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September 16, 2004

Taking on Bridgeport [5:26 pm]

Derek notes that Downhill Battle is looking to test the limits of Bridgeport with 3 Notes and Running

Michael Bell-Smith and Downhill Battle are seeking submissions for 3 Notes and Runnin’, an online music compilation commemorating and protesting The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Case No. 01-00412.

[...] To protest this decision, we are creating a forum for sample-based musicians and artists to share their own 30 second songs which have been created using only the sample in question. By doing so, we hope to showcase the potential and diversity of sample based music and sound art, and to call into question the relationship between a sample and its use. All entries will be posted on this site as they are received.

See also Larry Lessig’s comments: “Get a license or do not sample”

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MS and CD Copy Protection? [5:08 pm]

The Register reports that Microsoft tells music biz to ‘back lock-down CD standard’

Microsoft is attempting to force a last-minute pact with record labels over the future of copy-protected CDs, according to a letter seen by MusicAlly. The allegedly leaked document is purportedly from Alain Levy and David Munns of EMI via Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy Records, who was asked “to reach out to the independent sector to achieve quick consensus on this issue [and] report back to Microsoft.”

Any such deal would see Microsoft support “an industry-wide copy control platform” built in to its next-generation Longhorn operating system, with the computer giant instructing labels that the compatible secure CDs must contain additional multimedia content, such as bonus tracks, “as a quid pro quo for adding effective [DRM] into the consumer experience”.

[...] It is not clear from the letter whether Microsoft’s proposal is to enforce the “Secure Audio Path” concept (which would protect content all the way to a computer’s speakers, making it impossible to make digital copies by recording from the soundcard) or to build in the “Active Software Protection” currently used by the likes of Macrovision.

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A Pending Threat? [5:05 pm]

eWeek poses the interesting question: Is Microsoft Poised to Sue OpenOffice Licensees?

Fear has been mounting in the open-source community that Microsoft could start suing users at any time for alleged patent violations.

That possibility became even more worrisome to some with a new disclosure by Sun Microsystems this week regarding terms of its sweeping legal settlement with Microsoft, hammered out earlier this year.

According to the settlement between the two, Microsoft and Sun agreed not to sue each other or their respective customers for patent infringements that were alleged to have occurred before April 2004, as well as 10 years into the future.

But a new SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing by Sun notes in the fine print that while Sun’s StarOffice product is covered under this patent-infringement clause, OpenOffice is not.

Not only is Microsoft allowed to sue any company–including Sun–for alleged patent violations connected with OpenOffice, but Sun is required to provide Microsoft with legal help in bringing such lawsuits against OpenOffice users.

See also: Microsoft to take direct shots at Linux rivals

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