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March 2019
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Facebook's Campaign Budget Optimization Will Be Mandatory, What Marketers Need to Know

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By Brian Bowman, CEO of ConsumerAcquisition.com Facebook initially launched Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) a year ago with the intent to give marketers the option to allow machine learning to control their budget at the campaign level. When CBO is activated, marketers allow Facebook to automatically move the budget to the most effective ad set in […]The post Facebook's Campaign Budget Optimization Will Be Mandatory, What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 07-Mar-2019
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Swiss Supreme Court Refuses To Order ISPs To Block 'Pirate' Sites

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Site-blocking is now officially a thing in many corners of the world, with rightsholders using the court system to restrict access to sites they complain are "pirate" sites. Between that practice and legislation being introduced by many countries in the full throes of regulatory capture, in which moneyed interests convince politicians to protect their own antiquated modes of business over the interests of the every day citizen, the censoring of the internet and the opening of wide avenues of potential abuse are in full swing.But this isn't the case everywhere. In Switzerland, for instance, some specifics in how that country operates have led its courts to do things differently. For one, Switzerland is not a member state of the EU, and so it is not bound by the same rules as most other European nations. In addition to that, Swiss copyright law is such that personal downloading or streaming of content, even if unauthorized, is not illegal. Both of those specifics came to a head when film company Praesens-Film asked the courts to order Swisscom, an ISP, to block what it said are pirate sites. The court refused. Praesens-Film decided to appeal the decision until it eventually reached the Swiss Supreme Court. That court, too, has now refused to order the blocking of pirate sites.

“In order for Swisscom to be obliged to block the Internet sites in question, it would need to be a participant in a copyright infringement by third parties, by making a legally relevant contribution to it. That’s not the case,” the Court wrote this week.The Court agreed that the operators of the sites in question (and the companies making the movies available via hosting services) are breaking the law, but it refused to connect the ISP to those infringements.“[S]wisscom can not be accused of making a concrete contribution to these copyright infringements. The activity of Swisscom is limited to offering access to the worldwide Internet,” the Court added. “The films are not [released by Swisscom] but released by third parties from unknown locations abroad. These Third parties are neither customers of Swisscom nor are they otherwise in a relationship with them.”
Frankly, this is as it should be. The job of the ISP is to provide internet service. It's right there in the name. It is not the job of the ISP to play copyright police throughout the world and to restrict access to sites based on the claims of an entertainment industry that has showed itself to be wholly inept at determining what is a "pirate" site and what isn't. While the court pointed out that legislators could go ahead and change copyright law in the country, the law as written wouldn't justify this kind of censorship request.
The infringements in such cases are not only carried out by pirate sites, they’re also carried out by the customers of ISPs, who illegally stream or download copyrighted content to their home connections. In Switzerland, however, downloading or streaming content – even when that content is from an unlicensed source – is not illegal.“[T]here is no copyright infringement on the part of the users,” the Court said. “Copyright law allows this use of published works for personal use, regardless of whether the source is lawful or unlawful. Legislators rejected the copyright revision, which would have prohibited the duplication of works from illegal sources for their own use.”
It would be nice if these versions of copyright laws could be exported throughout the world, if only to disrupt the gross censorship of the internet that has already begun and will only get worse now that that door has been cracked open. While the infringement of copyright sucks for the rightsholder, that pain doesn't justify a tidal wave of site-blocking across a public that, by and large, doesn't commit copyright infringement. It appears that understanding that personal downloading and/or streaming is not something worth addressing in the criminal code is at least one antidote to site-blocking.

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posted at: 12:00am on 07-Mar-2019
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California Legislators Want To Make It More Difficult For Records Requesters To Get Documents From The Government

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The California legislature handed the public a win by making police misconduct records obtainable through records requests. The transparency very few law enforcement agencies are welcoming is still being litigated, but going forward it seems clear cops will no longer be able to hide their misconduct behind a wall of government-enabled opacity.I guess California legislators believe some sort of transparency equilibrium must be maintained. They've introduced a bill that will make it more difficult for requesters to obtain documents. (via Dave Maass) The bill amends the state's public records law to create another hoop for requesters to jump through before they can get a hold of documents the law says are rightfully theirs.Here's the key amendment:

Before instituting any proceeding for injunctive or declarative relief or writ of mandate in any court or competent jurisdiction, the person shall meet and confer in good faith with the agency in an attempt to informally resolve each issue. The person or their attorney shall file a declaration stating that this meet and confer process has occurred at the time that proceedings are instituted.
This may seem like a minimal imposition, but it really isn't. Only a small percentage of public records requesters live close to the agencies they're seeking to obtain documents from. Even if they are nearby, the law allows agencies to set the agenda. Agencies take as long as they want to set up a meeting, pushing rejected requests past the law's upper limits for responses.Even if agencies allow these conferences to happen by phone, requesters are still at the mercy of agencies that are in no hurry to return responses. This is just another way for agencies to stonewall requesters in hopes of deterring them from following through on their requests.The litigation option is being delayed for no discernible purpose. Few things motivate recalcitrant government agencies like lawsuits. This is a gift to uncooperative agencies, presented as a common sense solution to the costs of litigation. Sure, in a perfect world, these discussions could head off pricey lawsuits. But the world we actually live in requires litigation a great deal of the time because few government agencies are truly responsive to records requesters.And it's all going to end up in court anyway. The court will now have to rule first on whether a good faith effort was made prior to the filing, which will result in more expenses incurred by both parties as they attempt to persuade a judge an attempt was or wasn't made by one party. There's nothing in the law that punishes agencies for screwing around with requesters and no time limit is placed on the mandated meetings.Hopefully, this new requirement will never make its way into law. If it does, it should be challenged immediately on the grounds that it violates rights guaranteed by the state. If state legislators are truly concerned about the ever-escalating cost of public records litigation, they should focus their time and energy cracking down on agencies with track records of unresponsiveness, rather than just make it more difficult to force records out of these agencies' hands.

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posted at: 12:00am on 07-Mar-2019
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