December 5, 2003

SCO Has To Go First [6:13 pm]

Slashdot is full of the GrokLaw reports that SCO lost both motions today in Utah, and has 30 days to produce all the supposedly infringing code.

Cool, but I like the fact that GrokLaw notes elsewhere that Linus Torvalds is getting his hands dirty after asserting that the law was to be left to lawyers. See Linus Digs Into Copyright Law and Notices Something Useful — a response to Slashdot on Daryl McBride’s Latest (updated)

I ended up looking up the exact wording of the US copyright law for the definition of ‘derivative’, and guess what I find a few lines below it:

The term “financial gain” includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.

This is from US Code Collection, Title 17 (copyrights), Chapter 1, Section 101: ‘Definitions’. In short, this is from the very first section in copyright law - the thing that defines terms even before those terms are used. What I’m trying to say - this is some pretty fundamental stuff when it comes to copyrights in the US. Pertinent, if you will.

And note how copyright law expressly includes ‘the expectation of receipt’ of anything of value, and expressly mentions ‘receipt of other copyrighted works’ as such a thing of value. And that’s the _definition_ of ‘financial gain’ as far as copyright law is concerned.

And guess what the GPL is all about? Maybe you can explain to Darl how the GPL is _designed_ so that people receive the value of other peoples copyrighted works in return for having made their own contributions. That is the fundamental idea of the whole license - everything else is just legal fluff.

permalink to just this entry

Slashdot on Daryl McBride’s Latest (updated) [9:34 am]

True, it’s clearly flamebait, and Slashdot rises to it: McBride’s New Open Letter on Copyrights. The letter/press release is a look into a seriously peculiar interpretation of the GPL, but what would you expect?

However, there is a group of software developers in the United States, and other parts of the world, that do not believe in the approach to copyright protection mandated by Congress. In the past 20 years, the Free Software Foundation and others in the Open Source software movement have set out to actively and intentionally undermine the U.S. and European systems of copyrights and patents. Leaders of the FSF have spent great efforts, written numerous articles and sometimes enforced the provisions of the GPL as part of a deeply held belief in the need to undermine or eliminate software patent and copyright laws.

The software license adopted by the GPL is called “copy left ” by its authors. This is because the GPL has the effect of requiring free and open access to Linux (and other) software code and prohibits any proprietary use thereof. As a result, the GPL is exactly opposite in its effect from the “copy right ” laws adopted by the US Congress and the European Union.

Uh-huh. Except, of course, that the GPL’s legal force derives from the very copyright laws that Mr. McBride asserts that it acts to subvert. Apparently, there are only some things one is allowed to do with one’s monopoly, and electing to use it to do something other than to extract monopoly rents is unconstitutional. I wonder if all of Mr. McBride’s life is governed by marketplace behavior — life at home must be pretty interesting.

And dragging Eldred v. Ashcroft into the discussion is just tragic.

Update: As usual, for the straight poop, see Groklaw, particularly the excellent Darl’s “Greed is Good” Manifesto — an excellent reminder that liberty, not profit, underlies the American experiment in government. Note that, according to GrokLaw, the site is cited in IBM’s recent reply briefs in advance of today’s hearings in Utah. The power of community……..

permalink to just this entry

All Your FAT Are Belong To Us (sorry) [7:22 am]

permalink to just this entry

Alternative Compensation for Music Workshop Today [7:08 am]

I see that Derek and Ed are going to Development of a Alternative Compensation System (ACS) for Digital Media in a Global Environment. Should be interesting to hear what comes of it. The perils of falling behind, this is the first I’ve heard of it — nothing like missing something going on under one’s nose! (See also Mary Hodder’s post)

The meeting proposed by the Berkman Center will take place on December 5, 2003, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on the Harvard Law School campus. The meeting will have two broad segments: the morning will focus on a mandatory, state-run model; the afternoon will be devoted to consideration of a voluntary entertainment co-op model. The format will be a discussion led by Prof. Fisher.

permalink to just this entry

Alternative Compensation Meeting [7:06 am]

I see that Derek and Ed are going to Development of a Alternative Compensation System (ACS) for Digital Media in a Global Environment. Should be interesting to hear what comes of it.

The meeting proposed by the Berkman Center will take place on December 5, 2003, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on the Harvard Law School campus. The meeting will have two broad segments: the morning will focus on a mandatory, state-run model; the afternoon will be devoted to consideration of a voluntary entertainment co-op model. The format will be a discussion led by Prof. Fisher.

permalink to just this entry

A Lot of Boo-Hooing Over at USAToday…. [6:46 am]

(Sorry — No Boston Globe to read at breakfast today <G>)

Bemoaning the decline of the album format: Downloading squeezes the art out of the album: A growing single-song culture is wiping out the multiple-track format [pdf]. A lot of column-inches set aside, describing the return of the single as the leading edge of the end of music culture. Really.

The digital age, driven by single-song downloads, threatens to eradicate the multiple-track album, whether on compact disc, cassette or old-fashioned vinyl. It’s not just the physical artifact that’s joining shellac 78s, turntables and 8-track tapes in the pop graveyard: The very concept of songs integrated into a whole faces extinction.

[...] ”The disappearance of the album as an entity would be sad, but anything to do with the evolution in how people access music excites me,” singer Alanis Morissette says. ”I’m very album-oriented, and my highest preference is that people experience my album as a whole, but I know people can gravitate to a certain song and listen to it ad nauseum. That’s their right. It’s about freedom of choice.”

[...] Paid downloads, expected to reach $80 million this year,$1.1 billion next year and $3.2 billion in 2008, account for a fraction of music sales but are expected to explode as Generation Y brings its entertainment dollars to the marketplace. While baby boomers maintained an allegiance to the album format as they graduated from vinyl to tape to CDs, the so-called echo boomers, a staggering 78 million of them, increasingly prefer the pay-per-tune route. And they favor shopping online over standing in line. In the week ending Sunday, downloaders bought 1.3 million tracks while stores sold 186,000 physical singles, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

[...] Joe Levy, music editor at Rolling Stone, theorizes that the CD has killed the album; that is, the arrival of the shiny digital disc with expanded room for sound helped push the concept of a bundled batch of songs toward extinction.

”The CD has been responsible for the death of the album in two ways,” Levy says. ”One is technology. Once music was sold in a digitized format, it could be easily traded on the Internet. CDs began to disappear as consumers collected music one MP3 at a time.

”The second factor is artistic. If you grew up with vinyl, you got 30 or 40 minutes on a record. Now you get 70 on a CD. The album format got swollen, unmanageable and, to some degree, unlistenable. Either you don’t have that much time to listen to it or the experience isn’t rewarding.”

Give me a break! When’s the last time you bought a pop CD that had more than 45 minutes of music? At least Dave Matthews gets it:

Dave Matthews sees the album’s demise as just another pothole in the music industry’s road to ruin.

”The real issue is that the technologies of how to access information have exploded, so everything the industry took for granted has been shattered, and now the industry has to get up and figure out how to deal with it,” he says. ”The industry as it stands is going to be antiquated out of existence. And there’s no question we’ll work our way through it and become accustomed to something new.”

Or something that predates the recording industry: performing live. The album’s doom may be a boon not for singles but for the concert circuit.

”I don’t feel threatened financially by the collapse of the industry,” Matthews says. ”The vast majority of my living is made from touring. Nobody’s going to be able to download that.”

But, striking a blow for the Paris Hilton Weltanschauung, we get Michelle Shocked:

Michelle Shocked considers the album’s downfall a another step toward a cultural wasteland. When she finished 1991’s Arkansas Traveler, an ambitious song cycle inspired by the blackface minstrel tradition, her label demanded she add a radio-friendly single. She dutifully delivered Come a Long Way.

”You can adapt to mundane things like marketing, but when the tail is wagging the dog and you generate singles for their own sake, you can pretty much kiss the concept album goodbye. That’s the direction labels are going in, because that’s where profit lies.”

Shocked refuses to dissect her 1988 breakthrough, Short Sharp Shocked, for track-by-track online sales. ”I control the destiny of that album,” she says. ”I own the rights so no label could chop it up and sell it on the Internet. If I did that, they’d only buy (hit single) Anchorage, which is only a part of that whole image. I refuse to be treated as a one-hit wonder.

”Trust me: We’re heading into a novelty song culture.”

Sorry, Michelle — get over yourself. You can create anything you want; but you shouldn’t expect me to sacrifice real technological advances, much less my own freedom to create and innovate (not to mention to elect not to buy your art), just to satisfy your artistic vision.

permalink to just this entry

December 2003
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
posts

0.330 || Powered by WordPress