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We’ve been campaigning for months against the benign-sounding “ancillary copyright”, or what we like to call the ‘link tax’.

The tl;dr of how the law works as it’s currently functioning in Spain and Germany right now is that aggregation services have to pay a fee every time they use a few descriptive words and a link pointing to content that’s available elsewhere online. The law is being lobbied for by large media publishers, looking to shore up their struggling business model with some quick cash from companies who are actually innovating. 

New Barbie can be hacked, and used to spy on you. And your children. 

Article by Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

Mattel’s latest Wi-Fi enabled Barbie doll can easily be hacked to turn it into a surveillance device for spying on children and listening into conversations without the owner’s knowledge.

Must read: The free flow of information that journalist Hossein Derakhshan spent years in an Iranian jail for is dying. Help us ‪#‎SaveTheLink‬:

Article by Hossein Derahkshan

Last November, I walked out of an Iranian jail after six years. The most shocking news I learned after that? It was not President Barack Obama’s acknowledgment of Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology, nor the death of NDP Leader Jack Layton, nor the abrupt disappearance of the Canadian embassy in Tehran. It was the death of the Web as I knew it.

Think you own what you buy? Think again. 

Article by Glyn Moody for Arstechnica

The UK's 2014 private copying exception, which allowed you to make personal copies of your own music, including format-shifted versions, has now been definitively withdrawn, according to The 1709 Blog. As a result, it is once more illegal to make personal backups of your own music, videos or e-books, rip CDs and DVDs to standalone digital files, or upload your music to the cloud.

Here's a great example of innovation working for good. Is recreating famous artwork that you can feel a form of copyright infringement? Or is it format-shifting for a new era of making art more accessible?

Article by Johnny Strategy for This Is Collosal

“You can look but you can’t touch.” That’s one of the first rules of museums, which house priceless works of art. But what about the community of blind and visually impaired who use their sense of touch to experience the world? The Unseen Art Project is an initiative to make art more accessible and inclusive by using 3D-printing technology to create replicas of masterpieces that can be touched ’till your heart is content.

Belgians using the Internet for good, and also for cat pictures.

Article by CBC News

As Brussels residents enter their third day under lockdown, Belgian police have asked them not to tweet about any police action they see in the streets or near their homes.

It’s been a busy month for digital policy initiatives at the European Commission. If you can believe it, they’re actually running six simultaneous public consultations on digital policies alone (see the full gamut of ongoing consultations here) as they work toward implementation of the Digital Single Market strategy floated earlier this year.

Technology can be an incredible tool — but at what expense to our privacy? Amazon’s new robot ‘Alexa’ is always listening. Are you concerned about what the company is doing with all of that data?

Article by Rory Carroll for The Guardian

Paris underlines the need to organize our national security apparatus in the most efficient manner possible. We can't let fear take away our freedoms and civil liberties.

Article by Glyn Moody for Arstechnica

In the wake of last Friday's attacks in Paris, France is bringing in new legislation extending the country's temporary state of emergency to three months. The new laws also grant the authorities new powers to carry out searches of seized devices and to block websites.

Article by Dell Cameron for The Daily Dot

Do you know if police can track your phone without a warrant? 

U.S. laws regarding cellphone tracking by intelligence and law enforcement agencies vary broadly from state to state, and legal protections can vanish instantaneously depending on which border you're crossing.