38 AGs Seeing Red Over craigslist’s Red Light District
Thirty-eight state Attorneys General have claimed that craigslist has failed to live up to its promises to fight online prostitution” and have subpoenaed the online classified giant over its practices. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (an overwhelming favorite to succeed retiring Senator Chris Dodd) complained that the “craigslist brothel business seems booming. . . . We are asking craigslist for specific answers about steps to screen and stop sex-for-money offers—and whether the company is actually profiting from prostitution ads that it promised the states and public that it would try to block.”
More Info: Craigslist “Brothel Business” Under Fire Again, ArsTechnica
Cybercrime’s Big 3:
US, China and Brazil
Symantec’s 2009 Internet Security Threat Report reports a surge in malicious attacks from emerging countries – especially Brazil and India. While only 25 percent of these attacks targeted government entities, Brazil was responsible for half of them. The report also found that 75 percent of entities surveyed experienced a cyber attack in 2009, demonstrating that the problem is not limited to just a few large entities.
More Info: Symantec Report .
US Lists Top Countries For Piracy:
Russia, China . . . and Canada
An annual report on observance of intellectual property rights lists a rogues gallery of China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Chile, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Venezuela and . . . Canada. The Canadian listing is mainly because it has yet to ratify the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty addressing information technology. The report also listed “notorious” online markets that warrant investigation or action including Baidu and a number of other Chinese sites, Russia’s Allofmp3.com and Korea’s Webhards.
On a related note, a Government Accountability Report found that “commonly cited estimates of U.S. industry losses due to counterfeiting have been sourced to U.S. agencies, but cannot be substantiated or traced back to an underlying data source or methodology.”
More Info: Piracy Report, Canada Again Tops “Special” US Piracy Watchlist, ArsTechnica; US government finally admits most piracy estimates are bogus; ArsTechnica
Hitler Parodies Spark Fair Use Debate
While few saw the 2004 Oscar nominated German film “Downfall” about the final days of Hitler, millions have scene spoofs of a bunker scene of a Hitler rant using new subtitles to have the Fuhrer rant on such things as falling for a Nigerian email scam, Kanye West etc. – the very type of content which the Fair Use Doctrine is meant to protect. While, the film’s director is a fan of the parodies (having seen 145 parodies and list his favorite as a rant over being unable to get Billy Elliot tickets on Broadway), the studio is using YouTube’s ContentID system (which bypasses the normal DMCA takedown notice procedure) to virtually eliminate them from the site. This has caused the Electronic Frontier Foundation to object and even post its own parody having Hitler rant about the failure of the DMCA to protect fair use – which also was flagged by the studio. YouTube notes that posters can dispute any copyright objection, but few in fact do.
More Info: Everyone Who’s Made a Hitler Parody Video, Leave the Room, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Gamestation April Fool’s Prank Yields 7,500 Souls
UK video game etailer Gamestation changed its terms and conditions to add the language on the left as part of an April Fool’s prank. Gamestation reserved the righ to tender notice of its intention to exercise the option “in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act.” To its credit, Gamestation included an opt-out link in which the user could receive a £5 voucher, but only 12 percent of user’s exercised this option. Gamestation stated it has no intention of exercising its rights under their Faustian term (but it did not say whether it will it be listed as an asset on their Q2 financial statements).
At Least He Didn’t Say the Internet Was a Series of Tubes
A Florida legislator has come under fire after being spotted on video viewing internet porn. Florida State Senator Mike Bennett claimed it was an accident as he mistyped the web address for Cyber Report (not really but it is better than the real excuse he gave).
More Info: Sen. Mike Bennett Caught Looking at Porn on Senate Floor, Sunshine News