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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

Podcasting Music - The legal implications - CBI
Topic: Intellectual Property 3:43 pm EDT, May  7, 2005

] Are you sure I need all these licenses?
] Yes.

Podcasting Music - The legal implications - CBI

RE: IFPI drafts 'code of conduct' for ISPs | The Register
Topic: Intellectual Property 3:05 pm EDT, Apr 12, 2005

Rattle wrote:
] ] Not content with creating a continent-spanning
] ] lawsuit-sharing network using special P2P (person to
] ] perpetrator) technology, the record companies'
] ] consortium, the International Federation of Phonographic
] ] Industries (IFPI) now wants your ISP to sign up to a new
] ] "code of conduct" that it has helpfully drafted with the
] ] help of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

This reminds me of a scam the BSA was running a few years ago where they would threaten to charge small ISPs with contributory infringement unless they agreed to a similar list of terms. The ISPs would sign the contract because they didn't have the resources to defend themselves. Then the BSA would hold up those ISPs as examples of people who'd agreed to their terms when they went after additional ISPs. The BSA was thwarted. In today's environment the risk of contributory infringement charges is even lower. The media industry doesn't really have a negotiating position here. I imagine that this is theater mostly. Stupid UNoids don't understand what "severs" are or whether people should run them. Sending up this code of content sends a message that they are trying to operate without help from the government and they can't, so please UN, please do something...

You recall when you were a kid and you would ask your mom for something and she would say no, so you'd go ask your dad and he would say yes. Thats what the UN, WIPO in particular, is becoming. These guys ask the national government. The national government says no. So they ask the UN. The UN says yes. Then the national government is bound to accept the UN policy as a UN participant. This is how the DMCA happened. (ICANN presents a similar concern.)

Who is right? Lefties tend to think the UN is always right because they think individual governments are run by corrupt tyrants. Righties tend to think the UN is always wrong because they think national governments have more legitimacy. I think having absolute ideas about this is dumb.

The UN is not always wrong. Unicef is not evil. Executing minors probably is. The UN is also not always right. SOME national governments have deliberative processes that are far more legitimate and mature then the UN's. Many important stakeholders are excluded from the UN process, often because there is little connection between the democratic government in a country and it's UN representation, and the UN tries to keep its doors closed.

Having said all of this, WIPO delegates, and in particular the official US delegation, have shown little understanding of or respect for the realities of intellectual property in this day and age. From throwing literature into the trash at meetings to arguing against having forums on open source software, there are a number of people engaged with WIPO who simply are neither mature enough nor informed enough to be involved.

Continued observation from the public might make a difference. The last thing we want is this stuff going on behind closed doors.

RE: IFPI drafts 'code of conduct' for ISPs | The Register

Cory Doctorow Issues DMCA Notice and Takedown to BoingBoing Parody Site
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:23 pm EST, Apr  1, 2005

] It has come to our attention that you registered the
] domain name "". We continue to
] be very concerned about your use of BoringBoring and
] stylized logo as it constitutes an improper association,
] which trades on the goodwill and reputation of BoingBoing
] and is likely to cause confusion with those Properties
] and applicable federal and local laws.

BoingBoing sends DMCA threat to parody site.

Cory Doctorow Issues DMCA Notice and Takedown to BoingBoing Parody Site

Save Orphan Works
Topic: Intellectual Property 3:48 pm EST, Feb 24, 2005

] The copyright office is currently considering whether to
] recommend changes to copyright law that will make it
] easier and cheaper for you to use "orphaned works" --
] works that remain under copyright but whose "owner" can't
] be found. As many of you have written me, this is a real
] problem that affects thousands of innovative people every
] year. But the copyright office still needs some
] convincing.
] To convince them, we need your help. If you have a
] relevant story, or a perspective that might help the
] Copyright Office evaluate this issue, I would be grateful
] if you took just a few minutes to write an email telling
] them your story. The most valuable submissions will make
] clear the practical burden the existing system creates.
] (One of my favorite stories is about a copy-shop's
] refusal to enlarge a 60 year old photo from an elementary
] school year book for a eulogy because the copyright owner
] couldn't be found.) Describe instances where you wanted
] to use a work, but couldn't find the owner to ask
] permission. Explain how that impacted your ability to
] create. Or pass this email on to someone who you know
] might have a useful story to add.

Save Orphan Works

Court questions FCC's broadcast flag rules | CNET
Topic: Intellectual Property 2:20 pm EST, Feb 23, 2005

] A federal appeals court on Tuesday sharply questioned
] whether the Federal Communications Commission has the
] authority to ban certain types of digital TV receivers,
] including peripheral cards, starting in July.

There is hope!!

Court questions FCC's broadcast flag rules | CNET

Boing Boing: Wil Wheaton: So, ASCAP to *license* podcasts? Readers respond.
Topic: Intellectual Property 2:03 pm EST, Feb 17, 2005

] The ASCAP license is only the tip of the iceberg: there
] are also comparable licenses for BMI and SESAC, two other
] performing rights organizations; mechanical rights from
] the Harry Fox Agency, _and_ a "master use license" to be
] negotiated with the record labels for each track. The
] latter can be under any terms the label chooses, and they
] can refuse you outright.

This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. The corrupt world of Digital rights clearance. If you click on the link at the bottom of this story to Matt May's blog there are comments from me at the very end.

Boing Boing: Wil Wheaton: So, ASCAP to *license* podcasts? Readers respond.

BBC NEWS | Technology | ITunes user sues Apple over iPod
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:47 am EST, Jan  7, 2005

] He says Apple is breaking anti-competition laws in
] refusing to let other music players work with the site.

My problem is that they won't let other sites work with the music player, but really its all the same. Regardless of whether or not this lawsuit is reasonable, the strategy is dumb.

BBC NEWS | Technology | ITunes user sues Apple over iPod

Send the RIAA and MPAA a lump of coal for Christmas!
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:08 pm EST, Dec 17, 2004

] For every $100 given to these groups in the month of
] December, Downhill Battle will send one lump of coal to
] the RIAA and MPAA. This is not a joke-- we are literally
] going to look up their addresses and send them coal.

Send the RIAA and MPAA a lump of coal for Christmas!

Bytes and Bullets
Topic: Intellectual Property 4:50 pm EST, Nov 25, 2004

Technology people across the country are terrified by the idea.

But there is a silver lining. If Congress passes this bill, on what principled basis can it then refuse to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the crimes committed with their technologies?

The parallels are unavoidable.

This op-ed by Larry Lessig was published in Wednesday's Washington Post.

Bytes and Bullets

EFF: Public interest trashed at WIPO
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:29 pm EST, Nov 18, 2004

] Let me try to convey to you the depth of the weirdness
] that arose when all the public-interest groups' papers
] were stolen and trashed at WIPO.


EFF: Public interest trashed at WIPO

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