2003 March 26

(entry last updated: 2003-03-26 18:48:48)

  • Matt, who I saw ask a question at the JOLT Conference, has gone to the effort to extract the key kernel from the NYTimes article on music arrangements that I linked to a couple of days ago. While I focused my comments on the cultural trends toward slavish devotion to the original score, Matt works through in detail what we might have lost had copyright term extensions been applied earlier – and, by implication, what has already been irretrievably lost.

  • CNet reports that Sen. Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bill requiring labeling of content with copy protection schemes. Slashdot discussion

  • Ed Felten points out that Massachusetts and Texas are considering laws that will make many of us lawbreakers.

  • Offtopic: A disheartening story from the Washington Post on the implications of heightened scrutiny for the citizenry.

  • Terry Fisher on Intellectual Property from ILaw, Brazil – via Copyfight; and Part II
    Now also, Larry and Yochai on Internet Policy Issues

  • Ed Felten has put up a couple of interesting posts on the Analog Reconversion Discussion Group; ARDG Bans the Press and More on the ADRG and the Press

    Despite its confusing name, ARDG is an important process, reflecting the efforts of some to promote, and perhaps eventually to mandate, the use of technical restrictions to close the "analog hole" (i.e., to make it impossible to capture and copy non-digital media). ARDG’s no-press policy is not just theoretical — Drew Clark of the National Journal’s Tech Daily was actually ejected from an ARDG meeting.

  • Kevin Heller (of Tech Law Advisor) has had it up to here with Jack Valenti speaking as a lawyer – see this rant in response to a recent Valenti Q&A.

  • Larry Lessig outlines current activities in the Mexican legislature:

    The Mexican Congress is about to consider a revision to its copyright law. Among it many changes, the law will extend the term of copyright from life-plus-70 to life-plus-100. (And no doubt thus beginning yet another cycle of "harmonization" around the world.) Worse, at the end of the copyright term, the government has the right to charge royalties for works in the "public domain."

  • As this article from Ad Age shows, the TiVo allows marketers to extract some different information from TV viewers.

  • Billboard reports on the growing trend of music artists electing to air their views on the Iraq war by releasing MP3 versions of their songs for free download. (versus Madonna’s route, discussed yesterday)

  • CNet News has an interview with Pamela Horovitz of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers on digital music distribution and retail.

    That seems like a difficult position. If a product is ubiquitous, by definition it’s harder to have a market, isn’t it?

    Well, I have to disagree. I think ultimately what people are going to come to realize is that free wasn’t free. The services that consumers are going to value are going to have different elements. You can stand in line, for example, but there is a value to not having to stand in line. There is a value to having someone arrange and select and recommend music for you.

    In some ways I really enjoyed going through my own music collection recently and organizing it after I got an iPod. Part of that was terrific, because I was very much engaged. Any time that you have people engaged with their own music, that’s a great thing. But there are times when I really would prefer to have it done for me. These are things that retailers have done to some degree, and we probably will have to get better at doing that.

  • A Slashdot story on the release of H2O gives the community an opportunity to critique the efforts of most universities to put class materials online. Larry Lessig points to Jonathan Zittrain’s public release of the software.

  • The New York Times has their own take, profiling the distributed teaching models used by many MBA programs.