News of the Week; May 3, 2017


  1. ZeniMax pressures Prey for the Gods devs to make a name change
  2. Prey developer: Go ahead, use Steam refunds to demo our game – Colantonio – “Steam players can just return the game” before playing for two hours.
  3. Nintendo issues unsurprising take down notice for fan-made Zelda: “Breath of the NES” developer publishes email from NoA attorney
  4. Nintendo comes out on top in Mii patent infringement case
  5. Copyright claim yanks fan-made Breath of the Wild 2D adaptation: Creator vows it will be back ‘bigger and better than ever.’
  6. Nintendo sold 2.3 million NES Classic Editions
  7. Nintendo Switch sold 2.74 million units in March alone: Profits up 5x in the last fiscal year, with Nintendo expecting a further 10 million Switch sales in the year ahead
  8. Switch shipments selling out same day – GameStop: Specialty retailer can’t keep console stocked nearly two months after launch
  9. Switch boasts 2:1 software tie ratio: Sales not limited to Zelda, as Nintendo touts figures for 1-2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, and Snipperclips
  10. Nintendo president: Switch can approach ‘relative parity’ with Wii
  11. Super Mario Run nearing 150m downloads: Nintendo’s mobile platformer has been installed on nearly 72m devices since January
  12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe becomes fastest-selling title in franchise history
  13. Nintendo now believes Switch can reach Wii sales levels: “We have greatly increased the quantity we can produce in a single month,” says Tatsumi Kimishima
  14. 4 interesting comments from Nintendo’s Q&A session
  15. Epic, near-EVE-worthy troll sabotages Elite: Dangerous community event – “Smiling Dog Crew” shows how you should never let a wolf guard your chickens.
  16. Sarkeesian finishes Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: Feminist Frequency founder reflects on five years of harassment and progress as she brings video series to a “bittersweet” close
  17. Breathing In: The Industry in Consolidation – Vivendi, Tencent, Softbank, Activision; the list of companies with billion-dollar shopping lists continues to grow. Is Disney next?
  18. 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold in just the last year
  19. Profits up in Sony’s games division as PS4 sales near 60M
  20. Hearthstone gains 20M players in a year, surpassing 70M to date
  21. Some advice for modders from the creator of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  22. Game Maker Sues Milwaukee Over Permit Requirement To Make Augmented Reality Games
  23. VR exclusivity should be a last resort – Owlchemy: Job Simulator studio boss Alex Schwartz talks about his approach to the VR market, where it’s headed and why AR is much further away
  24. You Can Catch A Real Ball While Immersed In Virtual Reality, So What Comes Next?
  25. Unity CEO: VR Will Get Huge, But Devs Need to Survive and Avoid Hype Until it Does
  26. VR/AR to “rival the internet” – Riccitiello: Unity boss kicks off the Vision Summit, noting the success and opportunity in the burgeoning VR/AR market
  27. Oculus VR is the latest company to forgo paying for a booth at E3
  28. The Story of NESticle, the Ambitious Emulator That Redefined Retro Gaming: The product of a talented programmer who designed a hit shareware game while he was still in high school, NESticle was so good that everyone looked past the fact its name was basically a dick joke.
  29. Online games in China are now required to disclose random loot box odds
  30. Was Uber’s CEO really the second-best Wii Sports tennis player? – Short answer: “Yes, with an if…” Long answer: “No, with a but…
  31. NBA COO Mark Tatum Reaffirms Global Vision For New NBA 2K Esports League
  32. eSports investments need a 10-year view – Hi-Rez: Smite and Paladins studio co-founder says competitive gaming is more about community than revenue, takes stock of console platforms’ changing attitudes on free-to-play
  33. “2022 Asian Games is another step towards mainstream acceptance of esports”: Pro-gaming leaders discuss the recent introduction of esports in the Asian games
  34. The Rock Hilariously Reveals Rampage Movie’s Plot: “And when I find them, I will not lick them.”
  35. Mental Models: The reality that we sense in front of us is a fiction created by our brains. A host of modules process information in various ways and the end result is a mental model of the outside world. Knowing how this works is crucial to game development as the shape of these mental simulations has a huge effect on how a game feels and plays.
  36. The AI revolution is making game characters move more realistically: Neural network makes for smarter-looking avatars, not just smarter enemies
  37. Video Games Are Better Without Stories: Film, television, and literature all tell them better. So why are games still obsessed with narrative? (Ian Bogost)
  38. A Dream of Embodied Experience: On Ian Bogost, Epistemological Gatekeeping, and the Holodeck (Bianca Batti & Alisha Karabinus)


  1. Report: Facebook helped advertisers target teens who feel “worthless”: Leaked 2017 document reveals FB Australia’s intent to exploit teens’ words, images.
  2. Facebook Told Advertisers How It Could Target Vulnerable Teens: “Anxious” and “overwhelmed” Australians as young as 14 were swept up by algorithm, though Facebook said it was never used to target ads
  3. Facebook: leaking info about gender bias damages our ‘recruiting brand’ – Tech company is disputing analysis that female engineers have code rejected 35% more than male engineers and said such leaks make it harder to hire women
  4. Facebook To Target Fake News “Information Operations”: The social media giant is getting serious about its role in global civics
  5. Facebook enters war against “information operations,” acknowledges election hijinx: Facebook no longer wants to be a tool for enlisting “useful idiots.”
  6. Facebook will hire 3,000 more moderators to keep deaths and crimes from being streamed
  7. Response To Facebook Video Of Murder Is The Call For An Actual ‘Godwin’s Law’
  8. Mounting Privacy Problems In Europe For Facebook’s Acquisition Of WhatsApp
  9. The Age of Misinformation: Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft must recognize a special responsibility for the parts of their services that host or inform public discourse. (Jonathan Zittrain)
  10. A Look at Government Censorship in the Age of Facebook
  11. The Terrible History Of Using Biased Technology To Lock People Up: Courts are relying on racist algorithms in judicial decisions — apparently we’ve learned nothing from the rise and fall of the polygraph
  12. More penalties for digital “drip pricing” 
  13. New Tools Allow Voice Patterns To Be Cloned To Produce Realistic But Fake Sounds Of Anyone Saying Anything
  14. Zillow Sued By Homeowner Because Its Estimate Is Lower Than The Seller Wants To Sell The House For
  15. New Private Right of Action in Canada for False or Misleading Electronic Advertising
  16. Companies Don’t Really Want You to Read Their Terms of Service: As the uproar over shows, being opaque is part of their business model.
  17. Brands and Influencers Continue to Flout Disclosure Rules Despite FTC Warning
  18. Your Newest Instagram Follower, the FTC: Agency Reminds Endorsers and Marketers to #Disclose with Over 90 Warning Letters
  19. Website/App Provider in Hot Water for Ambiguous Privacy Policy
  20. Neo-Nazi website unleashed Internet trolls against a Jewish woman, lawsuit says
  21. Suing the trolls: A woman’s lawsuit against a neo-Nazi’s “troll storm” could change how to fight back against online harassment
  22. White Supremacists, Brought To You By Squarespace: Website building service Squarespace’s acceptable use policy bans bigotry. So why does it allow prominent white nationalists to use it to create their websites?
  23. ‘Troll Army’ Raises $24K In One Day For Neo-Nazi Leader’s Legal Fund: Andrew Anglin’s trolls are emptying their pockets to preserve his neo-Nazi blog
  24. 20,000 Chinese writers will create their own Wikipedia competitor
  25. Prior Exposure Increases Perceived Accuracy of Fake News (Gordon Pennycock, Tyrone Cannon, David Rand)
  26. Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action
  27. Copyright Troll Sends DMCA Notices Targeting Anti-Troll Websites & Lawyers
  28. DMCA and monitoring – damned if you do, damned if you don’t?
  29. Kodi: The copyright cops want to lock up this free and legal TV app – Fully loaded Kodi boxes, the future of home entertainment, are a thorn in the side of Big Content 
  30. Italian court finds Google and YouTube liable for failing to remove unlicensed content (but confirms eligibility for safe harbour protection)
  31. When a ‘Remix’ Is Plain Ole Plagiarism: Digital technologies make it easier for people to copy the work of other artists—yet the same tools make it more likely for them to get caught.
  32. Lawyering at the Edge of Innovation: A Conversation with Kent Walker, Google’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President
  33. Filmspeler, the right of communication to the public, and unlawful streams: a landmark decision
  34. You Can’t Be Fired For a Facebook Post Calling Your Boss a “LOSER”–NLRB v. Pier Sixty
  35. Google rater fired after speaking to Ars about work conditions: After public revelations, workers report chaos, layoffs, and at least one firing.
  36. Internal Uber e-mail reveals Levandowski stepping down from self-driving car job: “I will be recused from all LiDAR-related work and management at Uber.”
  37. Sent to Prison by a Software Program’s Secret Algorithms
  38. Washington State Enacts Law Defining Licensing Requirements for Transmitters of Money and Virtual Currency
  39. The Internet of Things Needs a Code of Ethics: Technology is evolving faster than the legal and moral frameworks needed to manage it.
  40. Catching Up On Some Recent Click Fraud Rulings (Eric Goldman)
  41. Will Technology Destroy Our Democracy–or Save It? A Series of Papers at The Atlantic (Eric Goldman)
  42. European Court Of Justice Tightens Screws On “Streaming”
  43. Twitter Goes Bigger On Video With 16 New Streaming Partnerships
  44. Twitter Announces New Sports Live Streaming Initiatives With 24-Hour Sports Channel, NFL, WNBA, PGA TOUR
  45. Hulu’s Live TV Service Launches To Save You From Your Cable Bill
  46. Hulu debuts $40-per-month live TV streaming service with over 50 channels: And it includes Hulu’s regular subscription content, too.
  47. Yik Yak is finally relegated to the dustbin of Internet history: Founders not totally closing up shop, will “start tinkering around” for a while.
  48. Why is Microsoft trying to turn its Surface business into the next Nokia?: Microsoft is developing a worrying habit of neglecting its hardware products.
  49. Samsung could displace Intel as the world’s biggest chip company in 2017
  50. Dating App Lets You Flirt With Coworkers On Slack: Feeld introduces a Slack bot to encourage workplace romances
  51. DARPA Is Planning to Hack the Human Brain to Let Us “Upload” Skills
  52. The Google Assistant SDK will let you run the Assistant on anything: Build your own Google Home out of whatever you want.
  53. YouTube Says Its Six-Second Ads Result In “Significant” Lift In 70% Of Cases
  54. Apple Music To Supply Songs For As Part Of Larger Partnership
  55. This Week In Creative Commons History 


  1. French Court Finds Jeff Koons Appropriated Copyrighted Photograph That “Saved Him Creative Work”
  2. Khloé Kardashian sued by paparazzi agency for copyright infringement
  3. Kardashian #copyright saga
  4. Andy Warhol Foundation Asks SDNY to Declare Prince Series Not Infringing
  5. The Michelle Obama Mural Controversy, Explained
  6. Myth: Fair use decimated educational publishing in Canada
  7. Can You Copyright Infringe Anonymously?
  8. This Is The Story About Robert Kraft’s Casino Holdings That Rupert Murdoch’s Paper Never Ran
  9. Game of Thrones-inspired SodaStream advert banned for being offensive
  10. Without Volitional Conduct, Establishing Direct Copyright Infringement Gets Hairy
  11. Australia’s Copyright Agency Keeps $11 Million Meant For Authors, Uses It To Fight Introduction Of Fair Use
  12. Hacker leaks Orange is the New Black new season after ransom demands ignored: Breach of post-production company poses potential threat to many networks’ shows.
  13. That Orange Is the New Black Leak Was Never Going to Pay Off
  14. Hacker Extortion Attempt Falls Flat Because Netflix Actually Competes With Piracy
  15. The Company Behind “The National Enquirer” Just Bought “Us Weekly” — Here’s Why That Matters: American Media — the company behind the National Enquirer, Radar Online, and a handful of others — recently acquired Us Weekly. Its editorial director, Dylan Howard, has an old-fashioned newfangled vision for the future of the tabloid in the era of Trump.
  16. Is ‘Wonder Woman’ receiving the same advertising treatment as her Justice League peers?
  17. Parody Protection For Fair Use Is Important: Taiwanese Man Faces Jail Time Over Parody Videos Of Movies
  18. Exclusive: The Leaked Fyre Festival Pitch Deck Is Beyond Parody – But it’s also the latest chapter in the battle between consumers and advertisers in the digital age.
  19. ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ Producers Deny Outing Sex Workers: They also mock their accusers and allege that sex workers were pressured into making claims against the Netflix series
  20. Mac DeMarco Tells Concert Goers To Go Pirate His Music
  21. The Reports Of The Record Industry’s Rebirth Are Greatly Exaggerated
  22. New York City’s Museum of Trash Rescued by a Sanitation Worker: Tucked away on the second floor of an East Harlem garage, the Treasures in the Trash Museum features items saved from the landfill over three decades by Nelson Molina.
  23. Could libel laws change under Trump?
  24. No, President Trump Isn’t Ditching The First Amendment, But He Is Undermining Free Speech
  25. Is It Time To Examine The Concept Of Originality In Musical Works? (Andres Guadamuz)
  26. Is Trademark Dilution a Unicorn? An Experimental Investigation (Barton Beebe, Roy Germano, Christopher Jon Sprigman & Joel Steckel)
  27. What does a counterfeit look like? (Rebecca Tushnet)
  28. US companies can be enjoined from false advertising in China (Rebecca Tushnet) 


  1. Ex-CRTC commissioner claims victory following Federal Court ruling
  2. Why Canada’s Net Neutrality Commitment Places Consumers in Control (Michael Geist)
  3. Too little, too late? FCC wins net neutrality court case: Wheeler’s court win over ISPs reaffirmed, but Pai plans to overturn the rules.
  4. ISPs Lose En Banc Appeal, Current Net Neutrality Rules Remain Intact…For Now
  5. GOP’s “Internet Freedom Act” permanently guts net neutrality authority: ISPs would gain the freedom to block and throttle websites and applications.
  6. Don’t Get Fooled: The Plan Is To Kill Net Neutrality While Pretending It’s Being Protected
  7. F.C.C. Invokes Internet Freedom While Trying to Kill It
  8. Verizon and AT&T both launched misleading services this week — and it points to a larger problem
  9. Verizon’s bizarre claim that the FCC isn’t killing net neutrality rules: Verizon says it supports open Internet rules despite its role in ending them.
  10. New Verizon Video Blatantly Lies About What’s Happening To Net Neutrality
  11. Net neutrality rules took away your Internet freedom, FCC chair claims: It’s not clear exactly which “freedoms” ordinary consumers lost.
  12. Soundboard Technology Calls Qualify as Robocalls Under TCPA
  13. Google Fiber building in Louisville despite lawsuit from AT&T and Charter: Google Fiber filing permit to begin construction in Louisville.
  14. ESPN Axes Long-Standing Reporters, But Not The Execs That Failed To See Cord Cutting Coming
  15. How ESPN Became A Conservative Cause: Conservative media has seen ESPN’s business problems through the prism of politics. But the network’s struggles are much more straightforward.
  16. Choosing which cable channels to provide is speech, but offering Internet access is not
  17. Broadband Internet Service Providers In Regulatory Limbo After Repeal of FCC Privacy and Data Security Rules


  1. Public Safety Committee Recommends Against Lawful Access Reforms (Michael Geist)
  2. MPs calling on federal government to boost protection of Canadian civil liberties: Liberals on the Commons public safety committee have made 41 recommendations designed to increase oversight.
  3. A Feast of Commons Reports: National Security Studies by ETHI and SECU Released (Craig Forcese)
  4. VPPA Still Doesn’t Protect App Downloaders–Perry v. CNN
  5. Russian-controlled telecom hijacks financial services’ Internet traffic: Visa, MasterCard, and Symantec among dozens affected by “suspicious” BGP mishap.
  6. Russia Tries To Deliver The Killing Blow To VPN Use
  7. Personal Security Takes A Hit With Public Release Of NSA’s Hacking Toolkit
  8. Facebook Reports More Than Half Of Gov’t Demands For Content And Data Come With Gag Orders Attached
  9. US Intelligence “transparency report” reveals breadth of surveillance by NSA, others: Over 151 million call records collected to track 42 targets under new “limited” access arrangement.
  10. The Email Collection The NSA Shut Down Has Been Abused For Years
  11. Surprise: NSA Stops Collecting Americans’ Emails ‘About’ Foreign Targets
  12. The NSA’s 702 Shutdown Is Good News, But There Are A Whole Lot Of Caveats
  13. NSA ends spying on messages Americans send about foreign surveillance targets: FISA court narrows what NSA can collect, because NSA can’t stop “incidental” collection.
  14. Sextortion suspect must unlock her seized iPhone, judge rules: “For me, this is like turning over a key to a safety deposit box.”
  15. Sketchy Bogus Crowdfunding Campaigns To ‘Buy’ Congress’s Private Web Browsing… Only Now Realize That’s Impossible
  16. Punching holes in nomx, the world’s “most secure” communications protocol: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and nomx implodes under scrutiny.
  17. Miami sextortion case asks if a suspect can be forced to decrypt an iPhone: Does the Fifth Amendment mean you don’t have to hand over your password?
  18. A False Facial Recognition Match Cost This Man Everything: Denver resident Steve Talley files $10 million lawsuit after face-matching technology ruined his life
  19. All your Googles are belong to us: Look out for the Google Docs phishing worm: An e-mail disguised as a Google Docs share is ingenious bit of malicious phishing.
  20. Don’t trust OAuth: Why the “Google Docs” worm was so convincing – You really think someone would just go on the Internet and tell lies?
  21. The spammer who logged into my PC and installed Microsoft Office: Spam text made a tempting offer—so I let the spammer take control of my PC.
  22. A Cloud Over the Microsoft Warrant Case
  23. Babies and Baby-making, or Not… Privacy and Security Lessons for the Internet of Things