Synergies?

A chilling thought: Macrovision closes InstallShield deal

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Macrovision has been on a spending spree over the last several years, adding to its stable of technologies that help manage and protect software and other content against unauthorized copying. It hopes the addition of Schaumburg, Ill.-based InstallShield will help boost sales of its digital license management software.

The TV Musuem

Where Old Television Goes to Its Final Reward

The Museum of Television and Radio on West 52nd Street in Manhattan is a little like the Louvre. It was made into a museum by a Robespierre-like visionary tyrant, William S. Paley of CBS, and most first-time visitors just want to see the Mona Lisa.

[…] The library does not yet offer visitors Internet access so they can look up such information on Google or IMDB. Nor does the museum Web site (www.mtr.org) allow consumers to browse its collection online. If viewers want to find out whether the museum has a copy of the only musical Cole Porter ever wrote for television (“Aladdin,” on CBS in 1958) without making the trip to 52nd Street, they must call the museum inquiry line between 4 and 5:45 p.m. (It does.)

The imperfections are small, and not so terrible. […]

The collection is particularly rich in old, obscure musicals, which are almost never shown on television because the music rights are so expensive.

E-Mail Interception

Despite being told from the outset that e-mail is no different than mailing a postcard, the NYTimes speaks out against the decision this week on the presumption of (a lack of) privacy in e-mail communication — of course, systematic incterception is a little broader problem than the postcard metaphor can accomodate: Intercepting E-Mail

Sounds ludicrous? We would have thought so, too, but a federal appeals court recently ruled that companies providing e-mail services could read clients’ e-mail notes and use them as they wish. Part of its rationale was that none of this would shock you because you have never expected much online privacy.

Count us among the shocked. The decision, on a 2-to-1 vote by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Massachusetts, sets up a frightening precedent, one that must be reversed by the courts, if not the Congress. It’s true that people are aware of some limits on online privacy, particularly in the workplace. But the notion that a company like America Online, essentially a common carrier, has the right to read private e-mail is ludicrous.

See also E-Mail Snooping Ruled Permissible and LawMeme’s E-Mail Snooping Not Wiretapping

Update: See Ernest’s take — E-Mail Wiretap Decision: Out of the Wiretap Frying Pan, Into the Copyright Fire

Later: Eff’s Deep Links — NYT on U.S. v. Councilman

Valenti Successor Named

It will be interesting to see where he takes this discussion: Film Industry Lobby Picks Successor to Valenti

Dan Glickman, former agriculture secretary under President Bill Clinton and a long-serving Democratic Congressman, has been named to head the Motion Picture Association of America, taking over from Jack Valenti who headed the movie lobby group for 38 years.

Mr. Glickman, 59, will resign his current position running the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government to take over the association in September, ending a search that has taken more than two years.

Mr. Glickman is considered an unknown quantity in Hollywood, where he will be charged with forging consensus among the seven studios that comprise the Motion Picture Association and taking on thorny issues like Internet piracy.