Epic Games is suing a 14 year old for making a cheat tutorial and his brilliant mother is PISSED

mostlysignssomeportents:

Epic Games makes the wildly successful multiplayer free-to-play game Fortnite, which is the locus of a pitched battle between players and publisher over game-mods, especially cheat-hacks that give unfair advantage to some players.

A 14 year old boy named Caleb “Sky Orbit” Rogers made a video in which he demonstrated the use of one of these hacks. In response, the company sent Youtube a heavy-handed copyright takedown, claiming that capturing incidental footage of gameplay was a copyright violation, and that demonstrating the functionality of one of these aftermarket add-ons is also a copyright violation.

The Caleb Rogers correctly asserted that there was no copyright infringement here. Videos that capture small snippets of a videogame do not violate that game creator’s copyrights, because they are fair use: they take a small part of the work (not the core of the work), for a critical purpose, without creating a substitute market for the work. No one who watches a 14 year old’s screen capture of a videogame will decide that it’s as much fun as playing the game.

When Caleb Rogers filed a put-back notice with Youtube that reinstated his video, Epic responded by filing a lawsuit against him, repeating the incorrect claim that Rogers’ video was a copyright infringing derivative work, and claiming that Rogers had formed, and then breached, a contract with Epic by playing their game and then talking about how to cheat in it.

In response, Rogers’ mother, Lauren Rogers, has filed an outstanding memo with the court explaining some of the problems with Epic’s suit. She points out that Epic claims that her minor child is incapable of forming a contract, so he can’t have breached a contract by violating the game’s EULA. She adds that Epic published news releases that identified her minor child by name, breaching child protection law. She says that Epic is just wrong when they claim that Caleb was selling the cheat software. Finally, she says that it’s impossible that a cheat program deprived the company of income from its free-to-play game, because the game was free-to-play.

There’s more, though. Epic has claimed that after Caleb Rogers filed his put-back notice on Youtube, they were obliged to sue him, or they’d lose the right to sue other people who did the same thing. This is wrong. There is the concept of “genericization” that’s part of trademark law, under which someone who consistently fails to enforce their trademarks against competitors can eventually lose their mark. But Epic is suing Caleb Rogers for copyright infringement, which has no such doctrine.

Lauren Rogers’ memo also fails to mention the clear fair use nature of Caleb Rogers’ video, and the Lenz decision, which requires rightsholders to consider fair use before sending takedown notices, and can make them liable for fees if they are found to have abused the takedown process by failing to do so.

Caleb Rogers did some obnoxious things: cheating, boasting about cheating, then making a video about his takedown in which he said intemperate things about companies.

But you know what’s more obnoxious that 14 year old cheaters? Corporations staffed by grown-ass humans who file lawsuits against 14 year olds that advance absurd theories about copyright, infringement, fair use, contracts, and EULAs. If Epic wins its suit, the precedent it sets will not be limited to corporations who are upset about obnoxious teens – it will establish that capturing incidental footage of games (the heart of Let’s Play videos and innumerable other forms of online communication, criticism and analysis) is a copyright infringement if you hurt some corporate overlord’s feelings in the process.

https://boingboing.net/2017/11/28/fortnite-battle-royale.html

#1yrago People really, really suck at using computers

mostlysignssomeportents:


The OECD’s 2011-2015, 33 country, 215,942-person study of computer skills paints a deceptively grim picture of the average level of computer proficiency around the world – deceptive because it excludes over-65s, who research shows to be, on average, less proficient than the 16-65 cohort sampled.


95% of the US population, 93% of Europeans and 92% of Asians can’t do “level three” tasks like “You want to know what percentage of the emails sent by John Smith last month were about sustainability” – tasks where “use of tools (e.g. a sort function) is required to make progress towards the solution. The task may involve multiple steps and operators. The goal of the problem may have to be defined by the respondent, and the criteria to be met may or may not be explicit.”

Jakob Nielsen’s commentary on this makes the point that much of the most basic skills required to work in the tech industry are well beyond the grasp of nearly everyone who will use the products those technologists are designing.

https://boingboing.net/2016/11/28/people-really-really-suck-at.html

#1yrago People really, really suck at using computers

mostlysignssomeportents:


The OECD’s 2011-2015, 33 country, 215,942-person study of computer skills paints a deceptively grim picture of the average level of computer proficiency around the world – deceptive because it excludes over-65s, who research shows to be, on average, less proficient than the 16-65 cohort sampled.


95% of the US population, 93% of Europeans and 92% of Asians can’t do “level three” tasks like “You want to know what percentage of the emails sent by John Smith last month were about sustainability” – tasks where “use of tools (e.g. a sort function) is required to make progress towards the solution. The task may involve multiple steps and operators. The goal of the problem may have to be defined by the respondent, and the criteria to be met may or may not be explicit.”

Jakob Nielsen’s commentary on this makes the point that much of the most basic skills required to work in the tech industry are well beyond the grasp of nearly everyone who will use the products those technologists are designing.

https://boingboing.net/2016/11/28/people-really-really-suck-at.html

livingbreathingnerd: politicalbunny: DO NOT USE RESISTBOT ANYMOES The FCC is actively ignoring…

livingbreathingnerd:

politicalbunny:

DO NOT USE RESISTBOT ANYMOES

The FCC is actively ignoring all emails and calls from bots; you have to either email or call them yourself for your efforts to matter!

Yo, forget the FCC. No matter how you try to contact them, they’re not changing their minds. INSTEAD, contact your senators and representatives and encourage them to support net neutrality. Tell them how it will personally affect you. Tell them how it will affect our economy and freedoms. Contacting the FCC is a moot point.

Undercover at Amazon warehouse – brutal reality of working for online giant

Undercover at Amazon warehouse - brutal reality of working for online giant:

cocainesocialist:

I spent five weeks at the firm’s newest warehouse in Tilbury, Essex, armed with a secret camera bought from Amazon’s own website.

I found staff asleep on their feet, exhausted from toiling for up to 55 hours a week.

Those who could not keep up with the punishing targets faced the sack – and some who buckled under the strain had to be attended to by ambulance crews.

The plant, with no natural light, is flooded with fluorescent bulbs – night and day have no meaning.

Many of the clocks have been covered over with tape by employees desperate not to be reminded how long is left of their shift. But time still rules here – a new package must be sealed and ready to go every 30 seconds.

Whatever the hour thousands of workers are racing to hit goals set by computers monitoring their every move. In my five weeks I saw staff struggling to meet impossible targets, in constant fear of the sack.

Two half-hour breaks were the only time off my feet, but it was barely enough time to race to the canteen and wolf down some food to keep my energy up.

My body ached, and my fitness tracker showed I walked at least 10 miles most days.

#10yrago Canada’s coming DMCA will be the worst copyright yet

mostlysignssomeportents:

The Canadian government is about to bring down Canada’s version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it promises to be the worstcopyright law in the developed world. It will contain an “anti-circumvention” clause that prohibits breaking the locks off your music and movies in order to move them to new devices or watch them after the company that made them goes out of business – and it will follow the US’s disastrous lead with the DMCA in that there will be no exceptions to the ban on circumvention, not even for parody, fair dealing, time shifting, or other legal uses.

This will be even worse than the last Canadian copyright proposal, the defeated Bill C-60.

But there’s hope. The last two Ministers who tried to push through a US-style copyright bill in Canada lost their jobs, thanks in large part to Canada’s coalition of artists, educators, archivists, and public-interest activists. Selling Canada’s digital future out to a handful of US companies is a bad career move for Canadian politicians.

Gear up for a fight in the New Year. The American record labels, in particular, are said to be well organised and ready to push this through on a fast track (even though they’ve abandoned DRM in the rest of the world, they view Canada as a weak sister they can push around).

If this law passes, it will mean that as soon as a device has any anti-copying stuff in it (say, a Vista PC, a set-top cable box, a console, an iPod, a Kindle, etc), it will be illegal for Canadians to modify it, improve it, or make products that interact with it unless they have permission from the (almost always US-based) manufacturer. This puts the whole Canadian tech industry at the mercy of the US industry, unable to innovate or start new businesses that interact with the existing pool of devices and media without getting a license from the States.

If this law passes, it will render all of the made-in-Canada exceptions to copyright for education, archiving, free speech and personal use will be irrelevant: if a technology has a lock that prohibits a use, your right to make that use falls by the wayside. Nevermind that you’ve got the right to record a show to watch later – or to record a politician’s speech so you can hold him to account later – the policeman in the device can take that right away with no appeal.

If this law passes, it will make Canada into a backwards nation, lagging behind the UK, Israel and other countries that are passing new copyright laws that dismantle the idea of maximum copyright forever and in all things.Link

https://boingboing.net/2007/11/27/canadas-coming-dmca.html

Thanksgiving Tribe Reclaims Language Lost to Colonization

Thanksgiving Tribe Reclaims Language Lost to Colonization:

systlin:

lcp0110:

linguisten:

The tribe’s name is Wampanoag

This Thanksgiving, consider giving your thanks to the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project by making a donation: http://www.wlrp.org

I make a tradition of donating to a Native foundation every year at this time, and this popped up very fortuitously. 

How to Build a Low-tech Internet

How to Build a Low-tech Internet:

unbossed:

While the high-tech approach pushes the costs and energy use of the internet higher and higher, the low-tech alternatives result in much cheaper and very energy efficient networks that combine well with renewable power production and are resistant to disruptions.

If we want the internet to keep working in circumstances where access to energy is more limited, we can learn important lessons from alternative network technologies. Best of all, there’s no need to wait for governments or companies to facilitate: we can build our own resilient communication infrastructure if we cooperate with one another. This is demonstrated by several community networks in Europe, of which the largest has more than 35,000 users already.

Trump team votes to cut poor people off from cell phone service to help fund rich people’s tax cut

Trump team votes to cut poor people off from cell phone service to help fund rich people’s tax cut:

kp777:

By Alan Pike

Think Progress

November 16, 2017

From the article:

Poor people would be cut off from their communities and from potential employers under a proposal approved Thursday to dramatically shrink a program Ronald Reagan created to subsidize phone service for the destitute.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai won a party-lines vote to contract the FCC’s Lifeline program in a variety of ways, ultimately by capping the amount of agency revenue from telecom companies that can be spent on the modest subsidies. Such a contraction “could completely cut off those still in need,” Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and 56 other members of Congress warned Pai in a let“If your newly proposed changes were implemented, they would jeopardize access for countless individuals who use the internet to look for employment and educational opportunities, to access social services, or to find crucial health information,” the members wrote.

Pai’s move makes little substantive sense. The chairman has himself acknowledged the value of recent reforms to the program, the letter-signers wrote. The Lifeline system was built by Reagan, then modernized and expanded under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

“30 years ago when Ronald Reagan put the Lifeline program into law, prior to that…it was considered a luxury to have a phone in your house,” Moore told ThinkProgress. “But then people started recognizing telecommunication services as literally a lifeline. Under Republican president George W. Bush they expanded this beyond landlines, into cell phones, recognizing that if you’re looking for a job and an employer wants to offer you a job, how can they get back to you?

”When disaster strikes, as it has repeatedly this hurricane season in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere, people of means can more easily get out of harm’s way. For the roughly 7.3 million people who access the cell phone system through Lifeline, though, a dire situation could fast turn deadly without the ability to make a phone call.ter Wednesday.

“This doesn’t bother you if you just flew out of Miami-Dade up to Chicago with your relatives until they came in and fixed it,” Moore said, noting that the Bush-era expansion of Lifeline followed his administration’s disastrously bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.

Pai’s scheme is marketed as a cost savings. But Lifeline funds come from phone, TV, and internet providers themselves, not from taxpayers. Shunting the “savings” from Pai’s scheme off to Treasury would effectively mean diverting money currently spent on helping lift people out of poverty into funding the GOP’s push to cut taxes for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, Moore said.

Read more.