2003 March 28

(entry last updated: 2003-03-28 17:27:03)

  • Letters to the Editor about Paul Krugman’s Clear Channel op-ed piece

  • Donna’s got the link for the final Rio ILaw session posted, but not yet populated. As she notes, the summation and final Q&A can lead in some exciting directions. Unfortunately, it appears that "communication problems" have once again interfered with her postings – with luck, she’ll have some at least a few comments/insights when she gets back from the beach!

  • Jenny Levine has found a new weblog: Legal Mp3 Downloads

  • Pursuant to the Gateway discussion yesterday, we have an LATimes article: Gateway Commercial Raises Hackles at CBS (see yesterday’s Furdlog on the subject of this www site – Rip, Burn, Respect) (via BoingBoing)

  • Hoo-boy! Jenny Levine found this SFGate article: Analyst: Internet file-sharing bigger than record business

    Free peer-to-peer music file-sharing has become larger than the multibillion dollar recording industry with a growth trend that has become “fundamentally unstoppable,” a media analyst told a state Senate committee exploring Internet piracy on Thursday.

    …Instead of fighting the trend, which he called a losing battle, Garland [of Big Champagne] said the entertainment industry should embrace digital distribution rather than file lawsuits that only make more people aware of free downloads.

    But industry representatives largely rejected the advice, instead promoting legal challenges and education, including a new anti-file-sharing movie clip that will appear soon in movie theaters.

    CA State Senator Kevin Murray’s website is pretty thoroughly devoted to this topic – see this statement as well as this discussion of his efforts as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry.

  • Two articles from Billboard: Marley Bassist Proceeds With Royalties Lawsuit; New Metallica Album To Include Bonus DVD

  • An interesting discussion over at Slashdot on a SecurityFocus article claiming that the FBI is looking for changes in the architecture of the Internet to ease wiretapping of voice over IP telephony.

  • Ed Felten continues to discuss the super-DMCA bills pending before several state legislatures. Today he discusses why the intent provisions of these bills (‘intent to harm or defraud’) do not provide adequate exceptions to legalize the very typical applications (NAT, firewalls) that the text of these bills appear to declare illegal.
    Update: He’s been Slashdotted

  • Mark Mulligan talks about Audioscrobbler as a key element of effective music distribution networks.

  • Doc Searls points to a couple other record outlets springing up to distribute protest songs that Clear Channel and others won’t touch. I couldn’t resist including the image at the right, which is from the protest records WWW site.

  • Wired describes the release of Revolution OS on a DVD that is neither CSS-encrypted nor region encoded (available here).

    Moore is concerned that his CSS-free DVD could result in unauthorized copying and screening of the film. The film has already been made available for download on a few websites and screened sans his permission at various small technology conventions and colleges.

    He self-financed Revolution OS and worked for years without a salary to make the film. For those reasons, he said, it’s important to him that people purchase the film rather than pirate it.

    But despite his concerns, Moore said he couldn’t rationalize releasing a DVD about open-source and free software that many users of that software would be unable to view. He’s equally uncomfortable with supporting what he believes are increasingly Draconian copyright control techniques.

  • Wired has a clever title the describes the problems that Movielink continues to face in its efforts to construct a workable movies-on-demand system in a bandwidth-limited market: Movieline: Short Lines, Long Wait

  • The increasingly portable DAT has made bootlegging even easier.

  • CNet describes yet another well-thought-out piece of legislation that addresses some of the most important issues of the day: House votes on Net porn. As Declan describes it:

    During a debate over a bill to create a notification network for child kidnapping cases, House members added two technology-related amendments to the legislation. The first measure, which was approved by voice vote, says anyone who knowingly uses an innocent-sounding domain name to drive traffic to a sex site could be fined and imprisoned for two to four years.

    The second amendment, which the House agreed to by a 406-15 vote, represents Congress’ second attempt to outlaw “morphed” or virtual child pornography . Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court slapped down Congress’ first law banning nude images of computer-generated minors and underage teens, saying the 1996 measure violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression.

    After amending the bill, called the Child Abduction Prevention Act (CAPA), the House then approved it by a vote of 410-14.

    Should this become law, the court challenges are going to be ridiculous – what’s misleading? Heck, we can’t define pornography. Here’s a snippet from the first provision:

    For the purposes of this section, a domain name that includes a word or words to indicate the sexual content of the site, such as ‘sex’ or ‘porn’, is not misleading.

    LawMeme has a writeup, too

  • Maybe we’re not supposed to call it Palladium, but apparently it’ll be on display at the upcoming Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. The article has a number of good background links on what Palladium is. The Slashdot discussion offers up the typical cross section of comments, but this one got my attention – a description of the current concept of software ownership that does a great job at demonstrating why the notion of Palladium isn’t going to just fade away:

    Microsoft is taking the control out of users hands for just the same reason (and for anyone in denial, try to log in as “Administrator” on a WinXP machine). It wouldn’t make sense for anyone to be able to bypass the mandatory access controls on a military mainframe, and if they can they have to be very very trusted.

    I hear you out there! Screaming that your home computer isn’t a shared, let alone military, machine. Well, here’s a message for you: it’s shared with all the people who write software for your computer. That’s right, software has owners and when their software is on your computer they think they should have a say over how it is controlled. For better or worse, your choice to share your computer with the owners of this software is what is driving this effort.

    Not that sharing is bad. It makes sense to share. You have the choice of who you share your computer with. I’ve chosen to share my computer with people who have similar views to me on what is a fair. These people write software that they license under so called “liberal” licenses — the GPL and the BSD licenses for starters.

  • Copyfight has the placeholder up for the Rio ILaw talk on Jurisdiction & Zoning (i.e., architecting location on the Internet) by Zittrain and Edelman.

    Update: The talk notes are now up, as are those of Benkler and Carnuti on Privacy