2002 May 31 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-31 20:38:55)

Today’s ESD event starts even earlier – but I hope to get a chance to post more this afternoon. For the moment, I’ve just got an article on Clear Channel and the radio business that ties into past material that I’ve found. It suggests that there are some interesting instabilities in the current radio airplay business that directly influence the way in which records come to the attention of listeners – and why internet distribution might change that dramatically, if allowed to.

Well, it turned into a pretty interesting day to roam the WWW looking for material. Some humor, some history and an opportunity to learn all you wanted to know about Key2Audio and iMacs.

(11 items listed below)

  • Yesterday’s Washington Post has an article discussing the impact of Clear Channel on the way that music is distributed. There was quite a discussion on Slashdot, but there has been a lot of information published online about Clear Channel over the last year or so. To give you a taste:

    It is also worth noting that Clear Channel is preparing to join with FullAudio to offer online subscriptions (1, 2)

  • A little humor from BBSpot – the next generation IP threat of new technology inspired by the events surrounding the release of Eminem’s latest CD.
  • A little more on the latest Eminem release from LawMeme.
  • Law.com shows that the Business Software Alliance has a truly "catholic" attitude toward piracy. LawMeme has a pretty good comment.

  • ZDNet has another article on the supposed prevalence of software piracy, with comments.

  • Cryptonome has posted Jack Valenti’s infamous 1982 testimony discussing the bane of the VCR. To wit:

    Now, the question comes, well, all right, what is wrong with the VCR. One of the Japanese lobbyists, Mr. Ferris, has said that the VCR — well, if I am saying something wrong, forgive me. I don’t know. He certainly is not MGM’s lobbyist. That is for sure. He has said that the VCR is the greatest friend that the American film producer ever had.

    I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

    Lawmeme has more information and Consensus at Lawyerpoint gives some of the background. You can read the Sony Betamax decision here.

  • Wired.com has an article on the latest foray into the domain of Web publication of academic journals with unrestricted access.
  • ZDNet has many more details on the Tivo “push programming” exercise that was discussed a couple of days ago.
  • Law.com has one look at how the legal education community is responding to the upsurge in intellectual property issues. With a set of interesting quotes both pro and con the development
  • You may recall Courtney Does the Math – well, her lawsuit doesn’t seem to be going well. Her argument that the California labor law is unfair seems to be falling on deaf ears.
  • MacOpinion has a pretty detailed look at CDs and copy protection. A lot of serious technical info, followed by a set of arguments about the ethical and legal implications of Key2Audio protection.

2002 May 30 links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-31 07:29:12)

Day two of the ESD symposium; again, that means that I am not really going to be around today. A couple of links, but I’m not going to get to put together much to say about them this morning.

Today seems to be about looking at the current and new music sharing services available online. And there’s a look at compulsory licensing at FindLaw

(9 items listed below)

  • Findlaw’s Writ has a guest column describing the recent KaZaa/Verizon proposal for compulsory licensing of songs.
  • LawMeme finds a newsletter entitled Technological Innovation and Intellectual Property Newsletter
  • The Chicago Sun-Times notes that the City Council, in order to crack down on the resale of stolen CDs and DVDs wants to require tracking of all resales. LawMeme discusses.

  • Seems that the LawMeme link to the discussion of the new Eminem CD (and its high ranking on Gracenote in advance of its release) has changed.
  • Another article on Carnivore and the 9/11 investigation.
  • Slate has an article running down the current music sharing programs available today.
  • SiliconValley.com has an extensive article describing the entrance of two independents, MusicNow and Rhapsody, into the online music business.
  • SiliconValley.com also reports on the results of a survey by the Business Software Alliance on consumer attitudes toward software piracy. Slashdot discusses with a couple other links. GrepLaw adds a bit more.

  • An Internet research company named Viant claims that blockbuster films have led to a 20% increase in downloading of movies. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is the fact that what is downloaded is also insanely successful relevant?

2002 May 29 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-29 22:12:52)

I’m in an all-day symposium for the next three days; the growing pangs of a new academic division at MIT. I’ll try to post what I can, but I’ll be far from my office and I’m not going to take my laptop.

(5 items listed below)

  • Slashdot covers the high ranking of Eminem’s latest on Gracenote – before the CD had been released. See yesterday’s links for more information and links to the ZDNet article.

  • I missed this overblown article at the New York Times discussing security and how easily it seems that digital security can be circumvented.
  • The New York Times has an article on the FBI’s screwup in the use of Carnivore; more post-9/11 finger-pointing, I know, but also more evidence that people really are out there reading your e-mail. Slashdot also has a discussion; and there’s an article at The Register too.

  • EETimes reports that there’s a growing coalition among the Pacific Rim countries to deploy an alternative (and royalty-free) format to DVD. Slashdot has a lot to say about it, too.

  • ZDNet has an interview with Gateway’s Ted Waitt on his stand against the CBDTPA.

2002 May 28 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-28 17:09:42)

A pretty slow day today. Most of the main sites are still working over some of the materials listed here earlier. As a consequence, a certain amount of time was spent today getting the calendar applet to show links for dates that have entries. Subclassing in PHP is not terribly well documented in the books I have, so this was a little more painful that I expected it would be. I still have to work out the scrolling through past months, but I have a couple of days until that’s necessary <G>

(6 items listed below)

  • David Coursey’s editorial of a couple of days ago got someone angry, and his response was made a guest editorial today on ZDNet. A look at the side that thinks Napster means something other than theft.
  • Alex Cox, the independent director of Repo Man and other classics, has an article in The Guardian that contends that the MPAA is too greedy, too controlling, and too unimaginative to be allowed to screw up digital delivery through copyright machinations. Slashdot and LawMeme covered the article in their own fashion.
  • Slashdot discusses a European Union effort to get each CD and DVD manufacturing plant to include a code indicating the source of the product. The comments show that the credible reaction to this initiative could go either way. ZDNet also has a report.

  • Boing Boing has an article by Cory Doctorow discussing his experience on a discussion panel with Harlan Ellison on the subject of copyright in the digital age. Ellison has been very angry for very long about the fact that some of his writings have been transcribed and posted to the UseNet, and this article and the links suggest that his reaction has become counterproductive.

  • John Borland reports on how it appears that an Eminen CD that hasn’t even been released yet is already the #2 query to online CD play info databases – and what this may mean about the patterns of CD piracy today. The New York Times reviews the album; LawMeme has an article.

  • Dan Gillmore responds (sort of) to the Thomas Friedman op-ed piece I mentioned earlier.

2002 May 26 links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-26 13:28:38)

A busy weekend for me; real estate changes may be in my future.

On the links front, a couple of things are out there, particularly more on the effort to block the "analog" hole, a Lessig-Adkinson copyright debate, a worrisome op-ed piece from Thomas Friedman, and a question about the legality of explaining how to use a magic marker to copy CDs.

(10 items listed below)

  • AudioGalaxy is the latest entrant in the RIAA "sue and burn" content protection strategy. Slashdot discussion.

  • The Register is reporting that the BBC has already started to use some of the novel features of DVRs that were reported earlier

  • The Register also reports on a raid on a professional DVD copying ring.

  • An article in EETimes seems to make the point that Intel is not going to play along with the entertainment industry on limiting the technical capabilities of the computers. Others, however, are unconvinced.

  • Some commentaries on the debate between Lawrence Lessig and William Adkinson on the appropriate role for copyright can be found by following this link. Slashdot has their own discussion.

  • The New York Times has an article looking in more detail at the Bertelsmann-Napster deal.

  • Thomas Friedman, a New York Times op-ed writer well known for his coverage of the Middle East, takes a look at what he sees as a change in the mind-set of Silicon Valley. In particular, the implicit trust that underlies much of recent technology development may be going through a sea-change – one that may not be in the best interests of the industry.

  • Doc Searls’ weblog has an article discussing what looks to be a defection of the technology firms to the entertainment industry’s side in the copying/computer capability fight.

  • The recent spate of articles (1, 2, 3) and jokes on how to beat the Sony CD copy protection scheme raises an interesting question: are all these news items a violation of the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions? If so, what does that say about the DMCA vis a vis the First Amendment?

2002 May 24 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-24 10:58:02)

Today’s a busy day, so this set may be all that I get to. There’s a key article from Consensus at Lawyerpoint that everyone should read – the push to coopt consumer electronics to satisfy the copyright concerns of the movie industries is coming to a fever pitch, with them now actually suggesting that all analog-to-digital converter chips should have copyright protection hard-wired! This sort of nonsense is, unfortunately, really dangerous nonsense.

(5 items listed below)

  • Cory Doctorow reports on the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group’s proposals to specify the performance of A2D converters. Update: Slashdot discussion, and a LawMeme article.

  • Payola reform is a current issue with the recording industry. The newswires have a couple of articles – AP, Reuters.
  • The New York Times has an op-ed piece that suggests that the CBDTPA and other legislative challenges to Silicon Valley industries will require the industry to become more sophisticated in their Congressional dealings.
  • Vivendi Universal is going to try selling an MP3 online – Slashdot discusses.
  • NewsBytes reports that the EFF is appealing the recent DeCSS findings. Slashdot discusses.

2002 May 23 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-23 16:06:11)

Sorry! – my SSL certificates expired and *boom* the http server went down. I will be renewing the certificates soon, but the site is back up now!

A great day for humor on the CD copy protection front.

(9 items listed below)

  • User Friendly chimes in on the latest in CD copy protection circumvention.
  • BBSpot adds its own look at the marker "controversy."

  • So, Sony’s looking for a new way to achieve the same ends?
  • The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft’s efforts to lobby the Pentagon to outlaw open source software is having an opposite effect. Slashdot discusses, and LawMeme has a good set of companion links.
  • The Guardian writes about movie piracy, with studios claiming “hundreds of thousands” of downloads of Star Wars’ AotC so far.
  • Salon has an article about FightCloud.com, which has a different business model for CD sales. Update: The author of the Salon piece has posted an article to Slashdot, giving links to the material that DIDN’T get into the article.
  • Followup: The NYTimes article on DVRs that I posted to yesterday’s links (click on the yellow arrow below) has led to a Slashdot discussion.
  • Doc Searls gives an entertaining and exhaustive review in LinuxJournal of the CARP webcasting royalty controversy to date.

  • For some heavy reading, take a look at Cyberspace as Place, and the Tragedy of the Digital Anticommons – the article suggests that the use of private property as a working metaphor for resource allocation in a domain that does not really support the features of true private property (i.e., the internet) leads to gross misallocations of resources and terrible misperception of opportunities and threats. Interesting read albeit lengthy (117 page PDF).

2002 May 22 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-22 23:27:08)

A busy day on other things, so nothing here yet. Of course, I’ve seen a couple things, so I hope to get them posted later tonight – after another bike ride (Cambridge weather is finally starting to resemble spring again!)

Also, for those who are interested, the RSS feed now actually works (a problem with a server environment variable is “fixed” – I just forced the variable to be what it should be instead of trying to figure out the necessary Apache environment variables <G>). I’ll be a little more assiduous tomorrow, but I’m getting tired!

UPDATE: OK – added a few things, although it is a little Slashdot-heavy. On the other hand, having looked around this late at night, I got the jump on the New York Times edition for tomorrow!

(7 items listed below)

  • Slashdot interviews the general manager of SomaFM, one of the webcasting operations whose financial picture may have gotten a little better with yesterday’s rejection of CARP webcasting royalties. Of course, as the Wired.com article points out, it may be that the RIAA petition is the one that the Copyright Office will be the one supported.

  • Slashdot has a discussion of a news item added earlier about the submission of several amicus curiae briefs by supporters of the Eldred lawsuit. GrepLaw also has a piece with more links.

  • Law.com reports that the idea of an Internet FAQ is not copyrightable, but the actual text of a specific FAQ may be (not actually decided – at least in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.) Slashdot has a discussion.

  • To learn the collective mind of the geekworld on the subject of IP, take a look at this Slashdot discussion.

  • In distinction with the (lazy/ignorant/worse?) record companies, Amy Harmon’s article in the Times discusses some interesting ways that advertisers are planning to use the technologies in Tivo and ReplayTV to get some “eyeballs” back. (And Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets a little plug!)

  • Here’s an article from a week ago that I missed in the NYTimes – a record store using MP3s to sell records – what a weird idea!

  • John Borland has an article on ZDNet that says that KaZaa and Morpheus are getting ready to concede in their court battle; seems they’re running out of money. Of course, they said the same thing about Napster.

2002 May 21 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-21 23:11:15)

A trip to the dentist for a cleaning today gave me a look at a recent(!) Time Magazine, with their writeup on the recording industry and CD copying.

And the CARP royalties on webcasting have been rejected – there’s a Slashdot discussion.

Otherwise, there’s plenty of news online today that scares the socks off me – and none of it’s from Ridge or Ashcroft. I’m not feeling very optimistic today, notwithstanding the CARP decision – at a minimum, consider joining the EFF!

(5 items listed)

  • Something from the May 20 Time – the inflammatory title says it all: Burn, Baby, Burn – a summary of the state of play in the RIAA vs. CD copying game:

    The very idea makes Rosen go ballistic: “It’s the height of arrogance for Philips to worry about its patent royalties when we’re worrying about the health of the industry,” she says. But if an industry giant like Philips distances itself from copy protection, the whole enterprise could be counterproductive. A logoless, warning-labeled CD is not going to look as attractive to customers as its unprotected counterparts. Besides, who wants to run even a slight risk that a disc might not work in all machines? “We’re hearing that kids have slowed down their purchases of music CDs because they’re not sure which ones will crash their machines,” says analyst Rob Enderle of the Giga Information Group. “The fear may exist even if the problem doesn’t.”

    Other parts of the article discuss the hardware industy’s reponse in the face of CBDTPA et al. – kind of brings back the recent discussions of the Gateway and Apple ads.

  • The Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel’s proposed royalty rates for webcasting were rejected (text of order). The Slashdot commentary is not terribly deep. I’m sure there will be more from LawMeme, GrepLaw and Copyfight. Wired’s Kendra Mayfield weighs in here. And an earlier article from Jane Black in BusinessWeekOnline presages some of today’s events.
  • David Berlind of ZDNet has a scary story to tell about Microsoft, IBM, WWW standards and intellectual property – coupled with a disturbing examination of the differences between what Microsoft tells reporters and what Microsoft says under oath.

  • Noah Shachtman of Wired tells another scary story – this one about using tricks in the copyright law to guarantee ownership of DNA sequences by encoding them in songs – decoding the sequence from the song, if copyrighted, would be a DMCA violation and, instead of getting 17 years of protection, the biotech firm gets 95 (or more, depending on how Eldred turns out).

  • More on defeating Sony’s copy protection with a felt tipped pen – this CNN article includes a picture.

2002 May 20 links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-20 22:44:26)

Well, after taking a couple days off to deal with some other issues, I find myself with a backlog of links added and comments to construct. I may end up being briefer than I would like, but I hope to get the essentials across, at least.

Also, note the little calendar to the left. My brother, a fan of Dave Winer‘s Radio/Frontier/Userland/Manila tools (and the author of a quite interesting and entertaining blog), insists that any good weblog should have a calendar tool for moving quickly through the archive. Since this is a bit of a "roll your own" weblog, I’m going to be trying to cobble it together out of a variety of open source code bits. With luck, I may actually have something workable in a couple of days – depends on how good I am at putting together the necessary SQL.

(13 items listed)

  • First, let’s talk about KaZaa (or KaZaA). They go public today with their Altnet system, and there apparently is a business model around distribution of copyrighted materials. Unfortunately for them, a worm, Benjamin, has apparently also been released. Some may see this as sabotage by the record industries, but the liability issues are insanely high (under the Patriot Act if nothing else), so it’s more likely it’s just a disgruntled hacker. There is a Slashdot discussion for those who are interested.
  • Then we have a BusinessWeek article discussing how the CBDTPA may make Linux and other Open Source & Free Software projects infeasible, in that hardware specification would no longer be open to use without a payment of licensing fees to the owners of the necessary digital rights management hardware/software that would have to be embedded in all computing devices. This is not a new theory, but seeing it in black and white in the mainstream press is a little frightening. Again, there is a Slashdot discussion.
  • Looks like someone handling public relations for Celine Dion decided to get the New York Times to explain that all the trouble that computer users in Europe are having with her new CD (crashing iMacs, among other things) are certainly not her fault! (More related links in the May 13 and May 14 blog entries.)

  • Trent Lott’s efforts to slow Senate committee consideration of a Holling’s sponsored privacy bill has people complaining; even though there are analyses that suggest that just because the word privacy is used in the title is no guarantee that it actually will protect it.

  • The New York Times points out that Bertelsmann had to buy Napster, rather than merge, in order to shield itself from potential copyright liability.

  • LawMeme tries to talk some sense about the creation of bootleg DVDs of movies that are videotaped during previews, in an attempt to show why the DMCA, CBDTPA and other instruments of their ilk will do nothing to remedy the perceived problem.

  • SFgate’s Benny Evangelista gives a good summary of the state of play in the CARP/webcasting controversy.
  • Reuters picks up on the latest DMCA-violating technology (at least when it comes to music CDs) – the felt-tipped marker. Old news, but a first for the mainstream, again.

  • In the Eldred case, there’s a wealth of resources accompanying an article on LawMeme on the submission of an amicus curiae brief.

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education points out that Turnitin.com, a WWW site that can be used to test papers for plagiarism, is probably open to copyright infringement action because of the way in which it implements its services.

  • Here you go: Microsoft has admitted that Windows code is so poorly-written that it would be a risk to national security if the antitrust remedies were to include open disclosure of the source. Hmmm – maybe some of those billions in the bank should be used to fix some of these bugs instead of acquiring other companies to cement its control over new industries – like pouring money down the Xbox hole, for example?

  • Alan Cox (Linux kernel hacker extraordinarie) expresses his views on copyright in a Slashdot interview.

  • Finally, a look at the recent price reductions in the XBox – is Microsoft in trouble? This article says they are; and the Slashdot discussion is interesting, particularly in light of this old Salon article.