FEC Gearing Up To Look At Internet

Later: F.E.C. to Consider Internet Politicking

CNN Money on Possible Online Music Price Hike

Online music: The price remains the same [pdf] (See earlier WTF? Price Hikes?)

I set out to find more information, but none of the major labels and none of the aforementioned music sites would comment for the record about the report. While I can’t vouch for the story’s veracity, however, it’s not surprising to hear that the labels might want a price increase. “They’re definitely interested in raising prices,” one source who requested anonymity told me.

[…] “The labels want to feel like they have some power and influence,” says Phil Leigh, an analyst with Inside Digital Media. “They’re losing the control they once had.”

It’s possible that music labels have decided to focus on controlling pricing in this early round of renegotiations. It’s unlikely, however, that they will get what they want — at least for now.

[…] One thing is clear: With the proven success of paid online distribution, the power struggle between the music industry and technology companies is reaching a new level.

More Grokster Briefs

Leading Scientists Back File-Sharing Firms [pdf]

A group of 17 computer science and engineering professors at nine universities, including Harold Abelson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Edward W. Felten of Princeton and David J. Farber of Carnegie Mellon, stressed in their brief that they feared if the court sided with the entertainment companies it could chill technological progress in computers and the Internet.

Ed Felten give the full list in Computer Science Professors’ Brief in Grokster as well as his view of the key argument in the brief.

Donna also has postings on several notable filings yesterday:

Also, this press release: Technology Industries Unite In Their Views That The BETAMAX Doctrine Must Be Upheld And Not Weakened

OT: The NY Public Library Digital Gallery Goes Online

A place to browse, but not to research — at least, not easily: NYPL, Digital Library (see the NYTimes’ The Public Library Opens a Web Gallery of Images)

Despite the Web site’s great richness, sleek looks and fast response to a mouse click, it does feel a bit musty. The digital gallery is modeled on an old-fashioned card catalog, with all the attendant creaks. Doing a search is like going into a library and opening file drawers.

For instance, you can’t get a list of all the photographers or the printmakers or the artists – only an alphabetical list of every proper name in the digital library. If you type in “photograph*” (the most general search term), you will get more than 11,000 items, organized who knows how. To find out who is in it, you have to go through all of the thumbnail images. If you limit the search by typing in “photograph,” you get about 2,200 items. If you type in “photographer,” you get only 200.

One difference between this Web site and a card catalog is that there’s no librarian to help you. That can be both maddening and liberating.

Bad Ideas – Continued

There have been lots of posting about this, but I need to get at least one in here: ‘No re-draft’ for EU patent law – Looks like the EU has managed to create a process at least as ugly as our own when it comes to the formulation of IP legislation.

If the European Council agrees on the draft directive it will then return for a second reading at the European Parliament.

But that will not guarantee that the directive will become law – instead it will probably mean further delays and controversy over the directive.

Most EU legislation now needs the approval of both parliament and the Council of Ministers before it becomes law.

French Green MEP Alain Lipietz warned two weeks ago that if the Commission ignored the Parliament’s request it would be an “insult” to the assembly.

He said that the parliament would then reject the Council’s version of the legislation as part of the final or conciliation stage of the decision procedure

eWeek: EU Patent Law Could Impede Open Source

Chasing A Chimera

The Register posts an article about the Coral Consortium‘s progress toward a perpetual motion machine workable interoperable DRM; from Faultline: Coral DRM spec imminent

The Coral Consortium says it will offer interoperability across proprietary DRM systems as an alternative to the current landscape of non-interoperable closed domains protected by proprietary DRM systems and open peer-to-peer distribution systems that harbor pirated content.

Microsoft, ContentGuard and Macrovision formed a competing Content Reference Group in December 2003 with the same intent, to create (and control) DRM interoperability. It has made no statements since launch.

[…] Although the group claims this is a critical mass, what it really needs is agreement from Microsoft, Macrovision and ContentGuard that it will cooperate with the first specification, which is expected to be based on Intertrust’s NEMO architecture which stands for Networked Environment for Media Orchestration, with is a way of using software agents and online connections to verify content transactions, as a basis for interoperable DRM

The Coral Consortium is really a last gasp effort to stop both anarchy within digital rights management and to potentially avoid a monopoly forming.