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June 2003: o-blog history

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06-07

©¦ Rethinking copyright. British tech journalist Bill Thompson concludes that “We need to rethink what copyright means in a digital world, rather than wasting so much time, effort and money on this conflict” in a recent BBC opinion piece.

©¦ Meanwhile. Thinking along similar lines, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), a conservative, has authored a bill that would limit the ability of media publishers to use anti-copying technology in their wares.

06-09

©¦ Extended commentary. On 06-01 we mentioned George Ziemann’s “Thomas Edison, Intellectual Property and the Recording Industry,” Which turned out to be only part 1. Now the piece has been expanded to include parts 2, 3, 4, and 5.

war¦ This is good. Science fiction author and lecturer Bruce Sterling is interviewed by Declan McCullough. He gives his opinions on the Bush administration, Jon Poindexter’s “nutty” Total Information Awareness travesty, and sundry and related topics. Wish it were longer.

06-13 to 06-26

note¦ Slowdown. I am working on the documentation team for the Prague Quadrennial for the next couple of weeks, and so entries here will decrease, and be more sporadic than usual. You can follow the events happening the “Heart of PQ” Radio Jelení and find out more about the festival at PQ 2003.

06-15

©¦ Questions answered. Some time ago, we mentioned here Copyright Conundrum, a page at the pbs.org site for posting your questions about copyright and IP, to be answered by experts in the field, namely Lawrence Lessig (pro-public domain) and Matt Oppenheim (pro-business). Well, the answers are in.

©¦ It’s about time. Adbusters has started a new project called Unbrand America. Watch for black spots, which will, we are told, “will pop up everywhere” in the coming months.

media¦ Peer-reviewed. Long, but thorough and interesting, the article “The dead poets society: The copyright term and the public domain” by Matthew Rimmer is well worth a read. At least check out the abstract.

©¦ Big brother blindfolded. The Grapevine Project is an effort to protect file sharers by building “an anonymizing peer-to-peer file storage network.” The group cites freedom of speech issues, as well as corporate abuse of IP rights as reasons for the undertaking.

06-23

©¦ “Destroy their computers.” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) thinks that those who break copyright laws online deserve to have their computers remotely destroyed. Interestingly, it was later revealed that Hatch’s own web site made use of stolen code for which Hatch’s organization had paid no licence fee.

©¦ Mission: Impossible? Cnn.com reports on what it considers may be the future of digital content, where content owners may place restrictions on the use of content after purchase (or acquisition) that are increasingly draconian.

©¦ Meanwhile ... Salon.com’s Farhad Manjoo reports on a Republican Senator who thinks we need new laws concerning use of copyrighted material — nothing new here — but instead, this Senator, Sam Brownback (R-KS) wants to take the startling position that it is the consumer who needs to be protected from the excesses of the copyright holders.

 

RIAA Mp3 Communism

06-23

©¦ “Destroy their computers.” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) thinks that those who break copyright laws online deserve to have their computers remotely destroyed. Interestingly, it was later revealed that Hatch’s own web site made use of stolen code for which Hatch’s organization had paid no licence fee.

©¦ Mission: Impossible? Cnn.com reports on what it considers may be the future of digital content, where content owners may place restrictions on the use of content after purchase (or acquisition) that are increasingly draconian.

©¦ Meanwhile ... Salon.com’s Farhad Manjoo reports on a Republican Senator who thinks we need new laws concerning use of copyrighted material — nothing new here — but instead, this Senator, Sam Brownback (R-KS) wants to take the startling position that it is the consumer who needs to be protected from the excesses of the copyright holders.

06-27

war¦ Measuring liberty. Here’s where we are on the Deuce of Clubs Homeland Liberty Advisory System, based on a “spurious internet quotation” that outlines the typical contour of civilizations throughout history.

©¦ Lessig goes to Washington. Lawrence Lessig has gone to Washington to convince Congress of the importance of shoring up the public domain. Recent postings to his blog have sounded hopeful notes.

©¦ RIAA on the Offensive. The RIAA has decided to sic their band of lawyers on those who, in their view, illegally share copyright-protected files on the internet. • Visit the EFF breaking news page to see how this organization is responding to the RIAA’s “Attack on the American Public.” Says an EFF staff attorney: “It’s plain that the dinosaurs of the recording industry have completely lost touch with reality.” • In the meantime, file sharers are devising plans to avoid getting caught, in what washingtonpost.com describes as a “High-Tech Arms Race.” • Also, theregister.co.uk proclaims that “The RIAA Boycott is On.”

06-28

©¦ Background reading. Since it’s Saturday, we’re going to call attention to this web resource, worth of a delve: “The History of Copyright: A Critical Overview with Source Texts in Five Languages.” Includes a facsimile of the first ever copyright law, the Statute of Anne, 1710, and what various learned personages have had to say on the subject over the years.

 

06-29

©¦ Spreading. Salon.com reports on “the new regime of international copyright,” especially as it relates to an apparently ceaseless series of Harry Potter derivatives coming from a variety of countries. The question it raises in my mind is that these are new, if derivative, works — not plagiarisms — so how can copyright even apply?

©¦ Gone live. A site devoted to the GNU Press book “Copyleft: Creativity, Technology and Freedom” by Miriam Rainsford has appeared, complete with abstract, a news section, links, and more.

©¦ About time. An organization calling itself the Public Library of Science is advocating that scientific research that received a substantial amount of public funding should be in the public domain. Says Representative Martin O. Sabo (D-MN): “We only progress as a society when research is available to all of our best minds at any time. Citizens should have access to publicly-funded research anytime.”

06-30

©¦ Rallying. Copyleftmedia.org has placed an online letter for musicians to sIgn, entitled: “Musicians Say No to Persecution and Prosecution of Music Lovers,” aimed at letting the RIAA that they don’t actually speak for all musicians in the file sharing offensive that they are currently waging.

©¦ Rallying, too. Our friends the EFF are busy with a similar initiative. They’ve started a campaign called “Let the Music Play” which is aimed at lobbying Congress to pass consumer-friendly bills to get musicians paid and make file sharing legal. Quote: “Copyright law is out of step with the views of the American public and the reality of music distribution online,” says an EFF director. They also have an ad campaign.

©¦ Meanwhile in Europe. Businesses that are built around file sharing are forming a group to lobby the EU to look after their interests as media groups there, too, are trying to force them out of business.

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