much less the rights, of the consumer.

More balance is needed or electronic vigilantes WILL gain widespread public support.

The Robin Hood myth has survived many centuries for a reason.  Unless the society wishes for hactivists to become the next incarnation of the Robin Hood character, fixing the deeply flawed and corrupt copyright governance is a necessary first step!

EU court rules linking does not infringe copyright

While most of us would, I hope, consider this common sense, it is nonetheless nice to have the EU courts confirm it.

This is important because the EU has some of the strongest copyright protection laws, which give authors a great deal of control over their published work.

‘The court had to consider whether by providing links Retriever Sverige had taken part in an “act of communication to the public”. Under EU copyright law, authors have the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works.

The court ruled that the law had not been broken because the articles in question were on Goteborgs-Posten’s website and therefore already “freely available”.

In a statement it said: “The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site.” ‘

 

A link that would take you behind a pay-wall, that is a different thing…

However, this ruling parallels the victory Connie and Mark Fournier of  the now censored Free Dominion had won in Canada’s federal court over Richard Warman, who claimed they had infringed his copyright by linking to an image on his own website.  In this particular case, the judge ruled that Warman had complete editorial control over his image and that linking to it, even should a thumbnail be displayed, did not constitute re-publishing it without permission.

Catching Up on Interesting Stuff

Over the last little while,  have come across some very interesting articles and such which I want to post about – but simply don’t have the capacity to fully explore.  So, I’d like to catch up by presenting a whole bunch of them in one post for your pleasure!

UPDATE:  A pregnant British woman is arrested for walking down the street in Great Britain and carrying the British flag.  Really!

Interesting DIY inventions are coming out of China.

The mystery of the ‘Skeleton Lake’ (India) seems to be solved.

Were the Eastern Crusades defensive wars?

On the copyright/erosion-of-privacy/governments-spying-on-citizens/corporatism front:

Meanwhile, in Science:

And in the economy:

Islam:

Political Islam/Creeping Sharia:

General politics:

And if you want more links to various articles to read, check out Steynian 468nth.

An interview with Connie and Mark Fournier

The couple who is leading the legal fight for the freedom of the internet in Canadian courts was recently interviewed on the ‘Just Right’ radio program.

Do give it a listen!

ReasonTV: Should You Go to Jail for Unlocking Your Phone?

 

Roger Wallis in TPB AFK

EFF Patent Project Gets Half-Million-Dollar Boost from Mark Cuban and ‘Notch’

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

San Francisco – America’s broken patent system needs major reform to protect innovators and the public. Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is announcing a major new boost to its patent work: a half-million dollars in funding from entrepreneur Mark Cuban and game developer Markus “Notch” Persson.

“The current state of patents and patent litigation in this country is shameful,” said Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. “Silly patent lawsuits force prices to go up while competition and innovation suffer. That’s bad for consumers and bad for business. It’s time to fix our broken system, and EFF can help. So that’s why part of my donation funds a new title for EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels: ‘The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents’.”

Cuban’s $250,000 donation also funds the hire of a new attorney experienced in patent reform and high profile patent litigation: Daniel Nazer, who will join EFF in January as a Staff Attorney. The rest of EFF’s seasoned intellectual property team includes Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry, Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, and Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. The team is also assisted by EFF fellows Michael Barclay and Jason Schultz.

Persson’s separate donation of $250,000 cements EFF’s ability to tackle the systemic problems with software patents. With a blend of lawyers, technologists, and activists, EFF will push for reform in the courts, through activism campaigns, and by educating the public and politicians about what is wrong with software patents and what needs to change.’

Read the rest here.

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