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, July 10, 2006

Wired News: Hilary Rosen: Singing a New Song?
I think it's a fair thing to question the ongoing value of the individual lawsuits now when there's so much opportunity in the legitimate marketplace.

Online Movie Tickets a Still-Evolving Force - New York Times
Industry executives say the business has an image problem: most consumers see no reason to pay an average of $1 a ticket extra to buy online when they can simply walk up to the ticket counter on most nights, without a wait, and save the buck.

New optical drive reads HD DVD and Blu-ray
Hardware manufacturer Ricoh has developed a new optical drive capable of reading and writing several formats, including HD DVD, Blu-ray, CD, and DVD.

Slashdot | Interview Looks at How and Why Wikipedia Works
The interview focuses on how Wikipedia works and why these three practitioners believe it will keep working.

Slashdot | Cutting out the Naughty Bits Ruled Illegal
Judge Richard P. Matsch has found that this practice violates US copyright law, and 'decreed on Thursday in Denver, Colo., that sanitizing movies to delete content that may offend some people is an "illegitimate business."
This is great politically.  The copyright minimalist camp just gained a few (tens of?) million members.

Furdlog » LATimes on Pending (c) Proposals
And that same year, it prolonged the public domain’s starvation diet by extending copyrights an additional 20 years, to 70 years beyond the death of the creator.

Furdlog » Worth A Careful Read
Does It Matter if Copyright is Property?

Furdlog » In Search Of A Formula
The iTunes store is just a very alluring retailer; it has no defining personality and therefore hasn’t developed into the kind of mass community that assembled around the most successful radio DJ shows.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Study: legal music far outweighs P2P on portable music players
Yet music downloads from legal services have eclipsed those stemming from P2P and other unauthorized sources. In fact, the study indicated that more than 70 percent of such music stems from legal sources, and that music download services are on the rise.

TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Google Books partners with Chinese publishers
Google Books, a program that’s been controversial in the US, has reportedly penned a deal with four publishing houses in China. Rival Baidu has deals with Chinese libraries instead; its program has access to 15 million books, the largest online collection of Chinese books in the world.

TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Use Red Swoosh to Serve Files For Free
Silicon Valley based Red Swoosh is launching a free, ad supported version of its file serving technology today (the link in this sentence is to the new site - will redirect sometime overnight).

Listening Post
Regardless of who makes it, an MP3 player with satellite reception could be pretty attractive, assuming users' needs are keep near the top of the priority list.

Wired 14.07: The Rise and Fall of the Hit
But even as NSync was celebrating its huge launch, the ground was shifting. Total music sales fell during 2000, for only the second time in a decade. Over the next few years, even after the economy recovered, the music industry continued to suffer. Something fundamental had changed. Sales fell 2.5 percent in 2001, 6.8 percent in 2002, and just kept dropping. By the end of 2005 (down another 8.3 percent), album sales in the US had declined 20 percent from their 1999 peak. Twenty-one of the all-time top 100 albums were released in the five-year period between 1996 and 2000. The next five years produced only two – Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me and OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – ranking 79 and 91, respectively.

Wired News: Copy Instruments, Not Music
"What we're witnessing is a shift from passive listening to active playing," Robertson says. "Siblings are inspired by music-themed TV shows to come out and play instruments."

TV Is Now Interactive, Minus Images, on the Web - New York Times
But in the age of widespread broadband access, iTunes video and video sites like, television viewers are migrating en masse to the Internet, looking not only to watch their favorite shows online but also for ways to discuss and engage with those shows.

Strategy Shift by Microsoft to Fight iPod - New York Times
Entertainment industry executives who were briefed on the Microsoft music and video player said this week that the device was equipped with a wireless Internet connection and an advanced display screen, and that the company planned to release it before the holiday season, along with an online store.

The Not-So-Small Small Screen - New York Times
But within the walls of the big new homes, changes are occurring that affect how people will watch TV. Some trends will make it easier to fit in a screen as big as 103 inches. Others will make it trickier to find the right spot for even the sought-after 50-inch screen.

The Internet Knows What You'll Do Next - New York Times
Mr. Battelle, a founder of Wired magazine and the Industry Standard, wasn't the first person to figure this out. But he did find a way to describe the digital crystal ball better than anyone else had. He called it "the database of intentions."

Next-gen DVD formats fall to the first of many hacks
The folks at c't magazine have discovered a simple tool for beating the content protection on Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats: the print screen button. By pressing the print screen button once per frame, you can capture an entire movie at full resolution. Of course, you'd want to automate this task, but c't has shown that it can be done.
Repeat after me: Anything that can be seen can be copied.
Repeat after me: Copy protection isn't about protection from copying.

Students not interested in school-sanctioned music downloads
Currently, over 120 schools have deals with the likes of Rhapsody and Napster under which students have access to the services' music libraries, often for a fraction of the regular price, if not free. However, many undergrads are turning their noses up at the opportunity to use the legal download services.

Friendster granted key social networking patent
Clearly, Friendster's recent job cuts (down from 57 to under 30) have taken a toll on the PR staff, but the approval of the patent could give the company a major cash boost if it decides to pursue litigation against other social networking sites.

Technology forces Chicago radio station to confront change
For years, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio has been a major home for jazz programming in that city, with a full one-third of its weekday schedule devoted to music, along with a bevy of music shows on the weekend. Next year, that era will be coming to an end, as the station makes the switch to an a news/talk/public affairs format. That change is in response to—among other factors—altered listening habits as WBEZ's music audience shifts to satellite radio and portable music players like the iPod.

Media center PCs finally poised for takeoff?
With the arrival of faster in-home digital networking technologies such as MoCA, an industry-accepted framework for networked digital media distribution in DLNA, and the increase in both pay-TV and Internet content moving over in-home networks, the home media server is becoming a key beachhead in the digital home," according to principal analyst Michael Wolf.

Universal to offer tiered music sales model
Rather than serving up every product in the same 20-year-old CD case design, Universal will divide their offerings into three tiers with different packaging and different prices.

Slashdot | ABC Wants DVR Fast Forwarding Disabled
The television network ABC is looking to develop technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, and allow commercials to run as intended on their channel.

Slashdot | Aussies Brace for DMCA
Aussies are counting down to the introduction of the US-FTA-required DMCA legislation, and trying to pressure the government to listen to consumers and innovators, not just industrial copyright holders. Linux Australia has kicked off the campaign with and

Techdirt: AP Looks At Piracy Around The World... Misses The Real Story
It's not surprising that the AP doesn't bother to mention how all that piracy helped created new and different business models for musicians in China that let them thrive despite the piracy (actually, in some cases, because of it). Nor does the AP bother to mention how software piracy helped boost certain aspects of the industry in China by decreasing the cost of inputs.

Furdlog » A Copyright Fight
Ren and Stimpy’s creator has a blog. He’s been posting links to YouTube, showing classic Warner Brother’s cartoons. Ooops! He doesn’t own the copyright, and promoting Warner Brothers without permission is bad.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Yahoo! China faces new copyright law
When Yahoo! handed over information on a number of dissidents and reporters to the Chinese government, it said it was just following local laws. Those individuals faced serious consequences. If international pressure is able to change Chinese law, those are the laws that should have been changed - not laws seeking to enforce a false scarcity over an ephemeral product like digital music. When Google lost its appeal in a French court last week and was ruled guilty for including search results for counterfeit Louis Vuitton hand bags, most international observers thought it indicated an unrealistic and anti-American sentiment in France. For some reason intellectual property infringement in music is taken far more seriously. I hope people will think about the international politics at issue in the Yahoo! China case as well.

Slashdot | iRex's iLiad E-ink eBook Reader is Now Available
iRex has just started shipping its e-ink eBook reader, the iLiad, starting today (July 3rd) — making it the first e-ink reader commercially available outside of Japan.
The dawn of book piracy?

Peter Suber, Open Access News
BT, (British Telecom) the incumbent phone company in the United Kingdom, is planning to shut off all of its legacy phone networks - a hodge podge of systems that includes the traditional "circuit switched" system that has served as the architecture for delivering phone calls for more than a century - by 2010. In its place, BT is installing a single network based on Internet Protocol, the language of the Internet.

Lawrence Lessig
Claus Pedersen has completed research on the pattern of filesharing in Denmark. His conclusions are (1) the decline in record sales in Denmark is explained by many factors, and (2) the decline that there is is finansed almost in full by the wealthiest artists. What’s particularly interesting about the study is that it uses data from the Nordic Copyright Bureau, which has a monopoly status in Denmark. That means the data are not estimates of sales declines, but actual sales. (Nordic records 99% of the market). A summary of the paper was translated by Marie Elisabeth Pade Andersen. You can read it here. Claus now looking for support to get the full paper translated. If you’ve got an idea, email him at this address.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Copycat - Can China create its own Hollywood? By Tim Wu
While Hollywood complains about losing money to bootleg DVDs, the Chinese bootlegs hurt the local industry, too. The greatest consequence may be cultural: The omnipresence of bootleg DVDs has created a generation of Chinese consumers accustomed to watching cheap DVDs on inexpensive large-screen TVs instead of buying popcorn and movie tickets.

Slashdot | Downloadable Film Commentaries Becoming Popular?
Now that Kevin Smith is offering a downloadable commentary for Clerks 2, will other Directors follow in his footsteps? Some studios think so and are already offering similar content for shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Who, and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Wired News: Piracy Zaps China's Tech Industry
One by one, the Beijing-based software maker has seen its sales of such popular products destroyed after black market producers flooded the market with cheap copies.
Another sob story designed to manipulate policy makers, or is this real?

Site Tempts Video Makers by Offering to Pay Them - New York Times
If creators of homemade Internet video get tired of producing something for nothing, they can post their work on
There goes one Fair Use defense?

A CableCard That Hasn't Been Able to Kill the Set-Top Box - New York Times
"The set-top box offers cable providers a point of control, a presence in the living room," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for the NPD Group. " Comcast and Time Warner have had very good success with offering digital video recorders, which require a set-top box."

Internet Calling Pressures Bells to Lower Rates - New York Times
"People are going to look at voice communications as something they expect to get for free," said Henry Gomez, general manager of Skype, which eBay bought last year for $2.6 billion. The company usually charges a few cents a minute for calls from computers to regular phones, but in May it eliminated those fees through the end of the year for users in the United States and Canada.

Slashdot | How The Internet Works - With Tubes
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens delivered a jaw-dropping attempt to explain how the Internet works.

Slashdot | BPI Sue AllOfMp3 In British Courts
We have maintained all along that this site is illegal and that the operator of the site is breaking UK law by making sound recordings available to UK-based customers without the permission of copyright owners. Now we will have the opportunity to demonstrate in the UK courts the illegality of this site.
Could this mean that going after them in Russia hasn't worked?