A Reporter’s Story: How H-P Kept Tabs On Me for a Year – WSJ.com

A Reporter’s Story: How H-P Kept Tabs On Me for a Yearpdf

At first, I thought the company had simply accessed a month’s worth of my phone records.

But I grew more concerned as the scope of H-P’s tactics became clearer. I learned from documents released to Congress last month — but not by Mr. Schultz yesterday — that H-P’s investigative team unearthed factoids about myself that I never knew. In one PowerPoint slide prepared for Ms. Dunn, H-P’s team noted that I live precisely two miles away from former H-P director Mr. Keyworth. In another slide that mapped out — like a spider’s web — Mr. Keyworth’s relationships with the press and others, I learned that my real-estate agent, Mavis Delacroix, had once worked with his wife. When I called Ms. Delacroix to tell her that her name had popped up in H-P’s probe, she said: “I end up in the weirdest places.”

Via Slashdot’s Reporter’s Story — How HP Kept Tabs On Me

Charles Cooper Decides He Needs Clicks

By producing a purposely obtuse opinion piece: Web 2.0 as a metaphor for ‘rip-off’

Like Napster, YouTube may be the extreme case. Still, both companies, which relied on the use of “free” content, were nourished by the widely held conviction that all Net content should be free. I want to be charitable, but it’s hard to argue against the proposition that Napster and YouTube flourished because of theft.

You can’t get away with that idea in other walks of life. Believe me, I would love to waltz into the local bookstore, browse through the aisles, and walk out with a bag full of novels without making a pit stop at the cashier. Same goes for the record store, or the neighborhood video joint. Life doesn’t work that way. Our social arrangements don’t allow some people to work for others without the remotest chance of receiving compensation. You may remember that this nation fought a civil war to eradicate that despicable practice.

However, when it comes to the Internet, woe to the stick-in-the mud (like me) who fails to swim with the crowd that believes all Internet content must be there for the taking. In other words, it’s a big candy store in the clouds, open to one and all.

Of course, there are free lunch mentalities on both sides of this argument — just no one willing to admit it.

A Reminder That Laws Require Legitimacy, Not Just Legislators’ Votes

The G.O.P.’s Bad Bet

In the short term, this law all by itself could add a few more Democratic Congressional seats in the fall elections. We are talking about a lot of people (an estimated 23 million Americans gamble online) who are angry enough to vote on the basis of this one issue, and they blame Republicans.

In the long term, something more ominous is at work. If a free society is to work, the vast majority of citizens must reflexively obey the law not because they fear punishment, but because they accept that the rule of law makes society possible. That reflexive law-abidingness is reinforced when the laws are limited to core objectives that enjoy consensus support, even though people may disagree on means.

Thus society is weakened every time a law is passed that large numbers of reasonable, responsible citizens think is stupid. Such laws invite good citizens to choose knowingly to break the law, confident that they are doing nothing morally wrong.

Managing The YouTube Copyright Fight

Music Companies Grab a Share of the YouTube Sale

YouTube’s young founders may have been the biggest beneficiaries of last week’s $1.65 billion deal with Google, but they have some unexpected bedfellows — old-line media companies that had been considered YouTube’s biggest legal threat.

Three of the four major music companies — Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, Sony and Bertelsmann’s jointly owned Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and the Warner Music Group — each quietly negotiated to take small stakes in YouTube as part of video- and music-licensing deals they struck shortly before the sale, people involved in the talks said yesterday. The music companies collectively stand to receive as much as $50 million from these arrangements, these people said.

Plus, it’s kind of hard to sue yourself.

More Second Life

A Virtual World but Real Money

[T]he budding fake world is not only attracting a lot more people, it is taking on a real world twist: big business interests are intruding on digital utopia. The Second Life online service is fast becoming a three-dimensional test bed for corporate marketers, including Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sun Microsystems, Nissan, Adidas/Reebok, Toyota and Starwood Hotels.

The sudden rush of real companies into so-called virtual worlds mirrors the evolution of the Internet itself, which moved beyond an educational and research network in the 1990’s to become a commercial proposition — but not without complaints from some quarters that the medium’s purity would be lost.

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

Residuals Debate: Old Script on New Setpdf

In a digital free-for-all, Hollywood trumpets another round of ventures nearly every week making TV series and films accessible on the Internet.

But with each splashy announcement, resentment builds among writers and actors who believe studios are ducking the issue of how to properly pay them when their work is viewed via the Web. With major labor contracts expiring over the next two years, fears are growing that digital distribution will become such a contentious issue that it could prompt a strike.

“We’ve learned from history that when these new technologies emerge that we can be left behind,” said Alan Rosenberg, president of the nearly 120,000-member Screen Actors Guild. “We have to make sure we don’t wait 20 years to get properly compensated.”

More AllofMP3 Posturing

Moscow Music Site Defends Free Downloads

A Web site based in Moscow that the United States Commerce Department has branded as the world’s highest-volume online seller of pirated music plans to release hundreds of thousands of albums free, the site said.

Low prices and ease of use have made AllofMP3 a consumer favorite among music download sites, but the site — which claims to operate legally under Russian copyright law — faces ongoing legal battles with the music industry and harsh criticism from the United States government.

Tuesday, the credit card company Visa International said that it had suspended card service to the site, citing concerns over copyright issues.

“Net Neutrality? What’s That?”

Users bemoan loss of Net phones in UAEpdf

When telecom regulators in this country cut access to the popular Internet phone program Skype, the price of international calling skyrocketed.

The shutdown triggered an uproar among foreign residents who form about 80 percent of the population of the Emirates, a wealthy country with some of the world’s highest levels of Internet penetration.

[…] “It’s infuriating to lose the freedom to call people,” said Rupert Chesman, a 27-year-old Londoner who works as a TV producer in Dubai. “People just want to phone home and now they can’t.”

Etisalat, the Emirates’ chief telecom and Internet provider, began to block Skype and other Internet phone providers this summer, arguing they had no license to sell phone service. Etisalat’s profits have soared since then.

The unannounced Internet clampdown even woke up Dubai’s normally docile press, which devoted pages to expatriates railing at the shutdown. An recent editorial in pro-government Gulf News said the ban was stifling technology that ought to be embraced.

Keep On Keeping On

File sharers facing legal action

More than 8,000 alleged file sharers are facing legal action, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

This latest crackdown targets uploaders – people who allegedly put their music files onto peer-to-peer networks.

It forms part of the ongoing battle by the recording industry to put an end to illegal downloading.

Slashdot: International Music Industry Amps Up Anti-P2P War

Related: Universal Sues Music Web Sites, Charging Illegal Sharing of Files

Art? Or Copying?

Lichtenstein: creator or copycat?pdf

Color me naive, but I never thought Lichtenstein’s work was a direct copy of scenes from comic books. I assumed that he stylized certain scenes suggested by the comic vernacular of the 1950s and 1960s. “He tried to make it seem as though he was making major compositional changes in his work, but he wasn’t,” says Barsalou, who teaches at the High School of Commerce in Springfield. “The critics are of one mind that he made major changes, but if you look at the work , he copied them almost verbatim. Only a few were original.”

[…] Lichtenstein’s fans, and the collectors who now pay millions of dollars for individual canvases, will continue to revere his work. But what are the implications for copyright law? Barsalou correctly points that musicians who “sample” other artists’ music have to pay them royalties. Does the Lichtenstein estate owe compensation to the creators of the original work?

After visiting a Lichtenstein exhibition in Chicago, attorney Mark Weissburg wrote an article titled “Roy Lichtenstein, Copyright Thief?” [pdf] […]