Cyberlaw April Fool’s Day 2015

From @SwiftOnSecurity
From @SwiftOnSecurity

Every year we are presented with some truly delightful April Fool’s Day stories, and this year we have had quite a nice crop of Cyberlaw-related articles. Here are my favourites.

The Alsace Pirate Party will become the Panda Party (in French): “…it is clear that the image “pirate” sometimes has a negative connotation. Especially in France, where we regularly need to explain to the public, no, “we are not bandits”, but private citizens committed to defending fundamental freedoms and the sharing of tools that make participatory democracy.”

Netflix will offer a free service after buying Popcorn Time: California-based Netflix is preparing a bold step by absorbing a former arch rival into its service. In a deal reported to be worth $11.5 million, Netflix and Popcorn Time talent will combine to re-market the latter as a Spotify-like ‘free tier’ enhancement to the full premium Netflix service.

The Pirate Bay will launch the .PIRATE domain name: While rightsholders are lobbying hard for strict anti-piracy policies for the domain name industry, The Pirate Bay has hit back with an unprecedented move. The notorious torrent site has applied for its own gTLD, so it can start a .PIRATE domain name registry.

French anti-piracy authority HADOPI will fight piracy by spoiling TV series for those who download illegally (in French): “Having been relatively quiet in recent months, HADOPI has unsheathed a new weapon to fight against piracy of audiovisual content over the Internet. Subscribers will receive a warning following the illegal downloading of a series telling them how it will end!”

ETA: Australia’s new data retention bill will contain an exception on collecting metadata from politicians.

Facebook is tracking all of its visitors… oh wait, I wish that one was really a joke.

And my favourite non-Cyberlaw stories:

Microsoft launches MS-DOS for smartphones.

CERN confirms the existence of The Force.

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