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, March 25, 2006

Britannica Comes Out Swinging at Nature - Lifestyle News - Designtechnica
Encyclopedia Britannica has quietly posted a twenty page rebuttal (PDF) on its corporate site which shreds a December 2005 study conducted by the science journal Nature. In this study, Nature claimed their research comparing Britannica and volunteer run online encyclopedia Wikipedia had found “that Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries" and that "the difference in accuracy was not particularly great".

ScienceDaily: Launch Of New Peer-to-peer Technology For Television
The new peer-to-peer Tribler system, based on open-source software, will be launched in the course of this workshop.

Ajaxian » An Ajax App Each Week
But ajaxWrite is just the start. We have a library of applications we have been working on to replace most of the standard PC software titles. Every week we will launch a new sophisticated program on Wednesday at 12:00 PST on These programs will push the boundaries of what people believe is possible today with web-delivered software.

Sean Paul, Reggae King, Is Somewhat Hobbled, Not Humbled - New York Times
More likable than lovable, Sean Paul knows that if he wants fans to come next time, he'll have to keep making hits.
The industry could learn a thing or two there....

Wired News: Satellite Radio Rocks Cell Phones
Grass-roots software and web developers have found ways to tap into XM Satellite Radio Holdings' and Sirius Satellite Radio's websites to stream music channels onto Windows-powered smartphones and other devices. Most have given their work away for free to other fans since late last year -- running into conflict with the wireless business strategies of the satellite radio providers. "I'm not always near a PC, but I already have a cell phone," said David Bressler, who wrote a piece of software to listen to Sirius in his office, which blocks satellite radio signals.

Q&A: Laptopping with Francis Preve
As the Napster effect cascades outwards, laying waste to the traditional music industry, the one thing that does remain is live performance. A lot of musicians have turned to making their money through live performance.

Wired News: Kong Tests Download-to-Own Model
Universal Pictures has launched a new service that will sell digital downloads of movies such as King Kong along with a DVD copy, tapping into the online video market now dominated by Apple Computer's iTunes.
Too little, too late?  Maybe not for the movie industry, though.

Wired 14.04: You Play World of Warcraft? You're Hired!
Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about.
Why research is a good thing in undergrad curricula.

Wired News: Apple: French Law Is 'Piracy'
"The French implementation of the EU Copyright Directive will result in state-sponsored piracy," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers."

Wired News: How France Is Saving Civilization
French lawmakers want to protect the consumer from one or two companies holding the keys to all of its culture, just as Microsoft holds the keys to today's desktop computers.
Just because it's interoperable doesn't mean that content isn't locked down in ways that control creative reuse.

Classical, Now Without the 300-Year Delay - New York Times
The current intention is for each orchestra to offer, on average, four concerts a season for digital downloading, and one of the four would also be released on CD. The project reflects a seismic shift in the way music is being discovered, distributed and heard.
Probably few of them are grooving to Chopin or Brahms, but the 1.4 million downloads of free Beethoven symphonies offered by BBC Radio 3 last June proved that audiences for classical music might be larger than anyone thought.
A prime attraction of download music stores is the potential purchaser's ability to listen to free excerpts before buying. In the rock arena, this practice has reportedly hurt sales in traditional retail outlets. But in the classical market, more concerned with sound quality, some labels are finding the opposite. "New releases on CD do better when there's also availability on digital music services."

With Broadband, the PC's Siren Call Is Tough to Resist - New York Times
By now that has shot up to 30½ hours — fully an hour a day. (It's a wonder that people still also have time to watch the vast quantity of television they do. When do they wash the floor? Practice piano? Do laundry?)

Wary of a New Web Idea That Rings Old - New York Times
"The current things people are doing with Google Maps are cute but they don't add value," said Peter Rip, managing director of Leapfrog Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif.
So, so incredibly wrongheaded.  I'm speechless.

Lawsuit filed to defend World of Warcraft online strategy guide from DMCA
By claiming that mere publication of a how-to book about its game infringes its copyright, Blizzard has interpreted its intellectual property rights in a way that would prohibit legitimate commentary that is protected by the First Amendment.

Slashdot | Germany Accepts Strict Piracy Law
Germans risk two years in prison if they illegally download films and music for private use under a new law agreed yesterday.
Bad news.

Slashdot | FCC Backs a Tiered Internet
FCC Chief Kevin Martin yesterday gave his support to AT&T and other telcos who want to be able to limit bandwidth to sites like Google, unless those sites pay extortion fees. Martin made it clear in a speech yesterday that he supports such a a "tiered" Internet.
Worse news.

Slashdot | How Palm's Treo Got Boost From BlackBerry Lawsuit
Palm ramped up its marketing campaign for its Treo smartphone while rival Research in Motion was embroiled in a patent fight, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Sad news.

Slashdot | Movie Theaters Aim for Live 3D Sports
Movie theater operators plan to be screening live 3D sports events by 2007 in a bid to lure sports fans away from their home theater systems and bolster sagging mid-week ticket sales.

Lawrence Lessig
It would be implemented to allow individuals to assert “fair use,” and unlock DRM’d content, with a tag to trace misuse.
DRM that tracks fair use.

egfeed: Hamachi - Secure Mediated Peer To Peer
With Hamachi you can organize two or more computers with an Internet connection into their own virtual network for direct secure communication.

Furdlog » LATimes on the Pending Patenting Fight
But the tech industry and its allies face powerful opponents on Capitol Hill, led by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Like high-tech firms, drug makers rely on innovation and intellectual property to generate profits. But tech products frequently involve dozens, if not hundreds, of patented parts and processes. The tech world is a thicket of patents, and companies frequently find themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits by other inventors. Patents in the pharmaceutical world are more straightforward, and big drug makers typically are plaintiffs, not defendants, in patent suits.
This is changing with ANDAs and more aggressive big generic pharma like Israel's Teva and India's Dr. Reddy.

Furdlog » Music, Promotion and the Internet
All Arctic Monkeys did was post some demos on their website and make them available for free download. By the time the band members signed a deal with the English indie label Domino last year, their audience was already huge. ‘’Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not,” released in the UK in January, broke a record for first-week sales in Britain.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wired News:
Digital cinema developers descended here last week to convince theater owners that the future of their industry has finally arrived. But, after years of failed promises, newfangled confections like dark-chocolate Raisinets appeared to get a better hearing (two thumbs up.)

Wired News:
"The major record companies have been neglecting this aspect of music for the better part of 90 years," said David Seubert, director of the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.
Why orphan works are such a problem.

Wired News:
Apple normally locks developers out of the iPod, but perhaps it will license Blomberg's software now that it's been sued for contributing to hearing loss on a large scale. It's unclear whether Apple might be found liable, but the iPod is one of the loudest portable music players around, with a high output of 30 mW per channel.
This one's a feature, not a bug.

Wired 14.03: START
Still, some of your big clients say they won't use your new TiVo ratings until you show ad-skipping. We're building the tools so they can actually look at the audience and see who skipped the commercials. That will come out in the second quarter of 2006.

French parliament passes DRM bill. Will Apple bolt?
Most notably, the bill would force Apple to open up its FairPlay DRM system so that consumers would be able to play music purchased from iTMS on the device of their choosing. Obviously, the bill would not just apply to Apple: Sony and others using proprietary DRM schemes would have to offer the same level of interoperability.

Will open WiFi get you sued by the RIAA?
But in general, the risks to your own network and computer are small, and most users won't be looking to hack into your files anyway. Leaving the network open is a way of being a good neighbor to others in need of a quick connection. Will that trust periodically be abused? Yes it will. Will you be liable when it happens? No.

Toshiba delays release of HD DVD players, Netflix jumps the gun
The reason for the delay in getting the movies out was due to members of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) being unable to agree on a final specification for copy protection. This has been an issue for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, as content producers remember how easily the CSS encryption scheme for DVD movies was cracked, and are anxious to avoid repeating that scenario.

Slashdot | Open Source R&D Tax Credit?
The Center for American Progress is proposing an R&D tax credit for open source development.
Here's a better idea.  Give a major tax break to those who contribute content into the public domain or CreativeCommons domain, perhaps basing the value of the tax break on the number of times downloaded or some other metric.  It's not a true free-market solution, and not without implementation difficulties, but it would go a long way towards solving the orphan works problem.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with the traditional orphan works solutions--mandatory renewal at 50 years or so.

Slashdot | CATO Institute Releases Paper Criticizing DMCA
The DMCA is anti-competitive. It gives copyright holders--and the technology companies that distribute their content--the legal power to create closed technology platforms and exclude competitors from interoperating with them. Worst of all, DRM technologies are clumsy and ineffective; they inconvenience legitimate users but do little to stop pirates.'

Product placement in the DVR era : Page 1
The scene does not simply mock the rise of product placements on television; it is a product placement.

Slashdot | Microsoft To Construct iPod/DS/PSP Killer
According to The Mercury News Microsoft is developing a PSP/DS/GBA/iPod-killer.
That's a lot of best-in-class devices to try to slaughter.

Furdlog » Content Delivery: Who Pays?
Sirius Satellite Radio has reached agreements with three major recording companies to settle disputes over a portable music player that allows users to store digital copies of music, a Sirius spokesman said Monday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Furdlog » Reframing Entertainment Distribution
In an era where there are so many homogenized films trying to reach every quadrant of the audience, we can help a great little movie find as big an audience as a big mediocre one.

The Patry Copyright Blog: Ready to Die or At Least Pay $4 Million
A jury in Nashville awarded Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records $4.2 million in damages for including an unauthorized sample from the Ohio Players' "Singing in the Morning" on the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Ready to Die."


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Listening Post
Despite an ongoing review of Canuck copyright law, the government is still trying to figure out what its position vis a vis downloading will be; how close it will be to the American DCMA, or how far. CRIA is the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA and while it's fought hard against illegal music traders, it's not been able to be quite the vengeful presence that the RIAA is.

Google cleared in cache copyright case, forced to hand over e-mail in another
A Federal Judge has ruled (subscription required) that Google's archiving of Usenet posts does not constitute copyright infringement, even if the posts themselves contain infringing material.
Sane application of the Grokster principle?
Format Wars:
Warner announces HD DVD launch date, titles
That puts HD DVD movies a few dollars below the expected Blu-ray prices of up to $35, though the lower price point probably shouldn't surprise us. It's comparable to what the first old-skool DVD movies cost back in 1997, and like anything else that doesn't actually get better with age, the prices should come down a bit over the years.
The first two HD DVD players should hit the stores by April.
Blu-ray discs too expensive to make?
CEO Martin Greenwald is on record as saying that the cost of releasing movies on Blu-ray is going to be prohibitively expensive.
Disney considering HD DVD support, sees Blu-ray as eventual winner
Now it appears as though a Blu-ray backer may opt for a bit of neutrality as well.
New optical disc standard aims to provide high-definition at low cost
The device is an optical drive and media with a new format, titled Versatile Multilayer Disc (VMD). VMD drives use the same red lasers that power traditional CD and DVD drives, but with a difference: many more layers are embedded into the disc, dramatically increasing its storage capacity.

/Format Wars

Democrats want everyone to have broadband within five years
The Democratic party is preparing its platform for the fall elections, and one of the planks involves our much-beloved broadband. According to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House Minority Leader, the US is lagging behind other industrialized nations when it comes to the reach of broadband, and the Democrats are "guaranteeing" that broadband will be universally available within five years. Ensuring that there's a chicken in every pot and a broadband modem near every PC will help spur economic development, according to the Democrats.

VoIP encryption comes to the masses
Philip Zimmerman, creator of the popular Pretty Good Privacy e-mail encryption scheme, has come up with a application that aims to provide a similar level of protection for VoIP phone calls. Called Zfone and available as a beta for Mac OS X and Linux only (a Windows version is in the works for April), the application handles encryption and decryption of VoIP calls without the need for a central server for authentication or storing keys.
A good foundation for the DarkNet?

Congress wants to know if your iPod is making you deaf
Do portable music players put listeners at special risk for hearing loss? That's what Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) recently asked the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (part of the National Institutes of Health). Markey is concerned about "the risk of possible hearing loss through overuse or misuse of these devices over time." The danger seems to be a real one—after all, portable players like the iPod can pump out more than 100 dB—and it's not clear that children, especially, understand the risks.
Does Congress really need to be meddling in this one?

Sony decides against downsampling on analog HDTV
With the imminent war over which format will be the successor to the much-loved DVD about to get underway, Sony is throwing a bone to owners of some older HDTVs. At a technical briefing last week, Sony said that it will not use the Image Constraint Token to downsample the video output on analog HDTVs.
Business sense prevails over DRM paranoia.

Google gets into book sales
If a publisher chooses to enable online sales, those using Google Book Search will be presented with the option to purchase online access to the book in its entirety. Once access is purchased, users will be able to read the book via their web browser while signed into their Google account; no downloading or copying will be permitted. Publishers would also be able to set the price for each book.

Class action lawsuit filed against music industry
For instance, the suit claims that the music labels fought tooth and nail against the arrival of online music stores, and that they did so by launching their own poorly-conceived (on purpose) online ventures.

NBC Universal chief calls for 'Net-savvy TV pitches
"What it really means is producers can no longer just come in with a TV show," Mr. Zucker told TelevisionWeek. "It has to have an online component, a sell-through component and a wireless component. It's the way we're trying to do business on the content side, giving the consumer ways to watch their show however they want to watch it."

French legislation might chase iTMS out of the country
That last provision could result in Apple abandoning the French version of the iTunes Music Store.

IP watchdog: Work with us, China!
Did you know that the US government has an official international intellectual property rights enforcement coordinator? His name is Chris Israel.
As of this moment, I withdraw my unequivocal support for Israel....  I jest, surely.

Slashdot | Canadian Record Industry Disputes Own P2P Claims
Less than one-third of the music on downloaders' computers, that P2P users frequently try music on P2P services before they buy, that the largest P2P downloader demographic is also the largest music buying demographic, and that reduced purchasing has little to do with the availability of music on P2P services.
Amazing they would admit this at all, even in a little-publicized study.

Slashdot | Amazon's New Storage Service
Amazon announced their Simple Storage Service (S3) allowing users to store unlimited amounts of data at $0.15 per GB paid monthly.
More DarkNet tools....

IT News Online > N. America - Internet - AOL, Warner Bros. Launch In2TV Broadband Television Network
AOL and Warner Bros. have launched In2TV, the first broadband television network, on The network is said to offer the largest collection of free on-demand TV shows on the Web, along with interactive features and viral videos that enable audiences to experience and interact with television programming in an entirely new way.

Slyck News - Is the Physical CD Still A Viable Market?
It doesn’t take a PhD in marketing and socio-economics to realize the physical CD market is in serious decline.

Slashdot | UK Demands Sourcecode for Strike Fighters
Lord Drayson, minister for defense procurement, told the The Daily Telegraph that the planes were useless without control of the software as they could effectively be "switched off" by the Americans without warning.
How long until this principle is applied to DRM and the like in the consumer sphere?  DRM is about control, not piracy.

Slashdot | Info on Intel's Viiv DRM
Viiv won't be testing to see if the content being played is pirated from networks such as BitTorrent.
But it could.... DRM is about control, not...oh, already said that.

Slashdot | iTunes Use Surges Past QuickTime, RealPlayer
People are tuning in over twice as long with iTunes than with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. As broadband penetration increases we are spending more time on our computers.

Apple Adjusts Price Of iTMS Movie Download To $9.99 :: iPod Hacks :: The Latest and Greatest News and Info for Your iPod
We reported yesterday that the first full length movie showed up for download on the iTunes Music Store for $1.99. As it turns out, that movie may have been posted prematurely. As MacRumors reports, shortly after it went online, the movie disappeared from the iTMS and has since reappeared, but at a price of $9.99.

Slashdot | New Tool Tracks Online Media Consumption
Technology and market research company BigChampagne is introducing a measurement tool called BCDash to let media companies quickly track how people -- legally or illegally -- use their products online. BigChampagne said BCDash will bring together data from AOL, Yahoo Music, iTunes, and Wal-Mart, along with estimates of illegal file sharing activity for specific titles. It's meant as a marketing tool.
Gee, using P2P data for marketing.  Surprised someone in academia didn't address that in a far more sophisticated manner years ago.
All sarcasm aside, though, BigChampagne does pretty good work as best I can tell, and this is a step in the right direction.

Publish to the People Moves Forward. Copyfight: the politics of IP
he project has grown its own Web site ( so that the original Blogspot log can be used to discuss how the project is going, in best blog-introspective tradition. The novel itself is also taking shape, with Chapter 1 appearing a couple days ago.

Move Creative for Great Justice!. Copyfight: the politics of IP
Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain has createded Bound by Law?, a comic book on copyright and creativity specifically as it applies to documentary film.


An introduction to IPTV : Page 1
In this primer, we'll explain how IPTV works and what the future holds for the technology.

Federal government supports "Buy It Now" patent
The Office of the Solicitor General of the United States has filed a brief with the Supreme Court, taking the side of MercExchange.
Business methods patents are miserable.

Slashdot | Bill Could Restrict Freedom of the Press
An aide to the bill's author assures us it's not aimed at reporters, but the language is ambiguous at best.

Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A. Author/Speaker/Consultant
Oyster is a java-based system, which assists researchers in managing, searching and sharing ontology metadata in a peer-to-peer network.

Wal-Mart and the Shanghai Pirates - Hollywood's newest business model? By Edward Jay Epstein
The success of the video pirates demonstrates the economic principal that the demand for entertainment is exquisitely elastic: DVDs priced at $15—the official, nonpirated retail price—hardly sell in China; DVDs priced at $1.25 a copy (or lower on the street) sell an estimated 1.3 billion copies per year.
Well, no, it demonstrates that perfect substitutes are perfectly substitutable.  Were they doing a longitudinal study of price changes, then they could conclude that the demand is elastic.

TechCrunch » eJamming - Distributed Jamming
which launched v.1.0 today, allows musicians located anywhere to get
together for jam sessions. Your drummer’s in New York, lead guitar is
in India, your bass player is somewhere else, and you’re on keyboard.
No problem. eJamming lets you jam anyway. And you can talk to the other
musicians via a VOIP feature.

More lowered barriers to music production. - Profs to challenge copyright regulation
They are making their case now because law requires that anyone seeking exemptions from such copyright laws do so during a designated period every three years.
I don't have much hope for these, given past "rule-making periods'" lack of results.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Dick Polman (the chief political correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer) will be speaking today about journalism in the Internet age.

"He's a really interesting guy and a fun speaker (and very nice) and I really recommend you stop by if you're at all interested in the relationship between print journalism and blogs."

Who: Dick Polman, Inquirer Political Correspondent
When: Today (Monday) at NOON
Where: Kelly Writer's House (right across from 1920 commons), The University of Pennsylvania


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wired News:
The bad news is digital-rights management technologies will probably make your homebrew PVR obsolete faster than you can say "Super Bowl Sunday." - TiVo to Allow Verizon Customers To Program DVRs Via Cellphones
Today, the company will announce a deal with Verizon Wireless that turns an everyday device -- the cellphone -- into a novel remote control for TiVo recorders.

Pope Benedict to Receive Nasty Letter from RIAA?. Copyfight: the politics of IP
As the blogger notes, it's unlikely that these tracks were individually paid for, as the RIAA would have us do. We can barely wait until the Cartel's jihad reaches the Holy See.

Lawrence Lessig
Here’s the text of a letter I’ve sent to Congresswoman Lofgren and Congressman Boucher — the two key leaders on all things good re copyright in Congress — about the Copyright Office’s Orphan Works Report. No one will like me for this letter.
This rule means that the copy-right owner bears some burden (the burden of maintaining accessibility) as a condition of getting the full benefits of copyright law's protection.
I would suggest you modify the term that triggers an obligation on the copyright owner from 50 years to 14 years.

TechCrunch » Livelocker Social Bookmarks and Ratings For Rich Media
The content itself is hosted on other sites and your own ‘locker’ and Livelocker itself only stores the link to the content. They have built it like this on purpose so that they can palm off copyright responsibility to the site holders while at the same time providing a community to find and share the latest videos and rich media.
Such a shame to see promising young non-infringing businesses alter their course due to the threat of RIAA lawsuits.

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
. We've now outsold the first Galactic Civilizations in North America in the first 10 days. Last week we were apparently the #1 PC game at Walmart. Naturally, some peple have taken the conclusion that because we don't have copy protection on our game, that we invite piracy. That is not the case, we simply think there are other ways to stop piracy than CD checks, strict DRM, etc.

The Vendetta Behind 'V for Vendetta' - New York Times
To him, the movie adaptation of "V for Vendetta," which opens on Friday, is not the biggest platform yet for his ideas: it is further proof that Hollywood should be avoided at all costs.

Preserving Our Rights in the Mashosphere
It's unlikely that an all-out copyright war will ensue over IP in mashup land, but rights issues are bound to get sticky sometime soon. Right now, it seems that big business is still catching up to the tightly-knit community of web innovators. It took several years for the music industry to build a coherent strategy against sampling and remixing. But once the signal fires were set alight, they never stopped burning.

Wired News:
I am weaning myself from the [copyright/DRMed media] addiction: I don't watch television (at all -- no cable, never will) and use my Netflix account less and less. Sure it's extreme, but I use the time to read with my daughters, take walks with my wife and think on life a bit.
Well, that's one approach to DRM.  For the record, I don't have a TV either, and likely never will, but not as a protest against DRM....

As Internet TV Aims at Niche Audiences, the Slivercast Is Born - New York Times
Perhaps more interesting — and, arguably, more important — are the thousands of producers whose programming would never make it into prime time but who have very dedicated small audiences. It's a phenomenon that could be called slivercasting.

Anonymous Source Is Not the Same as Open Source - New York Times
Once upon a time, Encyclopaedia Britannica recruited Einstein, Freud, Curie, Mencken and even Houdini as contributors. The names helped the encyclopedia bolster its credibility. Wikipedia, by contrast, provides almost no clues for the typical article by which reliability can be appraised.
Err, but Britannica doesn't do that any more, and now you trust that it comes from Britannica, not the individual authors.  I'm not the biggest fan of Wikipedia's supposed infalliability, but this article misses the point completely.

A Blog Writes the Obituary of TV - New York Times
Does this anecdote — that an unpopular cable news show and a wildly popular Web site draw similarly sized audiences — prove that the Internet is upending the economics of the television business? It does for Prince Campbell, a former media executive who runs the Chartreuse (BETA) blog.

Slashdot | Digital Cinema Not Quite There Yet
A Reuters article explains how, in some ways, the digital future of movie theatres isn't quite here yet. Despite the push for new technology in the projection booth, theaters have been slow to adopt the new and expensive gear.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Wired News:
The bad news is digital-rights management technologies will probably make your homebrew PVR obsolete faster than you can say "Super Bowl Sunday." - TiVo to Allow Verizon Customers To Program DVRs Via Cellphones
Today, the company will announce a deal with Verizon Wireless that turns an everyday device -- the cellphone -- into a novel remote control for TiVo recorders.

Pope Benedict to Receive Nasty Letter from RIAA?. Copyfight: the politics of IP
As the blogger notes, it's unlikely that these tracks were individually paid for, as the RIAA would have us do. We can barely wait until the Cartel's jihad reaches the Holy See.

Lawrence Lessig
Here’s the text of a letter I’ve sent to Congresswoman Lofgren and Congressman Boucher — the two key leaders on all things good re copyright in Congress — about the Copyright Office’s Orphan Works Report. No one will like me for this letter.
This rule means that the copy-right owner bears some burden (the burden of maintaining accessibility) as a condition of getting the full benefits of copyright law's protection.
I would suggest you modify the term that triggers an obligation on the copyright owner from 50 years to 14 years.


Informaticopia: Access-management: Athens -> Shibboleth
It could potentially provide them whith a much easier process to access full text journal articles & bibliographic databases, video and audio files, research data sets and a host of research materials. The cry of "single sign on" is I believe one of the factors which wil increase the uptake of resources by those resistant to the use of some digital technologies.
I have an idea for easier access. It's called open access.  It's a proven, robust "technology" which will allow more than just a small slice of interested parties access.  Happily, it's not my idea and substantial progress has been made in the biomedical world, at least.
On a less rantish note, it's interesting they perceive a lack of use as the problem.  At least in the labs I've worked in, no one reads paper journals any more.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Open Access News
DRM systems should be mechanisms for reinforcing existing legal constraints on behavior (arising from copyright law or by reasonable contract), not as mechanisms for creating new legal constraints.

Open Access News
open access to scientific knowledge in sharp relief by publishing a guide to setting up a cheap, safe, mobile abortion clinic for use in places where abortion has been criminalized....Like other principles of free expression, open access to scientific knowledge often seems absurdly removed from our lives. Molly shows just how tangible such knowledge can be.

The Patry Copyright Blog: La la and Section 109
La la can't, however, stop folks from receiving a CD, making a copy of it and then trading it again. That, in fact, is how about 30 percent of consumers get their music these days, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm in Port Washington, N.Y.
Twice as many consumers get music from CD ripping as from P2P?  A big maybe, but even so I'm betting the numbers of songs traded over P2P dwarfs the number obtained through sharing/ripping.

Entertainment Tonight, and Tomorrow: The Media Industry's New Channels, New Content, New CEOs - Knowledge@Wharton
Attention there has centered on music, but "digital downloads don't differentiate between audio and video," Berg says.
I'd say the biggest difference is that consumers care about video quality much more than audio quality.  Everyone wants an HDTV and the discs to feed it content.  SACD?  Nah.
"There's been too much focus on sticks instead of carrots," Fader says.

It's semi-official: Mozilla makes money
If Mozilla really is capable of generating gross revenues anywhere near US$72 million, it shows that the model is working.
Another example of how open content can work.

iTunes unveils "Multi-Pass" purchase option
Multi-Pass has been unveiled alongside the availability of two new offerings from Comedy Central: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. While individual episodes are still priced at $1.99, users now have the option of buying a 16-episode pack for $9.99, which translates to roughly 62 cents per show.

Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » RIAA Says Future DRM Might “Threaten Critical Infrastructure and Potentially Endanger Lives”
And here’s the really amazing part. In order to protect their ability to deploy this dangerous DRM, they want the Copyright Office to withhold from users permission to uninstall DRM software that actually does threaten critical infrastructure and endanger lives.

Who Owns the Cow When We Give Away the Milk for Free? Fair Use and the Protection of Web-Posted Materials, by STUDENT NOTE

3 Buffalo Intellectual Property Law J. 46 (Fall 2005)

Music Composition, Sound Recordings and Digital Sampling in the 21st Century: A Legislative and Legal Framework to Balance Competing Interests, by Beck, Jeremy

13 UCLA Entertainment L. Rev. 1 (Fall 2005)


Thursday, March 02, 2006

free as in beer! | MetaFilter's Live Music Archive makes available in loseless format the work of hundreds of tape-friendly musicians, including the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra (8 shows), northwest favorites the Decemberists (18 shows), and, of course, Ween (71 shows! push those little daisies!). And let's not talk about crappy jam bands.

TechCrunch » Super-Stealth Ether to Launch Tonight
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Sellers can also sell any type of digital content through Ether as well.

Listening Post
My old pal Chris Rolls, author of's 'Great Albums' column, has launched a companion podcast that's a cut above some of the other music podcasts I've heard. I credit Rolls' encyclopedic knowledge of popular music, soothing voice, and cast of sidekicks that are astoundingly knowledgeable about hip hop (if you've ever wondered which rapper used to drive a cab in Philly, just listen to their Wu-Tang podcast).

Wired 14.03: START
Software like DVDFab Decrypter ( removes a DVD's copy protection. Remember, this is the illegal part, which is why DVD decrypting software is always a moving target.

News Corporation to Tap Not Just Its Film Vaults, but Art From the Street - New York Times
In what is the boldest venture yet by an established media company to insinuate itself into millions of cellphones, the News Corporation has created a mobile entertainment store called Mobizzo and a production studio to focus exclusively on developing cellphone entertainment in much the same way that 20th Century Fox creates movies and television.

He Helped Build the iPod; Now He Has Built a Rival - New York Times
Samsung executives said they had engaged Mr. Mercer and Iventor to design a user interface for the Z5 because they were hoping to offer an ease of use that matched that of the iPod, which has a simple screen and a distinctive touch-sensitive scroll wheel for making selections.

MPAA speaker finds "choir" unreceptive
Although Hunt's position at the podium could probably be described as preaching to the choir, his comments were surprisingly not well-received.

Napster boss blames Microsoft for woes
Napster Chairman Chris Gorog knows who is causing him problems. No, the scrappy head of the once-scrappy online music company isn't talking about the iTunes Music Store and its approximately 80 percent of the online music market, he's pointing the finger at corporate buddy Microsoft.

"There is no question that their execution has been less than brilliant over the last 12 months," Napster Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Gorog said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

"Our business does rely on Microsoft's digital rights management software and our business model also relies on Microsoft's ecosystem of device manufacturers," he added.

Slashdot | A Bit of Bittorrent Bother
we're totally scared of new media, because new media is railways and we're canals, and you all just know how that's going to end.

Slashdot | Da Vinci Code Author Sued
The Bangkok Post states that 'The question the court is facing is whether you can copyright an idea, a conjecture.'
The answer is very explicitly "No" in the U.S.

Slashdot | Doctorow on DRM and Activism
If you're in the UK, hold the BBC to account. Why is it shipping the IMP, a DRM crippled player? Is there a point in the future where the BBC imagines that bits are going to get harder to copy?
In all fairness, the BBC is pretty progressive as compared to most.

Slyck News - New Round of RIAA Enforcement Actions
The RIAA has filed 750 potential lawsuits against alleged P2P pirates. - the original daily p2p and digital media news site
In a move which is claimed to be the death knell of Bit Torrent and other unauthorised services in Australia, Australia's largest ISP Telstra has announced the commencement of a new digital download service known as "BigPond Movies Downloads".

Bringing The Web And TV Together - Yahoo! News
Veoh Networks, which is looking to combine a Napster-like peer-to-peer network with a viewing recommendation engine to create a limitless video universe with hyper-targeted advertising.

frog Design Mind - Gizmodo
DRM has been around a long time in the form of copy protection for software and games, so why such animosity now? The answer lies in the audience. Copy protection has expanded to content your average consumer cares about: movies and music.

The Legal Landscape After MGM v. Grokster, Part 2: Understanding the Impact on Innovation, by Lipinski, Tomas A.

Furdlog » A Matter of Degree?
The $60-billion TV industry has a simple answer to Palmer’s question: because the future of free TV may depend on it.

Furdlog » Propping Up the Universal Service Fund
At a Tuesday hearing convened by the Senate Commerce Committee, several senators from largely rural states called for expansion of the Universal Service Fund (USF), a multibillion-dollar pool of money that’s currently used to subsidize telecommunications services in rural and other high-cost areas, schools and libraries.

The Patry Copyright Blog: Preliminary Injunctions and Affirmative Defenses
The opinion, however, missed contrary authority, and perhaps most importantly, understandably did not discuss a Supreme Court opinion handed down the same day (February 21) that held to the contrary.

Yahoo Says It Is Backing Away From TV-Style Web Shows - New York Times
After proclaiming grand plans to bring elaborately produced sitcoms, talk shows and other television-style programs to the Internet, the head of Yahoo's Media Group said yesterday that he was sharply scaling back those efforts.

Senate Bill to Address Fears of Blocked Access to Net - New York Times
Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, will introduce new legislation today that would prohibit Internet network operators from charging companies for faster delivery of their content to consumers or favoring some content providers over others.
To date I haven't read anything about the effect of such things on P2P traffic, but the threat is definitely thereColleges which throttle P2P traffic do see a reduction in such activity.  If it happened to the whole 'Net, however, we'd rapidly see pseudo-darknets evolve that couldn't be detected.