from the about-time dept
Update: And... another one's gone too.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Nov 13th 2013 4:07pm
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 11th 2013 1:42pm
The plaintiff named in the Family Dentistry lawsuit is Lily Poss, a visually impaired woman from North Mankato. Poss said she supports the organization's mission statement. However, she's not sure she can support Hansmeier after learning about the tactics he's using.The article notes that Poss signed up for this after getting a call from a cousin she hadn't spoken to in years -- named Allan Mooney. You may recall that name from previous Prenda lawsuits, where it was spelled many different ways (Allan Mooney, Alan Mony, Alan Moony, etc), and who later told a reporter that he didn't know he was involved in these lawsuits. Of course, now you have to wonder about that if he's signing up his long lost cousins for the latest wacky scheme from Hansmeier to shakedown companies.
Poss had no idea that lawsuit, nor another one involving a business called Bancwest Investment Services, had been filed in her name. It was her understanding she would be providing information about websites that would be used to educate businesses, she said. She said it was possible that lawsuits would be filed if businesses didn't comply, but she didn't realize Hansmeier and Class Justice would be going after small businesses such as Family Dentistry.
"We consider ourselves to be an advocacy association more than we consider ourselves a law firm," he said. "With the porn reputation, I wanted to shift my focus and focus on something more positive. We're really focused on doing it right so anyone who hears about us says, 'Yeah. This is the right way to go about it.'"I know. Stop laughing. Of course, no one thinks this is the right way to go about it. The same reporter asked Ken Rodgers, the past president of the American Council of the Blind chapter in Minnesota, who agreed that websites that were hard for the blind to read can be a problem, but also made clear that he did not support what Hansmeier was doing at all, and, in fact, felt that it was just another way to squeeze money out of companies:
"Is he trying to make websites accessible, or is he just banking on the lawsuit revenue?" Rodgers said. "All this is doing is making the attorney wealthy, not fixing the problem. I would much rather have somebody make a business case to a business that has a website."Furthermore, for all of Hansmseier's claims of doing "advocacy" work, when the reporter asked him to detail what advocacy organizations he's working with, he couldn't name any.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Feb 19th 2013 8:05pm
Today after a short plenary session, the informal negotiations were scheduled to begin behind closed doors again. But WIPO decided to permit NGOs attending the negotiations to follow a live audio of the discussions, subject to a ban on the use of the Internet and related social media to report on the negotiations.Love argued that Chatham House rules could be effective (in which you can talk about what was said, just not who said it). But, of course, the US said that was unacceptable. Because, of course, the US doesn't want anyone to know about its crazy arguments, even if they're not attached to the US itself.
The ban specifically singled out "twitter, blogs, news reports, and email lists" and extends to social media in general.
I assume we will be permitted to report and comment in other ways that do not rely upon this audio feed, but people will be careful because there is now a threat to cut off that access if the the forbidden information starts showing up on the Internet, and it maybe difficult to persuade people that the audio feed was not the source. This means less information will be disseminated, including the reports from the relatively accessible negotiators, of which there are many who are willing to talk in the breaks. These bans on the use of social media are increasingly being sought by transparency averse negotiators, particularly when pursuing anti-consumer and anti-freedom policies.It is simply unacceptable these days to hold such negotiations in complete secrecy. It is for reasons like this that people don't trust such organizations and think they're corrupt. Even if they're not corrupt and totally aboveboard, just doing these kinds of things in secret stirs up distrust for the government.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 19th 2012 7:58pm
by Glyn Moody
Tue, Dec 6th 2011 3:30am
We write software for people with disabilities as well as human rights and environmental groups. We’re against piracy, and have made commitments to authors and publishers to encourage compliance with copyright law.Fruchterman goes on to explore two major areas of concern. The first is that Bookshare, an online library for people who can’t read standard print books, might lose the ability to raise funds or take subscriptions.
So, we shouldn’t have anything to fear from a bill entitled “Stop Online Piracy Act,” right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
We’re getting very worried that our organization and the people we serve: people with print disabilities (i.e., people who are blind or severely dyslexic), and human rights groups will be collateral damage in Hollywood’s attempt to break the Internet in their latest effort to squash “piracy.” And, if we’re worried, a lot of other good organizations should start getting worried!
SOPA apparently has shoot first, ask questions later provisions. If any single publisher or author of any one of the more than 130,000 accessible books in our library gets antsy, they can send a notice to VISA and MasterCard and say, stop money from going to Benetech and Bookshare. No more donations to our charity. No more subscriptions from individual adults with disabilities.There are two major problems here. First, the money gets cuts off immediately, jeopardizing the entire Bookshare project. Secondly, Benetech has to spend its limited funds paying lawyers to get the financial blocks removed. That will not only take time, it will hamper other worthwhile projects that Benetech could have been working on instead of fighting to get its revenue sources turned back on again.
No need to send us a letter. Or file a DMCA notice. Or do any real research. Just send out a bunch of notices and get all those pirates! Except, we’re not pirates. But, now the burden of proof has shifted to us: we’re presumed guilty, and we have to spent time and money defending ourselves.
The problem is that we provide technology that allows for security, privacy and circumvention. We do it for human rights groups. But, when asked if we know whether or not there are “pirated” copyrighted materials, we can’t say. Because, if we make software that promises to keep your life or death sensitive information secret to the best of our abilities, we won’t build a back door in for Syria, or China, or the U.S. government or even (heavens!) Hollywood.But SOPA will give the US Attorney General the power to shut down sites that can be used for evading controls on piracy, and Benetech's software could certainly be employed in just that way (even if that is not its purpose). To avoid that, Benetech would presumably have to stop writing and distributing its code - which would place human rights organizations and activists at risk.
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