Software is owned not licensed

The software company Autodesk has failed in its bid to prevent the second-hand sale of its software. In a long-running legal battle it has not been able to convince a court that its software is merely licensed and not sold. Out-law.com report that

Autodesk claims that it sells only licences to use its software and that those who pay for it do not necessarily have the right to sell it on. It sued Timothy Vernor, who was selling legitimate copies of Autodesk software on eBay, for copyright infringement.

The US District Court for the Western District of Washington has backed Vernor, though, in his claim that he owned the software and had the right to sell it on.

The Court said that there were two cases to use as a precedent and that they clashed fundamentally. It had no choice, it said, but to follow the earlier precedent, which was a dispute over the ownership of prints of Hollywood films sold to film stars.

The Court did say, though, that Autodesk’s claims that Vernor’s actions were likely to result in the creation and sale of illegal copies of its AutoCAD software were not well founded.

“Autodesk’s claim that Mr. Vernor promotes piracy is unconvincing,” the ruling said. “Mr. Vernor’s sales of AutoCAD packages promote piracy no more so than Autodesk’s sales of the same packages. Piracy depends on the number of people willing to engage in piracy, and a pirate is presumably just as happy to unlawfully duplicate software purchased directly from Autodesk as he is to copy software purchased from a reseller like Mr. Vernor.”

Sign petition for open Internet in Europe

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An interesting link from fsdaily, apologies for the blatant copy and paste, but I am tired…

If you believe Europe merits an Internet that is free and open according to the following principles, please sign this petition and share it with your friends using the “Share it” links below:

  1. Internet users are entitled to access, send and receive the content of their choice;
  2. Internet users are entitled to use and run applications and services of their choice;
  3. Internet users are entitled to connect their choice of software or hardware that do not harm the network;
  4. Internet users are entitled to choice and competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers;
  5. Internet users are entitled to an Internet connection that is free of discrimination with regard to type of application, service or content or based on sender or receiver address. Broadband providers cannot block or degrade traffic over their networks, or pick winners by favoring some content or applications over others in the connection to subscribers’ homes. Nor can they disfavor an Internet service just because it competes with a similar service offered by them.
  6. Providers of Internet access must be transparent about their network management practices and Internet users are entitled to an Internet connection with a predefined capacity and quality.

These principles should be enshrined in European and national laws, and enforced by the relevant authorities in a consistent manner across Europe.

I am going to sign it now… and then paint my toenails…got my priorities right  😛

Australian Government Targets Gamers

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Stephen Conroy the Australian Communications Minister, has been nominated by the British ISP industry for its annual “internet villain” award. Senator Conroy was nominated for the annual internet villain award “for continuing to promote network-level blocking despite significant national and international opposition”.

He is really living up to this title as this week it has become apparent that the Government has now set its sights on gamers, promising to use its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds. Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ classification for games, meaning any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard – such as those with excessive violence or sexual content – are simply banned from sale by the Classification Board, unless they are modified to remove the offending content. This is incredibly backward in my opinion, Austalia should be ploughing on and making steps to remedy this problem rather than embracing some fascist censorship regime.

The average age of gamers is 30 in Australia, according to research commissioned by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, this means that even Australians who are aged above 15 and want to obtain the adult-level games online will be unable to do so.

Mark Newton, an ISP engineer and internet filtering critic, said the move to extend the filtering to computer games would place a cloud over online-only games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life, which aren’t classified in Australia due to their online nature  www.smh.com.au

UK ISPs fight back over licensing of legal content

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The UK creative industries have demanded that ISPs start disconnecting users accused of repeated online copyright infringement. Ars Technica spoke to the ISPA earlier this week:

the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) said that it agreed with creative industry calls for “the safe and secure delivery of legal content.” Getting access to this content remains difficult, though, and ISPA notes that “Internet companies remain extremely frustrated by the ongoing difficulties in securing licensing that is needed to offer consumers legal alternatives through new models of online content distribution. It is our view that legislation on enforcement should only be introduced on the condition that the rights holder industry commits to significant licensing reform.”

The ISPA sends a clear message that the rights holders should do a better job of licensing legal content, instead of expecting them to act as police for the music and film industry.

Wikileaks taken offline

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The Guardian reports that whistleblowing website Wikileaks has gone offline just hours after publishing what appeared to be a complete list of the websites banned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The list appeared to show all the websites that those living in Australia are prohibited from accessing by the domestic authorities, but the communications minister, Stephen Conroy, moved to say the list was not authentic earlier today.Conroy said the list contained some common URLs, but that it also contained a number of links his organisation had not investigated or received a complaint about. He also went on to say whoever leaked the information could face criminal prosecution.

According to Forbes, the scope of Australia’s internet censorship has already developed far beyond its initial aim to block child pornography and web pages associated with terrorism.