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August 22, 2002

2002 August 22 Links [7:43 am]

(entry last updated: 2002-08-22 21:21:38)

Sorry, everyone. I’m not sure what happened to Apache, but I’m sorry I was offline for the last 3+ hours - something else to research.

A good joke at BBSpot. The Listen4ever suit is on hold, but the RIAA is not standing still. the Sony/Phillips SACDs are on the way - a watermarked music medium.

Dave Winer’s latest Scripting News reads as if we’re back on track - good links and thoughts. Update: He’s posted his response to Lessig’s software copyright proposal - he’s drawn the lines relatively clearly.

Brad King says that all the action of the last months presages the next digital crackdown. This time we can’t let the targets be demonized. How are we going to prevent that?

I agree with Donna - Dave’s snotty position in re Larry’s book (at least he’s edited out his rejection of other’s offers to buy it for him) is unworthy of him. But, I’m afraid that it also exposes a serious fault line, one that may be fatal. Dave’s position that his software shouldn’t be exposed after 10 years because it takes that long to develop a market fails to account for the fact that he’ll be exposing ten year old code. Knowing how Dave works to respond to his customers, I cannot believe that 10 year old code is going to hurt his business model - heck, I doubt that he’ll be able to trace the evolution - unless he’s planning to sit on his butt once he gets a successful product - and, so far, that model is already demonstrably unattractive.

Since I assume that is not what Dave is planning, his response must be a knee-jerk reaction to something else - I just haven’t figured out what yet. But I think I know where to start looking - what does the source give you that the binaries don’t? Larry has politely offered up others the opportunity to explain, but I’m betting that he’s not going to get many satisfactory answers. Like Larry, I used to code; heck, I got paid for it while I was a graduate student. I’m willing to admit that I’m not a professional developer now, but I also know something about it. And something about Dave’s position has me seriously concerned. This is a dangerous rift that we need to understand soon; right now, we’re all talking past one another - the worst possible way to try to deal with a problem.

(4 items listed below)

  • The Register reports on the suspension of the Listen4Ever suit - the ZDNet article is here
  • I wish I could be as flippant as The Register is about the overall trends in copyright prosecutions.
  • Slate has an article describing what Sony hopes will be the next generation of music CDs. Slashdot points out that this format includes physical watermarking of the disk (see this SACD FAQ)
  • Slashdot wraps up the events of the last day or so; a lot of distressing copyright news out there. While there the usual Slashdot discussion, it’s also everything that Lessig has complained about. There’s nothing new, with the possible exception of the expectation of civil disobedience. That’ll make Jessica Litman and Declan McCullagh happy, but there’s got to be more. Here’s the comment that echoed my sentiments (although the cost rationale for copying needs more clarification, IMHO):

    Your Tax Dollars At Work
    I guess going after the WorldCom and Enron executives who

    perpetrated massive fraud and theft on their shareholders,

    employees, and customers is just too hard for the DOJ. It’s

    much easier to surf the internet for tunes, subpoena an ISP for

    personal records (thereby avoiding doing any work), and bust a

    14 year-old kid who can’t afford a new CD since his Dad was

    was swindled out of his job and pension by the economic

    damage resulting from widespread, unprosecuted corporate fraud.

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