News: June, 2002 More than 52000 members

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Jun 30, 2002
Media companies "will receive special immunity from current state and federal laws (such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) against tampering with computers. This will allow them to sabotage file-sharing services (who are, coincidentally, competitors to their own digital music initiatives like pressplay and MusicNet) [...]"
Jun 30, 2002
"A spokeswoman for Berman said Wednesday that she doesn't believe the Berman bill will run afoul of consumer rights groups, however, given that she 'did not expect consumer groups to defend stealing.'"
Jun 30, 2002
This seems like it must be a joke. "Mike Batt [...] has put a silent 60-second track on the album of his latest classical chart-topping protégés, the Planets. This has enraged representatives of the avant-garde, experimentalist composer John Cage, who died in 1992. The silence on his group's album clearly sounds uncannily like 4'33", the silence composed by Cage in his prime."
Jun 30, 2002
"Two music companies that joined forces to sell recordings of the opera stars known as the Three Tenors illegally fixed prices, an administrative law judge ruled. The judge ordered subsidiaries of the French corporation Vivendi Universal to stop its anticompetitive practices. The other company, Warner Communications, a unit of AOL Time Warner, reached an accord with the Federal Trade Commission last year."
Jun 28, 2002
"Let's understand here that not all Microsoft products are bad and many are very good. Those products serve real customer needs and do so with genuine purpose, not marketing artifice. But Palladium isn't that way at all. This is NOT about making things better for the user. This is about removing the ability for the end user to make decisions about how his or her computer functions."
Jun 28, 2002
"The content industries may gain a bit from cutting music copying - expect Sir Michael Jagger to get very slightly richer. But I expect the most significant economic effect will be to strengthen the position of incumbents in information goods and services markets at the expense of new entrants."
Jun 27, 2002
"Companies increasingly are blocking access to Internet music and video at firewalls and are issuing sweeping initiatives that ban workplace media usage. The trend is a result of two developments: media usage hogging enormous amounts of corporate bandwidth and threats of legal liability as the entertainment industry aggressively pursues copyright scofflaws."
Jun 26, 2002
"Software companies are using this new copyright law primarily to circumvent a fundamental principle of established copyright law. Is that how Congress intended the DMCA to be used?"
Jun 26, 2002
"Copyright expert Thomas Vinje [...] points to precedent suggesting that even 'where technology measures prevent fair use, circumventing those measures is nonetheless a violation of the law.'"
Jun 26, 2002
"Speakers urged librarians and the ALA to fight the Copyright Extension Act, which adds 20 years of copyright protection to the current life plus 50 years [...], the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act."
Jun 26, 2002
"I'll have a Linux box with a GPL, all right; but if I exercise the license in any meaningful way I'll render my system 'unauthorized for Palladium' and lose business."
Jun 26, 2002
"Copyright holders would receive carte blanche to use aggressive tactics to stop the illegal distribution of their works on online services like Morpheus and Kazaa under legislation outlined today by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.)."
Jun 25, 2002
"How did a loose collective of internet users force a government U-turn on controversial changes to digital privacy laws? The answer is that they did it using simple technology to create a large-scale grassroots protest campaign almost overnight."
Jun 25, 2002
"Microsoft said the technology, which stemmed from early work by its engineers to deliver digital movies that couldn't be pirated, won't be available for at least 18 months. Company officials have told other executives in private briefings they do not expect to see mainstream products for at least five years."
Jun 24, 2002
Steven Levy describes "Microsoft’s hyperambitious long-range plan to literally change the architecture of PCs in order to address the concerns of security, privacy and intellectual property."
Jun 24, 2002
According to Moby, "bands/artists with technically savvy fans will have a lot of fans who will end up downloading music or burning CDs where as less tech-savvy fans will end up buying their CDs."
Jun 24, 2002
"Observers say the green light from [the Australian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society], which represents songwriters and music publishing companies, has world implications and suggests the industry has been cornered into a compromise with the unstoppable pirating of music."
Jun 24, 2002
One person's theory on how the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance is attempting to achieve the same goals as the CBDTPA.
Jun 20, 2002
"The Librarian of Congress's decision on Internet radio royalty rates seems to be a decision that pleases no one."
Jun 20, 2002
"It is not just libertarians who are concerned about the restrictions caused by America's latest copyright law. Edward Felten, a professor at Princeton University, argues that the 'freedom to tinker'—the right to understand, repair and modify one's own equipment— is crucial to innovation, and as valuable to society as the freedom of speech."
Jun 18, 2002
"The Motion Picture Association of America has put together a short but far-reaching shopping list of software and piracy issues that it would like to see addressed by the information-technology and consumer-electronics industries."
Jun 17, 2002
From the RIAA's press release: "The settlement reached would allow Audiogalaxy to operate a 'filter-in' system, which requires that for any music available, the songwriter, music publisher, and/or recording company must first consent to the use and sharing of the work."
Jun 17, 2002
"Librarians have seized on the potential of digital technology and offered users free online access to the contents of books from their homes, and they are squaring off with publishers who fear that free remote access costs them book sales."
Jun 17, 2002
"The five major record companies have been hit with a class-action lawsuit charging that new CDs designed to thwart Napster-style piracy are defective and should either be barred from sale or carry warning labels."
Jun 17, 2002
"Tauzin wants a plan by July 15, even though Royal Philips Electronics NV and consumer groups disagree with a report on anti-piracy technology made last week by a group of software, entertainment and TV-set companies."
Jun 15, 2002
"Two California consumers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the major record companies, arguing that copy-protected CDs are defective products that should not be allowed on the market."
Jun 14, 2002
"A cover story in last week's issue of the music trade publication Billboard quoted several executives who said they favor the establishment of an agency that would exert a flat royalty rate -- say, 6 percent or so -- on retailers' sales of CDs sold over and over again."
Jun 14, 2002
"The Edison report also found that 53 percent of the surveyed teenagers burned a copy of someone else's CD instead of buying it, but that a majority of downloaders bought an artist's CD after they downloaded a free track."
Jun 14, 2002
"The Ipsos-Reid study found that 81 percent of music downloaders reported that their CD purchasing either remained the same or increased. That backs up research from Jupiter Media Metrix that concluded that people using file-sharing networks were more likely to spend money on music."
Jun 13, 2002
"By not protecting Harry Potter, Time Warner has saved the five US cents or so per disc or tape that Macrovision charges. Analysts suspect that Warner left the release unprotected, to investigate whether this would have a significant impact on sales."
Jun 13, 2002
"Record company giants Sony Music and Universal Music on Wednesday said they planned to soon offer cheaper and easier ways to download music from the Web in the industry's latest effort to stem online piracy."
Jun 13, 2002
Stan Liebowitz from the Cato Institute likes DRM but thinks the DMCA is "draconian." He also believes that there isn't (yet) evidence to suggest that file sharing really hurts the industry. "The problem is that the number of downloads appears to be larger than the total number of CDs purchased. [...] That's so large that you have to say: Look, if downloads are substitutes [for CDs] in any significant way, we should see really big declines -- unless there's something else going on."
Jun 12, 2002
"This summer, Universal plans to sell tens of thousands of high-quality digital singles for 99 cents or less and albums for $9.99 through online retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and Sam Goody, according to sources and company executives."
Jun 12, 2002
New broadband pricing might reduce piracy without resorting to DRM systems. "These new pricing models could be serious trouble for the still-growing peer-to-peer [P2P] file-sharing movement, which is inextricably linked to cheap bandwidth. Indeed, the cable companies just might accomplish what the entertainment industries -- with their high-pressure legal tactics, copy-protected CDs and DVDs, and aggressive lobbying campaigns in Washington -- have failed to do."
Jun 11, 2002
"[The MPAA's] statement is deliberately misleading. It is true that the original lawsuit is not against individual users, but in order to succeed in their lawsuit against SONICblue the Entertainment Oligopoly must claim that consumer's use of ReplayTV is illegal."
Jun 11, 2002
"Requiring permission before linking could jeopardize online journals, search engines and other sites that link — which is to say, just about every site on the Internet."
Jun 11, 2002
"While the U.S. music industry worries most about lost sales from individuals downloading songs from the Internet, there is a bigger threat globally from unauthorized copying of CDs and cassettes, said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI."
Jun 11, 2002
"Anti-piracy measures are self-defeating if, in tightening security, they impair technology’s usefulness or burden users. And even the best security is breakable. [...] Meanwhile, some ideas advanced by the entertainment industry could have unintended consequences. One concept would require computers and other devices to inspect every bit of incoming content—every file, every e-mail—for digital 'watermarks' that indicate copyrighted material. Potentially an invasion of users' privacy, this measure would also slow the processing of data communications."
Jun 11, 2002
"Yet there is a growing sense among even sophisticated intellectual-property practitioners such as Intel that [the public domain] is an important and valuable concept and that we may need to do more to identify what is in it, as well as its value and relationship to the process of innovation."
Jun 11, 2002
This author argues that skipping commercials is not theft. "The people have already paid for the content of a TV broadcast with a very valuable public resource, the RF spectrum it is broadcast on. So there really is no contract between the TV viewer and the broadcaster when it comes to advertising. In effect we have already paid our share."
Jun 10, 2002
The CEO of Philips Consumer Electronics North America states that "[the BPDG] report is the result of a self-interested effort by narrow interests to adopt a pre-conceived plan for content protection [...] It threatens the rights of consumers to enjoy movies and other content in their own homes and it attempts to control the rules relating to 'authorized' content technologies that would enable some companies to favor their products over those of competitors."
Jun 10, 2002
"A few years ago, the confluence of policy and technology seemed something for wonks far away in Washington to ponder. [...] Now a series of legal actions has brought the debate into the labs, homes and offices of millions of programmers, prompting some of them to emerge from their cubicles and take action. This time, as they say, it's personal."
Jun 09, 2002
"I'm fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing."
Jun 07, 2002
"[...] He's the type of guy the recording industry should be salivating over. He's into exploring new music, he's into legal sites, he's had a history of purchasing albums and says he has no problem with the concept of paying for music. There's just one problem: He hates digital rights management (DRM), the security systems being used to control how consumers can listen to music they legally purchase."
Jun 07, 2002
"Whatever it all means, the opposition to establishing technology that restricts consumers' personal use of creative works such as music and movies faces an increasingly vocal opposition."
Jun 07, 2002
"Looking at how Hollywood has been trying to protect itself from piracy, the cure would seem to be simple: Just change nearly everything about how consumer electronics work. "
Jun 07, 2002
Satire from Gordon Mohr. "I humbly suggest the most cost-effective and reliable solution to the copyright industries' troubles will be DRM helmets, bolted onto each dutiful consumer at the neck."
Jun 06, 2002
"The [House commerce] committee will meet privately with industry representatives next week to try to iron out the differences, Johnson said, but would eventually develop legislation whether or not all the players had reached consensus."
Jun 06, 2002
"In a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles, five users of ReplayTV 4000 video recorders asked a judge to declare that their use of the devices to record programs and skip over commercials is entirely lawful."
Jun 05, 2002
"The consumer electronics industry and Hollywood are struggling to come up with an answer to the question of how to keep high-quality digital television broadcasts from being shared Napster-style on the Internet, but to judge from a report issued this week, there's still a long way to go."
Jun 05, 2002
"A powerful alliance of technology and entertainment companies agreed Tuesday to a standard for encrypting digital television broadcasts in hopes of preventing the rampant copying of programs over the Internet."
Jun 05, 2002
"A long-awaited report that the studios hoped would provide the consensus necessary for anti-piracy legislation -- and that members of Congress hoped would jump-start the stalled rollout of digital television -- instead disclosed a host of dissenting opinions."
Jun 05, 2002
"During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Valenti repeatedly commended the various industries for working together -- industries that have long warred over such issues as VCRs and home recordings. [...] Critics are harsher in their assessments, however. "There is no consensus on any significant point," Philips senior researcher Michael Epstein said."
Jun 04, 2002
"Tech-policy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have argued that proposals in the report would prevent consumers from recording some television shows for their personal viewing or sharing recordings with friends."
Jun 04, 2002
"Substantial disagreements remain about the precise definitions of personal use, said negotiators, asking not to be quoted on the record. For example, the companies did not agree whether consumers would be allowed to send copies to their office computers, or whether recordable DVDs would have to be encrypted to prevent further duplication."
Jun 03, 2002
"District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper on Friday overturned a late April ruling that required the maker of ReplayTV set-top box technology to write and install software to monitor what its customers were watching."
Jun 01, 2002
"Key2Audio [copy protection] is the first step in a dreadful double perversion of Fair Use. The first perversion is the idea that by making a copy of music for yourself, you are depriving the copyright holder of the ability to obtain revenue from selling you additional copies of the same music. The second, linked, perversion is that by destroying your ability to exercise fair use, the record company extends its copyright power beyond the content (the music) to the delivery medium (the CD)."

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