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December 15, 2004

A Christmas Carol [5:47 pm]

The tale of Ebenezer Broadcaster: TV News in a Postmodern World, Part XXXIV: A Broadcaster’s Christmas Carol

[via Doc]

The scales fell from his eyes and he realized what the Ghost of Broadcasting Yet to Come was telling him, so he asked, “Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of the things that May be only?”

He begged the Spirit to assure him that if he changed his ways, this would not be his end, but the Ghost did not answer. He threw himself at the Spirit’s feet and pleaded saying, “I will honor New Media in my heart, and try to keep up with changes. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me, and I will spend what the Future requires.”

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Let the Games Begin [5:33 pm]

FCC rolls back network sharing rules for Bells — so, tell me again, what was all this about deregulation and competition again?

In a 3-2 vote down party lines, the FCC said local phone incumbents, such as the Baby Bells, are not required to share their telecommunications switching gear with competitors such as start-ups or long distance companies. The rules dismantle one element of the FCC’s overall line-sharing rules, forcing competitors to foot part of the bill to provide local phone calling.

Since the Telecommunications Act in 1996, local phone carriers have been required to provide government-mandated discounts to lease their entire network — including copper lines, facilities and call switching equipment — to new competitors. Without the discounts on switch leasing, competitors will have to buy their own switching equipment or re-negotiate leases with the Bells.

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Roundtable [3:40 pm]

Q: How to cope with the license/physical media ownership problem - say I buy a DVD and then lose it on the bus; the media is gone, but the industry keeps telling me that I bought a license; so why can’t I ask for replacement media, rather than having to pay full price to replace the DVD? Doesn’t this expose a weird problem with the way people are talking about copyright? (added later)

A (Siva): Yes, it is a fiction; and it would make an interesting suit; but it doesn’t make sense to consumers as they understand buying; based on the way that we think about books, etc. “I can do what I want with my stuff.” One of a series of thoughts that unpacks the puzzle, but it doesn’t offer much to work with

Q: So this exposes a fiction of control

A (Siva): The cassette tape has exposed us to the idea that we control our media spaces. We all have our own soundtrack, and it’s why we buy big iPods, why we cling to the Betamax decision. Individuals should get to pick the cultural expressions that they experience in their own space - cultural autonomy.

A (Wendy): The questions that arise in licensing are even bigger than those of copyright. Contracts allow for the overriding of a whole host of things that copyright protects — and that problem is even uglier in terms of overreaching

A (Z): This ties together the fact that cultural expectations are leading to all sorts of dissonance in the law and in the individual. Price discrimination is something that economists generally approve; but it runs up against the cultural norms of the way in which we use these things. And we are getting close to being able to engineer these things into the hardware of the product - and the conflicts are going to be real and problematic

Q: Following up on cultural expectation — copy protection of CDs in the US are less prevalent than in the US; the broadcast flag is going to come into play next year; this is going to change things - will people scream enough to make things change? People’s experiences will change; CDs with DRM become widespread; will the consumer fight this? And are we prepared for this so that we can have an impact?

A (Siva): I have a bunker with year 200 TV sets. Things will get weird if the content companies really try to wield this power in excessive ways. Making the connection to the policy hooks that have been set is going to be our job. But, the question is what people are going to get worked up about.

There are some real perspective issues here

Who are we going to blame? The TV makers? The program producers? The FCC? Figuring that out is going to be hard, and making the case is going to be hard.

More likely, they will be quite deft, and the controls will be accepted, and then it will be too late.

DRM on CDs - they’re really looking to move to new DRM formats instead

A (Wendy): It was a joke, I guess - the EFF does have these cards archived

Q: the DAT serial copy control is on consumer equipment

A: (Z) Again, the amateur/expert issue - this sets up classes of consumers

It takes a lot to set up an angry herd - “I stand for consumer’s rights - people should be able to copy the Soprano’s” — this is a tough place to stand

It looks like it would be hard to get a consumer revolution

Q: Won;t things like the broadcast flag generate another underground economy?

A: Wendy - In general, there will always be those who hack the system; so individuals can hack it; but no one can commercialize it; no one can come up with something new — without permission. Permission to innovate - interesting idea.

Consider TiVo - where’s the next generation TiVo going to come from when you need permission to mess around in this space

A: Jonathan - People say it’s all the economics. Consider that a a quarter of a billion dollars is the cost of making a great movie - now, how to extract that rent? Terry Fisher’s scheme cited; alternative compensation system - what about movies (shopping cart theft as a joke)

Q: Why is Elsevier holding things so tightly? Why are publishers so tight about this?

A: (Siva) It depends on the publisher - a widespread assumption in the book industry is that the back catalog is the primary asset - the new books are a gamble, while the back catalog is the steady source of income.

Elsevier and others are organized around an idea of a metered system of revenue, and a pinhole starts a death spiral. So, hire a lot of lawyers and hang on for dear life. The small and specialized audience that desperately needs this material - the crack dealer perspective on market demand.

Basically, they did things exactly right, at exactly the right time. Buying access to data pipes is cost effective for libraries;

A (Z): From the legal field, West and Lexis were our duopoly; the judicial opinions are public domain; but the digitization has given them a way to claim copyright - where the page breaks occur was the first claim (lost by West), second claim, we fix typos (courts have not tested this).

The business of scarcity means that you need to preserve scarcity - if that’s your business model, then you want to make sure it stays scarce.

A (Hal): There’s a difference between scholarly works and things like music. The academic creation is NOT being undertaken for financial remuneration; yet there are those extracting serious rents.

The universities have to start seeing that they have a role in this debate. right now, a scholar won’t sign copyright over to the university, but they will to Reed - a kind of trust in the institution, understanding what uses they will put the material to - right now, they know what Reed will do, they don’t know what the university will do with that copyright — that trust needs to be built

Q & A about why blanks CDs for audio cost more than CDs for data - AHRA levies 17 USC 1006 (b) (1) for details

Q: Hal, you were supposed to be inspirational? Are libraries becoming marginalized?

A: Hal - now are exciting times; Google Scholar is making for some big changes. There are some sophisticated technologies coming into the library space; and what it means for the area is yet to be digested - it’s going to take time

Q: I have a bag full of licenses from the Harvard curators to give access to materials in the Harvard collections. The variety of CC licenses are about giving people lots of room in terms of rights reserved, etc. The licenses I have require signatures. Where do signatures fits into CC? What about the violations?

A: Hal - the license does not detail recourse - you and your lawyers get to decide what to do about infringement

A: Wendy — the CC licenses give more freedoms than that which is covered under basic copyright; you’re talking about a different kind of thing; CC starts from the perspective of the domain of copyright, and making exceptions off of that.

A: Z - The things in your bag are a different thing, closer to contracts than classical copyright licenses

Q: Do you sign away your copyrights when you publish

A: Siva - yes, I have to if I want to get things published; it depends on what the contract sale says. With my books I sign a fairly standard publisher’s contract - hardback, paperback - they ask for more stuff, and I tend to fight that. CC didn’t exist when I sold these. My editor said he wouldn’t work under that domain. My blog is under CC, but that’s not worth anything

A: Hal - my book is served by MIT Press on the internet; CC didn’t exist when I wrote my last book either. MIT Press is working into a number of these spaces

A: Siva - I distribute PDFs behind a password protected space; but, I’m breaking the law and I teach at the school that owns my copyright (NYU) - a complex skein of economic and legal obligations.

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Hal Abelson’s Talk [2:00 pm]

Universities, the Internet and the Information Commons

Video on MIT Open Courseware - from the UK (BBC?)

OK - that was the optimism; now for a few more details and then some discussion

Let’s start with the scam that’s been going on - it tells us that a university is a kind of factory that makes “content.” If you can just get that content away from these incompetents and put it in the hands of those who really =know how to package and present — then you’ll get some real money into the economy

Chuck Vest used to get asked - what is MIT going to do about the internet? After 2001, the answer finally became - put all our MIT content onto the internet and give it away. April 1, 2001 this was announced, to the consternation of those delivering distance education for $$

Ambitious goals were set, and 500th course got up by Sept 2003

Some snapshots of OCW - now there are 900 courses

The legal fine print — everything up there is under a Creative Commons license - faculty participation is voluntary - over 2/3rds of the faculty participates — and copyright is retained by the faculty — moving OCW out of the crosshairs of this who-owns-what

Which CC licence? One that specifically permits making derivative works.

httpd log statistics — 500,000 unique visitors a month; all over the world, lowest in sub-Saharan africa - China, India, Taiwan always big — from academic institutions, Harvard was 3rd on the list

13% of the visitors are educators; use data indicates a focus on course development, enhancing personal knowledge, planning curricula - lots of awards won and it’s been a big success

Even more so, derivative works - e.g. translations into Spanish and Protuguese (60 so far) Other consortia working to move to new languages — plus places putting up their own stuff - places in India, Vietnam, etc. adopting this OCW approach

Alignment with MIT core values — (a) commoditizing the content sharpens out focus on the substantive values of residential education — personalized attention, participation in learning and research communities; (b) helps to defuse complex IP issues of ownership and constrol that can distract the university from its mission to disseminate knowledge

DSpace: a repository that makes available the collective intellectual resources of the world’s leading research institutions — a digital repository run by MIT libraries - with HP and the WWW Consortium; note that there is also effort to ensure that the formats will be revised/translated — a permanent URL associated with each document, maintained by the library

Lots of things in DSpace — articles, reports, working papers, conference papers, theses, datasets, images, recordings of lectures, learning objects, reformatted digital library collections — the inclusion of actual datasets turns out to be an unexpected thing, but it looks interestin. DSpace will archive OpenCourseWare

Metadata based on RDF; many institutions participate and are part of a federated group of servers

Source is also open source; to join the DSpace federation, you have to make an institutional committment to the effort — several have signed up

Trying to make models that other places will follow — shared resources across the infrastructure of higher education

Those were two examples; they are part of the effort to strengthen the educations commons.

Why should universities do this?

(1) To help pursue our mission as institutions of higher educations and scholarly research - a part of MIT’s mission statement to “generat[e], disseminat[e] and preserv[e] knowledge” - note that publishers are not in this list when it comes to dissemination; it’s the Institute — librarians are “preserving”

These are big questions about the institutional role of universities — MIT has elected to answer these questions with things like DSpace and OCW

The library as not only the window of the institution onto the wider world of information, but also as the window of the wider world into the products of the institution

(2) Without initiative like these, traditional academic values will be increasingly marginalized, and university communities will be academically stressed

Napster era letter from USC to every undergrad - “USC’s purpose is to promote and foster the creation of intellectual property” (Note: education does not appear) (Sept 2002 letter to USC students from Dean of Libraries)

University of Chicago - “For this reason, we recommend that the University formally implement the principle that the University owns the intellectual property the faculty create at the University” - April 27 1999

UT Austin: Office of the General Counsel, August 2001 - paraphrase - students, making notes, are making derivative works of the faculty intellectual property - this is an impled license; you may want to make this explicit by asking the students to sign a license - a suggested license includes that they are my notes; for my own use, no commercial uses

Funny, yes, but also scare - Who Owns Academic Work? Coryenne McSherry - Harvard University Press, 2001

What’s going on in all these discussions is the conflating of academic rights and IP rights. The notion of ownership, versus the notion of community - we need to get out of this dead end

(3) To keep a seat at the table in decisions about the disposition of knowledge in the information age

Increasingly, the notion of academic scholarship viewed through the lens of property - danger of monopoly ownership and control of literature

Plots of the costs of journals - Reed-Elsevier is getting a lot of revenue - 10% per year growth rates - base costs of periodicals rising too fast - many schools can no longer manage it, including MIT

“The publication of research is a serious business, yet only costs a fraction of the funding of the research.” - president of Blackwell Science

But it’s an odd system: (1) authors give their property away to journal publishers; (2) publishers own this property and all rights to it forever, and allow the author to retain some limited rights, at the sole discretion of the publisher; (3) the university generally gets no specific rights; (4) and tghe public never enters into the deal at all

Some examples - Association of Computing Machinery allows (1) use in a future book; (2) can post a version on the WWW, provided the posting is limited to personal use by others (can’t, for example, end up in DSpace) — this is the radical liberal wing

Elsevier - a derivative work is ok, you can talk about it in a conference, …

Noncommercial ones are also pretty draconian - American Chemical Society - you can give a copy to no more than 50 colleagues; Can post the title, abstract tables and figures on the WWW site (but no other text) — and the ACS comes after people who violate this.

The NE Journal of Medicine is the king of the hill — you gave it to us, it’s ours - all you have is the fair use rights — nothing else at all

Why do we make this deal? Journal of Cell Biology uses language that suggest reputation is necessary (keepit away from the great unwashed) “Copyright should not be ceded to individuals” (!!)

Back to the Progress clause; publication is not the only way to accomplish progress; the way that we do this is getting blocked by the way we construct copyright

Google as the greatest research tool today - now Google Scholar - compare with ACS’s tool - and they have sued Google for trademark infringement on the use of the word “scholar”

A concordance site - can do this with Henry James, but not Toni Morrison, Hemingway or anything published after 1923

Will sophisticated research tools be stillborn by limited access to quality sources - limited by copyright - or, more likely, stimulate a set of network effects that will lead to greater concentration and monopolization of scientific literature

Consider Lexis-Nexis; their tool gives everyone strong reasons to publish through them, rather than other sources

There are publishers who are fairly explicit about this objective - Reed Elsevier’s recent publisher - 40+% profit margins

Private monopoly control of the scientific/academic record — this is what’s at stake

So, we start with the progress clause; the internet disrupts, diaggregates the way of disintermediation; actors try to get in the way, so they can extract rents

There is no copyright policy - just copyright law - will universities have a seat at the bargaining table (the one that Jessica Litman speaks about) - universities need to establish a position so that they get to participate in the fight (”we’re upstream of you guys — why do we need you again?”)

More generally - will creators have a seat at the bargaining table?

Creativity - Mickey Mouse/Disney and relativity/Einstein — the emphasis has been on making things work well for the Disneys of the world. Unfortunately, this also is making things work increasingly poorly for the Einsteins of the world.

Copyright makes it hard to build on other people’s work — hence, creative commons licensing needed - the CC heirarchy presented - demonstration of how CC works online

Where to next? Image searches demonstrated, using CC tools to make it work; a WWW site that mixes different music files - here’s what was used to make the mix - ancestry of sampling

The Internet Archive will host anything that you put a CC on - free hosting for CC licensed content

The Wired CD of CC content - other examples; and moving it overseas (some barriers — probably can never manage it in France, where droit d’auteur is inalienable)

Wrapping up — this is the job of universities; institutional instruments exist to do this; use CC licenses

Q: From someone who works at a journal - editorial oversight is expensive and important - aren’t there reasons for some kind of formal vetting, which is expensive? A: Agreed that this is necessary — there is a difference between open access and open season - there’s still vetting of articles. Note that referees are generally NOT paid; editors are paid to manage that process. There are different business models, and experimentation is necessary. But, the bottom line is that the different pieces of what it is to be a journal can be disaggregated - the question is how, and how it works.

The status quo is broken - it needs fixing

Q: What’s the role of the funding source (e.g. US Government) in establishing who owns what?

A: At MIT, the institution does not assert ownership rights; this is up to the scholar who is doing it, subject to the rules of the funding contract. So, it’s a contracts problem. Some fights coming, NIH is starting to require open access to results.

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Siva’s PPTs [1:55 pm]

I missed his talk, but Siva sent me his slides (you’ll need this) - and a draft of Remote Control: The Rise of Electronic Cultural Policy that covers elements of the presentation

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Back at NEASIST [1:46 pm]

Looks like Jonathan ismoderating a little discussion - a mid-day break, and he’s trying to get a few discussion points going forward - into the final discussion of the afternoon. We’ll see if we get back to it

  • Where does corporate structure enter into the copyright discussion

  • What’s the takeaway for academic librarians What should we be worrying about

  • Open access/open architecture — why can’t we own what we make

  • What is property and how does it really relate to IP

  • Proprietary file formats and digital lockup

  • Property and protection as a first principle; what about the principle of progress - other first principles (recall that the status of anne was about learning)

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Next Up - Wendy Seltzer [10:23 am]

Is It Chilly In Here? - Copyright’s chilling effect on information exchange

Quick recap of the basis

Let’s talk about some EFF cases

  • JibJab’s “This Land” — the estate of Woody Guthrie asserted that this was an unauthorized derivative work - the brothers called the EFF — EFF discovered that, in fact, the song was public domain - “This Land” is our land!

  • City of Heroes - the Marvel suit - superhero infringement by players making themselves look like the Incredible Hulk — complaints filed - EFF looking to find how to get involved in this

  • Another recent claim — Ken Jennings’ loss posted on weblogs (kottke.org) which were threatened, while the Washington Post was able to publish a transcript without complaint

Copyright is about “original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression” - fair use, reverse engineering

But DRM not only erects a fence around copyrighted works, but also encroaches upon traditionally non-copyrightable domains; plus the anticircumvention provisions criminalizing the testing of these boundaries

Possibly some limits in anticircumvention - the garage door opener case; the Lexmark case, Kaleidoscope

Archivists are in the interesting position of having to circumvent to preserve

Safe harbor details — in the end, it’s only a possible strategy, but an ugly tradeoff that limits your recourse in the face of oppressive claims

(sorry - phone call)

Diebold case — the leaked emails posted at Swarthmore; indymedia — Diebold filed copyright suits against those posting these emails. ISPs generally complied without challenging. Some decided to take a different position - Swarthmore students and the Online Policy Group - the EFF went through the law and found 512(f) that said that anyone who misrepresents under the DMCA is liable - EFF filed against Diebold under 512(f) - Diebold said they wouldn’t sue, and ISPs relaxed - however, the EFF continued to push the case; the Northern District of CA found that Diebold was liable, irrespective of whether Diebold was bringing suit or not

A run through of the worst case possibilities behind ideas like INDUCE

The day after Congress decided not to go forward with INDUCE, the movie industry filed their petition for cert in MGM v. Grokster - connections with the Betamax decision according to the EFF, “different” says the movie industry

Chilling Effects Clearninghouse plug - chillingeffects.org

Q: Can a course be constructed to accomplish a safe harbor in this kind of regime? A: Education is supposed to be a safe harbor — and if you make it invisible, you’re probably safe - once you go online and distribute the results of a class that mixes up popular culture, there will be more scrutiny - and, as Z said, fair use is a leaky boat

[Tragically, I need to leave now, and I was really hoping to hear Siva talk :( ]

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NEASIS&T Conference [9:12 am]

Well, I’m here for as much of this (direct link to the conference) as I can attend — as the dearth of yesterday’s postings should indicate, the end of term crunch has hit me, too.

Jonathan, Wendy,and Siva and Hal are here, and it sounds like it’s time to get started…

Preparatory remarks on what is ASIST, about which I know nothing

Topic A: The Laws of Cyberspace: How To Protect and Serve” - Jonathan Zittrain (”Z”)

Z: If Hal is supposed to provide the ray of hope, I suppose my approach should be to be as pessimistic as possible. This is going to be a great set of speakers, and all on the front line of these fights. It should be an amazing day

Really, we know we want to talk about DRM, we probably shoudl start with analog rights management - I do have 40 minutes after all

So, the monastic manuscript as our starting point — the copy protection then was simply the cost of hiring a monk to make a copy - copying as highly constrained

Innovations: the printing press, loosening the constraints on copying; and we start to get the erection of a legal boundary - the need to enforce scarcity to get rent extraction for creators - Rawls, etc.

Progress clause of the Constitution (some historical construction of Science and Useful Arts)

Title 17: Copyright (vs. 18: Crimes)

  • Scope - Idea/expression only - orginally books, maps and charts — expanded somewhat, despite the idea/expression dichotomy — comic book characters (Marvel suit); the Greatest American Hero case, seemed so much like Superman, DC Comics lost

    Feist debate — republishing of the phone book — cannot copyright facts in a free society — efforts to change this (database protection efforts)

  • Duration - Eldred v Ashcroft - the clause says limited times, but apparently that’s naive (Larry’s sequence of duration of copyright)

    The registrar continues to say “we’re done” on extending the copyright duration

    Eldred was about retroactive extension - windfall to holders at the expense of speech - seems not to be limited - however, lost

  • Rights - exclusive rights in copyrighted works (1) reproduce; (2) prepare derivative works; (3) distribute copies; (4) others …

  • Defenses: fair use - something that lawyers and courts get to decide, but no real formal rules (the right to hire a lawyer); first sale doctrine (exception to distribution right) - this is why there is a lawful library - in the language of current copyright debate, libraries are bastions of organized piracy - an organized conspiracy to share a book, rather than buy one; note that this runs up against yesterday’s Google search announcement in libraries (ed: see last weekend’s(?) NYT article on libraries and ebooks) - Hal’s favorite exception - the horticultural exemption Sec 118 (b)

  • Contributory infringement - not in the code, but in the common law - judicial doctrine - “one who, with knowledge of the infringing activity, induces, causes or materially contributed to the infringing conduct of another”

  • Vicarious infringement - one who “has the right and ability to supervise the infringing activity and also has a direct financial interest in such activities”

  • Example of vicarious infringement - Teddy Ruxpin — put a cassette into the bear and it tells stories - and the bear moves in accordance with signals on the tape recording; an entrepremeurial opportunity - make tapes for Teddy Ruxpin - new tapes not endorsed by the Teddy Ruxpin people - a lawsuit resulted - creation of the copyrighted audiovisual work that was the bear’s actions and sounds - the child is the infringer, but vicarious liability lies with the seller of the un approved tape

  • Two copyright regimes - title 17 and reality - collision between these two regimes continues to shape everything that goes on in this

John Perry Barlow - Economy of Ideas cite

Kickback, and the controllers of copyright have an increasingly strong position to claim copyright protections

MGM v. Grokster, cert granted - 04-480

DRM as a mechanism to accomplich control, to set more constraints on copying/using copyrightable works

What is DRM? Examples:

  • King’s Riding the Bullet — controls on an ebook

  • Trusted computing group activities in reponse to the cracking of the ebook - a way to ensure that the general purpose PC will respect data that labels itself as uncopyable

  • DMCA - anticircumvention provisions; Safe Harbors — anticircumvention says that it someone locked it up, and you crack it, you can be sued and/or go to jail - cracking for access, for example, is still illegal - open a locked book - you didn’t infringe copyright - you go to jail - exceptions in the library allows you to hack to establish that you would want to buy it, so long as you first destroy the hacked object - with weird interlocks against importation (which is not exempted) suggesting that you have to do this yourself, without a tool from someone else

Apple’s Rip. Mix. Burn. — companies that want to enable copying as a part of their business - laws proposed CBDTPA, e.g. to force suppliers of devices to enforce copyright at the hardware level - INDUCE Act wanted to remove the knowledge exception of the contributory infringement definition (insert later)

This trend moves us toward a world without a general purpose PC - publishers are mad; security is absent - new devices that have the brains of a computer inside, but are “safe” [ e.g., TiVO] Consumer friendly v. disruption friendly hardware - terribly funny graphic involving curves and sheep

Z: I believe that the world is trying to change Title 17; there’s a cultural clash here when people suggest that students should put (c) on their homework

Webcasting provisions in the DMCA — (Warner Brothers owns “Happy Birthday” acquired for $25 million; “He’s So Fine” - “My Sweet Lord” subconscious copying of the notes in the composition right (George Harrison) - when you webcast a song, is it a radio broadcast (pay the composer) or is it making a copy of the CD (pay the publisher) — it’s both, according to Congress — CARP (v CRAP) — set rules for action in webcasting that define that it’s closer to radio (performance recording complement)

Is the relationship that we have to our knowledge/intellectual fruit going to be mediated by experts (lawyers, etc) or is there some space for amateurs here? Uses that might have been allowed in the analog world, but are circumscribed in the digital world

Q&A while Wendy set up - fair use question, doesn’t the fact that one is not making money at making copies (noncommercial copies) give you fair use? Ans: There’s a four factor test, one of which is noncommercial - but noncommercial alone is not enough; and structurally, it’s a standard, not a rule, so you can never know when you;re in the clear — you have to defend yourself, rather than have a way of knowing. More than likely, Safe Harbor is far more likely to work for an amateur, rather than simple non commercial - if there’s a market effect, you get in trouble quickly as this is currently constructed

I don’t hate copyright, but there’s a question as to the effectiveness of fair use as a way to push back against this trend. It’s a leaky boat

Something else is needed - like the AHRA, where Congress said a device must honor certain technological constraints - carved out a safe harbor, so long as the constraint is satisfied - an example of something

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FTC P2P Workshop Today [8:24 am]

FTC focuses on file swapping — the workshop www page

The topics covered will range from the now-familiar effects of file-swapping services on entertainment companies to the potential risks consumers face by downloading content on peer-to-peer networks, or even just by installing the software.

The FTC does not have a specific proposal in front of it. It holds periodic workshops on new technologies to study issues raised and often comes up with recommendations to Congress afterward.

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Jihadis Online [7:52 am]

And not as WWW pages: Memoir Takes Holy War Into Cyberspace [pdf]

After Imam Samudra was charged with engineering the devastating Bali nightclub bombings two years ago, he taunted his police accusers in court, then greeted his death sentence with the cry, “Infidels die!”

So when Samudra published a jailhouse autobiography this fall, it was not surprising that it contained virulent justifications for the Bali attacks, which killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

But tucked into the back of the 280-page book is a chapter of an entirely different cast titled “Hacking, Why Not?” There, Samudra urges fellow Muslim radicals to take the holy war into cyberspace by attacking U.S. computers, with the particular aim of committing credit card fraud, called “carding.” The chapter then provides an outline on how to get started.

The primer on carding is rudimentary, according to U.S. and Indonesian cybercrime experts, but they said the chapter provides a rare glimpse into the mounting threat posed by terrorists using Internet fraud to finance their operations.

Related: Shoppers ‘wary’ of chip and pin

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Creators in the Absence of Remuneration [7:37 am]

From today’s NYTimes, a look at Cuba and underground dissemination of culture — without an Internet and without many of the financial guarantees deemed critical to artistic creativity: Amid Grip of Cuba, a Market for Culture

It is a dispersed, uncontrollable current in a nation that keeps a tight hand on the means of mass communication. At 8 o’clock each night, Cuba’s four state-run television channels all show the same news program. The government controls the radio and the Communist Party daily, Granma, and it decides what films to produce, what CD’s to put out and what movies to distribute.

But in the Playa section of Havana, a man rents pirated videos from his house. Up a rickety staircase in the Santo Suárez section is the hip-hop producer Pablo Herrera’s home-recording studio. An artist who calls himself Zeus keeps a hard drive at home with the “Godfather” trilogy and “The Lord of the Rings.” The CD’s in his sizeable collection all have the same blank silver faces. “I did not buy one of them,” he said.

While most of the goods that flow through this grassroots distribution network are benign, from the point of view of the Cuban government, some are not. [...]

[...] “Some songs I sing at my concerts, hundreds of people sing them, but they’ve never been broadcast by TV or radio,” [Pedro Luis Ferrer] said. “This means society, when it comes to spreading the word, is not passive. It’s active.”

While effective, piracy is not especially lucrative for artists, and it is a mixed blessing for those whose work is given away. “I don’t feel like anyone is stealing from me,” said Mr. Ferrer. “It’s true I’m not receiving money for it, but sometimes even recording labels don’t pay you. At least I can feel freer.”

Related: If, of course, you have an Internet, you can get P2P in 15 Lines of Code

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Slate on Open Access Journals [7:25 am]

Open Access: “Should scientific articles be available online and free to the public?”

This is a story, then, about adapting to the digital world: How should we harness its enormous possibilities while trying to reckon with vested interests that stand to lose in the transition? Ultimately, the potential benefits of open access, for both scientists and the public, are too significant not to pursue aggressively. At a time when technical material is accumulating more quickly than ever before, extensive online databases can help scientists do the most informed work possible. At a time, too, when patients are asked to participate much more actively in health care decision-making, better access to information is crucial. The NIH’s proposed compromise, in which articles are posted to PubMed Central six months after publication, is a reasonable one. But it is only a first step toward a larger goal-namely, true open access, immediately upon publication, for as much scientific work as possible.

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