2003 July 15

(entry last updated: 2003-07-15 17:11:49)

  • Donna‘s got a couple of good ones today:

    • This one is full of some striking quotes that suggest a whole new dimension to the issues: Holy war declared on religious music downloads [pdf]

      Aside from ignorance of the law, some file sharers are making the argument that downloading is actually enhancing the ministry by spreading the word of the Gospel through song, said Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne.com, which tracks illicit song downloads off the Web.

      “The issues are complex because you have the Ten Commandments, on the one hand, but you have this mandate as a Christian to spread the word of God. And these songs of faith are, in many ways, the modern vehicle for doing that,” Garland said.


      [John] Styll [of several Christian music associations] said the industry will have to get the message across the violating copyright laws cannot be done in the name of ministry.

      “Christians are specifically commanded in scripture to uphold the laws of the land. It’s no more right to copy a CD for somebody or send them downloaded music that you obtained illegally in the name of ministry than it is to walk into a store and take a Bible off the shelf and walk out without paying for it and handing it to somebody because they really need to read it,” he said.

    • Studios Stage Fight Against Internet Bill [pdf]
      (Something to watch: the LATimes’ Music Sharing and Piracy coverage)

    Moreover, Donna’s several blog-linked discussions of fair use have served to reinforce some of the key ideas in this paper: What’s So Fair About Fair Use? The notion that stripping derivative uses from copyright protection (moving from the metaphor of property protection via a "property rule" and moving toward a "liability rule") has a number of compelling elements to it, as this paper suggests. The question is, as in so many of these remedies, is how to get there from here.

    See also Matt’s discussion of Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage? [pdf]

  • CNet introduces a new wrinkle: Grokster unleashes ad-free software

    Grokster on Tuesday released Grokster Pro, the first version of its software that’s free of pop-ups and adware.

    Consumers who want to use the software will have to fork over $19.99 for the ad-free experience.

    I will need to review the Grokster decision – will this get them into trouble as they become more commercial-looking? Hmmm, I guess not – the court has already found "[d]efendants thus derive a financial benefit from the infringement."

  • Slashdot points to the statistics game, with an Reuters article at CNN (whose interests are they representing?) now stating that filesharing has declined in the wake of the RIAA lawsuit threat: Filesharing Traffic Drops After RIAA Threats; see also this CNet News article: RIAA threat may be slowing file swapping

  • Slashdot points to A Framework for Evaluating Digital Rights Management Proposals [pdf] and gets something of a discussion going: UCB Researchers Critique DRM, Compulsory Licensing. It’s a limited sort of article, though, starting with the peculiar use of the work rival when I’m sure that rivalrous is intended. Essentially, they summarize the problem of feasibility into a small set of questions relative to "technical feasibility, incentives to cheat, burden of monitoring, privacy and the feasibility of legal enforcement." Oh, and flexibility energes as a criterion as well. A reasonable summary of the issues, as well as a summary of current proposals.