Nokia unveiled its N91 multimedia phone, which will have a 4-gigabyte hard drive that can store thousands of music files. The phone, which will also run on high-speed 3G and wireless LAN networks, is due out by the end of the year.
[…] The hard disk-based music phone would have been launched sooner but Nokia is still working with Microsoft and its online partner OD2 to develop a music download service for mobile devices, Vanjoki told Reuters in an interview.
“But it will be this year. We’re not going to miss Christmas,” he said.
Nokia is also confident there will be an open standard for digital music protection, which it intends to use in its phones. Nokia does not want to use a proprietary format from Microsoft, despite an ongoing argument between the mobile phone industry and a handful of patent holders of key anti-piracy technology, he said.
“I think there will be more discussions, but it’s starting to look better,” Vanjoki said, referring to a more modest royalty payments proposal that was tabled by the patent holders two weeks ago.
From Digital Photography Review: RAW storm in a teacup? Dave Coffin interviewed
2. As we know none of the manufacturers openly document their RAW formats, how long does it typically take for you to reverse-engineer a format?
It can take minutes or months, depending on the complexity of the format.
3. Are you ever concerned about the legal implications of reverse-engineering proprietary file formats?
If anyone sued me, I’d be the biggest free software hero since Jon Johanson. It’s better for the camera makers to ignore me and hope I lose interest.
[…] 8. It’s clear that many photographers are concerned over the current situation between Adobe and Nikon because they feel it may be an indicator of worse to come (harder encryption, more ‘locking down’ of file data). So is this a storm in a teacup or a sign of more to come?
Photographers have reason to feel scared. Not being computer hackers, they feel powerless to stop Nikon from asserting property rights over their images.
I’m not so worried. Whatever scheme Nikon tries next, I’ll just reverse-engineer it.
A free public service network was launched today to give users worldwide access to public television and radio programming, movies, podcasts and video blogs, while fully protecting the producers’ copyrights.
Open Media Network (OMN) was founded by Internet pioneer and Netscape veteran Mike Homer and includes Marc Andreessen as an advisor and board member. The service offers users a broad selection of free public programs with a simple TV-style program guide and automatic background deliveries of favorite scheduled programming. Content producers can easily add their programming to the network, with unlimited free delivery of their shows and with digital rights protection. Through the service, consumers can view the content on multiple devices, including PCs and iPods today and televisions and cell phones by this summer.
[…] Open Media Network is powered by grid delivery technology from Kontiki, which already provides secure delivery of content libraries for a range of companies such as Ernst & Young, Verizon, AOL and the BBC. Kontiki’s grid delivery technology speeds the distribution of video and music files by allowing participants to share unused bandwidth on their computers and servers. There are already over 20 million users of Kontiki’s technology today.
Because OMN uses Kontiki’s grid delivery technology, all content is centrally managed. Programs which violate copyright or are unsuitable for viewing can be removed from the network. Kontiki’s battle-tested technology has built-in digital rights management (DRM) through support of the Microsoft Windows Rights Manager and allows publishers to choose whether content can be shared, duplicated or viewed a set number of times. Future versions of OMN, due this summer, will offer producers a secure payment system for premium content.
Judge Rejects UNC Subpoenas, RIAA Points to Old Request (citing the Daily Tarheel’s RIAA can’t get student’s names [pdf])
On April 14, Judge Russell Eliason of the U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem rejected the RIAA’s request to reveal the names of the two students. Currently, the RIAA has only their online aliases.
Eliason’s decision was made public Thursday.
The two students, whose aliases are “hulk” and “CadillacMan,” are enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University, respectively.
Both are targets of a process the RIAA initiated two years ago, when it subpoenaed UNC-CH and N.C. State. It was seeking the individuals’ names under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
But because the music files are stored on students’ computers and not the universities’ networks, Eliason wrote, the schools do not have to offer the information.
“These are old cases,” said Jenni Engebretsen, spokeswoman for the RIAA. Now, she said, “We are using an entirely different process.”
Note that the opinion is not online yet, but should eventually appear at the link to the judge’s name above
MySQL CEO Marten Mickos interviewed at InfoWorld: MySQL CEO pans software patents, touts open source
InfoWorld: What is your take on the whole software-patent issue?
Mickos: Software patents are detrimental to the entire software industry.
Mickos: Because they restrict innovation and they don’t protect the innovator like they should. So it’s just a mistake to believe that patents, because they are good for hardware, would be good for software.
InfoWorld: So you would recommend eliminating them for software?
I’m glad that someone remembered to ask these questions, and sorry that, so far, they are only being raised in the geek community, rather than in the mainstream press: Microsoft reveals hardware security plans
While the technologies, once known as Palladium and now called the next-generation secure computing base (NGSCB), will help companies and consumers lock down their computers and networks, concerns remain that the hardware security measures could also be used to lock-in consumers to a single platform and restrict fair uses of content.
With homegrown integrity and security features being added by a variety of devices by companies aiming to lock out competition using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the specter of another hardware-based security feature worries some information-system experts.
Slashdot’s Microsoft Scales Down Palladium
Venture capitalists are again embracing open-source technology companies. JBoss, which offers a layer of software for controlling Web applications, was one of 20 such businesses that raised $149 million in venture money in 2004, according to estimates by the research firm VentureOne. At least three open-source start-ups raised $20 million last month alone.
But given some spectacular open-source failures in the late 1990’s, a natural question may be whether some of these venture capitalists have perhaps lost their minds.
[…] A big difference between then and now is the increased adoption of open-source software by corporate users. Another is the relative success of Red Hat, an open-source start-up that went public in 1999 and makes money by selling enhancements and maintenance services to corporations using Linux.
[…] Red Hat’s success in selling support services has created the business model for virtually every open-source entrepreneur, including Mr. Fleury. Venture capital firms have become so enthusiastic about this approach that they seem eager to support practically any open-source company just to have a stake in this hot area.
A Reuters News releaseEU Threatens Microsoft Over Windows — in its entirety:
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s executive told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer his company must comply urgently with its decision to stop abusing its virtual monopoly position of its Windows operating system or face action.
“All I can say for the moment we are still not satisfied,” European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd told a news briefing, referring to Microsoft’s action to meet the Commission’s demands.
Net multimedia company RealNetworks released an overhauled version of its Rhapsody digital music service on Tuesday, in a high-profile launch aimed at regaining ground lost to Apple Computer’s iTunes.
Eschewing the format wars that have marked the digital music business–and much of RealNetworks own past–the company is tapping Microsoft for technology that allows songs to be transferred to some MP3 players. Until recently, most monthly music subscription services barred songs from being transferred from a computer to a portable device.
But RealNetworks is also extending a bridge to cost-conscious digital music newcomers, offering people the ability to listen to 25 songs a month without paying anything at all.
When originally heard in the Court of First Instance in 2004, the case was decided in favor of the defendants, Les Fils Alain Sarde and Studio Canal. On appeal, the Paris Court of Appeals found that not only was the CSS used to copy protect DVDs illegal, but that the two companies did not adequately inform the consumers that the DVDs were copy protected. The companies now have one month to remove the copy protection from their DVDs and must pay €100 in damages to the consumer as well as €1,500 to the UFC-Que Choisir.
While it’s nice to see a blow struck for Fair Use rights, even if outside the US, the decision may not stand. The DVD producers still have the opportunity to appeal to a higher court in France. In addition, there is the question of the European Union’s directives on copyright — which allow for the use of copy protection systems — and how that should impact a consumer’s right to make a copy of media he owns for his own use. The problem with legally-unbreakable DRM is that along with snuffing out consumers’ Fair Use rights, it has the effect of giving the content producers a perpetual copyright on the content by allowing them to control how it is used.
Also – The Register’s French court bans DVD DRM
More importantly, see CoCo’s French Court: DVD Protection Incompatible with Private Copying Exception