OTW Fannews: Privacy and preservation

  • Salon warned consumers that entertainment driven by data gathering “won’t end well.” Author Andrew Leonard described how much Netflix knew about his viewing experience with a particular show: “I hit the pause button roughly one-third of the way through the first episode of ‘House of Cards,’…Netflix, by far the largest provider of commercial streaming video programming in the United States, registers hundreds of millions of such events…Netflix doesn’t know merely what we’re watching, but when, where and with what kind of device we’re watching. It keeps a record of every time we pause the action — or rewind, or fast-forward — and how many of us abandon a show entirely after watching for a few minutes…Netflix might not know exactly why I personally hit the pause button…but if enough people pause or rewind or fast-forward at the same place during the same show, the data crunchers can start to make some inferences.”
  • The government also wants to know what we’re doing with our devices. Discussing the release of Twitter’s transparency report, The Verge says “Governments seemed more interested in user data last year, making 1,858 information requests (by comparison, Google received a total of 21,389 requests from data just in the second half of 2012). There wasn’t a huge shift in any category in the second half of the year for Twitter except for government takedown requests, which rose from 6 to 42.” The majority of takedown requests came under the DMCA and “the company removed material from its network for about 45.3% of takedown notices.”
  • On the Media broadcast an interview focusing on new copyright enforcement in the U.S. “Starting in the next couple of months, five of the country’s largest Internet service providers, AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon will implement what is called the Copyright Alert System, known colloquially as ‘six strikes.’ In the works for over a year, the system is meant to create an escalating series of penalties for serial illegal downloaders.” The guest was Jill Lesser, executive director of the Center for Copyright Information, a collaboration between industry associations like the MPAA and RIAA and ISPs. (Transcript available)
  • The Digital Preservation Coalition published the report Intellectual Property Rights and Preservation [PDF 1187KB] by Andrew Charlesworth, focusing on the legal obstacles to preserving digital material. The document focuses on UK law only, but is valuable for its risk assessment and recommended actions, regardless of location.

What legal and technology stories have you been focused on? Write about those issues in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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