November 7, 2005

Sunday’s Boondocks [7:35 pm]

Boondocks; Nov 06, 2005 (local copy)

Bootleggers risk jail to bring you cheap movies at home the day they come out in the theater — sometimes earlier…

Then some nerd puts it on the internet, and now anyone can just hit a few buttons and reap all that benefit.

It’s … it’s just not right ….

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Grokster Fallout [6:02 pm]

Now that P2P software, coupled with a demonstration that there’s an intent to do unacceptable things, can be illegal, it may be that there are few choices — except to get someone else to distribute it for you: Grokster to stop distributing file-sharing service [pdf]

File-sharing service Grokster Ltd. will stop distributing software that allows users to copy songs without permission as part of a settlement with the recording industry, an industry group said on Monday.

RIAA Press Release

Slashdot: Grokster Shutting Down?; NYTimes: Grokster File-Sharing Service Shuts Down in Settlement [pdf]; WaPo: Grokster Downloading Service Shuts Down [pdf]

Copyfight

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Method Patents Case To Be Heard [11:20 am]

Supreme Court to hear method patents case

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case that could narrow the scope of patentability.

The Court granted certiorari in Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v Metabolite Laboratories Inc on October 31, despite receiving a brief from the government proposing that it reject LabCorp’s petition. It is rare for the Court to hear a patent case against the solicitor general’s advice.

In granting cert, the Court chose to answer just one of the three questions presented by the petitioner. While LabCorp’s questions touched on broader issues of a patent’s scope, the Court’s focus will only be on the area of medical diagnostic and treatment patents.

The question that the Court will answer is: “Whether a method patent setting forth an indefinite, undescribed, and non-enabling step directing a party simply to “correlat[e]” test results can validly claim a monopoly over a basic scientific relationship used in medical treatment such that any doctor necessarily infringes the patent merely by thinking about the relationship after looking at a test result.”

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Full Employment Economy In NY IS Sector Proposed [11:16 am]

By forcing individuals to hire IS security consultants: Unsecured Wi-Fi would be outlawed by N.Y. county

According to a new proposal being considered by a suburb of New York City, any business or home office with an open wireless connection but no separate server to fend off Internet attacks would be violating the law.

Politicians in Westchester County are urging adoption of the law–which appears to be the first such legislation in the U.S.–because without it, “somebody parked in the street or sitting in a neighboring building could hack into the network and steal your most confidential data,” County Executive Andy Spano said in a statement.

The draft proposal offered this week would compel all “commercial businesses” with an open wireless access point to have a “network gateway server” outfitted with a software or hardware firewall. [...]

[...] The proposed law has two prongs: First, “public Internet access” may not be provided without a network gateway server equipped with a firewall. Second, any business or home office that stores personal information also must install such a firewall-outfitted server even if its wireless connection is encrypted and not open to the public. All such businesses would be required to register with the county within 90 days.

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LATimes on the Protected “Screeners” [9:15 am]

After all, piracy is really only something the “little people” do — a look at the Hollywood mindset: Mickey Mouse idea [pdf]

If you want to see a noble effort doomed to failure, look no further than a recent announcement aimed at keeping “Chicken Little” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” out of the hands of street vendors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For anti-piracy reasons, the Walt Disney Co. is mailing out encrypted DVD “screeners” of the movies it’s pushing for Oscar consideration. These discs can only be viewed with a special player developed by a Dolby Laboratories unit called Cinea.

[...] All you have to do to set up the player is plug the thing in, then register it online or via phone.

That sounds easy, and it probably is. But it violates one basic entertainment industry rule: Don’t ask people in Hollywood to do the kinds of tasks most of us accept as routine.

[...] My guess is the bigger reason the Cinea system won’t catch on is because of the role screeners play in Hollywood. Ostensibly, they exist so you can more easily watch Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote,” to see what the fuss is all about.

In reality, they let you build up — for free — a great home film library to play on your own private DVD. And if there’s anything that’s really sacred in Hollywood, it’s freebies.

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Movie Over Bittorrent Sentencing in HK [9:06 am]

Online movie pirate gets 3 months [pdf]

Chan Nai-ming was convicted last month for trying to distribute three Hollywood blockbusters — Daredevil, Red Planet and Miss Congeniality — on the Internet without licences. He pleaded not guilty.

“He was sentenced to three months for each count but they will run concurrently,” a court clerk said. Chan filed an appeal and was freed on HK$5,000 (US$645) bail.

It is believed to be the world’s first intellectual piracy case involving the file-sharing technology.

WaPo article: Man Jailed in 1st Copyright Violation Case

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