2003 March 4

(entry last updated: 2003-03-04 13:20:09)

  • Over at Findlaw, Julie Hilden asks Should Universities Crack Down on File Swapping? – and then answers her question in the subtitle: Why They Should Resist Congress’s Call And Fight for Students’ Free Speech Rights. It’s a peculiar article, IMHO, because it raises not only some good points about speech and fair use, but also some odd ones centering on the (outdated?) in loco parentis role of colleges. I think there’s some useful stuff here, but it’s not her best writing.

  • I see that this nasty flu is taking its toll in the weblog world. I’ve been beaten up since Sunday, and it looks like Cory and Jenny are also hurting.

  • Arnold Kling takes another shot at discussing IP over at TCS. I will have to read the referenced links to see if I can follow his argument, but the general application of metaphor as the basis for what he wants to say tends to make me itchy. While the article suggests that he’s worried that the idea “intellectual property” is too broad, he clearly seems to be arguing for a natural rights basis for copyright. Given his forum, that’s understandable, but as even basic texts in public policy can tell you, natural rights as applied to any sort of property is as much a political statement as anything else.

  • Ed Foster over at InfoWorld is asking the right question.

  • Slashdot has a fun discussion (once you get past the petard comments) on the current legal wranglings over Lindows/Windows – Is Microsoft Hoisting Its Own Copyright Petard?. My favorite comment is this one:

    Trademark 101

    Apple is a generic term for fruit. It is a unique term for computers, thus acceptable as a trademark.

    Windows is a generic term for computing. There are numerous examples of the term being used prior to Microsoft’s introduction of it’s OS with the name (as is shown by Microsoft’s own documentation). Since it is decidedly not unique for computing, it should never have been given. On the other hand, Windows would be a proper trademark for a brand of fruit.

  • While I suppose my own glass house is not the best place from which to throw this particular rock, it’s worth noting that the Register seems to have been working assiduously to find out why the RIAA WWW site has been so hard to find of late.

  • The Reg also notes that the Johansen verdict will be appealed this summer. (Reuters)