UN Human Rights council endorses free expression online #thecircuit

U.N. Human Rights Council: The United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed a measure Thursday that recognizes the importance of allowing information to flow freely online across the Web. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt called the vote a “victory for the Internet” in an op-ed for the New York Times on Thursday.

“We cannot accept that the Internet’s content should be limited or manipulated depending on the flavor-of-the-month of political leaders. Only by securing access to the open and global Internet will true development take place,” he wrote.

Europe rejects anti-piracy treaty: The European Parliament voted Thursday to reject a treaty designed to fight online piracy. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is meant to bolster intellectual property protections but drew criticism from those who worried that the provision would have chilling implications for future innovation.

The debate mirrored the discussion over the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act earlier this year. The U.S. had already signed ACTA as an executive agreement in the fall.

HTC did not infringe, judge says: A British judge ruled Wednesday that HTC has not infringed on patents held by Apple, and found that three of the four patents Apple tried to assert against the company were not valid.

The judge in the case ruled that Apple’s patent regarding electronic photo management was a valid claim but that HTC’s smartphones did not cross the line in implementing similar technology.

Three claims, including a “slide-to-unlock” patent, were deemed obvious, FOSS Patents reported — something blogger Florian Mueller said is typical of British courts.

“According to statistics, only about 15% of all patent infringement claims brought in the UK result in a finding of a violation,” Mueller wrote.

FCC political ad rule: The National Association of Broadcasters has filed with the Federal Communications Commission to ask the agency to delay its rule that would require broadcasters to post information about how much political campaigns pay for ads.

As the Hill reported, the NAB filed Tuesday to ask the FCC to delay its rule, which is scheduled to take effect early next month. Broadcasters say the rule is unfair because cable and satellite channels will be able to see how much networks charge for the ads without having to disclose their own information.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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