August 28, 2003

2003 August 28 AM [8:07 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-08-28 13:26:19)

  • Looks like the W3C has issued a comment on Eolas v. Microsoft. See the Slashdot discussion: Plugin Patent to Mean Changes in IE?

  • More in an occasional series of postings here on how technology is changing the market and culture of movie-making: DVDs are for losers

    New rule: DVDs are for losers. Hey, why pay $9 to watch garbage in a crowded theater when you can pay 24 bucks and actually own that garbage? After all, “Kangaroo Jack” is the kind of film you need to see 10 or 12 times before you really “get it.” Be honest, you’re not a cinephile, you’re a dateless 30-year-old watching “Die Another Day” in your basement.

    DVDs, you see, are evil because they now account for over half the money Hollywood makes, and they’re all bought by the young, dumb, car-crash-loving male demographic, the same one that’s given us MAXIM magazine, attention deficit disorder and George Bush. Also, since the little teenage darlings who control all media are not old enough to see R-rated movies, our entire culture is now PG-13 — the kind of blanded-down mush designed to be as inoffensive as possible to the widest group possible, the same theory that made airline food what it is today. And that’s what movies are now: airline food.

  • Online music broadcasters sue RIAA [pdf]

    An alliance of online music broadcasters sued the recording industry in federal court Wednesday, alleging major record labels have unlawfully inflated webcasting royalty rates to keep independent operators out of the market.

    Webcaster Alliance, an organization claiming some 400 members, filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming the major labels and the Recording Industry Association of America have maintained a monopoly over their music.

    The suit alleges the negotiations for arriving at royalty rates to broadcast songs over the Internet violated federal antitrust laws and seeks an injunction that would prevent the major labels from enforcing their intellectual property rights and collecting royalty payments.

    CNet News: Small Webcasters sue RIAA

    Slashdot carried an article on the threat to do this in early July: Webcaster Alliance Threatens To Sue RIAA.

    Here’s The Register’s story: Webcasters slap RIAA with antitrust suit, which includes discussions of how the original royalty levels were set - see this RAIN article from June 2002 for more background on the issue: Cuban Says Yahoo!’s RIAA deal was designed to stifle competition.

    RAIN also covered the Judiciary Committee hearing on this subject: Copyright Royalties: Where is the Right Spot On The Dial For Webcasting (includes streaming video)

    Update: Slashdot: Small Webcasters Sue RIAA

  • From the Boston Globe: Recording industry discloses methods to track downloaders [pdf]

    The RIAA’s latest court papers describe in unprecedented detail some sophisticated forensic techniques used by its investigators. These disclosures were even more detailed than answers the RIAA provided weeks ago at the request of Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican who has promised hearings into the industry’s use of copyright subpoenas to track downloaders.

    With luck, these filings will eventually reach the EFF archive. Magistrate Judge John Facciola’s WWW page

    CNet News’ article: RIAA turns up heat on subpoena fighter

    Update: Slashdot discussion: RIAA Tracking Songs by MD5 Hashes

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