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Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates

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How bad could things get? You can find out in Saudi Arabia, where even entertainment in the form of movies is illegal and has apparently had to go underground:
...Last Thursday, after evening prayers, more than 60 people attended the first screening by the Red Wax secret cinema in a large warehouse in the south-western city of Abha. Directed to the clandestine event by text message, they crowded inside the hired space, which was then bolted shut.

Most sat on cheap red plastic chairs placed in rows before a makeshift screen made from a large white sheet, but as the audience was larger than the organisers had expected, some stood. As the lights dimmed, nervousness gave way to quiet anticipation and in silence they watched a film about the lives of migrant workers on one of the country's major building projects. After the screening the audience discussed the issues it raised and the ban on cinema in the kingdom.

"I was really nervous; everyone was nervous," said the film's director, one founder of Red Wax. "We didn't have a plan if [police came]. Everyone parked away from the place. We sent them directions by text message to their mobiles or rang them. Our fears are just to get caught or sent to jail."...

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- from Secret cinema gently subverts Saudi Arabia's puritanism
The Internet is viewed with the same degree of mistrust and suspicion, and there is an army of online Saudi government censors, intent on ensuring that the user experience is "legal" from the orthodox religious standpoint.


Here comes the internet watchdog system:

"(CNN) -- It is about to get a bit more difficult to illegally download TV shows, movies or music online.

A new alert system, rolling out over the next two months, will repeatedly warn and possibly punish people violating digital copyrights. The Copyright Alert System was announced last July and has been four years in the making.

If you use AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, or Verizon as your Internet service provider, you could receive the first of one of these notes starting in the next two months."

I will be watching out for if this extends to the locker services.

If a customer feels they are being wrongly accused, they can ask for a review, which will cost them $35 according to the Verge.
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Thank you for your letter.

Please note that the use of my mailbox is subject to usage fees. Your unsolicited and unauthorized use carries with it a small additional surcharge in addition to some minor penalties.

You may remit the amount you owe, USD $150,000.00 (i.e. the cash equivalent to about 1 song), to <bank account details>, on or before the due date, i.e. today. Late fees and interest charges apply.

Also find enclosed, a payment for $35 for a case review. Your acceptance of payment is considered full acceptance of the terms of this communication.

Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

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Very good points made in this post: 30 Years Of The CD, Of Digital Piracy, And Of Music Industry Cluelessness
Here's an extract - read the rest at the link.
The CD therefore stands as a wonderful symbol of the music industry's inability to see the deeper, underlying trends in technology, and where they would take us. Back then, it meant that nobody was worried about the idea that people would copy digital files from CDs and share them, because they forgot that technology would make possible tomorrow the things that seemed impossible today. Now it means the copyright industries are still trying to preserve unsustainable 20th century business models instead of planning for the incredible technologies we will have in 10, 20 or even 30 years time. They only have to look at the history of the CD and digital piracy to see just how far things can go -- and how wrong our current assumptions can be.

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