Wednesday News: Cell phones and supercookies, EFF’s plan for abandoned games, infringement suit against Jay Z, and PW’s best books for 2014
Verizon, AT&T tracking their users with ‘supercookies’ – Soooo, it turns out that companies like AT&T and Verizon have been using something called “supercookies” to basically track everything their customers do on the internet with their cell phones. Isn’t that special? Of course they claim that only *they* have access to this information, and of course, why would we *ever* ascribe bad intentions to our cell phone services? As for the claim that user information remains anonymous:
One security researcher, Stanford’s Jonathan Mayer, said, “I don’t know any computer scientist who takes that ‘It’s anonymous’ argument seriously. It’s been so thoroughly debunked in so many ways.”
Critics also say the supercookies, especially if more widely deployed, will be extremely valuable to intelligence agencies that monitor Internet behavior. The National Security Agency has used cookies — an older and more easily erased tracking code that is stored on a browser — to pinpoint Internet users worldwide for hacking attacks, The Washington Post reported last year. –Washington Post
EFF wants to legalize bringing ‘abandoned’ games back online – Because I’m not a gamer, I had no idea that so many of these interactive games are being abandoned by their creators but still technically remain under copyright, and are therefore not technically free to play when developers no longer keep the servers going. So EFF wants the playing of these games to fall into a fair use category that would be contingent on their “abandonment” by developers. A very interesting development in copyright reformation.
The EFF’s proposal is particularly relevant to games that regularly check in with activation servers to ensure that a pirated copy isn’t being used. Once those activation servers aren’t online, even gamers with purchased copies won’t be able to play them without finding a workaround. That’s often done today, but the EFF says that the practice is covered in legal “uncertainty.” The EFF also wants gamers to be able to alter games when multiplayer matchmaking services go offline. That way, they’d be able to continue playing the game on a third party’s server even after the game’s creator has stopped offering online support for it. Notably, this rule would not apply to MMOs, like World of Warcraft once it goes offline, because a significant portion of those games’ content is stored online, presenting what may be larger issues of fair use. Instead, this proposal applies to minor code changes that involve reworking or circumventing often superficial server check-ins. –The Verge
Jay Z, Kanye sued: You Stole My Song Outside Your Hotel – Joel Mac, a musician who was selling his own CD’s outside a New York hotel where Jay Z was making one of his albums, is now suing Jay Z, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean, claiming they stole one of Mac’s songs, even including a song of the same name on Jay Z’s album. Also, Mike Dean, the CD’s buyer, co-produced Jay Z’s album.
So Mac says in a new federal lawsuit — obtained by TMZ — a guy named Mike Dean bought one of his CDs in front of the hotel, and the next thing he knew his song — Made in America — was cut 11 on the album. Jay Z’s song is also called Made in America, and gotta say … they sound similar. –TMZ
Best Books 2014 – Publishers Weekly has released its Best of 2014 list. Go check out some of the books and see if you agree with their picks. –Publishers Weekly
Early November seems a bit too soon for Best of 2014 lists.
In the time warped world of all things retail, this is probably an effort to come out on the leading edge. It gives advertisers time to incorporate the recognition for holiday ad copy, as well as beating others to the punch.
I assume they’ve had all the ARC’s of everything due to be released in the next couple of months.
PW does this list every November, and I definitely think it’s tied to the ‘gift guide’ concept for the holidays. I just checked Amazon and found their “Best Books of 2013” post, which included this: “In October, we collect all our favorites, look at upcoming 2013 works, and cast our ballots for the Best Books of the Year.” So I’m guessing their list will appear soon, too.