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, June 29, 2006

Infinite Loop: Should US$1.99 get you ad-free television? Apple's not entirely sure.
The image of Steve Jobs making a Vader-like motion to a choking Comedy Central exec and telling him menacingly "There was an advertisement in Chappelle's Show, Admiral," certainly makes me giggle.

With Online Music, It's a Buyer's Market
"The demand for music has never been as big as it is today."
'Nuff said.

How To Swing - The United States Patent Office explains it all for you. By Timothy Noah
Looking back from the 22nd century, future historians will marvel at the current era's obsession with extending intellectual property rights well past any reasonable limit. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the United States Patent and Trademark Office's determination to grant a patent to even the most absurd claims that cross its desk.

TechCrunch » Blog Archive » TV from three major studios to go P2P
Downloads will only be viewable for a 24-hour viewing period and prices will start at 99 cents per episode.
Much more reasonable than a flat $2 per like iTMS.

Wired News: Consumers Don't Want Flexible DRM
The main problem with Navio's proposed digital locker idea is that it lacks breadth of catalog. Consumers haven't exactly been clamoring for a reason to surf the websites of multiple labels looking for a particular artist (or, because catalogs change hands, finding the label that has the right to distribute a given album at that particular time).

As net neutrality fails, Senator threatens to block legislation without it
Net neutrality proponent Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced via e-mail yesterday that he has placed a "hold" on the legislation, due to its lack of an "effective policy" on net neutrality.

Broadcast flag makes it through committee
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has left both the audio and video broadcast flags unmolested.

Time Warner pushes movies, TV content out through Usenet video specialist Guba
Time Warner is leaving no stone unturned in its experiments in online video sales. After last month's BitTorrent distribution announcement, the studio has now followed up with another nontraditional video reseller known as Guba.
USENET!  Whodathunkit....

Supreme Court to look at "obviousness" in patents
In a move that could have huge implications for the US patent system, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in the case of KSR v. Teleflex. The case centers on the question of obviousness: when is a patent so... patently obvious that it should not be granted?

Satellite Radio company addresses music industry concerns
In an open letter to musicians published last week, XM Radio affirms its respect for artists and responds to criticism from the recording industry. Last month, several recording companies sued XM Radio for producing a satellite radio receiver with recording functionality, contradicting the RIAA's previously stated position regarding satellite radio recording devices.
In other news, makers of combined tape decks and radios sued.  30 years of backlogged lawsuits follow.

Slyck News - RIAA Shifts Lawsuit Strategy
Yet three years and over 18,000 lawsuits later, the strategy of launching a continuous barrage of monthly lawsuits aimed at approximately 750 individuals is being retooled.

Spain outlaws P2P filesharing
A Spanish intellectual property law has finally banned unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing in Spain, making it a civil offense even to download content for personal use.
SNIU concept more important than ever.

Slashdot | Font Raid Spells Trouble for Publisher
The Register is reporting on a publishing firm that got fined for using unlicensed fonts. The firm claimed to only be actively using one font, but was found to be using approximately 11,000.
Font piracy.

Slashdot | Songbird Source Released
Rob Lord, CEO of Pioneers of the Inevitable, released the source for the not-yet-0.2 version of the music player, which integrates a music library and the facility to purchase and download music from a variety of vendors. If you haven't heard of it, read the features list and try it out

Slashdot | $5 Social Wi-Fi Router
BBC News is running a story about the Spanish firm Fon, selling subsidized Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi routers for $5, in exchange for the buyer agreeing to a 12 month contract of providing access to other Fon users within range.
Too bad Spain just banned P2P in all forms.  SNIU

Slashdot | Canadian Gov't Gives Big Bucks to Copyright Lobby
The Toronto Star is reporting that the Canadian government is providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a copyright lobby group that claims that education groups are 'devoted to abolishing creators' rights on the Internet.'


Sunday, June 04, 2006

About a week ago, I dumped about 2,000 unread links into the ether, and I've started culling some of the less useful feeds out of my RSS reader. I just can't do the whole kit-and-kaboodle any more, and feel like it's finally time to focus a bit more. But I'll still be sending interesting stuff as it comes up for at least a while, the volume will just be lower.

TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Download Your TV - The Current Options
It’s going to be a while before the service models are compelling enough for the world to turn away en masse from today’s TV, but it’s clear we’re at the start of a major disruption that will shake content producers (the networks) and the distributors (cable) to the core.

Nothing is close to challenging iTunes yet for downloadable tv dominance (well, except bittorent and DVRs), and it’s unlikely a single network will be able to do much to overcome them. People want to be able to consume their content in one place, and iTunes does a very good job of allowing that.

Making money selling music without DRM: the rise of eMusic : Page 1
For a music store that wants to succeed, reaching the iPod audience is all but a necessity in the the US market, where Apple products account for 78 percent of the total players sold. Perhaps that's why eMusic CEO David Pakman sounds downright gleeful when he points out that "there's only two companies in the world that can sell to them—Apple and eMusic."
I'm really enjoying playing around with eMusic right now.  The simplicity and "excellent curating" has been most welcome.

Wired 14.06: The Rise of Crowdsourcing
All these companies grew up in the Internet age and were designed to take advantage of the networked world. But now the productive potential of millions of plugged-in enthusiasts is attracting the attention of old-line businesses, too. For the last decade or so, companies have been looking overseas, to India or China, for cheap labor. But now it doesn’t matter where the laborers are – they might be down the block, they might be in Indonesia – as long as they are connected to the network.

TV networks say "No!" to Remote Storage DVRs, file suit in US District Court
Concerns over copyright are being brought before a judge in a move that could once again subject innovation to the whims of the entertainment industry. At the center of the debate is Cablevision's "remote storage" DVR, which has also been called a "network DVR" in some circles. The device is like other DVRs in that it allows users to digitally record TV shows as well as pause live TV, but there's a twist: rather than store the content in the DVR, Comcast plans to store it at a central facility, and stream content over their network.
Sounds a bit like of yore.

The tables turn: Torrentspy sues the MPAA for conspiracy and invasion of privacy
Torrentspy has just filed a lawsuit against the MPAA, accusing the group of conspiracy, unlawful business practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, and more.

Torrentspy alleges (PDF) that the MPAA hired a hacker to retrieve private information from Torrentspy servers and from the private e-mail accounts of the company's management.
About time.  Of course, a certain Senator wanted to make this behavior legal.

European Commission changes its mind on software patents
The European Patent Office would not grant any more software patents and that any patents that have already been granted may now be challenged and overturned in court.

Check the Numbers: Rumors of Classical Music's Demise Are Dead Wrong - New York Times
Both Sony-BMG and Universal say that as their [Classical] download sales have increased, CD sales have remained steady, suggesting that downloaders are a new market, not simply the same consumers switching formats.

Slashdot | Movie Burning Kiosks Coming To Retailers
The motion picture industry is in talks with some major retailers about installing DVD burning kiosks in stores.

Slashdot | Viral Music Videos A Problem For RIAA
A few years ago music videos were considered promotional, a tease to get the viewer to buy the whole album. However, now that a commercial market for music videos is springing up, the music industry is not quite happy with YouTube, iFilm, Google Video and other video sharing sites distributing the music videos of famous artists.