News of the Week; August 28, 2019


  1. The Cultural Lobby Demands for Internet Taxes and Fees: The Forgotten Piece in Canada’s Lower Wireless and Internet Cost Puzzle (Michael Geist)
  2. DOJ’s plan to make Dish the fourth major carrier has a fatal flaw
  3. The FCC has no idea how many people don’t have broadband access
  4. Insights: You Can’t Always Get The Bandwidth You Want, But You’re Probably Getting The Bandwidth You Need
  5. FCC Does Something Right: Proposes Making Suicide Prevention Hotline A Three Digit Number
  6. NY Investigates Frontier Communications As US Telcos Slowly Implode
  7. When a Broadcast Advertiser Becomes A Political Candidate, What is a Station to Do? 
  8. FCC Seeks Comment on Verizon Petition for Declaratory Ruling on County’s Recurring Fees for Small Wireless Facilities in Public-Rights-of-Way
  9. Cable industry fights plan to require robocall-detection technology
  10. Anti-Robocalling Principles Established by State Attorneys General
  11. Anti-Robocall Principles Agreed to by Carriers and State AGs 
  12. State attorneys general and carriers announce collaboration to stem illegal robocalls 
  13. State attorneys general work with telecom giants to address robocalls
  14. US phone carriers make empty, unenforceable promises to fight robocalls
  15. FCC Charges Stations With Unlawful Use of Emergency Alerts in Promos and Programming
  16. New UK Regime for Telecoms Contract Changes and What To Expect in Ireland 


  1. Alphabet’s legal chief, David Drummond, comes under the spotlight following new allegations about his personal conduct
  2. My Time at Google and After
  3. Ex-Google Staffer Says After Split With Chief Legal Officer David Drummond: ‘Hell Does Not Begin To Capture My Life’
  4. Google defends tracking cookies—some experts aren’t buying it
  5. Google Play app with 100 million downloads executed secret payloads
  6. Former Google engineer Levandowski indicted for stealing trade secrets
  7. Top MPAA Lawyer, Mastermind Behind Its Plan To Attack The Internet, Arrested On Blackmail And Sexual Assault Charges
  8. Facebook likely knew about Cambridge Analytica much earlier than we thought
  9. Facebook bans ads from The Epoch Times after huge pro-Trump buy: By hiding its multimillion-dollar dark money ad spend, the organization bypassed Facebook’s political advertising transparency rules.
  10. Facebook’s Weird Pointless Auditless Audit Of Political Bias On Its Platform
  11. Russian Troll Farm Tries Again To Sue Facebook, Despite Having Its Original Complaint Dismissed On 230 Grounds
  12. Ninth Circuit Releases Another Important CDA Section 230 Opinion With Broad Application – Automated Content Recommendation and Notification Tools Do Not Make Social Site the Developer of User Posts 
  13. Gutting Section 230 Will Harm The Most Marginalized
  14. Decision to Dismiss Suit Seeking to Hold Facebook Liable for Hamas Attacks Affirmed by the Second Circuit
  15. Internet Presence Creates Exposure For Discrimination Claims Under California Law 
  16. California State Court Tosses Spam Suit
  17. Facebook tightens rules for U.S. political advertisers ahead of 2020 election
  18. Ninth Circuit Denies En Banc Re-Hearing of Facebook First Amendment Challenge—TCPA Constitutionality Fight Headed to the Supremes? 
  19. Guy Sues Facebook For Violating Basically All The Laws, For Shutting Down His Account And For Everything Else Bad Facebook Has Ever Done
  20. Tracking online hate groups reveals why they’re resilient to bans
  21. Australia plans to block sites hosting extremist content during attacks
  22. YouTube disables 210 accounts spreading misinformation about Hong Kong
  23. Google shutters more than 200 YouTube channels amid Hong Kong protests
  24. YouTube Disables 210 Channels For Spreading Misinformation About Hong Kong Protests
  25. YouTube is now labeling videos in Hong Kong uploaded by publishers with government or public funding
  26. Amid Objective Content Controversies, Susan Wojcicki Defends “Openness” Of YouTube Platform
  27. Google Agrees To Meet With The YouTubers Union, But Says It Won’t “Negotiate Their Demands”
  28. The YouTube Radicalization Pipeline Exists, And It’s Driving Users Toward Increasingly Alt-Right Content (Study)
  29. YouTube Expands New “Borderline Content”-Hunting Algorithm To The U.K.
  30. China (Yes, China) Complains About Attack On Its ‘Free Speech Rights’ After Twitter/Facebook Boot Propaganda Accounts
  31. Twitter Says No More Ads From State-Controlled News Media
  32. Book publishers sue Audible to stop new speech-to-text feature
  33. YouTube Updates Child Safety Policies To Remove Adult-Themed Videos Aimed At Kids
  34. YouTube flags robot battle videos as “animal fights”
  35. Probably Speech, Maybe Free: Toward a Probabilistic Understanding of Online Expression and Platform Governance – Applying a probablistic statistical framework to First Amendment questions (Mike Ananny)
  36. Macron claims deal to end digital service tax fight with the US
  37. Why Is MLB Claiming Revenue From Obviously Fair Use Videos On YouTube?
  38. PewDiePie reaches 100m subscribers: Long-running YouTuber is the first individual to achieve this milestone
  39. PewDiePie Hits 100 Million Subscribers, And Surprisingly, YouTube Pays Him Tribute
  40. YouTube Embraces PewDiePie After Two-Year Cold Shoulder, Congratulates Him On 100 Million Subs
  41. YouTuber Olly Thorn Raises $100,000+ By Livestreaming Shakespeare Readings 24/7 For 4 Days
  42. Netflix-like pirate sites offered more video than the real Netflix, feds say
  43. Netflix To Screen Scorsese’s $159 Million ‘The Irishman’ And 9 Other Films In Theaters This Fall
  44. Anti-vaxxer livestreamed alleged assault on pro-vaccine lawmaker
  45. James Charles Leaks Own Nude Photo Amid AT&T Hack Affecting Several Creators
  46. IP Legal Considerations for Live Streaming
  47. NY Times Goes Off On Amazon Because Some People Are Publishing Fake George Orwell Books
  48. Hundreds of “banned” goods still for sale on Amazon, report finds
  49. Amazon Prime Video Signs Distribution Deal With Altice Europe
  50. EU data economy: legal, ethical & social issues
  51. Agreement Amongst Competition Authorities of the G7 Countries on the Digital Economy
  52. California arms traffickers used Snapchat to market illegal weapons: Recent investigations show that in the Bay Area, social media is playing a significant role in firearms sales
  53. Snapchat Turns to Sneaker Culture in New ‘Kick Life’ Original Series: Dedicated to exploring what it truly means to be a sneakerhead.
  54. TikTok Reportedly Piloting New Ad Product, An Audience Network, In Asia
  55. What3words Is A Clever Way Of Communicating Position Very Simply, But Do We Really Want To Create A Monopoly For Location Look-ups?
  56. Apple’s $44 Billion Drop Shows Growing Cost of Reliance on China
  57. Maybe don’t keep your Apple Card in a leather wallet, Apple warns
  58. Spotify matches Apple Music’s 3-month trial
  59. Eminem’s music publisher claims Spotify owes millions in royalties for ‘Lose Yourself’ and other songs
  60. Audiomack Announces Official Partnership With Warner Music Group: The streaming service’s first deal with a major label will focus on identifying and elevating new talent
  61. Lululemon Launches ‘Sweatlife’ Podcast in Partnership With Makers
  62. FameBit Founders Raise $2.2 Million For Podcast Advertising Startup ‘Podcorn’
  63. NAD Gives Online Review Promotion a Negative Grade
  64. Bosch Pulls Social Media Post Over Charges of Sexism
  65. Companies Are Not Complying With the Safe Harbor Provision of the DMCA 
  66. Section 230 Protects HOA for Publishing Meeting Minutes–Eagle Ridge Townhouse Ass’n v. Snapp (Eric Goldman)
  67. Thinking About Restricting Online Reviews? FTC: Think Again
  68. Building Buzz: Facebook Dominates In Audience Views for Three Highly-Anticipated TV Shows Coming This Fall
  69. Why people keep falling for viral hoaxes
  70. Nashville Trump Supporter Fired Over Facebook Post Wins Trial
  71. Instagram, Facing Pressure From Facebook, Is Testing Back-To-Back Ads In Stories (Report)
  72. Facebook is developing a new standalone Snapchat-like messaging app called ‘Threads’
  73. Facebook Is Developing ‘Threads,’ An Instagram-Adjacent Messaging App That Automatically Shares Location, Battery Life Data (Report)
  74. What’s not to like about Instagram’s latest test? 
  75. Opinion: With This Statement, I Give Notice That Instagram Owns Your Soul – People posting a pseudo-legal declaration may believe they’re in a two-way dialogue with the company. The opposite is true.
  76. YouTube TV To Sell Add-Ons For AMC-Owned Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel
  77. Beauty Giant Estée Lauder Now Allots 75% Of Its Digital Marketing Budget To Influencers
  78. ASA rules against BetIndex Ltd
  79. Vevo announces new ROUNDS urban series
  80. Alleged “snake oil” crypto company sues over boos at Black Hat
  81. Company Sues Blackhat Because People Mocked Their Sponsored Presentation And Called It Snake Oil
  82. Judge savages self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright
  83. FTC Permanently Bans Operators of Cryptocurrency MLM 
  84. 3 Key Takeaways: Emerging Issues & Trends: Blockchain for In-House Counsel
  85. The Circuitous International Travel of Your Data
  86. No longer up in the air? Cloud transaction regulations are released
  87. Bernie Su’s Livestreamed Interactive Sci-Fi Series ‘Artificial’ Brings Twitch Its First Emmy
  88. Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech
  89. The Barlowian Internet: The Faults Of The Internet Are Also Its Opportunity, But It’s Up To Us To Embrace Them


  1. Singularity: how governments can halt the rise of unfriendly, unstoppable super-AI
  2. Do Citizens Have A Right To See The Algorithms Used By Publicly-Funded Software?
  3. Why We Should Teach Kids to Call the Robot ‘It’: As a new generation grows up surrounded by artificial intelligence, researchers find education as early as preschool can help avoid confusion about robots’ role
  4. Music to regulators’ ears? Antitrust, RPM, and AI
  5. Robotic thread is designed to slip through the brain’s blood vessels: Magnetically controlled device could deliver clot-reducing therapies in response to stroke or other brain blockages.
  6. 2019: A Bot Odyssey 
  7. The rise of CGI influencers: getting real about the virtual within the fashion industry
  8. In Memoriam: My Dear Friend and Colleague Ian Kerr (Michael Geist)


  1. Limitation Period for Damages Claims under Personal Information Protection Act (Alberta)
  2. Millions Of Biometric Records Collected By Companies And Governments Left Exposed On The Web
  3. How insurance companies are fueling a rise in ransomware attacks
  4. Ninth Circuit Says Warrantless Device Searches At The Border Must Be Limited To Searches For Contraband
  5. Ring has more than 400 police “partnerships,” company finally says
  6. Unrollme Inc. Settles with FTC Over Allegedly Deceptive Email Practices 
  7. FTC Unrolls Settlement Over Privacy Violations
  8. Rogue ‘Smart’ Ovens Again Highlight How Dumb Tech Is Often The Smarter Choice
  9. Cuckoo for Cookies 
  10. Interlopers in Things? IoT devices may be used as backdoors to your network
  11. CCPA Privacy FAQs: If a business receives a data subject access request, does it have to provide the specific pieces of personal information that it collected about the consumer?
  12. Mitigating Franchisor Exposures for Systemwide GDPR Compliance through Cyber Insurance
  13. The Myth of Consumer Security (Bruce Schneier)


  1. Jeffrey Epstein Used a Bullet and a Dead Cat to Intimidate Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter: Report
  2. Why ‘Vanity Fair’ Story Left Out Abuse Allegations Against Epstein
  3. State Rep Tries To Bring Criminal Harassment Charges Against Journalists For Being Journalists
  4. Missouri Attorney General Claims The First Amendment Allows Him To Withhold Public Records
  5. SLAPP Threats Don’t Even Need To Become Lawsuits To Be Effective: Cop Gets Columnist Fired For Pointing To Picture Of Him With Racists
  6. New Government Documents Reveal That Backpage Was Actively Helping Law Enforcement Track Down Traffickers
  7. Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Attempt To Seal His Entire Lawsuit Against A Website That Publishes Court Documents
  8. District Court: No negligent misrepresentation claims in smart TV privacy suit 
  9. Don’t Let The Bret Stephens Bite: NY Times’ Hypocritical ‘Free Speech’ Columnist Flips Out After Being Called A Bedbug
  10. Rutgers Forces LA High School To Change Logos Due To Its ‘R’ Trademark
  11. The Man With the Tiger (and Snake) Tattoo Redux
  12. Canadian Brewery Changes Name Of Brew Due To Peanut Butter Company Bully That Doesn’t Ship In Canada
  13. The Patent And Trademark Office Is Apparently Branching Out Into The Immigration Enforcement Business
  14. Never again advertising with women who do not know how to park cars and men who are incapable of raising children?
  15. 4 lessons from the ASA’s first bans on sexist ads 
  16. The Estate of Stanley Kauffmann v. Rochester Institute of Technology
  17. New York State Bans Floating Digital and Flashing Billboards
  18. Planning to Use Digitally Altered Photos of Your Competitor’s Product in Your Advertising?


  1. Blizzard sues over “brazen” Warcraft clone: World of Warcraft maker taking InstantFuns to court due to Glorious Saga, saying the game’s content “is almost entirely copied”
  2. New allegations of sexual assault surface against established game devs
  3. Developers sound off after abuse accusations: People across the industry offer support to victims, perspective and calls to action for the rest of their peers
  4. Tetrageddon Games developer warns women about Skyrim composer: Nathalie Lawhead says Jeremy Soule raped them, took advantage of an industry newcomer’s situation
  5. More developers come forward with accounts of emotional abuse and sexual assault: Nathalie Lawhead’s account prompts Zoë Quinn, Adelaide Gardner, more to speak out about their experiences in the industry
  6. Night in the Woods devs cut ties with Alec Holowka after abuse allegations
  7. Riot Games settles gender-discrimination class action lawsuit 
  8. Riot Games reaches preliminary settlement in class action lawsuit over gender discrimination: “Gender discrimination (in pay or promotion), sexual harassment, and retaliation are not systemic issues at Riot”
  9. Ion Fury retains controversial in-game content after all: Facial cleanser name is in, slur is out, company still donating to Trevor Project and mandating sensitivity training
  10. Sony clamps down on Vita hacking: Despite console’s slow death, Sony moves to protect its interests in Japan with anti-hacking firmware update
  11. Mixer streamers can now earn cash for recommending Xbox Game Pass
  12. Six men arrested over alleged Counter-Strike match fixing: Australian police say offences could lead to up to ten years in prison
  13. Better with the cloud? Stadia gets the “fastest” Football Manager sims
  14. Another Bad PR Sign: Indie Developer Shuns Epic Store, Saying ‘My Word Means Something’
  15. Darq developer offers Epic revenue to charity if given non-exclusivity: Unfold Games offers to let the gaming community choose which organisation would receive donations
  16. Australian police make arrests as part of investigation into esports match fixing
  17. Twitch’s cuts of payments to esports teams is benefiting YouTube
  18. OG wins Dota 2’s International for second straight year: Valve’s premiere esports competitions sees back-to-back champs for the first time
  19. Benjamin ‘DrLupo’ Lupo Inks Multi-Year Equity Deal With Esports Conglomerate ReKTGlobal
  20. Ninja defamed?
  21. Accessibility Unlocked offers support to disabled developers in Australia and New Zealand: New group also wants to raise more awareness about accessibility issues for players
  22. Restoring trust in Star Wars Battlefront II: Design director Dennis Brännvall reflects on the fallout from the loot box controversy, and how DICE has won back the community
  23. DICE cancels new Battlefield V multiplayer mode to focus on eradicating bugs
  24. DICE cancels Battlefield V competitive mode to focus on bug fixes: Battlefield still bug crushing nine months after release
  25. Celebrity Entertainer Sues Over Video Game Avatar 
  26. The joyful representation of The Sims: EA Maxis senior producer Michael Duke on creating studio longevity, improving representation, and building a lasting franchise
  27. Modified DayZ receives MA15+ rating in Australia: Bohemia Interactive’s changes satisfy the Australian Classification Board
  28. Video Game Age Ratings in Online Retail: Legal Requirements for Merchants
  29. Emulator aims to keep Flash games alive and kicking after official support ends
  30. New publisher Modern Wolf commits to “ethical development practices”: UK-based indie publisher has a zero tolerance policy on crunch, will champion developers from underrepresented regions
  31. Nintendo continues marginal improvements to ethical mineral sourcing: Switch maker says it’s “putting smiles on the faces of our supply chain,” but efforts to ensure it isn’t funding human rights abuses far from complete
  32. Hands-on: The Switch Lite is a smaller, more comfortable handheld
  33. Nintendo removes credit card payment option from Wii U, 3DS eShop in EU and UK
  34. Nintendo Wii U, 3DS eShops to stop accepting credit cards in UK, EU: Credit card purchases can still be made through Nintendo accounts
  35. The future for platform holders is cooperation, not just competition | Opinion: Companies like Sony and Microsoft will always seek a competitive advantage, but the clear lines of the console wars are all but gone
  36. Microsoft’s Age of Empires studio will oversee the IP rather than develop games 
  37. Microsoft’s Age of Empires studio won’t be developing games: Shannon Loftis’ newly-created studio is focused on oversight of teams like Forgotten Empires, Relic
  38. Bungie – “We need to dispel the notion Activision was some prohibitive overlord”: Destiny 2 developer discusses whether the game’s big changes this year were related to splitting from its original publisher
  39. Google Play Store design refresh aims to boost game discoverability
  40. Game stores: you need more real-time charts!
  41. Play Ventures raises $40 million to fuel game-focused VC fund
  42. Playtika acquires Best Fiends developer-publisher Seriously
  43. Playtika acquires Best Fiends developer Seriously: Seriously’s “mobile first” entertainment strategy drove it to $69m revenue last year
  44. Grand Theft Auto V is back on top in the EMEAA charts: The drought of major new releases leaves the door open for Rockstar once again
  45. UK Charts: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe takes No. 1 (but it should be Minecraft, again) – For second week running, listing anomaly denies Minecraft top spot, despite being best-selling game for the week
  46. ISFE: EU games industry worth over €21bn – Consoles account for 47% of revenue in France, Germany, Spain, and UK
  47. MatPat’s Alternate Reality Game ‘The Theorist Gateway’ Has Amassed 400,000 Unique Players
  48. Scopely announces Barcelona and Dublin expansion: Just two years since opening Barcelona office, mobile dev plans to triple its presence in the city
  49. Razer and Tencent partner to further cloud gaming ambitions
  50. Tencent partners with Razer for cloud gaming hardware, overseas expansion: Collaboration aims to have gaming hardware compatible with Tencent Cloud launched by year’s end
  51. Play Ventures closes first funding round at $40m: Led by Rovio investment, VC fund raises $10m more than initial targets
  52. Hatch and Vodafone partner to bring 5G mobile game streaming to Germany
  53. Valve tweaks bug bounty program after ‘mistakenly’ turning away researchers
  54. Valve says turning away researcher reporting Steam vulnerability was a mistake
  55. Steam no longer allowing payments in Argentinian pesos: Storefront error cites “government laws,” but currency depreciation may be at the heart of payment block
  56. Ubisoft exec claims Valve needs to modify Steam’s ‘unrealistic’ business model
  57. Ubisoft exec criticises Steam’s “unrealistic” business model: “It doesn’t reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution,” says VP of partnerships and revenue
  58. “I spent 300 days on the road last year meeting developers”: Meet Kowloon Nights, the games fund that wants its partners to leave it behind
  59. LCG Entertainment relaunches Telltale Games brand: New owners are “working very hard” to avoid mistakes of previous management
  60. Telltale Games, the studio behind The Walking Dead, has been reanimated
  61. Like a zombie, the Telltale brand is coming back from the dead
  62. Warner Bros. Interactive to Open San Diego Studio Focused on Mobile Games
  63. Warner Bros. forms new free-to-play mobile studio in San Diego
  64. Warner Bros opens new mobile studio in San Diego: Branch will be led by Boston studio boss Tom Casey and specialise in free-to-play games
  65. Using UI as a means to tell a story, convey emotion, and create personality
  66. Video: A soft skills survival guide for game developers
  67. Video: The three phases of designing Episode’s interactive fiction
  68. Video: Inside the transmedia storytelling of Final Fantasy XV
  69. Fumito Ueda on weaving empathy into victory in Shadow of the Colossus
  70. 20 years after Seaman, Saito reflects on creativity and making new, strange things
  71. World of Warcraft is hearthing back home again with Classic
  72. Ancestors – The Humankind Odyssey: Critical Consensus – Patrice Désilets’ Panache Digital leaves the critics intrigued and ultimately frustrated with a unique game that refuses to hold the player’s hand
  73. Don’t Miss: Taking the sting out of failure in Supergiant’sPyre
  74. Don’t Miss: The story behind Remedy’s viral dog mocap star
  75. Don’t Miss: How Remedy rewrote its engine tech to makeAlan Wake
  76. Don’t Miss: Creating the free-flowing text conversations inMr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n
  77. How we balanced our game for beginners and for pros
  78. Blending comedy with capitalism in The Outer Worlds: Obsidian’s senior designer Brian Heins also discusses why tougher moral choices are more interesting
  79. Bhad Bhabie Joyriding Game ‘Ride or Die!’ Geared Around Stealing Cars, Outrunning Cops
  80. Bhad Bhabie Pacts With BBTV Interactive On Mobile Car Game ‘Ride Or Die!’
  81. Blog: Creating Merchant of the Skies from announcement to Early Access launch
  82. Blog: A primer on sound design for video games
  83. Blog: Depiction of war in games – can you do better?
  84. Blog: Second looks at snowballing
  85. Creating a narrative focused mission design document: A Last of Us example
  86. ‘Why all of our games look like crap’: One dev’s lessons in art style
  87. Review: Control is Remedy’s best game yet—and a ray tracing masterpiece
  88. C’mon and SLAM: How Oculus tackled portable, 6DOF tracking for the Quest
  89. Oculus’ former head of mobile VR has left Facebook
  90. Oculus VR loses its head of mobile: Max Cohen left this month, after leading Gear VR, Oculus Go, and starting push toward Oculus Quest
  91. Indie Dev Experiment Brings Google Lens to VR, Showing Real-time Text Translation
  92. VRGO Mini is Small Form Factor VR Locomotion Peripheral, Kickstarter Now Live
  93. Telling Lies: Critical Consensus: Her Story creator Sam Barlow delivers critically acclaimed follow-up, but Telling Lies still lives in the shadow of its predecessor
  94. PlayStation Productions joins the Uncharted movie as another director exits
  95. PlayStation Productions is now working on the Uncharted movie: Sony’s new unit joins the producing team after film project loses yet another director
  96. Metro 2033 movie in the works: Gazprom Media producing a feature film based on the novel that spawned 4A Games’ post-apocalyptic shooter franchise
  97. Staffsource: Ars staffers reminisce on the games that made them gamers
  98. The ten best console racing games of all time
  99. Our favorite gaming studios, expos, museum exhibits—in a photo blowout
  100. First International Gaming Summit on Mental Health set for October
  101. Gamescom: Opening Night Live attracts 500,000 viewers – Another record-breaking year for Gamescom is topped off by newfound digital engagement of 100 million video views
  102. U.S. Patent no. 9,656,167: Pre-play and post-play video game character presentation and equipping 


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