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August 19, 2003

2003 August 19 AM [7:46 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-19 09:19:15)

  • Jenny Levine on fair use and librarians: Librarians Fighting for Your Fair Use

  • Benny Evangelista on the Rolling Stones entering the digital distribution business: Rolling Stones license songs for file sharing:

    Exclusive deal could prompt other artists to follow example. If, as the article suggests, Listen.com was unable to land the Stones after two years of trying, one has to wonder what were the terms that got Mick Jagger to sign on the dotted line. I look forward to learning more about the economics of this deal. The LATimes article (via Denise Howell): Fans Can Get What They Want [pdf]

  • How did this writer get onto the TechCentralStation rolls? A TCS article on P2P file sharing by one Jay Currie, pointing out (approvingly!) that the Canadian levy on recordable media has essentially legalized filesharing in Canada and, through the Internet, the world: Blame Canada

    A desperate American recording industry is waging a fierce fight against digital copyright infringement seemingly oblivious to the fact that, for practical purposes, it lost the digital music sharing fight over five years ago. In Canada.

    [...] As the RIAA wages its increasingly desperate campaign of litigation in terrorum to try to take down the largest American file sharers on the various P2P networks, it seems to be utterly unaware of the radically different status of private copying in Canada.

    This is a fatal oversight, because P2P networks are international. While the Digital Millennium Copyright Act may make it illegal to share copyright material in America, the Canadian Copyright Act expressly allows exactly the sort of copying which is at the base of the P2P revolution.

    [...] The Canada Hole in the RIAA’s strategic thinking is not likely to close. While Canadians are not very keen about seeing the copyright levy extended to other media or increased, there is not much political traction in the issue. There is no political interest at all in revisiting the Copyright Act. Any lobbying attempt by the RIAA to change the copyright rules in Canada would be met with a howl of anger from nationalist Canadians who are not willing to further reduce Canada’s sovereignty. (These folks are still trying to get over NAFTA.)

  • The record labels announce they’re only after those who are really pregnant vs. a little pregnant? This is an odd bit of positioning: Labels: We’re after big swappers

    The recording industry is insisting its antipiracy campaign will refrain from taking legal action against small-time song swappers and will focus only on those copying “substantial” amounts of music via the Internet.

  • More on making PowerPoint (still, IMHO, the worst designed presentation package - if not application program - ever) your friend: Learning to Love PowerPoint

  • Paul Newman (yes, that Paul Newman!) speaks on the NYTimes Op-Ed page on the Franken/O’Reilly/Fox News "fair and Balanced" brouhaha: Paul Newman Is Still HUD [pdf]

  • Slashdot has a rather comprehensive article on the latest in SCO news, including a response by the Free Software Foundatation to the laughable claim that that GPL somehow violates US copyright law because it doesn’t restrict copying: FSF Reply To GPL Claims, Conference Sponsors Back Off?. As Eben Moglen puts it:

    This argument is frivolous, by which I mean that it would be a violation of professional obligation for Mr Heise or any other lawyer to submit it to a court. If it were true, no copyright license could permit the licensee to make multiple copies of the licensed program. That would make not just the GPL “illegal.” Mr Heise’s supposed theory would also invalidate the BSD, Apache, AFL, OSL, MIT/X11, and all other free software licenses. It would invalidate the Microsoft Shared Source license. It would also eliminate Microsoft’s method for the distribution of the Windows operating system, which is pre-loaded by hard drive manufacturers onto disk drives they deliver by the hundreds of thousands to PC manufacturers. The licenses under which the disk drive and PC manufacturers make multiple copies of Microsoft’s OS would also, according to Mr Heise, violate the law. Redmond will be surprised.

    [...] The release of this astounding statement is actually good news for developers and users of free software. It shows that SCO has no defense whatever against the GPL; already it has resorted to nonsense to give investors the impression that it can evade the inevitable day of reckoning. Far from marking the beginning of a significant threat to the vitality of the GPL, the day SCO scuttled sense altogether confirmed the strength of the GPL, and its importance in protecting freedom.

    See also The Register write-up: The GPL will win, claims law prof. Infoworld/IDG tries to tell it from the SCO side: SCO makes legal case to its resellers; as does Lisa Bowman: SCO puts disputed code in the spotlight. Prof Moglen also speaks on CNet: Putting the GPL on trial

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