Apple’s Patriot-Act-detecting “warrant canary” dies

It’s been less than a day after the company published its new, excellent privacy policy — but Gigaom has noticed that the latest Apple transparency report, covering Jan 1-Jun 30 2014, has eliminated the line that says that the company has received no secret Patriot Act “section 215” requests, which come with gag orders prohibiting companies from discussing them.

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Ferguson: protesters hold peaceful march, militarized police aim guns at them

I counted 70+ SWAT officers. Guns trained on crowds. Insanity. – Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 13, 2014 Demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri held protests today in the St. Louis suburb where a police officer recently shot an unarmed young black man, killing him and sparking outrage in this mostly black community.

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Lawsuit: “Happy Birthday” is not in copyright, and Warner owes the world hundreds of millions for improperly collected royalties

Copyright scholars have long been pretty certain that “Happy Birthday to You” is in the public domain, despite the fact that Warner/Chappell claims copyright on it and charges impressive licensing fees to use it in public performances. Those fees, however, are much lower than a copyright lawsuit would be, so everyone shrugs and pays them.

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IRS says free software projects can’t be nonprofits

In a disturbing precedent, the Yorba Foundation, which makes apps for GNU/Linux, has had its nonprofit status application rejected by the IRS because some of projects may benefit for-profit entities. The decision comes after the IRS was told to start examining 501(c)3 applications more closely, in the wake of a scandal over alleged discrimination against conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.

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Anti-Net Neutrality Congresscritters made serious bank from the cable companies

The Congressmen who sent letters to the FCC condemning Net Neutrality received 2.3 times more campaign contributions from the cable industry than average. The analysis, conducted with Maplight’s Congressional transparency tools, shows that Dems are cheaper to bribe than Republicans (GOP members received 5x the Congressional average from Big Cable; Dems only 1.2x) and shows what a chairmanship of a powerful committee is worth: Rep.

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