Copycense Clippings 1.07
Icicles still knife the sky in far too many places, but pitchers and catchers have reported, March Madness is upon us, and Copycense keeps on truckin’. Retro reigns supreme again in this encore edition of Clippings, as we dust off stories we missed over the past couple of months.
Quotes of the Week
“A growing number of outlets beyond the big-name companies, from tiny indie-rock operations to the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Smithsonian Institution’s Folkways label, have realized the futility of copy-restriction software and now sell digital downloads in open, unrestricted formats. At this point, [DRM] amounts to little more than expensive psychotherapy for Hollywood executives. It’s the height of arrogance for them to keep sending us the bill.”
Rob Pegoraro. Time to Face the Music on File Sharing. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 15, 2007. We really don’t need to say much more, now do we? Categories: DRM & Copy Protection; Music
“The copyright horse already has left the barn. The best way for Fox [and other large studios] to protect its intellectual property should be to let it surge freely throughout the Web, where, in all likelihood, people who see clips of The Simpsons and of 24 will want to check out the actual shows for themselves. On Fox. … Much better to come up with a strategy that recognizes reality and finds a way to make lemons out of YouTube lemonade.”
Alexander Wolfe. YouTube Simpsons Subpoena Spotlights Copyright Insanity. InformationWeek. Jan. 26, 2007. Ditto. We’ve already commented elsewhere about the alarming trend where ISPs and other Web entities seemingly bend over backwards to accommodate the most specious of copyright owner claims under the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions. While that is an important trend to follow, we’ll not revisit that here. Categories: Broadcasting & Journalism; DMCA; DRM & Copy Protection.
Copyright (University of Connecticut Libraries). A new copyright resource geared toward the education and library markets. Categories: Education; Libraries & Information Centers; Research.
The Illustrated Story of Copyright. This is the companion Web site to Edward Samuels’ marvelous 2000 title of the same name. Seeing this Web site is bittersweet, for it allows us to remember how outstanding the print volume remains, while leaving us disappointed that the virtual rendering falls short of the possibilities. The book was published by St. Martin’s Press, and is a glorious, tastefully illustrated, succinctly written introduction to American copyright law, with special emphasis on some of the emerging technologies that marked the turn of the century. In fact, we’ve long suspected the book was too good: while reviewing it last year for the umpteenth time, we wondered whether or not the print version ever would see an updated edition. There are so many great photos and illustrations that we would figured acquiring permissions for the artwork would be too expensive. (The cost of re-licensing copyrighted works, if you recall, was what delayed re-issuance of the “Eyes on the Prize” civil rights documentary.) If you have an opportunity to purchase a copy of this book, please do. It is a treasure beyond description. Categories: Books; Bundle of Rights; Research.
David Biello. Open Access to Science Under Attack. Scientific American. Jan. 26, 2007. Scientific American reports on a recent trend where publishers or publishers’ representatives hire public relations firms to “properly” frame the open access debate. Thus far, the issue has been discussed in terms of access to literature and research, which is a positive frame for educational institutions and libraries. We expect Big Publishing to counter with stories about economic loss, job loss, and trot out smaller publishers who are “hurt” by the open access movement. Expect this debate to fall down familiar lines, similar to predictable and tired stances that have been presented about the music industry. By now, one should recognize that the debate only is about the continued viability and existence of content industries, not the content itself. And if we’re talking about industries and jobs, isn’t it possible that, consistent with free market principles, if you don’t adapt quickly enough, you cease to exist? Why should these businesses by any different? Categories: Open Access; Research; Science & Medical.
- Greg Sandoval. EFF Takes Viacom to Task Over YouTube Takedown. News.com. Feb. 15, 2007. Section 512 safe harbor provisions or no, we wonder why this story didn’t read “EFF Takes YouTube to Task Over [very quick, with no push back at all] Takedown. Categories: DMCA; Web & Online.
- Bruce Byfield. Blackboard eLearning Patent to be Re-examined. News Forge. Jan. 31, 2007. Meet the new tool in the ”patent troll“ fight: the patent re-examination. Question is when, exactly, is the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office going to have time to re-evaluate the contested patents? Regardless, this is a situation worth watching. Categories: Computers & Technology; Education; Patent; Web & Online.
- Ed Oswald. Apple to Pay Bloggers’ Legal Fees. BetaNews. Jan. 30, 2007. Remember that case last year where Apple sued AppleInsider and PowerPage.org, claiming the two sites disclosed trade secrets (specifically a never-released confidential product or project code named ”Asteroid“)? This is how that case was resolved. Categories: Cases & Litigation; Trade Secrets.
- Jeffrey Toobin. Google’s Moon Shot. The New Yorker. Jan. 29, 2007. Toobin, one of many legal commentators who made a name for himself in broadcast media during the O.J. Simpson murder trial, discusses the Google Book Search project. Categories: Books; Cases & Litigation; Digitization; Libraries & Information Centers; Web & Online.
- Guardian Unlimited. Rapper to Record Album in a Week to Avoid Piracy. Jan. 23, 2007. All but the biggest music stars forget about album sales as a revenue source. Movie placements? Nice. Video games? OK. Ring tones? Check. But album sales? Instead, do like The Dead: hit the road. Often. Come up with a killer show, and sell the album as an afterthought on your way out of the dressing room. And if you can’t do that … well, there are lots of career alternatives for young folks with a facile command of the English language. After all, if you’re going record an album in a week to avoid piracy, you might as well bypass the studio altogether and take it directly to the stage. Categories: File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; Infringement; Music.
- Bernhard Warner. Italian Court Says Piracy Not a Crime. Variety. Jan. 22, 2007. Maybe this decision does not have broad significance in the U.S., but you can be sure domestic trade negotiators will point to it when the two countries next discuss imports and exports. Categories: Cases & Litigation; File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; International.
- James Boyle. Text is Free, We Make Our Money on Volume(s). FT.com. Jan. 22 2007. Duke law professor James Boyle outlines the business model for the collaborative, participatory age. In doing so, he notes the relative success of authors who have followed the ”download it online for free“ model, including Yochai Benkler, Lawrence Lessig, and Cory Doctorow. Boyle followed in their footsteps last year, releasing for free the outstanding Bound By Law. Categories: Books; Business & Commerce; Web & Online.
- Jason Lee Miller. Japan Reconsiders Copyright Law For Search. WebProNews. Jan 22, 2007. This story came out about the same time that news broke that Google lost an infringement case to Belgium’s Copiepresse. It will be interesting to see whether this becomes a trend that takes hold. We also wonder what, if any, behind-the-scenes maneuvering Google did to get this done. Categories: Infringement; International; Law, Legislation & Regulation; Web & Online.
- ArsTechnica. The Streamburst Antipiracy Plan: Don’t Use DRM. Jan. 19, 2007. Ars discusses a UK media company that has decided not to laden its works with copy protection, opting instead to use watermarking technologies (among other things) to protect their intellectual property. Key sentence: ”Piracy is a business model. To compete with it effectively, content companies have two choices. They can pour millions into robust new DRM schemes (see HD DVD, Blu-ray, and Windows Vista for examples) and then use the power of the law to hammer any users who are found violating their copyrights. … The other way to compete with piracy is by actually attempting to compete: lower prices, no DRM, and making it easier to pay for a high-quality legal file than to pirate it.“ Categories: Business & Commerce; DRM & Copy Protection; Multimedia; P2P, File Sharing & Downloads; Web & Online.
- EFF Deep Links. PERFORM Act = DRM Mandate. Jan. 14, 2007. It has been quite a while since we’ve posted something from the EFF Deep Links site, but that’s probably our fault, not theirs. Here, Fred von Lohman discusses another restrictive technology bill couched in acronym-laden doublespeak: the PERFORM Act (S. 256), which continues in a vein similar to what the Senate introduced last Congress. Categories: DRM & Copy Protection; Law, Legislation & Regulation; Music.
- Freedom to Tinker. 2007 Predictions. Jan. 5, 2007. Princeton computer science professor Ed Felten makes his predictions on the intersection of business, law, and technology. Prediction 1 (”DRM technology will still fail to prevent widespread infringement. In a related development, pigs will still fail to fly“) is so dead on that Big Content is considering doing away with DRM altogether. See how he did for 2006. Categories: DRM& Copy Protection; Research.
Copycense™: Creativity & Content.™ A venture of Seso Group LLC.