3 Count: Obama in (cyber)Space

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Kindle’s DRM Rears Its Ugly Head… And It IS Ugly

First off today, the Amazon Kindle is in the spotlight for a little bit of DRM fail. Blogger Dan Cohen from Gear Diary writes about a problem he had with his Kindle subscription after both getting a new iPhone and resetting both his iPod Touch and his iPhone for the new version of the operating system.

When Cohen went to re-download his books, he found that it couldn’t be done because he had run up against a cap on the number of downloads. Worse still, he found that the maximum number of downloads is not known, even to Amazon’s representatives, and there is no way for one to find out what the exact limit is.

This means that, when you buy a book on the Kindle, you have no way of knowing how many times you can download it, including for device updates, before you have to repurchase the book, something that has left Cohen, and many others, with a bad taste in their mouth.

2: Anti-Piracy Lawyers Lose License To Chase Pirates

Next up, if you’re a file sharer in Norway, you’re just a little bit safer today. The data protection law there instructs ISPs to delete IP data after three weeks and the only law firm that had a license to track pirates had their temporary license end without any renewal forthcoming. This means that, unless the law firm is successful with its objection, there will effectively be no way to track file sharers in Norway.

The reason, according to Torrentfreak, is because there was not a great deal of political debate over the collection of IP addresses and, without any guidance, the data protection authorities decided not to renew the license.

3: Obama in cyberspace

Finally today, author and copyright reform advocate James Boyle penned an article about how Obama’s copyright policies may shape up.

In the column, he first hints that Obama might have weighed multiple interests and been a truly fresh start in many ways for copyright but, in the end, recent indications about the appointment of Obama’s Copyright Czar and the administration’s opposition to exemptions to assist the visually impaired, according to Boyle, indicate that his is, more or less, towing the industry line.

Obviously this is a disappointment to Boyle and many who voted for Obama expecting such reforms.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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