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November 2002: o-blog history

Most Recent News: Tape-beatles to d├ębut New Work on rAdioCUSTICA

o-blog  an i.p. blog o-blog: an i.p. blog

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©¦ A article ratifies what the techo-savvy among us have claimed to know all along, that Copy protection on CDs is ‘worthless’. /.

©¦ The 2002 ACM Workshop on Digital Rights Management has posted its conference schedule on line. Of greater interest, however, are the titles of the papers being presented, each of which is linked to the paper itself. Scintillating titles, such as “Implementing Copyright Limitations in Rights Expression Languages ” and “The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution” might offer insight into how the ‘other side’, so to speak, thinks. pho



pub.dom¦ A worthwhile cause. A project called Distributed Proofreaders hopes to put a dent in the pile of public domain texts that are on their way to the ftp utopia that is Project Gutenberg. They want help proofreading, and ask volunteers to sign into their system and take on the burden of a page a day, hopefully making short work of the backlog. If you’re unfamiliar with these projects, I encourage you to hie thee thither with haste by means of the supplied links. /.

©¦ Double trouble. Increasingly, we’re seeing privacy and intellectual property appearing as dual threads within a single story. A case in point: this CHE article entitled Privacy Advocates Warn Colleges Not to Monitor Content of Students’ File Sharing pho

©¦ As long ago as 1999, hosted a page on Counter-Copyrights, for which they are using the notation [cc] as a sign that you are willing to share your work with others. The explanation is at Copyright’s Commons. An audio recording of the presentation Copyright and Culture is now available at the MIT Communications Forum [real.req]. pho

culture¦ If you’re interested in a significant part of the recording industry’s history, look no further than this Library of Congress, which has a section of its site dealing with the life and archives of Emile Berliner, which includes sound recordings.

©¦ An article in ATPM about “Internet ‘Piracy’ of Films and Broadcasts” has the temerity to ask the 64 kilobuck question: Is It a Problem or an Excuse for Restricting Copyrights?

tech¦ Intrasonics, a company in Cambridge UK, has developed a technology for encoding secret messages (actually, wireless data) in ordinary loudspeaker sound, for the purpose of streaming additional data along with the program.


art¦ The Frequency Clock is a “free media system”, now available as a public beta 1.0, and intended for media artists. It’s an open source software system “…created to manage streaming audio and video channels. This unique set of software tools enables website producers to programme online ‘channels’ of audio or video for their websites, bringing televisual or radio-like experiences to their website.” nettime

tech¦ Article at sums up some of the gripes of audiophiles about two new, aggressively copyright protective, disc formats, SACD and DVD-Audio. /.

tech¦ Here’s a glimpse of what could be coming next from Called Internet2, it has loads of bandwidth, capable of streaming audio to a 12-speaker system while streaming video to a 30 by 17-foot screen. It’s still in the development stage, and is mostly available to universities.


art¦ It pays to know history. Here is Tom Vague‘s “The Boy Scout's Guide to the Situationist International”, brought to you by the Bibliotheque~Virtuelle. Plenty more where that came from.

©¦ Over at The Register, John Lettice discloses a letter from the Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) that lets us in on what the music industry really thinks of their customers. Read “All CDs will be protected and you are a filthy pirate”. A site devoted to the works of one H.H. Chartrand questions the recent “tidal wave” of copyright legislation, and another piece sets out to “explode the myth” that intellectual property is the only absolute possession in the world. pho




music¦ New thread initiated on attracts hundreds of posts (nothing unusual about the amount!) from people who want or want to offer their ideas about a recording industry alternative.


©¦ The EFF invites you to take part in an action. All you have to do is send a message in support of the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA, H.R. 5544). /.

art¦ Stolen Art Gallery. “This found art collection is obtained by searching for ‘dcp’ on a person to person file sharing network. As most digital cameras save their pictures with a file name patterned ‘dcp_1234.jpg’ this method finds pictures from these cameras that are publicly shared, usually by accident. By doing this an interesting class of found art can be collected. This is a snapshot of what people are taking digital photos of. (This technique is the image analog of Napster Nuggets).” rumori

music¦ Are scratch improvisors — long dependent on fragile and heavy vinyl recordings for their work — finally making the leap from analog to digital? It now seems feasible.

©¦ Among record companies, EMI for one finally seems to be loosening its grip. And p2p file sharing hasn’t been bad for every artist’s career. pho


©¦ The has a good overview of the state of the music industry, framing the story around the recent change of attitude regarding online distribution of music by EMI, the “world’s largest independent record company. /.

©¦ An open source piece of software called Film Gimp has become crucial to the retouching of digitized motion pictures during post-production by professionals in Hollywood, among others. The film studios, of which it could hardly be argued are friends of open and freely trafficked information themselves, “…have become the leading desktop users of Linux,” the open source operating system. nettime

©¦ Librarians like to organize information (how’s that for a bland generalization). So what do Anarchist Librarians like to do? Gather links about intellectual property!


©¦ The Library of Congress today began soliciting public comments on the DMCA in preparation for to conduct proceedings to “determine whether there are particular classes of works … to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make non-infringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention.” Go to it.

©¦ Also concerning the DMCA, this week’s Tidbits, a e-mail newsletter for Mac users, offers an article entitled “The Evil That Is the DMCA” by Adam C. Engst, which goes into some detail and includes a wealth of useful links.


©¦ It’s a sad state when the tone of the debate becomes this hyperbolic and hysterical. A Hollywood producer has made the claim that the fight against p2p file swapping of movies is as important as the war on terrorism. This news is somewhat better: the W3C has rejected the idea of patents on web technology.


©¦ The now-running Illegal Art show in New York has an interesting article posted on their site that gives a history of copyright and music told in Mp3s. It includes most of the famous cases, including Harrison v. Chiffons, Biz Markie v. O’Sullivan, and 2Live Crew v Orbison, to name a few. Oddly U2 v. Negativland is left out, so the piece has its blind spots; it seems they were focusing on high-profile cases.


tech¦ The UPC bar code has become an ubiquitous icon in a very few years, leaving its ugly thumbprint on just about everything. Today the real question is: are we ready for what’s next? nettime




©¦ We all knew something like this would happen. Deep pockets have been able for years to use the mere threat of litigation to force, shall we say, shallower pockets not to test the legality of their practices in a court of law. The DMCA might just make that easier. Here’s a case in point from The Register.

©¦ Some on the right don’t like it either. U.S. Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner expressed his dismay at the “enormous expansion” of IP law, saying, “These rights keep expanding without any solid information about why they’re socially beneficial.” This is significant because Posner is “a darling of the conservative movement”.

©¦ Apple and the Pirate Everyman” describes how Apple Computer is ahead of the philosophical curve in the technology world in that it seems to understand that “the future isn’t in protecting the trade routes — it’s in making everyone a pirate…”.


©¦ Could’ve seen that one coming. Dan Gillmor’s eJournal complains that “Corporate Interests Trump Public Domain for Science Info”.

©¦ In a guest comment in the National Review John Bloom writes about the special nature of copyright among other rights, and discusses how Congress’s repeated extensions of copyright terms go against the founding fathers’ intent.

www¦ The inventor of The Wayback Machine Brewster Kahle is interviewed by Says he, “Websites are like shifting sands. The average life of a Web page is 100 days. After that either it's changed or it disappears.” So Kahle has set out to take an archival snapshot of the entire web every 60 days.


©¦ Bigwigs from the entertainment and technology industries, often at loggerheads over ip issues, are sitting down to talk about it. Also, complaints from corporations have caused the US Energy Department to shut down a popular site that gave away information to the public, information created using public funds.

©¦ Some refreshing honesty. Researchers at Microsoft have published a paper about the “darknet”, i.e., that “place” on the internet where the file sharing networks do their thing. These researchers have concluded that trying to stop file sharing on these p2p networks is a lost cause.


ideas¦ A professor at a university in Japan has made the startling claim that the number of ideas in the world is finite, and he has set out to catalog them all.

©¦ Edward Felten, Princeton professor of freedom-to-tinker fame, is seen in overview in an article at the CHE site.


We have experienced a server outage that has taken a few days to get straightened out. Continuing updates will begin at once.


©¦ In the august tradition of fair, even-handed, and objective, Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law Professor, offers the editorial “Calling off the Copyright War” in today’s Boston Globe. He argues for compromise between the two camps, but in the end sums up by saying, “Freedom of trade must not trump freedom of mind.”

©¦ Charles Connell at argues that “All Source Code Should Be Open” and continues his arguments in this follow-up.


©¦ Call to comment. New Yorkers for Fair Use are calling on the public to respond to the FCC’s request for comment on the use of a “broadcast flag” in digital television transmissions. Hollywood wants the broadcast flag to limit what you can do with their content in future uses of the spec.

©¦ Cringely offers his perspective on a paper by Microsoft employees (mentioned here 11-24) that maintains that p2p is unstoppable. He lays the industry struggle to accept the new reality out in three stages: legal attacks, guerilla tactics, and finally, complete embrace, which, he maintains, is inevitable.

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