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Adobe Announces Plan To Essentially Steal Money From Venezuelans Because It 'Has To' Due To US Sanctions

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Adobe has long had a history of questionable behavior, when it comes to the rights of its customers, and how the public is informed on all things Adobe. With the constant hammering on the concept that software it sells is licensed rather than purchased, not to mention with the move to more SaaS and cloud-based software, the company is, frankly, one of the pack leaders in consumers not actually owning what they bought.But what's happening in Venezuela is something completely different. Adobe will be disabling its services entirely in that country, announcing that it was giving customers there roughly a month to download any content stored in the cloud. After that, poof, no more official Adobe access in Venezuela. That includes access for SaaS services that were prepaid. For such prepaid services, Adobe has also announced that zero refunds will be provided.Why is this happening? According to Adobe, it's to comply with Trump's Executive Order 13884.

In the document, Adobe explains: “The U.S. Government issued Executive Order 13884, the practical effect of which is to prohibit almost all transactions and services between U.S. companies, entities, and individuals in Venezuela. To remain compliant with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela.”To make matters worse, customers won’t be able to receive refunds for any purchases or outstanding subscriptions, as Adobe says that the executive order calls for “the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.”
As the Verge post points out, if you're shrugging at the idea that the average Venezuelan citizen just got bilked out of money or software for which they paid, private citizens aren't the only ones who will be affected by this. NGOs and news outfits will likewise be impacted by the move and those are some of the organizations attempting to affect change in Venezuela.If nothing else, this should highlight just how risky engaging in SaaS-style tech service has become. It's one thing to pay your money and not actually own what you've bought. It's quite another to pay that money, not own what you bought, and not get your money back when you don't even get that thing you don't own at all -- because of international politics.

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Guy Who Tried To Extort YouTubers With Bogus DMCA Takedowns Agrees To Settlement

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Just a couple months back we wrote about YouTube suing a guy for trying to extort YouTubers with bogus DMCA notices. The evidence was pretty damning that Christopher Brady had been harassing and demanding money from various YouTubers and using the threat of bogus DMCA notices (which could kill someone's account) for leverage. The complaint also suggested that Brady was looking to swat some YouTubers as well. As we noted in our original post, the case hinged on Section 512(f) of the DMCA, which was supposed to be the tool to prevent false takedown notices -- but, which in practice is effectively a dead letter, as 512(f) claims rarely go anywhere. If there was some hope that a case with the facts so blatant might breathe new life into 512(f), well, that ended quickly as Brady has wasted no time at all in agreeing to settle the case.The settlement is pretty straightforward. Brady agrees not to send any more bogus DMCA notices to YouTube and also agrees not to "misrepresent or mask" his identity on any Google property. He also agreed to pay $25,000 to Google, which probably about covers their legal bills for bringing this case. Brady also released an apology statement, which suggests he may have sent more bogus DMCA notices than were included in the lawsuit.

I, Christopher L. Brady, admit that I sent dozens of notices to YouTube falsely claiming that material uploaded by YouTube users infringed my copyrights. I apologize to the YouTube users that I directly impacted by my actions, to the YouTube community, and to YouTube itself.
Of course, while it's good to see such an apology and settlement, it still doesn't change the fact that bogus DMCA notices happen all the time. While Brady may have been more extreme and more blatant than most, there's still a huge problem with a law that creates a situation that mere accusation will often get content removed.

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