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April 2019
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Content Marketing in Boring Industries: 5 Things Every Startup Needs to Know

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By Mary Walton A startup is a relatively new company that is still in a phase of developing. Generally, startups are small and are financed by one or more people that are also working in a startup company. Often, these types of companies offer something new on the market. The startups are trying to get […]The post Content Marketing in Boring Industries: 5 Things Every Startup Needs to Know appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Apr-2019
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Another Week, Another Hollywood Company Files A Takedown Against TorrentFreak

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The news site TorrentFreak tends to get more false DMCA copyright notices than other sites, in part because of its name. It seems that people who don't bother investigating anything jump to the wrong conclusion that because it has "Torrent" in its name, it must be a "piracy" site, rather than a news site that reports on news about copyright and filesharing. So last week, TorrentFreak got some attention after Starz not only sent a bogus DMCA takedown over a TorrentFreak news article about leaked TV shows, but then started DMCAing anyone who even tweeted that Starz was abusing the DMCA this way. Starz eventually admitted it had made a mistake and issued a pretty lame apology.You might think that others in Hollywood would at least pay a little attention to this sort of thing -- but apparently not. This weekend TorrentFreak reported that yet another tweet of yet another of its stories was removed due to a copyright claim -- this time from Warner Bros. Just like last time, where Starz utilized an awful third party service (The Social Element) to handle these takedowns, this time Warner Bros employed a company called Marketly, one of a few such companies who claim they're in the "brand protection" business and go around issuing often dubious takedowns.

The takedown notice, sent by Warner Bros' anti-piracy partner Marketly, accused us of posting a tweet that made computer program(s) available for copying through downloading, without permission of the copyright owner.We hereby give notice of these activities to you and request that you take expeditious action to remove or disable access to the material described above, and thereby prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of this software via your company's network, the notice added.
Except that nothing in the tweet in question made a "computer program" available for copying. The tweet was pointing to a story from last month entitled Former Kinox.to & Movie4k.to Admin Freed, Tax Office Retrieves €1.75m:
While it is a story about former pirate streaming sites, you'd think it's the kind of story a company like Warner Bros. would like to keep up, as it talks about the operator of such a site going to prison and handing over a ton of money.I sent Marketly a bunch of questions regarding this takedown, and the company got back to me actually defending the takedown and insisting it was appropriate. The argument was that because Twitter automatically turns URLs into links, so the headline itself was "linking" to two pirate sites:
The hyperlinks Twitter inserted in TorrentFreak's tweet directed users to webpages that are infringing on Warner Bros. content causing Marketly to issue a notice as noted in TorrentFreak's article.
But that's questionable on multiple levels. First of all, no one is using those particular links to magically discover pirate websites. Second, they are still news articles, reporting on news about these sites, and the fact that those should be censored raises serious 1st Amendment questions. Third, even if those links do go to the sites, they are still not links directly to Warner Bros. infringing material. Instead, they are links to sites whereby people might find Warner Bros. infringing material. But that's also true of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter itself and much, much more. Does Marketly take it upon itself to block links to those sites as well?The DMCA does let you block links to specifically infringing content, but not to entire sites across the board, yet Marketly (and apparently) Warner Bros., don't much seem to care about the specifics of the law. Like so many in Hollywood, the incorrect assumption they make is that if a site has some infringing material, then there's no problem with wiping out the entire site.

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Apr-2019
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Good News From The EU For A Change: A Strong Directive To Protect Whistleblowers

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A lot of bad stuff has been coming out of the EU lately, notably the awful Copyright Directive with its upload filters. So it makes a pleasant change to report on the passing of strong legislation to protect whistleblowers revealing breaches of EU law, a move which the Pirate MEP Julia Reda describes as "One of the greatest successes of this mandate!". Its scope is wide. Areas covered include public procurement, financial services, money laundering and terrorist financing, product safety, transport safety, environmental protection, nuclear safety, food and feed safety, animal health and welfare, public health, consumer protection, and -- of particular interest to Techdirt readers -- privacy, data protection and security of networks and information systems. Two key components of the new directive are "safe reporting channels" and "safeguards against retaliation", as the European Parliament's press release explains:

To ensure potential whistle-blowers remain safe and that the information disclosed remains confidential, the new rules allow them to disclose information either internally to the legal entity concerned or directly to competent national authorities, as well as to relevant EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies.In cases where no appropriate action was taken in response to the whistle-blower's initial report, or if they believe there is an imminent danger to the public interest or a risk of retaliation, the reporting person will still be protected if they choose to disclose information publicly.The law explicitly prohibits reprisals and introduces safeguards to prevent the whistle-blower from being suspended, demoted and intimidated or facing other forms of retaliation. Those assisting whistle-blowers, such as facilitators, colleagues, relatives are also protected.Member states must ensure whistle-blowers have access to comprehensive and independent information and advice on available procedures and remedies free-of-charge, as well as legal aid during proceedings. During legal proceedings, those reporting may also receive financial and psychological support.
There is now one final vote by EU ministers, expected to proceed without the drama that accompanied the similar vote for the Copyright Directive. Once passed, there will be a two-year period during which EU Member States need to implement the directive in their national legislation.The general consensus among activists in the digital sphere seems to be that the new directive is probably as good as it could be given the past resistance of some governments to the idea of protecting those who reveal their wrongdoing. It is particularly welcome against the background of the Copyright Directive's upload filters, which will create a convenient mechanism on the main Internet services for blocking documents obtained by whistleblowers. What we need now are the creation of more online sites that are not subject to the Copyright Directive -- because they are not for profit, for example -- willing to host material from whistleblowers encouraged to act by the legal protection afforded by the new EU directive.Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter, Diaspora, or Mastodon.

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Apr-2019
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Does Privacy Exist?

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By Peter Koeppel The last couple of years have brought the concept of digital privacy into the spotlight. It's not that this wasn't an issue of some concern in the past, but recent scandals such as that of Cambridge Analytica/Facebook really forced everyone to take a look at the nasty side of data collection and […]The post Does Privacy Exist? appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 23-Apr-2019
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