Continued DMCA Export Via Treaty

Copyright lobbyists strike again

You wouldn’t know it from a political debate veering between labor standards in Nicaragua and the evils of protectionism, but one major section of CAFTA will export some of the more controversial sections of U.S. copyright law.

Once it takes effect, CAFTA will require Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to mirror the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s broad prohibition on bypassing copy-protection technology.

CAFTA Treaty Exports DMCA

UK Record Industry Lawsuits

Music labels file online piracy lawsuits in UK

Record companies in Britain are filing their first ever lawsuits against five people accused of illicitly sharing music online, after settling out of court with dozens of others.

The lawsuits come as the global music industry fights to control online piracy by suing users of illicit file-trading networks, while also promoting legal music services like Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

Slashdot’s UK Record Companies Suing File Sharers

Friedman on Broadband Policy

Calling All Luddites

Congress is on the case. It dropped everything last week to pass a bill to protect gun makers from shooting victims’ lawsuits. The fact that the U.S. has fallen to 16th in the world in broadband connectivity aroused no interest. Look, I don’t even like cellphones, but this is not about gadgets. The world is moving to an Internet-based platform for commerce, education, innovation and entertainment. Wealth and productivity will go to those countries or companies that get more of their innovators, educators, students, workers and suppliers connected to this platform via computers, phones and P.D.A.’s.

[…] [Candidate for NYC public advocate’s office] Mr. [Andrew] Rasiej argues that we can’t trust the telecom companies to make sure that everyone is connected because new technologies, like free Internet telephony, threaten their business models. “We can’t trust the traditional politicians to be the engines of change for how people connect to their government and each other,” he said. By the way, he added, “If New York City goes wireless, the whole country goes wireless.”

[…] “One elected official by himself can’t solve the problems of eight million people,” Mr. Rasiej argued, “but eight million people networked together can solve one city’s problems. They can spot and offer solutions better and faster than any bureaucrat. … The party that stakes out this new frontier will be the majority party in the 21st century. And the Democrats better understand something – their base right now is the most disconnected from the network.”

Can you hear me now?