EFF report on the US patent system
Tue 24 Feb 2015, 10:43

The "Defend Innovation" whitepaper is the culmination of two-and-a-half years worth of research, drawing from the stories, expertise, and ideas of more than 16,500 people who agree that the current patent system is broken. Split into two parts, the report covers both the challenges facing innovators under the current patent regime, as well as concrete measures that policymakers must take in the coming year.

EC research finds shutting down of pirate sites ineffective
Thu 14 May 2015, 20:44

New research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre shows that shutting down pirate website such as The Pirate Bay is relatively ineffective and potentially counterproductive.

In the working paper entitled “Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behavior, and Market Structure” researchers examined clickstream data to see how legal and illegal consumption habits changed in response to the shutdown. Results show a short-lived decrease in piracy (after which piracy levels return to normal) and only a small increase in the use of legal services.

Vuvuzela, a next-generation anonymity tool that protects users by adding noise
Fri 18 Dec 2015, 13:00

Tor allows users to browse the web anonymously, but has come under sustained attack – and cracks have begun to show. Is it time for a replacement? Vuvuzela, a prototype anonymising software designed by MIT researchers, is one attempt.

Vuvuzela works by encrypting as much metadata as possible, but (like its namesake) it also adds a lot of noise – fake messages with which to confuse attackers. As they are indistinguishable from genuine messages, this drowns out patterns of genuine communication that might otherwise compromise a user’s anonymity.

Dutch Copyright Act introduces open access
Thu 16 Jul 2015, 14:41

On 1 July 2015 the new Dutch Copyright Act (Wet Auteurscontractenrecht, Staatsblad 2015, 257; in Dutch only) became effective. Section 25 fa has been inserted to state that authors are legally entitled to make the results of their research open access available.

UK report finds rising digital privacy concerns
Thu 21 Apr 2016, 19:00

A comprehensive study of Brits’ usage of and attitudes to digital media, conducted annually by telecoms watchdog Ofcom, suggests there is growing concern among web and app users about the privacy of their personal data.

Data mining: the law should not hinder French research
Mon 25 Apr 2016, 15:03

In order to ensure copyright protection, current French law forbids scientists to reuse published scientific articles. The legislators risk heavily undermining public research by creating multiple legal hurdles to text and data mining. Unlike their counterparts abroad, copyright and databases laws do not allow French scientists to reuse scientific articles, even their own or those they purchased. Therefore it is imperative that the Digital Republic Bill takes this into consideration and allows for an exception to copyright laws that would enable and encourage text and data mining. This would enable the French research community to seize new scientific opportunities and would curtail researchers’ departure abroad.