Dale Dietrich
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Posts from — July 2006

Response to IFPI’s Piracy Report Comments on Canada

Categories: PiracyPolicy Analysis

Text of IFPI’s 2006 Piracy Report
Michael Geist responds to the IFPI’s allegations concerning Canadian piracy in its recent global report on piracy.

Sources: Michael Geist  |  Slyck  |  P2PNet  |  mediacaster  |  Times Online

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Kazaa Settles for $100M+ and Goes ‘Legit’

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersSettlements

After many years of legal battles both in North America and Australia, Sharman Networks, the owners of the popular Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing network, (owned by the founders of Skype) have settled with the international record labels (Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music) for in excess of $100 million U.S. Sharman will distribute music through licensing arrangements and has agreed to filter out non-licensed content. Sharman had lost an important decision in the Federal Court of Australia in September 2005, but on February 20, 2006 had said they were going to appeal that decision. Under the settlement agreement, major record companies will be entitled to 20% of proceeds of eventual music sales through the system.

Sources: New York Times | L.A. Times | ARIA Press Release | Red Herring | ars technica | BBC | Daily Telegraph (Aus) | Herald Sun (Aus) | Slyck | SiliconValley.com | Xinhaunet (China) | San Jose Mercury News | Toronto Star | Seattle Times (AP) | VNUNet | Washington Times | CNet | ZDNet | PC World (Aus) | USA Today | Bloomberg

Related Kazaa Posts:

Related P2P Going 'Legit' Posts:

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Implications of Microsoft’s Zune Buy-out of iTunes Music

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechDRM Analysis

The current rumour has it that to compete with iTunes, Microsoft’s pending Zune service will scan the users’ computer for a list of all songs purchased from iTunes and then repurchase the songs in Zune’s proprietary format for new Zune customers – effectively buying-out iTunes. In this “Rethinking DRM Dystopia” piece, David Robinson is optimistic about the free market’s ability to overcome the lock-in affect of iTunes “Fairplay” DRM system. I am not!

Dale’s Comment: I am decidedly less excited about this prospect than Mr. Robinson. If copyright law does require a competitor to “buy-out” users from a competitive service, that only does a disservice to consumers. Once a consumer purchases a song, copyright law should protect that consumer’s right to play that song on any device. A system of copyright laws where ONLY the behemoths of an industry can compete hardly leads to innovation and competition. The very fact that, owing to the DMCA, Microsoft may have to resort to such extreme measures in order to compete with iTunes is one of the reasons I created this iMedia law website. This is bad policy, bad for consumers and ultimately bad for the music industry.

Source: David Robinson – Freedom to Tinker

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Lawyer who Fights the RIAA Speaks Out

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P Users

Jon Stewart Lampoons Sen. Ted Stevens – AGAIN!

Categories: HumourNet Neutrality

In this YouTube clip, Jon Stewart, and John Hodgman, the guy who plays the “PC” in Apple’s recent series of adds, lampoon Senator Steven’s ‘Net Neutrality comments – again!

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Yahoo! Offers DRM-Free Jessica Simpson Song

Categories: Big Media Makes ProgressNew Business Models

For the first time Yahoo! is offering a popular song, Jessica Simpson's "A Public Affair", for sale for $2.00 – unprotected by DRM. While it's a one-time deal with record label Epic, Yahoo! wants to eventually make all music available DRM-free. Ian Rogers, of Yahoo! Music wrote the following in a blog yesterday:

"As you know, we've been publicly trying to convince record labels that they should be selling MP3s for a while now. Our position is simple: DRM doesn't add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day — the compact disc) or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform."

Sources: Wired | CNet | ZDNet | CD Freaks | iLounge | EFF Deep Links

Dale's Comment: Let's hope this is the first step toward Yahoo's convincing the music industry to eventually sell all digital music without anti-copy restrictions. Out of principle alone, I will purchase this song (site unheard) from Yahoo! if they make it available for sale in Canada.

Update: So much for my first attempt to legally purchase a DRM-free song on the Internet. After taking my credit card number and particulars and after having selected the personalized version of the song I wanted, I was presented with this perfunctory message "There was a problem processing your purchase. Your credit card has not been charged – error code: 8". Well, error code: 8 prevented a most enthusiastic customer from attempting to purchase the song. If you wish to give it a whirl, here's the site where the song is supposed to be available.

Related Posts:

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YouTube Sued by L.A. News Services

Categories: Big Media v InternetBigMedia v NewTechCasesDMCA-like Laws

Motion for Summary Adjudication (Nov 2006)

This is amusing. Minutes after posting the Von Lohmann story below about how the DMCA is shielding YouTube from law suits, I come across this new story that YouTube is being sued by an L.A. news service over its users' posting videos containing its copyrighted coverage of the 1992 L.A. riots on the YouTube service.

Sources: Hollywood Reporter Esq | EFF Deep Links | ars technica | Silicon.com | P2PNet | MTV

Other YouTube-Related Posts

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How YouTube Avoids the Internet Copyright Police

Categories: Big Media v InternetBigMedia v NewTechDMCA-like Laws

In this interesting set of articles, the EFF and ars technica explain why YouTube, for now, seems safe from the Internet police in that it takes advantage of the safe-harbour provisions of the much hated, fair-use inhibiting, DMCA.

Sources: EFF's Fred von Lohmann's Article in Hollywood Reporter Esq | EFF Deep Links | ars technica

Other YouTube-Related Posts

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Dutch Court Rules ISPs Need Not Disclose File Swapper IDs

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersDecisions

English Version of Earlier July 12, 2005 District Court of Utrecht Decision
The Dutch appeals court upheld an earlier District Court of Utrecht Ruling that the method used by the MediaSentry software used to collect IP addresses of alleged Dutch P2P file shares had no lawful basis under European privacy laws. The software scans shared folders on the suspect's hard drive. The Dutch anti-piracy organization, Brein, had requested that 5 Dutch ISPs disclose the name and address of the users of IP addresses identified by the MediaSentry. As is the case with RIAA-initiated lawsuits in the United States, Brein would have used that information to bring copyright infringement actions against the alleged file sharers.

Sources: The Register | CD Freaks | DigitalMusicWeblog | TelcomPaper | Michael Geist

Dale's Comment: If anyone has access to an English copy of the Appeals Court decision, please send a copy to me and I will post it here.

Related Posts:

 

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RIAA Loses in File Sharing Case Against Mom

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Text of Dismissal and Final Order
After refusing to pay the RIAA’s standard $5,000 settlement demand, a mother who didn’t even own a computer fought the RIAA in court. Over the RIAA’s objections, she was awarded attorneys fees and the case alleging copyright infringement for file sharing was dismissed after the RIAA failed to provide details as to the time and name of files allegedly downloaded to her computer.

Sources: Ars Technica  |  Recording Industry vs. The People  |  CD Freaks  |  Inquirer

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Jon Stewart Lampoons Sen. Ted Stevens on Net Neutrality

Categories: HumourNet Neutrality

In this YouTube clip, Jon Stewart lampoon’s Senator Steven’s (R-Alaska) ‘Net Neutrality comments. Stewart goes on to lampoon recent Congressional Internet gambling debates and then humorously links the two.

Note: For a more serious discussion of Senator Steven’s comments (including Sen. Steven’s full commentary), you can listen to the “This Week in Tech” podcast that I linked-to on July 3, 2006.

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EFF: Frequently Awkward Questions for the Entertainment Industry

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P UsersDRM Analysis

In this fun article, the EFF suggests a dozen or so questions that should be asked of the Entertainment Industry when challenging their legal/technological tactics used to thwart emerging technologies that they perceive as threatening their business models.

Source: EFF

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British ISP, Tiscali, Refuses BPI Request to Disconnect 17 Users

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Prof Ed Felton: Nuts and Bolts of Network Neutrality

Categories: Net NeutralityPolicy Analysis

In this interesting piece, Princeton Professor, Ed Fulton does an admirable job of outlining both sides of the ‘Net Neutrality debate and argues that, perhaps, leaving well-enough alone (legislation-wise), for the time being, may be the best means of meeting the objectives of ‘net neutrality advocates.

Source: Professor Ed Felton

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BPI to Sue AllofMP3.com

Categories: DRM-Free ServicesPiracy

The BPI received permission from London's High Court to "serve proceedings" against AllofMP3.com. When that happens, the Russian judicial system will be obligated by international agreement to look into the matter.

Sources: ars technica | PC Magazine | CDFreaks.com | Scotsman.com | Information Week

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TWiT.tv Podcast: Sen. Ted Stevens Out of Touch on Net Neutrality

Categories: Legal ReformNet Neutrality

The July 3rd “This Week in Tech” podcast includes (at time index 2:39) a clip of the Senator Ted Stevens, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, explaining his [mis]understanding of the ‘Net Neutrality issue and now the Internet works. Amusingly, he blames commercial video downloading for causing his e-mail to take 5 days for delivery. Leo and his guests have an interesting discussion/debate on “Net Neutrality” for the next 25 minutes or so of the podcast. For a more entertaining, and surprisingly understandable, description of the ‘Net Neutrality issue, see this amusing AskNinja.com skit on Net Neutrality.

Sources: Episode 60 of This Week in Tech (MP3) | Full 10 Minute Sen Stevens “speech” here (Public Knowledge) | PC Magazine – John C. Dvorak | Technology Evangelist | Wired Blogs | New York Times (July 17, 2006)

Note: See a similarly out-of-touch Senator Joe Pitts speaking on the affects of video game violence on children posted on my video game law page on June 22, 2006.

Dale’s Comment: It’s scary that aging Senators like Senator Stevens, who have a limited comprehension of how the Internet works, are responsible for the laws that regulate it. While there are almost daily news stories on ‘net neutrality, I rarely cover it here. Congressional committee debates on this topic mean very little at the moment. My sense is that if the Democrats are able to take control of the Senate (and a greater share of the House) this fall, reasonable ‘net neutrality legislation may stand a chance. Until then, while interesting, my sense is that the continuous Congressional committee discussions/debates on the topic won’t amount to any changes in the law.

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