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Privacy and Copyright links

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  • “Many Internet companies and consumer advocates say the main law governing communication privacy — enacted in 1986, before cellphone and e-mail use was widespread, and before social networking was even conceived — is outdated, affording more protection to letters in a file cabinet than e-mail on a server.”
    (tags: privacy law)
  • “In a groundbreaking new series titled “What They Know,” the Wall Street Journal is taking a close look at the information that online advertisers collect about you as you browse the Web”
  • “Starting in the Spring of 2010, a Washington, D.C., law firm calling itself the “U.S. Copyright Group” (USCG) launched a series of predatory lawsuits naming thousands of alleged BitTorrent users. The lawsuits claim copyright infringement, specifically that those sued illegally downloaded independent movies such as “Far Cry” and “The Hurt Locker.” The lawsuits follow the model of those filed by the RIAA starting in 2003. They begin by suing unnamed John Does, then seek to subpoena the ISPs of users in order to obtain their identities, then sue the individuals themselves.

    Once the user’s identity is known, USCG’s strategy appears to be to threaten a judgment of up to $150,000 per downloaded movie — the maximum penalty allowable by law in copyright suits and a very unlikely judgment in cases arising from a single, noncommercial infringement — in order to pressure the alleged infringers to settle quickly for $1,500 to $2,500 per person.”

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