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OneZero
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

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When photographers sue after Creative Commons Licenses go awry.

The scam works a little like this:

A photographer posts their work online under an outdated Creative Commons license, such as version 2.0, that does not give licensees the right to fix license problems within 30 days of notice, as do the current CC 4.0 licenses.

The photographers lurk until someone unwittingly posts the photograph online without proper attribution.

Then, they sue. And they sue. And they sue.

This is the topic of my most recent legal research paper, “Rise of the Copyleft Trolls: When Photographers Sue After Creative Commons Licenses Go Awry.” …


Making tools should not be a crime

Photo: MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr

This op-ed was written by Kyle Wiens, the founder and CEO of iFixit, a company that publishes repair manuals for electronics and sells parts and tools to consumers. A previous version of this story was originally published on iFixit’s website; it has been updated for OneZero.

Apple has unleashed its legal juggernaut on an innovative iOS security company, and if they win their lawsuit, the damage will reverberate beyond the security community and into the world of repair and maintenance.

Corellium’s software creates virtual iPhones in a web browser so that app developers and security researchers can tinker without needing…


All over Etsy they are

Credit: Disney+

When Disney intentionally delayed making Baby Yoda merchandise in order to keep the character’s existence a secret, artists and opportunists filled the gap with crochet plushies, T-shirts, Christmas ornaments, and self-referential coffee mugs. When Disney finally came out with official Baby Yoda swag, it was widely criticized for looking rushed, because, well, it was. But if you’re unhappy with what the Mouse has to offer, there are plenty of online stores with every kind of Baby Yoda merchandise you could want, just in time for the holidays.

Some brands have embraced this sort of fan art. TeePublic, which sells shirts…


The best way to support digital artists is to call out stolen work

Illustration: Virginia Poltrack. Courtesy of artist.

In this age of copy-and-paste design, imitation often isn’t the sincerest form of flattery — it’s outright copyright infringement. Last week, the internet was abuzz with news of a revenge bot that called out artwork thieves, but the bots aren’t just looking for people tweeting about wanting art on a T-shirt. They’re everywhere.

Virginia Poltrack is a prolific illustrator based in the technology community. She spends her time working on specialized projects for clients like Google, but she’s also taken a few of her sketches and transformed them into purchasable T-shirts through partnerships with artist-friendly retailers like Cotton Bureau. Some…


We need a new weapon in the fight to stop trolls from spreading harmful footage

Credit: Aitor Diago/Getty Images

In 2015, Alison Parker, a journalist, and Adam Ward, a photographer, were murdered on air by a former employee of the TV station where they worked. The shooter recorded the killings with a camera worn on his chest and later uploaded the footage to Facebook. Now, more than three years after Parker’s death, her father, Andy Parker, is still engaged in a Sisyphean feat: trying to scrub the footage of his daughter’s death from the internet, where it regularly appears as part of conspiracy theories claiming that the deaths were staged. His weapon? Copyright laws.

After obtaining the rights to…


A legal battle over Fortnite raises many questions without clear answers

Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty

There is no legal precedent for Backpack Kid, aka Russell Horning, the teenager who turned heads as the backup dancer du jour in a Katy Perry Saturday Night Live performance back in 2017. His mesmeric rhythm and aloof expression immediately went viral, and today we call his dance “the floss.”

The floss is everywhere. Ted Danson did it. Mark Ingram did it. A 96-year old World War II veteran did it. And it’s in Fortnite, where a wide range of emotes, or character actions, are sold by developer Epic Games.

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