This site is devoted to copyright and issues of 'intellectual property,' particularly the issue's analytical aspects. It also concerns itself with the gap between public perception and the true facts, and with the significant lag time between the coverage on more technical sites and the mainstream press. For site feed, see: To see the list of sites monitored to create this site, see:

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Senate votes to criminalize theatre camcorders.


Friday, June 25, 2004

Nice roundup on copyright issues by /. .


Thursday, June 24, 2004



EFF joins coalition on IP reform, publishes a nice one-page summary of the perils of the DMCA.

Slate on a Steve Jobs-like approach to combatting movie piracy.

The Future of P2P.

More media consolidation.

Napster-BestBuy music deal.

Virgin Digital is coming.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

When major labels have to pay indies--the beginning of the end of royalty payments on sampling? Or will this simply become like patents, where defensive patent portfolios are common?

RIAA again sues an insignificant number of filesharers.

Loudeye apparently supplies Napster and iTunes with a major portion of their catalogue. Middlemen to the middlemen.

Biometric DRM gets a scathing response from Register readers.

More on Beastie Boys' ineffective yet invasive DRM.

iTunes is doing well in Europe.

It doesn't look like the EFF's impassioned speech at MS' campus made any difference: MS and Apple have ignored a convention calling for the most basic of fair use rights.

A sarcastic half-satire by The Register based on true events.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

New DRM. As likely to fail as the last. Keeping a user out of his own computer will prove more difficult than the press statements let on.

European online music stores merge.

DMCA reform is gaining steam.

Interesting example
of what should be legal.

HBS review of Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf's paper.


Monday, June 21, 2004

More on European software patents.

Another major merger in the works. I fail to see what sort of economics of scale will result from these mergers, except for greater control over market prices.

8cm singles are back. Still not much chance of actually being able to play them, though.

Rhapsody can blog now. This is the latest in a series of developments where music services rediscover the original, social, aspects that helped make the original Napster a phenomenon.

provides the ability to download recorded shows from the Internet to your Linux PVR. Nice bit of consolidation.


Saturday, June 19, 2004

P2P filters enter high school.

The model for the future? Already, DC++ networks are the place for serious file-sharers, as they are generally much faster and more secure.

Movies for Music aims to illustrate the pitfalls of the current industry model.

P2P meets DJ Dangermouse--the Tapeworm Collective.


Friday, June 18, 2004

Everyone should read this speech, particularly software and industry execs, and lawmakers.

DRMed CD tops charts. No one cares. DRM reaches new (illegal?) lows.

DMCA and other US exports may find their way to Australia. Meanwhile, the US government doesn't seem to be doing to well with its own interventions (1 2 3). And a bill that makes some sense is under fire.

New devices are coming out. BMW-branded MP3 player/watch arrives. The latest generation of MD players sneaks in as well, with the feature that Sony's label has long kept out of it--high-speed digital export.

"Viral distribution," a.k.a. P2P from record companies, is entering a trial phase. Skepticism welcome.


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Napster offers free mp3 player to lure subscribers. The offering is disappointing. This could have been the first useful DRM solution, one where having DRM integrated into the player would have allowed the same jukebox concept that the software espouses--a constant roving playlist in return for a subscription. Given they are already committed to DRM, this would be at least a better alternative. Instead, you have to buy the right to transfer tracks for as much as it costs to buy them on iTunes.


The headline of this Wired article promises hope, but there's little in the copy. 321 Studio's bitterness is best explained by its imminent bankruptcy.

More old-paradigm thinking from Congress. Miscreants can easily use much more secure forms of communication over the Internet, as can corporations conducting legitimate business.

Were this digital, it would be illegal.

Perhaps some day the revenue from video content will come largely in the form of exploiting its cultural currency. Although embedded advertising distorts that cultural currency, it seems to be on the rise, and might provide a viable alternative to current ad models.

Anti-child exploitation act has effects far beyond its purported intent.

Yet another music service Finland. And a handful more in the UK.

The fundamental problem with DRM is that is requires centralization of everything, causing problems like this. In short, it keeps the world in the pre-Internet age.

Music piracy will likely be easier to control on cell phones, as they have a consumer-device history vs. the PC's more versitile one, but will still become a problem as data over mobile becomes more prevalent.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The MPAA appears to be edging towards a conversion to RIAA-like tactics.

CD prices tended to move up and down together. Oligopoly anyone?
A clever trick to avoid paying royalties will likely never see the light of day.

BBC archive going online. In the United Kingdom, anyone who owns a television must pay a BBC-allocated fee, so the public owns its programming. Contrast this with, say, IP in America, where the NIH funds most drug research, but pharma reaps the profits.

Nice article in the Toronto Star.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

iTunes comes to the UK, and talks with indie labels break down. This is really too bad, as it would be great for the indies and great for iTunes to have their songs available. Where Apple has spoken to labels the terms on offer have been commercial suicide. I wonder if this means Apple is going to try to actually make a profit on iTunes in the UK, or if the indies simply want whole-album sales or some other variation on clinging to past models.


Penny jukebox in the UK. This seems much cheaper than one would expect--you can listen to a song 99 times before you would have been better off 'purchasing' it.
Mr Grimsdale said: "My guess is that there will be gateways between the two DRM systems in the not too distant future. This is, to my knowledge, the first time anyone in the industry as addressed the issue of the permanence of purchases, other than in spiteful rhetoric towards those who provide tools to un-DRM files. Fundamentally, the problem is that the industry wants to possess and consume the same proverbial cake. DVDs and CDs are physical media, and there is no copying allowed, because the end user is not buying the media, he/she is buying the content. At the same time, moving content between devices is frowned upon, particularly in the early days of MP3, and if your physical media is damaged, they will not provide a replacement, so the end user doesn't really own the content either.

While the previous article claims gateways between different DRM specs will avoid a Betamax-VHS scenario, Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD seems to be the format war of the future.

DirecTV agrees to not abuse DMCA quite as much. Score one for the EFF.


Monday, June 14, 2004

Liebowitz publishes another paper on file-sharing. His page 4 assumption that TV is less likely to be subject to file-sharing is interesting. While movies are certainly more durable goods, in that they are designed for repeat consumption, TV shows have less sense that trading them would be illegal, since they are already free, and downloading a missed episode could be considered a TiVo-like timeshifting. His argument against sampling could be used equally-well against file-sharing or against record labels increasing the size of their catalog--or against iTMS and the like. A recurring theme when reading his paper is that the same analysis applied to almost any practice of the music industry would prove their moves counter-productive. Why offer choice when the sampling effect proves it simply reduces the price per unit of satisfaction and thus decreases profits when elasticity <=1 ? Why buy your gross, or break the law to increase the number of listeners of your music, if there are no network effects?

Fair use on the decline.


Free wireless networks could make tracking downloaders and dissenters impossible. On the other hand, such anonymity may make the networks themselves illegal under a future PATRIOT-type law.

Starz launches video-on-demand along with Real.

The effect of iTMS on sales of other download services: positive?


A derivative works nightmare: video "life-blogs." How many instances of copyrighted media do you look at in a day?

The charts seem increasingly inaccurate. New forms of 'buying your gross' with endorsed songs at red-eye hours, concerts giving out CDs with the show, and now soccer songs claim tops in the charts. Of course, one could argue that the predominance of top-# stations in the last decade has been making the charts something akin to a high school class election/popularity contest.

I included this link before, but it occurred to me recently that the proper term for what the RIAA prevents is time-shifting à la TiVo.


Sunday, June 13, 2004

A perfect illustration of why extending copyright significantly decreases net utility.

The traditional air waves are opening up, just as their digital siblings are poised to become more restrictive.


Friday, June 11, 2004


Payola is back, and this time it's legal.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

One brilliant attempt to clarify the dangers of the judicial circumventions of the DMCA.


/. has posted a series of good articles on the WIPO treaties which may soon export RIAA control to the wider world.

Broadband use is up. Music industry surrenders.

The computer is not the only battleground any more for music sharing. TiVo and cell phones will soon have sufficient capabilities to share. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the traditionally-copy-protected sector of consumer devices.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Creative Commons license available to Garage Band bands. This would make a great study trying to discover any difference in sales due to licensing. With the cooperation of the company, you could even allow for random assortment.


Monday, June 07, 2004

Apple news from /.: 1 2

OS record labels



Shareaza has a new project which puts a more personal touch on file-sharing.

iTunes is coming to Europe.


/.'s round-up of the latest development in the Eolas case.

Wired has an excellent snapshot of the current world IP scene.

Advertising for Internet radio faces challenges. Combined with the fees the RIAA wanted to impose on the medium, it may be years before iRadio listening is widespread. One would think they would wait, to give the new medium time to develop.

"As the increasing popularity of downloading highlights, there is certainly still a market for music." Positive externalities to downloading, anyone? Or is the RIAA simply eliminating the older middleman and creating a new set which it can claim more value from--iTunes is rumoured not to turn a profit for Apple, and as the middlemen scramble to claim bragging rights for the most extensive catalogue, record companies have the upper hand.

"They've got rocks in their head." Well-said.

Classical music, no more?

The Gray Soundtrack.
Fair use strikes again.


Saturday, June 05, 2004

NPR'd better watch out, LPR is coming to town. In the past, record companies clearly saw the benefits of getting play on the radio stations (c.f. the various 'payola' scandals). Now, with the Internet making everyone a radio station and LPR having a chance of proliferating, they're seeing the model break down. A more cynical interpretation of the change of heart, of course, is that it's simply a land-grab, that they didn't like the radio stations not paying them, and the change of medium allows them another method of collecting.

P2P on a donations model.

Scientists discover ways to preserve wax cylinder music recordings digitally. In other news, Congress extends copyright terms once again.


Friday, June 04, 2004

Movie theatre recording crackdown. What I don't understand is why pirates bother to risk arrest to copy the videos in the first place. They could break fewer laws by selling bootleg copies of DVDs that are simply blank. Since sellers of such wares are fairly numerous and anonymous, the consumer backlash would be distributed widely. Thus the individual seller stands to gain much by doing so.


Philadelphia-area college RIAA lawsuits

Despite a public conception of file-sharing as a college activity, "The number of college students sued thus far is low. Drexel had only three students whose IP addresses were identified by the RIAA." Hardly good evidence of the distribution, but interesting, nonetheless.


McDonald's and Sony music online promotion

Certainly more fun than that Happy Meal toy....


Thursday, June 03, 2004

Patent trolls banished from the realm

MS just patented the double-click a few days ago. Reform is on the way. At least they recognize the directive nature of IP in the Constitution: "The intellectual property system was designed to create incentives for people to innovate by giving them...."


As always, the link is the critical thing to read, not my commentary.

Integration between music services, the computer, and portable players. Definitely iTunes-like. We will see how long before the DRM is broken.

It looks like primarily verification, not enforcement, despite claims of "other implications for copyright production in CDs, DVDs and video."

An increasingly-common view among professional (classical) musicians, from what I've seen. Trying to make money off of art can ruin the enjoyment inherent in producing that art.



This blog grew out of a collaboration with Dr. Peter Fader, of Napster trial fame. We met at a talk he gave on campus, had a shared interest in the subject, and I began sending him regular e-mails with pertinent websites, usually adding my comments. I decided today that more people beyond Dr. Fader would have interest in these websites, and so I am starting this site. I will post 'back-issues,' so to speak, as I have the time.

The title, incidentally, is Greek. Technically, it should be "AntigrafoDexia," a combination of the Modern Greek word for "Copy" and the Ancient Greek word for "Right," or so the online dictionaries tell me, but I like the sound of this better. So the site title share henceforth confuse all Greek speakers, as it means "WriteRight."