August 21, 2003

2003 August 21 PM [7:13 pm]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-21 19:58:15)

  • *Shock!* A study sponsored by Macrovision answers the question How High Is The Risk Of Home Copying To Hollywood? [also at MI2N] with the following:

    Movie studios, independent producers, music video record companies plus creators, distributors and retailers of video content collectively could be losing estimated retail revenue approaching $1 billion a year in the United States, due to lack of comprehensive application of copy protection, according to a new study sponsored by Macrovision Corporation. This level of displaced revenue would amount to nearly 5% of the $20.6 billion home video industry.

  • Kviar Music has a press release on MI2N: Brazilian Label Launches Recording CD Kiosk

    Kviar Music, Brazil’s leading online music label, presented during the Music Fair that recently took place in the northern city of Fortaleza, the first CD recording kiosk system in the country. Totally developed and patented by Kviar, the machine can record customized CDs in a matter of minutes. For that, the public can listen and choose from over 2 thousand tracks, which ones will be present in his or her CD, regardless of genre, author, album, etc. The kiosk then records a CD with only the chosen tracks, prints the cover with the track list, and prints a receipt. The whole process takes only up to 7 minutes and the resulting CD is a regular audio CD than can be listened in the car, stereo, computer, etc. Each CD can have up to 74 minutes, which amounts to more or less up to 15 regular tracks. Kviar expects to charge R$8,00 per CD, (more or less US$3,50), including the cover, media, and the copyrights and taxes due.

    [...] Today, Kviar already allows the public to listen to songs in its portal located at http://www.kviar.com, and include them in what it called “Instant CD”. This system, which uses US company Immediatek’s “NetBurn” technology, creates on-the-fly an executable with the chosen songs and CD cover. The user then inserts a blank CD in his or her CD recorder and in a matter of minutes he or she will have a regular CD which can be listened to in any CD player. Kviar is closing deals with other labels to distribute their music by this system, and now it will extend this partnerships to the CD burning kiosks as well.

    Be sure the read the technology description of Immediatek’s technologies:

    Immediatek’s groundbreaking and patent-pending NetBurn technology offers record labels, distributors, online music sources, and artists the only “one-button burn” solution which can burn an entire CD of music in only one click–directly from the Internet to the CD burner on the user’s computer.

    In doing so, NetBurn protects the copyrights of the artist by requiring either a purchase of the music through e-commerce or through a monthly membership to the Internet site offering the music.

    There’s also Netburn Secure:

    NetBurn Secure burns a two-session disc. The first session contains audio tracks which are “marked” and cannot be copied, played or ripped on a computer. The second session contains digital files, such as Windows Media(tm) DRM files, which are controlled by License Management Technology (LMT), and whcih cannot be uploaded back to the Internet. Because of the unique structure of the discs, as well as the copy control implemented, users can achieve playability on virtually every audio device (such as car and home stereos), as well as computers.

  • How long do you think this site will be available? Memepool describes it as downloading music "old skool style" - University of Colorado

    Digital Sheet Music Collection. Note that their extensive copyright information page explains the limitations as they see them.

  • Jenny Levine on Singling Out The Music Industry - comments on the MTV News article Downloads, EPs, Singles Conspiring To Kill The Album Format

  • Slashdot discusses EarthStation5 and the now defunct xMule P2P application (the SourceForge link): RIAA/MPAA vs. xMule Author, EarthStation 5

  • Lisa Bowman interviews the lead SCO counsel, Mark Heise: SCO’s big legal gun takes aim - the crux of the argument is again stated here, although it’s worth reading the whole thing to see just how convoluted a lawyer can make things when he wants to….

    This case has been characterized as an attack on the GPL.

    We never raised the GPL in this litigation. We are somewhat surprised that IBM, which has this tremendous copyright and patent portfolio, is advocating the use of the GPL since it could have an impact on them. If, for example, their copyrighted materials are finding their way into the GPL, does that suddenly strip them of their rights? We don’t think the GPL applies. We believe it is pre-empted by the federal copyright law.

    The Free Software Foundation apparently disagrees. If you look at the terms of the GPL and the terms of copyright law, copyright law governs. It is the exclusive authority regarding the use, distribution, etc., of copyrighted material. In the GPL, (there is a section that) specifically says it applies only to the use and distribution. In other words, the exact same topics that are covered exclusively by the Copyright Act are covered by the GPL. Section 301 of the Copyright Act says the Copyright Act pre-empts any claims that are governed regarding use, distribution and copying. We believe that although the GPL is being tossed into the fray, it is pre-empted by federal copyright law.

  • NPD Group seem to think the answer to Are swappers scared of the RIAA? is "Yes!"

    The report, released Thursday, said online file swapping started dropping in May, shortly after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) publicly hinted that it may go after individual file swappers. The number of households acquiring music fell from a high of 14.5 million in April to 12.7 million in May and 10.4 million in June, according to NPD.

    Of course, school let out, too.

  • CNet updates this article: File swapper fights RIAA subpoena

    “This is more invasive than someone having secret access to the library books you check out or the videos you rent,” Glenn Peterson, one of the attorneys, said in a statement. “The recent efforts of the music industry to root out piracy have addressed a uniquely contemporary problem with Draconian methods–good old-fashioned intimidation combined with access to personal information that would make George Orwell blush.”

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2003 August 21 AM [7:08 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-21 08:16:36)

  • PressePapiers posts a followup to Jay Currie’s Blame Canada: Private Copying

    Well, without getting into too much details, while downloading music might be covered by the Tariff, as it does not specify any source or support requirements for the sound recording, uploading without a proper licence is not.

    The actual provision in the Copyright Act is

    Copying for Private Use

    80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of

    (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,

    (b) a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or

    (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer’s performance of a musical work, is embodied onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer’s performance or the sound recording.

    About all I can add is that, while it may not be expressly legal, I think Jay’s point (we’ve had a couple e-mail exchanges since) is that the legal environment in Canada is sufficiently distinct that the RIAA’s US strategies may not be so easy to implement in Canada. But Canada’s culture of copying is definitely different — how different remains to be tested by the RIAA, I suspect.

  • Mark Mulligan shows that schizophrenia is not limited to the music industry: Wanting it both ways again (this time it’s MSN)

    MSN have just launched their answer to Apple’s i-Tunes service in conjunction with OD2. Yet whilst MSN try to place them selves at the vanguard of Europe’s legitimate digital music market, they seem to be promoting MSN messenger on its music file sharing attributes. With a far from subtle ‘nudge nudge’ and ‘wink wink’ [Ed. note: link added] to the would be file sharers, MSN advertises the messenger on it’s [sic] own site as:

    “Share files or music…, you’ve got to download MSN messenger”

  • Earthstation5 has raised the ante with their latest press release [via BoingBoing]

    Earth Station 5 Declares War Against The Motion Picture Association of America

    JENIN, West Bank, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — In response to the email

    received today from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to

    Earthstation 5 for copyright violations for streaming FIRST RUN movies over

    the internet for FREE, this is our official response!

    Earthstation 5 is at war with the Motion Picture Association of America

    (MPAA) and the Record Association of America (RIAA), and to make our point

    very clear that their governing laws and policys have absolutely no meaning to

    us here in Palestine, we will continue to add even more movies for FREE.

    See also this James Lileks commentary: Why the Record Industry Doesn’t Stand a Chance

    But there will never be enough arrests or convictions to stop the hard-core downloaders; there will never be a technological fix that someone won’t find a way around. Copyright violations will cease when enough people decide they’re morally wrong, when the old explanation — “But Ma, even senators do it!” — doesn’t feel right. When the Internet is governed by reason, decency and conscience.

    Never, in other words. See you in Jenin.

  • This guy shouldn’t be advertising this fact - the RIAA is bound to try to do something about this - from The Onion: I Have An iPod - In My Mind

    Thirty gigabytes? So what? I know 7,500 songs, maybe more. Some songs, I forget I even have until they come around on shuffle. Why, just the other day, my mind started playing David Naughton’s “Makin’ It,” a song I hadn’t heard in years. And the sound quality was great!

    Easy downloads? You don’t know the meaning of the word “easy.” And I don’t have to know the meaning of the word “download.” You may get MP3s off the Internet, you smug scenester, but I can get music off the television, the radio, even a passing ice-cream truck. If I don’t want to waste the memory space on a high-fidelity copy, I just don’t pay very close attention. Now, that’s what I call convenience.

    All I have to do is hear a song once or twice, and it’s stored forever. I can call it up any time I want. Beach Boys. Beatles. How about some Bach? Or some Billy Joel? Sing me a song, piano man of my mind! And those are just the artists whose names begin with “B.”

    I can browse by artist, album, song, or music genre. Boom! I’m doing it right now! The “repeat” feature? Heck, songs from my iPod don’t ever have to end. I swear, I had “Music Box Dancer” going through my head for three days straight last week.

  • New ruling protects ISPs, Web operators

    Internet service providers and Web site operators are breathing a collective sigh of relief following a court decision that preserves a key aspect of their immunity under the Communications Decency Act.

    [...] Section 230 of the CDA carved out significant immunity for “interactive computer services” for the behavior of their customers. But the district court ruled that dating site Matchmaker and its operator, Metrosplash–acquired by Lycos in June 2000–could be held liable for information a user posted because of the interactive nature of the questionnaire that generated the posting.

    The court of appeals disagreed.

  • Bruce Perens has tracked down the provenance of the second code snippet shown at the SCO Forum as evidence of copyright infringement in the Linux kernel - SCO disagrees with his findings, of course. Linux advocate: More SCO evidence flawed

    The SCO Group is zero for two in its efforts to prove that its Unix software was illegally copied into the Linux operating system, according to Linux advocate Bruce Perens, who on Wednesday said he traced a second example of SCO’s disputed code and that it was lawfully included in Linux.

    [...] But these first two examples can be traced to the open source BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) Unix, and not to SCO’s AT&T Unix source code, and both are legitimately included in Linux, Perens said.

    “I think that these are probably the best examples that SCO has to show and they’re awful,” said Perens. “They would not stand up for a day in court.”

  • Media convergence - the MP3 player/cellphone: Brrring! A Musical Reverie Yields to Cellphone Chatter

  • Also in today’s Boston Globe, an article on the rise in used book sales via the internet, Turning over an old leaf [pdf], includes a call for the end of the first sale doctrine:

    “However much money is being made,” says Vincent McCaffrey, owner of the Avenue Victor Hugo used-book store in the Back Bay, “I know that because of the Internet more people are buying used books right now than ever before.”

    Amazon.com jumped into the used-book market last year by adding a “new or used” option to every new book listed on its site, which leads a customer to a list of small or middle-size booksellers offering the book at a deep discount to the new-book price. Since then, both Barnes & Noble and Borders have offered links to used-book sources. Mainstream publishers and the Authors Guild, a writers group, have raised a fuss, to no avail.

    “While we are glad that used-book sales are creating additional revenue for some of our booksellers,” says Random House spokesman Stuart Appelbaum, “it’s regrettable that neither authors nor publishers are benefiting financially.”

    This was a topic about a year ago, but I can only point you to the NYTimes abstracts now - see this one, for example.

    Note that considering the "used" option is also a viable strategy for those of us boycotting CDs from RIAA-member record companies — so far.

  • From today’s Boston Globe Business Roundup, we get this entry:

    Buffett loses appeal on disclosures

    Warren Buffett lost an appeal before the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay disclosure of certain stock holdings, part of an effort by the billionaire to prevent copycat investing. As chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett has argued that his short-term trading strategies qualify as intellectual property and warrant an SEC filing exemption. Publication of Berkshire’s holdings, Buffett says, leads to price movements that drive up his investment costs. The SEC acknowledged that traders attempt to mimic Buffett’s selections. At the same time, the agency said Buffett failed to show that complying with disclosure rules would cause Berkshire competitive harm. The agency requires individuals and companies that manage $100 million or more of stock to disclose their holdings at the end of each quarter in a filing called Form 13F. An SEC spokesman declined to comment. (Bloomberg)

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