Intellectual Property

Who decides who\'s a digital criminal?

Someone Sent over This BBC Editorial by Bill Thompson who says Laws should be there to protect individuals and not corporations.
He says even where he is clearly infringing someone\'s rights he doesn\'t not think he is doing them any real damage.

\"I still believe that the only way we are going to make the net work is to bring it under proper democratic control, and that means political engagement on the part of all those who care about its future.\"

AT&T Has No Freedom of expression

Here\'s an odd little One From The NYTimes on Kembrew McLeod, assistant professor of communications studies at the University of Iowa, who registered \"freedom of expression\" as a trademark in 1998. And now that AT&T is using the phrase in some print ads, he wants the company to stop.
Yesterday, Mr. McLeod sent AT&T a \"cease and desist\" letter, asserting that consumers might infer a link between the company and his anti-corporate publication, \"Freedom of Expression.\" The bigger idea behind his legal action, he said, is to object to corporate power over words, speech and even ideas.

Jury Begins Deliberations on Copyright Case

The Tampa Tribune is carrying this today. It\'s about the Russian software company that\'s been accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read More.

Retailers Enter DMCA Frey

This may have gone around already, but the New York Times has an interesting story detailing a novel use of the DMCA. According to the NY Times, information about post-Thanksgiving sales was detailed on various online coupon Web sites prior to the date of intended release. This made the retailers (Wal-Mart, Target and others)angry, so they threatened the websites using the DMCA as the muscle behind their argument. However,

Legal experts said invoking a copyright law in this context was unusual, because the information appeared to be a set of facts rather than the kind of original or expressive work that is typically covered by copyright law. The Supreme Court has ruled that telephone white pages directories, for instance, do not fall within copyright law.

Please see these related Web sites:
Anti-DMCA.org
DMCA U.S. Copyright Office Summary [.pdf]

Rabble Rumble on Copyright Reform

Russell McOrmond writes \"This is an ongoing online debate about Canadian copyright, focused so-far on different needs for authors of different types of works. A live debate was webcast, and archives of this debate are now online. Getting some feedback from librarians might be interesting, given that this is a community not currently represented in the debate.\"

Survey says copy-protected CDs should be labeled.

Protected CDs \'should be labelled\' - from BBC News

The music industry risks alienating its core consumers by selling copy-protected CDs without warning labels, according to new research.
Record companies have begun placing blocking devices on many new CDs to prevent them being copied to MP3 files or blank discs, including albums from Michael Jackson, Natalie Imbruglia and Celine Dion.
A survey among adults and teenagers in the US found that 74% strongly agreed the industry should be required to label CDs.
But the survey also saw 82% of respondents say they believe it is actually legal to make copies for back up purposes and 77% believe they should be able to copy a CD or use it in another system.
And 60% believed they should be able to give another member of the household a copy.

Forum Asks, Who Owns a Dance?

Jen Young pointed out this NYTimes Story on the questions that revolve around whether choreographers in fact own their own dances and even wanted those dances to be seen after their deaths, a central issue most recently in the contentious Martha Graham case.

Congress Eases Copyright Restrictions on Distance Education

Jen Young passed over This One from the The Chronicle of Higher Education that says President Bush is expected to sign a bill, passed last week, that would open the door for professors to use some copyrighted works in online courses without having to seek permission.

There are 6 versions of Bill Number HR 2215 for the 107th Congress.

Intellectual-property rights for the poor

Yolanda writes \"This Economist Story says The original purpose of patents was to encourage innovation, and thus growth, by creating an incentive for inventors to disclose the details of their inventions in exchange for a limited monopoly on exploitation. Some argue that the modern system of IPR law is having the opposite effect—delaying the diffusion of new technology.
They cover a report from Commission on Intellectual Property Rights that says poor places should avoid committing themselves to rich-world systems of IPR protection unless such systems are beneficial to their needs. Nor should rich countries, which professed so much interest in “sustainable development” at the recent summit in Johannesburg, push for anything stronger.
The report is available here \"

We must engage in copyright debate

Dan Gillmor says We must engage in copyright debate. He says we must stop letting the entertainment companies set the terms of the legal discussions. We need to re-establish some balance, we need to re-educate ourselves, congress, and the public, and to learn the alternatives to the cartel\'s offerings.

\"Average people are not part of the conversation, not in any way that matters. To the cartel and its chattel in the halls of political power, we are nothing but ``consumers\'\' -- our sole function is to eat what the movie, music and publishing industries put in front of us, and then send money.\"

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