2003 January 24

(entry last updated: 2003-01-24 17:24:46)

Sorry – still no free source of the Ruben Bolling cartoon online – but here’s an older one that gave me a chuckle today and *is* available without a Salon subscription.

  • There’s an interview with Cory Doctorow at SFGate.

  • Wal-Mart distribution meets digital music distribution – the acquisition of LiquiAudio’s assets by WalMart could lead to some very interesting things. "Do you want a digital download with that?"

  • Looks like the Senate is at least willing to ask some questions about Total Information Awareness.

  • edited thumbnail graphic from wired article

    It’s been discussed before, but Wired has a pretty thorough look at The Civil War Inside Sony – and a fabulous graphic. The real powerful part of the article is the discussion of the threat that DRM brings into the picture – Sony having to fight to keep Microsoft off of their turf. (Slashdot discussion: Sony: Case of Right vs Left Hand)

  • My daily excursion into the shoals of Tech Central Station had its usual effect after reading this piece on what’s wrong with intellectual property and drug policy in the Third World. However, a review of the book The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy. describes an interesting point that bears considering. Although the author apparently describes knowledge as something concrete rather than a social construction, the author definitely views the communication of knowledge as a very important social construction – one that has had huge social and economic benefits.

    These feedback mechanisms were the most dramatic manifestation of a virtuous circle between knowledge and economic performance to that time, and similar virtuous circles have occurred repeatedly since industrialization, as technology has made communication easier and cheaper. Mokyr argues, correctly in my opinion, that knowledge itself is not a social construction, but the communication of it is.

    This may be an interesting framework to consider the policy objectives and implications of copyright……

  • Ed Foster’s Gripe Line column at InfoWorld this week (Don’t pass this along) looks at the dynamics of the Intuit TurboTax software protection scheme, the reactions of the consumers, and the agenda of the firm given the scheme’s features.

  • David Coursey is exercised over the MPAA’s opposition to ClearPlay and other mechanisms to “sanitize” or otherwise edit legally purchased movies – the perils of the “derivative work” clauses in the copyright act. Of course, Mr. Coursey has never been a stickler for consistency in his opinion pieces, but this one seems to have struck a chord, given the volume of comments in the TalkBack.

  • The Register puts in their $0.02 on the Alliance for Digital Progress. Slashdot’s article is up, too. Wired adds a little to the discussion, particularly with an odd list of likely affililate organizations. Read what Jack Valenti has to say in this Billboard article – nah, I’ll quote it here:

    “Consumers will be the beneficiaries of a digitally honest world,” Jack Valenti, president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement about the new lobbying organization. “We are not the enemy. We are not at war with the IT community. … I am shaking my head in wonderment at this million-dollar campaign to deride us.”

  • Today’s (yesterday’s) Ask Slashdot poses this question: How Much Does it Cost to Produce a Recording? – some personal experiences in addition to the typical pointers (Courtney Love’s piece, Steve Albini’s, etc.)

  • The Hilary Rosen sendoff in the NYTimes is nicer than many.

  • Wired has an article on the potential fallout of the Verizon ruling: ISPs: Ruling Bad for Subscribers