Some of them are pretty funny, too:
Judge rules that the warrants issued against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (yep, legal name) were invalid because they were too vague, after most everything seized has already been returned in previous rulings. Also, therefore, the evidence collected was invalid and was improperly released to be sent out of the country. Nothing on their hard drives can be used, which is pretty much the only thing they’ve got.
Looks like Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder may get his wish that Kim Dotcom wins his case.
New Zealand High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann ruled Thursday that the warrants did not adequately describe the offenses alleged, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald. “Indeed they fell well short of that,” she said. “They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.”
She also ruled that it was unlawful for the data confiscated in the raid to have been sent offshore, saying “the release of the cloned hard drives to the FBI for shipping to the United States was contrary to the 16 February direction” [given by the court] “that the items seized were to remain in the custody and control of the Commissioner of Police.”
MegaUpload is a cloud-storage locker that DotCom claims was completely legitimate and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. U.S. officials, who are trying to extradite Dotcom and six associates to face piracy and wire fraud charges, say he encouraged users to store pirated videos, music, software, and other media and then share them with others. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Except, uh, not. Ever since the raid, the US government has consistently been losing in New Zealand courts, where MegaUpload is based. They’ve had to free Kim Dotcom, had to return some of his assets, and, most embarrassingly, had to actually fork over the evidence they have that he was breaking the law. It’s rapidly become clear that the FBI and the Department of Justice did not do any research into where American and New Zealand laws intersect and where there might be issues.
And now the case is essentially dead…
New Zealand High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann ruled Thursday that the warrants did not adequately describe the offenses alleged… “Indeed they fell well short of that,” she said. “They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.” She also ruled that it was unlawful for the data confiscated in the raid to have been sent offshore.”
Roughly translated, this means the United States can’t use anything it found on those hard drives, if it did happen to find anything, because it’s illegally confiscated. This is a wee bit of a problem because their entire case is likely built on what they found in those drives.
In short, the entire case has collapsed. The US government walks away with a black eye, the labels walk away with an object lesson that you can’t game the system, and hopefully MegaUpload users get their data back.
- New Zealand’s high court rules raid on Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom was illegal and search warrants were unlawful – @RT_com (rt.com)
- Judge rules Kim Dotcom warrants invalid (cbsnews.com)
- MegaUpload founder’s extradition hearing delayed to 2013 (neowin.net)
- Oops – police searches at MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom’s house were illegal, judge says (venturebeat.com)
- NZ’s piracy ruling ‘embarrasses’ FBI (smh.com.au)
- FBI ordered to turn over MegaUpload evidence (rawstory.com)
Very very good article, and I wrote a response from a similar perspective in my own blog at http://www.infosmarts.wordpress.com, in reaction to the editor’s letter for the latest ACM Communications edition.
I would only amend this one by “svpow” with this.
Corporate profit-making (disdainfully called “greed”) has driven science and technology into new heights for centuries now with accelerating results. There are many of us who would pursue our own ideas if we had support for them, and open source software is an example of this, and a fantastic good for all of us.
I would call profit-making as “greed” when it passes the line of respecting other people’s own rights to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The profitability model that pits publishers against the rest of us is crumbling from the onslaught of the Internet, and even from the new realization that the “gatekeepers” are actually choking out new ideas, new combinations of old ideas, and holding us back.
It worked once because academic publishers had a limited audience and needed a bottleneck. No more.
Throw it open to everybody in the world. Put the profit motive to work for us by letting anybody in on it that wants to. If it’s funded by taxes it sure should be open, but the actions of government agencies and the diversion of research funds to politically decided causes means taking your money to fund their own interests whether you like it or not. Politically selected “independent experts” are not independent at all.
For example, if you listen to government-funded peer-reviewed climate scientists, you might not even know that one of the hottest summers in decades comes timed together with one of the hottest, most active solar cycle maximum in decades.
- The Publishers Association is hallucinating (svpow.com)
- The Publishers Association is hallucinating (telescoper.wordpress.com)
- Tubes: A Journey To the Center of the Internet [Universe] (scienceblogs.com)
- Dear Wiley: please use Creative Commons Attribution for your open-access activities (svpow.com)
- Tobacco shop loses license after ‘bath salts’ seizure (ocregister.com)
- Tablet usage survey by Online Publishers Association updated; US adoption up to 31% (teleread.com)
- Copyright in Egypt (arablit.wordpress.com)
- See, this is why publishers irritate me so much (svpow.com)
- Independent bookshops in crisis, as ebook sales rise (guardian.co.uk)
- Science research may be freed from journals’ ‘unhealthy’ paywalls (paidcontent.org)
- British Library, Open Rights Group and ISPs accused of “tawdry theft” (wired.co.uk)
- MICHELE COBB: Audiobooks as shared experience (karenwhiteaudiobooks.com)
In the editor’s note in the print edition of ACM Communications, Moshe Vardi comments on the direction that scientific publishing is going.
Most businesses have sellers and buyers, but academic fields have authors, publishers, and libraries. The print media and the peer review process, has kept the quality from dropping, in his view. The last word of what gets published is no longer the say-so of editors in the field, or the peer review process, but the publisher. The publishers also have opened up the “vanity press” to authors. In turn, the “publish or perish” paradigm has led the authors to take advantage of the entry of “vanity press” ideas, albeit under different names.
The profit motive came up again as a negative in all this. Ho-hum. Again? Will we never learn?
One commenter, Andrew Adams, pointed out, the reader was left out of this discussion.
But we all know that real breakthroughs in science meet resistance as they are mistaken as low quality or quack ideas. But with the barrier to on-line publishing so low now that even a caveman can do it, those breakthroughs along with quack ideas have access to all the audience that can find it or that cares to read it.
But never fear. Bach and Beethoven still have an audience that appreciates that kind of quality and then there is easy-come easy-go entertainment for the masses.
The editor’s letter is titled “Predatory Scholarly Publishing“. He contrasts a “typical business”, that has sellers and buyers, with the “scholarly publishing business”, in which you have publishers and libraries as sellers and buyers, but also (1) authors, and (2) editors and reviewers. The editors and reviewers have been gatekeepers, who are paid or earn civic duty or scholarly prestige.
The thrust of the essay is to lament that vanity publishing and publishers themselves are making more decisions on what to publish. Anyone who wants to find an audience that is willing to read his stuff will find it.
There’s that “evil profit motive” again, bringing down quality. But it is also bringing down cookie-cutter conformity. Quality stuff is still “out there” along with bad stuff.
Take a paper that would gone into the trash before. The author pays his “registration fee” to get it published. Now, this paper has a better chance of getting published. Say, a good chance. But then, anybody who reads it or sees it has a chance to pick it apart.
The P versus NP episode was a turning point in my opinion in this whole discussion. The “proof” was “published” via Internet, and it took a lightning-fast less than 24 hours to fall hard. So quality and lack of it get exposed more quickly than ever now. What’s the problem?
The problem seems to be that those who had the role of gatekeepers up to now, are afraid that the reader is now going to get lower-quality product. Their position as gatekeepers had a purpose, but now the terrain is shifting.
Quality will not lose its respect. Like one comment pointed out the readers and the audience is pretty much the same thing. The readership and the authorship that respects quality in its field will find each other.
In my opinion, this will widen the field for non-conformist advances, and new ideas are almost by definition non-conformist. The paradigm of how to publish science is shifting, and with it there may be a few, or many, other paradigm shifts.
Better to let knowledge grow like wildfire. Truly bad stuff will get hooted down. The theory that the moon is made of green cheese does not stand a chance.
And never fear, ACM publications, periodicals, will be kept in high esteem for its readership.
But why should people who pay for the end product, the consumer of the product, not have any say in the product? The world will go on.
In my opinion, it is a torture of history and common sense to see the profit motive as a net negative in the computing world anyway.
The profit motive has driven great advances in computing. The main reason computing academics gets funding is because it has proven itself as a fertile field of study that has yielded a great many fruits in terms of practical applications. The vacuum tube, the transistor, the microchip, programming languages, airliners, and all the rest paid for many of the research directly, and often indirectly. McDonnel-Douglass was one of the major sponsors of engineering studies at Washington University, for example.
What we do need in the United States and everywhere else is a better educated populace. The only way to get that is to have an independently educated populace. By independent I mean absolutely free of any political meddling, and any government funding is political meddling.
As you’re finding out with publishers in the academic field, the guy that pays the bills calls the shots. In Austrian economics, they express it as the concept that demand drives the market. This is the way it should be. Until now, the bottleneck of print resources created demand for those with a reputation for selecting what goes into it. Now it opens up.
For politically driven media like Time Magazine and the New York Times, this means that much of the readership that had the choices limited to them by a few dozen media companies, now have a much broader selection on-line, and the body politic is making good use of it. Editorial offerings that were not before available are now accessible over the Internet.
We the readers are making good use of it. Bypassing gatekeepers is coming in vogue.
Wait! Not bypassing gatekeepers, but the fact is, the readership is morphing into its own gatekeeper. New structures of respect and prestige are forming.
But we do need a more enlightened and educated body politic. For that you need to move toward a demographic that recovers the intellectual acumen of the generation that had high school entrance exams from 1910 that would stump the Harvard grad of today and flunk more than a few MIT grads to boot.
With alternate publishing outlets, new sciences and technologies that have huge, very huge potential, getting more eager audience and more play.
For example, all the traditional publishing structure in all probability would have prevented Fleishman and Pons from publishing anything in 1989. They bypassed that and told the world about it instead, bypassing all the bottlenecks and informing the entire world, including physics labs and physics students everywhere that there was a new energy kid on the block worth checking out: www.infinite-energy.com/resources/faq.html
Not being able to censor the news, the gatekeepers of publications and research money who did not want to see their careers and their expensive educations devalued, used the same means to debunk it. Unsuccessfully it turns out.
MIT has a billionaire hot-fusion program going, funded largely by government money. When they announced that they had failed to get the results that Fleishman and Pons got, one of their own faculty bolted, became a whistle-blower, said they did get promising results, and went off and founded the “New Energy Foundation”, to fund further research into this promising technology.
It is now getting more attention around the world, in fact, and Arthur C. Clarke has added his name to those calling on the US president and institutions around the world to invest more into this new, clean, potentially very cheap and very abundant energy source.
And what traditional academic publishing gatekeeper would have been able to give the time of day to Luis Cruz, the Honduran teen that invented “Eyeboard”, an inexpensive eye-tracking device that will help people with disabilities greatly.
Command and control don’t work in economic domains, why should it work in science or academics?
Suppression of the first advocate of the germ theory of disease resulted in a great many unnecessary deaths from infectious diseases because the medical profession refused to believe that invisible little animals were getting people sick. It also drove them to punish him for telling them the truth (“You’re killing people!”) and to have him put away in an asylum.
that got its first advocate sentenced by the quality-minded establishment to an insane asylum, blaming him for their deafness to the lives they were killing with their dirty hands, calling him crazy for saying so.
“We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth”.
- Attacking publishers will not make open access any more sustainable | Graham Taylor (guardian.co.uk)
- The Publishers Association is hallucinating (svpow.com)
- PeerJ formally announced: Innovative new business model for open access [Confessions of a Science Librarian] (scienceblogs.com)
- Criticism of Peer Review (abbreviatedknowledge.wordpress.com)
- Open access to research is inevitable, says Nature editor-in-chief (guardian.co.uk)
- Academic publishing: The essential checklist for ebook authors (guardian.co.uk)
- Guest Post: We are the gatekeepers now! by Anne Chaconas (aecurzon.wordpress.com)
- Pay (less) to publish: ambitious journal aims to disrupt scholarly publishing (arstechnica.com)
- Publish Rubbish Or Perish – and Pay Through The Nose (blogs.the-american-interest.com)
- What is the future of publishing? (forbes.com)
- Peer Review To Be Underwater By The Year 2008 (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
- The Cream Rises to the Top, But So Does the Pond Scum (In the Pipeline) (pipeline.corante.com)
- 3 Reasons Why Code Review is Critical for Agile Success (smartbear.com)
- Scientific Journal Offers Flat Fee to Authors for ‘All You Can Publish’ (scientificamerican.com)
- How to get your journal article published: Research Hive event, 19th July (doctoralschool.wordpress.com)
- PeerJ – Disrupting scientific publishing? (paulgsilva.wordpress.com)
- What’s Right With Publishing (insidehighered.com)
- New and exciting kid on the block: PeerJ (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
- Venture #4 – Library Thing (lisahoard.wordpress.com)
- Rice University’s Moshe Vardi Wins IEEE Computer Society Goode Award (prweb.com)
- Rice University’s Moshe Vardi Wins IEEE Computer Society Goode Award (prweb.com)
- “AMERICA’S BEETHOVEN EXHIBIT” at THE IRA F. BRILLIANT CENTER FOR BEETHOVEN STUDIES” FEATURES THE GREAT KAT! (greatkat.wordpress.com)
- Why Beethoven’s Fidelio Speaks to Us Now (wqxr.org)
- Minitab to Share Customer Stories in Honor of 40-Year Anniversary (prweb.com)
- Tech world preps to honor ‘Father of Computer Science’ Alan Turing, as centenary nears (computerworld.co.nz)
- Mobile Applications Reliability Subject of MIT Research (pcworld.com)
- Tech world preps to honor ‘Father of Computer Science’ Alan Turing, as centenary nears (networkworld.com)
- Live Music: The Los Angeles Philharmonic performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Hollywood Bowl (irom.wordpress.com)