March 23, 2005

It’s Funny [6:12 pm]

Even though it’s more than a little misrepresentation of what copyright is:

Dilbert cartoon - 2005 March 23

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Apple Trade Secret-Journalism Appeal Filed [9:58 am]

Appeal Filed in Apple Trade Secrets Suit

On Tuesday, attorneys representing the journalists filed an appeal, as expected. They argued that the judge’s ruling violated the First Amendment and that Apple should first subpoena its own employees or use sophisticated computer forensics to determine the sources of the leak before subpoenaing the journalists.

“The California courts have a long history of supporting and protecting the freedom of the press,” said attorney Kurt Opsahl of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, which represents the journalists. “The Court of Appeal will now get the opportunity to correct a ruling that endangers all journalists.”

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined specific comment on the appeal, but said: “Apple’s DNA is innovation, and protection of trade secrets is crucial to our success.”

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Don’t Want To Pay State Taxes? [9:53 am]

Have I got a deal for you: Texas Sues Vonage [pdf]

Texas sued Vonage Holdings Corp., the largest provider of Internet-based calling, accusing it of deceptive practices after a customer couldn’t reach 911 emergency services using a Vonage connection.

[...] Abbott, who is seeking $20,000 for each violation, said Vonage’s marketing materials don’t make it clear that users need to sign up to make 911 calls. The lawsuit underscores concerns over the emergency-services reliability of Internet-based calling. The Federal Communications Commission in November exempted Internet phone companies from 911 rules set by states.

“If Vonage is found liable, then that will send a shockwave” through the industry, said Gregory L. Rohde, president of e-Copernicus, a telecommunications consultant in Washington. He said this is the first suit he has seen by a state against an Internet telephone service.

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RIAA Stats Are Out There Somewhere [9:39 am]

Music Sales Rise in United States (Still nothing at riaa.org — the article implies, although does not state, that the delay may be about trying to avoid seeing them introduced at the Grokster Supreme Court hearing)

After years of decline, sales of recorded music and music-video products appear to be stabilizing in the United States as the industry continues to battle piracy and promote authorized online music services, according to data released yesterday by the industry’s major trade and lobbying groups.

The number of CD’s and other music products shipped from record labels to retail merchants rose 2 percent last year, to 814 million units, the first annual increase in five years, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The shipments carried an estimated value of $12.2 billion, a rise of 2.5 percent, the trade organization said. The figures refer to albums and products shipped to retailers and mail-order clubs, not actual sales to consumers.

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KaZaA Case in OZ Closes [9:29 am]

True stories from under the bar table - the Kazaa case concludes

Anyway, the judge turned up half an hour late - at just before 9 am. Something about the traffic (Sydney residents will understand). The final day of the case starts and as the clock strikes 9am, the Federal Court tests its fire alarms – all of its alarms. The test is met with good humour – well mostly good humour!

t was that sort of a day – after 13 months of hearings and an estimated AU$8m of expenditure by each side it was a welcome end to the process. And what have we learnt from this process. Here’s some of the ideas put forward: [...]

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BitTorrent When MTV Won’t Play Your Video [9:27 am]

Rockers Flex BitTorrent’s Muscle

With MTV and VH1 now crowded with programs like Date My Mom, The Ashlee Simpson Show and Celebrity Fit Club, there’s little room for music videos, especially from independent artists.

That’s why one up-and-coming group, the Decemberists, opted to release its new music video, Sixteen Military Wives, for free using BitTorrent. The high-quality video file has logged more than 1,700 downloads since it was released over the weekend.

[...] Aaron Stewart, the director of the video, said the idea to use BitTorrent came from a friend. He said the fans on the Decemberists’ message board helped get the video out by acting as seeders — people who share their download of the video file with others to speed up download time and share bandwidth. Two fans agreed to host the tracker, which provides the link to the torrent file, on their server.

[...] “This is an acknowledgement of the cost-effective power of peer-to-peer technology in the service of, by and for the artists,” said Adam Eisgrau, executive director of P2P United, the trade association for the file-sharing industry. “It’s one of the first steps along a road that many people feel is inevitable to the self-empowerment of artists in a world that for too long has had the landscape shaped by large, impersonal, copyright-aggregating multinational companies.

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MS Plan #1 to Comply W/ EU Rejected [9:24 am]

EU rejects Microsoft plan

The European Commission rejected Microsoft’s proposal to limit the power of a trustee overseeing its compliance with EU-imposed sanctions.

Also EU Rejects Microsoft’s Trustee Plan [pdf]

Related: Rival Calls Microsoft Unready to Carry Out European Order

Later: Europe Refuses Microsoft’s Plan for Trustee

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