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, January 14, 2006

hypebot: P2P Hits All Time High Despite Lawsuits
month to month comparisons of P2P use

Ubicomp | MetaFilter
Ubicomp has been discussed here a few times before (in fact a MeFite went on to write a book about it)...but with a flood of manufacturers racing to offer up their versions of the so-called digital home, is Weiser's vision moving closer to reality?

MiniStore in iTunes 6.0.2 comes with privacy concerns
Sounds like a nice feature, except for one thing: the license for iTunes 6.0.2 nowhere mentions that the software is sending information about your listening habits back to Apple. That's how the MiniStore comes up with clever recommendations.

Users overwhelmingly prefer on demand to online downloads
If the option is between spending US$1.99 on a commercial-less show, or sitting through that same show with ads for no additional cost, then the freebie option is the clear favorite, pulling in 62 percent of the vote.

In India, it's IKEA without the assembly |
"Whenever we think of doing something for the house, one of the things we always hope we can get our hands on are a few IKEA catalogs," says Arundhati Ray, a consultant who works with nongovernmental organizations in Calcutta. "It's shameless pirating," Ms. Ray adds, showing off an elegant wrought-iron chandelier she commissioned from a local artisan, based on an IKEA picture.

The Big Picture - Gigantic TVs, high-capacity DVDs, and hi-def video at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show. By Paul Boutin
The Gigabeat costs the same as an iPod—$300 for a 30-gigabyte model or $400 for 60 gigabytes. What makes it a bargain is the all-you-can-watch movie service. For $9.99 a month, you can download and watch as many titles as you want from Vongo.

Le : La science, c'est aussi de la culture
L'artillerie lourde contre la liberté des échanges risque de provoquer des dommages collatéraux dans d'autres secteurs, qui n'ont pas pris part au combat. [...] La production scientifique est un processus continu, jamais achevé, qui se construit sur des résultats ou des hypothèses déjà formulés, pour les confirmer, les compléter ou les réfuter. Il diffère en cela de la production artistique, où la diffusion d'une oeuvre se fait à son achèvement.

Somehow it sounds better in French. Anyway, the last two sentences here, roughly (very roughly...haven't really spoken in four years) translated, "Scientific production is a continual one, never achieved, which builds on results or hypotheses already formulated in order to confirm, complete, or refute them. It thus differs from artistic production, where the dissemination of a work completes it." While I think the distinction is largely correct in today's world, I'm not sure the is as much of a natural law as the phrasing makes out. Artistic efforts like the Animatrix or online DVD extras certainly inch towards "continual production," as do TV series, etc. Moreover, viewed as one episode in an argument, scientific production may be continual, but viewed one paper at a time, it is certainly fixed and in some sense is completed by its publication. In fact, just like movies/music/etc., papers can and are monetized to a very large degree by publishers, it just isn't the researchers profiting directly (some would say the starving creator part is similar to the music industry as well...). So the distinction seems a little arbitrary. I'm not sure this is the approach I'd use in promoting OA.

Memoirs of a Free Geisha - DVD pirates successfully plunder Academy Award screeners. By Xeni Jardin
But there's one big problem. Academy members and movie production workers may wring their hands over piracy in public, but backstage some of them are apparently file-swapping like tweens.

Wired News: Anonymity Won't Kill the Internet
And that's precisely where Kelly makes his mistake. The problem isn't anonymity; it's accountability. If someone isn't accountable, then knowing his name doesn't help.

Apple's iWeb Promises Blogs for All
The program is the newest member of the iLife suite of applications, which sells for $79. iWeb allows users to build simple sites containing photos, movies, podcasts — both the audio and video variety — and blogs.

Official: iPod owners are not thieves | The Register
A survey of US and UK music buyers reveals that although 25 per cent of people admit to downloading music from file-sharing services, only seven per cent of iPod owners do so. Proving that iPod users are either scrupulously honest or more paranoid they'll get sued by RIAA than owners of lesser music players.

Slashdot | Digital DJs Unaware of Copyright Law
Many DJs are still unwittingly breaking the law by playing unlicensed digital copies of tracks months after a new permit scheme began, the BBC has found. This includes legally-purchased downloads, which are normally licensed only for personal use, as well as copies of tracks from records or CDs.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies are supposed to protect digitized “content”, like movies and musical performances from being illicitly copied or used. DRM technology is sometimes described as security technology when it is really licensing technology –- something very different. In fact, DRM may decrease security and reliability.

Slashdot | Apple Responds to iTunes Spying Allegations
Apple discards the personal information that the iTunes Ministore transmits to Apple while you use iTunes.

Music labels could be in trouble over how they charge subscription services
Spitzer recently launched an investigation into price fixing in online music sales. As the investigation continues, some are calling (subscription required) for him to look into prices offered to the subscription services as well.

First simultaneous release movie opening tonight
With a tiny budget of US$1.6 million plus a wad of pocket lint, no professional actors, and a new and highly controversial delivery schedule, Bubble might look like just another straight-out-of-film-school project, destined for eternal irrelevance. But all the major movie studios are watching this release, and so are the national movie theater chains. [...]  I don't know about you, but substantially different Director's Cuts sounds like something I'd consider paying for more than once, rather than the current model, where you get the exact same thing each time you open your wallet, just in different formats.
This last part brings up the "continuous production" in media argument from yesterday. It could exist, just no one's doing it yet.

Apple trademark filing points to cellular offering
Recent trademark filings by Apple is leading to speculation about the iPod maker's plans regarding the cellular phone market.

Broadband coming (slowly) to US airplanes
Because of this lack of interest in the current service, the FCC wants to auction off the spectrum to allow for more innovative services, such as in-flight broadband.

Furdlog » Kristin Hersh: An Experiment in Sustainability
“It’s kind of an unpopular argument, that musicians shouldn’t make money,” says the Altadena resident, laughing. “But really, they shouldn’t.”
Joseph Henry once thought scientists shouldn't file patents. Edison laughed all the way to the bank.

Furdlog » Movie Industry Adopting Record Industry Pay Model
If it’s a bomb, the studio will be spared the ignoble task of cutting bonus checks on a money-losing dog.



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