Weekly News Roundup (November 6, 2016)

A new week brings more new stories, and usually something interesting to write in the intro. I’m really struggling today, so I’m going to cheat and skip trying to think of something to say here and get straight to the news.


Facebook may be the place you get your funny cat pictures from, but it’s also the place where some get their illegally downloaded music from. And where there’s piracy, there’s an anti-piracy agency sniffing around to see if it can get in on the action. And that’s exactly what prolific Dutch anti-piracy agency BREIN did last week when it targeted nine Facebook groups that have been accused of sharing copyrighted music. Facebook obliged without much resistance and closed down those groups immediately.

Copyright groups and their masters are notoriously slow when it comes to keeping up with the latest trends, and with most of their focus having been on websites, forums and torrent trackers, pirates have been quietly moving into social media for some time now. Now that copyright groups such as BREIN have finally caught up, it may signal the next round of copyright whack-a-mole, now involving social sites.

If the whack-a-mole game becomes too tedious, also expect copyright groups to try and hold sites like Facebook and Twitter responsible for all their woes, anything to actually not have to innovate and cater to their audience’s needs.

So while some copyright groups are busy trying take down half the Internet in order to protect their outdated business model, others are trying hard to strengthen laws in order to protect their outdated business model. Thus the DMCA was born in the late 90’s, when the Internet thing just started to scare the bejesus out of the movie studios and record labels. Since then, it’s various flaws have been exposed and none more so than the controversial anti-circumvention provision.


The DMCA has hindered security research and allowed malicious actors to hack devices unhindered

Companies have been abusing the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision to stifle innovation, reduce competition and even cover up negative coverage about the security flaws in their own products. It’s gotten so bad that security researchers, whose job is to find flaws before those with malicious intent find and utilize them for their own nefarious means, have been unable to do their job for fear of being prosecuted under the DMCA. Of course, black hat hackers don’t care about the law, and so they’ve been able to do their “job” unhindered in many cases. As I write in the news story, “this chilling effect may have contributed to an epidemic of hacking and malware attacks on devices ranging from smart light bulbs to security cameras, especially now with more and more devices now having public facing Internet connectability”.

The good news is that the government has finally wised up to the problem, and the FTC among others have lobbied the US Copyright Office to grant a new exemption to allow researchers to finally do their job, without the fear of being sued.

And it only took 20 years for this sensible change to occur!


Remember Iceland’s Pirate Party and how they had become a political force to be reckoned with in the country, well Iceland held their election last week and while the Pirate Party did extremely well with 15% of the vote (compared to 29% received by the country’s largest political party), it wasn’t enough for them to form government, which would have truly been an extraordinary turn of events had it occurred.

Still, it was a very good effort and perhaps something to build on while in opposition.


Wii U

This is the first picture we’ve ever uploaded for the Wii U, which ended productions this past week

Sad news for Wii U fans as reports suggests Nintendo has officially ended production for the console. There’s been a lot of talk about how the Switch is what the Wii U should have been, and there has just been as many people defending the Wii U for what it is – a console that was never going to be as popular as the Wii, but was a stepping stone in Nintendo’s eventual vision for the Switch.

But the bottom line is clear – the Wii U was not a commercial success for Nintendo, having only sold a bit more than 13.4 million units, and it’s been retired fairly early in relation to the typical console lifecycle (it’s only a year older than the PS4 and Xbox One, both of which have easily outsold the Wii U in the 3 years they’ve been on the market).

So it’s bye-bye to the Wii U (and the Wii brand, in fact), and hello to the Switch. Can’t wait!


And it’s a bye-bye to all of you as we come to the end of another WNR. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading, see you next week!


Comments are closed.

About Digital Digest | Help | Privacy | Submissions | Sitemap

© Copyright 1999-2012 Digital Digest. Duplication of links or content is strictly prohibited.