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:

Monday, May 01, 2006

Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » Happy Endings
To call the case of my colleagues and me a “happy ending” takes some real chutzpah. Let’s catalog the happy consequences of our case. One person lost his job, and another nearly did. Countless hours of pro bono lawyer time were consumed. Anonymous donors gave up large amounts of money to support our defense. I lost at least months of my professional life, and other colleagues did too. And after all this, the ending was that we were able to publish our work — something which, before the DMCA, we would have been able to do with no trouble at all.

In the end, yes, we were happy — in the same way one is happy to recover from food poisoning. Which is not really an argument in favor of food poisoning.

ACE | Recording and Motion Picture Industries Launch New Anti-Piracy Effort Targeting Colleges and Universities
"We are appreciative of our partners in the university community and all they have done in recent years to tackle the problem of digital piracy at campuses across the country," said RIAA President Cary Sherman in a prepared statement. "Despite the progress achieved by our collaborative efforts, this remains an ever-evolving problem. We cannot ignore the growing misuse of campus LAN systems or the toll this means of theft is taking on our industry. As we prioritize our focus on campus LAN piracy in the coming year, we hope administrators will take this opportunity to fully evaluate their systems and take action to stop theft by all means."

The Patry Copyright Blog: How Copyright is Getting a Bad Name
The short story is this. Last week, Google, in keeping with an occasional practice of honoring holidays or famous people, temporarily modified its logo on its search page with a stylized version of its name that evoked, but did not copy from Miro's works. When I saw it, I got the point and thought it quite clever and fun. Miro's estate thought otherwise, immediately sending a cease-and-desist letter, claiming copyright and moral rights violations. In my opinion, there was neither. Google did the sensible thing, though, and pulled the logo, to all of our loss.

Napster returns to free, limited music
Rather than offering free downloadable music, Napster is taking a page from RealNetwork's playbook and offering free streaming music to users in an attempt to entice them.

For theater owners, it's back to the future
Regardless, the "experience" is the focus for the future, because the other options aren't palatable (lowering prices, for instance). The Mercury News reports that one theater in Hollywood now allows patrons to bring their own alcohol to special screenings for patrons 21 and older. Other theaters are testing reserved seating and advertising-free movies, hoping that movie-goers will pay a little more for the convenience. Yet most of these ideas are "recycled" reruns.

Wired News: Movie Mashups Take on Trailers
Hollywood has drafted a British VJ outfit to produce the first official movie mashup.

In Internet Age, Writers Face Frontier Justice - New York Times
To be fair, of course, rhyming road-safety signs are common along India's expressways, so Mr. Rushdie was himself borrowing on a theme. But like everything else, even this minute similarity — homage? remix? rip-off?

Wired News: Ultimate Guide to Online Video
What do you want to watch?

The answer used to depend on limits -- what day it was, what time it was, what channels you got. A handy little thing called TV Guide laid it all out. Television was a one-way medium - big broadcasters pushing content into our living rooms at a specific time and place.

Not anymore.

An Experimental Study of the Skype Peer-to-Peer VoIP System | Willy Dobbe
The results indicate that although the structure of the Skype system appears to be similar to other P2P systems, particularly KaZaA, there are several significant differences in traffic. The number of active clients shows diurnal and work-week behavior, correlating with normal working hours regardless of geography. The population of supernodes in the system tends to be relatively stable; thus node churn, a significant concern in other systems, seems less problematic in Skype. The typical bandwidth load on a supernode is relatively low, even if the supernode is relaying VoIP traffic.

More Follow the Money. Copyfight: the politics of IP
Price pressure from discount retailers, decline of big chain music stores, competition from $10 DVDs all mean that the $18 CD is going the way of the dodo.

The Cult of Mac Blog

The Financial Times is reporting that Apple has succeeded in renewing its contract with the four major record labels to continue with flat-rate pricing of songs on the iTunes Music Store.

French DRM law gutted
No one was surprised when the proposed French law was trashed by Apple as "state-sponsored piracy." There was even speculation that Apple might leave France altogether rather than risk opening its Fairplay system. It looks like the French will still get to keep their iTunes Music Store, though, since the original bill was recently gutted in committee. Most of the consumer-friendly provisions in the legislation have since been removed or rewritten

Government report takes other nations to task on piracy
As might be expected, a number of countries have made it to the 2006 Priority Watch List, including perennial favorites Russia and China. Additionally, specific foreign markets—both physical and virtual—have been labeled as "notorious" by USTR, in large part due to excessive media and software piracy.

ABC introduces full-episode streaming
Television is in transition. Viewership is down, and in recent months, the major networks have been cautiously stepping away from their traditional broadcast model in an attempt to broaden their audiences. The latest effort comes from ABC, which is offering full episodes of some programs online for free.



Blogger ChinaLawBlog said...

The interesting thing about the report on China is that it seems to admit the central government is trying to improve IPR in China, but that it is essentially unable to get the provinces to go along.

china law

10:37 PM  

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