Real DMCA Reform: The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013

May 9, 2013 -

Finally members of Congress have put forth serious DMCA reform legislation and rights groups are praising it right out of the gate. The new legislation is called the "Unlocking Technology Act of 2013," and is sponsored by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 legalizes unlocking cell phone unlocking and modifies the DMCA so that unlocking copy-protected content is only illegal if it's done in order to "facilitate the infringement of a copyright."

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Harry Reid's Internet Tax Bill Easily Passes in the Senate

May 7, 2013 -

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate seem to agree that requiring online retailers to collect sales tax is a great idea. A bipartisan coalition from both parties easily passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69-to-27. The bill was sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who fast-tracked the bill and avoided any committee that might have had oversight over the bill.

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White House Finally Responds to Anti-CISPA Petition

May 1, 2013 -

Well, I guess we'll file this one under "better late than never." The White House has finally responded to a Petition signed by over 100,000 people asking the Administration to oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. While the bill easily passed the House, the Senate has decided that it will not create a counterpart to the bill in this year's session.

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PA Senate Resolution 6 Seeks to Study Violent Media in Wake of Sandy Hook Shooting

April 30, 2013 -

Daniel Greenberg passed along this little gem that flew under the radar earlier in the year - a resolution introduced to the Pennsylvania General Assembly (Resolution 6) that would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study "the issue of violence prevention, to establish an advisory committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes of violent crime, including mass shootings, and to report to the Senate with its findings and recommendations."

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Senate Confirms No Action on CISPA Bill

April 26, 2013 -

As Atlantic Wire points out in this article, and which we anticipated to be the case in this story earlier in the week CISPA is all but dead in the Senate as lawmakers in the upper House tackle issues they deem more important this year.

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Americans for Tax Reform: Pledge Takers Can't Vote For Internet Tax Bill

April 25, 2013 -

While the Senate is likely to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act being rammed through the Senate past the red tape of committees and onto the floor for a vote later today or by the end of this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV.), House Republicans face a roadblock that they put in place themselves when it comes time to vote for their Internet tax bill: a pledge.

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House Judiciary Chairman Promises Series of Hearings on U.S. Copyright Law

April 25, 2013 -

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced yesterday plans to conduct a serious of hearings aimed at identifying problems with U.S. copyright laws and updating them for the modern digital age. Goodlatte was a key sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) last year alongside the bill's author, former chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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President Obama Backs Harry Reid's Internet Tax Plan

April 23, 2013 -

The movement to bring State sales tax across the board to Internet retailers got an important endorsement this week as President Barack Obama "enthusiasticlly endorsed" the efforts by Senator Harry Reid (D-NEVADA) to push the Marketplace Fairness Act forward at a breakneck pace - according to The Hill. Senators advanced the bill in a 74-20 procedural vote on Monday evening, one vote less than it received in a test vote last month.

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Senate Majority Leader Attempts to Fast-Track Internet Tax Bill Vote

April 18, 2013 -

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week began the process of pushing the Marketplace Fairness Act before the full Senate without making its way through the Senate Finance Committee (mostly because many of the leaders in the committee don't like the bill and would stall it), according to Politico.

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Rep. Justin Amash Publicly Rails Against CISPA

April 18, 2013 -

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI 3rd District) has increased his public critique of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act in the last few days after an amendment that would have added more privacy protections to the bill were rejected in the House Rules Committee this week.

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Rep. Mike Pompeo Urges Colleagues to Support CISPA

April 18, 2013 -

In an editorial penned for The Hill to convince members of congress to join him, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) says that the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) bill is a good thing. He extols the virtues of its commitment to the protection of Constitutional civil liberties and privacy because in Kansas protecting individual rights is in its citizens' "DNA."

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White House Promises Veto of CISPA in its Present Form

April 17, 2013 -

While CISPA is likely to come up for a vote as soon as this afternoon or tomorrow, the White House has come out against it in a statement and has promised to veto it if it crosses President Barack Obama's desk in its current state.

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller's Violent Media Study Bill Offered as Amendment to Gun Control Bill

April 17, 2013 -

In a sneaky move to get his misguided legislation passed easier, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.

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Civil Liberties Groups Send CISPA Opposition Letter to Members of Congress

April 17, 2013 -

Thirty-four civil liberties groups have signed onto a letter urging lawmakers in the House of Representatives to vote against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) when it comes up for a vote on the floor either today or tomorrow. The letter lays out the collective groups' continued opposition to the bill after a secret markup hearing last week was held and amendments put forward that would have added privacy protections for Americans were soundly rejected by hearing members.

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Four Democratic House Members Oppose CISPA, Want Changes on Privacy

April 16, 2013 -

Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (CA), Rush Holt (NJ), Janice Schakowsky (IL) and Adam B. Schiff (CA) have written a "Dear Colleague" letter coming out strongly against the current version of CISPA, saying that the bill "has major shortcomings and would undermine the interests of citizens and their privacy."

NJ Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Ban Non-Existent 'Mature Rated' Public Arcade Games

April 15, 2013 -

New Jersey State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) plans to introduce legislation to ban violent video games in public places. The Assemblywoman has proposed a law that would ban all "M" rated and "Adults Only" games from public places such as amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling allies, retail stories and other public places. It is a move similar to what the Massachusetts Department of Transportation did on its thruways earlier this year.

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Democrats, White House Express Dislike for CISPA in its Current Form

April 12, 2013 -

While (most, not all) Republicans seems to largely embrace and support the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISP) sponsored by congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Politico provides a ray of hope for those who oppose what rights groups are calling a slick "government surveillance" bill.

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn Re-Introduces SECURE IT Act

April 11, 2013 -

While Rep. Mike Roger rushes CISPA through a markup committee hearing this week, one Rep. is getting her own cybersecurity bill ready for a floor vote. While Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) called on the SEC to issue formal guidance on corporate disclosures related to cyber attacks, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) re-introduced the SECURE IT Act. Her bill is an alternative to the Senate's Cyber-Security Act of 2012 (S. 2105).

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CISPA Overwhelmingly Approved at Secret House Markup Hearing

April 11, 2013 -

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has made it out of its markup hearing in the House by a vote of 18-2. That means that the bill could be voted on by the full House on the floor as soon as next week. Worst still members of the committee overwhelmingly voted down an amendment that would have added some privacy provisions into the bill.

Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 47

April 11, 2013 -

Episode 47 of the Super Podcast Action Committee is finally available after a rocky start to the week for Andrew and EZK, who both are apparently very sick. Nevertheless, they tough it out to catch up on the last two polls (one about dying Xbox 360s and another about punishing politicians for creating unconstitutional laws) and take some time to give EA kudos for winning the Worst Company in America award for a second year in a row. Will 2014 make the third time the charm? Stay tuned!

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Report: SEC Filings Show No Financial Impact From Cyberattacks

April 10, 2013 -

Even as Congress tackles the issue of crafting decent legislation to deal with cyberattacks (and no, CISPA is not decent legislation in its current form) in a secret "closed to the public" markup meeting, Techdirt has uncovered the fact that 27 companies have told the SEC that cyberattacks have had no impact. According to this Bloomberg report, 27 companies reported cyberattacks in SEC filings.

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Poll Results: Should Lawmakers Be Punished for Passing Bad Laws?

April 9, 2013 -

Last week we asked you "Should lawmakers be penalized for passing patently unconstitutional legislation?" And here are the results of that poll. Exactly 652 votes were cast, with the majority of voters saying that the cost of bad legislation should come out of lawmakers' pockets. 15 percent of votes went to giving lawmakers jail time for passing laws found not legal under the U.S. Constitution, 14 percent said they should be fired, and 13 percent think they should be voted out of office (or that people should vote against them if they don't like the laws they pass).

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PSA: CISPA Meeting This Week, Have Your Say

April 8, 2013 -

Just a friendly reminder: this week the House of Representatives will hold a mark-up meeting for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) behind closed doors and hidden from the public.

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Advocacy Groups Ask Congress for Transparency in CISPA Hearing Next Week

April 4, 2013 -

On March 20 a coalition of advocacy groups, concerned citizens, academics, and web sites sent a letter to the White House urging the President of the United States to veto CISPA in its current state if it is passed by the House and Senate.

Lawmakers To Hold CISPA Hearing Behind Closed Doors Next Week

April 4, 2013 -

Next week when the House Intelligence Committee takes up the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA - HR 624) it will hold its markup hearing behind closed doors and away from the prying eyes of the general public and critics of the bill. Not only will this hide the discussion lawmakers have about this bill, but it will also allow them to stealthily make any amendments to the bill they like without having to worry about immediate scrutiny from anyone.

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CDT: Cyber Security Bill 'Basically Authorizes Hacking'

April 4, 2013 -

Watchdog and online advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology says that the new cyber security bill makes its way through Congress is so badly written that it effectively authorize hacking.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein Talks Guns and Games at San Francisco Gathering

April 4, 2013 -

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers are to blame for what she categorized as the "disconnect between the broad public support for gun control and the reluctance in Congress" to support legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines." Feinstein made her comments at a gathering of about 500 people in San Francisco on Wednesday.

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California Crafting New Energy Efficiency Standards that Include Video Games

April 3, 2013 -

California state regulators want video games and other devices to be more energy efficient and are making some moves towards creating regulations, according to an LA Times report. The state has in the past put strict regulations in place for household appliances, furnaces, air conditioners and big-screen televisions to use less energy.

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Watchdog Groups and Concerned Citizens Urge Lawmakers to Add an Exception to the DMCA for Unlocking Mobile Devices

March 28, 2013 -

A letter signed by 33 organizations and nine individuals asks the top ranking lawmakers in the House of Representatives (Reps. Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers) and the United States Senate (Sens. Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley) to make an exception for unlocking electronic devices to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Recently a petition signed by over 110,000 Americans asked President Barack Obama's administration to make the same exception.

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NJ Assemblyman Proposes Bill to Fine Video Game Retailers

March 28, 2013 -

Oblivious to a Federal Trade Commission report released this week that said that only 13 percent of under-age secret shoppers it deployed (as part of a Secret Shopper Survey program in 2012) were able to buy video games from national retailers (see the story here) New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T.

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Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
 

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