February 2004 Archives

Verisign Sues ICANN

ICANNWatch: VeriSign Sues ICANN

The lawsuit reportedly attacks ICANN for purporting to have the contractual power to determine whether VeriSing can introduce the Waiting List Service (WLS), Site Finder and also the internationalized domain name system (wasn't that really an IETF decision?).

DMCA doesn't protect databases

Even after the DMCA, copyright does not protect databases. News.com: Court doesn't extend database protection

U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald said in an opinion released this week that Berkshire Information Systems did not run afoul of the controversial 1998 copyright law by allegedly downloading up to 85 percent of a proprietary advertising-tracking database from the Web site of competitor Inquiry Management Systems (IMS).

Update (3/1/04): Ernest Miller has read through the decision (Inquiry Management Systems v. Berkshire Information Systems) and finds: Confusing DMCA "Database" Decision Not About Databases

Apple takes Apple to court

Reuters: Apple War Pits Beatles Label Against Computer Maker

Apple Computer and the Beatles' record company Apple Corps went to court in Britain on Wednesday over who gets to use the fruity name now that the computer company has entered the music business on the Internet. The two companies reached a deal in 1991 after a fight over the trademark, signing an agreement that set out who could use the name and logo, and when.

The Register: 'I'm an iPod user' admits Apple vs Apple judge

BBC News: Rocking the bench: "The idea of a be-wigged member of Her Majesty's judiciary downloading banging tunes off the internet is somewhat at odds with the traditional image of the profession."

Jessica Litman on Redesign of Copyright

GrepLaw interviews Jessica Litman:

The most important and in my view scariest trend is simply a case of skewed priorities. In order to ensure that copyright owners can exercise plenary control over consumers' uses of their works, we've already been willing to sacrifice important chunks of our freedom and our privacy.

Copyright in Comics Characters

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Here's another Seventh Circuit copyright decision from Judge Posner: Gaiman v. McFarlane. At issue is the ownership of copyrights in comic book characters, particularly Count Nicholas Cagliostro, Medieval Spawn and Angela introduced in a Spawn comic book written by Gaiman and illustrated by series creator McFarlane. This is a very concise and well-written ruling, so I recommend reading the entire decision yourself (and this is why I'm not summarizing it. Really.)

Joe Gratz: Gaiman Wins

Even if the contribution is not itself copyrightable, the contributor is a co-author if the joint work would lose its copyrightability absent the contribution in question. This makes the present case come out the right way (Count Cogliostro ends up being jointly owned by Gaiman and McFarlaine), and makes the important co-authorship precedents come out the right way too.

Neil Gaiman: Last Legal Post for a long time

My own hopes for all this are that we've helped clarify copyright law in favour of creators... and helped to protect authors and artists and creators from unscrupulous publishers up the line.

Scrivener's Error: Character Defects: "On the whole, this is a victory for authors' rights, even if it does contain a small potential landmine."

(via How Appealing, of course)

EFF's File-Sharing Future

EFF: A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing

The concept is simple: the music industry forms a collecting society, which then offers file-sharing music fans the opportunity to "get legit" in exchange for a reasonable regular payment, say $5 per month. So long as they pay, the fans are free to keep doing what they are going to do anyway -- share the music they love using whatever software they like on whatever computer platform they prefer -- without fear of lawsuits. The money collected gets divided among rights-holders based on the popularity of their music.

Grey Tuesday

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Downhill Battle declares that today is Grey Tuesday, "a day of coordinated civil disobedience: websites will post Danger Mouse's Grey Album on their site for 24 hours in protest of EMI's attempts to censor this work. "

Last week, I wrote I remain unconvinced that sampling culture requires a radical reinvention of copyright. In fact, I'm not sure that something like The Grey Album, which borrows so heavily from the White Album should not require obtaining a license from the copyright owner.

However, some reform will have positive effects. If preemptive licensing is not widely adopted, then a compulsory license may offer the best compromise between the artistic interests of samplers and original artists. A compulsory sampling license could allow artists to use short to moderate-length samples without using more than some percentage of an individual source work.

Larry Lessig notes the problems for a preemptive licensing regime: The Black and White about Grey Tuesday:

Under American law, you don’t need permission to make a cover album. That freedom has been assured since 1909 when Congress granted creators a compulsory right to remake music, so long as a small fee was paid. The record companies have fought hard to defend that compulsory right.

Andrew Sinclair: Grey Tuesday Thoughts:

In my opinion, we do need legal tools that allow works to be used as building blocks for future works. On the other hand, creative works need to be protected to some degree to provide incentives to the creators. I think the law is too rigid in the sense that it protects works for such a long time period (the social costs of which outweigh the incentives to create). I don’t, however, think that people should be able to take large portions of another’s work when that person clearly intends to enforce their rights in, for example, a famous album that is less than 40 years old.

Kevin Heller (Tech Law Advisor): Today is Grey Tuesday:

This will be an interesting one for the courts if the case precedes in state court on common law copyright infringement grounds (since The White Album is a pre-1972 work).

Joe Gratz: Grey Tuesday Sites C&D’d:

The C&D’s do two things, one appropriate, one inappropriate. First, they put the webmaster on notice that the Grey Album contains copyrighted material, so if they go on and post it, the infringement will be willful and the penalties will be greater. (Edit: That assumes that willfulness increases penalties under whatever state copyright law will be used. I don’t know anything about state copyright law, and neither, by and large, does anybody else, so it’s hard to say for sure.) Second, they scare the bejeezus out of the recipient by making demands for which there is no legal basis.

Michael Carroll: Whose Music is it Anyway? How we Came to View Musical Expression as a Form of Property

Prompted by the dispute over unauthorized music distribution, this Article explores how those who create and distribute music first came to look upon music as their property and when in Western history the law first supported this view.

Wired News: Grey Album Fans Protest Clampdown

NY Times: Defiant Downloads Rise From Underground

To create a collection like "The Grey Album" legally, an artist would first have to get permission to use copyrighted material. Then he would have to negotiate compensation with the copyright holder. Many artists, however, like the Beatles, will not allow their music to be sampled. But even if permission is granted, it is common for a copyright holder to request more than 50 percent of publishing rights for a new song created from the copyrighted work.

Eminem sues Apple

AP: Eminem's Publisher Sues Apple Over Song

At issue is an ad for Apple's iTunes pay-per-download music software, in which a 10-year-old sings Eminem's "Lose Yourself." The suit claims the commercial aired on MTV beginning in July 2003 and ran numerous times for at least three months. It also appeared on Apple's Web site.

Findlaw has the complaint

Suing Diebold

E-Voting activists file law suit against Diebold

Bev Harris on behalf of the California members of BlackBoxVoting.org, and Jim March, Joseph Holder, Jim Hamilton, Douglas McDonald, and the Community Labor Alliance have filed this lawsuit, which seeks an order requiring the DIEBOLD defendants to disgorge and make restitution of any money or property acquired by means of their unlawful, unfair and fraudulent acts and practices.

Source Documents

More coverage is at BlackBoxVoting.org

Note: In a different suit, Nonprofit ISP Online Policy Group (OPG) and two Swarthmore college students are seeking compensation from Diebold for misuse of copyright law.

Napster results

News.com: Napster reaches 5m downloads

In contrast, Apple has sold 25 million tracks on iTunes as of December 2003. 12 million of those tracks were sold between October and December.

The Register: Napster song sales hit 5m: "[Apple iTunes] yields a (rough) average monthly download rate of 2.78m songs - Napster's rate works out at 1.25m songs a month, so it has some way to go to catch up."

However, Napster is not just an online music store, it's also a subscription service. While it ranks 2nd among download services, Napster falls in to 4th place among streaming subscription services behind RealNetworks' Rhapsody service, America Online's MusicNet and MusicMatch. According to the San Jose Mercury News (Smiles fade at Napster), Napster has attracted about 90,000 subscribers in its first two months.

FBI "drowning" in wiretap data

CQ: FBI 'Drowning' in Information Harvested by Bugs and Wiretaps

Thanks to the bundle of anti-terrorism measures known as the USA Patriot Act, the FBI is conducting a "record amount" of electronic surveillance, including the use of wiretaps and bugs, according to an FBI spokesman and a Justice Department budget document.

Yet the bounty perpetuates an old problem: The bureau can't keep up with all the information pouring in from those and other sources. As a result, the document claims, critical counterterror information isn't getting translated in a timely fashion.

Although the number of federal court-approved wiretaps decreased from 1,491 in 2001 to 1,358 in 2002, the aggregate number of court-approved and FISA wiretaps grew from 2,292 in 2001 to 2,586 in 2002.

Year Court-approved FISA Total


DVD copying is circumvention

Wired News: Hollywood Wins DVD-Copying Case 

Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District Federal Court for California sided with the Motion Picture Association of America, which claimed that 321 Studios' DVD-X Copy and DVD Copy Plus software violate copyright law. The company, based in St. Charles, Missouri, must stop "manufacturing, distributing or otherwise trafficking in any type of DVD circumvention software" in seven days.

Ruling: 321 Studios v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc.

White, Black and Grey

What happens when you mix together the Beatles' White Album with Jay-Z's Black Album? DJ Danger Mouse did just that and created the Grey Album, by mixing Jay-Z's vocals (taken from a CD of just the vocal tracks from the Black Album) over music tracks built using samples from the White Album. Rolling Stone calls it “the ultimate remix record.” Boston Globe music critic Renee Graham thinks that the Grey Album is “the most intriguing hip-hop album in recent memory.”

EMI, who owns the copyright in the Beatles sound recordings, has requested that Danger Mouse stop distributing the album and requested that web sites stop hosting Grey Album MP3’s. For a sampling of the press coverage, see BBC News: EMI blocks Beatles album remix, Wired News: Copyright Enters a Gray Area, and MTV News: Producer Of The Grey Album, Jay-Z/ Beatles Mash-Up, Gets Served. Illegal-Art.org continues to host MP3's of the Grey Album tracks.

Even before the era of recorded music, musicians would build on existing songs written by other artists. Recording artists cover standards and songs written by other songwriters. In order to allow recording artists to more easily record new versions of existing songs, the Copyright Act provides for a compulsory license to make and distribute phonorecords of non-dramatic musical works. 17 USC §115. The rise of hip-hop and DJ culture in music over the last 25 years or so has changed the way that artists create new music, by building on the work of earlier artists through direct audio sampling.

In the sampling era, the legal departments of record labels, particularly those that specialize in hip-hop or the other genres that sample heavily, spend significant amounts of time clearing samples for use on records.

Under current copyright law, the Grey Album is clearly illegal—the right to make derivative works is an exclusive right of the copyright holder. 17 USC §106(2). Because sampling has become so prevalent, perhaps copyright law needs to allow for more sampling.

Four approaches towards sampling are currently available for samplers: unlicensed sampling, ad-hoc licensing, fair use sampling and sampling from the public domain. Each of these carries significant drawbacks. One alternative may be to legislate a compulsory license for sampling. Another emerging alternative is for artists to preemptively license their work for sampling.

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When you are a friend

The EFF filed an amicus brief supporting WhenU in its appeal to the Second Circuit in 1-800 Contacts v. WhenU. The EFF argues that the Second Circuit should re-evaluate the initial interest confusion doctrine, require evidence of actual confusion.

ClickZ: EFF Seeks Reversal of WhenU Ruling

Watch this space for much more about WhenU, Gator, pop-ups and initial interest confusion.

Economists on Copyright

AEI-Brookings Joint Center: Seventeen Famous Economists Weigh in on Copyright: The Role of Theory, Empirics, and Network Effects

First, private ownership of creative works may internalize potentially important externalities with respect to the use of existing works and the creation of derivative works. Second, the Eldred economists neglect the elasticity of the supply of creative works in their analysis, focusing instead solely on the benefits received by authors. Consequently, they may underestimate the potential for additional creativity, which confers benefits immediately. Third, the Eldred economists neglect certain features of copyright law, such as fair use, the distinction between idea and expression, and the parody exemption, which mitigate the costs of copyright. Finally, we present data that counters a common claim that copyright extension so far out in the future can have little effect on creativity.

The Purpose of Copyright


Lydia Pallas Loren: The Purpose of Copyright

Copyright permeates our lives and yet, despite its impact on our lives, relatively few people, including lawyers, have sufficient knowledge or understanding of what copyright is. And far too many people, including lawyers, have major misconceptions concerning copyright. These misconceptions are causing a dangerous shift in copyright protection, a shift that threatens the advancement of knowledge and learning in this country.

Trademarking numbers

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Erik Heels looks at what numbers are trademarked: Trademarking Numbers

The number 1 is a registered trademark of Dale Ernhardt

The number (3) (in parentheses) is a registered trademark of Level 3 Communications.

The number 4 is a registered trademark of Swingline (as in staplers).

The number 5 is a registered trademark of Chanel (as in Chanel No. 5 perfume).

Europe considers anti-piracy law

News.com: Antipiracy law heads for EU vote

The proposed law, the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, is primarily aimed at strengthening law-enforcement capabilities against organized piracy and counterfeiting in the European Union. But civil rights groups say its measures would criminalize previously innocuous activities, such as sidewalk entertainment and book readers for the blind.

After being sued by record labels for sharing files on P2P, a New Jersey woman is filing a countersuit, under the RICO Act alleging that the music industry is using "scare tactics (that) amount to extortion."

Newark Star-Ledger: Morris mom turns tables in music industry lawsuit

Tech Law Advisor: A NJ First: RICO Claim against RIAA not Tony Soprano

News.com: RIAA sued under gang laws

Painkiller patent suit killed

NY Law Journal: Federal Circuit Dismisses Suit Over Painkiller Patent

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a patent infringement suit initiated by the University of Rochester against pharmaceutical companies over a widely used painkiller.

Xinhua: Chinese Karaoke bars face the music

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court began hearing Sony Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) Ltd's lawsuit against Cashbox Karaoke Bar for screening musical video discs without permission.  Sony Music is seeking 350,000 yuan (US$42,169) in compensation and a public apology. It is also asking Cashbox to be banned from screening the discs in public.

Do not call

The 10th Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of the Federal do-not-call list: "We hold that the do-not-call registry is a valid commercial speech regulation because it directly advances the government's important interests in safeguarding personal privacy and reducing the danger of telemarketing abuse without burdening an excessive amount of speech."

VoIP is not a phone

The FCC ruled today on the regulatory status of Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony: FCC Moves to Allow More Opportunities for Consumers Through Voice Services Over The Internet. (pdf)

FCC Rules That Pulver.com's Free World Dialup Service Should Remain Free From Unnecessary Regulation.

FCC: What is VoIP?

News.com: FCC: 'Pure' VoIP not a phone service

The Federal Communications Commission, in a split decision, approved a request from voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider Pulver.com to be immune from the hefty stack of government rules, taxes and requirements that applied to 20th-century telephone networks.

Spam around the world

Lawmeme looks at different approaches to dealing with spam in Australia and Japan

Defending Privacy

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law passed the Defense of Privacy Act (H.R. 338) after the subcommittee held hearings on DHS privacy officer duties and the Defense of Privacy Act.

Testimony by DHS Chief Privacy Office Nuala O'Connor Kelly

CDT Executive Director James Dempsey: Testimony: "Privacy in the Hands of the Government: The Privacy Officer for the Department of Homeland Security"

Wired News: Privacy Is in the House: "The Defense of Privacy Act, which was approved by a House subcommittee on Tuesday, would complement the E-Government Act of 2001, which requires agencies to submit privacy impact assessments whenever they buy new technology."

Compulsory reading

The Register interviews Jim Griffin, who discusses Why wireless will end 'piracy' and doom DRM and TCPA

We have to start with the a priori notion that we must democratize access to art and knowledge. That's a baseline notion of a civilized society. We have libraries that will get you any movie, and any song, and any book and price or money should not stop you hearing those songs. Museums go even further, with the idea that great art should be able to travel, to come to you, and feel free.

Master of the domain names

Jonathan Weinberg writes about the domain name system, Site Finder and Internet Governance in the University of Ottawa Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, Spring 2004:

Site Finder was highly undesirable from a technical standpoint; it contravened key elements of Internet architecture. ICANN had power to force VeriSign to withdraw it, though, only if VeriSign was violating the terms of its registry contracts. The arguments that Site Finder violated VeriSign's contractual obligations are plausible, but they don't derive their force from Site Finder's architectural or stability consequences. The registry contracts gave ICANN no hook to invoke those concerns; if VeriSign was in breach, it was by happenstance. Part of the lesson of Site Finder is that there needs to be an effective institutional mechanism for protecting the domain name space infrastructure from unilateral, profit-driven change that bypasses the protections and consensus mechanisms of the traditional Internet standards process.

(via Discourse.net)

Generic Windows?

In the Microsoft v. Lindows.com case, U.S. Chief District Judge John Coughenour ruled that a jury must decide whether "windows" was a generic term twenty years ago (when Microsoft released its first Windows product.) The court certified this ruling as one concerning a controlling question of law for interlocutory appeal.

Law.com: Judge Cracks Hold on Windows Trademark: Lindows.com attorney Daniel Harris asks whether it is valid to "create a trademark by buying a word out of the English language?"

AP: Microsoft trademark case to be delayed

(via How Appealing)

Webcast Royalty Rates

The US Copyright Office released new royalty rates for webcast which apply through the end of 2004: Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral Recordings

See also Internetnews.com: Copyright Office Sets Webcasting Rates

Voting machine showdown

Salon.com: Voting machine showdown

In court on Monday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other guardians of digital civil liberties argued that Diebold went too far. By hastily sending out cease-and-desist letters, Diebold abused the powers of the DMCA, EFF attorneys said. Even though Diebold ultimately withdrew its threatening letter to ISPs and promised not to sue anyone "for copyright infringement for the non-commercial use of the materials posted to date," the plaintiffs argued that Diebold ought to be punished for initially attempting use copyright law to stifle speech.

EFF: Judge to Rule on Consequences for Diebold's Misuse of Copyright Law

University Patents

USPTO: 10 Universities Receiving Most Patents in 2003

The top three are University of California (439), California Institute of Technology (139) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (127).

FCC considers VoIP

NY Times: Thorny Issues Await F.C.C. on Internet Phones

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission is set to consider approving a notice of proposed rulemaking, the first step in a lengthy process of writing regulations for Internet-based phone services. The commission is also set to issue a final decision on a petition by one of the new Internet phone companies, Pulver.com, which has asked the commission to rule that it does not need to pay interconnection access fees to phone companies for any calls made and received between computers through Internet connections.

This trademark's for who?

US brewer Anheuser-Busch and Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar are involved in a long-running dispute over the ownership of the trademark "Budweiser" in various countries. Currently, the two companies are in court in Japan. (St. Louis Business Journal: A-B claims rights to Budweiser trademark in Japan).

Anheuser-Busch claimed Monday it has exclusive rights to the Budweiser trademark in Japan, despite statements made last week by rival Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar... Last week, Budejovicky Budvar said Japan's highest court upheld Budvar's rights to the trade name in that countr, and gave Budvar's trading company in Japan the right to use the name Budweiser Budvar N.C.

AP: Budweiser trademark dispute: This Bud's for who?

Budvar won the latest round in South Korea, where a court ruled last month that the company's name and trademark doesn't conflict with Anheuser-Busch or infringe on its rights. But elsewhere, the fight continue

Wikipedia: Budweiser "The original use of the term Budweiser was used to refer to beer from the city of Ceske Budejovice in Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic) since 1265. Derived from the German name for the town, Budweis, something from Budweis being Budweiser."

Budvar: Trademark dispute: "At the beginning of the year 2000 the number of legal disputes over trademark rights grew to 40 and the number of patent office proceedings to 45."

Here is a partial list of the countries where ownership of the trademark has been settled by court decision or agreement between the two brewers:

Anheuser-Busch Budvar
New Zealand
United States
Czech Republic

(via The Trademark Blog)

Hack the vote

Salon.com: Will the election be hacked?

Leaving the security of such a crucial government function in the hands of private companies motivated primarily by a desire to make a quick buck seems like a loopy idea to many people. And the more one listens to the activists' complaints about how Diebold does business, the more one comes to understand their worries about election security.

CAN-SPAM ineffective

BBC News: US anti-spam law fails to bite

US e-mail filtering firm Postini said the Can-Spam Act had only made a slight dent in the amount of unwanted mail. It found spam accounted for 79% of all e-mails it processed in January, down from 80% in December 2003.

Postini: E-mail stats

Digital Media in Asia

Berkman Center Digital Media Project: Digital Media Trends in Asia-Pacific

In his report, "Digital Media Trends in Asia-Pacific," Renny Hwang provides an overview of the legal and cultural patterns in Asia-Pacific that will affect the way online music services develop internationally.  Hwang identifies differences in litigation and legal protection systems in Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia.

Yoga copyright

Reuters: Bikram Master in Court Battle Over Yoga Positions

The eccentric Calcutta-born yogi who popularized the form of yoga known as "Bikram" is being sued over his claims that he owns the copyright to a 26-posture series used in the practice, which is done in a heated room.

Open Source Yoga Unity: Complaint

Patented wheat

Greenpeace and two Indian NGOs are challenging Monsanto patents on wheat. EU patent EP0445929 was granted to
Monsanto and covers Nap Hal, the wheat used for making chapati - the flat bread staple of northern India.

Financial Express: 3 NGOs File Petition Against Wheat Patent For Monsanto

†International non-government organisation (NGO) Greenpeace alongwith Indian organisations like Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) and Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS) on Tuesday filed a petition at the European Patent Office (EPO), Munich, challenging the patent rights given to Monsanto on Indian landrace of wheat, Nap Hal.

SeedQuest: Monsanto wheat patent disputed

The Guardian (UK): Monsanto's chapati patent raises Indian ire

Legitimizing P2P

The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) recently proposed a new model for P2P.

According to the DCIA, "The DCIA is a voluntary organization representing all sectors of the distributed computing industry. This includes platform companies, content providers, and peer-to-peer operators. DCIA is engaged in developing standards-and-practices to advance this innovative consumer-based distribution system." Its members include Altnet (P2P), BlueMaze Entertainment (record label), Claria Corporation (adware, formerly Gator Corp.), Digital Containers (DRM), Grokster (P2P), INTENT MediaWorks (promotion), Sharman Networks (P2P, makers of Kaaza).

The DCIA model (PowerPoint file) involves a three-phase roll-out:

Phase 1: Combine digital watermarking with DRM for label-seeded and consumer-originated copyrighted music in P2P

Phase 2: Provide incentives to high-volume file-sharers to convert legacy music collections and become licensed redistributors

Phase 3: Introduce user-friendly software to permit consumers to register and monetize original musical works.

Ernest Miller: P2P Industry Association is Not Your Friend
this model has a snowball's chance in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks chance of succeeding, but then the DCIA isn't really interested in success, they are just interested in acting as if they want a solution. However, to the extent that they are proposing solutions that give the music industry a chance to control the market, the DCIA is essentially fronting for the RIAA.

Other alternative distribution proposals include:
Neil Netanel: Impose a Noncommercial Use Levy to Allow Free Peer-to-Peer File Sharing, 17 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 1

William Fisher: A royalties plan for file sharing and Digital Music: Problems and Possibilities

More Copy Protection and DRM

Joe Gratz brings news about Yet Another Brainless CD Copy Protection Scheme:

Letís say you had the technology that DarkNoise claims they have. Letís say it worked. You want to publicize your technology, so that people will buy it. Do you: (a) post a web page with a bunch of colorful graphs pretty clearly drawn in Adobe Illustrator and post a white paper with no real technical detail, or do you (b) maybe include a few audio samples, so people can hear your technology at work? This is an incredibly easy thing to demonstrate, if it works; you could even post before-and-after WAV files.

News.com reports on a new wireless DRM scheme: Tech giants lock down wireless content

A group of technology heavyweights is expected to take the wraps off a secretive effort to secure music and video on wireless devices, according to sources familiar with the plans. Formerly known as "Project Hudson," the effort will kick off publicly Monday, with the announcement of new digital rights management (DRM) specification from industry group the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), as well as the formation of a new licensing body led by Intel, Nokia, Panasonic and Samsung that will promote the technology, according to sources.

Ernest Miller argue that DRM does not enhance privacy: DRM - False Privacy Savior

P2P in the 9th Circuit, Again

The 9th Circuit heard oral arguments yesterday in the appeal of MGM v. Grokster.

EFF: Listen to the MGM v. Grokster oral arguments (MP3), other documents and briefs.

San Jose Mercury: File-sharing issue lands in court again

Copyfight: Listening to Grokster

Court to Hear Landmark P2P Case†

Wired News: Court to Hear Landmark P2P Case

On Tuesday, lawyers for the entertainment industry will face off against attorneys for peer-to-peer operators Grokster and StreamCast Networks in front of a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California.

Porcine Patent

Houston Chronicle: Patent holder has major bone to pick with ham rival: "Logan has invested tens of thousands of dollars to protect his patented ham product, even as the patent's expiration date spirals closer."

(via How Appealing

Mixed Up

DJs mix CDs attacked in attempt to control copyright

DJ mix CDs, sold in almost every independent record store are on the whole unlicensed and technically illegal to distribute. However, DJs and producers alike often rely upon these illegal mixes in order to gain credibility, and to promote themselves to the general public.

The practice is in fact approved of by most producers who see it as fundamental to the survival of the dance scene - even if it is their tracks that are being copied and played without permission.
This latest attack by the RIAA is therefore hypocritical – they claim that their pursuit of copyright infringement is primarily in the interest of the artist, yet most dance producers actually approve of and rely upon this illegal distribution.