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, April 01, 2006

Los Angeles Times: The big world of the small screen
The movie business is threatened not so much by red-state reactionaries as by the proliferation of consumer-controlled venues — a development symbolized by the small screen, with all its connotations of privacy and autonomy.

Pushing the Pseudo-Reality Envelope By Edward Jay Epstein
In the case of Natural Born Killers, for example, a producer arranged for the director Oliver Stone and other members of the production to get two free pairs of cowboy boots in return for showing the boots' brand name, Abilene, on a truck passing by the open convertible driven by the character Mallory Knox (Juliette Lewis). This meant that the two vehicles—Mallory's car and the Abilene boot truck—coming from opposite directions, had to arrive in front of the camera at precisely the same time. Over and over again, both drivers, starting their approach a half mile apart, had to be cued with walkie-talkies as the camera, which was mounted on a crane, swooped down. So, to get his free boots, Stone had to shoot numerous retakes, which delayed a production running at $300,000 a day.


Monolith can be used for exploring the boundaries of digital copyright, and the rest of this website is devoted to such an exploration. The core questions: What happens when we use Monolith to munge copyrighted files? What is the copyright status of the resulting .mono file? These questions are considered in depth below.
Not dissimilar in concept to this.

TechCrunch » Pandora and Together…sort of
People who love music seems to either be Pandora folks or folks, and the two groups often disagree (see, for example, the comments to this post).

TechCrunch » AllOfMP3 Launches allTunes
allTunes is a windows desktop or smartphone interface to the AllOFMP3 library, allowing users to find and download high quality music easily.

O.K., Knockoffs, This Is War - New York Times
But for the Council of Fashion Designers the issue is black and white. Rather than calling imitation the sincerest form of flattery, as they have done for decades, leading designers are acknowledging that inexpensive copies — which they label acts of piracy — have negatively affected the luxury business.

Smithsonian Agreement Angers Filmmakers - New York Times
Ken Burns, whose documentaries "The Civil War" and "Baseball" have become classics of the form, said in an interview yesterday that he believed that such an arrangement would have prohibited him from making some of his recent works, like the musical history "Jazz," available to public television because they relied heavily on Smithsonian collections and curators.

Wired News: A Burning Need for More Porn
If you could buy a porn video, download it in about an hour and burn it to a DVD that will play in any standard drive, would you do it? What if it had built-in digital rights management (DRM) code that only let you burn the file to disk one time, and one time only?

Wired 14.04: START
Isn't the real problem that my local AMC charges $10.75 for a movie ticket?
One of the most agressive lines of questioning and some of the most disengenuous answers in an interview I've seen.

Wired 14.04: Global Gaming Crackdown
A few years earlier, a Chinese court ordered a game company to restore virtual biochemical weapons someone had pilfered from a player. Other governments are taking an interest in MMORPGs as well. Players in South Korea have been prosecuted for stealing virtual property. More than half of the 40,000 computer crimes investigated by South Korea's National Police Agency in 2003 involved online games.

Gear Factor
Wal-Mart is pulling all PSP movie discs off its shelves to make room for something that might, you know, sell. It's not that UMD isn't good at storing and playing movies. They work just fine. But to ask ordinary consumers to spend $30 for a movie they can only watch on a PSP's 4.3-inch screen is absurd, and now the verdict is in.

YouTube caps video lengths to reduce infringement
We did some analysis of the videos in our system over 10 minutes in length, and we found the overwhelming majority of them were full length, copyrighted videos from tv shows and movies. However, we also recognize that there are legit content creators out there who may have videos over 10 mins, so we've created a Premium Content Program for those of you with professional-produced videos.

TiVo's salvation... is in the courts?
Even with a win, few expect EchoStar to roll over and play dead: they could potentially attempt to outlast TiVo through an appeals process, and some fear that they wouldn't have to last long due to TiVo's own lackluster situation. Less likely, TiVo could also lose the case and end up with nothing to show for their efforts, but TiVo picked a venue known for siding with plaintiffs on patent cases. Last but not least, EchoStar retaliated against TiVo's lawsuit with a suit of their own, charging that TiVo has violated some of EchoStar's own patents. In short, it's a legal mess, which is to say it's par for the course for patent litigation.

Google set to woo music industry
Google has invited 20 of the top executives in the music industry to a special conference. The agenda for the roundtable discussion is not publicly known, but many expect that it relates to Google's possible entrance into the digital music download industry.

Universal opts not to downscale HD content; ICT dead on arrival?
Following on the heels of Sony, Universal has confirmed that they will not be using such capabilities to downgrade video on their offerings, at least for now. This marks what looks to be a major studio to turn away from the so-called image constraint token—the name given to the AACS software functionality that allows for downsampling video to 960x540 (approximately NTSC). Paramount, Disney and Twentieth Century Fox have all backed off of using the ICT, leaving Warner Brothers as the only major studio saying that they will use the it.

Skype hit with RICO suit
VoIP company Skype is the target of an interesting lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Filed by Streamcast, makers of the once-popular Morpheus file-sharing software, the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit centers around the FastTrack peer-to-peer technology that powered both Morpheus and Kazaa.

Slashdot | Viiv 1.5 May End Traditional Media PCs
Instead, we'll be streaming content to digital media adapters from a PC in our home office. From the article: 'The existence of digital media adapters will totally remove the need to have a media centre PC taking up space in your living room, unless you're one of the few users that finds it practical to do anything other than passively soak up multimedia content whilst relaxing on the couch.'

Slashdot | Google Accused of Bio-piracy
Google has been accused of being the 'biggest threat to genetic privacy' this year for its plan to create a searchable database of genetic information

Slashdot | Nanomedicine Patent Thickets Threaten Future
Over 5000 nanomedicine/nanotech patents have now been granted, and the patent land grab continues unabated.

Slashdot | Replacing Your Tired Old DVR
Called RS-DVR, it allows customers to record shows on centrally located business-owned servers.

Slashdot | First HD-DVD Player Goes On Sale
If you live in Japan, you can get your hands on the first commercially available HD-DVD player as of today.



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