COPYCENSE

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Copycense on Twitter

Yes, we’re even more shocked than you are that we’ve (a) set up a Twitter account; and (b) are actually using said account.

In truth, however, we have been mulling the editorial direction of Copycense for some time. (i.e. Do we still do news, since so many others do it? Do we continue with pithy short posts? Do we devote our time to longer posts like the Girl Talk article?)

It turns out we actually find some use for the Twitter approach. (And no, Oprah’s embrace had absolutely nothing to do with our decision.)

Lo, verily, and thus, we are going to migrate our short news posts to our Twitter presence for the time being. This will allow us to reserve this space for longer, more expansive works.

Copycense is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/copycense. (And yes, if you know anything about Copycense, you will realize the avatar is totally tongue-in-cheek.)

Written by Copycense Editorial

04/17/2009 at 10:00

Posted in Web & Online

The Downside of Downloads

CommuniK Commentary by K. Matthew Dames

The news cycle has been abuzz about digital music and iTunes‘ ascendance to a position as the country’s leading music retailer. Likewise, the mainstream press has continued to feed its desire for an iTunes-Amazon.com octagon-style retail death match, and steadily has been promoting Amazon.com’s mp3 download service as a worthy challenger to the iTunes hegemony.

(The music labels, long irritated with Steve Jobs‘ control of the legal download market, silently would approve of such a challenge.)

We don’t see what the big deal is. There are several problems with music downloads, and none of them have anything to do with three-letter acronyms that purport to “protect” the underlying content. The primary problem with downloaded music is that it sucks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Copycense Editorial

04/08/2008 at 07:59

Posted in Web & Online

Yahoo Pulls Its Music Subscription Service

“The [music subscription] services also have to overcome a conceptual hurdle with many consumers. Most music fans want something tangible when they buy songs. Subscription services, however, are like cable TV: They sell access to entertainment, not packaged goods. And like cable, they’re not easily portable, which is a real problem when it comes to playing music in a car. It would be a different matter if people were continuously connected to the Net and could hear any song they wished, anywhere, any time. But in the current circumstances, music subscriptions work best as ways to sample music — not as a substitute for buying it.”Jon Healey.

Jon Healey. If Yahoo can’t do it … LATimes.com. Feb. 4, 2008. Both a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board and editor of the paper’s Bit Player blog, Healy asks whether subscription music services are a viable business model in light of Yahoo!’s announcement that it would end its subscription music service and support RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service. Since so many of us at the Cense are heavy music listeners and buyers, we can confirm Healy’s insights. Almost all of us choose to buy music on compact disc (then rip to iTunes) rather than buy music on iTunes or some other service. Not only do we get better sound quality when we buy and rip, we own something, which is important to us.

Copycense™: Incisive IP.

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Written by Copycense Editorial

02/06/2008 at 07:59

Posted in Web & Online

Canadian Lobbyists Discuss Copyright Reform

On Copyright Reform. (.mp3) The Ottawa Citizen sponsors an hour-long debate on copyright reform in Canada. Lots of shouting and interrupting, but may be worthwhile listening if you want to hear frustrated content industry discuss the state of their nation. Check out, however, Michael Geist’s analysis of this session, in which he contends Canadian Recording Industry Association president Graham Henderson and others give tacit support to ISP filtering, which AT&T reportedly is considering.

(Editor’s Note: Copycense editors originally commented on this article in Site Check 2.03.)

Copycense™: Incisive IP.

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Written by sesomedia

02/04/2008 at 08:57

Posted in Web & Online

Testing the DMCA “Safe Harbor”

Nate Anderson. Warner Sues “Playable Search Engine,” Tests DMCA Safe Harbor. ArsTechnica. Jan. 25, 2008. Warner Bros. trots out all the goodies in its 57-page complaint (.pdf) that alleges copyright infringement by search engine SeeqPod. One of the ways in which SeeqPod tries to differentiate itself is by providing links to music or video files that others make available on the Web. (For example, we typed in a search “jay-z” and received about 20 hits, many of which were links to YouTube videos. We were able to watch the YouTube videos within the SeeqPod site instead of having to link out to YouTube to get the content.)

Apparently, SeeqPod compiles search results not only through the work of its own search robot, but also through user-contributed submissions. Warner Bros. has seized on this second aspect to frame SeeqPod as a business that “aims to capitalize on the illegal use of ‘free’ music to grow its user base rapidly and inexpensively,” accusing the search provider of direct infringement, contributory infringement, vicarious infringement. WB also throws in MGM v. Grokster‘s inducement liability theory (just for kicks and giggles).

One of the interesting things about this case is SeeqPod’s technology was born in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the Lab also has a 5% stake in the spin-off company. So, in essence, Warner Bros. also is suing the federal government. Another interesting tidbit: Anderson notes that Last.fm has a similar search capability, but also has licensing deals in place with the major music labels, while SeeqPod has no licensing deals and seems to rest its business model on the DMCA ISP safe harbor at Section 512(c). We hate to see a promising technology like this get ensnared in litigation so early in its life, but in the unlikely event this goes to trial, this could be an interesting case.

(Editor’s Note: Copycense editors originally commented on this article in the Jan. 29, 2008, edition of Copycense Clippings.)

Copycense™: Incisive IP.

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Written by sesomedia

02/01/2008 at 08:58

Posted in Web & Online

ICANN Seeks Separation From U.S. Government

BBC News. Net Body Issues Plea for Liberty. Jan. 24, 2008. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) likely is the most important quasi-government agency about which most Web users know nothing. It is, however, a critically important organization whose core mission — coordinating the Internet’s domain name system — essentially runs the Web. ICANN operates as a private-public partnership with the U.S. government. (ICANN receives oversight from the U.S. Department of Commerce.)

Over the last few years, this arrangement has become more problematic to foreign countries, which claim that an like ICANN should not be so intimately tied to the government of any single country because that gives such a country an unusual amount of influence over what is an international network. As a result, ICANN’s request (.pdf) to separate itself from such close contact with the American government is a significant development.

(Editor’s Note: Copycense editors originally commented on this article in the Jan. 29, 2008, edition of Copycense Clippings.)

Copycense™: Incisive IP.

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Written by sesomedia

01/31/2008 at 08:56

Posted in Web & Online

UK Youth Think Copyright Regimes Are Unfair

“Surveys reveal that both adults and children (aged 12-15) have very high levels of awareness and understanding of the basic principles of intellectual property. However, young people feel that copyright regimes are unfair and unjust and a big age gap is opening up. The implications for libraries and for the information industry of a collapse of respect for copyright is potentially very serious.”University College London.

Information World Review. My Generation. Jan. 17, 2008. This passage on copyright is but a snippet of a report whose main focus is on information seeking behaviors. We find it interesting, however, and would like to see an independent American researcher conduct a rigorous, well designed social science study of high school and college children to gain their perspective on copyright.

(Editor’s Note: Copycense editors originally commented on this article in the Jan. 22, 2008, edition of Copycense Clippings, and it was a Quotes of the Week selection.)

Copycense™: Incisive IP.

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Written by sesomedia

01/23/2008 at 09:30

Posted in Web & Online

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