Tag - ACTA
ACTA has been rejected by the European Parliament in a vote today. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was soundly defeated, with 39 parliament members voting for the agreement, 478 against, and 165 abstentions. The move against the motion practically kills the agreement in its current form, with many critics suggesting it cannot be revived no matter how many amendments are made to it.
The US' attempts to push the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were dealt a possible hit after new European Parliament rapporteur David Martin published (PDF) a recommendation that the representatives for European Union's member states reject the bill. Echoing the same sentiments that led his predecessor to quit in protest, he saw the "vagueness" of the bill as being overreaching. Whatever advantages it would have in clamping down on piracy would be "far outweighed" by curbs on civil rights, Martin said.
The European Commission reacted to mounting pressure Wednesday by at least temporarily halting plans to ratify the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) proposal, choosing to pass it to the European Court of Justice for inspection. The continent's high court will decide if ACTA violates fundamental EU rights. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht took a balanced position, wanting neither to accept media labels' views at face value nor act based on preconceptions held by some of those protesting the measure.
A joint research paper from the Departments of Economics at both Wellesley College (Brett Danaher) and the University of Minnesota (Joel Waldfogel) has suggested that BitTorrent movie rips and other Internet piracy wasn't hurting movies after they were exported to other countries. In instances where a US movie hadn't been pirated in advance of its international release, revenue from the movie was typically seven percent lower than it was when those abroad could bootleg the material. US sales also didn't necessarily go down with torrents in effect, the authors found.
Germany is holding off on joining 22 other EU member states in signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Spiegel Online reported. It has changed its mind, as it previously said it would join. The failure of Germany, Europe's largest economic contributor, to sign the agreement is a huge stumbling block. The powers-that-be in German are said to be holding off on a decision until the EU Parliament makes its own decision in the matter.
The European Union's chief investigator for the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Kader Arif, may have blown the whistle on tactics behind the deal in a statement following his resignation. He quit after calling it a "masquerade" and confirmed many of the beliefs that the EU Parliament's signing of ACTA wasn't a representative process. The political right in the EU "rushed" the measure in the hopes of keeping it out of the public eye, Arif said, and Parliament itself was being kept from trying to offer any criticism.
The EU and 22 of its member states have signed on to support the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo on Thursday. The deed was met with both online and street protests, however, as many who aren't copyright holders believe the trade agreement to be nothing more than a new copyright law. Five countries part of the EU who haven't signed up for ACTA include Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Slovakia.
The US government is attempting to bring a renamed version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that aims to fight piracy to countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), its intellectual property content is drafted by the US. It follows the DMCA's laws regarding digital locks, ISP liability and subscriber disconnections, but adds a number of its own rules.
The MPAA and RIAA have sent a response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator that would call for software to spy on users for potential piracy. Answering a request for comments, the music and movie studios would like antivirus software to include tools for "managing copyright infringement" and block or report copyrighted material it finds.
France's three strikes anti-piracy law has actually increased the amount of piracy in the country, a new study has revealed. Despite the threat of being permanently disconnected from the Internet in the country, frequent downloaders increased their activity 3 percent since the law, also known as Hadopi, passed last fall. While BitTorrent use did drop from 17.1 percent to 14.6 percent, any who gave up torrents simply moved to streams or to private hosts using uploaders, which are difficult if not impossible to track with current methods.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE