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:

Thursday, June 30, 2005

One item in the iTunes release that has seen surprisingly little comment: publish your podcast to iTMS. With GarageBand, Apple really seems to be moving towards allowing end users to commercialize content easily. At the same time, they haven't been making it easy for indie labels to get into iTMS. Could this be the ultimate goal? Use the major labels for legitimacy and then eliminate the middlemen for anything that isn't a member of the RIAA? Ok, that's a stretch, but Apple's continuing moves to promote increasing professionalism in the amateur space are impressive, and a good business move for them given that the pro sound and visual space is where they have their strongest history.
And some more news from another marketplace that's beginning to look a lot like online music stores.

"This latest release lets you search only pages your friends (address book, Messenger buddies or Yahoo! 360 contacts) have bookmarked and recommended." Social bookmarks move mainstream. More collaborative filtering.

A new Internet? Seems like a bad idea for a few reasons. One is that a more restrictive framework designed to stifle spammers can easily be used to stifle others. Another is that it gives ammunition to the claims of censoring nations such as China when they try to build their own networks.

Credit reports. Not usually fodder for posting, but one quote cuts deep in light of the ACS/PubChem debate right now: "Chapman called the legislation unconstitutional and un-American because it cuts into profits."

Old news already, but DVD Jon broke the Google Video scheme in a day.

Patent laws are making progress.

Creation through derivation.


12% is still a lot for a public interest.

Some sort-of reasonable analysis of format wars.

Felten dissects a GAO study of P2P networks and comes to the opposite conclusion of the study itself. Porn Rare on P2P; Filters Ineffective. It's sad that Congress will only get the official conclusion.

And a cool example of Fair Use.

The Daily Grokster
I'll start with Miller's roundup, 'cause it's most all the commentary out there.
Grokster may haunt Podcasting. "Apple's new podcasting service could be in a sticky situation if podcasters post copyrighted material, thanks to Monday's Grokster decision by the Supreme Court, some experts say." But wait, it's already happening with Google's brand new video service.
The Times coins a term for the Grokster doctrine. "don't ask, don't sell"
The Register has a different term for the ruling. "Confusing sin and sinner."
Sony and Mashboxx hook up.
Joe talks of digital communications systems which leave no trace, simply as a method of covert communications to avoid an intent ruling under Grokster. I wonder, on sort of a tangent, how this fits in with the 'everything's a copy' paradox of the digital age. Say you used such a system to share a song with a friend. Such a communication would still be a copy or perhaps many copies, but the movie industry would generally say that it is not, and I'm not sure the Court would disagree. In this world of implications-based tests, they might well see that as analagous to playing the song over at your friend's house. But taking it just one step further, I can't see them agreeing with the statement that this is substantially similar to downloading a song from a friend off a P2P network and then deleting it afterwards, even though to a machine the two are exactly the same. The conclusion here is disturbing. When the action is controlled by code, it is permitted. When it relies on humans doing the right thing, it is not.
Prof. Wu doesn't have a problem with the Grokster ruling. I've been wavering back and forth, but am generally inclined to agree. Certainly there will be a flood of uncertainty and lawsuits, but as Wu says, that's the case in many fields of law. The real problem is just the assymetry of free capital to spend on lawyers between entrenched interests and startups.


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