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Current Topic: Intellectual Property | Copyrights
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:41 pm EST, Jan 23, 2003

] To reward those who can attract a paying audience, and
] the firms that support them, much shorter copyrights
] would be enough. The 14-year term of the original
] 18th-century British and American copyright laws,
] renewable once, might be a good place to start.

The economist presents a radical copyright proposal. | Copyrights

The Law & Technology of DRM
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:39 pm EST, Jan 23, 2003

What will DRM technologies mean for the future of information?

The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT), Berkeley Technology Law Journal (BTLJ), the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic and the School of Information Management & Systems (SIMS) are proud to announce this year's ground-breaking conference confronting the controversies surrounding digital rights management.

This conference will be held at Berkeley from Feb 27 through March 1. Speakers include: Brian LaMacchia, Pamela Samuelson, Carl Shapiro, Hal Varian, David Farber, Lucky Green, Hal Abelson, Edward Felten, Larry Lessig, Jerry Berman, Mark Lemley, and many others.

The Law & Technology of DRM

EPIC Letter on P2P Monitoring to Colleges and Universities
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:03 am EST, Nov  9, 2002

EPIC's excellent response to the RIAA's recent attempts at intimidating Universities into policing their networks for transfer of copyrighted materials over P2P networks.

EPIC Letter on P2P Monitoring to Colleges and Universities

Making My Own Music
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:39 am EDT, Oct 25, 2002

I am not the only one digitizing music. Without breaking any law, I could just as easily have gone on the Web to download the songs I had bought in the same digital format, thanks to the prior work of many other music lovers. So far music listeners around the world have digitized more than 850,000 albums and 10 million songs of all musical genres. Fans have already converted almost all music ever recorded.

Kevin Kelly has written an op-ed piece about the Eldred v. Ashcroft case in the New York Times. Can you guess which side of the debate he favors?

[ Interesting, but he missed all of the DJ oriented vinyl that has been released over the past 10 years. Admittedly it's a small slice, but almost assuredly the bulk of it is not digitized. Most of these tracks (even popular ones) have runs of less than 50,000 total. The average is probably closer to 2,000. There is a completely new body of underground music that is mostly untapped and unheard by the masses. --Rek ]

Making My Own Music

Wired 10.10: Lawrence Lessig's Supreme Showdown
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:03 pm EDT, Sep 19, 2002

"The Great Liberator Lawrence Lessig helped mount the case against Microsoft. He wrote the book on creative rights in the digital age. Now the cyberlaw star is about to tell the Supreme Court to smash apart the copyright machine."

Quick introduction to Lawrence Lessig. A bit long, FYI.

Wired 10.10: Lawrence Lessig's Supreme Showdown

EUCD Lecture 29/04/02
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:13 pm EDT, Aug  9, 2002

EUCD (European DMCA) lecture by Alan Cox (principle Linux developer) and Martin Keegan in April at the University of London. Sponsored by the Campaign for Digital Rights.

Slides, Ogg Vorbis audio tracks, and more. See for Ogg Vorbis players. Latest WinAmp or RealAudio player should do.

EUCD Lecture 29/04/02

'Palladium Sucks, Don't Buy It'
Topic: Intellectual Property 6:52 pm EDT, Jul  8, 2002

As chips get cheaper, products get smarter. Sometimes they can get too smart for their own good. ...

Until recently, the after-purchase use of a product has been crudely controlled via contracts, licensing or mechanical design, but now it can easily be controlled through chips and cryptography.

... At the level of bits, censorship and digital-rights management are technologically identical.

What are the economic implications? The answer depends on how competitive the markets are.

Manufacturers invest heavily in R&D ... but users are often better innovators. ... Digital-rights management can reduce innovation.

... [Audio remixes] will be simply impossible if DRM becomes commonplace.

Too much control can be a bad thing, particularly when innovation is a critical source of competitive advantage.

The stakes just got higher. In today's NYT, Berkeley professor Hal Varian (author of _Information Rules_) rails against Palladium in particular and DRM in general.

Varian is a bellwether for the wider response among academia and corporate enterprise. I suspect he'll publish a similar, perhaps more quantitative rant in an upcoming issue of Harvard Business Review. And another in CACM, alongside Pamela Sameulson's rant. And an editorial in the Wall Street Journal.

I'm calling it -- time of death, oh six hundred hours, 4 July 2002.

Microsoft can afford to be wrong on this -- to them, it's just code. Pay the 'softies to spend their weekends at the office, and it keeps getting churned out. Plenty of cash flow to screw around for a few years under the protective umbrella of the Office suite.

Intel and AMD can not afford to be wrong. At this point it takes many, many billions of dollars to set up a fab line for a new microprocessor. If they build it and no one comes, it will take them years to dig out of the hole. The IBM/Motorola/Apple team will not fail to capitalize on the situation.

'Palladium Sucks, Don't Buy It'

Spreading by the Web, Pop's Bootleg Remix
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:21 pm EDT, May 10, 2002

The song may sound familiar at first. But, suddenly, the recording changes course. As the recording moves on, it is clear that the song is neither fish nor fowl; it is a crossbreed. It is something that is completely different, often illegal and, thanks to the Internet, becoming explosively popular.

"The best bootlegs don't sound like bootlegs; they work at a profound level, and actually sound like they are the original record."

"It is a case of bootleggers bootlegging bootlegs."

"It's my favorite record of the year so far."

Neil Strauss on the latest fad in online music.

Spreading by the Web, Pop's Bootleg Remix

Lawrence Lessig: The Thought Leader Interview
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:00 pm EDT, May  2, 2002

The Stanford University law professor and cyberadvocate redefines the parameters of the Internet. A Q&A with Larry Lessig on his vision for a future of competition that will realize the NetÂ’s full potential as a catalyst for creativity and innovation.

Stewart Brand: "Lawrence Lessig is a James Madison of our time, crafting the lineaments of a well-tempered cyberspace. Like Madison, Lessig is a model of balance, judgment, ingenuity, and persuasive argument."

A brief Q&A with Lessig. Free registration required. (Use login "" with password "cypherpunks")

Lawrence Lessig: The Thought Leader Interview

Welcome to the War on Piracy
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:27 pm EDT, Apr 20, 2002

[Originally from Jeremy...]

Legislators and law enforcers will have to fight and win a "war" against online piracy in order for the digital marketplace to have any chance of realizing its full potential. "This war against piracy must be waged on several different fronts, including the commitment of adequate resources to law enforcement, the cooperation of various industry players, and the education of consumers. Only when the war against piracy is effectively waged and won, will businesses and consumers move in significant numbers to the online marketplace. [Copyright piracy] is growing exponentially with billions of unauthorized music downloads per month. Until we can stop the growth of piracy online, it will be difficult to truly create a marketplace that will work for digital online content."

More silliness ... Obviously this guy didn't get the memo about cutting back on the "war" metaphors. These statements are so clearly baseless as to be meaningless. Billions per month, and growing exponentially? So in a few months, we'll have 100 trillion downloads per month? I think not. But who cares, any way? Why doesn't anyone recognize the success stories? The Wall Street Journal has a profitable online subscription service. Lexis-Nexis is popular and has been sustainable over a long period of time. The IEEE has a successful online library. Clearly there are no overwhelming technical challenges to running a successful business selling digital online content.

I'm waiting for the intellectual property version of the film _Traffic_ ...

Welcome to the War on Piracy

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