Friday, July 18, 2003

Take a few minutes to read Take Another Little Piece of My Art by Derek Slater. It's worth it. Also his experiment with blogging using his analysis of the Napster case. Actually why not just take a run over to a copyfighter's musings and have a look for yourself at Mr Slater's recent thoughts. Some interesting ideas on Richard Posner's decision in the Madster case, in particular.

The US Senate has voted to cut off funding to the Total Information Awareness computer-surveillance program.

Kevin Poulson at SecurityFocus is reporting DirecTV dragnet snares innocent techies "In recent months the satellite TV giant has filed nearly 9,000 federal lawsuits against people who've purchased signal piracy devices. But some of those devices have legitimate uses, and innocent computer geeks are getting caught in the crackdown. "

Meanwhile the Grokster/Morpheus case is apparently being fast-tracked for review by the 9th circuit Court of Appeals.

Overture to a patent war? (via Corante) is worth a read.

I'm off to spend the next week at an Open University summer school, teaching first year technology students about the structures of bridges and planes, and the uses and limitations of mathematical, physical and computer models.
Yes Magazine have been following up on the electronic voting and voter purging issue.

Hector MacQueen, law professor at Edinburg University, points to an email alert from the editors of World Intellectual Property Report, entitled IP Commission OKs Spying on Internet Users to Protect Copyright:

"PARIS--A copyright advisory board within France's Ministry of Culture
has accepted government plans to increase surveillance of Internet
users as part of a wider bid to stop illegal copying and transmission
of protected artistic works in cyberspace.
The Superior Council for Artistic and Literary Intellectual Property
(Conseil Superieur de la Propriete Litteraire et Artistique, or
CSPLA) announced June 26 that it would support proposed legislation
now working its way through Parliament that aims to adapt copyright
protection to the Digital Age, principally through greater spying on
Internet users.
The CSPLA opinion was issued in response to parliamentary debate on
legislation -- the Law on the Digital Economy -- that would adopt
European Union Directive 2001/29/EC, of May 22, 2001, on the
Harmonization of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in
the Information Society.
A united version of the legislation -- combining a text approved
last February by the National Assembly, or lower house, of
Parliament, and one approved by the Senate, or upper house, in late
June -- is expected to be passed by Parliament by year-end, after
fine-tuning by members of both houses and concerned government
The CSPLA opinion -- which demands "reconciliation" between long-
standing concerns over privacy protection and individual liberties
and the growing need for copyright protection on-line -- is likely to
weigh heavy with Culture Ministry officials when they are asked for
future comment on the bill.
(The full report will appear in the August issue of World E-Commerce
& IP Report. Copyright 2003, BNA International Inc.) "

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Via Michael Carroll at Villanova, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have just published a Handbook on Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge

Two democrats are proposing a bill, Author, Consumer, and Computer Owner Protection
and Security (ACCOPS) Act of 2003, that would lead to jail time for file sharers. One of these, Howard Berman, was the guy who previously introduced a bill to provide copyright holders with immunity for damaging other people's computers.

Copyfight has lots of links to pieces on Berman's proposal.
Whilst Berman wants to jail file sharers, the head of Interpol wants a global crackdown on piracy which he links to terrorism.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Hot on the heels of Germany being the fifth EU country to implement the EU copyright directive, the Commission have decided to pursue the other member states for failure to do so yet.

Loyola University Chicago releases two student names to RIAA.