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December 2002: o-blog history

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©¦ The O’Reilly Network’s Tim O’Reilly, in a recent editorial, expounds upon the notion that piracy is progressive taxation, in the context of the “evolution of online distribution”.

©¦ This Boing Boing permalink points to the discussion Will compulsory licenses save P2P?, itself linked to a substantial pdf download on the subject. Just below it is a piece entitled EFF comments on the Broadcast Flag, which also sends you on to more pdf information.


©¦ The Free Expression Policy Project, a “think tank on artistic and intellectual freedom”, features a public policy report entitled “‘The Progress of Science and Useful Arts’: Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom.”

©¦ The current installment of I, Cringeley talks about format wars (with an interesting opening narrative about the history of vinyl record formats), the ills of the music industry, and offers ideas about an entirely new kind of record business.

©¦ A commentary by Lawrence Lessig called “Racing Against Time” looks at the arguments against copyright extension.

art¦ Film-Philosophy is a web “journal-salon-portal” for us cinephiles. It is extensive.

art¦ Detrivore Steev Hise writes: “There’s now an mp3 of my talk about at the New Gatekeepers conference last month, at Columbia University School of Journalism.” Get it here.


©¦ Slashdot reports on a new kind of CD that can report your listening habits back to the record company just by being played.

©¦ As the consumer electronics industry begins to draw together around SmartRight’s digital rights technology, wonders aloud if the Copy protection logjam shows signs of breaking.


©¦ A group of scientists is accusing scientific journals of holding back progress and instead propose establishing online peer review, and immediately depositing the published papers into the public domain. [reg.req]

©¦ If you bought a CD from a retail outlet between 1995 and 2000, you may be entitled to a (small) cash settlement — you see, the recording industry has been convicted of price fixing.


©¦ The Register appropriately brings its trademark sarcasm to bear on a brief report concerning the RIAA’s ludicrous spin of the facts: they apparently claimed that a recent piracy bust confiscated “the equivalent of” 421 CD-R burners. Um, actually the number was 156, but it appears that some of them burned at 40x.


©¦ Creative Commons has gone live with a customizable set of open source intellectual property licenses that you can configure to fit your values. Require attribution? Allow commercial uses? Allow modification? Mix and match. Or, you can just throw your work out into the public domain.


©¦ Sklyarov not guilty. Verdict Seen As Blow to DMCA. Digital Copyright: A Law Defanged?

©¦ Here’s an interesting article entitled “Heirs of the Enlightenment: Copyright During the French Revolution and Information Revolution In Historical Perspective” by David Walker.


war¦ The site offers Five Technically Legal Signs for your Library, satirically circumventing the rules of the increasingly intrusive security state.


war¦ Clear as it seems to us that the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to look out for the interests of its own citizens, instead pursuing its own independent agenda, local governments may serve as lingering strongholds still serving the people: I refer to this article at, “Cities Say No to Federal Snooping”. Here’s’s take on the same subject [reg.req].

tech¦ Radio Free Software is an exploration at that looks at “turning all hardware problems into software problems”, essentially making digital devices capable of anything it once took specialized devices to do.


war¦ The Bush administration wants to monitor the internet more closely; you can read about their upcoming proposal here at [reg.req].

©¦ The article “What do Intellectual Property Owners Want?” looks at the DMCA in the context of the Sklyarov case and civil liberties in general.


©¦ A piece at gives an overview of the difficulties in prosecuting post-Napster p2p, in which the activity is decentralized, in an article that looks at the runaway success of Estonia-based Kazaa, which “turns the internet into a ‘global hard drive’”.

©¦ Here’s a bit on how the DMCA disallows fair use excerpting for DVD content in particular.


©¦ An article at China’s People’s Daily (in English) suggests that the Chinese are gradually being persuaded to reject piracy and embrace copyright.


Joe Strummer 1952-2002

©¦ Here’s an interview with Lawrence Lessig to get you inspired about the continuing copyright fight.

©¦ The site of has a piece that, not surprisingly, extols the virtues of copyright protection as being the “engine of free expression”. (In doing so, it suggests that Jefferson was in firm support of copyright, when in fact he was demonstrably rather skeptical.)



art¦, an internet community for artists who like to push the internet’s boundaries, is in trouble, according to many sources on the web, including this article at And here’s how you can help them out.

©¦ Europe no fan of the DMCA. News article covers how euroskepticism has dealt a blow to media companies in the EU. And here’s the slashdot thread on this subject.

©¦ Here’s an article at techknowledge that asks the pertinent question: “Must the Pop Music Industry Submit to Compulsory Licensing?

tech¦ In its typical breathless futurism, talks about an upcoming wireless utopia where you will “Never pay for phone, cable, or net access again.” Of course, they could be on to something.


©¦ has posted an article about how tech is threatening entrenched cultural power (we already knew this, right, but the lights are only starting to go on in some circles): “Directors and cinematographers, who have built their reputations on their skilled use of film, dread the idea of being marginalized by punks with digital camcorders.” Which is, of course, the only thing that will keep culture interesting.


wifi¦ Wireless utopia imminent? Once again, empowering (and eyebrow-raising) technology sweeps the earth. The Wireless Commons Manifesto sums up the aspirations of those wishing to connect with anyone anywhere without wires using a growing base of freely available service providers.

art¦ Nettime lets us know of the existence of, a polyglot site specializing in “art sabotage — disrupting the currents of power” and Neoism.


©¦ reports that “The Supreme Court has temporarily intervened in a fight over DVD copying, and the justices could eventually use the case to decide how easy it will be for people to post software on the Internet that helps others copy movies.”

©¦ Meanwhile, a article observes that the copyright controversy and related ip issues are among the year’s biggest “fusses and flaps”.


©¦ Year’s end reading. The report on Copyright and Home Copying: Technology Challenges the Law.

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