This week’s favorite posts come courtesy of cc, who’s been having fun doing battle in the comments
Do you ever get the feeling that Techdirt has just way too many departments? Yes? Well, it’s thanks to that abundance thing Mike is always on about… And it looks like today I’m adding my own: I think I’ll call it the DHS, short for “Department of Han Solo”. Just because I can.
So on with my highlights for this week.
ICE are living up to their name, trying to create a chilling effect on people linking to stuff they don’t like. As Mike noted, they are skating on very thin ice, and hopefully the courts will put them in their place pretty quick. If not, the US gov’t will be getting some cool new internet censorship toys soon.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren has come forward with blistering criticism of the lack of due process in ICE’s domain seizures, and has given IP Czar Victoria Espinel a thorough grilling about their legality. Lofgren later suggested that the 84,000 websites slandered as child pornographers in the botched mooo.com seizure should turn up the heat on ICE, and made one thing clear: speak up! If you want your Representatives to listen to you, write them physical letters and you might get some attention.
Funnily enough, it wasn’t ICE who responded to Lofgren’s comments, but the RIAA. Not surprisingly, a response written by industry lobbyists is full of lies and deception, which Techdirt kindly took the time to debunk.
In other important news, a US proposal for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement), the sequel to ACTA, has been leaked. As those paying attention have come to expect, it’s just a list of the things they wanted but didn’t get in ACTA. At the same time, we get the news that a major ‘piracy’ report has concluded that more enforcement is not the right solution — thus bringing all of US foreign IP policy into question. Hey, now even WIPO has said copyright has been pushed too far.
Of interest may also be that the US Supreme Court have agreed to look at the Golan v. Holder case, and specifically whether it’s constitutional to yank public domain works back into copyright. Fingers crossed the supremes will come to the right decision.
On the trademark insanity front, Zynga is trying to trademark most of France, Apple is trying to trademark ‘app’, and the Twilight vampires are on the prowl for anything with the word ‘twilight’ in it.
And while we’re speaking of insanity, I might as well mention how the consumer rights organisations were treated during the joke hearings about the Special 301 report. Keep it classy, boys.
And that’s it for now. May the force… well, you know.