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 21, 2006

Slashdot | Does the RIAA Fear Counterclaims?
The RIAA seems to have a fear of counterclaims. In Elektra v. Schwartz, a case against a woman with Multiple Sclerosis, the RIAA is protesting on technical grounds Ms. Schwartz's inclusion of a counterclaim against them for attorneys fees.

Slashdot | Draconian Anti-Piracy Law Looms Over Australia
A law is being rushed through the Australian legislature that would criminalize great swaths of the citizenry.
Australia's always been the worst in the world for copyright issues for some reason....

YouTube - UCLA Police Taser Student in Powell
UCLA Police Taser Student in Powell.
Hard to watch, but important.  Definitely a different experience than reading the usual he-said, she-said in the paper.   As much as the Rodney King incident was a dramatic illustration of the power of video, this is pretty clearly an illustration of the power of user-accessible distribution networks.  No TV station would show this in its 7-minute entirety, but it wouldn't have the same impact in a 15-second clip with an anchor talking over his screams.

Yahoo, newspapers ink pact on content sharing, classifieds
Internet portal Yahoo announced a deal encompassing over 170 newspapers that will see the online giant deliver search, advertising, and other content to the newspapers' web sites.

Nielsen study: video use on iPods very low
. Nielsen conducted its first ever study on iPod usage in October this year, following the habits of 400 iPod users from October 1-27 as part of its Anywhere Anytime Media Measurement initiative. Its conclusion was that a surprisingly low percentage of iPod users seem to have any interest in watching videos on their devices.

FM recording ability silently reappears in some Creative players
Firmware 1.60.01 for the Creative ZEN Vision:M, issued late last week, has restored its lost FM recording functionality. Last month we reported on Creative's disabling of the FM recording functionality for some of their products.

Judge rules for Craigslist in discriminatory housing ads case
Strahilevitz argues that the most important distinction among these three types of exclusion is the amount of information that landlords and potential buyers/tenants either have or can cost-effectively obtain about each other. In other words, informational asymmetries—and the costs associated with overcoming those asymmetries—guide a landlord in selecting among these three, generally interchangeable exclusionary strategies.
Ars' great writeup of the common carrier decision.

Internet users cannot be sued for reposting defamatory statements
The California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that individual Internet users are generally protected from libel actions when they repost material written by others, even if notified that such material may be libelous.

Comcast, Disney near agreement over on-demand video
Comcast and Disney are reportedly on the verge of signing a deal that would add some ABC shows to the cable provider's on-demand arsenal.

CBS agrees that online video is not the enemy
David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corporation, has seen the light of other days, and now admits that there is a place in the media world for video downloads—even of clips that are CBS property.

Wired News: Second Life Will Save Copyright
So you would think that Linden Labs would be pulling out the big guns, including digital rights management technology, or DRM, and intellectual property lawyers, to fight the Copybot problem. After all, there's a lot of liability to go around.
But Linden Labs has confronted this threat to its bottom line in a different and novel way.  Instead, Linden Labs will take another approach. In the short run, it believes that use of Copybot violates its terms of service agreement, allowing the company to ban an offender's account. Long term, Linden says it will create better information identifying creators and dates of creation for in-world content. This will allow copyright owners who've been aggrieved to bring infringement claims against offenders personally, at least in theory.



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