Japan’s Copyright Rules Draw AI Groups — and Alarm From Creators

The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association claims that AI-powered search engines by U.S. tech giants like Google and Microsoft likely infringe on copyright by using news articles without permission. Therefore, they’re urging the Japanese government to quickly review and revise intellectual property laws to address these issues. Kyodo News reports (translated in English): The association argued in the statement that while traditional search engines direct users to various copyrighted material available online, AI search engines disclose the content, making them a completely different type of service. While stressing that in many instances, the essential content of the referenced article is reprinted in its entirety and therefore constitutes copyright infringement, the association also highlighted the issue of “zero-click searches,” where users do not visit the source site. It warned that the lack of traffic could lead to the diminution of news organizations’ reporting activities, which would then have a negative impact on democracy and culture.

The statement also expressed concern over potential inaccuracies in responses generated by AI search engines, which could give the impression that the source articles themselves were erroneous and damage the credibility of news organizations. The association added that providing AI search engine services without obtaining permission to use the source articles could violate the antimonopoly law. “There are many reasons AI companies are attracted to Japan, including the need for its companies to rapidly develop their digital capabilities and the country’s declining population, which is very open to AI,” said Yutaka Matsuo, a professor at Tokyo University and chair of the government’s AI council, in a statement to the Financial Times. “One other attraction is that AI companies are permitted to learn from information without infringing copyright laws,” he added.

The Financial Times says the push to bring AI companies to Japan has raised alarm for some content creators who worry their work isn’t being protected. “As it relates to generative AI, Japan’s existing Copyright Act does not contribute to protecting creators. In fact, it is focused on restricting the rights of creators,” the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers said in a statement.

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Microsoft: Linux Is the Top Operating System on Azure Today

Azure used to be a cloud platform dedicated to Windows. Now, it’s the most widely used operating system on Microsoft Azure. The New Stack’s Joab Jackson writes: These days, Microsoft expends considerable effort that Linux runs as smoothly as possible on Azure, according to a talk given earlier this year at the Linux Foundation Open Source Summit given by two Microsoft Azure Linux Platforms Group program managers, Jack Aboutboul, and Krum Kashan. “Linux is the #1 operating system in Azure today,” Aboutoul said. And all must be supported in a way that Microsoft users have come to expects. Hence, the need for the Microsoft’s Linux Platforms Group, which provides support Linux to both the internal customers and to Azure customers. These days, the duo of engineers explained, Microsoft knows about as much as anyone about how to operate Linux at hyperscale. […]

As of today, there are hundreds of Azure and Azure-based services running on Linux, including the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), OpenAI, HDInsight, and many of the other database services. “A lot of the infrastructure powering everything else is running on Linux,” Aboutoul said. “They’re different flavors of Linux running all over the place,” Aboutoul said. To run these services, Microsoft maintains its own kernel, Azure Linux, and in 2023 the company released its own version of Linux, Azure Linux. But Azure Linux is just a small portion of all the other flavors of Linux running on Azure, all of which Microsoft must work with to support.

Overall, there are about 20,000 third-party Software as a Service (SaaS) packages in the Azure marketplace that rely on some Linux distribution. And when things go wrong, it is the Azure service engineers who get the help tickets. The company keeps a set of endorsed Linux distributions, which include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, Flatcar, Suse, Canonical, and Oracle Linux and CentOS (as managed by OpenLogic, not Red Hat). […] Overall, the company gets about 1,000 images a month from these endorsed partners alone. Many of the distributions have multiple images (Suse has a regular one, and another one for high-performance computing, for instance).

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One Nation Mostly Unaffected by the Crowdstrike Outage: China

The BBC reports that “while most of the world was grappling with the blue screen of death on Friday,” there was one country that managed to escape largely unscathed: China.

The reason is actually quite simple: CrowdStrike is hardly used there. Very few organisations will buy software from an American firm that, in the past, has been vocal about the cyber-security threat posed by Beijing. Additionally, China is not as reliant on Microsoft as the rest of the world. Domestic companies such as Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei are the dominant cloud providers.

So reports of outages in China, when they did come, were mainly at foreign firms or organisations. On Chinese social media sites, for example, some users complained they were not able to check into international chain hotels such as Sheraton, Marriott and Hyatt in Chinese cities. Over recent years, government organisations, businesses and infrastructure operators have increasingly been replacing foreign IT systems with domestic ones. Some analysts like to call this parallel network the “splinternet”.

“It’s a testament to China’s strategic handling of foreign tech operations,” says Josh Kennedy White, a cybersecurity expert based in Singapore. “Microsoft operates in China through a local partner, 21Vianet, which manages its services independently of its global infrastructure. This setup insulates China’s essential services — like banking and aviation — from global disruptions.”
“Beijing sees avoiding reliance on foreign systems as a way of shoring up national security.”
Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader hackingbear for sharing the article.

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US Prepares Jamming Devices Targeting Russia, China Satellites

In April the U.S. Space Force began testing “a new ground-based satellite jamming weapon to help keep U.S. military personnel safe from potential ‘space-enabled’ attacks” (according to a report from Space.com). The weapon was “designed to deny, degrade, or disrupt communications with satellites overhead, typically through overloading specific portions of the electromagnetic spectrum with interference,” according to the article, with the miitary describing it as a small form-factor system “designed to be fielded in large numbers at low-cost and operated remotely” and “provide counterspace electronic warfare capability to all of the new Space Force components globally.”

And now, Bloomberg reports that the U.S. is about to deploy them:
The devices aren’t meant to protect U.S. satellites from Chinese or Russian jamming but “to responsibly counter adversary satellite communications capabilities that enable attacks,” the Space Force said in a statement to Bloomberg News. The Pentagon strives — on the rare occasions when it discusses such space capabilities — to distinguish its emerging satellite-jamming technology as purely defensive and narrowly focused. That’s as opposed to a nuclear weapon the U.S. says Russia is developing that could create high-altitude electromagnetic pulses that would take out satellites and disrupt entire communications networks.

The first 11 of 24 Remote Modular Terminal jammers will be deployed in several months, and all of them could be in place by Dec. 31 at undisclosed locations, according to the Space Force statement… The new terminals augment a much larger jamming weapon called the Counter Communications System that’s already deployed and a mid-sized one called Meadowlands “by providing the ability to have a proliferated, remotely controlled and relatively relocatable capability,” the Space Force said. The Meadowlands system has encountered technical challenges that have delayed its delivery until at least October, about two years later than planned.
China has “hundreds and hundreds of satellites on orbit designed to find, fix, track, target and yes, potentially engage, US and allied forces across the Indo-Pacific,” General Stephen Whiting, head of US Space Command, said Wednesday at the annual Aspen Security Forum. “So we’ve got to understand that and know what it means for our forces.”
Bloomberg also got this comment from the chief director of space security and stability at the Secure World Foundation (which produces reports on counterspace weapons). The new U.S. Space Force jamming weapons are “reversible, temporary, non-escalatory and allow for plausible deniability in terms of who the instigator is.”

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