May 15, 2006

OT: Upcoming Dixie Chicks Single “Not Ready To Make Nice” [7:03 pm]

Something to pick up, RIAA or not: listen to the pending release at the Dixie Chicks WWW site

Made my bed and I sleep like a baby

With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’

It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her daughter

That she ought to hate a perfect stranger.

And how in the world can the words that I said

Send somebody so over the edge

That they’d write me a letter

Sayin’ that I better

Shut up and sing

Or my life will be over.

And it’s a good song, too. Some earlier posts: 2003 June 5 and 2003 May 11

Later: from the NYTimes - The Dixie Chicks: America Catches Up With Them

Later: It’s Dixie Chicks vs. Country Fans, but Who’s Dissing Whom?

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MercExchange Decision Handed Down [2:47 pm]

Described as offering a little bit for everyone [pdf], but at least the injunction was vacated. However, the more sweeping claims by eBay to assert that patent holding companies, which neither license nor use the patents themselves, merit different treatment were rejected (although supported in a concurring, but monority, opinion): eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L. L. C.

Later: The NYTimes article - Justices Order Rethinking of eBay Case

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OT: OK, Enough’s Enough (updated) [1:42 pm]

Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You’re Calling

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

“It’s time for you to get some new cell phones, quick,” the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Later: Apparently, it’s been confirmed — FBI Acknowledges: Journalists Phone Records are Fair Game

The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations.

“It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration,” said a senior federal official.

[...] “The FBI will take logical investigative steps to determine if a criminal act was committed by a government employee by the unauthorized release of classified information,” the statement said.

Officials say that means that phone records of reporters will be sought if government records are not sufficient.

Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).

A good comment: ABC News Call Monitoring: What’s Going On?

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French Digital Activist Profiled [8:44 am]

France Debates Downloads, With Teenager as Top Expert

In the current debate over laws governing music downloads here, some condemn Aziz Ridouan as an advocate of criminal piracy, while others say he represents the new generation of online consumers.

In either case, just about everyone involved listens to what Mr. Ridouan, an 18-year-old high school student, has to say.

“All sides must listen to Aziz because he has an entire generation behind him,” said Julien Dourgnon, economic director of the Consumer’s Federal Union, one of the largest consumer advocacy groups in France. “He may still be in high school, but Aziz has a more profound understanding of copyright law than most lawyers and members of Parliament.”

[...]  Mr. Ridouan, who began lobbying with protests against America Online when he was 12, first came to the national media’s attention in 2004 as the founder of the Audionautes — which roughly translates as “the audio surfers.” The Audionautes is a nonprofit association that provides legal assistance to those accused of illegally downloading music, many of whom were taken to court by the Civil Society of Phonographic Producers, the French equivalent of the Recording Industry Association of America.

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