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:

Sunday, April 16, 2006

TechCrunch » Subscription Music Services Compared: Part 2
Overall, the best service based on pure stats is Virgin Digital, which boasts the largest catalog of music (2 million songs) and the best overall price at $8/month. Unlike all of the other services, Virgin charges one price for both the PC and to go versions. Virgin also has excellent additional features like user reviews of music create a social atmosphere.

TechCrunch » TV Moves Aggressively to the Internet
News Corp.’s Fox network has signed a six-year agreement with its affiliates that will allow it to show reruns of its television programs on the Internet.

O'Reilly Radar > Rhapsody Distributes Their Music
Yesterday, they made a significant step towards this vision when Rhapsody (Real's subscription service) enabled anonymous users to listen to whole albums on demand for free with links from third-party sites.

Wired News: Here, There, Everywhere
The Beatles are preparing to sell their songs online after years of
refusing to take part in the internet music boom, according to
testimony given by the head of their record company.
"I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters," he said in a written statement submitted to the High Court in London earlier this month.
Because people who download 128Kbps files really care about quality....

In Silicon Valley, a Man Without a Patent - New York Times
Mr. Goodfellow, an early participant in Silicon Valley's grass-roots computer culture, disdained the notion of protecting his ideas with patents. And Thomas J. Campana Jr., a Chicago inventor with no such qualms, patented the idea of wireless electronic mail almost a decade after Mr. Goodfellow's original work.
Thus the NTP patent.

People Who Watch People: Lost in an Online Hall of Mirrors - New York Times
With the latest crop of videos, a new style has emerged, though, one that is at once absolutely mundane and completely postmodern: people posting videos of themselves watching YouTube videos. And that's just the start.

Read It? Watched It? Swap It - New York Times
To the delight of her 7-year-old son, Ms. Perlmutter recently used the site to barter her tape of "Fried Green Tomatoes," the 1991 Kathy Bates drama in which an unhappy housewife befriends an elderly woman in a nursing home, for a tape of Steven Spielberg's digital dinosaur blockbuster, "Jurassic Park." "You feel like you're getting something special, that you're getting the better part of the deal," Ms. Perlmutter said. "Wow, somebody wants your stuff. I guess it's one man's trash is another man's treasure."
How will this work in a digital world?  We've already seen efforts to severely curtail resale of digital files that you "own."

Rockers aim to extend UK, European copyright terms
"Of course, for Pink Floyd, Elton John, Rod Stewart - and I'm not short of a few bob - this may not be a problem," says Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson. "But the unsung heroes of the 1950s depend on royalties to pay heating and nursing home bills." Well, silly me. I thought copyright rules were in place to encourage creation of new works in the first place, and the term is limited to ensure a rich public domain that can serve as a platform for the imagination of the next generation.

Fox to share online, VOD revenue with network affiliates
Under the new deal, the 150 network stations look to share a percentage of the gains from video-on-demand and online delivery deals for up to a year after the original air date of each program. The affiliates had been complaining about doing their part to promote Fox programming and then realizing no beneft from the "new media" deals Fox has been eyeing.

TiVo victorious in major DVR patent suit
TiVo alleged that EchoStar infringed upon proprietary TiVo technology when the company designed its own DVR for its Dish Network. At the center of the clash was a patent for a "multimedia time warping system"—a patent so broad that many expect TiVo's victory to have reverberations throughout the DVR landscape.

France to Apple: don't act so surprised
Lagarde told reporters that "it should come as no surprise. Any time a company restricts competition in a market, it gets the attention of regulating agencies. We have to play by the rules of the game."

Samsung prepares to ship first Origami PC
Samsung claims the unit will get 3.5 hours of battery life under typical usage, or 1.4 hours playing back a DVD—presumably ripped to the hard drive first, as there is no optical storage in the unit.
Planning on breaking the law.  Thanks DMCA.

Radio stations: blame Spitzer for less musical diversity
Radio programmers lay the blame for this directly at Spitzer's feet, saying that they feel highly scrutinized and that they are afraid of playing non-mainstream tracks on their stations for fear of payola allegations. "I don't want anyone to look at my playlists six months from now and speculate about why I added a particular song, when our competition didn't add it," said one programmer. "People have been fired for less."

RealNetworks rep to Linux: DRM or die!
The consequences of Linux not supporting DRM would be that fixed-purpose consumer electronics and Windows PCs would be the sole entertainment platforms available," Ayers said. "Linux would be further relegated to use in servers and business computers, since it would not be providing the multimedia technologies demanded by consumers.

Are illegal downloads on the way out?
While most eight-year-olds don't download music, for instance (only nine percent do so), most 18-year-olds do (52 percent). The same trend can be seen in most categories, leading the BSA to argue that "as kids grow older, they begin to view cyberspace as a virtual 'wild, wild West'." As with many BSA statistics, it's not clear that these are truly representative of the total situation. A recent report from research firm Big Champagne, for instance, found that P2P usage has doubled in the last two years, not declined.

Remote storage DVRs pose "gigantic copyright issues"
See, while the idea is intriguing to cable executives, it's threatening to their TV industry counterparts.

BSA: Software piracy costs countries money
The report argues that cracking down on software piracy will generate more local IT businesses, create millions of new jobs, and bring in billions in tax revenue. This soft sell seems to be the new industry standard, replacing the hectoring lectures that came before with paternalistic discussions of "what would be best for the people?"

Canadian music industry: forget the levies, bring on DRM heaven
Now Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) President Graham Henderson has told Billboard Magazine (subscription) that his industry wants no part of the media levy, saying that "we don't want a private copying levy that, in effect, sanctions online theft."

Streamcast to slug it out in court with RIAA, MPAA
Streamcast Networks, which is responsible for the file-sharing program Morpheus, has decided to take its chances in court, breaking off settlement negotiations with record labels and movie studios. The RIAA and MPAA had informed Streamcast along with seven other companies of their intent to file suit against them in the wake of the MGM v. Grokster ruling last summer.

Sun DRM finds a home in Korean IPTV pilot | The Register
Sun Microsystems may have already found its first customer, in a Korean IPTV system, for its DReaM (DRM Everywhere Available) open source DRM, a system that is not meant to be completed for at least another 12 months.

Slashdot | Prying Open the Cable Market
FCC chief Brian Martin discusses his efforts to make it easier for new entrants--especially telecoms-- to compete with traditional cable and satellite companies in delivering video services.
Too bad they aren't so vigilant about protecting VoIP.

Slashdot | States Seeking Levies on Digital Downloads
15 states and the District of Columbia currently tax online media, with others eager to begin their own taxes.

Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable | CNET
Walt Disney's bold move to let people download TV shows for free could spell trouble for cable and satellite providers, but it also throws into question the strategy of telephone companies spending billions to get into the paid TV business.



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