News of the Week; December 18, 2019


  1. The CRTC Imposes New Obligation on Telecommunications Service Providers to Combat Nuisance Calls
  2. Mozilla, Consumer Groups Petition For Rehearing of Net Neutrality Case
  3. FCC’s “illogical” claim that broadband isn’t telecommunications faces appeal
  4. Bernie’s Broadband Plan Gives A Big Green Light To Community Broadband 
  5. CRTC Enforces CASL in Case of Malware Distribution 
  6. CASL Enforcement Action – $115,000 in Penalties for Distributing Malware
  7. Netflix Data Suggests Streaming Giant Spending One-Third of Canadian Revenues on Film and TV Production in Canada (Michael Geist)
  8. Tax Policy Confusion: What Digital Taxes are on the Canadian Government’s Agenda? (Michael Geist)
  9. New communications law research platform will strengthen policymaking: Analyzing millions of pages of legal documents, new tools will simplify legal data for the public
  10. AT&T Said Trump Tax Cuts Would Create Thousands Of Jobs. Instead, AT&T’s Laying Off Thousands.
  11. AT&T doesn’t want you to see its slow Internet speed-test results 
  12. The FCC Helped AT&T Hide Its Crappy Broadband Speeds 
  13. FCC Proposes Fines of Over $600,000 to Two Boston-Area Pirate Radio Operators 
  14. Cheaters Never Prosper: FCC Proposes $10MM Fine On Man Who Used His Business Rival’s Phone Number on Spoofed Robocalls
  15. TCPA Legislative Update — After Much Negotiation, House Passes Consensus Robocall Legislation; Senate Vote Imminent
  16. Constitutional Challenges to TCPA: What’s Next?
  17. TCPA Regulatory Update — FCC Wakes from TCPA Hibernation with Orders Granting Two Petitions
  18. FCC Admonishes and Cites ISPs for Failure to Comply with the Transparency Rule
  19. FCC Seeks Comment on Cable Service Change Notifications 
  20. FCC Seeks Comment on Establishing 988 Suicide Crisis Hotline 
  21. FCC Announces Deadlines for the Next Auction for New FM Channels – And a Filing Freeze 
  22. FCC Adopts Changes to Rules for New Noncommercial FM and LPFM Stations – Changing Application Processing Procedures and Holding Periods
  23. No-fiber zone: FCC funds 25Mbps, data-capped satellite in rural areas
  24. 5G deployment stands ready to supercharge the Internet of Things 
  25. 5G Phones Will Be Bigger & More Expensive With Crappy Battery Life. Excited Yet? 
  26. Commerce Department Takes Steps To Thwart Use of Information and Communications Technology and Services Associated With Foreign Adversaries 
  27. What now for UK telecoms regulation? 
  28. The Access Act: Can Data Portability Increase Online Platform Competition? 
  29. €2.6bn for the Irish National Broadband Plan Approved by the European Commission
  30. 988 will be the new 911 for suicide prevention—by sometime in 2021 


  1. People who are given correct information still misremember it to fit their own beliefs: “What we have had in lieu of a well-informed citizenry is what might be termed a  myth – the myth of the attentive public.”
  2. Can fact-checkers save Taiwan from a flood of Chinese fake news?
  3. Change to Chinese university’s charter dropping ‘freedom of thought’ stirs debate
  4. Chinese students denounce limits on free speech, in a rare protest
  5. Iran Accelerates Longstanding Quest To Cut Itself Off From The Internet
  6. Nevada’s Top Court Says The State’s Journalist Shield Law Also Applies To Bloggers
  7. Maryland Disclosure Requirements for Online Political Ads Violates the First Amendment–Washington Post v. McManus (Eric Goldman)
  8. Breach of Contract/Promissory Estoppel Claims Bypass Section 230 But Fail Anyways—Yue v. Miao (Eric Goldman)
  9. AG William Barr Attacks Section 230… Even Though It Doesn’t Hinder The DOJ At All
  10. Engineer says Google fired her for browser pop-up about worker rights
  11. This 3D-printed Stanford bunny also holds the data for its own reproduction
  12. Russian media group Rambler attempting to hold Nginx hostage
  13. Facebook fails to convince lawmakers it needs to track your location at all times
  14. Twitter and Facebook Want to Shift Power to Users. Or Do They?: A decentralized internet was hailed as a way to dethrone Twitter and Facebook. But to the tech giants, the idea could unload some of their burdens.
  15. Hungary Has Fined Facebook For ‘Misleading Consumers’ Because It Promoted Its Service As ‘Free’
  16. FTC may block Facebook from integrating messaging apps, per WSJ report
  17. Regulator weighs action against Facebook over plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger
  18. Instagram to start warning users before they post ‘potentially offensive’ captions: The AI-powered feature came to comments earlier this year
  19. Instagram Launches AI Tool That Warns Users Before They Post Potentially Offensive Captions
  20. Instagram now lets you upload multiple photos on one Story post with ‘layout’ feature: A third-party tool brought inside
  21. Instagram Won’t Pull These Racist, Violent, Russian-Inspired Accounts: Neo-Confederates are posting racist memes – and reusing material from Kremlin trolls. But Instagram says the accounts don’t violate its rules.
  22. Sons Of Confederate Veterans Sued Over Bogus DMCA Takedown
  23. NC, Or Not NC: Why Suing The Sons Of Confederate Veterans In N.D.Cal For Violating The DMCA Makes Sense
  24. Bing’s Top Search Results Contain an Alarming Amount of Disinformation
  25. Are you sharing too much about your kids online? Probably
  26. Lumen Presents Comments to the Third Meeting of the Stakeholder Dialogue on Art. 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in Brussels
  27. Shedding light on fraudulent takedown notices: Berkman Klein Center’s Lumen database helps bring attention to falsified court orders
  28. Beware your automatic email footer!
  29. Where’d You Get Your Tech? New Rules May Allow the U.S. Government to Unwind Your Latest IT Purchase
  30. Samsung chair imprisoned and 24 others found guilty in union-busting case
  31. Netflix docuseries Broken highlights prevalence of counterfeit cosmetics products on online marketplaces
  32. Another ex-Google employee accuses company of union busting: A fifth fired worker attests company let her go for coding internal notification about workers’ rights
  33. Trump administration says employers can ban organizing via company email
  34. Rather Than Radicalize, YouTube’s Algorithm Brings Viewers Toward “Mainstream” Content, CEO Says
  35. Robert Downey Jr.’s Long-Awaited YouTube Original To Drop Dec. 18
  36. Susanne Daniels, Robert Kyncl Talk Pros And Cons Of YouTube’s Switch To Ad-Supported Originals
  37. Billboard 200 to Include Official Video Plays From YouTube, Streaming Services
  38. These Are The 10 Most-Viewed YouTube Ads Of The Year
  39. Ryan Kaji Is Reportedly YouTube’s Top-Earning Creator This Year, Raking In $26 Million
  40. For The First Time, YouTube Consumption Will Inform The ‘Billboard 200’ Albums Chart
  41. YouTube Music gets Spotify-like personalized playlists
  42. Apple’s new Screen Time Communication Limits are easily beaten with a bug
  43. iPhones and iPads finally get key-based protection against account takeovers
  44. Mac Pro teardown finds a largely traditional desktop inside
  45. Apple Filed A Silly, Questionable DMCA Notice On A Tweeted iPhone Encryption Key… Before Backing Down
  46. Bogus DMCA Notices Still A Huge Problem As Apple Gets Unfairly Blamed For Reddit Takedown
  47. Abbott Laboratories Sends Heavy-Handed Copyright Threat To Shut Down Diabetes Community Tool For Accessing Blood-Sugar Data
  48. Copyright Trolls Go Mostly Silent In US Federal Courts
  49. Yup, Strike 3 Is Going The Prenda Route By Filing ‘Pure Discovery’ Suits In FL State Court
  50. Spotify debuts a new original podcast that looks back on the last decade in music
  51. Spotify prototypes Tastebuds to revive social music discovery
  52. Sponsorship: good faith and measuring the value of influencers
  53. Tana Mongeau, Jake Paul Land Linear MTV Series ‘Bustedness’
  54. Snap Dropping Complex-Produced Doc About Incarcerated Rapper Tekashi69
  55. Deji Olatunji Appealing U.K. Court’s Decision To Euthanize His Dog After “Nasty” Attack
  56. Bretman Rock Lands ‘No Filter’ Digital Reality Series At MTV
  57. Streamys Bestows ‘Premiere’ Awards To Ninja, JoJo Siwa Ahead Of Tomorrow’s Flagship Ceremony
  58. Here Are Your 2019 Streamy Awards Winners
  59. NLRB Restores Employers’ Right to Restrict Employees’ Personal Use of Company Email and Other IT Resources
  60. Be Careful What You Wish For: TikTok Tries To Stop Bullying On Its Platforms… By Suppressing Those It Thought Might Get Bullied
  61. Parents Sue TikTok for COPPA Violations, Settle for $1.1M
  62. VidCon 2020 Goes All In On TikTok With Featured Creators Andre Swilley, ThunThun Skittles, More
  63. VidCon Makes Middle Eastern Foray In 5-Year Deal With Abu Dhabi Tourism Department
  64. TikTok Inks Deal With WWE For 30 New Wrestler Accounts, Entrance Music Licensing
  65. Amazon bans third-party merchants from shipping with FedEx
  66. Some junk for sale on Amazon is very literally garbage, report finds
  67. Amazon Prime Reportedly Lands Rihanna Documentary For A Cool $25 Million
  68. Amazon and Google Are Practically Giving Away Smart Speakers. Here’s Why.
  69. Hulu debuts a new type of ad that will reward binge-watchers
  70. Large tech merger provides an early opportunity to test the fitness of the competition regime in 2020
  71. What’s App? – End of Year Round-up on mHealth App Developments
  72. Trust, Decentralization, and The Blockchain
  73. Exhume dead cryptocurrency exec who owes us $250 million, creditors demand
  74. This alleged Bitcoin scam looked a lot like a pyramid scheme
  75. Controversial sale of .org domain manager faces review at ICANN
  76. The idiot’s guide to why you should not steal a domain name at gun point
  77. This “essential piece of computing history” just sold for $43,750
  78. The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 36: The Year in Canadian Digital Law and Policy (Michael Geist)


  1. A sobering message about the future at AI’s biggest party
  2. I created my own deepfake—it took two weeks and cost $552
  3. Owning Intelligence: The United States Patent and Trademark Office is trying to answer a very complicated question: who owns artificial intelligence?
  4. Does AI generated work give rise to a copyright claim?
  5. Deep Learning breakthrough made by Rice University scientists
  6. Rigid machines meet human creativity: Advising on data strategies


  1. Avast CEO Downplays Collection Of 400 Million Users’ Browsing Data
  2. Guess What? Many Cookie Banners Ignore Your Wishes, So Max Schrems Goes On The GDPR Attack Again
  3. Recent Developments on Cookies – a Pan-European Overview
  4. Chrome’s data disaster: Browser update wipes out Android app data
  5. Chrome 79 will continuously scan your passwords against public data breaches
  6. Building trust as a foundation for a growth mindset around data
  7. Nebula VPN routes between hosts privately, flexibly, and efficiently
  8. Feds reap data from 1,500 phones in largest reported reverse-location warrant
  9. Michael Hayden Ran The NSA And CIA: Now Warns That Encryption Backdoors Will Harm American Security & Tech Leadership
  10. Florida Appeals Court Says Govt’s Lack Of Good Faith Can’t Save A 2012 Warrantless Stingray Deployment
  11. Inspector General’s Report On Investigation Of Trump Campaign Finds More FISA-Related Abuse By The FBI
  12. FISA Court Benchslaps FBI For Its Abuse Of The FISA Warrant Process During The Trump Campaign Investigation
  13. Hackers steal data for 15 million patients, then sell it back to lab that lost it
  14. LifeLabs pays ransom after cyberattack exposes information of 15 million customers in B.C. and Ontario
  15. What is the IAB’s CCPA Compliance Framework for “Do not sell my personal information?”
  16. The CCPA is Only Two Weeks Away and Only 6% Of Companies Have Deployed a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” Link
  17. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – You are not California Dreamin’!
  18. Resetting the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)…with 2 Weeks To Go! (Part 1 of 3) (Eric Goldman)
  19. Some Lessons Learned from the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), 18 Months In (Part 2 of 3) (Eric Goldman)
  20. Eric Goldman’s Comments to the California DOJ Draft Regulations for the Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) (Part 3 of 3) (Eric Goldman)
  21. EDPB Publishes Guidelines on the Right to Be Forgotten in Search Engine Cases
  22. Purple Communications, Inc. Overruled: Employees have no presumptive statutory right to use employer equipment, including email systems, under the NLRA
  23. Privacy Peril: Is Your Smart TV Too Smart?
  24. Wave of Ring surveillance camera hacks tied to podcast, report finds
  25. Online Forum Members Exploited Weak Credentials To Turn Ring Cameras Against Their Owners
  26. Privacy Tip #219 – Holiday Shopping Tip for Internet-Connected Gifts
  27. A new draft code of practice for consumer IoT devices – hardening IoT supply chains
  28. Evaluating Risks in the IoT Supply Chain
  29. The IOT is Here and so is the Regulation
  30. Upload – 2019 Data Protection update


  1. Objections Filed re Access Copyright Proposed Post-Secondary Tariff for 2021-2023 and Update re 2011-2017
  2. Why Are Members Of Congress Telling A Private Organization Not To Comment On Copyright Law?
  3. Free-riding on reputation of LOUIS VUITTON mark
  4. Pepsi Scores Dismissal Of Copyright Dispute Over Super Bowl Ad
  5. Arsenal’s Mesut Özil Slams Uighur Repression and China Pulls Premier League Game: The move puts Beijing in conflict with a second major global sports league
  6. Hallmark Apologizes for Pulling Commercials That Show Brides Kissing
  7. Does Elon Musk’s Defamation Defense Verdict Spell “Open Season” for Social Media Insults? Answer: Nope.
  8. Robyn Openshaw, ‘The Green Smoothie Girl,’ Threatening SLAPP Suits Over Mediocre Reviews
  9. Tennessee Doctor Decides He Wants To Take The State’s Anti-SLAPP Law For A Spin, Files Bogus Defamation Lawsuit Over A Negative Review
  10. No, Filing A Defamation Lawsuit Is Never The Only Way You Can Clear Your Name
  11. Teespring Takes Down Our Copying Is Not Theft Gear, Refuses To Say Why
  12. Why Intermediary Liability Protections Matter: Our ‘Copying Is Not Theft’ T-Shirt May Be Collateral Damage To A Bad Court Ruling
  13. Delhi High Court Rules That Making A Copy Of The Film Is Not Only Restricted To Making A Physical Copy Of The Film But It Also Includes A Substantial And Fundamental Reproduction Of The Original
  14. US government is entitled to all Snowden book proceeds, judge rules
  15. Restaurant Association Looks To Take Back Taco Tuesday For The People
  16. Beyond The Taco: Someone Is Now Trying To Trademark ‘Breakfast Burrito’
  17. Copyright in designs: G-Stars in their Eyes
  18. University of Phoenix Settles FTC Deceptive Advertising Law Allegations
  19. Intellectual Property Rights and the Employer-Employee Relationship: A Canadian Law Q&A
  20. At Oral Argument Justices Consider Copyright Protection for Legal Annotations
  21. European Copyright: Memes, GIFs, and Other Images on the Internet


  1. Russia’s Rambler Group suing Twitch for $2.8 billion: Internet giant takes takes legal action against streaming service in the region over pirated football broadcasts
  2. Twitch facing $2.9 billion lawsuit over broadcast of pirated soccer streams
  3. Nreal files motion to dismiss Magic Leap copycat suit
  4. Company fined nearly $100k for publishing unapproved game in China: Chinese law allows companies to be fined between 5 and 10 times their revenue for unlicensed titles
  5. Dangen chief Judd steps down following harassment, mismanagement allegations
  6. Ben Judd departs Dangen, DDM amid accusations of harassment, bad business: Sources allege Judd mishandled communications and payments, publicly exposed himself, upheld harmful power dynamic
  7. Bethesda adds John Romero Sigil mod to Doom console ports: Publisher recognises unofficial sequel alongside other free community mods
  8. Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next console, launching holiday 2020
  9. Xbox’s next-gen Project Scarlett revealed as Xbox Series X
  10. The Xbox Series X will support backwards compatibility at launch
  11. The next Xbox has a name and a new design: Behold, 2020’s Xbox Series X
  12. Microsoft returning to simpler “Xbox” branding for next gen hardware: Xbox Series X is not the brand, Microsoft says, and name will allow “room for additional consoles in the future”
  13. Nintendo Switch outsells Xbox One worldwide
  14. Developing Switch-first eases the porting process, says Axiom Verge dev
  15. Sony launching DualShock 4 rear button attachment: Plug-in peripheral will let players map actions to two new buttons on the back of the controller
  16. Apple Arcade introduces a cheaper annual subscription option
  17. Apple Arcade rolls out $50 yearly subscription option
  18. Apple Arcade now has a cut-price annual payment tier: New subscription option gives a year’s access for the price of ten individual months
  19. Atari details revenue splits, engine partnerships ahead of Atari VCS 2020 launch
  20. Atari offers 88% of revenue to exclusive VCS games: Non-exclusive games will get an 80/20 revenue split from sales through the VCS store
  21. Gameloft teams up with Blacknut for new cloud gaming service
  22. Why new consoles probably won’t be enough to save GameStop
  23. Mortal Kombat 11 will soon bring cross-console ‘Krossplay’ into the fray
  24. Mario has the most fans in the US, but Call of Duty ranks higher for most people: Over 44% of Americans are fans of Nintendo’s mascot, but 26% put Activision’s shooter in their Top Five
  25. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare narrowly beats Star Wars ahead of UK Christmas chart – There are nine Mario-related games in the Top 40
  26. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has topped $1 billion in sell-through revenue
  27. FIFA 20 is still at the top of the EMEAA charts: EA’s latest entry returns to No.1 for the sixth week since its launch
  28. Mobile games made 15 times more revenue than entertainment apps in a single year: Liftoff report on app industry shows games leading the way in downloads, in-app revenue and number of new releases
  29. Survey finds parents getting stricter on kids’ in-game spending: ISFE finds parents more likely than last year to have an agreement with children regulating purchases or to forbid children from in-game spending entirely
  30. Undead Labs setting up new studio, game development academy in New Orleans
  31. Warcraft III: Reforged will release on January 28, not in 2019
  32. Rainbow Six Siege switches core team: Leroy Athanassoff to lead new group as Xavier Marquis and Alexandre Remy move on to new projects at Ubisoft
  33. Animoca Brands buys Power Rangers: Legacy Wars developer nWay
  34. Animoca Brands acquires Power Rangers developer nWay: Studio behind mobile fighting game Legacy Wars purchased for $7.69 million
  35. Brawl Stars brought in $422m in its first year: Sensor Tower – Supercell’s multiplayer arena brought in $94m in South Korea alone
  36. Final Fantasy XIV Online has passed 18 million registered players
  37. Wargaming finally branching beyond World of Tanks with UK studio’s new IP: CEO Victor Kislyi and UK studio director Sean Decker discuss how the publisher’s newest team aims to conquer the West
  38. Zynga opens new UK mobile studio to expand racing game portfolio
  39. Zynga starts a new racing game studio in United Kingdom
  40. Analyst: Clash of Clans claimed the most consumer spend of any mobile game this decade
  41. Riot Forge is publishing two new League of Legends games
  42. Dobre Brothers Launch ‘Dobre Dunk’ Mobile Game With BroadbandTV
  43. Just 15% of Shroud’s US audience followed him to Mixer: Shroud’s US audience on Mixer is one-third of what it was on Twitch
  44. raises $25 million to bring esports to Discord, Twitter, and Facebook
  45. Esports platform secures $25 million in funding: Also launches AI-driven platform via Discord and web app
  46. EA, Respawn announce Apex Legends Global Series: $3m at stake in the game’s first international, multi-tournament esports program
  47. League of Legends World Championship 2019 was the most-watched LoL esports event ever: The Finals reached an average minute audience of 21.8m, and 44m peak concurrent viewers
  48. Local split-screen has been added to Fortnite on the PS4 and Xbox One
  49. PewDiePie Quits Twitter Over Amount Of “Virtue Signaling,” Says He’ll Take A Break From YouTube In 2020
  50. Playable Gothic prototype will let fans decide direction of possible remake
  51. High Fidelity lays off half of studio in pivot away from VR
  52. High Fidelity lays off half of staff, pulls plug on open-source VR platform: Company cuts headcount for second time this year, says it is refocusing on new project early in development
  53. Boneworks review: An absolute VR mess—yet somehow momentous
  54. Blog: Analyzing the pitfalls of the Virtual Boy
  55. N3twork acquires Funko Pop! Blitz: The game, along with several key developers, picked up from defunct NBCUniversal gaming arm
  56. Why the creator of Kerbal Space Program is returning to the troposphere: After leaving Squad, Felipe Falanghe has created his own two-person studio to make Balsa Model Flight Simulator
  57. How ArenaNet is rewriting the narrative for its narrative writers: Novera King and Bobby Stein discuss the studio’s first run of a narrative writing mentorship program — and its next iteration
  58. A QA breakdown of The Outer Worlds’ elusive companion killing bug
  59. Watch the lead dev of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition break down the game’s rebirth
  60. Blog: Building a fantasy VR world in Unity
  61. Blog: Practical tools for game designers
  62. Video: Designing efficient, effective branching narratives for games
  63. Video: To make 1997’s Blade Runner, Westwood first had to create the universe
  64. Video: Inside the UX of onboarding and player engagement 
  65. Case Study: A ‘peek’ at Golf Peaks’ multiplatform sales
  66. Industry vet Kate Edwards to be honored with Ambassador Award at 2020 GDCAs!
  67. Kate Edwards to be honored with GDCA’s Ambassador Award: Former IGDA head and current executive director of Global Game Jam to accept award at GDC in March
  68. Naughty Dog to donate all cash from Jak and Daxter re-releases to charity
  69. The 12 biggest announcements from The Game Awards 2019
  70. Sekiro claims GOTY, but Disco Elysium leads The Game Awards winners
  71. The Game Awards: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes game of the year
  72. The Game Awards reached 7.5m concurrent viewers: Total livestreams of the event were up 73% from last year to 45.2m
  73. People of the Year 2019: From charity pioneers and environmental movements to legendary designers and AAA studios, our choices reflect the depth and breadth of the modern games industry
  74. Epic’s exclusivity push leads to ugliness – 2019 in Review: How consumer grumbling over Steam’s newest competition snowballed into outright abuse
  75. People of the Year 2019: Respawn Entertainment – Starting with Apex Legends and finishing with Jedi Fallen Order, in 2019 Respawn became EA’s single most important studio
  76. Analyst: Clash of Clans claimed the most consumer spend of any mobile game this decade
  77. Subway Surfers is the top mobile game of the decade by downloads: Clash of Clans was No.1 in consumer spend from 2010 to 2019
  78. The 50 best games of 2019
  79. Games of the Year 2019: Sea of Thieves – Rare’s pirate adventure offered an object lesson in how service-based games can get better and better with age
  80. Games of the Year 2019: Untitled Goose Game: Is the goose horrible, or is it me?
  81. Games of the Year 2019: Heaven’s Vault – Inkle delivers a deep adventure where everything from the world’s history to individual puzzles is open to interpretation
  82. Games of the Year 2019: Divinity: Original Sin II – The Switch version of Larian’s latest captures the feel of pen-and-paper role-playing in ones and zeroes
  83. Games of the Year 2019: Super Mario Maker 2 – Nintendo delivered the sequel Super Mario Maker deserved this year and finally learnt to trust its community
  84. Best of 2019: Designing the gameplay and aesthetic of Diablo IV
  85. Best of 2019: Former Fortnite UX lead digs into ethical game design
  86. Gamasutra’s Best of 2019: Alex Wawro’s top 5 games
  87. Video Game Deep Cuts: (More Of) The Best Games Of 2019 
  88. The Podcast: Games of the Year 2019 – Download the latest episode now to find out which games have most impressed the editorial team this year
  89. presents… The Year In Numbers 2019: Find out this year’s global games market value, biggest games on social media, speediest digital discounts and more
  90. U.S. Patent no. 10,265,621: Tracking specific gestures related to user movement


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