2002 September 18 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-09-18 16:30:42)

Wired promises to make the link to the Lessig/Eldred profile in their October issue available today, but it hasn’t happened yet. Update: Ah, now it has!

A couple of thrusts in the consumer arena. I find that I find the phrase “copyright community” a better indicator than “content community.” In my mind, it tends to weaken their position when it’s phrased that way.

And I’m sure that Linus Torvalds never could have predicted the content of one of today’s New York Times editorials!

(6 items listed below)

  • John Borland reports that the CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association is tired of the rhetorical position of the copyright community and is ready to start speaking out. The TalkBacks in the ZDNet version of the article give a sense of the user response.

  • In what I personally hope will be the beginning of the end of copy protected CDs, the IFPI is proposing a label to distinguish fully Red Book compliant CDs from the copy protected ones.

  • To add to the discussion of recording industry practices and contracts, here’s an article from Salon dissecting the American Idol contracts. I really like this alleged quote from the contract:

    I hereby grant to Producer the unconditional right throughout the universe in perpetuity to use, simulate or portray (and to authorize others to do so) or to refrain from using, simulating or portraying, my name, likeness (whether photographic or otherwise), voice, singing voice, personality, personal identification or personal experiences, my life story, biographical data, incidents, situations and events…. [emphasis added]

  • And, at this point one can only speculate who ends up controlling what when Microsoft offers to sell access to a DRM server

    “But, of course, any technology can be twisted and misdirected. Anyone proclaiming to protect assets for others is scary. We typically feel safer guarding our own chicken coop,” DeBona said. “We will evaluate Microsoft’s DRM offering, with extra attention paid to security. A healthy dose of skepticism never hurts.”

  • Brad King continues to discuss the efforts to control digitial media by the copyright community.

  • I’ve been having an e-mail discussion on the subject of compulsory licensing as a solution to the copyright community’s objection to the copyring opportunities implicit in digital distribution. While we agree that the historical objection to this scheme by the RIAA is no surprise, this reader wonders why the consumer side hasn’t seized upon this approach in its strategies.

    While hearings on the subject were held last year, the political view was almost universally dismissive. This year, KaZaA and Verizon floated a plan to negotiate these licenses (analyzed here), but I haven’t heard anything since. Note that the RIAA has asked for these licenses themselved, without much luck either.

    Personally, I believe that the reason that compulsory licensing is not terribly popular with the user advicates is that it is dangerously similar to “theft,” at least in the face of the current market-is-all paradigm (see the Findlaw assessment cited above). Even though it’s at the heart of every radio station, commercial or otherwise, they don’t advertise the idea either.