March 2004 Archives

Time to defect to Canada?

I don't get it; why have the Republicans in control of Congress become the sock puppets of Big Content? Perhaps the liberal bias of the media elites is a thing of the past. Anyway, a subcomittee of the House Judiciary approved a bill that granted a sweeping reduction in fair use rights while jacking up the penalties for so-called "P2P pirates."
The Chicago Tribune talks to Prof Larry Lessig and Wilco manager Ken Waagner about what digital networks can do for artists, copyright, and creativity. When was the last time Big Content put forth such an optimistic vision of the potential for digital distribution?
The Australian minions of the record industry are no more honest than their American counterparts when it comes to the real impact of file-sharing on sales of their products. It turns out that all this public buccaneering of their booty has delivered their best year ever.
Proving that the executive branch of California's government doesn't have a monopoly on Big Content toadyism, California State Senator Kevin Murray has been pushing legislation that would force people to attach their name and address to the files they elect to share on P2P networks.

What? You mean it has to be good?

I have oodles of respect for Microsoft, but I can't stand to see big companies trot out variations of the old whinge "we can't compete against free."


CA AG shilling for the MPAA?

It's no surprise that much legislation is written by interested parties like special interest lobbyists. What is a surprise is when a special interest like Big Content can dictate policy to a state's top law enforcement officer.

EFF, FCC caged grudge match

The EFF has joined a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission over their Broadcast Flag directive.

Napster's new "SuperPeer" technology is neither super, nor peer-to-peer. It's a proxy cache.

In a case of scuzzball imitating scuzzball, an inmate in Riker's Island has copyrighted his name and placed liens against a judge and prosecutor for every instance of unauthorized use of his copyright.

Dead and quoted

A tip 'o th' tam to Copyfight's Donna Wentworth for including me in the company of Michael Franti in her "Notable + Quotable" post.

Senate index fund outperforms

The two-fisted, RSS-wearing journos at the Christian Science Monitor have noted that US senators managed to significantly outperform Joe Average in their stock picks during the go-go 90s.
Prof Lessig's upcoming work on Big Content's use and abuse of intellectual property policy and law has been excerpted in the latest issue of Wired. Lessig makes the important point that the creative destruction of piracy has always increased the size of the media business.
A bill moving through Congress would allow corporations to protect databases of public facts as if they were copyrighted works.

Keeping bad company

If SCO's the RIAA, does that mean DaimlerChrysler's a twelve year-old girl?
"We believe that there are important similarities between our recent legal activities against end users and those actions that have taken place in the recording industry," said SCO CEO Darl McBride, during a conference call today.