News of the Week; February 14, 2018


  1. Trudeau Puts An End to the Netflix and ISP Tax Debate: “Consumers…Pay Enough for Their Internet” (Michael Geist)
  2. The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 1: Canada’s Current Copyright Law Provides Effective Anti-Piracy Tools (Michael Geist)
  3. The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 2: Weak Evidence on the State of Canadian Piracy (Michael Geist)
  4. The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 3: Piracy Having Little Impact on Thriving Digital Services and TV Production (Michael Geist)
  5. Sending a Different Message: After Bell Website Blocking Coalition Warns About Cord Cutting, Bell CEO Says It Isn’t Accelerating (Michael Geist)
  6. Trump’s infrastructure plan has no dedicated money for broadband: Broadband would be one of numerous projects competing for a pool of money.
  7. FCC Refuses To Release FOIA Documents Pertaining To Its Stupid Verizon ‘Collusion’ Joke
  8. Verizon will start locking phones to its network to prevent armed robberies: Verizon will let customers unlock phones post-sale, but just how isn’t clear yet.
  9. Verizon Begins Locking Down Its Phones Again, Purportedly To ‘Stop Theft’
  10. Verizon-Owned Tumblr Joins The Latest Effort To Restore Net Neutrality
  11. Sorry, FCC: Charter will lower investment after net neutrality repeal – FCC claims Charter raised investment because of repeal, but that isn’t happening.
  12. FCC report finds almost no broadband competition at 100Mbps speeds: Even at 25Mbps, 43 percent of the US had zero ISPs or just one.
  13. Telecoms consumer protection and competition provisions in the USA
  14. CMA provisionally declares Fox/Sky deal to be against the public interest due to media plurality concerns, but does this spell the end of the acquisition?
  15. The Standalone Streaming Service HBO Didn’t Want To Offer Now Has 5 Million Users
  16. ESPN Still Isn’t Quite Getting The Message Cord Cutters Are Sending


  1. Supreme Court backs CBC against bid to ‘unpublish’ internet story
  2. Canada: Removing Offending Content From The Internet Just Became Harder
  3. Kobo decision gives clarity to bureau’s reach
  4. Copyright in the Digital Age: Cisco v. Arista and the Scènes à Faire Doctrine 
  5. Trudeau to Facebook: Fix your fake news problem or face stricter regulations – The prime minister warned that Ottawa would intervene with stricter federal regulations if the social media giant doesn’t address integrity issues.
  6. Social media should put its house in order: The anonymity introduced by Facebook and Twitter allows much of the bile and disinformation online to flourish
  7. Man Sues Facebook For Moderating His Bigoted Posts, Wants Section 230 Declared Unconstitutional
  8. Facebook Takes Down Post Critical Of Indian Film For Copyright Violation, Even Though It Was An All-Text Post
  9. Anti-Piracy Video Masquerades As Anti-Malware Education And Is Filled With Lies
  10. Judge Dismisses Playboy’s Dumb Copyright Lawsuit Against BoingBoing
  11. An English-Language, Algorithmically-Personalized News Aggregator, Based In China — What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  12. “Fake News” is a Feeling: Facebook says it wants to ensure the news its users see is “high quality.” That may be just another term for “feel-good”
  13. Facebook Funded Most Of The Experts Who Vetted Messenger Kids
  14. Inside The Two Years That Shook Facebook – And The World: How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all.
  15. Commercial Content Moderation And Worker Wellness: Challenges & Opportunities
  16. Techdirt, Volokh Conspiracy Targeted With Bogus Defamation Claim For Publishing A Bunch Of Facts
  17. Grubhub drivers are contractors—not employees—judge rules: CEO says ruling “validates the freedom our delivery partners enjoy.”
  18. Snapchat Now Offers Stories Analytics To The Platform’s Influencers
  19. Snapchat Stands Pat On Redesign Despite Receiving Significant Backlas
  20. Devin Nunes Has His Own ‘News’ Site to Counter ‘Fake News’
  21. The Nunes Memo Has Effectively Destroyed Intelligence Oversight
  22. Troll factories, bots and fake news: Inside the Wild West of social media
  23. Tech’s Ethical ‘Dark Side’: Harvard, Stanford and Others Want to Address It
  24. Should Data Scientists Adhere To A Hippocratic Oath?
  25. Masters of Our DNA: Designer Bodies Are Not Science Fiction
  26. Washington’s Growing AI Anxiety
  27. World Leaders Have Decided: The Next Step in AI is Augmenting Humans
  28. The “Father of Artificial Intelligence” Says Singularity Is 30 Years Away
  29. To Make AI Smarter, Humans Perform Oddball Low-Paid Tasks
  30. How artificial intelligence can help navigate employee cannabis use legal issues
  31. Study finds gender and skin-type bias in commercial artificial-intelligence systems: Examination of facial-analysis software shows error rate of 0.8 percent for light-skinned men, 34.7 percent for dark-skinned women.
  32. Deepfakes, Privacy Rights and an AI-Powered Blurring of the Lines 
  33. Artificial Intelligence Is Now Fighting Fake Porn
  34. “We’re in a diversity crisis”: cofounder of Black in AI on what’s poisoning algorithms in our lives
  35. A wave of cheating AI robots is threatening to ruin HQ Trivia: Simple Google-based cheat sites often beat humans, but a big one was just shut down.
  36. Robots Can Do Lots Of Things Well, But At Least They Can’t Ski
  37. What Are The Ethical Issues Of Google — Or Anyone Else — Conducting AI Research In China?
  38. AI Will Give Rise to “Superhuman Workers,” Says Google X Co-Founder
  39. Google isn’t honoring Pixel’s warranty, so we’re suing, customers say: “Had Google disclosed the defect to her, she would not have bought a Pixel.”
  40. Google is good at building phones but terrible at selling them: After shipping just 3.9 million units in 2017, Google has a lot of retail work to do.
  41. Twitter & Facebook Want You To Follow The Olympics… But Only If The IOC Gives Its Stamp Of Approval
  42. NSA Sent Coded Messages From Its Official Twitter Account to Communicate With Foreign Spies
  43. Ninth Circuit Shuts Down ‘Terrorists Used Twitter’ Case But Not Because Of Section 230
  44. Op-ed: Logan Paul tases a dead rat, draws YouTube’s harshest crackdown yet – YouTube cut off all of Paul’s ad revenue, but why did it take so long?
  45. YouTube Temporarily Pulls All Ads From Logan Paul’s Channels, Citing Pattern Of “Damaging” Behavior
  46. YouTube suspends Logan Paul’s ad revenue, blames ‘recent pattern of behavior’: It’s only a temporary suspension though
  47. YouTube TV Gets Turner Channels And More Sports But Raises Price By $5
  48. YouTubers Gavin Free And Meg Turney Unharmed After Armed Fan Invaded Their Home
  49. Unilever CMO Warns YouTube, Facebook: Clean Up Or We Won’t Buy Ads
  50. AT&T Still Won’t Advertise On YouTube, Works On Its Own Advertising Marketplace
  51. A Lot Of People Listen To Celine Dion On YouTube On Valentine’s Day
  52. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: “I Think [Facebook] Should Get Back To Baby Pictures”
  53. Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome: Here’s What We Know
  54. CNN To Cut Roughly 50 Staffers On Digital Teams This Week
  55. A New Valentine’s Day Conundrum for Employers: Could Emoji Messages Amount to Harassment in the #MeToo Era?
  56. The End Of Waymo v. Uber Marks A New Era For Self-Driving Cars: Reality
  57. Uber And Waymo Abruptly Settle For $245 Million
  58. Waymo and Uber end trial with sudden $244 million settlement: Uber promises to make sure that none of Waymo’s software, hardware is used.
  59. Waymo And Uber’s Settlement Is A Good Thing: Focus On Innovating, Not Litigating
  60. Pummeled by scandal, Uber hit with $4.46B in losses during 2017: Curiously, UberEats now comprises about 10 percent of the company’s business.
  61. It’s all over: Why the Waymo v. Uber self-driving settlement makes sense – By giving up just 0.34 percent of the company, Uber essentially got off cheaply.
  62. Here’s how to use Kalanick speak at your next jam sesh, bro: “So during this jam session, you discussed the fact that ‘laser is the sauce,’ correct?”
  63. Amazon to take on UPS, FedEx via “Shipping with Amazon”: It will first service third-party Amazon sellers in the LA area.
  64. With Blink’s camera chip and a few AA batteries, Amazon goes low-energy: Blink cameras have years of battery life—Amazon wants that for its own devices.
  65. Apple’s Latest VR Patent Describes a Compact VR Headset with Eye Tracking
  66. Leak of iBoot code to GitHub could potentially help iPhone jailbreakers: Apple confirms code was real in DMCA filing with GitHub; code already in circulation.
  67. Apple’s HomePod: Paying $350 for a speaker that says “no” this much is tough: Apple’s first smart speaker feels exclusively designed for its most ardent fans.
  68. Here Are The NBA On TNT Games To Be Streamed In Live Virtual Reality
  69. Magic Leap Partners With NBA, Turner On 3D Game Viewing Experiences
  70. Magic Leap Takes on Funding from Media Company Axel Springer
  71. The Memification Of Knowledge: Is The Internet Making Us Less Informed? (Andres Guadamuz)
  72. How Technology Will Transform The Olympics At PyeongChang
  73. The Inevitable Agony Of Olympic Spoilers
  74. Now Hackers Are Mining Crypto On Government Websites
  75. More Than 4,000 Government Websites Infected With Covert Cryptocurrency Miner
  76. Mining Crypto Takes So Much Bandwidth, It’s Inhibiting the Search for Alien Life
  77. Salon to ad blockers: Can we use your browser to mine cryptocurrency?: Salon’s optional coin mining lets you avoid ads, but eats up your CPU power.
  78. Salon Offers To Remove Ads If Visitors Help Mine Cryptocurrency
  79. EU regulators warn consumers of virtual currencies bubble 
  80. Russian Nuclear Scientists Got Busted Mining Bitcoin Using Their Work Supercomputers
  81. Russian nuclear weapons engineers caught ­­­­minting blockchange with supercomputer: The system—used for simulating weapons tests—was not supposed to be connected to Internet.
  82. Accused “In fraud we trust” kingpin arrested while vacationing in Thailand: Police reportedly seize 100,000 bitcoins, valued at nearly $840 million.
  83. The harmful drive-by currency mining scourge shows no signs of abating: One attack sneaks coin-mining malware onto 4,300 sites. Another targets Android users.
  84. In Iceland, bitcoin mining will soon use more energy than its residents
  85. European bankers scoff at bitcoin for its risk, huge energy inefficiency: Top officials from Bundesbank, ECB push for the necessity of fiat currency.
  86. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – an overview
  87. Cryptocurrencies – Current Regulatory Framework Applicable To Investment Funds
  88. “Troll” loses Cloudflare lawsuit, has weaponized patent invalidated: Cloudflare says it will be “ready to respond” if Blackbird appeals.
  89. Cloudflare Gets An Easy, Quick And Complete Win Over Patent Troll
  90. Everyone Hates Silicon Valley, Except Its Imitators
  91. What Microsoft’s Antitrust Case Teaches Us About Silicon Valley
  92. The Newest Emoji Say As Much About Us As Actual Words
  93. End Of An Era: Saying Goodbye To John Perry Barlow
  94. Mike Godwin Remembers John Perry Barlow


  1. Poland to outlaw references to ‘Polish death camps’ in Holocaust bill
  2. Poland’s president says he will sign controversial Holocaust bill
  3. Screen actors’ guild launches new initiative to fight sexual harassment
  4. Iron Maiden gets heavy with trademark infringers
  5. Judge Preska: Disputed Picasso Will Stay at the Met 
  6. Sivero v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
  7. Human Rights Complaint on “Chief Wahoo” (Cleveland Indians) Logo to Proceed – Update on Law of Controversial Sports Logos
  8. Hollywood Has Some Wild Ideas For Copyright In NAFTA
  9. How We Got To The Point That Hollywood Is Trying To Attack The Internet Via NAFTA
  10. It’s alive! The public domain starts breathing again
  11. ‘Black Panther’ Brings Hope, Hype and Pride
  12. Wesley Snipes Has a Good Idea Why More People Don’t Remember How Important BladeWas
  13. Are We Running out of Trademarks? An Empirical Study of Trademark Depletion and Congestion (Barton Beebe & Jeanne C. Fromer)
  14. Does Running Out of (Some) Trademarks Matter? (Lisa Ouelette) 


  1. Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening disrupted by malware attack: Malware showed knowledge of Olympic networks’ structure – and users.
  2. Lesson from VTech
  3. Report: Equifax Lost Even More Information on Consumers Than It Told the Public
  4. Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Recommends European-Style “Right to be Forgotten”
  5. “The Right to be Forgotten”: Are There Two Solitudes in Quebec and the Rest of Canada?
  6. Chinese Police Add Facial Recognition Glasses to Their Surveillance Arsenal
  7. After Apple’s fight with FBI, two groups say they can solve the encryption battle
  8. White Paper Points Out Just How Irresponsible ‘Responsible Encryption’ Is
  9. From July on, Chrome will brand plain old HTTP as “Not secure”: The “Not secure” label will go where the padlock would go for an encrypted connection.
  10. That mega-vulnerability Cisco dropped is now under exploit: Bug with maximum severity rating is generating plenty of interest among hackers.
  11. A potent botnet is exploiting a critical router bug that may never be fixed: With Internet stability hanging in the balance, router maker maintains radio silence.
  12. Judge Tells CIA It Can’t Hand Classified Info To Journalists And Pretend The Info Hasn’t Been Made Public
  13. Cloud Communications Service Twilio Releases Two NSLs Sprung From Their Gag Order Cages
  14. Consumer Reports: Your ‘Smart’ TV Remains A Privacy & Security Dumpster Fire
  15. Camera Makers Still Showing Zero Interest In Protecting Users With Built-In Encryption
  16. Smart Meter Company Landis+Gyr Now Using Copyright To Try To Hide Public Records
  17. Georgia Senate Thinks It Can Fix Its Election Security Issues By Criminalizing Password Sharing, Security Research
  18. (Mis)conceptions About the Impact of Surveillance (Jon Penney)


  1. Steam Purges Developer’s Games After Finding Manipulated Review Scores
  2. Valve bans developer after employees leave fake user reviews: Insel Games CEO encouraged employees to write reviews for its own game.
  3. Maltese publisher banned from Steam for review fixing
  4. Google removes 77 percent of Game Dev Tycoon’s positive reviews
  5. Game Dev Tycoon loses 77% of positive Google Play reviews: Indie developer suggests Google’s algorithm for handling fake reviews on free-to-play titles is to blame
  6. Hawaiian lawmakers want to prohibit loot boxes with new bills
  7. No video game loot boxes for buyers under 21, say proposed Hawaii bills: Law would require warnings, odds disclosures, and retailer enforcement.
  8. Senator calls on ESRB to re-consider loot boxes: New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan says “at minimum” the ratings system should note when games employ the contentious business model
  9. US Senator demands review of loot box policies, citing potential harm: New Hampshire’s Hassan says FTC action may be necessary if industry doesn’t respond.
  10. For Ubisoft, loot box inclusion boils down to two things: quality and choice
  11. Update: Swedish gambling legislation review unlikely to impact loot boxes – Any review of gambling legislation will not necessarily include an investigation into loot boxes, says Swedish Games Industry spokesman
  12. If loot boxes are free-to-play’s present, what will be the future?: With a new round of funding and Dauntless ramping up to open beta, Phoenix Labs is ready for a free-to-play renaissance
  13. The Museum Of Art And Digital Entertainment Calls For Anti-Circumvention Exemptions To Be Extended To Online Game Archives
  14. Esports Zerg – Rush The Olympics – But Can They Become Official Events?
  15. Watching over Overwatch pros: Talent agent Ryan Morrison on the incredible growth of the esports scene in recent years, and how players have changed along with it
  16. King of Kong star says “original tape” will prove his disputed scores: Mitchell suggests MAME footage could be suspect; analyst defends sources.
  17. Sports Direct buys 50% of GAME’s esports arenas in £3.2m deal: Belong arenas to appear in Sports Direct stores, with additional £55m in loans
  18. Sports Direct and GAME: Is this the future of games retail?
  19. ESL nabs minority stake in Indian mobile publisher Nazara  
  20. GameStop fires COO and EVP without cause: Long-serving execs depart retail giant
  21. UK screen industries back “zero-tolerance guidance” on harassment and abuse: Free 24/7 support hotline under development to help those affected by bullying and harassment
  22. 12 ex-Atari women respond to #NotNolan controversy, offer ‘70s perspective: Kotaku explores both sides of argument, interviews Bushnell’s female contemporaries.
  23. New Twitch guidelines address harassment and sexual content
  24. Twitch ramps up anti-harassment efforts with new community guidelines: Immediate indefinite bans introduced because “hate simply has no place in the Twitch community”
  25. Number of streamers earning money on Twitch spikes by 223% in 2017: Over 150,000 people join Twitch Affiliates program since launching in April
  26. Twitch Promotes Cheering, User-Generated Clips With New Cosmetic Features
  27. Twitch surpasses CNN and MSNBC with record-breaking viewership: Video streaming platform attracts 962,000 concurrent viewers in January
  28. Comments on Twitter could now lead to punishment on Twitch: New policy considers verified “off-Twitch” harassment “from any source.”
  29. Nintendo inspires improved January sales for UK retail: Monster Hunter is January’s No.3 best-selling game after just a week on sale
  30. Nintendo plots longer lifecycle for Switch: Firm wants to extend beyond the standard ‘five or six years’
  31. Nintendo Looking To Extend Normal Console Life Cycle With Switch: Nintendo’s plans for world domination continue
  32. Hackers hijack Nintendo Switch, show Linux loaded on console: Public release of exploit could be a long way off, though.
  33. Nintendo hopes “every single person” will own a Switch: Company wants to “prolong the life cycle” for the hot-selling system.
  34. The games behind the cardboard: We finally know how Nintendo Labo will play: Ahead of April launch, Nintendo dishes enough details to get our gaming hopes up.
  35. Nintendo: The Switch’s biggest challenge is broadening its appeal
  36. The Nintendo Switch, Joy-Cons, and even Labo are the result of Wii-era feedback
  37. Nintendo uncertain about future of the 3DS after Switch’s success 
  38. Monster Hunter: World becomes fastest-selling Capcom title in history
  39. Monster Hunter: World hits 6 million shipped – Co-op action game reaches milestone faster than any title in Capcom history, already publisher’s fourth best-seller of all-time
  40. Keep playing, keep paying: Ubisoft seeks games with “longterm engagement” – The numbers don’t lie: Games as “live” services bring in more money over time.
  41. Ubisoft is opting for quality over quantity for its big releases
  42. Assassin’s Creed: Origins on track to double Syndicate sales – Ubisoft emphasizes recurrent spending and catalog sales as it beats holiday quarter projections
  43. One year in, For Honor surpasses 7.5 million players
  44. New releases led growth in Ubisoft’s third quarter
  45. “History is our playground”: Bringing Assassin’s Creed into the classroom
  46. Take-Two expecting “another record year for GTA Online”: Rockstar’s multiplayer mode keeps growing four years after launch; publisher dismisses concerns of cannibalization from Red Dead Redemption 2
  47. Fortnite hit 3.4M concurrent players last weekend
  48. Clash of Clans developer Supercell reports a decline in profits
  49. THQ Nordic acquires Saints Row and Dead Island owner Koch Media
  50. De Blob publisher THQ Nordic buys Koch Media for €121m:Deep Silver, Saints Row, Dead Island and more acquired by European publisher
  51. Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII drives earnings for Activision Blizzard 
  52. Activision Blizzard posts record quarter, full-year results: Growth in mobile more than offsets single-digit slips in console and PC revenues for owner of Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Candy Crush
  53. Blizzard Still Trying To Take Down WoW Vanilla Fan Servers While Refusing To Offer A Competing Product
  54. Nexon reports a record-breaking year: Revenues and income up as Dungeon & Fighter and Maple Story enjoy strong growth
  55. Chinese and UK focus promised as Bandai Namco reports profits dip: Restructure and fresh regional focus revealed as part of new mid-term strategy
  56. Bandai Namco to focus on creating new properties as profits slide
  57. Relic ceases support for underperforming Dawn of War III: “When a game underperforms, plans need to change,” says developer
  58. Horizon Zero Dawn writers honored at annual Writers Guild Awards
  59. Horizon Zero Dawn wins Writers Guild Award for best video game writing: Record-breaking PlaytStation 4 exclusive fends off Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, and Madden NFL 18: Longshot to win prestigious award
  60. Zynga posts full-year profit for first time since 2010
  61. Zynga returns to full-year profits for the first time in seven years: Net income up $138.4m year-on-year to $26.6m, daily active users reaches four-year high at 20 million
  62. Supercell sales, earnings down in 2017: Clash Royale studio posts lowest numbers in three years, still brings in $810 million profit on more than $2 billion in revenue
  63. UK Charts: Shadow of Colossus PS4 beats PS2 original in first week sales – Monster Hunter World slips to No.3
  64. South Australia sections off $1.5M for local game dev community
  65. Planning for the end of the one-hit wonder: The mobile gaming landscape is filled with giant companies living off the back of a single, enormous hit title – but how many are planning effectively for when that title starts to decline?
  66. Chatterbox secures €325,000 to develop games for instant messenging platforms: “We are at the sweet spot of casual gaming and messaging – both mega trends of this decade”, says Chatterbox CEO
  67. Viacom closes down VR studio Viacom Next
  68. Viacom Next VR/AR studio shuts down: Developer of Smash Party and Transformers: Cade’s Junkyard axed as part of larger layoffs at Viacom
  69. Channel 4 announces retro games mini-series starring Rob Beckett: Four-part series will see stand-up comic and other celebrity guest exploring the history of video games
  70. Machinima: “We’re no longer an upstart teenager”: GM Russell Arons explains why the rebranded logo breaks from the past when the content strategy is about “returning to our roots”
  71. Before Tesla And SpaceX, Elon Musk Worked In Video Games
  72. Cryptocurrency boom, a problem for gamers, is a bonanza for GPU makers: Nvidia – “Strong demand in the cryptocurrency market exceeded our expectations.”
  73. Blog: The unavoidable conflict of serious storytelling in games
  74. Accessibility guidelines offer resources on making games inclusive
  75. Coding without a keystroke: The hands-free creation of a full video game – Coder wants to grow the speech-to-text coding community, uses his fun game to advocate
  76. The Fire Fades: Dealing with the scourge of burnout in game dev
  77. Blog: Charting the evolution of the games industry
  78. IGDA names Jen MacLean permanent executive director


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