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    US Copyright Groups Want China to Support Rigorous Piracy Filters and Site Blocking / TorrentFreak · 2 days ago - 21:09 · 3 minutes

china flag The American copyright industry generates billions of dollars in annual revenue and is generally seen as one of the primary export products.

Whether it’s movies, music, software or other goods, US companies are among the market leaders.

This position has also made the US a leader when it comes to international copyright law and regulations. All around the world, laws have been tweaked and altered to accommodate the interests of major copyright holders.

These changes are usually the result of diplomatic pressure where major US companies get help from the US Government to protect their interests. For example, last year the USTR launched a review of South Africa’s copyright protection policies, with the threat of potential trade sanctions .

At the moment, the USTR is working on its annual review of China to see whether the country complies with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. This triggered a response from various stakeholders, including several of the leading copyright groups.

One of the most detailed submissions comes from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which counts copyright groups including the MPA, RIAA, and ESA among its members. Their submission highlights that China has made some progress in recent years on various copyright issues, but more can be done.

Earlier this year China’s National People’s Congress released a draft bill to amend the country’s copyright law. This includes a wide variety of changes that are positive, IIPA notes, but there’s a detailed list of shortcomings too.

“While there are other positive aspects of the draft amendments—including enhanced remedies against infringement, increased damages, and the addition of punitive damages—the draft amendments do not address a number of deficiencies in China’s legal framework,” IIPA writes.

The key demands related to the copyright law amendments are summarized in the bulleted list below, which the IIPA handily provided.

iipa demands china copyright law

For example, the US copyright groups would like China’s copyright law to support “no-fault” injunctions, so Chinese ISPs can be ordered to block pirate sites that are hosted overseas or operated by unknown persons.

This is an interesting demand, as these same “no-fault” injunctions don’t exist under US law. This is one of the main reasons why pirate sites are not blocked in the United States.

IIPA also suggests updating China’s law to extend the copyright term, which is currently the life of the author plus 50 years. According to the copyright holders, this should be extended by a minimum of 20 years.

Changes to China’s copyright law should further allow for stronger enforcement options to tackle pirate apps and websites, which remain a problem.

The submission calls out a long list of pirate sites and services, including,,25,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and many others.

The liability of online service providers is another topic IIPA would like China to address. Current law already covers secondary liability for ISPs, but IIPA suggests that the law should be clarified to “ensure more predictable liability decisions by Chinese judges.”

Some service providers are called out specifically by the copyright groups. They include Chinese technology giant Baidu, and specifically, its the cloud-storage service Baidu Pan.

According to IIPA, Baido Pan is regularly used by pirates and the notice and takedown system hasn’t been effective in deterring this problem. The Chinese Government should step up and convince the company to use rigorous filtering technology to deal with this.

“China’s government should encourage Baidu to do more, including improving implementation of its takedown tools, applying rigorous filtering technology to identify infringing content, and taking more effective action to suspend or terminate repeat infringers to ensure infringing content and links are removed expeditiously,” IIPA writes.

IIPA’s wishlist doesn’t come as a surprise. Also, since it’s merely a submission to the USTR, these demands may never reach the Chinese Government. And even if they do, China may not be very receptive.

Generally speaking, China is very cautious when it comes to outside influence within its borders. This is also reflected in IIPA’s own submission, which notes that foreign anti-piracy groups are prohibited from investigating piracy in China.

A copy of IIPA’s submission to the US Trade Representative, which overed a wide range of other IP-issues, is available here (pdf)

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Microsoft boots apps used by China-sponsored hackers out of Azure / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 10:45

A motherboard has been photoshopped to include a Chinese flag.

Enlarge / Computer chip with Chinese flag, 3d conceptual illustration. (credit: Steve McDowell / Agefotostock )

Fortune 500 companies aren’t the only ones flocking to cloud services like Microsoft Azure. Increasingly, hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government are also hosting their tools in the cloud, and that’s keeping people in Redmond busy.

Earlier this year, members of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center suspended 18 Azure Active Directory applications after determining they were part of a sprawling command-and-control network. Besides the cloud-hosted applications, the members of the hacking group Microsoft calls Gadolinium also stored ill-gotten data in a Microsoft OneDrive account and used the account to execute various parts of the campaign.

Microsoft, Amazon, and other cloud providers have long touted the speed, flexibility, and scale that comes from renting computing resources as needed rather than using dedicated servers in-house. Hackers seem to be realizing the same benefits. The shift to the cloud can be especially easy thanks to free trial services and one-time payment accounts, which allow hackers to quickly get up and running without having to have an established relationship or even a valid payment card on file.

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    COVID-19 vaccine pact includes 156 countries—but not US, China, or Russia / ArsTechnica · 5 days ago - 16:10

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organized by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organized by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. (credit: Getty | Fabrice Cof )

A total of 156 countries—representing about 64 percent of the world’s population —have committed to pooling resources to help develop, buy, and equitably distribute two billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, which is co-leading the effort along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

So far, 64 high-income countries have signed on to the effort, as well as 92 low- and middle-income countries , which would be eligible for support in procuring vaccine doses. Gavi CEO Seth Berkley said in a WHO press conference on Monday that he expects 38 more countries to sign up in the coming days.

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    Everything we know so far about Oracle not actually buying TikTok / ArsTechnica · 6 days ago - 19:10


Enlarge / ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

It was a weird weekend to end a weird summer for one of the country's most poular social media apps, TikTok. First, in August, the Trump administration threatened to ban TikTok unless it found a US buyer. Then last weekend, one-time dark horse Oracle emerged victorious in a federally mandated contest to acquire TikTok. Except, it turns out, Oracle isn't actually acquiring TikTok at all—and Oracle and TikTok's current parent company, ByteDance, disagree on who is going to be in charge.

If you're confused, you're in good company. Here's our attempt to lay out everything we know about TikTok, Oracle, and their mysterious deal so far.

What is TikTok? Who owns it?

TikTok is an extremely popular short-form video app used worldwide. The app appeared in its current incarnation after its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, acquired US startup in 2017 and integrated it with its existing TikTok product under the TikTok name.

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    Impending WeChat ban won’t actually ban users from WeChat, DOJ says / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 17 September - 16:07 · 1 minute


Enlarge / There's no ban on WeChat in the US right now, the DOJ says, which is true—but that's supposed to change, somehow, in the immediate future and nobody knows how. (credit: Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images )

Three days before a ban on the use of China-owned app WeChat in the United States is supposed to take effect, the Trump Administration still hasn't said what specifically is being banned—only that individuals will not be penalized for using the app, despite the alleged threat it presents to national security.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross does "not intend to take actions that would target persons or groups whose only connection with WeChat is their use or downloading of the app to convey personal or business information between users, or otherwise define the relevant transactions in such a way that would impose criminal or civil liability on such users," attorneys for the Department of Justice wrote in a court filing ( PDF ).

Users of WeChat may find services "directly or indirectly impaired" by whatever measures the administration does end up imposing, the filing continued, but "use and downloading of the app for this limited purpose will not be a defined transaction."

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    China-sponsored hackers charged for a decade of alleged hacks on game makers / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 17 September - 11:45 · 1 minute

A large seal of a white, Classical Revival-style office building is flanked by flags.

Enlarge / The Department of Justice seal as seen during a press conference in December 2019. (credit: Samuel Corum | Getty Images )

For more than a decade, hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government have brazenly pursued advanced cyberintrusions on technology companies , with a particular focus on those that market software, such as CCleaner , role-playing games , and other types of games . On Wednesday, US authorities fired back, charging seven men allegedly backed by the Chinese government for carrying out a string of financially motivated hacks on more than 100 US and overseas organizations.

US prosecutors said the men targeted tech companies with the aim of stealing software-signing certificates, customer account data, and valuable business information, all with the tacit approval of the Chinese government. Working for front companies located in China, the defendants allegedly used the intrusions into game and software makers for money laundering, identity theft, wire and access device fraud, and to facilitate other criminal schemes, such as ransomware and cryptojacking schemes.

Legal protection

According to one of three indictments unsealed on Wednesday, defendant Jiang Lizhi boasted of his connections to China’s Ministry of State Security and claimed it provided him with legal protection “unless something very big happens.” Jiang’s business associate, Qian Chuan, allegedly spent the past 10 years supporting Chinese government projects, including development of a secure cleaning tool to wipe confidential data from digital media.

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    US plans big expansion of navy fleet to challenge growing Chinese sea power / TheGuardian · Thursday, 17 September - 00:28

Defence secretary promises future fleet including unmanned ships that will focus on Indo-Pacific region

The US secretary of defence, Mark Esper, has announced an ambitious plan to expand the US Navy with a range of unmanned and autonomous ships, submarines and aircraft to confront the growing maritime challenge from China.

The Pentagon chief said a sweeping review of US naval power dubbed “Future Forward” had laid out a “game-changer” plan that would expand the US sea fleet to more than 355 ships, from the current 293.

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    Trump ban on Chinese drone parts risks worsening wildfires / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 3 September - 15:50

Photo taken on Aug. 28, 2020 shows the wreckage at the site where a wildfire swept through in Vacaville of Solano County in northern California.

Enlarge / Photo taken on Aug. 28, 2020 shows the wreckage at the site where a wildfire swept through in Vacaville of Solano County in northern California. (credit: Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images)

The US interior department’s decision not to buy more drones with Chinese parts has made it more difficult to fight wildfires, according to an internal departmental memo, which lays bare one cost of the Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese technology.

The memo, which was written by the department’s Office of Aviation Services earlier this year, found that by the end of the year, the department will have carried out only a quarter of the controlled burning it might otherwise have done had it gone ahead with planned drone purchases.

The US is experiencing one of its worst years for wildfire outbreaks thanks to hot weather and a lack of firefighters. And while none of those appear to have happened on federal land, government insiders warn the de facto ban on buying drones with Chinese components risks making the situation worse.

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