Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

American Copyright Initiative Goes Eurpoean

John McNaughton writes... \"The RIAA is so obsessed with the supposed threat of the internet to its members\' prosperity, it is prepared to go to unbelievable lengths to stamp out that threat. Readers of this column will be aware that the RIAA is suing a US magazine for publishing the code of a small computer program called DeCSS that unscrambles DVD files so that Linux users can play their own disks. What is perhaps less well known is that a company that prints the DeCSS code on a T-shirt is also being sued. Sooner or later, free societies are going to have to rein in the pretensions and power of the RIAA. If this nonsense isn\'t stopped, the days when you could do what you please with your own hard disk are numbered.\"
[more...] from The Observer.

Let the Stories Go

Lawrence Lessig wrote an interesting OP-ED Piece at the NY Times on how silly copyright law is getting. Congress has extended the term of existing copyrights 11 times in the past 40 years. Current copyright law says the term is the life of the author — plus 70 years.

He says \"At some point, every story — and certainly one like this — should be free for others to use and criticize.\"

Rights for Writers in E-Major

How do you apply a decades-old copyright law in an era where Napster, Google and Lexis-Nexis reign over desktops?

That is just one of the dilemmas that Supreme Court judges hashed out in a hearing on Wednesday for a case that could set a legal standard for copyright in the electronic age.
[more...] from Wired News.

Napster Demands Fans March on Washington

[This one] comes by way of The Register
\"Tempting users with a free concert and the opportunity to hear Napster founder Shawn Fanning talk about programming, Napster hopes enough punters will show in the US capital on 3 April that legislators will back file sharing as a legitimate means of distributing music.\"

Senator Calls for Digital Copyright Hearing

Brian Krebs reports...
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Monday called for hearings into the recent legal maelstrom created as a result of the clash between copyright law and digital file-sharing technologies...[more...] from NewsBytes

The Napster Public Library

The Chicago Tribune has this piece on the difference between Napster and the public library.
\"A library checks books out one at a time, and while one is reading the book, it is not available to others. It does not distribute thousands of copies at once.

A library does not let you keep the book. It sets terms and limits on how long you can keep it, and fines you if you are late in returning it.\"

Information Liberation

Information liberation : Challenging the corruptions of information power by Brian Martin is now online as an eText, Here, links to the chapters are below.I\'ve only read 2 chapters, but it looks interesting.

\"
Power tends to corrupt, and information power is no exception. Information Liberation analyses the corruptions of power in a range of crucial current areas in the information society, including mass media, intellectual property, surveillance, bureaucracies, defamation and research.

Reform solutions seldom get to the root of information problems. Information Liberation examines radical alternatives that undermine the power of vested interests. Alternatives include replacing mass media with network media, abolishing intellectual property, and changing social institutions that create a demand for surveillance. The book canvasses various strategies for moving toward these alternatives, focussing on grassroots action.

Information Liberation is provocative. Most readers will find something to disagree with. That\'s all part of the process. Everyone needs to be involved in discussing information policies and practices, rather than leaving the issues to experts and vested interests.\"

License to Link

Brian writes \"http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,40850,00.html
Wired News has a story about news sites charging fees for the right to link to articles.
\"

This is a funny story, apparently iCopyright.com thinks they have the ability to get $50 from people who link to sites they \"protect\". One of those sites, The Albuquerque Journal, when asked about the $50, says -
\"I don\'t know. We certainly wouldn\'t go after you. We link to other sites. We encourage people to link to us.\"

Stealth Plan Puts Copy Protection into every Drive

Kell Yusuf writes \"Those who wish to make us pay for Web content will LOVE this article: It\'s about plans for copy-protecting your next computer - these drives are incompatible with ordinary dives, so you would not be able copy files from the protected drive to the non-protected drive. \"Hastening a rapid demise for the free copying of digital media, the next generation of hard disks is likely to come with copyright protection countermeasures built in...\" \"


The Register UK has a series of articles.


Stealth plan puts copy protection into every hard drive
Linux lead slams \'pay per read\' disk drive plan

Copy protection hard drive plan nixes free software - RMS
CPRM on hard drives - IBM takes a spin

BT files hyperlink patent suit against Prodigy

Brian sent in This One at The Standard on British Telecom\'s idiotitic legal moves to get money from ISP\'s.


After discovering, in a routine check, that it owned the patent for the hyperlink, BT wrote to 17 U.S. ISPs, asking them to pay for the privilege of using the technology through licensing agreements. Nerver mind that someone did it Way Back in the 60\'s in CA.

Humanists struggle to understand information as a commodity

A Penny For Your Thoughts: A Humanists Struggle to Understand Information as a Commodity is a paper by University of Alberta LIS student Geoffrey Harder. I like it. The title is self-explanatory, but if you want more information before you check it out, here is the intro:

InfoEthics 2000 Conference Papers

UNESCO just had its INFOETHICS 2000 conference in Paris, the Third UNESCO Congress on Ethical, Legal and Social Challenges of Cyberspace. A number of papers are available from the conference, some in English. They are available here. The list of papers is as follows:


The information society and the expectation revolution
by David Konzevik


The changing shape of information and the role of government
by Thomas B. Riley


Public sector information initiatives in the European Union
by George Papapavlou


Access to information and \"public domain\" in the post-\"perestroyka\" Russia: a paradoxal experience.
by Ekaterina U.Genieva


Access to telecommunications in the internet age
Arthur Levin


Accessibility to rural and remote areas
by Yasuhiko Kawasumi

Networks and information services: government policy
by Jean-Noël Tronc


Fair use and access to information in the digital era
by Carlos M. Correa


Copyright and its limitations in the digital environment
by Bernt Hugenholtz


How Can Fair Use Doctrine Be Applied For the Appropriate Level of Copyright Protection in the Global Marketplace?
by Euisun Yoo

Preserving fair use in the digital age
by Barry Steinhardt


Copyright and the freedom of accessing information in the cyberspace
by Andras Szinger


Ten commandments to protect privacy in the Internet world
by Hansjuergen Garstka


The legal protection of the right of privacy on the networks
by Amr Zaki Abdel Motaal


The future of privacy : David and Goliath revisited
by Simon Davis


Human dignity in the cyberspace society
by Adama Fofana


Interception capabilities 2000
by Duncan Campbell


Once again, the papers are at http://webworld.unesco.org/infoethics2000/papers.html.

Your Website Is Now Our Book

Brian The Laughin Librarian writes \"businessweek.com has a Story

It\'s that old story, once again:


Guy gets publisher for book version of website.
Guy gets publisher\'s competitor to sponsor website.
Guy gets taken to court by publisher.
Website gets taken down.


Will there be a happy ending? \"

Guy\'s Website

More Stupid Trademarks

Wired has a Story on the company Gemstar-TV Guide International, which licenses the technology for e-books to Thomson Mulitmedia, appling to trademark the stand-alone word \"EBOOK\" as well as the name \"Gemstar EBOOK\". I think I\'ll trademark the word book.

\"The term e-book has a generic meaning in the industry and to the general public, said trademark lawyer Laura Hein of the Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant Mooty. She said a fundamental principle of trademark law is that in order to qualify, the word one chooses needs to identify the source of the product or the services rather than the product or the service itself. \"

Legislating Property of the Mind

Wired has an Interview with Representative Howard Berman who is the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee on courts and intellectual property. He talks about the important issues in this area today.

\"The original vision of copyright law that is specifically referenced in our Constitution was designed to create a system that creators of tangible property, of books and other art forms, have a period of time where they can get compensated for that effort. They are given a property right in their creation on the theory that if that didn\'t happen, nobody would have the incentive to create anymore. It was just a simple recognition of the need to have some protection as an incentive to creators.

Would Holly? Hollywood.

Brian writes \"In a Column about the DMCA and related issues, Paul Somerson of Ziff Davis Smart Business says:
\"If Hollywood could ban public libraries, you know they would.\"

This is a very interesting piece indeed, every time I read something about the DMCA I just want to cry.

\"Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an evil legislative bludgeon rammed through Congress by the Clinton administration, that prevents access to anything that\'s copyrighted unless you have the explicit permission of the owner. This essentially guts \"fair use\" of the material, and outlaws any attempt to break copy protection or encryption, or even reverse engineer anything.\"

Library Juice Copyright Supplement

This week, Library Juice issued a pathfinder on copyright issues as a supplement. It inludes links to numerous articles and sites you may not have seen if you are interested in copyright, and a full article by Mark Anderson from EXTRA!, which I am copying here, with permission:

You\'ve Been Aggregated!

Speaking of linking lawsuits and the like, I\'ve been focusing on the general phenomenon of content aggregators this week. My take is that history smiles on the aggregator even if courts don\'t in the short term.

I\'ve cobbled together some recent news links with some of my own commentary in this week\'s Traffick Weekly.

Free-lancers sue database companies

Ron Force writes \"The San Francisco Chronicle has astory about free-lance authors suing Northern Lights, Gale Group, and ProQuest for payment of royalities on full text articles sold by publishers without permission. A similar group in New York has used the above, plus Reed-Elsevier. UnCover settled with the authors for $7.5 milion in back royalities. \"

Intellectual Property Is an Oxymoron

We just don\'t have enough intellectual property stories.Here\'s One from Fool.com on how the Web has killed IP.

\"Technology is forcing us to re-evaluate the legal notion of intellectual property. The original compromise struck for the good of society has become unbalanced, and the reactions from the situation\'s current beneficiaries to counter this unrest have only disturbed the situation more. Copyright as it now stands has outlived its original purpose, and is no longer clearly beneficial to society as a whole. New business models must emerge, and are already emerging, to replace the old. \"

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Intellectual Property