May 23, 2005

Stretching [8:37 pm]

Best Buy Is Named in Lawsuit Over Patents

Patent fights over computer chips and software are everyday events. But the company that holds the patents covering V-chip television technology has taken an uncommon step in an infringement suit it initiated earlier this month in Toronto: rather than suing a maker of television sets, Tri-Vision Electronics is going after Best Buy Canada, which sells them.

[...] Teresa Scassa, associate director of the Law and Technology Institute at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the idea of holding a retailer responsible for patented technology contained in a product it sold was not beyond the law in Canada.

“This is on the unusual side of things,” she said. “But it’s certainly clear that you can sue anyone in the supply chain, down to the consumer who bought the product. And they can be liable whether they know the product is infringing or not.”

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Technology, Access and Creativity [8:31 pm]

So Long, Garage Jammers. Nowadays Laptops Rock.

Music recording, an arduous, analog process that has long been the province of musician gearheads and studio savants, is being downsized and democratized by a virtual array of digital sound loops, simulated instruments and the notebook-size means to record them. The growing power of laptop computers and new software means consumers have gone from listening to music at the push of button to creating it with similar ease.

[...] “We are in the midst of a true consumer push to create music,” said Tim Bajarin, a technology industry analyst with Creative Strategies. “They now have the ability to storyboard a song by dragging and dropping.”

The phenomenon appalls many longtime musicians and many of the songs are lame efforts that should remain in the laptop, but there are gorgeous and surprising exceptions. Most of the work seems to fall somewhere in the middle.

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Siva and Copyright In Practice [8:11 pm]

Nothing like getting to read a real fight over what copyright does while speaking from a notion of what it’s supposed to be for: Who is Copyright For?

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La Vie en France [7:37 pm]

Volez ce MP3!

Record labels and movie studios are counting on the courts to help wage their war against global online piracy. But in France, some courts are refusing to go along.

Judicial activism is roiling the entertainment industry here, as judges release convicted fileswappers with suspended sentences associated with otherwise draconian penalties stipulated by copyright law.

Now, in a widening rift, the powerful president of the French magistrates union has begun to openly advocate decriminalizing online trading in copyrighted works for personal use.

Later: Slashdot’s Decriminalizing File Swapping

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Unsurprising News [3:44 pm]

Although, given the degree to which Lucas’ reach has continued to exceed his grasp, it can be asked why anyone bothers: Final ‘Star Wars’ film leaked to the Internet

According to the Web site Waxy.org, one print was leaked on Wednesday before the film was even released in theaters. The movie was time-stamped, suggesting it may have come from within the industry rather than from someone who videotaped an advance screening.

Also Want the Sith DVD? Go to Usenet

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