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:

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Open Access

I just today signed away the copyright for a paper from data last summer that's finally being submitted to Biological Psychiatry. Today I locked it in a gallery, where a guard will charge admittance at the door. I'm not yet at a point in my career where I can dictate to my boss where papers get submitted, of course, nor am I particularly invested in this paper (third author). But it brings up an interesting dilemma. A little background: B.P. is somewhere in the top five journals in psychiatry (the publisher puts it at third), and one of the few of those strong in neuroscience and psychiatry. So, while it may look like there are plenty of OA journals to submit to, from the perspective of an author with a half-psych, half-neuroscience paper that's pretty good but not world-class, B.P. has a limited monopoly. There are substitutes, but they are rather imperfect ones. The other OA alternatives seem to be a distinct step down and, while I might be willing to take such a hit for my morality, my boss is distinctly not the type.... Moreover, asking scientists to martyr their careers doesn't seem like a promising start to a revolution.
This cart-and-horse problem is all known, of course, and was the main reason that PLoS was such a great idea--a sort of jump-start. However, most of us aren't (yet!) putting out Nature- and Science- and Cell-level papers, and I think the stubbornness of this problem for the good-but-not-world-class journal level has been grossly underestimated. It all comes back to that limited monopoly crunch. Lots of journals at the bottom. A handful of journals at the top. Still only a few just below the top in each field. PLoS solved the very top problem handily, or is making great strides. But the Biol. Psych. dilemma will be with us for some time. New journals start at the bottom and have to rise, unless they are jumpstarted like PLoS. Part of the answer is to keep on going, accept that change will come gradually, and, like PLoS is doing, have them add their impramateur to new journals in the family. Another part is to convert for-profit journals to OA.
But PLoS can only start so many journals, and for-profits have tended to resist OA. The problem will be with us for a long time.
Today I locked up my paper with a signature.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Details of a for-pay blogging arrangement.

BBC getting into music sales.


Changing face of the press.

Historic Rio is no more.

Google messenger fails to embrace P2P aspects of Jabber.

Google buying up dark fiber.

"Locked-Out Journalists Turn To Podcasting."

Bootleg redefined.

More on architecture and copyright.

eDonkey surpasses BitTorrent, apparently.

At least they're trying something....

Internet tie-ins.

IP lawsuit strategy or lack thereof.

The daily Patry.

Patent bill a dream for Pharma.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Anonymous online criticism protected.

EFF on Sun's DRM idea.

Crime-facilitating speech.

How the RIAA came to WashU.

An angry commentary on library 'lending.' Doesn't seem that terribly unreasonable to me, although one of my earliest realizations that the current models were untenable came when I realized that "lending" could be more like a simultaneous use provision in software licenses. How much time is actually spent using a library book versus it just sitting there, unavailable? If only one copy were shared among three or four people, they likely wouldn't really have much conflict in terms of time they were actually using it, and a system that 'lent' it out in such a manner would still seem to be legal.

The social aspect of P2P isn't what it used to be, or could be.

Two recent decisions cite Grokster.

Current Copyright citations. Very cool.

"The DMCA must be read in the context of the Copyright Act." Small sentence, big implications.

"Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music, said yesterday in his Aspen Summit keynote that the war between the content industry and consumers is over. And consumers won."

Upstart TV network.

Sony's Blu-Ray strategy.

Patry on shrinkwrap as pseudo-copyright.

Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing. Noting the prominent CC license up top of the press release, I wonder how much damage CC might be doing by ensuring that everything has a license. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Creative Commons, but by bringing about a transition from the free-flowing world of 'everything's available unless otherwise specified' that we had before to a world where you must explicitly give your rights away for anyone to make use of the work, the mindset shift may ultimately prove quite destructive. Granted, the removal of the registration requirement had a much greater effect on this than do CC licenses, but should a press release really have to feature a prominent license?


The end of the honeymoon....

Looks like Santangelo is still fighting with the help of the EFF.

EULA v. First Sale.

Common carrier concept on the decline worldwide, perhaps.

Game tie-ins bigtime.

W3C comments on Copyright Office limitations.

Hollywood tries new techniques for stopping their own leaks.

TiVo loses DirecTV deal. At least they turned a profit this quarter.

The art of music restoration.

MPAA using logs from the major torrent sites previously taken down.
Hollywood faces the music.

Flash-based iPod minis in the works. Impressive.

Stallman on Linux(tm).

Hacking the iTunes rules.

A refreshing view of content piracy.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Just noticed that someone in London registered about a month after I registered and started putting content on it. Odd.

Does the futures market on musicians have a future?


"Copyright and Licensing Digital Materials - A Resource Guide"

"Researching Intellectual Property Law In The Russian Federation"

Ourmedia needs moderators.

"If people want to take the show in various forms, I'd say go. But when you're a part of something successful and meaningful, the rule book says don't try to analyze it too much or dissect it. You shouldn't say: "I really want to know what fans think. I really want to understand how people are digesting our show." Because that is one of those things that you truly have no control over. The one thing that you have control over is the content of the show. But how people are reacting to it, how it's being shared, how it's being discussed, all that other stuff, is absolutely beyond your ability to control."

Warner to launch download-only label.

Sony launches own P2P network, sort of. Commentary. SNIU

Amazon starting to sell eshorts.

Open Source DRM? One of the main criticisms of DRM has been that it has been put out there to control the content providers' interests exclusively. Can this change that?

Collaborative filtering in disguise.


A P2P network for bikes? SNIU distorted. I just don't see the decentralized network of a centrally-managed pool of rentals. It's basically self-service UHaul, not P2P. Witness the central control scheme. Now, if instead of sending out technicians to redistribute the bikes every day the system just paid anyone with a little bit of leisure time on their hands to move them around (e.g. 2 euros to bring it back to the edge of the city, 1e for a certain obscure stop in the center) and provided a way for passersby to do it, that would be a little closer to P2P.

Video stores in trouble.

Studios target niches.

DRM future looks ugly.

Slate on Blu-Ray.

Interesting case by EFF.

Funny, I encountered the same problems at about the same time.

Lone standout can't afford the fight.

Patry on motion. Same.

Hollywood numbers not looking good.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

A secret P2P network has all sorts of deleterious effects on network bandwidth. Not what you expect.

Yahoo to maintain music pricing.

Evidence of organized crime in piracy lacking? Maybe hard data, but anecdotal observation of certain streets in New York or Beijing might leave little doubt....

Singapore cracks down on software piracy. Fines don't seem so bad compared to those for not properly disposing of chewing gum....

Vader joins the light. SNIU.

After 27 times, change the formula.

NYTimes reviews Lasica's book.

Universal hopes to launch music phone plans.

More release window rethinking.

Digital radio timeshifting.

New term for me: "Podsafe."

Students still prefer P2P.


DRM bad.

Collateral damage in CALEA.

ClearPlay in trouble for patents, not copyrights.

OA progress report. via OANews

Copyright Office Section108 study group.

Fair Use changes in UK.

Batman art copyright fight.

More on release window comments.

More on the lone standout against RIAA settlements.

A fascinating Patry entry on underground forms of IP regulation.

Patry on the WTC building.


Tidbits from unusual sources

Dilbert on format shifting:
"I'd like to see books that are printed on regular paper, the kind that comes out of the copy machine. You could be sitting four feet away from your boss, reading a bodice-ripping romance novel, and still look like the hardest-working employee in the room, especially if you're red and perspiring. [...] Another source of leisure reading on company time is public-domain books that are in the Internet, courtesy of Project Gutenberg [...]. Load it on your laptop. You'll be able to escape the oppression of your office by enjoying the feel-good writing of Dickens." p58, The Joy of Work

"'What is unpleasant and threatens my modesty is that in fact I am every name in history.'
Nietzsche wrote that in a letter to Jacob Burckhardt in January, 1889, after his descent into insanity, but if you look past the self-absorption, in a disturbing and poetic fashion the sentence manages to captures the essence of the hypothesis that Tomasello defends in The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition: our uniquely human cognitive abilities exist because our minds "stand on the shoulders of giants," or contain within them the advances of the human minds that came before us." from the CogBlog book club"
The rest of the article is probably only interesting to neuro-geeks like me, but the statement of the critical role of derivation in innovation certainly argues for more limited terms on IP protection.


The MCAT administration takes the property metaphor a little too literally: "Removal of MCAT property by any means, including tearing out individual sheets, keeping test booklets, memorizing, etc., is strictly prohibited." [not exact wording, but the key parts are right]


Thursday, August 18, 2005

More Rosen@Lessig. Brief responses: DRM aims to end the leaks she uses to justify policy, and the fact that the Copyright Office hasn't found any problems with the law doesn't mean that there aren't problems with the law.

Another post-Grokster P2P service, with a twist. SNIU.

Stiglitz on TRIPS.

Editors' rebellion over closed pricing.

MS gets into RSS.

NYTimes covers timeshifting for radio.

Rip. Mix. Transfer. For the consumer.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Holy sheaves of dead cellulose, Batman, Project Gutenberg now uses P2P! C.f. my favorite. They're using MagnetLinks for just what they were intended for.... Not sure how I missed this transition.


N.B. The cultural reference above surely represents an unauthorized derivative work. Cope.

Notez très bien: my humor getting worse as Saturday approaches. Sorry.

Scatterbrain, free, anonymous P2P. Definitely a post-Groksterism, with abundant claims of SNIUs.

Counterfeiters love electronics.

Blu-Ray at tipping point?

XM Audible store.

Is Hillary Rosen trying to be cool? What's with the piss-poor grammar?

DMB and DRM. Just the length of the instructions should make it clear what a bad idea DRM is in situations like these.

More Google Print.

OANews reports on a disturbing pseudo-OA development. In the academic world it's one thing, but elsewhere, I'm not sure I really disagree. The CC slogan is "Some rights reserved," after all. That said, it is frustrating to see a potential new source for and then realize that, although you can download it, you can't send it to a friend or a stranger.

Article on the public domain.

Excellent Patry today. And here. On son-of-DART.

More Picker MobBlog.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More patent chicanery. I seem to recall many players having stop play pause buttons long before 2002. How does the USPTO manage to miss these things?

Ars on CD-R and the RIAA.

OpenTV. As we move towards a world with no filters, do we really *want* all those camera angles? I'm sort of glad that DVDs haven't taken advantage of that capability. Censorship bad, editing good.

FCC wants to track WiFi.

Trademark abuse.

Brilliant marketing.

From the studies of the readily apparent department.

Blu-Ray DRM ploy working?

DualDisc actually going somewhere?

Another Slate article on Hollywood.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Having 'won' Grokster, RIAA turns lobby towards CD-R.

TVs and podcasting. NYT

Analysis of RSS bandwidth waste.

Rosen on Lessig's blog. Sacré bleu! Not anything really interesting yet.

Felten on the von Lohmann paper.


Picker Mobblog has an explosion of very good, focused content as it does every now and then.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hefty list of online music downloads.

Chief infringer ceases infringement. Say it ain't so.
Siva comments.

Some iTMS numbers.

Court reverses wiretapping decision.

Apple and Google?

MS and Apple?

TiVo tests internet download service. TiVo has been no friend of the end-user in the past. We'll see how this goes.

DMCA abuse.


FTT on BluRay DRM.

More on DRMed textbooks. Wentworth makes a key point: it's all well and good that we have options now, but the nature of copyright is a monopoly, and once it switches over, there go the options.

Lessig on sharing economy.

Game economy hyperinflation.

Patry1 Patry2


Thursday, August 11, 2005


Legal Torrents. SNIU

Common Content. Fair to share.

iPod not blingy enough for South Koreans?

Japanese artists on iTMS.

GPL3 being written. OSL3 also.

DVD format wars gain new weapon. Ultimately, I don't think the MPAA members will allow two formats to flourish--mysteriously, only one will have titles released for it. So the format that can convince Hollywood that its DRM is least likely to be broken will win. Felten's comments.

iPod patent mess.

P2P statistics. It's official, BT users are just plain geekier...12% use Vorbis.

iBiblio adds BT feeds.

MS DRMs XBox hardware.


Music industry looks beyond Jobs' pricing model.

An amusing Patry today.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

SNIU wins award.

Early adopting Asia.


Part II of Malik on the music industry.

An airline example of why current low-prices on DRMed products are a trojan horse. Particularly when, as in the recent textbook cases, they are only 1/3 off, which hardly makes up for the inability to sell.

iPod levy refunded.

More patent abuse.

Sirius to broadcast Penn games. And some other of those other schools as well.

MS hands over control of their product to Hollywood.

Best headline ever.

Slate continues its excellent coverage of the music and movie industries.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Pertinent post-WWII propaganda.

Australia legal music services analysis.

Intel backs muni WiFi.

Amazon eyes DVD rentals.

Another great Slate analysis on Hollywood profits.

Number 3. For the record, I still have three original IBM keyboards, and they are wonderful.


Kristof on muni Wifi.

Since when did national exclusion become trademark violation?

Felten on Princteon bookstore DRMed texts.

Some interesting links.

Wikis for scientific publishing. via OANews

Ars on attitudes towards Napster at schools.

More format wars.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Italy cracking down on counterfeit goods.

FCC redefines competition.

'Ciscogate' account by the attorney.

Terrible, terrible NYTimes article ostensibly about Grokster.

Baidu launch untroubled by infringement.

Wikipedia controversy. From the horse's mouth.


iTMS levels playing field?

CALEA expands its grip.

The College of NJ (boo!)
trys DRMed textbooks.

Giving away access to books helps sales.

Patry on the recent Recordation notice.


Posting will be light for the next two weeks.

Friday, August 05, 2005

EU inducement directive.

When is deregulation not deregulation? When it stifles competition....

Apple on Intel won't use DRM after all.

Audible Magic touted as the solution to world's evils, again.

Digital music sales mitigate Warner pain.

You only die twice.

Post-Grokster Yahoo Music Search playing with fire. By pushing results they think are infringing to the bottom, are they inviting liability after all?

Patry. The referenced case illustrates why I try to use 'copyright controller' instead of 'author' pretty well.

Copyright Office needs to know whether it will inconvenience users if they are too lazy to write standards-compliant code.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

NPR segment on pinata piracy

The movie industry vowed they would not make the same mistakes that the recording industry did in the early days of Napster, and perhaps they are avoiding some of them with respect to P2P networks. However, the lesson appears to have been learned only at a surface level. NPR ran a segment today on the pinaterias of LA. Disney and some other studios sued two small stores over their unlicensed use of movie characters. Two, out of the whole city worth of stores. The NPR reporter described the street filled with 'counterfeit' copies but for the one store which had been sued. Victor, the store owner, settled with them and agreed not to make any more. He has since contacted them about licensing the marks -- the only licensed pinatas available are small, Westernized ones -- and they have not responded. Instead of creating a new business opportunity, they are merely making a token effort at shutting these stores down. Some consistency in policy would be nice, for all involved.


Apple vs Creative vs Napster.

vs Yahoo?

More on Creative Vision.


Payola, but no one to pay.

Collaborative filtering for P2P based on reputation.

Yahoo launches blog ad network.

Slate on GoreTV.

Felten on Grokster 'win.'

Free HD download service.

Freedom to link.

On scholarly blogging.

Diebold and interoperability and "proprietary interests."

Health records network seen as costly. Maybe that's because they are planning it Soviet-style, top down?


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Real profits up on Rhapsody.

Chinese Google hit with infringement lawsuit.

Acronym soup of bad laws.



Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A simple concept to allow for legal remixes, by me. If I were a better coder, I'd write the darn thing already.

DVD format wars.

Gore's TV network debuts.

NYTimes on Clarke.

Collaborative filtering scheme for OSS.

More DVD format wars.

OS/X for Intel uses DRM.

NYTimes on Payola.

Web TV grows.


Shrink wrap licenses for books. My family walked out of a car sale the other day because they had a shrink-wrap clause: "I warrant that this car may have been damaged en route and repaired." The funny thing is that the lawsuit that caused all this was filed by a high-school friend's father.

No free VISTA after all.

Renting, not buying. Consumers still want to own their IP, but content controllers want to prevent them from doing so. In every case that I know of where formerly 'owned' IP has been moved to a rental model, it has failed due to lack of consumer interest. Witness the demise of just about every software services scheme ever, and the relative failure of the music subscription services.

Five UK 'pirates' refuse settlement. To my knowledge this has never happened in the US.

Satellite radio goes mainstream.

Slate on scrounging for free music.


WiFi crime.

Korean P2P controversy.

MPAA-sponsored BitTorrent in the works?

We don't export cars like we used to, but we sure are good at exporting bad laws.