FoE logoThe Freedom of Expression Project

Challenges and opportunities for freedom of expression in the networked environment

News Stories (2nd - 8th January 2008)

info: Submitted by Lisa Horner on Thu, 2008-01-17 10:44.

Information and debate

Bloggers have more freedom than the mainstream media in Morocco
News agency AFP reports that blogs have opened up new arenas for discussion about issues that are censored in the offline press in Morocco. Moroccan bloggers themselves agree

Court rejects requests for blocking of 50 websites
In a victory for democratic institutions and freedom of expression, the Egyptian administrative court of the state council has decided not to block sites deemed by a judge to defame the president.

Democracy

Pakistan's cyber-crime bill threatens freedom of expression?
Bloggers argue that the cyber-crime bill being promoted by the Pakistan government poses serious threats to freedom of expression.

Culture and education

Music sales decline in the USA but are boosted by downloads in the UK
Music sales in the USA dropped by 15% in 2007, with declines in the total sale of hard copy albums and in the growth of digital sales. The music industry blames piracy and the rising popularity of other forms of entertainment, but critics argue the industry needs to stop battling copyright infringement and come up with a viable business model for the digital age. In contrast, British music downloads doubled in the last week of 2007 compare to 2006.

Sony drops locks on music albums
Sony is the last of the major music labels to make the decision to sell some music without digital rights management. Users will be able to download music without copyright protection through paying for a premium service.
Campaigners against DRM, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have welcomed the move.

Drivers of Change

EU seeks single market for online services
The European Commission plans to issue proposals to create a single European market in online music, video and games, in part to combat piracy. This would initially take the form of a code of conduct for service providers, consumers and rights holders.

Tougher data laws needed say MPs
Following a series of security breaches in the UK government's handling of personal data, a committee of MPs is calling for such breaches to be made a criminal offence.

Who clicks on ads? And what might this mean?
Web analyst Danah Boyd asks what the profile is of people who click on internet adverts, a pertinent question as businesses strive to make 'web 2.0' economically productive. There is a lack of information to answer this question, but initial findings suggest that most people do not click on adverts and those that do tend to be in lower education and wealth brackets.