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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

Innovation and Incentives
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:34 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

"... a masterly synthesis ..."

"... covers the entire waterfront of intellectual property ..."

"... a wide-ranging, rigorous, and lucid synthesis of the economics of innovation and the law of intellectual property. It is packed with useful information and penetrating critique."

Innovation and Incentives

The Patent Profiteers
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:14 pm EDT, Jun  9, 2004

Acacia Technologies is laying claim to the innovations that move video and music through cyberspace. Could this tiny company be the next Internet powerhouse?

Acacia Technologies has a group of patents that it claims covers virtually every aspect of transferring digitally encoded media from a server to a customer.

If Acacia's patents are valid and as broad as the company thinks they are, thousands of companies -- including titans like Time Warner, Disney, Microsoft, and Sony -- and maybe even hundreds of millions of users will have to pay Acacia directly or indirectly. Cable, satellite, and Internet service providers, video-on-demand companies, music sites, the new Web radio enterprises -- almost anyone delivering digital video or audio across a network will be liable.

The Patent Profiteers

Digital Rights Management | Proceedings of the IEEE
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:12 pm EDT, Jun  9, 2004

The June 2004 Special Issue of the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE addresses "Enabling Multimedia Security Technologies for Digital Rights Management."

The inherent digital nature of electronic information and media allows individuals to manipulate, duplicate, or access information often beyond the terms and conditions of the original intent in a given transaction. Digital rights management (DRM) addresses such violations of intellectual property laws and proffers solutions to to protect the interests of consumers.

This special issue focuses on the technological side of DRM, including the state-of-the-art and potential future technologies, presenting papers of both practical and theoretical interest. The topics covered include encryption, digital watermarking, key management, and models and languages for future digital rights technologies. The proceedings contain comprehensive overviews of each respective field while providing expositions on cutting-edge research results.

Digital Rights Management | Proceedings of the IEEE

Japanese Professor Arrested over Winny
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:33 am EDT, May 11, 2004

Isamu Kaneko, a 33-year-old assistant professor at the prestigious University of Tokyo, was arrested on suspicion of developing and offering free downloads through his file-sharing software called Winny.

Winny, which Kaneko developed in 2002 and is estimated to have 250,000 users in Japan, has become a headache for digital content providers as users have been drawn by its reputation in protecting users' anonymity.

Japanese Professor Arrested over Winny

A Patent System for the 21st Century
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:28 pm EDT, Apr 26, 2004

Since its creation more than 200 years ago, the US patent system has played an important role in stimulating technological innovation by providing legal protection to inventions of every description and by disseminating useful technical information about them. With the growing importance of technology to the nation's well-being, patents are playing an even more prominent role in the economy. There are many indications that firms of all sizes as well as universities and public institutions are ascribing greater value to patents and are willing to pay higher costs to acquire, exercise, and defend them.

Continuing high rates of innovation suggest that the patent system is working well and does not require fundamental changes. We generally agree with that conclusion, but it is clear that both economic and legal changes are putting new strains on the system.

In light of these strains, now is an opportune time to examine the system's performance and consider how it can continue to reinvent itself.

A Patent System for the 21st Century

The Recording Industry Soldiers On
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:09 am EDT, Apr 17, 2004

In the past few weeks there have been some mixed developments in the recording industry's battle against illegal file sharing.

This isn't just a legal battle, of course. It's a battle of information and ideas.

As long as the recording industry lives and dies by the blockbuster, music listeners will be looking for ways to see deeper into the music catalog.

The recording industry needs to catch up to music lovers, and soon.

You still wanna hear my "Fox Force Five" joke?

The Recording Industry Soldiers On

Creativity In Chains
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:54 pm EDT, Apr  8, 2004

Lessig begs to differ, saying that [the copyright holders'] way of framing the debate -- as being just between those who favor property rights on one side and those who choose piracy on the other -- excludes the middle ground.

Yet another hollowing out of the middle ...

Lessig asserts that over time, more and more people will opt to pay for music subscription services.

I couldn't agree (and hope) more.

Creativity In Chains

Free Culture
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:59 am EST, Mar 24, 2004

Larry Lessig's new book comes out on Thursday.

Booklist had this to say: Drawing on distinctions between piracy that benefits a single user and harms the owner and piracy that is useful in advancing new content or new ways of doing business, Lessig strongly argues for a balance between the interests of the owner and broader society so that we can continue a "free culture" that encourages innovation rather than a "permission culture" that does not. This is a highly accessible and enlightening look at the intersection of commerce, the law, and cyberspace.

Free Culture

Get Out of My Namespace
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:20 pm EST, Mar 21, 2004

You don't own your name. The world is running out of names. Rules are up for grabs.

"It's a kangaroo court. They seem to change the rules on the fly."

Drug companies spend millions on market research to make sure their names are both serious and sexy.

Occasionally, desperation can lead to brilliance.

In a complex world, the simplest words are the most oversubscribed.

"The more we stray into the territory of naming systems and geography, the more we realize the illogicality."

Cyberspace and globalization represent ... a sea change in the scale of modern society.

The vast majority of trademark applications used to be rejected; now the opposite is true.

Namespaces will collide. Let them.

Get Out of My Namespace

Audible Magic
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:53 am EST, Mar  8, 2004

Audible Magic provides innovative electronic media identification and copyright management solutions for content owners, publishers, broadcasters, duplicators and IT organizations.

Audible Magic’s products and services identify, monitor, track and manage copyrighted multimedia content in all of its forms.

How about terrorists? Can you find terrorists? Because that would actually be helpful.

The company’s core copyright-sensing technology, CopySense, accurately identifies digital or broadcast media content based on the perceptual characteristics of the content itself. Built on a patented electronic fingerprinting process, the technology is robust, efficient, and massively scalable.

Can you spell SSL?

Audible Magic

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