News of the Week; December 16, 2020


  1. Russian hackers hit US government using widespread supply chain attack
  2. ~18,000 organizations downloaded backdoor planted by Cozy Bear hackers
  3. DHS Cyber Warriors Issue Warning About Massive Hacking Campaign, Disclose They’ve Been Hacked A Day Later
  4. Security Researcher Reveals Solarwinds’ Update Server Was ‘Secured’ With The Password ‘solarwinds123’
  5. US diplomats’ brain injuries may be from covert microwave attack, experts say: Data from Russian experiments on pulsed RF energy offers best explanation.
  6. Fireeye victim of “state-sponsored” hacking
  7. Oracle joins Silicon Valley’s Texas exodus
  8. Huawei Is Crafting Facial Recognition Tech That Will Make It Easier For The Chinese Government To Target Citizens It Doesn’t Like
  9. Apple’s app store is an illegal monopoly, rival Cydia claims in suit
  10. Apple introduces privacy labels to make data mining transparent
  11. iPhone factory workers say they haven’t been paid, cause millions in damages
  12. Uber defends sexual assault victims’ privacy, gets fined $59 million
  13. Google and Amazon made to Toe the French Line? Oui!
  14. Digital regulation 2.0: UK and EU announce details of major reforms
  15. The Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act: A new era for online regulation within Europe
  16. Pinterest agrees to $22.5 million settlement in discrimination lawsuit
  17. Digital platforms – let the games begin!
  18. US law proposal could make streaming copyrighted material a felony
  19. Not This Again: Senator Tillis Tries To Slide Dangerous Felony Streaming Bill Into Must Pass Government Funding Bill
  20. Tillis Release Details Of His Felony Streaming Bill; A Weird Gift To Hollywood At The Expense Of Taxpayers
  21. Reddit Buys TikTok Competitor Dubsmash, Will Integrate App’s Video Creation Tools
  22. TikTok Introduces Extensive Policies Against Sexual Harassment, Dangerous Pranks
  23. The Christchurch shooter and YouTube’s radicalization trap
  24. Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019
  25. People affiliated with French military used Facebook to meddle in Africa
  26. FTC Launches Investigation Into Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Sites
  27. FTC kicks off sweeping privacy probe of nine major social media firms
  28. Facebook Violated Antitrust Laws, Say FTC and More than 40 States
  29. FTC’s Misses Opportunity To Understand Social Media; Instead Goes For Weird Fishing Expedition Against Odd Grouping Of Companies
  30. New Facebook advertising terms, new Apple iOS 14 privacy rules and updated cookie guidance: help!
  31. EU warns that it may break up Big Tech companies
  32. The Peril of Persuasion in the Big Tech Age
  33. NLRB Finds Executive’s Joking Tweet Violated Federal Labor Law
  34. AZ GOP Goes Full Bullshit: Claims It took Down Violence-Inciting Tweet Over Copyright Concerns
  35. ICE Withdraws Demand For Journalists’ Sources After Having Its Unconstitutional Demand Outed By BuzzFeed
  36. Facebook says hackers backed by Vietnam’s government are linked to IT firm
  37. People affiliated with French military used Facebook to meddle in Africa: It’s the first time Facebook has identified people affiliated with a Western government for sanction
  38. Facebook Testing ‘Super’, Which Lets Fans Pay To Interact With Their Favorite Creators On Stream
  39. Pornhub Purges 80% Of User-Uploaded Videos After Allegations Of Child Exploitation, Rape Content
  40. Millions of videos purged from Pornhub amid crackdown on user content
  41. Visa and MasterCard ban Pornhub over abusive videos
  42. 40 GirlsDoPorn victims sue Pornhub for hosting “sex trafficking” videos
  43. China fines Alibaba, Tencent unit under anti-monopoly laws
  44. Twitter To Sunset Periscope App In March After Years Of Declining Usage
  45. Disney+ drops Andor teaser, announces gazillion other Star Wars projects
  46. More Disney 2021 plans: Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Holmes, Y: The Last Man on FX
  47. We’ve got our first real look at Loki as Disney drops lengthy teaser trailer
  48. Op-Ed: Social Media Companies Should Permanently Ban Political Advertising (Eric Goldman)
  49. Justice Thomas’ Anti-Section 230 Statement Doesn’t Support Reconsideration–JB v. Craigslist (Eric Goldman)
  50. As A Parting Shot, Tulsi Gabbard Teams Up With Paul Gosar To Introduce Yet Another Unconstitutional Attack On Section 230
  51. USA Today Publishes Yet Another Bogus OpEd Against 230, Completely Misrepresents The Law
  52. District Court Rejects CDT’s Challenge Of Trump’s Ridiculous Executive Order On Section 230
  53. Trump Appoints Unqualified Guy Who Hates Section 230 To Top Justice Department Role
  54. Smaller Internet Companies Say They’re Open To 230 Reform… To Keep Facebook From Being The Only Voice In The Room
  55. Lindsey Graham’s Latest Attack On Section 230: Reform It By 2023, Or We Take It Away
  56. Content Moderation Case Study: Facebook’s AI Continues To Struggle With Identifying Nudity (2020)
  57. Content Moderation Case Study: Vimeo Moderates Uploads Of ‘Commercial-Use’ Videos Using Unclear Guidelines (2009)
  58. Sony-Owned Anime Streamer Funimation To Buy Crunchyroll For $1.2 Billion
  59. Can Influencers’ Failure to Disclose Sponsorship Constitute False Advertising?–EIS v. WOW Tech
  60. YouTube Will Enable Viewers To Toggle Out Of Ads For Alcohol And Gambling
  61. After 6 Years, YouTube Supergroup O2L Reunites In The Name Of Charity
  62. R.I.P. Henri, le Chat Noir, angst-ridden feline YouTube star for the ages
  63. The D’Amelios, Marques Brownlee, Demi Lovato To Headline YouTube’s New Year’s Eve Special ‘Hello 2021’
  64. Helping your child make the best use of time online
  65. YouTube Greenlights ‘Creator Spotlights’ Docuseries, An Intimate Glimpse Into The Lives Of Top Stars
  66. David Dobrik’s Latest Venture, ‘The Hundred Thousand Dollar Puzzle,’ Sells 17,000 Units In One Hour
  67. Liza Koshy Signs Overall Deal With Jada And Will Smith-Founded Westbrook Inc.
  68. Walmart Looking To Turn Salaried Employees Into Social Influencers With Nascent ‘Spotlight’ Program
  69. Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, And Their New Podcast Company ‘Archewell Audio’ Sign Exclusive Deal With Spotify
  70. Google sees major services outages two days in a row
  71. The Google Home Max is dead—Google shuts down production
  72. Instagram Makes ‘Reels’ Shoppable, Bringing Ecommerce To Every Format On The App
  73. Giving by Taking Away: Big Tech, Data Colonialism and the Reconfiguration of Social Good
  74. 2021 NewFronts Will Stay Virtual, Be Immediately Followed By Podcast Upfronts
  75. Here Are Your 2020 Streamy Award Winners
  76. CentOS Linux is dead—and Red Hat says Stream is “not a replacement”
  77. Where do I go now that CentOS Linux is gone? Check our list
  78. VR meetings are weird, but they beat our current reality
  79. Stroll down memory lane with this 1996 instruction video on How To Internet


  1. Arendt’s Algorithm: AI’s Disenfranchising Effect on Refugees as Examined through China’s Uighur Population (Gideon Salutin)
  2. How our data encodes systematic racism
  3. CDEI publishes review into bias in algorithmic decision-making
  4. From whistleblower laws to unions: How Google’s AI ethics meltdown could shape policy
  5. White House Finalizes AI Regulatory Framework and Directs Agencies to Develop Plans for AI Regulation and “Non-Regulation”
  6. Why CD Projekt used AI to localise Cyberpunk 2077
  7. Bias in algorithmic decision-making: recommendations from the UK’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation 


  1. The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada (Michael Geist)
  2. The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 16: Mandated Payments and a Reality Check on Guilbeault’s Billion Dollar Claim (Michael Geist)
  3. The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 17: The Uncertain Policy Directive (Michael Geist)
  4. The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 18: The USMCA Trade Threat That Could Lead to Billions in Retaliatory Tariffs (Michael Geist)
  5. FCC Accused Of Falsely Inflating U.S. Gigabit Broadband Availability
  6. Deep Dive Shows FCC’s Covid Response Was Largely Theatrical Nonsense
  7. SpaceX won “rural” FCC funding in surprising places, like major airports
  8. Space X Gets $886 Million From FCC To Put Very Small Dent In U.S. Broadband Gaps
  9. Senator tries to block Frontier’s FCC funding, citing ISP’s various failures
  10. Consumer Groups Say The FCC Just Blew $9 Billion To Deliver Broadband To Already Served Rich People
  11. The Cost Of Broadband Is Too Damned High
  12. Can Broadband Policy Help Create A More Equitable And inclusive Economy And Society Instead Of The Reverse?
  13. Stupid Cable TV Retrans Feuds And Blackouts Make Their Way To Streaming TV
  14. AT&T sells Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.2B amid “streamlining” efforts
  15. Untouchable No More: Reinforcements Arrive for TCPA Defendants Battling the FCC’s Aggressive Expansion of the Statute
  16. The other shoe drops: court holds SCOTUS didn’t find TCPA unconstitutional after all
  17. The FCC Reverses Course—Finds Government Contractors Subject to the TCPA
  18. Georgia executive order requires telework, virtual conduct of business


  1.  Eve of destruction: Moral rights infringement and destroying works of art
  2. Two Turntables, No Microphone: Using Technical Diagram Is Not Copyright Infringement
  3. Brophy v. Belcalis Almanzar (California, Southern District 12.4.20): In lawsuit against Cardi B for using plaintiff’s back tattoo on cover of her album, court holds that transformative fair use is question for jury.
  4. Atlantic Recording Corp. v. Spinrilla, LLC (Georgia ND, 10.30.20): Court finds that streaming constitutes “public performance” under Copyright Act and that defendant did not qualify for safe harbor protections under DMCA.
  5. Lego’s copyright victory against Lepin in China
  6. Sued Over Yearbook Pic Database
  7. Copyright Trolling/SEO Scam, Changing The Photo Credits On Wikimedia Commons
  8. Is Your Company Accidentally Granting Implied Copyright Licenses?
  9. House Passes PACER Bill As Budget Office Says It Will Cost Less Than $1 Million A Year To Provide Free Access To Court Documents
  10. US House passes bill to tear down judiciary’s paywall 
  11. APIs front and centre in age of digital interconnectivity 
  12. Why Canadian trademark owners should consider whether international registration is right for them 
  13. Trademarks Office to allow expedited examination for COVID-related goods and services 
  14. The Swiss Shield: A Trademark Registration Is a Defence to Damages Even if Later Invalidated 
  15. French Film Company Somehow Trademarks ‘Planet’, Goes After Environmental NGOs For Using The Word 
  16. A Rare Case of a Judge Relying on the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine (Boo)–Nike v. Warren Lotas (Eric Goldman)
  17. Battling Bubbles: Beverage Behemoth Coors Defeats Upstart Future Proof’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
  18. Dishonest Abe? Trademark Battle erupts over THE LINCOLN PROJECT
  19. Trade mark rights IN THE RED!
  20. Owner of ‘Derby Pie’ Trademark Sues Newspaper For Using The Term, Publishing Recipe 
  21. Tasty Trademarks: An Analysis of the Canadian Trademark Applications Covering Taste
  22. Trademarks: 1 registration for 107 member states and 123 territories: trinidad and tobago has joined the international trademark system
  23. Judge Upholds “Willful and Malicious” Trade-Secret Misappropriation Verdict in Produce Preservation Case
  24. Judge Rakoff Sanctions Patentee for Sharing Confidential Documents with Counsel in Overseas Trade Secret Case 
  25. Recently Filed Lawsuit by Trinseo Highlights the Potential for the Rapid Spread of Misappropriated Trade Secrets 
  26. Ontario Court Affirms the Enforceability of Patent No-Challenge Clauses 
  27. Federal Circuit Compels Transfer of Ownership of Japanese Patent Applications
  28. Today’s No Patent Challenge Provisions in License Agreements 
  29. What are the rules around software patents?
  30. The Unified patent court and unitary patent – Introduction
  31. Top Section 101 Patent Eligibility Stories of 2020
  32. The UK Supreme Court, patent infringement, and the challenges of judging IP cases: In conversation with Lord Neuberger
  33. World Trade Organization Considers IP Rights for Covid Vaccines
  34. Software development intellectual property joint ventures
  35. Intellectual property infringement on the rise


  1. Oh, Canada! Government Proposes New Federal Privacy Law with Enhanced Individual Rights and Hefty Fines
  2. Privacy Limits on Employee Background Checks in Ontario
  3. What’s “So” Important: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Gets a Close Look from SCOTUS
  4. Supreme Court Says Muslim Men Can Sue The FBI For Placing Them On The No-Fly List For Refusing To Become Informants
  5. Apple, Cloudflare Join Forces To Encrypt DNS
  6. New Report Shows Cellphone Encryption Isn’t Really Stopping Cops From Searching Phones
  7. Up to 3 million devices infected by malware-laced Chrome and Edge add-ons
  8. Brave browser-maker launches privacy-friendly news reader
  9. 4 major browsers are getting hit in widespread malware attacks 
  10. Regulatory Crackdown on Ransomware
  11. IoT Goes Federal under Newly Signed Law
  12. Yes, data privacy regulations apply to IoT devices too
  13. As Voice Recognition Technology Market Surges, Organizations Face Privacy and Cybersecurity Concerns
  14. RCMP commits to changes in how it collects, uses information about protesters
  15. Home Depot’s Agrees to Multistate Settlement Related to 2014 Breach – The Cost: $17.5 Million and Updated Cybersecurity Requirements
  16. Augmented reality and e-commerce: IP implications of a powerful alliance
  17. Biden Faces Early Test on Digital Trade With EU Privacy Talks
  18. Schrems II is a Board / CEO-Level issue because
  19. Top 5 Privacy Developments in 2020 and 5 More to Prepare for in 2021


  1. Nintendo Hates You: DMCA Takedowns Of Game Music Continue While Nintendo Offers No Legit Way To Listen
  2. Germany Opens Legal Action Against Facebook Account Requirement for Oculus Headsets
  3. GOG backtracks on Devotion re-launch hours after it was announced
  4. The Strong Museum now includes decades of files from the LGBTQ Game Archive
  5. Copyright law is bricking your game console. Time to fix that
  6. British MPs want console scalping made illegal, call for more consumer protection
  7. UK Members of Parliament call for ban on bulk buying consoles
  8. Major Gaming Company Sued for Making Games Too Challenging
  9. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony unite to create safer online spaces
  10. Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony release joint commitment to online safety
  11. Microsoft delays launch of EA Play on Game Pass Ultimate for PC until 2021
  12. CD Projekt offering refunds to Cyberpunk players on consoles after shaky launch
  13. Amid massive bugs, CDPR offers refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles
  14. CD Projekt: Polarizing Cyberpunk 2077 launch ‘the wrong approach’
  15. CDPR admits it “ignored the signals” of Cyberpunk 2077’s console issues
  16. Cyberpunk 2077 developers were “updating the last-gen version until the very last minute”
  17. Requests for refunds on Cyberpunk 2077 met with inconsistent response
  18. PC version of Cyberpunk 2077 now features an epilepsy warning
  19. Cyberpunk 2077’s Stream-Safe Setting Option For Its Music Failed To Keep Streamers Safe
  20. Cyberpunk 2077 launches with some real dystopia in tow | Opinion
  21. CD Projekt Red stock falls 29% in run-up to Cyberpunk 2077 launch
  22. Cyberpunk 2077 racked up 8m pre-orders, 74% were digital
  23. Cyberpunk 2077 already passed 1m concurrent users on Steam
  24. CD Projekt Red boasts 8 million preorders for Cyberpunk 2077
  25. CDPR estimates Cyberpunk 2077 has recouped development, marketing costs
  26. Cyberpunk 2077 developers promised full bonuses despite declining review scores
  27. CD Projekt Red apologises for not showing last-gen Cyberpunk 2077, offers refunds
  28. Cyberpunk 2077 is the second biggest retail launch of the year | UK Boxed Charts
  29. EA agrees $1.2 billion acquisition of Codemasters
  30. EA set to pay $1.2 billion for Codemasters and its stable of racing games
  31. Sky News reports EA has gatecrashed Take-Two’s Codemasters takeover
  32. EA outbids Take-Two to buy Codemasters Group for $1.2 billion
  33. EA to acquire Dirt developer Codemasters, scuppering Take-Two deal
  34. Publicity on the Pitch? Football Superstars vs EA Sports
  35. Keywords acquires High Voltage Software for $50m
  36. New Unity updates target programming, graphics, quality of life improvements 
  37. Steam gets ‘experimental’ with discovery
  38. Valve’s latest Steam Labs experiment is an expansive discoverability overhaul
  39. Valve upgrades News Hub from experiment to full-fledged Steam feature
  40. Inside ‘Browsing Steam’: the biggest change to Steam Discovery in recent history
  41. Steam breaks concurrent users record at nearly 25m
  42. Streamloots launches mental health support program for streamers
  43. Facebook Gaming creators have earned $50m in Stars in 2020
  44. 2020 has shown our lack of leadership | Opinion
  45. Maximizing the 2020 holidays for mobile user acquisition
  46. The Last of Us Part 2 dominates at The Game Awards
  47. Tilting Point pens $40 million UA team up with Gunship Battle: Total Warfare dev Joycity
  48. Five mobile games topped $1b in revenue this year – Sensor Tower
  49. Nintendo Switch is the best-selling console in Canada for 25 straight months
  50. Switch cracks down (further) on extreme discounting
  51. “Mass Effect Will Return:” Teaser trailer sets a new (old) direction for the sequel
  52. UK games industry made record $3.84 billion economic contribution in 2019
  53. Developers and publishers contributed £2.91bn to UK economy last year
  54. US games spending breaks November records at $7bn
  55. Report: PlayStation 5 breaks unit and dollar sales records for a new console launch month (NPD)
  56. PS5 makes its mark but Nintendo Switch holds No.1 in huge November for video games | EMEAA Charts
  57. The Nintendo Switch sold over 1.3m units in China this year
  58. Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in November in the US, despite next-gen launches
  59. The Super-est SuperFX: An unmodified SNES, revved up with ray tracing [Updated]
  60. Subscription library Ubisoft+ is now on Google Stadia
  61. Stadia is now on iOS, but not through the App Store
  62. Dr. Seuss gets serious about games
  63. Ark Survival Evolved gets an animated series: David Tennant, Russell Crowe, Vin Diesel, Elliot Page among the cast of show coming in 2022
  64. Vin Diesel joins Studio Wildcard as executive producer on Ark
  65. Unity acquires 3D content creator RestAR
  66. Tilting Point invests up to $40m in UA funding for Gunship Battle: Total Warfare
  67. Steam introduces new discovery tools
  68. Rollic acquires matching game Onnect for $6m
  69. Zynga’s Rollic fully acquires Onnect from Chef Game Studio
  70. Zynga-owned Rollic acquires Onnect from dev Chef Game Studio for $6 million
  71. SteelSeries acquires KontrolFreek
  72. Fnatic raises over £2m in crowdfunding
  73. Roblox purchases digital avatar firm
  74. Roblox delays IPO to 2021
  75. Leyou shareholders approve Tencent takeover
  76. Bad Robot Games’ first in-house dev studio will create ‘cross-medium’ franchises
  77. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Games Forms In-House Studio Led by Gaming Vet Mike Booth
  78. Control has surpassed 2 million sales 15 months after launch
  79. Pocket Mortys developer Big Pixel Studios is shutting down 
  80. Big Pixel Studios shuts down, impacting about 40
  81. Fortnite focuses in on boosting playability on lower-powered PCs
  82. Talent Firm Loaded Signs 16-Year-Old Fortnite Pro BenjyFishy
  83. Philadelphia Eagles Reach Multi-Year Deal with Esports Entertainment Group to Become NFL’s First Esports Tournament Club Provider
  84. Facebook Slashes Price of Oculus Rift S to $300
  85. Zynga veterans launch VR gaming company ForeVR
  86. VR Destination ‘Sandbox VR’ Emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy After Reorganization
  87. Leaked Photos Reveal Possible Lenovo AR Glasses Ahead of CES 2021
  88. Niantic donated a total of $7m in 2020 to Black Lives Matter charities
  89. Make Way – ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ Needs 180GB and Recommends Demanding Specs
  90. ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ Review – War Never Felt so Bland
  91. We have a winner in the world’s first quantum chess tournament
  92. How Watch Dogs: Legion’s ‘play as anyone’ simulation works
  93. “No adaptation without interpretation” — turning Animal Farm into a game
  94. The Last of Us Part II dominates The Game Awards 2020
  95. The Game Awards’ Future Class highlights 50 people shaping the future of the game industry
  96. How beautiful voxels laid the way for Teardown’s heist-y framework 
  97. Blog: The not-so-secrets to success in the games industry
  98. Blog: Integrating Joustus in Shovel Knight: King of Cards – Part 3
  99. Blog: How to make a decent game trailer for less than $100 
  100. Blog: A postmortem of asynchronous 1v1 horror title Antithesis
  101. Blog: Softening polygon intersections in Blightbound 
  102. Blog: A BioShock Infinite level design analysis 
  103. Blog: Zen and the art of retro level design in Kudzu
  104. Blog: A look at the revenue, expenses and statistics of Starlight X-2
  105. Blog: What every game designer should know about human psychology
  106. Blog: A developmental look at game aesthetics
  107. Video: How embedded QA can improve games accessibility
  108. Video: Telling location-based stories in games
  109. Don’t Miss: From The Witcher 3 to Cyberpunk – The evolution of CD Projekt’s quest design
  110. Best of 2020: Nintendo Switch Game Sales – The Three Biggest Misconceptions
  111. Best of 2020: Creating the ever-improvising text adventures of AI Dungeon 2
  112. Best of 2020: How Dishonored and Assassin’s Creed designers craft iconic stealthy encounters
  113. Best of 2020: A look back at the 5-year development of Eastshade
  114. Best of 2020: How Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other studios went remote in the time of COVID-19