2003 August 8 PM

(entry last updated: 2003-08-08 18:56:30)

  • Here’s Mary Hodder’s posting on the compulsory licensing discussion I mentioned this morning: Compulsory Licensing Cont’d: Ernie Miller on Pho, In Response to Derek Slater. And she’s already put together her thoughts on that nonsensical New Scientist piece about fine art and digital copying: Digital Photos on the Internet Ripe for Copyright Infringement – check out the comment, which suggests that there is caselaw already out there asserting that copying a public domain artwork is not copyright infringement.

  • The Tech has posted their RIAA article: RIAA Sues MIT, Seeks Name of Music Sharer. I note that Jeff Schiller’s quotes are quite carefully worded:

    “MIT believes in protecting the privacy of students, and we don’t yield information willy-nilly, but the bottom line is … we can’t necessarily protect the identities of our students when they engage in illegal file sharing,” [Jeff] Schiller said.

    “Nobody is above the law, whether they’re a student or a grandparent,” Weiss, the RIAA spokeswoman, said. “If they’re breaking the law, they’re breaking the law.”

    “My advice to people who are using KaZaA for sharing copyrighted files is, ‘Now would be a good time to stop,'” Schiller said.

2003 August 8 AM

(entry last updated: 2003-08-08 09:55:11)

  • And, as I leave for my next meeting of the day, let’s all enjoy Steve Martin’s contribution to the NYTimes Op-Ed: It All Depends on What You Mean by ‘Have’ [pdf]

    Let me try and clear it up for you. I think what you were trying to say was, “At any time, did anyone in Iraq think about, wish for, dream of, or search the Internet for weapons of mass destruction?”

    Of course they did have. Come on, Iraq is just one big salt flat and no dictator can look out on his vast desert and not imagine an A-test going on. And let’s face it, it really doesn’t matter if they had them or not, because they hate us like a lassoed shorthorn heifer hates bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

  • New Scientist raises a nonsensical spectre – more interesting will be to think more formally about why this whole thing is foolish – the whole question of ‘original’ gets to be quite interesting when you think about paintings: Piracy warning over digitised fine art

    A scheme to digitise famous paintings that was unveiled last week by the National Gallery in London, UK, may be placing the collection at risk of digital piracy. Now music and movie makers are warning the world of fine arts to act quickly if it wants to prevent the same kind of high-tech piracy that is crippling their industries.

  • A Wired news article on the normative complexities of supplying useful tools – they get used in ways you didn’t expect: 101 Uses for Apple IChat

  • Derek’s tracking a discussion of what it would take to make Terry Fisher’s music distribution plan operational; see Fisher’s Plan and Other Interesting Proposals; Gaming Fisher’s System and Compulsory Licenses Discussion on Pho

    What I can say is that there’s a lot here to digest; and I haven’t had the time to do so yet. But I think the hardest part of the whole problem will be convincing the music industry that the economic gains they have received from converting their product into a digital object should more than offset their perceived losses they will certainly associate with a compulsory licensing scheme. Until that argument gets made in a fashion that convinces the rest of the world (the industry will never be convinced, IMHO), there will never be the political traction necessary to get this approach through Congress.

  • MI2N is also carrying this threatening press release: MP3 Liability: Are You Responsible For Your Children’s Downloads?

  • The PAN Network is promoting Nabster – a tool that purports to inserts a fingerprint into digital media files as they are requested over HTTP. How exactly this is supposed to prevent piracy is a little more obscure, especially since there have been plenty of demonstrations of how one might remove watermarks.

  • An ironic note from The Register: RIAA ignores court battles, picks Verizon to host site

    In its endless quest to keep the RIAA’s Web site up, hosting company TST manages to set new records not in uptime but in third-party service blunders. The latest gaffe has TST moving the RIAA’s servers onto Verizon’s network – an ISP the music labels have fought in court.

  • Reported many places, but missed by me due to a day of meetings: IBM sues SCO for selling Linux. A good example of the anger out there is in this kuro5hin article: Let’s Put SCO Behind Bars

    Slashdot has as good a rundown of the press as any: IBM Countersues SCO, And More! – but read GrokLaw’s preliminary analysis: SCO, Meet the GPL —

    IBM’s Legal Calvary Charges

    It also means that while Darl was shooting his mouth off, IBM was taking notes, and the majority of the other counterclaims are based on SCO spokespeople saying things to the press that IBM says were deceitful and damaging and derogatory, harming IBM’s business and reputation, harming the reputation of Linux, and interfering with its potential customers, and they say their tortious conduct was and is willful and deliberate, hence they should be fined treble damages, because, they tell the court, this is an exceptional case, meriting such sanctions. They also ask the court to stop them from any further infringement of their four patents by ordering SCO to quit manufacturing or selling or distributing the infringing products listed above. So, if the court says yes, that’s pretty much the end of SCO’s business, both software and the licensing plan.


    And finally, a song of praise to the GPL. It’s [sic] shining hour has arrived. And it is shining manfully. If you were longing for the GPL to have its day in court, you just got it. It is leading the charge.

  • The Register: Wanadoo is not caching your KaZaA

    Wanadoo Netherlands has suddenly dropped Joltid’s PeerCache, software designed to reduce costs of network traffic by caching frequently traded files within file-swapping system such as KaZaA, saying “it was only an experiment”.

    It seems that Wanadoo’s parent company in Paris became a little too anxious about copyright liability. In a corporate statement describing the experiment a couple of weeks ago, Wanadoo underlined that it didn’t want to encourage “infringements on copyrights”.

    Peercache is built to work for FastTrack, one of the most widely used P2P protocols. Wanadoo’s Dutch subsidiary was one of the first ISPs to work with the software. It cached 0.8 terabyte of frequently asked files (albeit not in any recognisable form) on local servers, thereby reducing the volume of international traffic by 25 per cent or more, according to Wanadoo business development manager Lammert van Raan.

  • Today’s Boston Globe indicates that the RIAA is responding to the MIT objections to their subpoena: RIAA steps up bid to force BC, MIT to name students [pdf].

    This article from the Globe and Mail describes differences in the Canadian situation: Can it happen here? [pdf]