Germany starts enforcing hate speech law

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Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material. Sites that do not remove “obviously illegal” posts could face fines of up to 50m euro (£44.3m). The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material. Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law’s provisions. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be the law’s main focus but it is also likely…

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Gaming addiction classified as disorder by WHO

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Gaming addiction is to be listed as a mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organisation. Its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition “gaming disorder”. The draft document describes it as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes precedence over other life interests. Some countries had already identified it as a major public health issue. Many, including the UK, have private addiction clinics to “treat” the condition. The last version of the ICD was completed in…

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Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

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Spotify is facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher that represents artists like Tom Petty, Missy Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter first reported. The suit, filed December 29, alleges copyright infringement, specifically alleging Spotify is using thousands of its songs without a proper license. The lawsuit seeks at least $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive relief. Before Spotify launched in the U.S., the company made deals with major record labels to obtain the appropriate rights to the sound recording copyrights in the…

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The FCC is still tweaking its net neutrality repeal

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One may think that from the pomp accompanying the FCC’s vote in December to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules, that the deed was accomplished. Not so — in fact, the order hasn’t even reached its final form: the Commission is still working on it. But while it may be frustrating, this is business as usual for regulations like this, and concerned advocates should conserve their outrage for when it’s really needed. The “Restoring Internet Freedom” rule voted on last month was based on a final draft circulated several weeks…

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