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Building spilling booksDavid Pescovitz,...


Building spilling books
David Pescovitz, boingboing.net
“Biografias,” an instal­la­tion by Ali­cia Mar­tin at Casa de Amer­i­ca, Madrid. “5,000 Books Pour Out of a Build­ing in Spain” (via Imag­i­nary Foun­da­tion)

This art installation in Madrid is simply fantastic.

Building spilling booksDavid Pescovitz,...


Building spilling books
David Pescovitz, boingboing.net
“Biografias,” an instal­la­tion by Ali­cia Mar­tin at Casa de Amer­i­ca, Madrid. “5,000 Books Pour Out of a Build­ing in Spain” (via Imag­i­nary Foun­da­tion)

This art installation in Madrid is simply fantastic.

"The ECJ will be asked, ‘Is ACTA in line with the existing treaties, the [shared EU common..."

“The ECJ will be asked, ‘Is ACTA in line with the existing treaties, the [shared EU common law], the European Charter of Fundamental Rights? … If the court says no to any of these things, ACTA, in my opinion, is dead.”

- The European Parliament is set to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to the Court of Justice, which will add to an existing reference from the European Commission.  Long live the new age of rights-balancing in intermediary liability.

Google Spain not liable to enforce 'right to be forgotten'

In Alfacs Vacances SL v Google Spain SL [2012] (Unreported, Court of First Instance of Amposta, 23 February 2012), a Spanish district court held that Google’s Spanish subsidiary is not a proper defendant (ES) in a claim for an injunction to remove non-tortious but unwanted search results.  From reading this summary of the decision, it appears that the Court did not address the merits of the claim.

The claimant was the operator of a camping ground in between Barcelona and Valencia, where a tragedy occurred in 1978 which resulted in the immolation of approximately 200 campers by an explosion in a passing petrol tanker.  A Google search for ‘los alfaques camping’ now shows images of the disaster and a link to the Wikipedia page ranked above the company’s official website:


The claimant sought damages and an injunction requiring Google Spain to remove the images and reports of the disaster from “its” search results.  Read more »

Google Spain not liable to enforce 'right to be forgotten'

In Alfacs Vacances SL v Google Spain SL [2012] (Unreported, Court of First Instance of Amposta, 23 February 2012), a Spanish district court held that Google’s Spanish subsidiary is not a proper defendant (ES) in a claim for an injunction to remove non-tortious but unwanted search results.  From reading this summary of the decision, it appears that the Court did not address the merits of the claim.

The claimant was the operator of a camping ground in between Barcelona and Valencia, where a tragedy occurred in 1978 which resulted in the immolation of approximately 200 campers by an explosion in a passing petrol tanker.  A Google search for ‘los alfaques camping’ now shows images of the disaster and a link to the Wikipedia page ranked above the company’s official website:


The claimant sought damages and an injunction requiring Google Spain to remove the images and reports of the disaster from “its” search results.  Read more »

Smartphone design before and after Apple’s iPhone.  Image...



Smartphone design before and after Apple’s iPhone.  Image credit to @digerati.

The trouble with Wikipedia

The trouble with Wikipedia:

Scholarly expert on the Haymarket riots tries to edit the (top-ranked) Wikipedia entry for the same, is violently rebuffed by community editors.  In short, anyone can edit, but you must play by the rules:

So I waited two years, until my book on the trial was published. “Now, at last, I have a proper Wikipedia leg to stand on,” I thought as I opened the page and found at least a dozen statements that were factual errors, including some that contradicted their own cited sources. I found myself hesitant to write, eerily aware that the self-deputized protectors of the page were reading over my shoulder, itching to revert my edits and tutor me in Wiki-decorum. I made a small edit, testing the waters.

My improvement lasted five minutes before a Wiki-cop scolded me, “I hope you will familiarize yourself with some of Wikipedia’s policies, such as verifiability and undue weight. If all historians save one say that the sky was green in 1888, our policies require that we write ‘Most historians write that the sky was green, but one says the sky was blue.’ … As individual editors, we’re not in the business of weighing claims, just reporting what reliable sources write.”

High Court concludes The Pirate Bay infringes UK copyrights

High Court concludes The Pirate Bay infringes UK copyrights:

In unsurprising news, Dramatico Entertainment Ltd v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd [2012] EWHC 268 establishes that The Pirate Bay infringes the claimants’ UK copyrights by (i) authorising acts of copying and communication by its users; and (ii) engaging in a common design with those users to perform those infringing acts.  In a carefully-reasoned judgment, Arnold J sets out the background technology and analyses recent case law concerning the communication right.

Although this was a clear case, the Court was careful not to water down the applicable tests for secondary liability: authorisation, for example, remains “to grant or purport to grant to a third person the right to do the act complained of” — though it leads to a similar conclusion here to the broader “countenance, sanction of approve” test favoured in Australia (see, eg, Village Roadshow v iiNet).  Interestingly, Arnold J characterised the “means” of infringement as the torrent files:

The means used to infringe. The torrent files which are so conveniently indexed, arranged and presented by TPB constitute precisely the means necessary for users to infringe. It is the torrent files which provide the means by which users are able to download the “pieces” of the content files and/or to make them available to others.  Read more »

A third high-profile takedown in as many days: this week looks...



A third high-profile takedown in as many days: this week looks like a losing one for pirates.  Notorious e-book platform Library.nu has been shut down, according to news reports.  The website, in combination with cyber-locker ifile.it, hosted around 400,000 titles — mostly academic textbooks and popular fiction.  Apparently, the operators received around €8m per year from donations, ads and premium accounts, though they claimed that most of this was spent on server costs.

Unsurprisingly, a consortium of publishers (including HarperCollins, Macmillan, Pearson, Oxford University Press and the International Publishers) led the take-down.  For academic publishers, it cannot come too soon: Library.nu was notorious for releasing ‘lossless’ PDF copies of latest edition academic texts weeks before they were even released — presumably leaked from offshore printers and compositors.  Unfortunately for publishers, numerous equivalent platforms continue to supply their copyright works with impunity.