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August 2003: o-blog history

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©¦ Bloggers wanted. If you’ve received one of the RIAA’s subpoenas due to illegal file sharing accusations, wants to hear from you.

©¦ Newsfeed. This guy’s pretty clueless about the whole file sharing thing. It’s evident that the record companies are far more destructive to recording artists’ interest than their fans are. • Always on the cusp, The Register takes a brief tour of “‘Golden Age of Free Music’ vs ‘Copying is Stealing’.” • This article puts the lie to the RIAA’s claims that record labels, and not file sharing, are good for recording artists. • A critique of the RIAA’s current strategy against file sharing lays the blame clearly at their feet. • Congress admits it doesn’t really know what to do to stop illegal file sharing, explaining why all the bad legislation that’s recently been proposed. • Things aren’t much better in the European Union, where there are proposals to make “everyone a crook.” • The RIAA has suffered defeat in Massachusetts at least.


Irregular Updates. August is being devoted to travel and other projects, and so updates will temporarily be extremely sporadic.


©¦ Newsfeed. The RIAA aims to justify its heavy-handed subpoena-ing by claiming that it doesn’s go after the “small downloaders”. • No less than the Senate Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is taking a closer look at the RIAA.

©¦ “Blame Canada.” Good catchline, but it’s also the name of an article at Tech Central Station, explaining where Canadian laws concerning the public’s use of recorded music and the U.S.’s differ.



©¦ Industry agents. The recorded music cartel is using software agents on the internet to help them in their fight against file sharing. has the scoop and the taxonomy.

©¦ A moderate voice. The self-confessed owner of “hundreds of copyrights” and former newspaper editor Ed Quillen wonders aloud if it is not “Time to give up on copyright law”.


©¦ Newsfeed. A “Jane Doe” is resisting the RIAA subpoena she received, counter suing on grounds of violation of privacy. • FCC Chairman Michael Powell has (perhaps) had a change of heart and pledges to facilitate more low-power radio stations. • And, a U.S. man has pleaded guilty to recorded music piracy. He faces up to five years.


©¦ Newsfeed. Is software a protected form of free speech? Not according to a California ruling against a DVD-copying program. • The RIAA and MPAA are gaining allies in their attempts to overturn recent court rulings absolving software authors of the file sharing acts of their users.


©¦ Tale of two cartels. Like DeBeers, the famous diamond cartel, the recorded music industry manufactures scarcity by artificially constraining and maintaining control over supply. Or so argues Richard Menta in this dispatch.

©¦ Copyleft vs. copyright., the peer-reviewed journal on the internet, offers up a “Marxist critique” of the copyleft-copyright dichotomy. As always lengthy and in-depth.


©¦ Paradox of Intellectual Property. posts another of its excellent analyses of an important topic; this time it’s “Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright.”

©¦ Intelligentsia gather. Bruce Sterling, writing for, reports from the Open Cultures convention, held recently in Vienna. He takes a skeptical view of their idealism and altruism.



©¦ Newsfeed. The RIAA is, deservedly, getting a lot of heat, of which this is only one example: small webcasters are suing the RIAA over royalty rates, claiming anti-trust. • Commentary over at the Guardian looks at the (publicly funded) BBC’s recent decision to make its entire media archive available without charge, on the internet. Some organizations know what’s right. • Is the Internet Dying?

©¦ Running scared. The Washington Post has a substantial piece about the lobbying, special interests, and power plays around open source software: apparently discussions about it won’t even be on the table at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) meetings due to lobbying efforts.


media¦ Little did you expect. There’s a battle going on in blog-land (or bloggersville, take your pick) and it has to do with, of all things, the syndication coding protocol known as RSS. At stake is simplicity of implementation, versus extensibility; and of course, there are big personalities and egos involved.

©¦ What government is for.’s Farhad Manjoo has written a piece “Keeping the Net neutral”, expounding on why the cable companies need to be regulated, as the phone companies are.

©¦ Ironically. Here is a commentary from entitled “How the pirates became saviours of the record industry”, outlining some of the effects of the post-Napster era.


©¦ Newsfeed. The recent flood of subpoenas from the RIAA directed at file sharers has not gone entirely unchallenged. • In addition to the above, the RIAA is facing some scrutiny from Washington lawmakers. • At the same time, there are legions of clueless in Washington authoring bills that would create felons out of (according to the article) 60 million of us. • The president of Grokster, an online music service, is reporting the recorded music cartels to the (UK) office of Fair Trading, the accusation being that the major labels are “clearly a cartel in violation of competition laws”.

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