July 22, 2003

2003 July 22 [7:16 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-07-22 20:42:53)

  • Donna’s got two more excellent posts that I need to reference and then I’m going home:

    • Brace Yourself, wherein Donna points to Jim Grimmelmann’s Duke Law review note on Eldred v. Ashcroft

    • Questions, Anyone? shows us where we can find the followup Q&As to the recent DMCA exception/exemption rulemaking hearings.

  • AP Wire on the launch of an online music sales site for PCs, BuyMusic.com: Lots of Music, and One Big Flaw

    Although BuyMusic.com will offer a catalog of more than 300,000 songs from the five major record labels, users of the service will not necessarily have the freedom afforded customers of Apple’s iTunes service to transfer the music purchased to multiple computers and portable devices, or to burn it to compact discs.

    More noxious are the platform-specific features. Here’s what I get when I go to the site:

    Thank you for visiting BuyMusic.com.

    In order to take full advantage of BuyMusic.com’s offerings you must be on a Windows Operating System using Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.

  • Something for this semester: MPAA Tries Goodfellas Approach

    The Motion Picture Association of America has also developed a curriculum on copyrights for use in classrooms by Junior Achievement. The “Digital Citizenship” program covers the history of copyright and culminates with a nationwide contest in which students suggest ways to persuade peers that swapping illegal copies of music and movies is not only illegal, but wrong.

    The Junior Achievement press release, including pointers to RespectCopyrights.org

  • I guess I shouldn’t be surprised: White House Threatens Veto on Media-Ownership Cap

    The Bush administration said Tuesday it would consider vetoing a large spending bill if it reimposed media-ownership caps that were recently relaxed by the Federal Communications Commission.

  • More on SCO from eWeek:

    • SCO Copyright Claim Questioned includes a very clear point from Eben Moglen:

      Eben Moglen, a professor at Columbia Law School and general counsel for the Free Software Foundation, told eWEEK in an interview on Monday that those business Linux users who are not modifying, copying or distributing the Linux kernel can not be targeted for copyright infringement.

      “Possession of infringing material is not a copyright violation because the copyright owner doesn’t have an exclusive right to possess the work. The copyright statute gives the copyright holder exclusive power to copy, modify and distribute the work, so those people copying, modifying or distributing in violation of the owner’s exclusive rights are infringing. Those who aren’t copying, modifying or distributing are not in violation,” he said.

    • Scot McNealy gets in his licks, joining MS on the indemnification route: McNealy Weighs In on Linux, Unix, Sun

    • The eWeek coverage is summarized here: The Battle Over Unix

  • It’s neither online nor intellectual property, but it’s an odd little legal tale nonetheless: Objection Quashes Sale of Welles’s ‘Kane’ Oscar

  • I guess that press coverage and some online examples got the White House to change its mind: Writing to the President, Now at Easiertofind.com [pdf]

  • In re: SCO & Linux, Slashdot discusses this entry from GrokLaw, where there are a lot of interesting SCO-related entries: Caldera Employee Was Key Linux Kernel Contributor

    This all relates to the affirmative defenses laches, undue delay, waiver, and estoppel, which we just covered. They will be hard-pressed to explain how they had an employee contributing to the kernel a couple of years ago, which they apparently assigned him to do, and yet claim they didn’t know or didn’t approve. If they didn’t approve, why didn’t they do a thing to stop it back then? Stop it? It was his job, judging from his title and his job description. And for that matter, the announcement about JFS was public on IBM’s part, as we’ve seen, and Caldera didn’t bring a lawsuit to block it back when it happened. That’s the laches part.

    As to waiver, allowing/condoning/permitting an action makes it hard to sue about the same action later. They are complaining that IBM contributed JFS to Linux, but their own employee, from this evidence, was involved in helping out. On the day IBM announced JFS was being given to Linux, Hellwig is listed as making five contributions to the kernel. All of this information is publicly available, so it was available to Caldera back when it happened.

    Related articles:

  • Alright - who didn’t send Jacko his script? Michael Jackson ’speechless’ on P2P jail bill

    Michael Jackson has slammed a proposed US bill which could see music file traders jailed for downloading just one illegal copy.

    In a statement, the superstar said: “I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans in jail for downloading music. It is wrong to illegally download, but the answer cannot be jail.”

    OK - I know The Register has a reputation for overblown writing, but superstar?

  • How about a little school pride: BC, MIT decline to name students in music-use case [pdf]

    Boston College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, citing concerns about student privacy, moved yesterday to quash subpoenas issued by the recording industry to discover the identities of students the industry says are illegally distributing copyrighted music.

    [...] MIT and Boston College yesterday said that they support the rights of copyright holders and would comply with any subpoena that addressed their concerns about the proper notification of students and was filed "properly" in US District Court in Massachusetts, not in Washington D.C.

    The RIAA has filed at least 871 subpoenas in US District Court in Washington this month, demanding information from universities and Internet service providers about users of the Internet file-sharing network KaZaA. MIT and Boston College said they are required under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act to notify students before they release personal information such as names and addresses.

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