So, these guys exist:
Defense Distributed is organized to produce and publish information related to the 3D printing of firearms. [...] the first order production goal remains the same: produce and publish a file for a completely printable gun
And then this happened:
the 3D-printing firm Makerbot has deleted a collection of blueprints for gun components from Thingiverse, its popular user-generated content website that hosts 3D-printable files.
And, in the wake of a soul-rending tragedy wrought by a man with a gun, someone who doesn’t understand how the internet works suggested the solution should be new laws:
U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-Huntington, N.Y.) plans to propose a ban on creating gun magazines with 3-D printers. The bill is still in the drafting stage, but Israel intends to make sure existing legislation includes consideration for this new kind of homemade firearm.
and the DefDist guys responded.
So, now this is happening:
We’re not sure how this site might fit into Defense Distributed’s efforts, but know that THIS place, if there will be no other, IS a home for fugitive information. No object file will be censored unless it is malicious software. When we say freedom of information, we mean it.
and with a manifesto like that, naturally, comes this. And so the cat is officially out of the bag, forever.
Continue reading Bag ——-> Cat
Ars points out the same thing I thought when I first heard about Amazon’s new AutoRip service- this is basically the same thing that got MP3.com sued out of existence the first time it was tried. That was way back in the heady days of 1999, when the internet would make everything possible, even before the record labels killed Napster.
Licensed services like iTunes were still years in the future, largely because labels were skittish about selling music online. But Robertson believed he didn’t need a license because the service was permitted by copyright’s fair use doctrine. If a user can rip his legally purchased CD to his computer, why can’t he also store a copy of it online? Robertson didn’t see himself as facilitating copyright infringement. He just wanted to give users a more convenient way to get music they had already paid for.
But the courts disagreed, ruling that MP3.com needed licenses from copyright holders to operate the service. And the labels simply weren’t interested in Robertson’s vision of convenient and flexible music lockers. So MP3.com was driven into bankruptcy, and the “buy a CD, get an MP3″ concept fell by the wayside.
and here we are again, everything old . . . → Read More: Amazon Tries MP3.com Redux
The good news is that the jailbreak exception for phones was extended in this most recent review period. The bad news is that, inexplicably, it wasn’t extended to cover tablets… . . . → Read More: Jailbreak Exemption to DMCA renewed by US Copyright Office
If you buy digital media that includes copy protection or other forms of digital rights management technology that interferes with your ability to play the media, you don’t really own it. That is, you don’t own it until you strip the DRM off . . . → Read More: A Public Service Reminder
[update] here is today’s editorial in the NYT. As you might expect of a publishing company with a vested interest in copyright, they’re in favor of trade barriers and artificial market segmentation, even if it results in injury to US consumers.
The SCOTUS heard arguments in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng on Monday October 29- news in and of itself, since the Court was the only entity of the federal government in DC that stayed open Monday in in the face of the threat from hurricane Sandy. Here is the reporting on the arguments from the EFF and on the lead-up to the arguments from Bloomberg. There are many others out there, but I thought these would be illustrative of the (relatively) opposed interests of copyleft from the EFF and vested interest of Wiley and the rest of the publishing industry from Bloomie.
It is perilous to forecast an outcome from the tenor of the arguments, but EFF is cautiously optimistic because of the direction that questioners took. From the EFF release:
It’s gratifying that the Court seems to appreciate the ramifications of this case, even if Wiley’s attorneys do not.
Oral argument recording and transcript are . . . → Read More: First-Sale Doctrine Roundup
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention, but apparently someone at the St. Lois Fed finally decided it was time to take a look. Their conclusion? Do away with the US Patent system. Entirely.
[P]atent protections never stay small and tidy. Instead, entrenched players like intellectual property lawyers who make their living filing lawsuits and old, established corporations that want to keep new players out of their markets lobby to expand the breadth of patent rights. And as patent rights get stronger, they take a serious toll on the economy, including our ability to innovate.
I’m not ready to argue that all patents are bad regardless of subject matter, but it is indisputable that the patent system today has grown far beyond what the founders could possibly have conceived.
A thesis for future discussion: patentable subject matter should be limited to concrete and physical inventions that are not elsewhere expressed in the realm of nature. So automated cat-laser-pointer toys are in, but GMO seeds and cancer mice . . . → Read More: News Flash: Allowing Monopoly Rents Will Encourage Rent-Seeking
Ars Technica reports:
It’s a little bit baffling that the rehearing is even required. As Judge Sharon Prost wrote in her dissent to the original ruling, “the majority has failed to follow the Supreme Court’s instructions—not just in its holding, but more importantly in its approach.”
Software patents are bad for business and innovation in software, electronics, finance, and healthcare. The best outcome here would be if software was entirely excluded from the ranks of patentable . . . → Read More: Good News for High Tech: Fed Cir takes CLS Bank v. Alice for en banc rehearing
Kickstarter spells it out.
It’s hard to know how many people feel like they’re shopping at a store when they’re backing projects on Kickstarter, but we want to make sure that it’s no one. Today we’re introducing a number of changes to reinforce that Kickstarter isn’t a store [...]
What they don’t say is, “It’s not equity either.” Presumably because most Kickstarter funders understand that distinction, but that’s a really important legal detail that helps to explain why Kickstarter has worked as well as it has so far. I think they are very aware of this and want to make sure that the SEC doesn’t show too much of an interest in their pre-commerce “rewards”-based financing model.
In light of the changes in microfunding and the likely influx of microcapital investors that the JOBS act promises to bring, I think it’s commendable that Kickstarter wants to make sure funders have . . . → Read More: Crowd-funding Grows Up
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one (except, maybe, the loud-mouthed jury foreman who botched the job in the first place), Samsung has filed a motion for a judgment as a matter of law and alternately for a new trial of the patent claims in the case where Apple recently won a billion-dollar infringement verdict.
Because the jury foreman gave interviews after the fact, wherein he admitted that he relied on his own extraneous experience and knowledge of electrical engineering to inform his deliberations, and he shared his “expertise” with the other members of the jury, I would not be surprised if the judge granted . . . → Read More: Samsung moves for JMOL, new trial in Apple patent case
I don’t see how new models will help Blackberry.
Research In Motion’s developer powwow this week delivered a small dose of good news as the company touted 80 million subscribers and kept its BlackBerry 10 timelines, but the bad news is on deck later today: fiscal second-quarter financial results.
To say expectations for RIM’s second quarter are low would be a major understatement. Wall Street is expecting RIM to report a loss of 47 cents a share on revenue of $2.5 billion for the fiscal second quarter, and a miss wouldn’t . . . → Read More: Unless they’re running Android