2003 March 27

(entry last updated: 2003-03-28 12:25:08)

  • It’s buried below, but I want to make sure that you go read Donna’s notes from Nesson & Falcao on the Internet & Democracy from ILaw Rio. FWIW, I think Charlie speaks for me, too!

  • Then there’s Mary Hodder’s notes on Cory Doctorow’s talk about Open Spectrum.

  • Madonna blasts manufactured pop – BBC. No trace of irony in the article at all.

  • A while ago Derek asked about the effectiveness of education programs. TechLawAdvisor points to this site, RipBurnRespect, which certainly fits the bill. It’s also a little weird. It appears to speak for Gateway, yet a whois yields the fact that the domain name is owned by something called Dogmatic, Inc.., which is a new media company out of New Work City and Los Angeles. So, this is definitely a Gateway ad; relate to the Apple game?
    Update: Yep – here’s a CNet News piece on the ads

  • It will be interesting to see if AOL’s plan to make several of the Time-Warner online magazines accessible only to AOL subscribers and magazine buyers will win or lose them subscribers.

  • BBC News covers AudioScrobbler (WWW site), a computer science project that has become something of a fad among Internet music devotees. A WinAmp plugin that can be used to build a collaborative communities of music fans.

  • Ed Felten’s writeup [via Copyfight] of the MPAA text in support of the super-DMCA bills is not to be missed. Note that, according to Cory Doctorow, these bills are pending in more than just MA and TX.

  • Declan McCullagh writes about today’s expected discussion of the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Act (HR1417), which addresses the webcasting royalty issue, among others. However, a look at the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property hearing schedule shows that the hearing on HR.1417 has been postponed.

  • Donna’s posted her placeholder for the next Rio ILaw session: Larry Lessig and Jason Matusow on Open/Shared Source. I’m sure that Jason is expecting a more congenial reception than the one he got at the Open Source for Governments Conference, as described in eWeek. At least, I expect that his slides will work this time <G>

    Update: Donna’s summary is now available; and she’s posted her placeholder for the Nesson and Falco discussion of the Internet and Democracy – note that this session will be webcast

    Having attended the summer ILaw, it’s not clear to me that the question Donna posed at the outset of the Lessig/Matusow session can be answered in the affirmative. Donna’s notes don’t make it clear what the emotional content of the discussion was, but I remember that Larry’s use of the “stop hitting me/I didn’t hit you” example last summer made for a convivial, but tense discussion. At that point, Microsoft was deep into the “viral” smear of the GPL, and I cannot tell what the pitch was today in Rio.

    I bristle a bit at what appears to be a comment by Jason: “At MS we funnel millions of dollars into educational institutions all around the world. This is given freely.” If he means research money, that’s not at all likely – contracts are signed, agreements made. And if he means things like academic giveaways of software – come on; that’s one example of “network effects” that everyone understands.

    What is clear is that Larry’s put a little more thought into his position, no longer that of a purely open source advocate. We probably have Dave Winer to thank for that, who took Larry (and others online!) to task over that position. Donna’s description suggests that Larry’s got a more nuanced take today, but that he is still predisposed to more, rather than less, openness.

    But these are hard things to tease out from a couple thousand miles away. I’ll be interested to hear more as this develops.

  • Off-topic, but very entertaining: Dahlia Lithwick’s coverage of the Lawrence v. Texas arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday. And SCOTUSblog gives more information on Dr. Fell.

  • Donna’s first post of the day from ILaw Rio is up: Yochai Benkler on Commons-Based Peer Production

  • Mary Hodder brings together a couple of current threads on artists breaking things off with the major labels and doing their own distribution online. For completeness, let me remind you of the NYTimes piece on Natalie Merchant’s efforts in this regard (particularly if you aren’t a FT subscriber).

  • The NYTimes is carrying a Reuters newswire piece on the IFPI‘s efforts to educate college students worldwide about music piracy.

  • Of course, Internet distribution requires careful planning, too. The effort to promote Real World Adobe GoLive 6 by putting it online is going to cost the author some serious dinero, it appears. This is not a new story, but it’s surprising that people keep getting caught unaware by the pricing structure of their ISP contract. As the article points out, there are ways, largely dependent upon P2P networks or by changing the copyright to enable the use of other repositories, that could have saved money and still achieved the goal that the author had in mind.

  • Wired discusses FullAudio’s new pay-for-download music service, MusicNow, aimed at an older demographic, willing to pay for someone else to find new material and categorize it for easy retrieval.

    FullAudio also hopes to attract people who are still interested in listening to new music, but are not often targeted by music industry marketers.

  • A weird buzz yesterday surrounded the President’s release of an executive order declaring information about “infrastructure” to be potentially classifiable (word?). (See this NYTimes piece for the original take, which largely focused upon an extension of the period of time that certain materials would remain classified) Speculation abounds that this includes information about the Internet – see Declan’s column, a Slashdot discussion; the text of the order. Here’s the questionable bit:

    Sec. 1.4. Classification Categories. Information shall not be considered for classification unless it concerns:

    (a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations;

    (b) foreign government information;

    (g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or pro-tection services relating to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism; or

    As Declan points out, the inclusion of the word “infrastructures” was a last minute change that has so far gone unexplained – but lots of speculation.

  • Larry’s posting on the Mexican government’s plans for copyright has been Slashdotted – a few postings worth reading, especially this take on the situation