European Parliament rejects ACTA
Members of the European Parliament have voted by a huge majority to reject the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secretive treaty that threatened to take intellectual property enforcement measures beyond internationally established norms. As European Digital Rights (EDRi) and La Quadrature du Net report, the vote follows citizen protests against the treaty of an unprecedented scale. In a blog post entitled “The Impossible becomes possible”, Michael Geist provides background and analysis: “ACTA is not yet dead – it may still eke out the necessary six ratifications in a year or two for it to take effect – but it is badly damaged and will seemingly never achieve the goals of its supporters as a model for other countries to adopt and to emerge as a new global standard for IP enforcement”.
EDRi | La Quadrature du Net | Geist
UK: Mass of government data on public services to be published
The Guardian reports on the UK government’s announcement that it will publish hundreds of data sets that can be shared and reused by the public about the performance of public services. In related news, the United States’ Sunlight Foundation has have released a set of guidelines for such government-mandated open data policies.
Government announcement | Sunlight Foundation Guidelines
US: Federal judge deals blow to patent wranglers
Judge Richard Posner has thrown out a case in which Apple and Google had accused each other of infringing software patents contained in their mobile phone technologies. Writing about the decision in the Guardian, technology columnist John Naughton calls the move “striking a blow for common sense in what [has] become a madhouse”.
Report | Naughton
“Declaration of Internet Freedom” launched
The Register reports on the launch of the “Declaration of Internet Freedom”, a short statement of principles aimed at preserving a free and open internet, which has been launched by a group of organizations and individuals to time with the anniversary this week of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776: “So far, its main goal seems to be to open a public dialogue on the issues.”
Report | Declaration
World Bank wins SPARC innovator award
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) have named the World Bank a “SPARC Innovator” in recognition of the institution’s commitment to Open Access, most recently demonstrated in a new Open Access policy covering all its research outputs: “When an organization as large as the World Bank wholeheartedly embraces openness, many hope the impact will not just be a ripple but a wave”.
Seeing Like a Geek
In this essay for Crooked Timber, open data skeptic Tom Slee warns that the rise of open data will trigger a concurrent rise in the market for complementary data services, a market that will be characterized by “a few, big firms, each with significant market power”. The piece forms part of a series of essays on open data being published by Crooked Timber in the coming weeks.
Slee | Series
3D printing and social change
This paper for First Monday by Matt Ratto and Robert Ree charts the history of 3D printing, looking at its position in the industrial process as well as in hacker subculture, and argues that more sustained attention should be paid to the ways in which 3D printing is entering into creative environments.
Creative Commons licensing in the world of philanthropy
Andrew Blanco blogs about his project to produce best practice guidelines for grant-makers wishing to encourage their grantees to use Creative Commons licenses.
Reports from the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2012
The Global Voices Summit, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya this week, brought together bloggers, activists and technologists from around the world to take part in conversations and workshops about the rise of online citizen media. Reports and videos from the summit have been collected on its blog.