August 15, 2003

Another bit of foolishness [8:10 pm]

seriously, what did it do?

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Test entry [7:57 pm]

What can I say? This is a test of this setup - I’m curious to see how well that this is going to work. My standard is to post with bracketing LI and P tags, as well as blockquote. So let’s try it (even if the MIT network is still tragically slow….

  • The more real side of piracy: Studios help thwart DVD piracy ring:

    The international trade group worked with Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) to organize raids that led to the arrests of nine people, according to the MPA. The people arrested allegedly ran an illegal Web mail-order ring for pirated movies. One targeted site, DVDExpress2u, sold new-release DVD films such as “Confidence” or “2 Fast 2 Furious” for about $12.

    Let’s pretend that there was another paragraph in the quote

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2003 August 15 PM [3:31 pm]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-15 18:21:04)

While the power failure hasn’t had any direct effects here in Boston, the MIT network is tragically slow at DNS resolution, making the whole thing feel like we’re running on modem lines.

So it’s been particularly difficult to grab a minute here and there to see what’s going on - sorry

Interesting - I see that Ernie’s moved. I, too, am finding that I need to make a change, yet the need to migrate my archives while maintaining legacy links is a daunting set of contraints to impose - especially on the kind of short attention cycle that I’m going to be allowed with the start of a new semester. (Who am I kidding - I never seem to have enough time!). Maybe it’s time for me to make better use of the furd.com domain, which now just points to my MIT homepage. And I’ve already downloaded and started configuring WordPress……

  • Stunning - for promotional materials! Disney wins again in movie-trailer case

    A federal judge has delivered another blow to a company fighting for the right to show Disney movie trailers online. In an opinion dated Aug. 7 but released this week, U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle said copying and digitizing the movie trailers constituted copyright infringement. He ordered Video Pipeline to return original copies of the disputed trailers to Disney unit Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

    From the opinion: Video Pipeline v Buena Vista Entertainment

    Plaintiff Video Pipeline moves for summary judgment on its declaratory judgment claims on the ground that its use of its clip previews and of Disney’s trailers is consistent with the fair use statute and is consistent with copyright law’s policy to promote learning and disseminate information. In addition, plaintiff moves for summary judgment on defendant Disney’s copyright infringement claim relating to Disney’s trailers, arguing that its use of the trailers is fair use, and that Disney is misusing its copyright and has not registered the trailers. Furthermore, plaintiff argues that it did not breach the 1988 Master Clip License Agreement with BVHE, that the trademark claim for money damages fails because there was no actual consumer confusion, and the unfair competition claim also fails because plaintiff does not compete with defendants and in fact promotes the home video sales and rentals of defendant’s movies.

    Defendant and counterclaim-plaintiff BVHE moves for partial summary judgment on its copyright infringement, Lanham Act, and state law claims. Defendant argues that plaintiff’s digitization and internet streaming of the in-store trailers, the clip previews and copying of Disney trailers occurring post-December 2000 constitute copyright infringement, and that it is entitled to summary judgement on its breach of contract, state unfair competition, replevin and conversion claims.

    Although I need to think about this more, this passage from the discussion of the fair use defense is surprising, because it appears to say that, even though the plaintiff’s use of the trailers/trailer-like materials supports the intent of the copyright holder (promoting sales of videos), the copyright holder should be allowed to limit the use:

    Plaintiff’s use of the copyrighted work is to increase sales of defendants’ movies, though for its own profit and for profit of different retailers and distributors. The clip previews and trailers are not created for the benefit of collectors of the copyrighted works, nor do they provide an additional fora of products to which consumers of the copyrighted works would also be drawn. Importantly, home video retailers and other distributors of these motion picture who generally pay for plaintiff’s services on a per-megabyte basis, not just renters and purchasers of the copyrighted movie, consume this type of product.

    The retailers and distributors of the copyrighted work and the owners of the copyrighted work have a similar purpose, that of selling and renting the videos of the motion picture movies. Especially here, where Disney has actually entered the market by creating its own trailers for promoting its movies, it cannot be said that plaintiff has created a transformative purpose, or that its purpose is substantially different than that of defendants. Because plaintiff has not changed the purpose or character of the use of the copyrighted images, the first factor strongly favors defendant.

    So, this is a defense of Disney by protecting Disney from someone who sells Disney products better than Disney does?

  • Although I saw headlines earlier, this is the first article that I’ve actually gotten on this announcement from Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation: RIAA Methods Under Scrutiny - see also this July 31 press release from Coleman’s office: Coleman Concerned Recording Industry’s Shotgun Approach To Issuing Rubber-Stamped Subpoenas Inadvertantly Targets Unwary Consumers.

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2003 August 15 AM [8:14 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-15 09:54:02)

  • Unsurprisingly, the Microsoft music offering is being examined with a fairly jaundiced eye: Sour Note to Microsoft Deal

    While welcoming the increased choice for music lovers, European Union regulators said the news bolsters their antitrust case against the software giant. Just last week, the EU accused Microsoft of trying to squash competing audiovisual software by including its Media Player with the Windows desktop system.

    It is demanding Microsoft either produce a version of Windows without the Media Player or incorporate rival programs into the package.

    See also Jupiter’s Mark Mulligan

  • Salon excerpts from the Fox vs Franken complaints. Although it may cost Franken some money, this could ultimately yield some material of the caliber of the Warner v Marx "Casablanca" material - see also this compendium of links from A blog doesn’t need a clever name.

  • Slashdot is probably the best start on the latest in SCO coverage, although GrokLaw remains the definitive source:

  • A couple of music industry education efforts get some coverage in MI2N:

  • A new strategem in the RIAA subpoena deluge: Consumer Fights Subpoena Seeking File Sharers’ Names [via Digital Media Wire] [pdf]:

    After serving Internet providers with more than 1,000 subpoenas demanding the names and addresses of people who share copyrighted music online, the Recording Industry Assn. of America has run into someone who wants to fight for her anonymity.

    The woman is a Verizon Internet Services customer accused of offering copyrighted songs on a file-sharing network for others to download free. The woman, who has hired a lawyer to contest a subpoena, apparently is the first to try to prevent her identity from being disclosed to the record companies’ trade association.

    [...] Sarah Deutsch, associate general counsel for Verizon Communications Inc., said the company - which unsuccessfully challenged two early RIAA subpoenas - has notified all customers whose names have been sought by the RIAA. One retained an attorney, Daniel Ballard of McDonough Holland & Allen in Sacramento, who asked Verizon not to comply with the subpoena because he planned to contest it.

    Verizon didn’t reveal the woman’s name, Deutsch said, and the RIAA last week asked a federal judge in Washington to compel Verizon to identify her.

    Ballard said he planned to respond by challenging the constitutionality of the RIAA subpoena process on grounds that it has violated people’s rights to privacy and due process.

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