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:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Listening Post
Acoustic recognition is helpful enough when it enables Gracenote to replace missing album art in iTunes, but the idea of similar technology analyzing voices in public places in order to activate video surveillance or contact the authorities is just a wee bit unsettling.

Gear Factor
The U.S. Copyright Office specified new rules Wednesday allowing cellphone owners to hack software designed to prevent them from using their phones on competing carriers. Retrogaming enthusiasts will also be permitted to crack copy protection on abandoned titles, albeit for "archival" purposes only. The rules also allow teachers to copy "snippets" from DVDs for educational compilations, and confer the right to have third-party software read copy-protected electronic books --if you're blind. 

While the copyright office didn't offer everything campaigners wished for--they refused to protect the copying of DVDs to other media, for example--they granted an unexpected bonus for abandonware fans: it's now going to be legal to hack copy protection on obsolete computer software and video games, including those that use hardware-based methods such as "dongles."

Great, but the DMCA was passed in 1998, IIRC.  It's a kludge of a process.

Gear Factor
Production house Flach said that Google's hosting of the movie -- the uploader wasn't named -- resulted in 43,000 hits in "a very short period," and was only cut off after the firm was notified of legal action. Issuing a writ at a Parisian commercial court, they alleged Google's French subsidiary infringed their copyright by allowing the free distribution.

Monkey Bites
When Break launched last year they offered $50 per video and later raised that to $250 before yesterday’s increase to $400. With Google backing the massively popular YouTube, competitors have increasingly turned to paying contributers in an effort to lure them away from YouTube. Metacafe launched a similar program called “producer rewards” earlier this year. In the case of Break, the only stipulation on getting paid is that your video must make it to the homepage.

Listening Post
Microsoft Zune's inability to honor the spirit of Creative Commons licenses in its sharing feature, which expires songs licensed by their creators as freely sharable in the same way that it expires the MP3s of copyright holders who'd prefer that their work not be freely sharable.

Wired News: Fine-Tune Your Music Discoveries
I tested all the sites in the same way, searching for bands similar to Neutral Milk Hotel, Talib Kweli and Justin Timberlake. Oddly, I found the more mainstream an artist is, the less precise your results are likely to be.

Wired News: The Day the Music Died
It's coincidental, I guess, that I stumbled into the new realities of collecting music around the same time that Tower Records, an icon of my generation, went under. I knew the internet was the primary reason Tower foundered -- does anybody actually buy CDs anymore? -- but I had no idea people were amassing collections of this size.

Gear Factor
Users will have to pay $15 a month for Verizon Wireless' Vcast service, which will also allow them up upload their own content to YouTube using a short pincode instead of an unwieldy email address. I could try harder, I guess, but I'm finding it increasingly hard to care about this kind of thing. Once these video-to-phone schemes have been operating for a while, then we'll know which among them amount to a "service."

Vista: no CableCARD streaming to other PCs
Consumers who hoped to use their new Vista boxes to blast recorded TV content to other PCs on their home network or to a laptop while traveling (much like a SlingBox) will be disappointed, as Vista engineers bowed to the cable industry's demand for content protection by enabling streaming only to Media Center Extenders.

Microsoft on wrong side of Korean patent ruling
The Supreme Court of Korea has upheld the validity of a patent that could prevent Microsoft from selling copies of Microsoft Office in South Korea. At issue is a feature in Microsoft Office that enables automatic switching between English and Korean.

Experts rate Wikipedia's accuracy higher than non-experts
Thomas Chesney, a Lecturer in Information Systems at the Nottingham University Business School, published the results of his own Wikipedia study in the most recent edition of the online journal First Monday, and he came up with a surprising conclusion: experts rate the articles more highly than do non-experts.
Controls are your friends.

"Psiphoning" data past the censors
Here's how it works: "psiphonodes" are set up by users in uncensored countries, who then distribute the site address only to users in censored countries whom they actually know or trust.

Why does the fashion industry thrive in spite of rampant IP "piracy"?
In spite of the lack of IP protection for clothing designs—or rather, because of this lack, the authors argue—the fashion industry remains vibrant and profitable, exhibiting none of the negative effects on creativity that advocates of strong intellectual property (IP) rights would predict in the absence of government-enforced monopolies on creative "content."

Do Google and YouTube have ethical responsibility for their video services?
Google, which already faces several lawsuits in Europe, now finds itself part of an Italian inquiry into a video clip recently posted to Google Video. The clip shows students at a Turin school bullying an autistic student, and has helped to spark a national examination into the rise of bullying in the country (violent video games have yet to be blamed). What makes this case even more interesting is that state prosecutors appear to be considering charges against the search giant.

YouTube makes the move on TV's "old rich people"
Not only are older viewers a large proportion of YouTube visitors, but they are also likely to be well-heeled. Comscore's data put only 38.4 percent of visitors' income bracket at below $60,000, with 61.6 percent earning above that figure.

Beatles music to start entering UK public domain in 2012?
Artists and publishers want the term extended from its current 50 years to 95 years, but an inside source has now confirmed that the Review will not recommend the 45-year extension, according to the BBC.

The value of the public domain
In the US, much of this data is gathered by the federal government and made available to home users and corporations free of charge. In the UK, though, government weather data is controlled by the Met Office, which charges for access. Which model generates more social and economic benefits? According to an official EU report (PDF), it's the American model. The US government spends only twice as much as the EU on gathering public sector information like weather and mapping data, but generates 10 times the economic value that Europe does by simply giving it away.

Slashdot | RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer
the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer.

BBspot - MPAA Lobbying for Home Theater Regulations
The MPAA is lobbying congress to push through a new bill that would make unauthorized home theaters illegal.

The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29" with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown. 
Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn't give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too.
Has all the ring of a parody, but stranger things have come out of the ??AA's. No business model for HDTV, CBC tells CRTC
As television shifts towards high-definition channels and programs, broadcasters are finding no business model for HDTV and are instead being forced to foot the massive bill, the head of CBC warned Monday.

iTWire - Fake chinese electronics selling better than the originals!
It’s a funny old world. Chinese manufacturers are copying the circuit boards and designs of products from Japan and Korea, and they’re doing it so fast that by the time the originals arrive in the marketplace, they’re seen as the fakes

Businesses Split on Patent Case -
Some of the largest companies in the United States are facing off in a Supreme Court case over gas pedals, with one side hoping the justices will put the brakes on an out-of-control patent system

Furdlog » The Shifting Music Market Target
AT 52, Martha Stinson is not quite sure where to turn when it comes to new music. The local Tower Records in Nashville, where Mrs. Stinson is an owner of a general contracting company, is going out of business, and she never did figure out how to load music onto the digital-music player she bought a couple of years ago. But she may soon receive an overture from a source not known for its musical savvy: AARP. She is the kind of consumer that the association is targeting with a sweeping marketing campaign that it hopes will entice millions of new members, as the first kids weaned on rock ’n’ roll turn gray.

Furdlog » Reworking Distribution
ArkivMusic, a four-year-old company based in Bryn Mawr, Pa., maintains a database of more than 70,000 classical CDs, DVDs and SACDs (super audio compact discs), all sold through its Web site. Over the last two months, the company has added more than 1,600 ArkivCDs to its site: custom-burned CD-Rs of otherwise unavailable recordings, packaged in standard jewel boxes with facsimiles of the original cover and tray card. So far, liner notes are not included.
Don't believe the new DMCA software ruling covers this....

Furdlog » Google Settles With Belgian Papers
The company has a similar case with Agence France-Presse, which protested Google’s linking to the news agency’s articles and pictures in the United States and in France last year.

Furdlog » I Hate These Kinds of Write Ups
a few more technically-competent folks in seats of power can only be a good thing for a lot of important issues

Furdlog » Social Mapping and Regulatory Failure
CTIA-The Wireless Association petitioned the F.C.C. to draft rules guaranteeing basic privacy protections, like requiring that customers give explicit consent before any information was disclosed to third parties and that all location information be protected from unauthorized access. When the F.C.C. considered the request in 2002, it declined to act, arguing that existing legislation was enough.

Furdlog » Inducement v. Safe Harbors
Universal Music Group on Friday sued, claiming the online social-networking hub illegally encourages its users to share music and music videos on the site without permission.

Furdlog » DoubleTwist
“He imitated Apple’s system; he didn’t remove any copyright protections,” said Monique Farantzos, whose DoubleTwist Ventures plans to license the code to businesses. “He made a system that behaves in a similar way.”
Jon goes legal, but not in a way you'd expect.

Target, Disney in DVD truce - Los Angeles Times
With the holidays and the DVD release of the blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" approaching, Target Corp. and Walt Disney Co. appear to have reached an uneasy truce in their standoff over terms in the rapidly changing home-video business. Target made Disney testy in September, when it fired off a letter demanding the same low wholesale prices on DVDs that Apple Computer Inc. is paying Disney to offer movie downloads over iTunes. At the time, Target threatened to cut back on its efforts to sell Disney's DVDs. Disney countered that DVD buyers get something different from what iTunes customers get: an actual disc packed with commentary, deleted scenes, trailers and other extras. Disney charges conventional retailers about $16 for new DVD releases, between $1 and $2 more than Apple pays.

Wired News: Rhapsody's a Raspberry
For the last several weeks I've been trying to use RealNetworks' Rhapsody subscription music service with one of SanDisk's Sansa players. I knew there were problems, but I've been truly shocked at how crappy it is. This isn't news to anyone who's tried to use one of the many devices based on Microsoft's PlaysForSure system, which even Microsoft has abandoned with the Zune.



Post a Comment

<< Home