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, September 27, 2005

MS and Intel back HD-DVD. Ars opines why.


RIAA's lawsuits not doing so well.

BT exploit.

P2P used to organize rally. SNIU.

MAP and Apple.

Towards a free-for-non-commercial-use future.

OA textbooks? That'll be the day.

Google videos itself a birthday present.

A spot-on Boyle article on the broadcast right in the FT.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Apple unable to set other prices due to poor coding?

Video remixing.

I don't know that calling for price discrimination is unfair. The whole point of market systems is that the system should be structured to avoid overly negative externalities to greed.

LimeWire moving to block-by-default filters. I wonder if they'll try to claim this is what they have been claiming is available for years: block-when-illicit filters?

Massive simultaneous HD distribution for Sorderberg's new movie.

Collaborative filtering!

BT gets $8.5m.

Nasty copyright notices.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Interesting new P2P app. SNIU

Competition for the monopolies.

Cingular jumps on music store bandwagon.

When the property metaphor goes too far. "Eminient domain applied to IP."

When more isn't better.

FCC under pressure to regulate blogs as political speech.

Skype security and privacy under eBay.

More Google Print commentary. Patry's take, part deux. Lessig's take.
Tangential: An EC report on digital publishing.

Internet changes power dynamic for smaller acts.

DRM bad.

Not sure this would pass the Grokster test, which is a shame.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

PressThink on positive externalities accruing back to their originators. "If we prize up-to-date information about petroleum markets, we might value it more—and pay a premium—if the news is exclusively available to paying customers; but do we value Nicholas D. Kristof’s column more if he’s an “exclusive?” We don’t. In fact, it’s probably the reverse."

RSF publishes dissident blogger handbook. That's my life, torn between RSF and MSF.

MashBoxx gets industry exec as new head. Its 'competitors' aren't doing as well. This may not be why open source was invented, but it sure does help. But is it just to Vanatu did WinMX go?

US tries to stop foreign 'piracy.'

Ars commentary on DRM, with some current events thrown in.

Curious little bit of history. Also an interesting mini-discussion on cryptomnesia, which points to the dangers of IP absolutism.

WoW disease spreads. Emergent behavior at its finest.

Google uses wisdom of crowds in more ways than one. I'm reading the book of the same name now, and it's interesting, but a little creepy in that I wrote my essay for a certain standardized test on almost exactly the same things, before reading the book itself.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Brewing Google Print controversy explodes. The response. Curious happenings. The EFF's curious metaphor. The EFF's (unsurprising) predictions.

More advergames.

Interesting use of BT.

If they're going to get rid of mandatory line sharing, they'd at least better do something like this to reduce the monopolistic activities.

RIAA can't sue the 13-year-old directly.

More on the scary 'broadcast right.'

Nice OS science tool.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Apple resists label price increases.

Together at last.

Yahoo to TV execs: monetize your unorphaned lost works. We need a term for those works which aren't 'orphaned,' in that they are claimed, but are nonetheless locked up. I guess it falls under the long tail syndrome.

Criticism of Skype sale.

GoogleFi. Confirmed.

TV adds web data-richness. Some day people will learn that information is not as valuable anymore, it's the filtering that matters. Haven't seen the show, though (not owning a TV), and thus there could be a good bit of filtering going on, which would make it quite useful.

P2P providers seek pact with RIAA. I seem to remember Napster 1.0 doing the same thing right before it was sued out of existence.

Hollywood funds $30m research lab. Felten's brilliant analysis.

Nice in-depth article on how the labels use BigChampagne data. Not that it changes much.

Good thing the Betamax test still stands. Very good thing.

More RIAA suit fighters. Causing changes?

New IP blog. via Wentworth

Broadcast right. Patry's commentary. I submitted this to Slashdot two days ago, but they didn't bite. Seems to be my fate these days....

Sprint Radio.

Unclaimed disbursements.

More on game economies.

Copyright in China.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Short term vs. long-term consequences of Google Press? It may be a brave new world, but hanging yourself isn't the answer.

Wireless meshes for emergency communications. SNIU

More jurisdictional issues see the light of common sense.

Is 'digital copyright' the same thing as traditional 'copyright'? I'd say "of course." But should it be?

Friday, September 16, 2005

FreeNet is converting to a darknet model. Not sure I like that idea, but we'll see how well they interconnect.

It has been quite some time since I last sent a status update to the announcement mailing list.

This is an exciting time for the project, we are essentially rewriting Freenet from the ground up, embracing that which has worked, and throwing out that which hasn't. Furthermore, we are fundamentally improving Freenet's security, functionality, and usability.

Version 0.7 of Freenet aims to create a scalable "darknet", where users only connect directly to other users they know and trust. The purpose of this change is to protect users who may be placed at risk simply by using the software, irrespective of what they are using it for.

In this new approach, only people you choose to connect to will know that you are running the software. Previous attempts at "dark" P2P networks, such as WASTE, have been limited to relatively small disconnected networks, allowing you to exchange information with a few of your friends, not beyond that.

The core innovation in Freenet 0.7 will be to allow a globally scalable darknet, capable of supporting millions of users, nobody has ever achieved anything like this before. This is made possible by the observation that human relationships tend to form small-world networks, a property that can be exploited to find short paths between any two people. The work is based on a talk given at DEFCON 13 in July by Oskar Sandberg and myself [1].

Other modifications include switching from TCP to UDP, which allows UDP hole punching along with faster transmission of messages between peers in the network. This will greatly simplify the task of getting a Freenet node up and running, our goal is that you run the software, and it "just works", with no mucking around with firewalls or complicated configuration files.

We have learned much over the past few years. One of those things is that it is difficult to simultaneously do experimental research, while at the same time deploying a working usable piece of software. As a result, 0.7 will in may ways be a simplification of Freenet, sticking more closely to that which we know works, and for which there is a strong mathematical basis, and leaving the more "far out" ideas to the academic community.

Having said that, from the user's perspective 0.7 will have significant new functionality. While previously Freenet only supported the insertion and retrieval of information, Freenet 0.7 will support new modes of usage including the real-time broadcast of messages. Applications of this range from real-time anonymous chat (perhaps through the IRC protocol) to RSS-feeds.

The work on all of this is well underway, with experimental code already being tested by a small group of volunteers (you can often find them in the #freenet-alphatest channel on We anticipate the public release of Freenet 0.7 before Christmas this year."

~Ian Clarke

"Moreover, Penn has recently launched the NetReg system -- which makes it easier to identify the identity of illegal downloaders, according to University Information Security Officer David Millar."

RIAA pretends it won Grokster flat out.

Finnish MP3 players still legal.

It all depends on how you calculate. But interesting nonetheless.

Swedish MP3 player maker refuses to pay levy.

Whither, privacy?

A bit player.

This is how legislation should be done. I've been opposed to the FCC's rulings against competition in the local loop, but as part of this overall package, I don't think they're too bad. Theoretically, of course, mandated LL competition is an ugly kludge, but competition between providers doesn't really seem so practical at this point (despite the agency's attempts to ram through power line networking), and it is something of a useful solution to provide competition in what used to be considered natural monopolies (instead of the natural duopolies like we have now).

iTunes video podcasting.

Lego welcomes hacks.

P2P trend data. Felten's commentary.

More uses for an open data widget.

Huge fortune article on the costs of patents to academic innovation.

OECD report on digital scientific publishing. via Lessig

Contributory infringement is about as destructive a concept as they come.

Patent bill moving along, but without perhaps its most important provision.

No more unfunded mandates for digital distribution of blockbusters?

Breathless futurizing on IPTV.

Social networking, technologically-enabled.

Patry on Google Print.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New browser for blogging. Integrated hub.

Wired editorial on the utility of open media in the face of a literal loss of utilities.

TiVo glitch foreshadows future.

Boyle on the public domain.

An amusing Patry post.

Unobtrusive DRM attempted.


Monday, September 12, 2005

The DP picks up the NetReg story.

Crude tools for measuring blog activity.

The rule-of-law argument is getting old in these cases. To make a gross over-comparison, Jane Fonda was not morally obligated to follow the laws in Vietnam which required her to turn over an American soldier for passing her a message. Journalism is a profession and, as such, has a code of ethics. Most journalists I know would not have done this, but most people I know would not have understood why. Indeed, most still wonder why the NYTimes reporter is in jail in the Novak case.

Tracking media exposure.

Ars dissects the iPod nano.

Guradian slams the iphone.

Waiting for the arguments about how this will enable massive piracy and must be shut down.

Self-repairing spacecraft uses ant logic. BT uses an ant metaphor as well. SNIU.

More efficient distributed message sharing. Should help P2P searches, and (I think..have to read more) anonymous P2P speeds.

S. Korean RIAA starts with bigger numbers.

Taiwan wants reconciliation on P2P.

Radio broadcast flag.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Will this help or hurt sales?

More on government 'competing with the private sector.'

Kazaa ruling details.

RaVio. More.

Another terrible lede.

Geotorrents. SNIU.

And then there were two.... Some news on the first one.

A nice summary of my feelings about the Apple phone.

The press.

Doctors need to start repositioning themselves as analyzers, not exclusive controllers of information right now.

Copyright analysis of Google's non-infringement.

Initial comments on SHVERA.


It's a brilliant plan. Denied access for enforcement purposes, and RIAA and MPAA will now access the Internet2 for 'research.'

A stark contrast.

iTMS numbers.

An unrelated tidbit. I normally stick to topic pretty well, but I came across this and just had to share. We were looking at doing RNAi in mice (brain weight 0.4g), and calculated out that it would cost us $145 per mouse, per day. For the relatively small experiment we were planning (week treatment, 30 mice), that comes to about $30,000. A human brain weighs about 1500g, I can't imagine the delivery system would be as efficient (can't do daily injections into human brains), and the treatment lengths would be effectively infinite (RNAi doesn't shut off genes, it just interferes with their expression temporarily). So we're talking many millions of dollars, just for the RNA to run the treatments with. Take any breathless futurizing you see in medicine with a very large grain of salt. But I digress....

Times covers open standards.

BBC embodies brilliant profiting from openness.

First non-PC maker moves into HTPC market. Maybe an experienced experience-integrator will get it right?

Yay Wolfram.

Progress. Especially for those of us who lack a TV by choice.

The FCC is still the FCC....

FEMA demands use of IE to file Katrina claims. Parallels the recent Copyright Office attempt to do the same thing. [sarcasm]Maybe, in a traditional theme for government these days, they are afraid that by supporting Firefox they are competing with the private sector?[/sarcasm]

CA joins IBM in 'patent commons.' My concept of the future of IP is looking pretty good right now. Commercial use costs dearly, but IP is given away for personal use for 'viral marketing' and brand cachet purposes.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Like the HAM-nets of old (and today), distributed communications are good during a disaster.

Kazaa decision...Grokster redux. The judge endorses vaporware filtering.

iPod phone comes along. 100-song limit, no untethered downloads. What's the point? The nano is cool, though.

More format wars.

Like SETI@home, but for people-hours.

NerdTV airs, open formats, CC-licensed.

OpenWengo, open Skype alternative. Can't tell if it's SNIU or not.

Vigilante justice, again.

"'If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed,' says Peter Lee, an executive at Disney."

Stiglitz, via Lessig.

WalMart wants access to orphans. This helps reveal the insidious part of IP, in that under the guise of stimulating the economy it encourages monopolies instead of markets, and the monopolists use the rhetoric of markets to destroy them.

Santangelo case. Surprisingly un-rantish for P2PNews.


Patry on Grokster aftershocks.

More Patry.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Catching up on links

NYT on counterfeits in China.

iPod phone, finally? NapsterToGo making strides also.

DVD Jon does it again. Impressive.

Creative patents the ground under Apple's feet.

Misconceptions about CC still abound. The biggest criticism, here and elsewhere, seems to be that people can't profit from it, but there is a CC Non-Commercial license that still allows commercial deals, and this has long been what I think the future of copyright will look like: give it away for the cachet, and then ink deals with advertisers and the like.

More digial home convergence.

New SatRadio allows recording.

Tipping point? Also, haven't heard anything about HAMs in the aftermath of Katrina, and they're usually at the forefront of such things. Strange.

A crying shame.

Set-top IPTV.

BT -> eDonkey

EFF DRM guide.

Lessig: public domain dead in 35 years. Kind of a meaningless claim. It's clear that there will be no public domain for new works for a very very long time (effectively, barring greater wisdom of future Courts, infinitely). But the stuff that's already there ain't going anywhere.

Skype rival.

Scariest patent of the year.

Australia Kazaa ruling to come Monday. Does anyone still use Kazaa? The courts take years, people change overnight. Good luck folks.

Details on Macrovisions much-touted anti-P2P system. More of the same.

P2P TV streaming. [edit: not SNIU]

China source of pay TV rips?

Korean P2P service shut down.

A sarcastic look at TrustyFiles.

Fingerprinting. For real this time?

Citizen journalism no threat to suburb papers.

Shrink-wrap licenses were one of my early 'they're not getting this right at all' moments.

RIAA lawyer interview.

"Maximizing every short-term advantage may not be the best long-term strategy."

Fisher: Google book-scanning is fair use.

JISC-SURF 5-part analyses on copyright. via OANews

MS delaying balanced report on DRM.

VHS dead.

More wonderful Patry.

Copyright Office publishes comments on pre-registration for categories of works where pre-release infringement poses a problem.

Science world unlikely to accept DRM.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

From Penn's security quiz:

Which of these is NOT a reliable method to help secure your computer?
Installing a firewall
Using complex, strong passwords
Keeping your virus protection and operating system patches up to date
* Only file sharing with people you know and trust

What is often misunderstood by users of free peer-to-peer filesharing applications is that many of these services have weak or nonexistent security and privacy controls. They often expose their users to adware, spyware, and other nuisance applications that hoard a computer’s processing power and can prove extremely difficult to remove. Even the basic filesharing built into your operating system can be tricky to set up. If you do not clearly understand how to set file and directory permissions for the material you want to share, or how to manage the users to whom you will be granting access to your system, you may want to turn off filesharing altogether to protect your computer against compromise.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Penn starts tracking its students

Penn is now tracking students by their computer. Basically, every
network card has a unique ID called a MAC address. When they connect
you in to the network, they send you to
, where you type in your PennKey and password and it links this to your
MAC address. In other words, for a network card to access Penn's
network, it has to be associated with a single person's name. According
to the ITA I talked to, the official reason is to find out whose
computer is infected with a virus to more easily get them fixed, but the
real reason is to be able to respond to RIAA lawsuits. This would seem
to make sense to me, as the RIAA can't have been happy with the dropping
of the recent Penn filesharing cases, and this would seem to solve the
problem of the past few lawsuits--that the IP couldn't be traced to an
individual computer.
Not that I care, given my lack of illicit activity, but this would seem
to be bad news for most students.