2003 January 22

(entry last updated: 2003-01-22 18:10:29)

Looks like it’s going to be a Verizon sort of day.

  • A weblog that I only visit on occasion has an entertaining take on the Rothstein article post-Eldred. It sort of challenges the “great (wo)man” hypothesis, but it also makes a couple of points worth consideration.

    We don’t know what innovations are being thwarted by corporate control over Mickey Mouse. We don’t need to. The point of having free markets rather than monopoly markets is that many heads are better than one. If Mickey is free of monopoly control someone, somewhere, will use this freedom to build a better mouse and offer it to the public.

  • From the Wired hardcopy mag: The Year The Music Dies – a recounting of the basic problems of the recording industry, showing that there have been failures on all sides, but the industry has foolishly failed to move with the times (or to move at all!). An nice, clean summary of the problem, with a kickoff quote from the late Timothy White of Billboard that’ll knock you down – you may want to read this piece by him on the industry’s digital failures or its followup on what they ought to be doing.

  • Cory Doctorow points out that the EFF is soliciting comments, experiences, etc. on DMCA section 1201 (anticircumvention) to be submitted to the Copyright Office. If you have an example of how anticircumvention effects you, here’s a chance to be heard.

  • A call for ethical programming from eWeek.

    The most intrusive provisions of the [PATRIOT Act] depend on IT systems and products that must be newly built or integrated from existing offerings, giving IT developers and service providers a special role to play in the defense of privacy. The IT community should refuse to cooperate beyond the strict letter of the law, and should take the government’s abusive course as a signal that private-sector practices should be designed to minimize the value of intrusive, unfounded inquiries.

    I can’t find the reference in ScriptingNews where Dave pointed out that there were things that ethical programmers wouldn’t do (in re Berman-Coble) – found it!: Hollywood wants the right to hack your computer. Here’s the part that I remembered:

    As a computer professional, I expressed my disgust. We have strong ethics in this business. We look out for less technical users, like this executive. At a technical level it’s impossible for software to tell the difference between a legal scan and one of questionable legality. Further, the question reveals an incredible and unrealistic selfishness, why should we allow him to hack our computers to protect his copyright? It would have been unethcial [sic] for me to say anything other than don’t under any circumstances do that, and that is what I said.

  • The NYTimes has a piece on P. Diddy and his efforts to shop his label around; a look at the business of music today.

  • Reports on the Verizon ruling yesterday:

    Does anyone else hear the dominoes falling? Note that the Verizon ruling draws upon one of the key rationales for the Eldred v Ashcroft decision of last week:

    As recently as last week, the Supreme Court reiterated that “we defer substantially to Congress” on copyright law, that “we are not at liberty to second-guess congressional determinations and policy judgments” regarding copyright issues, and that “it is generally for Congress, not the courts, to decide how best to pursue the Copyright Clause’s objectives.” Eldred v. Ashcroft, No. 01-618, slip op. at 14, 17, 22 (S.Ct. Jan 15, 2003) (citing Sony Corp., 464 U.S. at 429, and Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207, 230 (1990)).

    Notwithstanding these technological advancements, then, this Court will not attempt to re-balance the competing interests among service providers and copyright holders to address P2P software or “bots” that can roam the Internet detecting infringing material. As the Supreme Court stated in Fortnightly, “[t]hat job is for Congress.” 392 U.S. at 401. To date, Congress has spoken through the text, structure and purpose of the DMCA, under which, the Court concludes, RIAA’s subpoena to Verizon meets the requirements spelled out in subsection (h) and therefore is valid.

    If anything, another call to take the challenge to the Congress.

  • Bill Moyer’s NOW Transcript is online: Tollbooths on the Digital highway

  • In case anyone’s looking for a short desciption of what the Johansen/DeCSS case is about, Russell Pavlicek’s DVD fairy tale isn’t too bad a place to start – if for no other reason than the fact that he tries really hard to point out that DeCSS is not about copying DVDs

  • Hmmm – seems Garry Trudeau is on vacation, or he’s just happy to recycle some old material. Jan 21, 2003 and Jan 22, 2002 look a lot like March 26, 2002 and March 27, 2002