August 7, 2003

2003 August 7 AM [7:50 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-07 12:05:44)

  • Mary points to this guardian article on viral marketing featuring the spoof Metallica copyright infringement lawsuit: Word of mouse

  • From the NYTimes: Oyez! The Supreme Court, Now on MP3

  • I missed this yesterday: Congress, the new copyright bully on ACCOPS:

    Rather than making a seemingly endless number of ad hoc proposals, Congress needs to develop an integrated policy about criminal copyright infringement. To do so, Congress needs to realize two things. First, it is not acceptable to put average Americans at the peril of going to jail for doing everyday activities. Second, if the existing laws are not yielding the desired results, perhaps they were bad policy, in which case making them tougher only compounds the initial policy failure.

    [...] If the record industry thinks that its problems warrant litigation, they should use the laws that are already on the books. Of course, those lawsuits come at some risk, as they require the industry to sue its customers. But the record industry, much more so than government prosecutors, can determine the cost benefit of suing customers to reduce infringement. If the record industry decides that lawsuits are not worth it, what does that say about the need for criminal enforcement?

    Thus, Congress’ anger at the American public for continuing to infringe is misdirected. Instead, Congress should be angry with copyright owners for failing to use the many powerful tools that Congress has already given them. If Congress wants a sensible policy to stem infringement, try this: Before giving industry advocates new laws, make them prove that they took full advantage of the laws that Congress gave them the last time they asked.

  • Slashdot chronicles the ever-more-bizarre SCO claims: SCO Targets US Government, TiVo, citing several articles. A particularly incisive comment:

    [...] I think this isn’t only a last desperate gasp by SCO for some money, I think its a desperate gambit by proprietary software interests to kill OSS before it kills them. The stock manipulation thing is too transparent to be the only goal of the SCO attacks.

    Or maybe I’m just giving too much credit and being too conspiracy theory. What the heck, it’s interesting to consider.

    As an aside, how bitter is the cup of vindication Stallman must be sipping from right now? And those who thought he was a bit too evangelical in his stance must at least be taking a moment to reflect that what he has been warning and working against is now beginning to happen right in front of us. Additionally, had people been more willing to acquiesce to the idea of using GNU/Linux as the name of the package used, it may have been more readily appearant to even laymen that even were SCO’s claims valid their “contributions” still represent a ridiculously small amount of the overall package and thus their claim would have been more obviously worthless. I’ll leave that for others to debate.

    In related news, CNet has an interview with Red Hat CEO

    Matthew Szulic on the Red Hat suit.

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