July 5, 2007

Living With Irritating ©bots [2:20 pm]

I got an email from old friend Mary Hodder (of Dabble) reminding us that chilling-effects-by-bot is probably going to be in everyone’s future without more action now to stop the creation of a shrill, bullying copyright bureaucracy: Websherrif Asks Dabble to Remove a Video — Wrongly

Regarding the DMCA notice, we also noted that Websherrif didn’t comply with DMCA rules and not just because they pointed us to the correct and legal copy. We have a DMCA and copyright policy, and don’t allow people to email in requests like this because they can be forged and don’t have a real signature.

Since we don’t host the video in question, Youtube does, we also don’t have the video itself to remove, just links and text around it.

Additionally, WebSheriff said that we were violating The White Stripes “copyright, trademark and moral rights.”

Regarding the trademark, I would beg to differ. Dabble is a search engine, and therefore has “speech about things” but not the things themselves. Talking about something, correctly (as in the Dabble record they said was infringing the White Stripes trademark was actually a White Stripes video, put up by Warner Brothers) is not “causing confusion in the marketplace for users” which is usually the problem when trademark infringement occurs. Trademark protection is supposed to prevent brand confusion in the marketplace, among other things.

(note that it’s Web Sheriff - one”R” two “Fs”; and there are plenty of ways to spell it that get you to the most useless places)

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Second Life © Infringement Suit [10:29 am]

SL business sues for copyright infringementpdf

Second Life entrepreneur Kevin Alderman filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Tuesday against Second Life resident Volkov Catteneo, and Alderman’s lawyer said he plans to subpoena Linden Lab to force it to disclose Catteneo’s real-world identity.

Alderman (Second Life name: Stroker Serpentine) runs the adult-content company Eros LLC. One of the company’s most popular products is the SexGen bed, virtual furniture that contains more than 150 sex animations and retails for L$12,000 (US$45.11).

In “Eros LLC vs John Doe,” filed in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Alderman accuses Catteneo of illicitly copying and selling the SexGen bed for as little as L$4,000, sharply cutting into Eros’ sales.

Filing a copyright infringement case against “John Doe” is an established practice in Internet cases where the defendant’s identity is not initially apparent, said Alderman’s lawyer, Francis Taney of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. For example, the music industry has filed thousands of “John Doe” lawsuits against people it alleges have illicitly shared music online.

Taney said he will seek Catteneo’s identity, chat histories, and financial records from Linden Lab and PayPal.

The filings

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Technology and Culture: South Korean Search [8:46 am]

South Koreans Connect Through Search Enginepdf

Park Hye Ran, a 15-year-old high school student, wanted to know the shortest route from a bus terminal in the southern port city of Busan to a fish market to the east.

That is precisely the kind of question that Cho In Joon, 50, a seller of lottery tickets in Busan, loves to answer.

Sitting at a computer installed at his street kiosk, Mr. Cho posted a reply for Ms. Park — and for other Naver.com users who might one day ask the same question — with instructions on where she should switch trains, which station exit she should take and how long it would take to walk from there to the market. He even attached a map of the market area.

Thanks to Mr. Cho and tens of thousands of other volunteer respondents, Web users in one of the world’s most-wired countries seldom “Google” anything. They “Naver” it.

Tapping a South Korean inclination to help one another on the Web has made Naver.com the undisputed leader of Internet search in the country. It handles more than 77 percent of all Web searches originating in South Korea, thanks largely to content generated by people like Ms. Park and Mr. Cho, free of charge.

[...] In this country, where more than 70 percent of a population of 48 million use the Internet, most of them with high-speed connections, people do not just want information when they log on; they want a sense of community and the kind of human interaction provided by Naver’s “Knowledge iN” real-time question-and-answer platform.

“When people I have never met thank me, I feel good,” Mr. Cho, the lottery ticket seller, said. “No one pays me for this. But helping other people on the Internet is addictive.”

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Music Sales Stats [8:27 am]

Sales of albums continue slide in first halfpdf

Album sales continued their downward slide in the first half of the year but sales of digital tracks are up almost 50% over this time last year.

A total of 229.8 million albums were sold in the U.S. from Jan. 1 to July 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released Wednesday. That’s a 15% decrease compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, digital track sales increased 49% to 417.3 million this year.

The decrease in album sales is only 9.2% when digital singles are bundled together and counted as albums.

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Ads, Dataveillance, and Online TV [8:25 am]

As TV shows go online, networks try to adapt adspdf

With the personal computer replacing the television set for a growing number of Americans, the 30-second spot, along with most conventional TV advertising, is under pressure.

For years, people have been able to circumvent TV ads with digital video recorders, but that requires some effort. There are much easier opportunities for ad-avoiding multitasking at the click of a mouse, which is why the networks are experimenting with a mix of alternative formats for online promotional breaks — including having none at all.

Advertisers are filling online ad time in ways they can’t on TV, with interactive videos and competitions. [...]

[...] Real Time Content, a new British firm that calls itself an adaptive media company, tells prospective clients that it can make as many as 600 versions of one commercial for different demographics. With just a bit of information about each person watching a TV show on the Web, Real Time’s platform can tailor audio and video, Chief Executive Naj Kidwai said.

A mother with small children would see a clip showing how easy it is to put a stroller in the back of the Brand X car whereas a single young woman would see one about how much fun the Brand X is to drive.

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