May 20, 2002

2002 May 20 links [7:38 pm]

(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.

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