Showing 44 posts tagged rights

File-Sharers Have Right to Anonymous Speech, Court Hears

Several advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union is have joined a group of major U.S. Internet providers in their protest against mass BitTorrent lawsuits. They state that these cases are “essentially an extortion scheme,” as many courts have started to realize recently. The groups further argue that the lawsuits violate file-sharers’ right to anonymous speech, which is protected by the First Amendment.

» via TorrentFreak

Judge: FBI Doesn't Need a Warrant to Access Google Customer Data

In what looks very much like a blow to that whole Constitutional thing about due process, a federal judge has ordered Google to release customer data to the FBI, despite the fact that the FBI has no warrant for the information. 

» via The Atlantic

Making a sex tape a crime for troops, court rules

Making a sex tape is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military’s highest court has ruled.

While it is perfectly legal for civilians to make videos of themselves having sex, service members are prohibited from doing so because it is “both prejudicial to good order and discipline and service discrediting.”

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled that making a sex tape — even if it is never distributed and nobody sees it — amounts to having sex in public, according to a decision issued on May 23.

» via Army Times

The government can contend ECPA gives it the authority to ignore your privacy to an extent that would have shocked the framers of the Constitution,” they say. “And all we are saying is that the warrant standard established by the Constitution for privacy in the physical world should also protect privacy in the digital world.

Fourth Amendment makes two digital privacy headlines - Yahoo! News

House bill would require police to obtain search warrant to access emails

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require police to obtain a warrant before accessing private online communications or mobile location data.

Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) have signed on as cosponsors of the legislation, the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act.

"Fourth Amendment protections don’t stop at the Internet," Lofgren said in a statement. "Establishing a warrant standard for government access to cloud and geolocation provides Americans with the privacy protections they expect, and would enable service providers to foster greater trust with their users and international trading partners."

» via The Hill’s Hillicon Valley

Googling for a lawyer while under arrest is a right, rules Canadian judge

A Canadian judge ruled in a recent case that arrested individuals have the right to search for legal counsel with Google — going so far as to say that all police stations should have internet access and computers to let them do so. As reported by The Star, Judge H.A. Lamoureux of the Provincial Court of Alberta was ruling on the case of Christopher McKay. When McKay was 19 he was arrested for impaired driving — he scored above the legal limit on a breathalyzer test — and when brought to the police station was given the opportunity to contact an attorney. He placed one phone call, wasn’t successful, and then gave up (according to later testimony, he said he thought he was only allowed one call as is often depicted in films and television).

» via The Verge

Authors of 'Bill of Rights' for Online Learners Face Criticism

The academics and technologists who drafted a recently released “bill of rights” for students taking online courses said they hoped the document would serve as a foundation for a broader conversation about how learners and institutions might protect themselves from exploitation.

But since it hit the Web on Wednesday, the document, “A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age,” has drawn skepticism—including from academic activists who would have made useful allies.

“It’s pretty top-down and manipulative,” Stephen Downes, an academic technologist who helped pioneer the earliest massive open online courses, wrote in his widely circulated newsletter.

» via The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription may be required for some content)

German court rules internet "essential"

A German court ruled on Thursday that people have the right to claim compensation from service providers if their Internet access is disrupted, because the Internet is an “essential” part of life.

The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe made the ruling after hearing the case of a man who was unable to use his DSL connection, which also offered a telephone and fax line, for two months from late 2008 to early 2009.

» via Yahoo! News

Although Myspace boasts the biggest library in digital music — more than 50 million songs, it says — a group representing thousands of small labels says the service is using its members’ music without permission. The group, Merlin, negotiates digital deals on behalf of labels around the world. Charles Caldas, chief executive of Merlin, said in an interview on Friday that its deal with Myspace expired over a year ago, yet songs from more than 100 of its labels are still available on Myspace, including Beggars Group, Domino and Merge, three of the biggest independents. “While it’s nice that Mr. Timberlake is launching his service on this platform, and acting as an advocate for the platform,” Mr. Caldas said, “on the other hand his peers as artists are being exploited without permission and not getting remuneration for it.”

Myspace Is Accused of Using Music Without Permission - NYTimes.com

The Supreme Court was seemingly in no mood for such games as it reminded the parties that the patent system was based on a bargain that Pfizer had failed to meet. In a paragraph that is likely to be quoted for many years, the court stated: “The patent system is based on a ‘bargain,’ or quid pro quo: the inventor is granted exclusive rights in a new and useful invention for a limited period in exchange for disclosure of the invention so that society can benefit from this knowledge. This is the basic policy rationale underlying the Act. The patent bargain encourages innovation and advances science and technology.”

Patents are not a right, they are a government grant, yes, but one with conditions. Canada’s Supreme Court laid this out quite clearly recently. The main contention is that patent applications need to be more self-contained, and actually disclose information.

Disclosure is therefore a crucial part of the patent bargain. The court clarified that this involves not only a description of the invention and how it works, but rather a much more practical level of disclosure “to enable a person skilled in the art or the field of the invention to produce it using only the instructions contained in the disclosure.”

In this case, the court found that Pfizer failed to provide sufficient disclosure, since the pharmaceutical giant “obscured the true invention.”

The Tyee – Supreme Court to Big Pharma: ‘No Games’

(via chrischelberg)

(via chrischelberg)