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Postby ProgRocker » Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:51 pm

There are a lot of reasons to avoid iTunes, DRM being one of them. The story Rat posted gives us all another reason. The Reg has coverage of the iTunes pricing scandal.

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:47 pm

The incentive for keeping P2P illegal.
A blog article I found discusses The Entertainment Cartel's incentives for making P2P technologies illegal (i.e., Grokster). The mere fact that infringing activity is occurring by way of certain technologies may work in the industry's favor, as that gives them argument to maintain control over the technologies. And so the vicious cycle continues.

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby Rat » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:59 am

BBC News wrote:A proposed European law on software patents will not be re-drafted by the European Commission (EC) despite requests by MEPs.

The law is proving controversial and has been in limbo for a year. Some major tech firms say it is needed to protect inventions, while others fear it will hurt smaller tech firms.

The EC says the Council of Ministers will adopt a draft version that was agreed upon last May but said it would review "all aspects of the directive".
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Postby Rat » Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:29 am

BPI Gets Tough
The UK music industry has claimed victory in its first battle with illegal file-sharers after 23 people paid £50,000 to settle out of court. The 23 people were each sharing up to 9000 songs.

"These settlements show we can and we will enforce the law," the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.

The BPI has launched a second wave of cases, pursuing 31 more file-sharers.

BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor said: "We are determined to find people who illegally distribute music, whichever peer-to-peer network they use, and to make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from."
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Postby quicksilver » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:35 am

What about the 3 People who never made a settlement ?
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Postby Rat » Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:15 am

quicksilver wrote:What about the 3 People who never made a settlement ?
Or 5 even... Here's what...
BBC News wrote:In October, the BPI announced it was pursuing 28 people. But they related to 28 IP addresses and it was later discovered that two people accounted for four IP addresses on their list.
Be afraid, be very afraid...
BBC News wrote:Fifteen of the 23 used the Kazaa peer-to-peer network, four used Imesh, two used Grokster, one used WinMix and one was on BearShare.
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Postby KM » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:18 pm

<Insert anti-kazaa comment here> :D
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Postby Rat » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:28 pm

I just noticed that one user supposedly used 'winmix' not 'winmx'. I'm sure it's a mistake but at least it keeps the curious noob at bay. :)
Also... I'm still not sure the maths makes sense. 2 people would normally represent 2 IP addresses but apparently they represented 4. This brings the total to 25... so there are still three missing, just as Quicks said. If we assume there were four extra IP numbers we can get to 27. One is still missing. What gives?
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Postby ProgRocker » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:14 pm

Apparently, some of the defendants didn't settle out of court, which means their litigation will continue. I'm surprised such a large number of them settled. A much smaller percentage of the U.S. cases have settled, leaving a lot of file-sharing cases that may go to trial.

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:47 pm

Bloggers under fire?
This isn't a file-sharing issue, but it's one that may be of interest to the bloggers among us. Recently there have been a few potential legal concerns surrounding the operation of weblogs. The first being whether or not bloggers enjoy the so-called "reporter's privilege," that in some jurisdictions, allows a journalist to protect the identities of his/her sources. The second issue is the recent sabre-rattling by Bradley Smith, a Federal Election Commission (FEC) commissioner who claimed that the linking of political campaign sites on a blog may violate FEC regulations. I'll try to parse out these legal issues.

The reporter's privilege is designed to allow reporters to protect the identities of their news sources. The purpose of this is simple: news sources tend to be much more candid when they are assured their names aren't going to turn up in a story or an investigation. This poses a dilemma, however. Prosecutors are sometimes faced with the prospect of losing their case if they cannot determine the source of certain evidence. Evidence from an unnamed source generally cannot be admitted into court, as the accused has a constitutional right to "confront his accusers," not to mention the hearsay problems. This dilemma has resulted in many court cases, and the courts vary greatly on the issue of privilege. The states also vary on what they define as "journalists." Some require that a journalist be one who makes a primary living at it, others take a broader view of what constitutes a journalist. But no state expressly includes online publication as a journalistic function.

The problem with bloggers is that no one is sure where they stand in all this. Some blogs are professional endeavours, while many others (the vast majority) are amateur operations. After all, the weblog is today's media access for the masses. If a blogger is served a subpoena to disclose the identity of some source, how much power will the blogger have to resist it? It's becoming a big issue, and will only get bigger, as weblogs continue to leverage more influence on society. Currently, Apple is strong-arming some of the Apple-enthusiast sites to obtain sources of leaked product information posted on the sites. A judge recently ruled in Apple's favor, but has delayed the decision in order to hear more arguments. Free press is free press, and there should be no distinction between one that publishes on paper and one that publishes online.

The second issue involves bloggers linking to political campaign sites. FEC commish Smith stated in a CNET interview that such linking could put the blogger clearly in the sights of the FEC, citing the 2002 campaign finance law. The 2002 law had a provision exempting Internet entities, but a judge overturned that provision, paving the way for the FEC to go after certain Internet campaign activities. This issue also touches on the reporter's privilege issue discussed above, as the FEC has no problem with newspapers and other "traditional" media discussing campaigns. There has been some legal commentary claiming the FEC cannot pursue bloggers, but the fact remains that there is a cloud of uncertainty over the issue of political blogging.

There is a double standard here. Again, it's a situation where the law lags technology. There is no reason why online publication should not enjoy the same rights as traditional media.

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:41 pm

Russian cheapo .mp3 download site off the hook for now.
AllofMP3.com, a Russian site that sold downloads for pennies per megabyte will not be prosecuted by the Moscow police afterall. Although the site lacked proper license agreements with The Music Cartel, it apparently had not violated any Russian copyright laws. Russian copyright law specifically targets distribution of "material goods" (i.e., pirated CDs, DVDs, etc), and does not cover online distribution.

Perhaps Russia would be a good place to set up Torrent trackers. :wink:

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:23 pm

First person convicted under Arizona file sharing law.
A University of Arizona student pleaded guilty to "possession of counterfeit marks, or unauthorized copies of intellectual property," under Arizona's novel antipiracy law. The student, who had been downloading, copying and selling movies, was caught in a federal sting operation. The FBI claims it found "more than $50 million in movies and music" on the student's PC. I'm not sure how the FBI does its math, but 50 mil seems like an awful lot when you consider that DVDs are selling for about 20 bucks a pop. The article mentioned the student having been caught with several movies that have not been released on DVD, but I still find the dollar value too high. Perhaps the prosecution calculated civil damages, which, under U.S. copyright law, can run as high as $150,000 per infringed work, and the news source misquoted it.

The conviction, believed to be the first of its kind anywhere in the U.S., is a felony. The student was sentenced to a 3 month deferred jail term, 3 years probation, 200 hours of community service, and fined $5400. The student was also ordered to take a copyright class at the university and to avoid using any file-sharing programs. (Article on Washington Post. Requires free registration - use BugMeNot to side-step the registration process.)

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:57 pm

FEC backpeddles on blogger stance.
The other day I reported (ranted?) on how a Federal Election Commission member warned bloggers about linking to campaign sites, lest they run afoul of federal campaign laws. This caused a hotbed of concern and much discussion among bloggers (my news aggregator has been sending me boatloads of weblog posts and stories on the subject). Now it seems fellow FEC commish, Ellen Weintraub, is frantically trying to put out the flames caused by the off-the-cuff remarks made a few days ago by her colleague, Bradley Smith. She asserts that the FEC isn't out to stifle free speech, stating that there needs to be some monetary contribution involved before the FEC steps in.

This backpeddling by the FEC hasn't stopped bloggers from being cautious and perhaps a bit nervous. As one blog pointed out, the regulation itself is poorly drafted, giving the agency the power to use the regulation against online publishers if it chose to do so. Even if the FEC were to apply the regulation against a weblog publisher, the action would likely be struck down as unconstitutional. However that would be of little consolation to the poor blogger who must fight that unconstitutionality.

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:10 pm

SXSW is big on file-sharing.
So big on it, that the South by Southwest music festival folks are providing a huge BT file with 750 songs (2.6GB) for fans. Talk about opening the floodgates on free stuff...

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Postby ProgRocker » Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:13 am

How much garbage does your P2P app install on your PC?
A rather eye-opening chart compares several P2P apps based on the length of their EULAs (end user licensing agreements) and how much spyware and registry changes the apps add to the user's system. If you thought Kazaa only installed a few bundled apps, you might be shocked. Kazaa's EULA clocks in at 182 on-screen pages, with the installation adding 845 registry keys.

Cheers.
"Remember, on the Internet, your ISP knows you're a dog, and your adversary is only a subpoena away from compromising your constitutionally protected right to bark anonymously." Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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