October 28, 2004

Music@StarBucks, Now DVDs @ MickeyD’s [11:22 am]

Now playing: Self-service DVD rentals at McDonald’s

The fast-food giant has signed a contract with DVDPlay to place the company’s self-service DVD rental kiosks in 13,000 restaurant locations over the next several years, DVDPlay CEO Jens Horstmann, CEO of the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company, said during a presentation at the Consumer Technology Ventures Conference here.

McDonald’s has been running a trial with 157 of the machines in 107 Denver-area restaurants and will install a few thousand machines each year starting soon. Grocery giants Albertsons and Safeway have signed deals to put machines in, respectively, 3,000 and 3,500 locations each. Even rental outlets (and DVDPlay competitors) like Blockbuster will invest in the machines.

“They (movie rental outlets) are in dire need of automation,” said Horstmann.

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Katie Dean on Lexmark [8:01 am]

Lexmark Loss Good for Consumers

“We should make clear that in the future companies like Lexmark cannot use the DMCA in conjunction with copyright law to create monopolies of manufactured goods for themselves just by tweaking the facts of this case,” wrote (.pdf) Judge Gilbert Merritt of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. “Congress did not intend to allow the DMCA to be used offensively in this manner, but rather only sought to reach those who circumvented protective measures ‘for the purpose’ of pirating works protected by the copyright statute.”

I finally got to read the opinion this morning (for some reason, The Boston Globe had not been distributed by the time I finished breakfast). Katie’s writeup is good as far as it goes, but there’s a lot to this opinion, and it’s going to take a while for all of its consequences to percolate through the system.

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Hilary Rosen on Larry Lessig [7:57 am]

From dead tree Wired: How I Learned to Love Larry

I was warming to Lessig. He wasn’t defending theft; in fact, he was against it. That’s why he had helped found the nonprofit Creative Commons. If the essence of copyright law is to allow creators to have control, he argued, then there are ways to maintain ownership of copyrighted works and still make it possible for the average person to license the use of those works. After all, what’s wrong with a licensing system that makes music more accessible to more people?

Until that moment, I had dismissed Creative Commons as a sleight-of-hand maneuver, a way to mouth platitudes about the benefits of copyright while in fact joining ranks with the Everything for Free Foundation. But Lessig was making a persuasive case. This is going in the wrong direction, I remember thinking. Had I lost my edge?

Hardly. I’m still cynical about its origins, but I’ve come to love Creative Commons.

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OT: I Think It’s Official … [7:14 am]

The West Wingjumped the sharklast night. (CNN spoilers) (Although some suggest it’s already happened.)

Oh, yeah — and the Boston Red Sox won the World Series!! [pdf] [ NYTimes]

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