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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

Copyright protest in Nashville March 5th - COPYFIGHT NOW!
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:15 pm EST, Feb 28, 2008

[1] Meet up with us next Wednesday (March 5th) to go to Nashville and protest! (5:00 AM - March 5th) we will have a bus - we will leave at 5AM in Knoxville (meet at COPYSHOP).

Gather at 8AM (if you can get there by yourself)
on the corner of 6th and Union St in Nashville!

The primary broken thing about the rule being protested here is that it would require Universities to institute a surveillance system that watched network traffic and identified transfers of copyrighted content.

Copyright protest in Nashville March 5th - COPYFIGHT NOW!

Google's broken Trademark precedent
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:31 am EDT, Sep 28, 2007

If the advertiser is using the trademark in ad text, we will require the advertiser to remove the trademark and prevent them from using it in ad text in the future. Please note that we will not disable keywords in response to a trademark complaint.

Lets say you run a company called "Bob's Auto Supply" and your competitor Jim runs a company called "Jim's AutoWorld." Jim buys a google ad on the keyword "Bob's Auto Supply" which directs people to his business. Jim is attempting to use your trademark and brand recognition to drive traffic to his competing business. He is basically stealing your advertising. Apparently, however, this matter was litigated and Google won. So there is no recourse under U.S. law. The theory is that web users would know that Jim is your competitor. The problem with that theory is that the value of your brand is being diluted. Its the name recognition that you have built that drives people to his advertisement.

What an awesome system we have. I can't deal with what is a blatent attempt to profit from a brand I'm trying to build, and yet a friend of mine was successfully prevented from using a bank's logo in an informational blog posting due to a broken normative use precident that states that only the minimum amount of the trademark necessary may be used.

If I am using a trademark in a nominal way it shouldn't be a problem regardless of what I'm doing. If I'm attempting to profit from someone else's advertising expenditures I'm commiting a crime. This seems real simple and I don't understand why our courts have gotten it so completely wrong.

Google's broken Trademark precedent

A Reprieve for Net Radio
Topic: Intellectual Property 4:04 am EDT, Jul 14, 2007

Web radio will keep playing, rather than play dead, come July 15. The music industry won't impose higher royalty rates, which were to take effect that day, but the good news for Webcasters may prove fleeting.

"SoundExchange is in the business of generating revenues, and it's not going to help them if a good chunk of the industry goes out of business," explains Paul Palumbo, research director for AccuStream iMedia Research.

A Reprieve for Net Radio

Forever Minus a Day? Some Theory and Empirics of Optimal Copyright
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:06 pm EDT, Jul 12, 2007

The second part of the paper focuses on the specific case of copyright term. Using a simple model we characterise optimal term as a function of a few key parameters. We estimate this function using a combination of new and existing data on recordings and books and find an optimal term of around fourteen years.

A stark view of the economics of copyright.

Forever Minus a Day? Some Theory and Empirics of Optimal Copyright

Someone on MemeStreams MUST have something like this:
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:41 pm EDT, May 15, 2007

A company called Acacia has claimed a patent on an “information distribution system” that amounts to the idea of shipping a CD-ROM that contains hyperlinks to online resources. (EFF is currently working on busting another Acacia patent that covers streaming audio and video over the Internet.)

To help bust this overly broad patent, we are looking for prior art that shows the use of this technology before 1994.

Someone on MemeStreams MUST have something like this:

Tech news blog - Gonzales proposes life in prison for software pirates
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:51 am EDT, May 15, 2007

Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life. During a conference call, Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it.

This is just bizarre!

Tech news blog - Gonzales proposes life in prison for software pirates

YouTube’s Favorite Clips Aren't Copyrighted - New York Times
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:10 am EDT, Apr  9, 2007

Vidmeter, which tracks the online video business, determined that the clips that were removed for copyright violations — most of them copyrighted by big media companies — comprise just 9 percent of all videos on the site. Even more surprising, the videos that have been removed make up just 6 percent of the total views (

YouTube’s Favorite Clips Aren't Copyrighted - New York Times

EMI, Apple partner on DRM-free premium music | CNET
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:23 am EDT, Apr  2, 2007

EMI Group will soon sell digital music with better sound quality and no digital rights management restrictions through Apple's iTunes Store.

Wow. I am really quite amazed by this announcement! I really, honestly thought Jobs was blowing smoke.

EMI, Apple partner on DRM-free premium music | CNET

John Perry on the Colbert Report
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:11 am EDT, Mar 28, 2007

Someone samples Steven Colbert on YouTube. Viacom files a DMCA takedown. EFF sues Viacom. Steven Colbert invites John Perry Barlow on the show to discuss it. Someone posts that video to iFilm. You'll have to click through to see it because it doesn't embed...

John Perrry Barlow: "Its kind of a metaphor of a metaphor if you know what I mean."

John Perry on the Colbert Report

EFF joins the Viacom/YouTube Frey...
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:40 pm EDT, Mar 22, 2007

MoveOn, Brave New Films Sue Viacom For Illegal Takedown of YouTube Video

On slashdot today there was speculation that Google might have bought YouTube specifically because they didn't want YouTube's lawyers fighting the epic copyright battle that has begun. I am amazed that Viacom let this go to court. They are clearly going to loose. Perhaps they wish to distract EFF and drain their resources while they focus on Google. Currently listening to: "Duel of the Fates" by John Williams

EFF joins the Viacom/YouTube Frey...

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