February 26, 2003
Creative Commons Licensing Works
February 24, 2003
Jonix Gives It Away
February 23, 2003
Same old, same old:
- It's a political tale as old as Capitol Hill: A lumbering industry selects a certain corporate-friendly party to be its Beltway patsy. In exchange for the requisite campaign donations and other perks, members of said party use their clout to push through the industry's legislative agenda--an agenda that would rip off consumers and harm the overall economy but enrich the corporate string-pullers immensely. Pundits and public-interest types grumble over the bald-faced cronyism, but as long as the money keeps flowing, the beneficiaries don't seem to care a whit.
- Sounds like the buddy-buddy relationship between Republicans and the energy industry, right? The characters cited in the above scenario, however, are the Democrats and Hollywood, one of Washington's coziest couples. For years, Hollywood has poured money into the Democrats' campaign coffers and been rewarded with indispensable assistance on the industry's crusade of the moment--squelching new technologies that allow the dissemination of digital content in ways Hollywood can't control. One bill being hatched by Democrats would allow media companies to hack into networks like KaZaA, a file-sharing service which has replaced Napster as the most popular MP3 clearinghouse on college campuses. Another would outlaw high-tech devices that don't come equipped with government-approved hardware to make it impossible to copy digital media. And yet another would strip consumers of the right to play their legally purchased CDs on multiple devices. The Democrats' Pavlovian alignment with the grossest impulses of the entertainment industry was even written into the Democratic platform back in 2000, when the party urged "all steps necessary" against the leakage of copyrighted materials--a plank pushed on them by Hollywood.
Conclusion, the Dems can afford to lose some entertainment support in favor of new tech support, because it is the future, and the way to innovating news jobs and culture.
February 21, 2003
Bill Moyers on Big Media
Distribution, according to Ernest Miller, is more important to copyright and the First Amendment, than the right of reproduction. Bill Moyers talked with John Nichols and Robert McChesney about the current state of media in the United States and how it affects democracy, earlier tonight. The FCC is planning to overhaul the ownership concentration rules, and with less distribution, think less freedom of expression, because what is out there will be more closely controlled by a very small number of people.
February 07, 2003
Copyright Protection? Economic Sense?
- ...not only may copyright law’s prohibition against unauthorized copying (17 U.S.C. §106) not be necessary to stimulate an optimal level of new creations, but that §106 appears to have a net negative effect on such output! It observes that the higher revenues that §106 generates for popular creations are, in the lottery-like entertainment markets, generally used for promotional efforts (rent seeking), and that such marketing crowds out many borderline creations. The article also identifies and explains how new technologies and social norms provide many viable business models for financing new creations relying on only a heavily abridged version of §106. Hence, the article questions whether the current §106 [copyright regime] could survive the intermediate scrutiny standards of the First Amendment, given the lack of evidence that the benefits of §106 exceed its costs.
Since they are talking about the economic sense of analog copyright, I would venture that it's possible that an entirely new conception of copyrights might (see Taking the Copy Out of Copyright or here - pdf by Miller/Feigenbaum) help us, something that reflects this new digital world and the issues we face here that are so different than in the analog world. Essentially, digital copyright.
Here is a /. discussion of the paper.
February 05, 2003
Napsterization Over A Hundred Years
1908 sheet music, Marconi, 50's TV, Disney theme park, 70s and 80s VCR (the Boston strangler), 95 DCMA, today digitial TV and Broadcast flag.