August 21, 2003

2003 August 21 AM [7:08 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-21 08:16:36)

  • PressePapiers posts a followup to Jay Currie’s Blame Canada: Private Copying

    Well, without getting into too much details, while downloading music might be covered by the Tariff, as it does not specify any source or support requirements for the sound recording, uploading without a proper licence is not.

    The actual provision in the Copyright Act is

    Copying for Private Use

    80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of

    (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,

    (b) a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or

    (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer’s performance of a musical work, is embodied onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer’s performance or the sound recording.

    About all I can add is that, while it may not be expressly legal, I think Jay’s point (we’ve had a couple e-mail exchanges since) is that the legal environment in Canada is sufficiently distinct that the RIAA’s US strategies may not be so easy to implement in Canada. But Canada’s culture of copying is definitely different — how different remains to be tested by the RIAA, I suspect.

  • Mark Mulligan shows that schizophrenia is not limited to the music industry: Wanting it both ways again (this time it’s MSN)

    MSN have just launched their answer to Apple’s i-Tunes service in conjunction with OD2. Yet whilst MSN try to place them selves at the vanguard of Europe’s legitimate digital music market, they seem to be promoting MSN messenger on its music file sharing attributes. With a far from subtle ‘nudge nudge’ and ‘wink wink’ [Ed. note: link added] to the would be file sharers, MSN advertises the messenger on it’s [sic] own site as:

    “Share files or music…, you’ve got to download MSN messenger”

  • Earthstation5 has raised the ante with their latest press release [via BoingBoing]

    Earth Station 5 Declares War Against The Motion Picture Association of America

    JENIN, West Bank, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — In response to the email

    received today from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to

    Earthstation 5 for copyright violations for streaming FIRST RUN movies over

    the internet for FREE, this is our official response!

    Earthstation 5 is at war with the Motion Picture Association of America

    (MPAA) and the Record Association of America (RIAA), and to make our point

    very clear that their governing laws and policys have absolutely no meaning to

    us here in Palestine, we will continue to add even more movies for FREE.

    See also this James Lileks commentary: Why the Record Industry Doesn’t Stand a Chance

    But there will never be enough arrests or convictions to stop the hard-core downloaders; there will never be a technological fix that someone won’t find a way around. Copyright violations will cease when enough people decide they’re morally wrong, when the old explanation — “But Ma, even senators do it!” — doesn’t feel right. When the Internet is governed by reason, decency and conscience.

    Never, in other words. See you in Jenin.

  • This guy shouldn’t be advertising this fact - the RIAA is bound to try to do something about this - from The Onion: I Have An iPod - In My Mind

    Thirty gigabytes? So what? I know 7,500 songs, maybe more. Some songs, I forget I even have until they come around on shuffle. Why, just the other day, my mind started playing David Naughton’s “Makin’ It,” a song I hadn’t heard in years. And the sound quality was great!

    Easy downloads? You don’t know the meaning of the word “easy.” And I don’t have to know the meaning of the word “download.” You may get MP3s off the Internet, you smug scenester, but I can get music off the television, the radio, even a passing ice-cream truck. If I don’t want to waste the memory space on a high-fidelity copy, I just don’t pay very close attention. Now, that’s what I call convenience.

    All I have to do is hear a song once or twice, and it’s stored forever. I can call it up any time I want. Beach Boys. Beatles. How about some Bach? Or some Billy Joel? Sing me a song, piano man of my mind! And those are just the artists whose names begin with “B.”

    I can browse by artist, album, song, or music genre. Boom! I’m doing it right now! The “repeat” feature? Heck, songs from my iPod don’t ever have to end. I swear, I had “Music Box Dancer” going through my head for three days straight last week.

  • New ruling protects ISPs, Web operators

    Internet service providers and Web site operators are breathing a collective sigh of relief following a court decision that preserves a key aspect of their immunity under the Communications Decency Act.

    [...] Section 230 of the CDA carved out significant immunity for “interactive computer services” for the behavior of their customers. But the district court ruled that dating site Matchmaker and its operator, Metrosplash–acquired by Lycos in June 2000–could be held liable for information a user posted because of the interactive nature of the questionnaire that generated the posting.

    The court of appeals disagreed.

  • Bruce Perens has tracked down the provenance of the second code snippet shown at the SCO Forum as evidence of copyright infringement in the Linux kernel - SCO disagrees with his findings, of course. Linux advocate: More SCO evidence flawed

    The SCO Group is zero for two in its efforts to prove that its Unix software was illegally copied into the Linux operating system, according to Linux advocate Bruce Perens, who on Wednesday said he traced a second example of SCO’s disputed code and that it was lawfully included in Linux.

    [...] But these first two examples can be traced to the open source BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) Unix, and not to SCO’s AT&T Unix source code, and both are legitimately included in Linux, Perens said.

    “I think that these are probably the best examples that SCO has to show and they’re awful,” said Perens. “They would not stand up for a day in court.”

  • Media convergence - the MP3 player/cellphone: Brrring! A Musical Reverie Yields to Cellphone Chatter

  • Also in today’s Boston Globe, an article on the rise in used book sales via the internet, Turning over an old leaf [pdf], includes a call for the end of the first sale doctrine:

    “However much money is being made,” says Vincent McCaffrey, owner of the Avenue Victor Hugo used-book store in the Back Bay, “I know that because of the Internet more people are buying used books right now than ever before.”

    Amazon.com jumped into the used-book market last year by adding a “new or used” option to every new book listed on its site, which leads a customer to a list of small or middle-size booksellers offering the book at a deep discount to the new-book price. Since then, both Barnes & Noble and Borders have offered links to used-book sources. Mainstream publishers and the Authors Guild, a writers group, have raised a fuss, to no avail.

    “While we are glad that used-book sales are creating additional revenue for some of our booksellers,” says Random House spokesman Stuart Appelbaum, “it’s regrettable that neither authors nor publishers are benefiting financially.”

    This was a topic about a year ago, but I can only point you to the NYTimes abstracts now - see this one, for example.

    Note that considering the "used" option is also a viable strategy for those of us boycotting CDs from RIAA-member record companies — so far.

  • From today’s Boston Globe Business Roundup, we get this entry:

    Buffett loses appeal on disclosures

    Warren Buffett lost an appeal before the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay disclosure of certain stock holdings, part of an effort by the billionaire to prevent copycat investing. As chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett has argued that his short-term trading strategies qualify as intellectual property and warrant an SEC filing exemption. Publication of Berkshire’s holdings, Buffett says, leads to price movements that drive up his investment costs. The SEC acknowledged that traders attempt to mimic Buffett’s selections. At the same time, the agency said Buffett failed to show that complying with disclosure rules would cause Berkshire competitive harm. The agency requires individuals and companies that manage $100 million or more of stock to disclose their holdings at the end of each quarter in a filing called Form 13F. An SEC spokesman declined to comment. (Bloomberg)

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