News: August, 2002 More than 52000 members

Home

DigitalConsumer home

Overview

What we're all about

News

Recent news about your rights

Get Active

How you can participate

Q & A

Frequently asked questions and their answers

Bill of Rights

The Consumer Technology Bill of Rights

For the Press

Information for members of the press

Feedback

Get in touch with us

Privacy

Our privacy policy

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.
New: Subscribe to our news updates by using our RSS feed. Send problems or questions to rss@digitalconsumer.org.
Aug 31, 2002
"More than a dozen of Hollywood's top directors have been sued by a tiny Colorado video chain that rents films with the sex, violence and blue language edited out, Variety reports."
Aug 30, 2002
The CARP ruling "would force low-budget operations to add expensive hardware and software to comply with the order. The stations that can afford the upgrades face the task of training their unpaid volunteers to monitor and run the systems."
Aug 30, 2002
"A video store chain that edits profanity, violence and sex from films asked a judge Thursday to rule the practice is legal, despite protests by such directors as Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg."
Aug 30, 2002
"But treating this as a zero-sum game, where there is one winner and one loser, hasn't brought the music industry any closer to final victory. Illegal digital downloading is more rampant than ever. So how does the industry respond? It sics the lawyers on individual users accused of facilitating the sharing of digital music."
Aug 30, 2002
Free music is "often a first step in putting money in. And while this model may not work for Britney, it certainly works for Janis Ian and--as a quick Net search will tell you--thousands of other artists as well."
Aug 30, 2002
"The case raises the novel issue of whether hyperlinks to pirated material constitute copyright infringement. It involves a Web site, www.MP3Board.com, which makes no secret that its business is to help users scour the Internet for music files -- or MP3s -- on third-party Web sites."
Aug 29, 2002
"Unlike the most radical elements in the open-source movement, Perens maintains that a complete ban on state purchases of proprietary closed-source software isn't necessary. What is required instead, he says, is a simple set of principles that delineate the exact parts of the state's IT infrastructure that must remain open."
Aug 29, 2002
"Here's the proposition: The record industry wants you to buy your music on a new kind of disc. Unlike a CD, the format will greatly restrict your ability to make digital copies. It will cost more than a prerecorded CD. And it will require you to invest a few hundred dollars in a new player."
Aug 29, 2002
"Atlanta-based Coke has joined with a legion of Fortune 500 companies and highly influential organizations, such as the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Football League, in filing amicus curiae briefs with the California Supreme Court in hope of getting the November ruling [on DVD copying] overturned."
Aug 29, 2002
"Look, it's wonderful that Verizon is opposing these bills ... we need all the help we can get, but I'm not impressed by this interview. It seems that in every case Verizon is looking out solely for itself."
Aug 29, 2002
"Apple Computer has invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent its customers from burning DVDs on external drives. [...] At issue in the legal threat is Apple's well-received iDVD application, which permits users to burn DVDs only on internal drives manufactured by Apple. In unmodified form, it does not permit writing to external drives manufactured by third parties."
Aug 28, 2002
"Attempting to protect software on CD-ROM disks from illegal copying, Hudson Soft Co. Ltd. and Victor Company of Japan Ltd. (JVC) have developed a copy protection technology that employs embedded encryption keys."
Aug 28, 2002
New products will automatically cut objectionable material out of a movie as you're watching it, but Hollywood doesn't like it. "The Directors Guild of America may be circling the wagons to take legal action against a handful of companies that offer consumers edited versions of popular films with potentially offensive content stripped out."
Aug 28, 2002
"Gateway Inc. recently began offering the free classes -- the price will jump to $99 in September -- at its retail stores to teach customers how to download songs to a computer and burn CDs without violating copyright laws."
Aug 28, 2002
"For Big Media - which is most often associated with DRM, the situation is indeed tough: from a practical standpoint, DRM is only effective in protecting items of low value that also have narrow distribution. Anything of high value is of course likely worth the cost to break into, and anything distributed broadly will ultimately be cracked and digitally redistributed by someone."
Aug 28, 2002
WMP9 will query a third-party license server before every playback of a piece of media, enabling "finely tuned licensing terms and conditions, such as limited 24-hour play, a set number of plays over a given time, or an outright purchase licence that lets the viewer watch the video or listen to music whenever they want. It will also be used to bind content to a specific PC, so that it cannot be redistributed around a house or played on a different device."
Aug 27, 2002
Interview with Verizon's Associate General Counsel on RIAA case. "Verizon and other telecommunications giants have ordered their phalanx of lobbyists to oppose the entertainment industry's demands for new copyright laws. The company is also fighting the Recording Industry Association of America's request for information about a subscriber."
Aug 27, 2002
"Because of the exceptional brilliance and innovation evident in today's pop offerings, discussions of dwindling consumer interest in vapid, predictable cliche products would clearly be out of place. No, the industry is doing everything right, so the only possible explanation for a loss of revenue has got to be the pestilence of Internet piracy."
Aug 27, 2002
"In the rest of the country, [Boucher has] made a bigger splash by backing Internet radio entrepreneurs and the concept behind digital music-sharing services--- which Hollywood's entertainment executives deride as tools of copyright pirates."
Aug 27, 2002
"A new study has recommended that governments require the use of open-source software, fanning the flames of the increasingly heated debate over the place of open-source in public policy."
Aug 27, 2002
"But there's a new movement afoot — one that views technology as a keeper of the public trust. In this digital-rights revolution, the heroes are fighting to preserve public access to content ranging from books and print archives to music, images, videos and other works comprising the intellectual treasures of humanity."
Aug 27, 2002
"Do you really believe there is any coder or coding company out there that is deciding whether or not to invest in a new coding project on the basis of whether they will have the right to control an unmodified version of their code for longer than 10 years?"
Aug 27, 2002
Midbar's new technology supposedly allows CDs to be played on computers.
Aug 27, 2002
"Compact disc shipments fell 7 percent in the first six months of this year versus last year as growing use of Internet downloading services undermined sales, the record industry said on Monday."
Aug 27, 2002
"The recording industry blames the rapid decline of album sales on a new technology that allows people to easily copy and transport music. It's expected to cripple the major record labels. The year was 1979. Audio cassettes and the Sony Walkman were the feared technologies."
Aug 26, 2002
"A movement is beginning to stir in America, an overdue reaction to the predations of a cartel that is bidding to control how digital information may be created and used. [Congressional Candidate Tara] Grubb, almost by accident, is becoming one of the movement's new icons."
Aug 26, 2002
"I write you today not only as a constituent, but also as a creator and consumer of copyrighted works. I fear that the laws being pushed by the entertainment industry are seriously harming the public at large."
Aug 26, 2002
"Weekly 'Streamies' - people who have watched or listened to streaming media online in the past week - bought more than one and a half times the number of compact discs (CDs) in the past year than the average American [...]"
Aug 25, 2002
"But the remedy under consideration gives Hollywood vigilantes power over private citizens, and that cure would be worse than the disease."
Aug 25, 2002
With respect to online sales, "record chains have been left mostly out of the mix. On Demand Distribution, a company co-founded by artists Peter Gabriel and formed to exploit new channels for music sales through technology, looks to change that by becoming a wholesale distributor of label-blessed digital music tracks."
Aug 24, 2002
"But despite the courthouse angst, ElcomSoft plans to continue to market exactly the sorts of products that led to their entanglement with the U.S. legal system."
Aug 24, 2002
"In May, Liebowitz published a paper suggesting that the record industry would soon be seriously harmed by MP3s. But in June, by the time Salon caught up with him, he was questioning his own conclusions after having examined the numbers and finding little solid proof that file sharing was hurting CD sales. Two months later, he's changed his mind again. Sort of."
Aug 23, 2002
"The singer-songwriter utters the unspeakable: She credits Napster and its progeny with sparking renewed interest in her music, at a time when she can't be heard on contemporary-hit-obsessed radio stations."
Aug 23, 2002
"The government is preparing a national crackdown on file traders that would crush the rogue swapping networks in the same manner hackers were pushed underground 12 years ago."
Aug 23, 2002
"Lessig would limit software copyrights to 10 years. After that, the code would wind up in the public domain. I can't think of a better prescription for formalizing the existing constellation of power that favors the Microsofts and Oracles over the small and independent developers."
Aug 23, 2002
"[Tara] Grubb, 26, is running as a Libertarian candidate against North Carolina's Howard Coble, the 71-year-old Republican congressman whose public opposition to P2P file-sharing networks has made him the target of an online backlash."
Aug 23, 2002
"BT Group Plc lost a bid to claim that Internet service providers were infringing its patent for a Web linking tool when a judge dismissed its suit against Prodigy Communications."
Aug 22, 2002
"Instead of making consumers the enemy, as Hollywood is doing with support of the P2P Piracy Prevention Act, it would be smarter and more profitable to respond to new technologies with a change in thinking. Consumers will always be willing to pay market prices to be entertained. The challenge is for entertainers to meet the demand with a better model."
Aug 22, 2002
"Consequently, to fight peer-to-peer piracy, Congress must curtail everyone's cyber privacy and allow copyright holders to access and sometimes disable private networks. While we should regret any loss of privacy, fighting crime often requires reducing the privacy rights of innocents."
Aug 22, 2002
"The music industry's trade association is asking a federal district court to force an Internet service provider to turn over private information on a subscriber, heating up the legal war between technology and entertainment companies."
Aug 22, 2002
Covers a dispute between a jazz flutist and the Beastie Boys over a six-second sample.
Aug 22, 2002
Press release claims more than 5 million legitimate downloads across various P2P networks.
Aug 22, 2002
"Academic-library groups say they're still opposed to a model law intended to make software-licensing agreements uniformly enforceable in all 50 states, even though the legal group that drafted the measure eased some of its provisions this month. [...] Scholars and librarians say the [law will still] stifle consumers' freedom of speech and undermine their fair use of products they've paid for."
Aug 22, 2002
"The Recording Industry Association of America has dropped a contentious lawsuit against major Internet service and network companies that sought their help in shutting down communications to a China-based music copying site. [... The] RIAA said Wednesday that it was dropping the suit because the Listen4ever site has been shut down."
Aug 22, 2002
"A 'smart card' embedded in the CD unlocks the disc's encrypted content. You can copy the CD, but without the card the software won’t run."
Aug 21, 2002
"Russia's vast pirated-music market is second only to China's. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, two out of every three music CD's in Russia are counterfeit."
Aug 21, 2002
"The University of Toledo and a number of other colleges are no longer broadcasting online, fearing that new national fee and reporting regulations could price them out of the business. The fees, which result from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and were set by the Librarian of Congress, are being challenged in court."
Aug 21, 2002
"The massive scale of P2P piracy and its growing breadth represent a direct threat to the livelihoods of U.S. copyright creators. It also threatens the survival of the industries in which they work. As the creators and their industries contribute greatly to the cultural and economic vitality of the U.S., their livelihoods and survival must be protected."
Aug 21, 2002
"The Recording Industry Association of America [...] would like to blame much of the slide on Internet music-file swapping. Yet there are many other causes, including the fact that the big five are all units of troubled multinationals—AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal, BMG, EMI, and Sony—that are focused on short-term gain and have no particular interest in the music biz. There's also been a recession, of course, and resistance to CD prices that have grown much faster than the inflation rate. Perhaps the most important factor, however, is the major labels' very success in dominating the market, which has squelched musical innovation."
Aug 21, 2002
"Rights issues are the major obstacle inhibiting the growth of [RealNetwork's] nine-month-old MusicPass service. [...] The backing of Bertelsmann, AOL Time Warner, and EMI Group give MusicNet access to a formidable catalog of 75,000 songs, but the service's range still can't match that of guerilla peer-to-peer networks such as Napster in its heyday."
Aug 21, 2002
News Corp.'s Peter Chernin says that "the stall tactics and smoke screens of those who have purposely ignored digital shoplifting can no longer be tolerated and can no longer mask the ulterior motives that have driven them all along. [...] The truth is that anyone unwilling to condemn outright theft by digital means is either amoral or wholly self-serving."
Aug 21, 2002
Washington Post summarizes political activities related to digital copyright. ";This is more power than we give to law enforcement to go after terrorists,' [Robin] Gross says. 'This bill proposes to give this kind of power to Hollywood. . . . You're not allowed to go and destroy someone's property because you feel they've done harm to you.'"
Aug 21, 2002
"The U.S. Department of Justice is prepared to begin prosecuting peer-to-peer pirates, a top government official said on Tuesday."
Aug 21, 2002
"On Tuesday, the RIAA asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C., for an order compelling Verizon Communications to reveal the name of a customer accused of illegally trading hundreds of songs. Citing privacy concerns and potential legal liability, Verizon has refused to comply with a subpoena the RIAA sent last month."
Aug 21, 2002
"A leading theater chain has agreed to run before movies public service announcements that warn against copyright infringement, the president of News Corp. said Tuesday, describing an effort to take the entertainment industry's war against the online swapping of movies to theaters."
Aug 21, 2002
"Record labels are reluctant to discuss spoofing, but their trade group, the Recording Industry Association of America, has called it a legitimate way to combat piracy. And at least one company acknowledges that it has been hired to distribute spoofs, although it won't say by whom."
Aug 21, 2002
"Given the inefficiencies of paper and print content's increasing availability online, do we really need buildings full of books? Isn't the library of the future simply Amazon.com? The problem with these rationalizations is they send our intellectual freedoms down the slippery slope of thought-control by special interests. Already privatization of intellectual content threatens to lock up cherished works of print, song and images that have long been in the public domain."
Aug 20, 2002
"However, instead of directing their energies toward the pirates, the copyright industries are fighting battles everywhere -- against legal scholars, college researchers, cryptographers, technology developers, civil libertarians, hackers and ultimately consumers. What began as a war on piracy has now become a war against the whole world. As historians have often noted, no country has ever won a war by fighting battles on all fronts. [...] Of course, there is another alternative: The industries can always change their business model."
Aug 20, 2002
"In a few years, Americans may not be able to copy a song off a CD, watch a recorded DVD at a friend's house, or store a copy of a television show for more than a day."
Aug 19, 2002
Funny PR stunt: "Information Wave Technologies has announced it will actively deny the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) from accessing the contents of its network. Earlier this year, the RIAA announced its new plan to access computers without owner's consent for the sake of protecting its assets. Information Wave believes this policy puts its customers at risk of unintentional damage, corporate espionage, and invasion of privacy to say the least."
Aug 19, 2002
"However, there is little doubt in the legal community that [our] research, and similar research, would be illegal under the 'acts of circumvention' provisions. Declan fails to recognize this arm of the DMCA in his column."
Aug 19, 2002
"If consenting adults, behind closed doors, want their DVD players to skip the gratuitous sex scene, it's none of Coolidge's business, or anybody else's. Her art ends where our picture tubes begin."
Aug 19, 2002
"But when some idiot vice president at HP [...] starts threatening Snosoft security researchers with the full weight of DMCA because Snosoft did what everyone in the security community should do when they have knowledge of a flaw, I have a problem."
Aug 19, 2002
"Don't get me wrong. The DMCA is both an egregious law and a brazen power grab by Hollywood, the music industry and software companies. It is probably unconstitutional. It creates unnecessary federal crimes, cedes too much authority to copyright holders, and should be unceremoniously tossed out by the courts. [... But] if activists hope to assail a law like the DMCA, they'll be taken more seriously if they know what they're talking about."
Aug 19, 2002
"Hollywood fixed the DVD market so films could only be played in the region they were purchased. But viewers got round it with 'cheat codes' and now the system is on the verge of collapse."
Aug 17, 2002
"A federal judge in Los Angeles agreed to allow consumers to join the legal battle between Hollywood and the makers of the ReplayTV 4000 digital video recorder to defend their uses of the device."
Aug 17, 2002
"The new action is the first time record companies have sought to compel the companies that control the Internet backbone to intervene. [...] The lawsuit invokes an untested provision of a 1998 federal law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, that allows a court to order Internet providers to take limited steps to block offshore sites that violate United States copyright laws."
Aug 16, 2002
"The world's largest record companies sued major Internet service and network providers on Friday, alleging their routing systems allow users to access the China-based Listen4ever.com Web site and unlawfully copy musical recordings. The copyright infringement suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks a court order requiring the defendants to block Internet communications that travel through their systems to and from the Listen4ever site."
Aug 15, 2002
"'I'll be seeking ways to be less controversial and see if we can't lessen the rhetoric a little and provide better services to our customers,' said [SonicBlue's CEO]."
Aug 15, 2002
"The reality now is that every new innovation has got to not only fund a development cycle and fund a marketing cycle, it's got to fund a legal cycle during which you go into court and demonstrate that your new technology should be allowed in the innovative system. In that context, there's an extraordinarily high burden on innovation because the legal system is extremely poor. It's costly and it's inefficient in that it doesn't often produce the right results. It imposes a huge risk on the development process, which translates into a much stifled level of investment by venture capitalists."
Aug 14, 2002
"With sneakwrap terms showing up in everything from charity Web sites to pornographic spam, it was just a matter of time. Books with shrinkwrap license agreements have arrived."
Aug 14, 2002
"The judge wrote in her tentative order that the consumers have a 'reasonable apprehension' to fear they could be sued -- especially if they're using the device in a way that Hollywood claims constitutes infringement. Therefore, she refused to dismiss the Newmark lawsuit outright. However, she wrote that the case would likely resolve 'many, if not all' of the issues consumers raise -- without their direct input."
Aug 14, 2002
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation's efforts to join the copyright lawsuit between consumer electronics maker Sonicblue and the entertainment industry may be on permanent hold."
Aug 14, 2002
We previously referenced an article about a copyright infringement suit over John Cage's silent 4'33". This article makes a clarification -- it turns out that the case is not about copying the silence, but rather about the fact that Cage is listed as a composer of the new silent piece.
Aug 14, 2002
"As the controversy around the [Berman] bill continues, the RIAA is considering even more controversial solutions behind closed doors. It is understood to be exploring the option of filing suits against the individuals who offer the largest hoards of songs on peer-to-peer services."
Aug 14, 2002
"[Janis] Ian found that when now-defunct free music service Napster offered downloads of some of her songs, record sales on her site jumped by $2,700 a month. She believes that people who never heard her music before listened to the free tracks, liked them, and came to her site for more."
Aug 14, 2002
"The stalemate [between labels and retailers] demonstrates how far the music establishment still has to go in dealing with the new realities of its marketplace -- and also how far it has come. Music executives still can't restrain themselves from waging what are probably quixotic battles over who gets access to their products, and under what circumstances."
Aug 13, 2002
"Contrary to protests from record labels, piracy is not responsible for the 15 percent drop in music sales in the past two years. According to a new report from Forrester Research, Inc., labels can restore industry growth by making it easier for people to find, copy, and pay for music on their own terms."
Aug 13, 2002
"Open-source software advocates will unfurl a legislative proposal next week to prohibit the state of California from buying software from Microsoft or any other company that doesn't open its source code and licensing policies."
Aug 13, 2002
"A group of open source and free software developers is planning to lead a march on San Francisco's City Hall next week in an effort to promote the use of freely available software by California's government offices."
Aug 13, 2002
"Hollywood says that digital television will make it too easy to make digital copies of its broadcast movies and redistribute them over the Internet. Never mind that digital TV signals eat up to a whopping 19.4 megabits of data per second, well beyond the ability of any current Internet user to redistribute without compressing the video to the point where it's indistinguishable from analog shows captured with a TV card. Never mind that you can always hook up a capture card to the analog output of a digital set and make a near-perfect copy. Never mind reality. In Hollywood's paranoid fantasy, digital television plus Internet equals total and immediate 'Napsterization' of every movie shown on TV."
Aug 13, 2002
Declan McCullagh says that geek activism is "mostly a waste of time."
Aug 12, 2002
"If you can set the rules, you can win the contest. That's the major reason the entertainment cartel is winning the debate over copyright in the Digital Age."
Aug 10, 2002
"U.S. lawmakers have asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to go after Internet users who download unauthorized songs and other copyrighted material, raising the possibility of jail time for digital-music fans."
Aug 08, 2002
"EMI Group filed suit against AOL Time Warner Wednesday, claiming the world's largest media company has been playing songs on its Turner Broadcasting network and America Online Internet service without paying for them."
Aug 08, 2002
"Huang said that while he is glad he can openly present his paper, 'The DMCA clearly had a chilling effect on my work. I was afraid to submit my research for peer review until after the EFF's efforts to clear potential legal restraints.'"
Aug 08, 2002
"The second vote, which was unanimous, tentatively says that digital TV transmissions will include a 'broadcast flag' designating shows that may not be copied freely. All televisions sold after a certain date would be required to recognize the flag and, if it is present, permit consumers to record broadcasts only in lower-quality analog or encrypted digital formats."
Aug 08, 2002
"Representatives from two warring factions in the debate over Internet radio agreed on one thing Wednesday: a federal ruling to establish royalty rates that Internet radio stations must pay to artists and record companies is based on faulty reasoning and should be scrapped."
Aug 07, 2002
"The debate in Utah began four years ago when an American Fork company, Sunset Video, found a profitable business in clipping a nude scene from hundreds of video copies of 'Titanic' brought to them by owners. [...] But Coolidge and other filmmakers argue the films are the creative property of the filmmakers and cannot be altered without permission. A person who is troubled by the content of a film should simply not watch it."
Aug 07, 2002
"If you talk to anyone on the manufacturing side, we are trying to work with the studios so that people can get high definition television with their recorders," Miller said. "But it's getting to the point that you can't even take a show you tape over to your friend's house."
Aug 07, 2002
"The group that drafted the controversial UCITA legislation has approved a handful of changes designed to address concerns raised by Open Source advocates, but those changes may not go far enough to win the approval of Red Hat's lawyer."
Aug 07, 2002
ReplayTV's Andy Wolfe says that "the appropriate step is not to take technology wholesale away from customers, but to create new businesses around content with digital rights management and to use legal measures against large-scale copyright violators."
Aug 06, 2002
"When Adam Bresson showed how to make copies of copyright-protected videos in a speech at a hacker conference this weekend he realized he was risking arrest for violating U.S. copyright law that landed a Russian man behind bars after the same event last year."
Aug 06, 2002
"Do I still believe downloading is not harming the music industry? Yes, absolutely. Do I think consumers, once the industry starts making product they want to buy, will still buy even though they can download? Yes."
Aug 06, 2002
"American movie, recording and software executives could be prohibited from entering Australia or extradited to face criminal charges if a copyright protection bill before the US Congress passes into law."
Aug 05, 2002
"A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the makers of the hit film 'Spider-Man,' ruling that the movie's digitally remodeled Times Square is entitled to First Amendment protection."
Aug 05, 2002
ICCP spokesman William Widder "pointed out that creative works are America's second-largest export industry and that the copyright industry creates jobs at twice the rate of any other industry. Widder said, 'It is vital that we not just give the Europeans a 20-year free ride at our expense, but that we keep this area strong and productive.'"
Aug 02, 2002
The Biden bill "is not, in my opinion, a back-door DMCA, nor does it provide, in the form in which it is currently written, the potential for extensive abuse."
Aug 01, 2002
"In the meantime, Eldred provides the backdrop for discussions about the continuing role of copyrights to both support and limit the First Amendment's guarantee of free expression."

News archives: