IICA/INDUCE Roundup – 1

U2 and Theft (And Maybe P2P)

Bono Moves to Preempt Thieves — Note how the title allows you to think that the “thieves” are those who participate in P2P, while the actual “thief” is whoever actually stole the CD:

Irish rockers U2 will release their recently stolen album on Apple’s iTunes music store if it shows up online, according to a report in the London Daily Telegraph.

An advance copy of U2’s brand new album, which is not due in stores until November, was stolen last week at a photo shoot in the south of France.

[…] “If it is on the Internet this week, we will release it immediately as a legal download on iTunes, and get hard copies into the shops by the end of the month,” Bono told the paper.

[…] A rough cut of the disk disappeared from a recording studio in Nice during a photo shoot. The band was putting together the finishing touches. Most of the album had previously been recorded in Dublin.

[…] “A large slice of two years’ work lifted via a piece of round plastic,” said lead guitarist The Edge on the band’s site. “It doesn’t seem credible, but that’s what’s just happened to us.”

Later: U2 vows iTunes release if album pirated

Our Congress, Wasting Its Time

When you read an article like this, House Backs Bill to Limit Power of Judges, you have to wonder what’s the point of trying to explain the subtle problems with IICA/INDUCE when the House clearly doesn’t understand the basics of judicial review:

The House of Representatives joined the fight over gay marriage on Thursday, approving legislation that would prohibit federal courts from overturning parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Republican backers of the legislation, which was adopted on a mainly party-line vote of 233 to 194, said it was needed to prevent federal judges from invalidating the part of the 1996 law that says states cannot be forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

[…] “If this bill becomes law, it will represent the first time in our history that Congress has enacted legislation that completely bars any federal court, including the United States Supreme Court, from considering the constitutionality of federal legislation,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House.

*Sigh*

A number of people have posted on the IICA/INDUCE Act hearing today, and I’ve been too terribly busy today to post a lot — but there’s a piece of Sen. Leahy’s statement that points to what makes us all so uneasy:

While I understand that some have concerns with the specifics our legislation, I say to you this: work with us. No one wants to undermine the iPod, but we must recognize that some people use peer-to-peer technology in ways that are wrong and illegal

Note what Sen Leahy himself is saying — the laws that we are coming up with to penalize already illegal actions additionally run the risk of undermining the iPod; help us fix them. (See also Techdirt’s Senator Hatch: It May Be Wrong, But It Needs To Be Done)

Siva on INDUCE Act

From Salon: Is your computer a loaded gun?

[T]he bill reflects a serious misunderstanding of peer-to-peer technology specifically and the effects of technology generally. It is the worst kind of policy intervention: destined to cause more trouble than it solves and certain to stifle technological innovation. It will make lawyers richer while failing to help the copyright holders it is supposed to save.

A Good Fight In The Making

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Apple sued for offering online updates

U.K.-based BTG Plc has sued Microsoft Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. for allegedly infringing a patent that covers Web-enabled software update technologies, the company announced Wednesday.

BTG has filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Federal Court in the Northern District of California in conjunction with New York-based Teleshuttle Corp. and Teleshuttle Technologies LLC, the holders of the patent which BTG said is being infringed. BTG holds the worldwide licensing rights to the patent.

The lawsuit charges Microsoft and Apple with infringement of United States patent number 6,557,054, alleging that Microsoft’s and Apple’s operating systems, as well as Microsoft Office products, incorporate the patented technologies.

Call For Cross-Platform DRM

Group calls for copy protection Rosetta stone — Of course, you have to agree first on “why DRM at all?”

“The digital media market is in gridlock, lacking both a moral and technological framework, and a strategy for the future,” Thomas Curran, DMP co-founder and former Bertelsmann chief technology officer, said in a speech at the group’s meeting in Osaka, Japan, last week. “Standards governing the interoperability of digital rights management technologies are essential.”

[…] But if well-intentioned, the group’s efforts face high hurdles. Digital rights management tools have proven to be a powerful way for companies to lock consumers into their brands, and interoperability would eliminate that advantage for the market leaders.

Digital TV Moves?

Digital TV With a German Accent

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives will consider Wednesday whether to emulate Berlin in order to speed up the transition of U.S. television airwaves from analog to digital signals.

In August 2003, the German capital became the first major city on the planet to completely transition from analog to digital broadcast TV. And somewhat surprisingly, it did so without any noticeable hiccups.

The Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet hearing is today — The Digital Television Transition: What We Can Learn from Berlin.