November 23, 2004

On The Road …. [10:17 pm]

… to put in a little teaching in the UK. I might get a little time to post, but it’ll be sporadic at best. (Of course, lately it’s always been sporadic — it’s been thant kind of a term.)

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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More Reading….. [7:53 am]

Pirates of the Digital Millennium

The war over intellectual property is being fought everywhere on earth. It’s a battle between media conglomerates and computer-wielding teenagers, between billion-dollar technology companies and billion-dollar content companies, between artists and artists, nations and nations. This is not only a top technology story, but a cultural, economic, and entertainment story.

Now, IDC’s Chief Research Officer, John Gantz, and Jack B. Rochester, authors of the best-selling book of the 1980s, The Naked Computer, take on the subject from every side: culture, ethics, law, business, law enforcement, and even geopolitics.

Starting with ground-breaking research from IDC on software piracy around the globe (see IDC Inside), and fresh research conducted by IDC for the book on consumer attitudes about music and movie piracy, Gantz and Rochester cover the story from the streets of Bangkok to the halls of Congress, from secret duplicating factories in Paraguay to college dorm rooms. They examine the past, present and future of copyright infringement and enforcement…

Jonathan Zittrain, Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Co-Founder, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

“The authors have taken a welcome step back from the copyfights that have consumed the digerati at the turn of the millennium, placing them into a historical, social, and ethical context. This book provides a roadmap for a detente that could end the arms race and allow new forms of creativity and intellectual productivity that we know can be unleashed, if only the right legal and economic knots can be untied.”

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If It’s Good For The Goose…. [7:44 am]

Judge dismisses keylogger case [via Slashdot]

A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed charges against a California man who used a keystroke logger to spy on his employer, ruling that use of such a device does not violate federal wiretap law.

[...] The court based its decision in part on a controversial ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year that threw out wiretapping charges against Branford Councilman, a former vice president of an online bookseller who provided customers with free e-mail accounts, then set up a system that made covert copies of some messages for his later perusal. Feess found that here, as in the Councilman case, the e-mail was not intercepted as it traveled over the network.

[...] The court also cited a 2001 case in which a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey ruled that the FBI did not violate the Wiretap Act when it installed a covert keylogger on the computer of organized crime suspect Nicodemo Scarfo. In that case the FBI assured the court that that its keylogger had been configured to stop recording keystrokes when Scarfo connected to the Internet.

See also Judge dismisses keylogger case

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Nominee for Time’s “Person of the Year” [7:21 am]

FCC chief has had quite a year [pdf]

It’s the season for Time editors to mull possible candidates for its 2004 Person of the Year. According to the magazine’s criteria, the final selection will be ”the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or worse.”

[...] Interesting choices all, but here’s an even better suggestion — Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

From driving Howard Stern to announce a 2006 move to satellite radio to making ABC affiliates so skittish about airing a film with graphic violence and profanity that more than a third canceled a Veterans Day airing of ”Saving Private Ryan,” no individual this year has had a greater effect on our cultural lives — for good or ill, for better or worse — than Powell.

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