New copyright legislation expected to dramatically shift the UK’s position on intellectual property has received Royal Assent, paving the way for new rules that are likely to cause an outrage among photographers and illustrators. The change comes as a part of the broad Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, the result of reported lobbying on the part of US tech companies and anti-copyright policy makers and academics. Under the Act, anyone can use any “orphan” image, as long as they attempt a “diligent search” to identify the work. In other words, your personal work could end up on a company’s website or advertisement without your permission, and without repercussions for the company in question. "The mass of the public will never realise they've been robbed," photo rights campaigner Paul Ellis warned. Read on for more details about what the new rules could mean for you.
Software giant Microsoft has begun to integrate VoIP favourite Skype into its email platform Outlook.com. With a preview version of the service now being rolled out in the UK, users will be able to launch video conversations with contacts directly from their browser. The feature offers a significant boost to Microsoft’s Outlook service, which has attracted some 60 million new users in six months according to the company. With old messaging flagship Hotmail being phased out, Microsoft continues to harness its Skype division having acquired the group for some $8.5 billion in 2011. Will the email–video call merger prise non-Outlookers away from Gmail and the rest?
4G front-runner EE has today rolled out its LTE service to a further 12 locations, meaning a total of 62 towns and cities in the UK can now enjoy high-speed mobile connectivity. Newly bestowed with the next-gen spectrum are Aylesbury, Berkhamsted, Billericay, Blackpool, Brentwood, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Lytham St Annes, Marlow, Pontefract, Thame, and Windsor. EE, the amalgamation of T-Mobile and Orange formerly known as Everything Everywhere, says 4G now covers over half of the UK population. The firm plans to launch LTE in a further 18 towns and cities by the end of June, and bring 4G access to 70 per cent of the population by the end of 2013.
IBM is ready to kick off May in earnest, having this morning helped to launch the month-long Be The Start sustainability campaign with an exclusive event at its London headquarters. Overseen by charity Business In The Community and affiliate Start, Be The Start features a range of leading UK organisations, each of which will take centre stage for one day in May to highlight their environmental initiatives. IBM is one of the household names taking part and will showcase its sustainable energy projects and other community work in Chale, Isle of Wight, on 14 May. Of course, IBM already sponsors and helps curate the Smarter Trends green tech and smarter cities website - follow the link for more on the computing giant's latest move, which could herald a new dawn for sustainability in the UK.