January 16, 2004

Recovery of Images [9:49 am]

This is partly off-topic, in that the focus of the article is on the technology applied to recovering pictures of the Kennedys from contact sheets after the negatives had been lost: Retrieving a Rare Glimpse of Those Fabled 1,000 Days.

But, consider the implications if digital rights management instruments were built into these scanners (or, the PhotoShop used to recover the materials). The creator is dead, but the copyright has not expired. Luckily, in this case, the owner of the copyright could be found. But, without that discovery, in a world of watermark-recognizing digital devices, the recovery of the information in the contact sheets would be vastly more expensive, due to the need for customized (and potentially illegal) equipment & software and the liability insurance that almost any publisher would want for undertaking the project at all.

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A Look At Apple’s GarageBand [9:43 am]

From yesterday’s NYTimes: Recording Studio in a Box (See earlier entry — Doc Searls On What Appleā€™s Really Up To)

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Trademarks and Web Crawlers [9:25 am]

Web ad trademark law to be retested

Dealing a potential setback to the Web search advertising market, a federal appeals court has reopened a lawsuit challenging the unauthorized use of trademarks in ads linked to search engine keywords.

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday found Playboy Enterprises can pursue charges that Excite and Netscape Communications violated its trademark by selling banner advertisements triggered by the terms “playboy” and “playmate.” The decision reverses a district court ruling that dismissed the suit without a trial in 2000.

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A Business Method Patent In The News [9:12 am]

Who’d have thought you could get a patent (#6,671,714 for:

What is claimed is:

  1. A method for assigning URL’s and e-mail addresses to members of a group comprising the steps of:

    • assigning each member of said group a URL of the form “name.subdomain.domain”; and

    • assigning each member of said group an e-mail address of the form “name@subdomain.domain;”

      wherein the “name” portion of said URL and said e-mail address is the same and unique for each particular one of said members such that an only difference between said URL and said e-mail address for said member is that in said URL the “@” symbol of the e-mail address is replaced with a “.” and wherein said “subdomain” portion of said URL and said e-mail address is the same for all members of said group.

  2. The method of claim 1 wherein said members of said group comprise members of a licensed profession.

Of course, once you get it, you have to sue: Domain registrars sued over URL patent

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CinemaNow Offers Movies Online [9:04 am]

In any color you want, as long as it’s black: CinemaNow debuts download-to-own movies

CinemaNow’s store of download-to-own films–which includes the surf documentary “Endless Summer”–is protected by Microsoft’s Windows Media digital rights management software, according to the Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based company. People with Windows XP Media Center will be able to watch downloaded movies on a television set in the second half of 2004, using Microsoft’s new Portable Media Center devices, it added.

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Ludlow’s Alphaville Herald Makes the NYTimes [8:56 am]

A Real-Life Debate on Free Expression in a Cyberspace City (see earlier coverage here: The Matt Drudge of Alphaville)

In response to his investigative reporting, Mr. Ludlow says, he was banished from Alphaville. He was kicked out of his home; his other property was confiscated. Even his two cats were taken away.

Alphaville is not a real town but a virtual city in an Internet game called The Sims Online, where thousands of paying subscribers log on each day to assume fictional identities and mingle in cyberspace. Indeed, none of Mr. Ludlow’s possessions existed outside the game. But the recent decision by the game’s owner, Electronic Arts, to terminate Mr. Ludlow’s account — forever erasing his simulated Sims persona — has set off a debate over free expression and ethical behavior in online worlds that is reverberating in the real one.

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Nothing Like Getting Busy For A Couple Of Days [8:46 am]

… To fall behind on developments. A couple of notable ones from the news:

  • News on the Eolas front: Eolas Browser Verdict Against Microsoft Stands Despite Patent Review

  • Illegal music downloads increased in October (see also

    Illegal Music Downloading Climbs)

    The number of people downloading music illegally surged a month after recording companies began suing hundreds of music fans, a marketing research firm said yesterday.

    The number of US households downloading music from peer-to-peer networks rose 6 percent in October and 7 percent in November after a six-month decline, according to a study of computer use in 10,000 US households conducted by The NPD Group.

    In a separate, bimonthly survey, 12 million individuals reported getting music on the free networks in November, up from 11 million in September, NPD said.

  • Microsoft gets boost in defense of case

    A federal appeals court yesterday gave Microsoft Corp. a potentially broad tactical advantage as it continues to defend itself against a major antitrust case by its software industry rival, Sun Microsystems Inc.

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