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:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ars is on a tear lately.  And then some others.

Russian government says "nyet" to (updated)
The Russian government must stop collection societies in the country from acting without the permission of rights-holders—a clear dig at licensing group ROMS. has claimed for some time that they are legal under Russian law because all of their works have been licensed by ROMS, and ROMS itself says that it "carries out its activity on the basis of the powers given directly by the Law, irrespective of the presence or absence of a contract with a rightsholder." In essence, ROMS has given out licenses to music without any permission from the copyright owners to do so.

Time Warner and Blockbuster looking at movie downloads
t the Reuters Media Summit in New York, two major players in the entertainment business let it be known that they are contemplating entry into the movie download business.  Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons said that at some point in 2007, his company would allow consumers to download burnable versions of movies on the same day they are released on DVD.

Analyst shares vision of consumer-friendly media future
Wang says that Time Warner and Disney are the traditional brands most likely to make it into the next stage of broadcast history relatively unscathed, on the strengths of their powerful brands. That branding is one key way for intrepid consumers to identify the songs, video clips, or other content nuggets they desire. The other way is through aggregators like YouTube or MySpace, where media is organized for you into categories and popularity rankings, and also searchable by keywords or tags. No company today has both a strong media brand and a usable aggregation service, according to Wang, but News Corp at least has a finger in each pie with the Fox production house and MySpace online presence.
I wouldn't call this "consumer-friendly," as that term usually means anti-DRM and the like.

Universal to seek money for each iPod sold
And so it begins. Universal Music Group exec Doug Morris told the Reuters Media Summit that his company is interested in receiving a cut of the profits from each iPod sold. "It would be a nice idea. We have a negotiation coming up not too far. I don't see why we wouldn't do that... but maybe not in the same way," Morris said. His "same way" comment is a reference to the Zune, which Universal already gets $1 from after signing a deal with Microsoft.

Wal-Mart to launch video download store
Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, has announced its intention to jump into the video download business at some unspecified time in the future. As announcements go, it's not particularly thrilling, and the service won't work with the iPod. Rock on. More interesting is the company's new plan to offer customers the "opportunity" to download copies of movies that they buy in-store. Why would anyone want to do this? Kevin Swint, a divisional merchandise manager for digital media, explains: "They have the DVD as a collectible and for viewing on their home theaters, plus the freedom to download and watch the movie on multiple devices, including portable media players, PCs and laptops." Let's put our collective heads together for a moment and think about this statement. What Wal-Mart is offering is the chance to pay extra cash for downloads of already-purchased films in order to watch the movies on a PC or portable media player.

TiVo selling ad space at end of recordings
TiVo's new Program Placement service will give advertisers another shot at TiVo subscribers, this time at the end of recorded programming. Advertisers will be able to purchase a block of time from TiVo and insert a commercial that will run at the conclusion of a recorded show.

Slashdot | US Bans Sales of iPods To North Korea
The United States has created their list of products banned from being exported to North Korea. This list includes iPods....
How about we only export iPods permanently loaded with _The Voice of America_ podcasts?

Internet Archive Forums: View Post
Thanks to the hard work of two great law school students of Peter Jaszi of American University, Jieun Kim and Doug Agopsowicz, the Internet Archive and other libraries may continue to preserve software and video game titles without fear of going to jail. This is a happy moment, but on the other hand this exception is so limited it leaves the overall draconian nature of the DMCA in effect. A total of more than $50,000 of pro-bono lawyer time has been spent to just affect this exemption and its continuation.

Zune surprises in first sales week - Nov. 29, 2006
Reports of lackluster sales of Microsoft's Zune that surfaced earlier this week might be a bit premature. Microsoft's newest MP3 player, which launched just over two weeks ago, took second place in the portable digital player market in its first four days of sales, according to numbers generated by the market research firm NPD Group. zune.03.jpg Microsoft's new Zune MP3 player did not fare as poorly as some predicted during its first week of sales. Video More video Online retailers are creating their own shopping traditions. CNN's Kyung Lah has more. (November 27) Play video "Considering it is a new brand, it's a very good first-week showing," said Ross Rubin, director of industry for NPD Group.

Online Companies Want a Piece of Old-style Media Business - Knowledge@Wharton
"A lot of people viewed advertising as a sacred area where only advertising people have expertise. I say 'Phooey.' There's no reason any smart, resourceful firm should not be able to get in on the game -- particularly those with a proven track record in a related area," he says, adding that Google and the other Internet firms are looking at traditional media sales as an inefficient market where they can quickly harvest "big, tasty, low-hanging fruit."
I agree, but the other profs in the article clearly don't so much.  Perhaps the difference is in "low-hanging fruit" vs. "large companies."  It could be that they will see great success with smaller companies, and less with large ones.  Still, that's basically what's happened with AdWords, and they're clearly not suffering from it.  In a way, it makes them less threatening to newspapers, because the market will be segmented between old, large advertisers who have relationships with individual newspapers and newer and smaller ones whom Google will bring into the market.

The 'Traveling Salesman' Goes Shopping: The Efficiency of Purchasing Patterns in the Grocery Store - Knowledge@Wharton
Cool it's out. 
"Other shoppers may not have enough knowledge of the store to remember where the products they wish to purchase are located."
Still other shoppers may be in Fresh Grocer, where the layout makes no sense at all except to that one really nice store manager.



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