(entry last updated: 2003-08-11 17:38:13)
(entry last updated: 2003-08-11 11:43:55)
For a tragic debasing of the digital copyright debate, see this cycle of Politech postings, both as lead-in and fallout to Annalee Newtiz’ Alternet op-ed (cited in multiple locations already) Why I Infringe
Here’s an example of just how muddle-headed this whole debate can get – consider this paragraph from her editorial:
I’ve never been one for pussyfooting around when it comes to liberating what some corporation or mogul calls “private property.” I don’t really give a shit about capitalism. I think it’s a scam. Rich guys who own everything trade stocks, and the rest of us, who own the vast majority of nothing, watch welfare wither away. If we make something beautiful and try to make a living by selling it, we can’t own it. My beautiful thing will be the property of some company that has slapped a cover on it.
Does this make sense to anybody? No wonder she’s tried to back off. Too bad she didn’t think as hard about this op-ed piece as she did about her latest posting to Politech – she might have done the cause a little good, instead of perpetuating the perception that those who combat the current copyright regime are a bunch of bomb-throwing anarcho-communists.
Cory also tosses this temptation my way, since it seems that my luggage has some kind of invisible tag telling the TSA that this bag needs inspecting: Printable felony sarcasm
BoingBoing picks up this Slashdot posting from Ian Clarke, the inventor of Freenet – Ian has decided that he can no longer live in the United States, given the current climate. Read Cory’s writeup before seeing Ian’s comment.
Benny Evangelista describes elements of the upcoming freshman orientation at UC Berkeley: Download warning 101:
Freshman orientation this fall to include record industry warnings against file sharing
Specifically they’ll be warned they can lose their Internet access or get slapped with a costly copyright infringement lawsuit if they aren’t careful about uploading and downloading files using programs like Kazaa.
“It’s a chance for us to educate (dorm) residents about the new threats coming from the entertainment industry,” said Dedra Chamberlin, UC Berkeley’s manager for residential computing.
[…] At UC Berkeley, orientation week starting next Monday will include a mandatory session called Cal Connect. Incoming dorm residents will not only learn how to connect their computers to the university’s high-speed network, but they will be warned that access could be terminated if they transfer 6 gigabytes worth of files per week, Chamberlin said.
Students will be briefed on some of the latest developments in copyright law, including recording industry lawsuits in April that cost four students at colleges in New York, New Jersey and Michigan between $12,000 and $17,000 each in fines.
The orientation session will also warn students about plans by the RIAA to start filing civil lawsuits against individual file sharers by late August or early September.
[…] Today the university has streamlined the process, giving students only 24 hours to respond to an e-mail warning before cutting Internet access to get their attention.
While supporting the idea of protecting copyrights, Chamberlin was critical of the record industry’s strategies, especially since it has cost her department about $15,000 to enforce the DMCA notices.
Plus, the Penn State initiative (also see this) in this area are cited, albeit in little detail:
Spanier said the music services could be provided the the same way colleges now provide cable TV connections to students, with discount fees included as part of tuition or student activities fees. He said he hopes to start pilot projects at several universities during the coming school year.
Related link: The threats keep coming – Parents liable for kids’ P2P downloads
I missed this ZDNet column on the EU IP Directive; Proposed Euro law–everyone’s a crook. It discusses Ross Anderson‘s critique of the proposal: The Draft IPR Enforcement Directive — A Threat to Competition and to Liberty
The SCO beat goes on. A User Friendly cartoon, and a surprisingly clear column from Hiawatha Bray in today’s Boston Globe: sadly, with their &auot;new look" I cannot find today’s Upgrade column…..
Here’s the link – eventually, it might even be possible to find it on the Globe WWW page!: Linux users have IBM on their side [pdf]
[The EFF’s Eben] Moglen argues that even if IBM misappropriated SCO software, that’s a matter between IBM and SCO, not the users of Linux. Suppose you buy a book containing plagiarized material. The victim of the plagiarism could sue the publisher and the author, but he’d never get a dime from you or anyone else who’d merely bought the book. Moglen believes the same principle should apply to software.
But apart from this, Moglen believes that SCO cut its own throat when it demanded licensing fees from Linux users. To understand why, you’ve got to know a little about the license that governs the use of Linux software.
It’s called the General Public License, or GPL, and it was born at the Free Software Foundation, a Cambridge-based outfit with a theological commitment to the unfettered exchange of computer code. Most computer software licenses set strict limits on copying and modification of the code. But code licensed under the GPL can be copied and modified freely. And nobody can levy additional licensing fees on software distributed under the GPL.
Which raises a problem for SCO Group. Up until May, SCO was itself a Linux distributor, and Linux can only be legally distributed under the terms of the GPL. Under that license, SCO cannot demand additional licensing fees on the software. The moment SCO did so, it violated the license.