2003 March 20

(entry last updated: 2003-03-20 15:42:57)

  • Announcement: I’m taking this machine down in the next hour to install a new hard disk. I *expect* it will be a short outage, but we all know how Murphy gets involved in these things….

    Update: OK – the disk is in and I just finished formatting the smaller partition. The next one will take even longer, so this site will be a little sluggish until it finishes.

  • Like several local schools, MIT has been working up to the big march this afternoon against the war. When I went to the rally at the Student Center today, I saw two signs that I am confident would only appear on this campus:


    </p> <p>^Z</p> <p>^Z</p> <p>^Z</p> <p>^Z</p> <p>Ctrl-Alt-Del</p> <p> MIT Nerds against the War</p> <p>


    and the Windows equivalent:


    </p> <p>Alt-F4</p> <p>Ctrl-Alt-Del


    (although my Windows friends tell me that the Ctrl-Z could be interpreted as the Windows ‘Undo’ command, too)

  • Billboard discusses the push toward DVD-Audio at the National Association of Record Merchandisers (NARM) conference yesterday.

    In a discussion that accompanied the presentation, DVD-A advocates, including David Dorn, senior VP of media for Warner Strategic Marketing, noted that a shift to a new format is needed in part because consumers no longer see value in the CD. Retail and label executives acknowledged that DVD-A offers a better value proposition, with its ability to carry pictures, videos, lyrics, and downloadable portable music files all on one disc. The challenge, they said, is in creating consumer awareness for the product and building off the installed base of DVD hardware.

    Recall the March 13 posting citing this NYTimes article on the subject.

  • CNet News says that the Copyright Office will be holding hearings over the next two months to solicit comments on the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions.

  • Lisa Bowman’s interview of Robert Moore, the CEO of 321 Studios, makers of DVD copying software, is finally up. (The headline was on the front page long before the links worked.)

    He identifies the rhetorical problem, but I didn’t see a solution

    Companies haven’t had very much luck taking on Hollywood or the record labels. Why would yours be different?

    I don’t really see that any company in the past has put forth the effort to become the voice of reason and to try to reach a middle ground everyone can agree on. In the past, I’ve seen two different camps. One is the extremist intellectual property camp, who want a pay-for-play business model. They would like legislation passed in Congress to enforce their business model. On the other hand, you’ve got the free-use camp. Their motto is, “If we’ve got it, you can have it.” These are two extremes, diametrically opposed to one another. I vehemently disagree with the Napsterites of the world. I believe in everybody’s right to create, author, invent and exploit their works for profit–or even not for profit, for public recognition.

  • As Derek gets ready for Spring Break, he posts his followup to the Brown University P2P issues raised earlier this week.

  • Mary Hodder sent me an e-mail notifying me of a faintly different kind of posting over at bIPlog – here’s the intro and here’s the post: Revolution is not an AOL Keyword. Give it a read – and some thought.

  • Wired has more on a topic Ed Felten touched on a couple of days ago: the perceived need for DRM in cellphones.

    The latest must-have feature for cell phones is the ability to wirelessly send text messages accompanied by pictures, audio or video files.

    But people who want to send a wireless greeting with a cute cartoon character using the multimedia messaging, or MMS, function on their phones may be in for a surprise. If they’re sending the e-greeting using one of Nokia’s newest handsets, they’ll probably receive this message: “Cannot forward copyrightable content.”

    In fact, all of Nokia’s new MMS cell phones carry such warnings, and even include software that prohibits people from sending certain material to another handset or to a PC — even the cell-phone user’s own desktop computer

  • The Wired story that I mentioned yesterday to Derek has gotten some Slashdot coverage: Texas Rep Wants To Jail File Traders.

  • As I said the day before yesterday (and yesterday), I’m with David Weinberger on supporting the Dixie Chicks.

  • Donna has ferreted out the weblog of one of the people who got to ask a question at the Copyright & Fair Use Symposium last weekend – "Matt" of Matt Rolls a Hooverstart here and scroll down to get his thoughts.