Stunning orbital timelapse as animated GIF - thank you, Internet.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint that the popular travel reviews website TripAdvisor has misled consumers by implying that reviews were accurate. According to the ruling:
consumers would understand the claims “Reviews you can trust”, “… read reviews from real travellers”, “TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers” and “More than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world” to mean that they could be certain that the reviews posted on the site were from genuine travellers, and accurately reflected those travellers’ experiences of the places they visited.
We noted that reviewers were asked to agree to a declaration that their review was their genuine opinion of the hotel and that they had no personal or business affiliation with the hotel, or been offered an incentive to write a review for it. We also noted that reviewers were not asked to similarly confirm that they had no competitive interest in the place they were reviewing, or were posting a review on behalf of a competitor or other interested party, and we did not consider that agreeing to a declaration in itself would necessarily prevent non-genuine reviews from being posted on the site. Notwithstanding that, we understood that reviews could be placed on the site without any form of verification, and that whilst TripAdvisor took steps to monitor and deal with suspicious activity, it was possible that non-genuine content would appear on the site undetected. Read more »
““Everyone knows the ACTA agreement [will] impact on civil liberties …, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. … I will not take part in this masquerade.””
- Kader Arif, rapporteur for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in the European Parliament. Meanwhile, the treaty, having been opened for signature, has been signed by the EU and 22 member states.
Copyright in photographic works has always had an uneasy relationship with the idea-expression dichotomy, which generally limits protection to the physical manifestation of a work rather than its underlying principles or abstract concepts. In a decision sure to reignite the debate, Birss J has held that a photograph which reproduced the composition, subject matter and editing of the original infringes copyright: Temple Island Collections Ltd v New English Teas Ltd  EWPCC 1. The infringing photograph:
This conclusion is consistent with Bauman v Fussell and a long line of English and American cases. It’s also a fairly logical result of applying Infopaq to a photograph, where the author’s intellectual creation consists of the choice and arrangement of moment, rather than the skill in capturing it. (Arguably, the Court could also have made more of the original contributions arising from post-processing.) The Court seems to have been influenced by the commercial context in which the copying took place: Read more »
Some excellent analysis of the MegaUpload arrests and the blunt hammer of criminal copyright enforcement.
AFNIC, which administers the .fr ccTLD, has been held not liable by a French court for failing to suspend a domain name about which a trade mark owner complained. The decision is sensible, given the impossibility of a domain registry policing the uses to which all registered domains are put, and consistent with article 15 of the E-Commerce Directive.
From the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2012 report:
The impacts of crime, terrorism and war in the virtual world have yet to equal that of the physical world, but there is fear that this could change. Hyperconnectivity is a reality. With over five billion mobile phones coupled with internet connectivity and cloud-based applications, daily life is more vulnerable to cyber threats and digital disruptions. The related constellation of global risks in this case highlights that incentives are misaligned with respect to managing this global challenge. Online security is now considered a public good, implying an urgent need to encourage greater private sector engagement to reduce the vulnerability of key information technology systems.
“pagophobia (noun) — the fear of ice or frost.”
- Probert Encyclopedia
WordPress protests the impossibility of moderating UGC in a web 2.0 world.
BoingBoing blacks out against SOPA and PIPA.