Early Bird Headlines 26 May 2015
Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
- Same-sex marriage should not be a matter for a conscience vote (The Conversation) Same-sex marriage is a political rather than a religious issue; that is why the debate is about whether or not it should be legal, not whether or not it fits with any religious doctrine.
- New ‘Silk Road’ could alter global economics (USA Today) China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world. It is also seen by many as the first shot in a battle between east and west for dominance in Eurasia.
- GM says you don’t own your car, you just license it (boing boing) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine. Like Deere, GM wants to stop the Copyright Office from granting an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would allow you to jailbreak the code in your car’s engine so that you can take it to a non-GM mechanic for service, or fix it yourself. By controlling who can service your car, GM can force you to buy only official, expensive parts, protecting its bottom line. Econintersect: We question the interpretation of the GM claim made in this article. See next article.
- John Deere: of course you “own” your tractor, but only if you agree to let us rip you off (boing boing) John Deere claims that the software embedded in their equipment should have the same copyright protection as a book: The software may not be copied, modified or copies made for distribution to others. Econintersect: If we understand copyright law correctly, if you buy a book you have the right to lend it, give it or resell it to another. You also have the right to modify the book in any way that you please; cover it with notes, rip out pages or burn it. It would seem that the claim of no modification allowed for the software would have no standing under this interpretation of copyright law. Thus we would suggest that there can be no limitation by John Deere on the right of an owner to repair his equipment in any way, including modifying the software. We expect that a manufacturer has good standing to specify that warrantees for the equipment are voided if embedded software is modified by any person not authorized by the manufacturer.
- Talks Seek Senate Deal on N.S.A. and Bulk Phone Data (The New York Times) Senior lawmakers are scrambling this week in rare recess negotiations to agree on a face-saving change to legislation that would rein in the National Security Agency’s dragnet of phone records, with time running out on some of the government’s domestic surveillance authority.
- Why Ireland said ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage (CNN) The depravity of some priests and church institutions has destroyed the influence of the Catholic Church on social matters, according to this Op Ed.
- Greece pledges to ‘meet June debt repayments’ (BBC News) Greece intends to keep repaying its debt, a government spokesman said, days after Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis warned it had run out of funds. Gabriel Sakellaridis said Greece would maintain repayments to its EU-IMF creditors for as long as possible. He also rejected the idea of possible capital controls that would restrict money transfers and access to savings.
- Greece Returns to Talks With Varoufakis Blaming Creditors (Bloomberg) Greek officials will use Tuesday to revive their bid to access financial aid with their finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, blaming creditors’ insistence on more austerity for the impasse.
- Iran trial for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to begin (BBC News) The trial of a Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for almost 10 months on charges that include “espionage” is due to open. Jason Rezaian, a dual US-Iranian citizen, has been accused of passing information to “hostile governments“. The Washington Post’s editor has described the trial as “shameful” and criticized the decision to hold it in private.
- China Unveils Plans for Greater Naval Role Beyond Its Coasts (Bloomberg) China set out its ambitions for a bigger naval presence far from its coasts, amid wariness among its neighbors over whether the country’s fleet will be used to back up its territorial claims. The People’s Liberation Army will add “open seas protection” to “offshore waters defense” on a list of core naval missions, according to the country’s 2015 defense white paper.
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