The Law and IT with Ernest Miller
Which recent Supreme Court ruling is the most important decision for the future of the internet? According to some, it is the Brand X decision regarding FCC regulation of cable broadband. Ernest Miller interviews Susan Crawford and Phil Weiser about Brand X and internet regulation. [The Importance of the Law and IT audio from IT Conversations]
Host Ernest Miller along with Denise Howell and Charles (C.E.) Petit disect the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling overturning a District Court in the case of MGM v. Grokster. The decision that says Grokster could be found guilty of an "act of inducement" by encouraging (or not discouraging) its users to share infringing files. The panel also considers the implications for publishers, software developers, hardware manufacturers and IT shops, and looks specifically at the outlook for BitTorrent. [The Importance of the Law and IT audio from IT Conversations]
MGM v. Grokster: On August 19th, 2004, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided whether
distributors of peer-to-peer filesharing software, such as Grokster
and StreamCast, could be held liable for the copyright infringements
of their users. The court said that, under the circumstances, no. The
case has many ramifactions for technologists and innovators. Ernest
Miller discusses the decision with four leading legal analysts,
including Fred von Lohmann of the EFF, who argued the case.
[IT Conversations audio from the Mac OS X Conference] Chris Bourdon, Senior Product Line Manager for Mac OS X at Apple Computer Inc., on Mac OS X v.10.4, code named "Tiger."
Audio from "The Importance of the Law and IT" series on IT Conversations: Games aren't just for gamers any more. The legal issues surrounding intellectual property in virtual worlds has implications beyond GameBoys and PlayStations. What's the relationship between real and virtual-world economies? What can these virtual worlds teach us about democracy? Will regulation leak into (or out of) virtual worlds? Who owns avatars avatars and game scenarios in Internet-based games?
These are among the topics discussed at The State of Play, an annual conference sponsored by the Institute for Law & Policy at New York Law School and the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller interviews two of the conference's organizers.
Knock-Off Printer Cartridges (Lexmark v. Static Control). Lexmark, the printer manufacturer, attempted to use copyright law and
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent companies like Static
Control Components from making compatible toner cartridges or
refilling used cartridges. A
district court agreed with Lexmark, which would mean that nearly any
company that made replacement devices, such as oil filters for cars,
could very easily be sued under copyright law. Luckily, the Sixth
Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected those arguments. This case is loaded with implications for virtually all IT professionals. ["The Importance of Law and IT" with Ernest Miller on IT Conversations.]
A group of open source programmers reverse engineered Blizzard's Battle.net by analyzing the packets the player copies of the game shared with Blizzard's servers. Their work resulted in the bnetd project, which let anyone run their own Battle.net-like service. Blizzard sued, of course, and the district court found the open source programmers guilty of violating the End User License Agreement (EULA) as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. What does this mean for open-source programmers, technologists and consumers? [Ernest Miller's Law and IT series on IT Converations.]
The INDUCE Act 2.0 [The Law and IT]: The Inducing Infringements of Copyright Act of 2004, commonly called the INDUCE Act, is a bill before the Senate that is ostensibly meant to make it easier for the copyright industry to sue the distributors of technology that can be used for filesharing. Those who distribute certain technologies or devices could be found guilty for the copyright violations of their users. It is difficult to overestimate the effect this legislation would have on the IT industry. This show discusses the original bill as well as various alternatives, including the version provided by the Copyright Office. [IT Conversations]
Chamberlain v. Skylink (The Law and IT on IT Conversations): Garage Doors and the DMCA. On August 31st, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued what was the second appellate ruling dealing with the anti-circumvention
provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The court determined that the universal garage door opener remotes made by Skylink Technologies did not violate the DMCA by illicitly accessing the software in the Chamberlain Group's garage door openers. Basically, the court said it was okay to sell garage door remotes that worked with any brand of garage door. It may sound absurd, but the case is a landmark decision regarding technological innovation and interoperability.
Apple v. Real v. Microsoft (IT Conversations series, "The Importance of Law and IT"): The online music store marketplace is seeing intense competition between companies such as Apple, Real Networks, and Microsoft. Real has tried to make music downloaded from its store playable on the
iPod, actions which Apple has called the "tactics and ethics of a hacker." What are the legal issues with what Real had done? What is this competition all about? Ernest Miller discusses these questions with leading legal and business analysts.