2003 August 6 PM

(entry last updated: 2003-08-06 15:18:42)

  • Speaking of revisionist historians, Ed Felten jumps into to correct some misconceptions, as well as demonstrating what the phrase "chilling effects" means: Revisionism

  • Via The Shifted Librarian (who also points to Z’s Legal Affairs article of a couple weeks ago) links to a BBC article, Stopping the pop-swappers, wherein the BBC’s interpretation of CD sales statistics leads to a different conclusion:

    In America and the rest of the world the biggest culprit in falling music sales is large-scale CD piracy by organised crime.

  • Anita Ramasastry discusses privacy here: Why the ACLU Is Right To Challenge The FBI’s Access to Library, Bookstore, and Business Records Under the USA PATRIOT Act.

    And, if you missed it before, I highly recommend reading this provocative Andrew Odlyzko paper (something I got to do on this trip): Privacy, Economics, and Price Discrimination on the Internet. A recapitulation of a lot of Hal Varian‘s economics, but very well put together with the problem of privacy on the Internet (and with an excellent bibliography).

  • From Benny Evangelista at SFGate: Kazaa use down after threats:

    Crackdown’s impact on file sharing unclear, which includes the following Neilsen/Netratings statistics:

    Here are

    the number of times each file sharing program was used over a seven-day period:

    File sharing programs 7-day period beginning


    7-day period beginning
    7-day period beginning
    Kazaa 6,526,000 5,409,000 4,912,000

    Morpheus 272,000 244,000 NA
    iMesh 255,000 227,000 271,000
    BearShare 192,000 308,000 234,000

    As well as this very important observation that I see here for the first time in print:

    The latest Neilsen data were challenged by the Australian firm that distributes Kazaa. A spokesman for Sharman Networks Limited said its data since June 25 show only normal seasonal fluctuations in Kazaa usage since June 25, when the RIAA announced plans to sue individuals who offered copyright protected songs for others to download.

    In addition, Kevin Bermeister, chief executive officer of Altnet, a Woodland Hills (Los Angeles County) firm that sells songs legally using Kazaa, said there’s been a consistent 15 percent drop in downloading each of the last three years during the summer, when some of the biggest users, college students, are on vacation.

  • Today’s copy (August 6; V 123,No 30) of The Tech has a pretty thorough rundown of the RIAA suit against MIT, but it’s not online yet. If it doesn’t come up soon, I’ll have to transcribe and post it myself

    A few key (disquieting) quotes:

    "The conversation we had with TDC [a fraternity] was, ‘If you provide us the logs, then …. once we get a legitimate subpoena, then we can act legitimately,’" [Prof James] Bruce said.

    "’If you do not provide us the [DHCP] logs, then … once we get a legitimate subpoena the only recourse we have it to point to you,’" Bruce recalled MIT saying to TDC.


    As a result of the matter, MIT will revise its agreement with fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups — for whom MIT provides free high-speed Internet access — "to say that they will need to provide us the logs on a reasonable basis."


    "I believe that the decision of whether we should change the fundamental architecture of our network so we can always know who’s using it, which may, by the way, add significant burden, … that’s a decision the community has to make," said Jeffrey I. Schiller ’79, MIT’s network manager. "I think that’s a community decision and should be made that way."

  • In re; Fritz Hollings’ retirement announcement – here’s the transcript from his WWW site: TRANSCRIPT: Hollings Not to Seek Re-Election in 2004.