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The latest EU Copyright Directive has reached a final state before going to the EU Council and the EU Parliament. Unfortunately, some of its articles are still unpalatable for anyone wanting to keep the Internet a place where censorship, be it by official authorities or by commercial entities, has no place. I refer you again to the words of Cory Doctorow of the EFF in one of his many explanations about the current proposal, and to the detailed analysis written by MEP Julia Reda. For details on the latest version of the proposal, you should read Reda’s “The text of Article 13 and the EU Copyright Directive has just been finalised“.

I fully understand the desire of artists and authors to be rewarded for their creative efforts if they so desire. Any copyright law must take that into consideration. But I’m not so sure that the current proposal will help them: the only winner will be big, rich companies… not the authors! The proposal, through Article 13 for example (which does not even mention the creators of content, only “rightholders”!), will reinforce monopolies and reduce competition. Unreliable automated filtering of content, without any means of contesting the results of those filters – is that what we really want?

Keep up the pressure, contact your MEP and tell her/him that this Directive in general, and certainly Articles 11 and 13, is not what Europe needs! And vote smartly in May, when the European Parliament needs to be reconstituted.

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The list proposed isn’t perfect, but multiple items on the list are a good start: “Security Checklist: Be safe on the internet“. It’s an “open source checklist of resources designed to improve your online privacy and security“, and it does cover the basics: a password manager, strong passwords, two-factor authentication where possible, device encryption, etc. As a Belgian citizen, I don’t know what a “credit freeze” is, so I ignore that suggestion.

I’m not certain if I should classify it as a minor or a major flaw, but I feel that Keepass (and its variants/derivatives) should have been mentioned explicitly. I have written about Keepass in the past, and in my mind it’s still the best password management solution. Yes, it requires a bit of tinkering, but you really don’t need any advanced computer skills to build a strong, working solution for multiple devices that works online and offline. I prefer that to a paying solution which at the same time stores your precious data in a place that you just have to trust…

Usually, December is the gloomiest month of any winter. But during the first half of this year’s January I was convinced the situation would be reversed! But – as usual – a few sunny days later on made January a sunnier month than the previous one, although the electricity production from our panels was below what we expected. Onwards then, with less gloom and more sun.

Like I said a few days ago: the fight isn’t over yet. And Change.org confirms that: “The Internet is saved? Unfortunately it isn’t!“:

There is currently mainly disagreement as to whether or not SMEs (= small and medium-sized enterprises) should be excluded from the reform. Germany is in favour, France against! This disagreement was the reason for the cancellation of the deadline. The actual problems, i.e. the upload filters or the ancillary copyright, are still advocated by too many countries.

If you care about the Internet, you should sign the petition as well!

In the words of Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate party:

[On January 18, 2019, the European] Council firmly rejected the negotiating mandate that was supposed to set out Member States’ position ahead of what was supposed to be the final negotiation round with the European Parliament, Politico reports. National governments failed to agree on a common position on the two most controversial articles, Article 11, also known as the Link Tax, and Article 13, which would require online platforms to use upload filters in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement before it happens.

So for the moment the proposal on copyright reform isn’t going anywhere. This is not the end of the battle, however. But in the mean time, many thanks to Julia and to all of the people who helped to increase the pressure on the European politicians. Stay alert, and let’s keep fighting bad legislation!

A few days ago, on Jan. 17 to be precise, my Samsung Galaxy S7 received a software update. Considering the limited info available in the ‘What’s new” section of the update, I’m assuming that the update is limited to the January 1st security patch level…

For many years now, I have stored my “approved” pictures on Flickr – straight from Apple Photos on my Mac. About two weeks ago, that suddenly wasn’t possible any more. Sharing a picture did bring up the dialog to set a title etc. for the picture, but no list of albums appeared – only an ominous message saying “ShareKit is not authorized to share files“. Excuse me? Why not?

Well, I still don’t have an answer to that question. Through DuckDuckGo I found an Apple Forum thread on the subject: “Can not publish via Flickr“. Sadly however, none of the suggestions worked. In fact, for the moment I am incapable of adding a Flickr account to the Internet Accounts section of the Mac’s System Preferences… Trying to do so with the correct data (!) the only reply I get is this:

And now the question becomes: is this problem caused by Yahoo, by Flickr, or by Apple’s OSX ? All ideas or help are welcome!