October 18, 2003

Donna on McCain [8:45 pm]

Copyfight points us to John McCain’s letter on the broadcast flag:

I am writing to inquire how implementation of the broadcast flag proposal would impact consumers — both immediately and in the future. In particular, I ask you to comment on whether this impact would be mitigated or further exacerbated by future Commission actions to address the “analog hole” issues that all parties agree will persist even if a broadcast flag is implemented. Given these apparent doubts about the effectiveness of a broadcast flag, has the Commission considered whether the anticipated benefit to be derived from such a mandate justifies its potential cost to consumers?

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The Times on the Next Round of RIAA Suits [8:07 pm]

Record Industry Warns 204 Before Suing on Swapping.

After reading this article, maybe we should just call this "making enemies, one lawsuit at a time:"

One person who was sued in the first round of cases, Ross Plank of Playa del Ray, Calif., said that the strategy of notifying potential defendants first was promising, but only if the industry was willing to talk and not just threaten.

[...] Mr. Plank, who runs a company that maintains Web sites for businesses, said that he did not download music, and added that the songs he was accused of downloading are largely in Spanish and are not songs that would interest him.

He says he has been falsely accused, and that the experience has been deeply stressful to him and his family. “I feel like I’m in another country,” he said.

Being sued by the industry, he said, has soured him on giving music companies any more money. “I’ve stopped buying CD’s,” he said. “The only thing I’m listening to is the radio.”

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The Broadcast Flag in the US; Software Patents in the EU [6:36 pm]

Slashdot reports that there are actions to subvert the recent vote to ensure that the worst of the software patent/business method patent regime that we have here in the US would remain on our shores: Europeans Still Battling Software Patents

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