2003 June 30 – post ILaw

(entry last updated: 2003-07-01 01:15:27)

(Note that I will be doing this multiple postings/day thing on the assumption that I can hack the innards of Personal Weblog enough to give me breaks by day in the output – but that isn’t going to happen this week unless I have a really down day)

A good day – if for no other reason than to see that Larry can be optimistic – his closing comments in the last session today, where he reinforced Terry Fisher’s suggestion that blogging’s benefits lie not in the answers they might generate, but in the fact that they are evidence of participation by individuals who might otherwise be unconnected to the political process, was a stunner to me. Last year he purposely adopted the negativist perspective (and he promises it for the rest of the week as well), so this was a welcome change. Below a few pieces of www news that I didn’t get to today.

  • BBC: RealNetworks bags Vodafone deal, over Microsoft.

  • Larry points to the latest broadside from Miriam Rainsford: Musicians Say No To Persecution And Prosecution Of Music Lovers

  • Trespass to chattels; trespass to chattels; trespass to chattels! Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, you can read about the latest developments in Intel v. Hamidi. Slashdot discussion: Court Rejects Intel Electronic Trespass Charge. The California Supreme Court’s ruling

    Intel’s claim fails not because e-mail transmitted through the Internet enjoys

    unique immunity, but because the trespass to chattels tort-unlike the causes of

    action just mentioned-may not, in California, be proved without evidence of an

    injury to the plaintiff’s personal property or legal interest therein.

    Note that there are two dissenting opinions, and a concurring one. Here’s an excerpt from one of the dissents:

    In my

    view, the repeated transmission of bulk e-mails by appellant Kourosh Kenneth

    Hamidi (Hamidi) to the employees of Intel Corporation (Intel) on its proprietary

    confidential e-mail lists, despite Intel’s demand that he cease such activities,

    constituted an actionable trespass to chattels. The majority fail to distinguish open

    communication in the public “commons” of the Internet from unauthorized

    intermeddling on a private, proprietary intranet. Hamidi is not communicating in

    the equivalent of a town square or of an unsolicited “junk” mailing through the

    United States Postal Service. His action, in crossing from the public Internet into

    a private intranet, is more like intruding into a private office mailroom,

    commandeering the mail cart, and dropping off unwanted broadsides on 30,000

    desks. Because Intel’s security measures have been circumvented by Hamidi, the

    majority leave Intel, which has exercised all reasonable self-help efforts, with no

    recourse unless he causes a malfunction or systems “crash.”

  • Slashdot on the EFF’s P2P promotion campaign: EFF Ad Campaign On File Swapping

  • Slashdot on the NYTimes article on TCPA/Palladium or whatever Microsoft wants to call it this week: A Critical Look at Trusted Computing (see the NYTimes URl/pdf in this Furdlog entry)

  • Well, that didn’t take long: enter Blubster. From their press release:

    Optisoft S.L., provider of popular peer-to-peer program Blubster, today announced the launch of Blubster 2.5 in the wake of the latest litigious efforts by the RIAA and MPAA to erode consumer privacy and monopolize control of the P2P entertainment market. As Verizon has been handed a court decision forcing the company to reveal the identity of Internet subscribers accused of music piracy, Blubster has re-launched with a new secure, decentralized, self-assembling network that provides users with private, anonymous accounts. (www.blubster.com).

    […]

    "If other means of delivering media files could be compared to a postal system with an identifiable sender and receiver, then Blubster’s proprietary MP2P network could be likened to throwing a bottled message into the vast ocean,” said Pablo Soto. “The message may get to a destination, but no one knows the full path of its journey nor what is in each bottle."

  • BMG is ready to dive into DRM for CDs: BMG tinkers with CD copy controls – more customers for SunnComm.

    The Bertelesmann AG division, which produces contemporary artists including Norah Jones, Avril Lavigne and No Doubt, said it plans to begin selling CDs in the United States protected with SunnComm’s MediaMax CD-3 product.

    See the BMG press release here, which includes this key point:

    MediaMax CD-3 is a collection of technologies that provides copy management for CDs and DVDs while simultaneously enhancing and expanding the consumer’s experience. MediaMax CD-3 is tightly integrated with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Media Platform and the Digital Rights Management capabilities associated with the latest Windows Media Platforms. The company licenses and uses Windows Media Audio DRM capabilities from Microsoft as the security feature for these files.

    See http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2003/jan03/01-20SessionToolkitPR.asp

  • Salon’s Farhad Majoo writes about putting academic research online rather than in academic journals: The free research movement

    On June 26, Rep. Martin Sabo, a Minnesota Democrat, introduced the Public Access to Science Act, a bill intended to rectify the situation. The act would amend U.S. copyright law to deny copyright protection to all “scientific work substantially funded by the federal government.” Since the U.S. government is the world’s largest sponsor of scientific research — the White House asked for more than $57 billion for science in 2003 — Sabo’s bill would have profound implications for scientific publishing. If passed, it would instantly put a huge swath of newly published research into the public domain, upending the journals’ pay-for-access business models.

  • As Terry Fisher pointed out today, AIMster got slapped with an injunction today. Recording Industry v John Deep includes this closing paragraph:

    Copyright law and the principles of equitable relief are quite complicated enough without the superimposition of First Amendment case law on them; and we have been told recently by the Supreme Court not only that “copyright law contains built-in First Amendment accommodations” but also that, in any event, the First Amendment “bears less heavily when speakers assert the right to make other people’s speeches.” Eldred v. Ashcroft, 123 S. Ct. 769, 788-89 (2003). Or, we add, to copy, or enable the copying of, other people’s music.

    A second read suggests that Posner didn’t really like anyone’s claims on either side, but felt that Deep failed to suggest there were any noninfringing uses of the tool, and that the recording industry faced unredeemable harm, so he sustained the injunction. I’m sure I’ll hear more about it this week. See also the CNet coverage: Court: Anonymous P2P no defense.

    More: Derek on the Madster/Aimster ruling