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 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.



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