Intellectual Property

MP3.com Being Sued for Bootlegging Practices of Napster, et.al.

MP3.com may not be directly responsible for the violations committed by Napster and other file swapping organizations, but they\'re being held responsible for it anyway. The claim: It was they who started the trend and gave the world the tools to commit copyright infringement. Guilty by association? more... from The Houston Chronicle. Nashville is also suing MP3 for $25 million. more... from The Tennessean.

Technology Puts a Lock on CDs

For BBC News, David Schepp writes...

\"Sharing music recorded on compact discs among friends over the internet has proven itself to be as American as apple pie and baseball. But music-swapping is a pastime that may be soon halted if recording companies have their way. Some major record labels have have signed on with encryption firms that have developed technologies to halt the
so-called pirating of copyrighted music. For the encryption companies it may mean millions of dollars in profits as record label after record label signs on to take advantage of the new, seemingly perfected technology. For the record companies, however, it could be a public relations disaster.\" more...

Library Enforcers Defending Copyright in Jordan

According to this story in the Jordan Times, Mamoun Talhouni, the new director of the National Library in Jordan, will send a team of library personnel out to inspect stores selling music, computer software, and other items. Any items found without valid licenses will be confiscated and the store owners\' case referred to prosecutors. -- Read More

Are Libraries the Next Napster?

Junk e-mail goddess strikes again. See what you miss when you\'re on vacation? It took me like 2 days to find the link to this from an e-mail message. God knows I\'d hate to be accused of lifting something verbatim. Anyway, every now and again, library stuff makes it into major news publications. Anyone seen Time lately? Someone is suggesting that we may be the next Napster. How so? Weren\'t we here first? Like over a hundred years first? more... if you really want it.

Dmitry Sklyarov: Friend of Publishers?

Open Source Definition author Bruce Perens argues that Dmitry Sklyarov has done publishers a favor by exposing the glaring flaws in the encryption software they trust to protect their content:

E-book publishers might think of jailed Russian cryptanalyst Dimitry Sklyarov as their worst enemy... until they see his slide show. While publishers fret over the potential of illegal copies of their books, Sklyarov\'s presentation reveals that they could be ripped off in an unexpected way: by producers of astonishingly inept cryptography software. Sklyarov is in jail for revealing that secret. [More from ZDNet.]

Thanks to Robot Wisdom.

Returning Scientific Publishing to Scientists

The Public Library of Science-organized boycott of journals not allowing free distribution after six months of the articles they\'ve published begins September 1. Here\'s a useful round-up of those pushing for freer, cheaper distribution of scientific information:

Out of old bookes, in good faithe,
Cometh al this new science that men lere.

--Geoffrey Chaucer, The Assembly of Fowles
Taking License

As Chaucer\'s \"old bookes\" give way to the Information Age, I\'ve been asking myself whether or not these books -- and today, principally journals -- have morphed into something else entirely. Scientific communication is increasingly driven by factors that have little to do with researchers and more to do with commercial publishers\' profits. Even amid talk of the Internet-driven rise of scientific publishing, the researcher and the lab -- where scientific communication originates -- seem to be forgotten entirely. Restoring the researcher in research publishing requires long-term, cultural shifts to right the balance in favor of the scientist.

(More from the Journal of Electronic Publishing. Thanks again to New Breed.)

U.S. Greatly Increases Budget for Copyright Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice\'s new budget includes greatly expanded funding for enforcement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act:

The Senate has earmarked $10 million for copyright prosecutions, enough money for 155 agents and attorneys in the fiscal year starting in October. That\'s up from a current $4 million allocated for 75 positions. . . \"We are very pleased with the amount. It\'s going to be used to prevent a whole lot of Internet piracy and mischief,\" said Patricia Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers. \"If someone crashed the international banking community, it wouldn\'t be too funny,\" Schroeder said. \"The Department of Justice wants to send the message that this is not a joke. You really could put someone out of business.\" (More from Wired.)

U.S. Will Not Free Sklyarov

The U.S. Attorney\'s office has indicated that it will not drop charges against Dmitri Sklyarov:

Representatives of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) met with representatives of the U.S. Attorney\'s office in San Francisco today. There was a productive dialog, however the U.S. Attorney\'s office gave no indication of dropping the prosecution against Dmitry Sklyarov. Having explored good faith negotiations, the Electronic Frontier Foundation rejoins the call for nonviolent protests worldwide to secure the immediate release of Dmitry Sklyarov and dropping of all criminal charges against him. A protest is already scheduled in San Francisco for 11:30am this Monday, July 30, at the Federal Courthouse at 450 Golden Gate Ave. Additional protests will occur in 25 or more cities worldwide in coming weeks.

( More from FreeSklyarov.org. Thanks to Slashdot.)

Napster Given Deadline to File with Appeals Court

A Federal Appeals Court has given Napster until August 9 to file an emergency appeal which will allow them to come back online. They\'ve been offline since July 2. [more...] from The Nando Times.

Why Can\'t Johnny Respect Copyrights?

Interesting piece from Salon on plans by the British government to inculcate school children with a respect for copyright law:

If members of the U.K.\'s Creative Industries Task Force have their way, British teenagers will soon be cramming for tests on intellectual property law and the legal implications of file-sharing. Schoolkids who download illicit MP3 files, cut and paste newspaper articles or e-mail them, or exchange JPEG files of Britney Spears will learn the error of their ways -- at least according to the copyright officials.

Thanks to Slashdot.

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