Copycense Clippings (Jan. 8, 2008 to Jan. 14, 2008)
Editor’s note: Copycense writers and editors compiled this version of Clippings during our annual holiday break. It was published in mid-January.
Article of the Week
projectb15ck. UCSC Network Woes. Jan. 9, 2008. According to an e-mail within the body of the post, the information technology department at University of California, Santa Cruz is using Cisco’s Clean Access appliance and software to “help speed up the network for legitimate uses and reduce the risk of ‘accidental’ copyright infringement.” In the e-mail, John Rocchio , a UCSC IT administrator, says Clean Access will be configured to block file sharing services such as Gnutella and Bittorrent. The poster notes UCSC is a public university, therefore it is spending public funds to block Internet access. The unnamed writer asks incisively what difference is there between UCSC’s action’s and Comcast’s reported filtering of P2P traffic. Categories: File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; Education; Music; Networks; Privacy & Security.
Quote of the Week
“2008 has to be the year we get real or the business as we know it goes away.” –Fred Goldring, entertainment attorney.
Elizabeth Montalbano. Digital Music Industry Challenged to Follow Fans’ Lead. PCWorld.com. Jan. 9, 2008. You’re kidding us, right?
Copycense™: Incisive IP.™
Clippings continue on the next page.
AdRants. Ford Slaps Brand Enthusiasts, Returns Love With Legal Punch. Jan. 14, 2007. Ford, which desperately needs some love from the public, shoots itself in the foot by threatening legal action over the use of its logo in a calendar sold by a Mustang owners club. Our first reaction was “how dumb can you be?” Upon reconsideration, though, American trademark law may have required Ford to take some level of action because of potential dilution issues. The issue has been resolved now, but one has to think this issue could have been handled in a manner that would not have left Ford looking like a bully. Just because there’s a legal issue doesn’t mean the law needs to be used like a club. Categories: Infringement; Trademarks.
The Wired Campus (The Chronicle of Higher Education). Librarian: Ohio State Professors Need Copyright Refresher. Jan. 14, 2008. This very brief post provides insight into the distinction between the creator of a copyrighted work and the owner of a copyrighted work. In today’s world, these parties rarely are the same. Categories: Bundle of Rights; Education; Licensing & Permissions.
Michael Geist. Our Universities Could Learn Plenty from MIT. Thestar.com. Jan 14, 2008. Michael Geist comments on MIT’s Open Courseware initiative and assesses its lasting impact on higher education. Categories: Education; Web & Online.
Matt Hartley. Is Open Source the Answer to Software Piracy? Internet.com. Jan. 13, 2008. A very interesting article that compares traditional software sales models with open source software sales model. Categories: Computers; Licensing & Permissions; Open Source.
Nate Anderson. EFF Tries to Quash Labels’ ‘Making Available’ Claims. ArsTechnica. Jan. 13, 2008. EFF’s brief (.pdf) in the Atlantic v. Howell case argues, among other things, that “an infringement of the distribution right requires unauthorized, actual dissemination of copies of a copyrighted work,” not just downloads to a shared network folder. The hearing in an Arizona federal court occurs January 24. Categories: Cases & Litigation; File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; Music.
Aaron O. Patrick and Sarah McBride. Showdown Looms Over Pirated-Media Directory. WSJ.com. Jan. 11, 2008. Sweden gets into the U.S. copyright enforcement act. We wonder whether the country will appear in the Trade Representative’s 2008 Special 301 report. Categories: File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; International; Music; Politics & Government.
Jeff Leeds. Radiohead Finds Sales, Even After Downloads. The New York Times. Jan. 10, 2008. Even after distributing its album online for as little as zero dollars, zero cents, Radiohead’s fans buy enough hard copies to make it the week’s sales leader. One difference (which makes a difference for folks like us) is the compact has better sound resolution. We’re willing to listen to MP3 files to get a sense of whether we’re willing to buy, but when we buy, we’ll buy for resolution and ownership. (First sale doesn’t apply to music downloads unless the license agreement specifically provides for it.) Categories: Fair Use & Other Exceptions; Music; Web & Online.
Robert McMillan. Network Solutions Stands by Name Policy. PC World. Jan. 10, 2008. In what it says is an attempt to prevent the fraudulent practice of domain tasting, Network Solutions commits a gross policy violation by registering the domain names itself if the searcher does not purchase that domain. This action is particularly objectionable because the company long has marketed itself as a registrar whose legitimacy should be unquestioned given its connection to the American government and its status as a pioneering domain name registrar. (In the early nineties, Network Solutions was the company the National Science Foundation chose to develop the country’s current domain name registration service, was for a time the sole registrar of .com, .net, and .org domains.) Categories: Registration; Trademark; Web & Online.
BBC News. Pandora to Cut Off UK Listeners. Jan 9, 2008. A licensing row threatens continued service of the Music Genome Project to a major market. Categories: International; Licensing & Permissions; Music.
Jonathan Fildes. Intel ‘Undermined’ Laptop Project. BBC News. Jan. 9, 2008. The on-again, off-again partnership between Intel and Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child initiative apparently is “off” once and for all. Categories: Computers; International; Open Access; Open Source.
Monica Hesse. Hey, Isn’t That . . . WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 9, 2008. Just a few months after the the Alison Chang/Flickr photo contretemps threatened Creative Commons with legal action (which later was rescinded), the Fox network is outed for broadcasting pet photos that belong to someone else without the photo owners’ permission. Most will suggest turnabout is fair play, but we’re more concerned with the vehemence with which the photo owner exclaims “It’s my photo!” This is a rhetorical question, but we’ll ask away: how is it that words like “mine,” “ownership,” and “control” have become so pervasive in an environment that allows unprecedented access to creative work? Categories: Broadcasting & Journalism; Bundle of Rights; Images.
Bits (The New York Times). AT&T and Other I.S.P.’s May Be Getting Ready to Filter. Jan. 8, 2008. Apparently not content with the “safe harbor” provisions that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act affords (it and other ISPs) pursuant to Section 512(c) of the Copyright Act, the former Ma Bell floats a filtering trial balloon at the Consumer Electronics Show. Comcast already faces scrutiny concerning its alleged filtering of Bittorrent traffic, so it will be interesting to see how this issue plays among Washington regulators who have jurisdiction over communications and trade. Categories: DMCA; File Sharing, P2P & Downloads; Privacy & Security.
Nate Anderson. UK Wants to Make CD Rips Legal (At Last). ArsTechnica. Jan. 8, 2008. The proposal (.pdf) of Lord Triesman, Minister for Intellectual Property, could reform copyright law to allow an explicit right that allows consumers who legally buy compact discs to transfer to other media. As we have come to expect, William Patry provides an analysis. Categories: Bundle of Rights; International; Music.
Rewind: Stories We Missed
(Interesting stories we noticed after we sent previous editions to press.)
James Kanter and Gary Rivlin. WTO Gives Antigua Right to Violate U.S. Copyrights in Gambling Dispute. International Herald Tribune. Dec. 21, 2007. Yes, you read that headline correctly: the World Trade Organization has given a sovereign nation authority to infringe upon American copyrights. Antigua had sued the U.S., alleging unfair trade practices. Categories: International.
Copycense™: Incisive IP.™