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:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another Patent Case Is Filed Against Maker of BlackBerry - New York Times
A wireless e-mail software company partly owned by NTP has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Research In Motion seeking a shutdown of its popular BlackBerry service.
This is just sad.

Mac OS Rumors :: The Original Mac Rumor Site.
According to some of our oldest and most reliable sources within Apple's software development sector, Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" will include a system-level "BitTorrent" filesharing client that can be user-customized to 'donate' upstream Internet bandwidth for things like pushing Software Update packages to Leopard users, delivering iTunes Store content, and just about any purpose to which Apple puts its bandwidth.

Space is the Place | MetaFilter
Cash in your space game bucks with an ATM card. The online game Entropia now provides players with a real life ATM card, that will convert your galactic booty into actual dollars.

The Entrepreneurial Mind: Mom and Pop Record Stores Enter Digital Revolution
Warner Music, the bellwether of the music industry, said its retail marketing company WEA is working with the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS), the Association of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), and the Music Monitor Network (MMN) to bring independent, brick-and-mortar retailers into the digital age.

Digital music player market to double in next few years
At least a few more years, according to a new study. The research performed by market analysis firm In-Stat predicts that by 2010, the market for digital music players will have grown to 286 million units. That's more than twice last year's 140 million figure, indicating that there is plenty of room for Apple and everyone else to make a few more bucks before the market matures.

In-Stat says that 49 percent of those owning a digital music player (flash or hard drive) have an iPod. That number comes from surveys filled out by consumers and seems to jibe well enough with Apple's figures. When it reported its latest quarterly earnings, Apple said that it sold 8.5 million iPods during the third quarter and that it had 78 percent of the US digital music player market, 45 percent in Canada, 54 percent in Japan, 58 percent in Australia, and 40 percent in the UK.

Wired News: Soderbergh: Burn, Hollywood, Burn
"We learned this from the music industry -- you've got to give the people what they want or they'll figure out how to get from other means," Wagner said. "People like Steve Jobs (now the largest shareholder at Disney) will turn one revenue stream into three revenue streams. We need to rethink and get creative about how to exploit revenue streams in the digital (filmmaking) world."

That sounded good to Tribeca's indie-filmmaking crowd, which included a number of film students and filmmakers. But Soderbergh had something more radical on his mind.

"Let's redesign (Hollywood) from scratch," Soderbergh said. And he added a little promise as he looked at Wagner. "We'll get right on that."

Slashdot | Will Yahoo! Go Be the Next Media Bridge?
With Yahoo's acquisition of Meedio, Yahoo! Go will be in the position to be everyones media bridge.

Open Access News
A free rider in the relevant, pejorative sense is not just someone who uses a resource without paying, but someone who ought to pay instead. In this sense, there are no free riders on OA literature, any more than there are free riders on broadcast television and radio.
You know the property metaphor for intellectual output has gone too far when we're having a debate about a free rider 'problem' with academic research.

The Money Stops with Steve Jobs. Copyfight: the politics of IP
If prices were variable, however, I'd have to make several decisions: do I want that song? Do I know how much it costs? Do I want it that much? Will the price go down if I wait a bit?

I make my living studying and building user experiences and I can tell you that thought processes like the latter are a much worse model. They lead to hesitation and missed sales opportunities.

No love for network neutrality in the Senate
The bill addresses the current debate over municipal broadband access (page 105 and following in the draft) by allowing cities to become broadband providers and trumping any state laws that would restrict them from doing so.
More controversially, the draft legislation endorses both video and
audio flags (page 97 and following), though it does provide some
exemptions for fair use.
Finally, expect to pay more taxes, as the Universal Service Fee (USF) could soon be coming to your broadband connection.
The bill does nothing to enforce network neutrality.

Sony, Apple, Microsoft, and others form digital exchange group
"What we hope to accomplish is a foundation or baseline so that information about music and songs are going to be transmitted more efficiently," Chris Amenita, senior vice president of ASCAP, said in an interview with CNet. "Sort of like what the credit card industry did a number of years ago when they standardized their numerics."

CBS jumps with both feet into online broadcasting
CBS has joined the party by unveiling a service called "innertube"—an ad-supported video channel available directly from their web site.

RIAA goes after actual pirates; dead grandmothers everywhere breathe sigh of relief
The new RIAA campaign instead targets actual pirates, the ones with peg legs, eye patches, and commerical CD stampers. The RIAA's new campaign focuses on 12 US cities that were selected "based on market surveys, earlier raids and industry reviews of sales data suggesting lost sales during the past five years." Who gets to bask in the glow of the RIAA's newly-focused attention? Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, San Diego, and San Francisco.

UN Broadcasting Treaty seen as severely limiting essential freedoms
The Broadcasting Treaty, currently undergoing review at a UN convention in Geneva, Switzerland, contains passages that would severely restrict the concepts of fair use and freedom of speech—on a global level.

Slashdot | FCC Affirms VoIP Must Allow Snooping
The FCC released an order yesterday that requires all broadband providers and all "interconnected" VoIP providers to implement CALEA — in other words, law enforcement can snoop on your online conversations, both voice and text.

Slashdot | Microsoft Seeking to Patent Automatic Censorship
Microsoft is back at the USPTO, this time seeking a patent for the automatic censorship of audio data for broadcast, a system and method for automatically altering audio to prevent undesired words and phrases from being understandable to a listener as originally uttered.

Lawrence Lessig
Great writing and a great story. Good enough to inspire the 2001 film Rock Star, starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, for which, I am told, Warner Bros. paid the New York Times for the movie rights. But wait -- what movie rights? According to basic copyright law, and as interpreted by the Supreme Court, the facts of Ripper Owen's life are free to be used by anyone. There is, according to the law, almost nothing to purchase. Reading the story out loud during the film would be a copyright violation, but under U.S. law, little else would borrow the expression as opposed to the facts.

Open Access News
This weekend, a bunch of intrepid GPS users aims to map the whole of the Isle of Wight, and then to use this information to generate their own detailed maps, which will be in released under a Creative Commons licence.

Furdlog » Lala gets some Globe Ink
But he plans to cut into those profits by paying 20 percent of the company’s income to the recording artists. Used-music dealers aren’t required to do this. But Nguyen said musicians too often get a raw deal from the industry, and wants Lala to do better.

Furdlog » Experiment in Collective Action?
In a rambling open letter.
We shouldn't forget that these things are pretty personal for the artists.  Doesn't mean they will always get what they want, but droit moral has some pull at the heartstrings.

Said the Gramophone: everybody's searching for a place to put their love
"Hum" - MP3
The Rappers Delight Club is the "musical sideproject" of a young man who works with elementary high-school kids. Or rather, it's the musical sideproject of a bunch of kids who sometimes work with an enthusiastic adult. In short: this is four minutes of the looped Elmo themesong, but with kids laying it down.
Remixing isn't just for adults.



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