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July 21, 2005

Will Canadian Copyright Bill Declare Search Engines Illegal?

"A bill before Canada's Parliament could make it illegal for search engines to cache Web pages, critics say, opening the door to unwarranted lawsuits and potentially hindering public access to information.

"The legislation in question, Bill C-60, is designed to amend Canada's Copyright Act by implementing parts of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization treaty, the treaty that led to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S."

Elinor Mills. In Canada: Cache a Page, Go to Jail?. News.com. July 19, 2005.

See also:
Jack Kapica. Could Googling Become Illegal?. Globe and Mail. July 12, 2005.

Michael Geist. Bill C-60 User Guide: The ISPs and Search Engines. June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Peerflix Creates DVD Trade Community

"Want to get rid of that old DVD box set of "The Best of Barnaby Jones?"

"Peerflix has the site for you.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company has created a site at which consumers can trade their old DVDs with one another, thereby stretching their entertainment budgets and clearing out clutter.

Michael Kanellos. New Methods Eyed for Buying Movies. News.com. July 20, 2005.

See also:
Matthew Boyle. Does Netflix Have a Sequel?. Forbes.com. July 20, 2005.

Engadget. Switched On: The Peerflix challenge: Rip. Flix. Churn. July 20, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Pirates Digitize New Harry Potter Book

"The latest Harry Potter tome was not released as an ebook because of fears over piracy - a plan as cunning as any of Baldrick's.

"Unfortunately some committed fans/pesky pirates immediately scanned the book on its release last weekend and used optical recognition software to digitise the text. Copies were then proof-read, not very well from the bits we've seen, before being released.

John Oates. Harry Potter Hit by Pesky Pirates. The Register. July 20, 2005.

See also:
TeleRead. Illegal But Beautifully Read: Net.radio Performance of New Harry Potter Book. July 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

K. Matthew Dames Gives Virtual Presentation

K. Matthew Dames, managing partner of Seso Group Digital Information Advisors and the executive editor of SNTReport.com and Search & Text Mining Report, is this month's speaker for SLA's Virtual Seminar series. Dames will present the second part of a two-part series on digital collaboration projects for information professionals, "Launching A Digital Collaboration Project." The second session is Webcast live at 2:00 EST on July 20.

(The first session was Webcast on July 6, and can be viewed via an SLA Replay.)

Attendance & Registration
Want to view Dames' presentation live? Check the SLA Virtual Seminar page for more information. If you have any additional questions, e-mail SLA at learning@sla.org or call the Professional Development Center at (703) 647-4925.

This session will be taped and available for viewing within one week of the Webcast.

Description
Whatever you call it – digital collaboration, social software, social networking – working across the Web is about more than technology or devices. Ultimately, it is about developing a community of practice where people readily share their information and knowledge, regardless of distance.

Many clients and end-users will suggest that the trend toward using digital collaboration lessens the need for librarians and other information professionals. Instead, the opposite is true: online information sharing increases the need for librarians as facilitators, researchers, and knowledge managers. With some work and initiative, technology-savvy Info Pros can position themselves inside their organizations as critically important team members at a time when their value is being questioned.

This two-part series looks at the tools and issues involved in creating an effective digital collaboration environment, and shares some ideas on how best to establish a digital collaboration initiative within an organization. The first part of the series, part of SLA's Virtual Learning Series, will explain the tools and terminology of digital collaboration, and how different organizations are using these tools to improve productivity and knowledge sharing.

Slides
K. Matthew Dames. Launching A Digital Collaboration Project. (.pdf, 1.8 MB) July 20, 2005.

Coming in August 2005
Stephen E. Arnold. The Google Legacy (Tetbury, Gloucester: United Kingdom. Infonortics, 2005)

Webliography

The American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Basecamp

Salesforce.com

Google Labs

Google Short Message Service

Google Mobile

Google Code

Blogger

Functioning Form. Battle for the Web OS. July 12, 2005.

Fred Vogelstein. Gates vs. Google: Search and Destroy. Fortune. May 2, 2005.

Charles Ferguson. What's Next for Google. TechnologyReview.com. January 2005.

Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled. Weblications. Dec. 20, 2004.

Troutgirl. Google Is Good for Web Dev. Dec. 18, 2004.

Kuro5hin. Web-Apps Are the Legacy of the Future. Oct. 25, 2004.

Jon Udell. Under Gmail’s Hood. InfoWorld. Oct. 22, 2004.

Kottke.org. GoogOS, the Google Operating System. April 6, 2004.

Topix.net Weblog. The Secret Source of Google's Power. April 4, 2004.

Tim O'Reilly. Inventing the Future. O'Reilly Networks. April 9, 2002.

Martha K. Heyman. Building Successful Relationships with IT Professionals. Information Outlook. April 2001.

PaulGraham.com. The Other Road Ahead. Sept. 2001.

Adam Bosworth. Microsoft's Vision for XML. Infoloom. No date.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Panel Discusses Next Steps After Grokster

"Does Congress need to lay down new laws after last month's landmark Supreme Court decision on file swapping? Depends on whom you ask.

"A spectrum of outlooks came from lawyers who squared off at a panel discussion hosted Tuesday by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee."

Anne Broache. Time for Lawmakers to Act on Grokster?. News.com. July 19, 2005.

See also:
a href="http://www.netcaucus.org/">Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. Interpreting Grokster: Protecting Copyright in the the Age of Peer-to-Peer. July 19, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

PBS to Launch Internet-Only TV Series

"In the spirit of reaching audiences wherever they can be found, PBS said Wednesday it will launch a downloadable television series.

"NerdTV features author and PBS columnist Robert X. Cringely's interviews with intriguing personalities drawn from the world of technology."

Chris Marlowe. PBS Viewers Can Download NerdTV Series. Reuters. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 16, 2005

P2P Projects Continue Despite Grokster

"The ripples of anxiety from last month's landmark Supreme Court ruling on peer-to-peer software haven't quite made it to Jonathan Nilson's home in Tallahassee, Fla.

"Nilson, a programmer who has been working on peer-to-peer software called Shareaza for several years, says the loose band of developers who share responsibility for the open-source project haven't been dissuaded from their work by the court ruling, which is casting a dark legal cloud over the future of companies such as Grokster and LimeWire."

John Borland. Open-source P2P Projects Keep Swapping. News.com. July 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 15, 2005

Australia Rules On Copyright & Linking

"Stephen Cooper, operator of a Web site called MP3s4free.net, was found guilty Thursday of copyright infringement by Australia Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin.

"Although Cooper didn't host pirated recordings per se, the court found the resident of the state of Queensland breached the law by creating hyperlinks to sites that had infringing sound recordings."

Steven Deare. Australian Man, ISP Found Guilty of Piracy. News.com. July 14, 2005.

See also:
Alex Malik. Oz ISP, Employee and Principal Held Liable for Copyright Breaches. The Register. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Opera 8.02 to Support P2P

"The next version of the Opera Web browser will support peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, which has been the focus of a lot of legal discussions recently.

"A technical preview of Opera 8.02 released Thursday allows users to download BitTorrent files directly from the browser rather than downloading the file and using a client application like Azureus to download the full file."

Jim Wagner. Opera Adds BitTorrent. InternetNews.com. July 7, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Browsers Add BitTorrent Support. News.com. July 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 11, 2005

Sony BMG & iMesh Reach Licensing Deal

"Music giant Sony BMG has reached a licensing agreement with file-swapping service iMesh, one of the first such tie-ups since a U.S. Supreme Court decision clamping down on online copyright infringement.

"The deal, confirmed on Friday by an iMesh representative, followed a high court ruling that unauthorized networks such as Grokster could be held liable for the copyright infringement of their users. Analysts said that decision added momentum to the move toward networks sanctioned by media companies.

"Once one of the most popular of post-Napster song-swapping networks, iMesh, formed in 1999, was sued by the record labels in 2003 for copyright infringement and settled for $4.1 million."

Reuters. Sony BMG Reaches Licensing Deal with iMesh. News.com. July 9, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:34 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 08, 2005

TV Technology May Generate New Lawsuits

"Days after the Supreme Court weighed in on digital copyright infringement issues in the MGM v. Grokster case, select consumer electronics chains began stocking a product some predict could spark the entertainment industry's next showdown over intellectual property rights.

Andrew Wallenstein. TV Technology at Edge of Legal Frontier. Reuters. July 6, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on the MGM, Grokster decision.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 07, 2005

Pew Study: Spyware Fears Change Online Habits

"Internet users worried about spyware and adware are shunning specific Web sites, avoiding file-sharing networks, even switching browsers.

"Many have also stopped opening e-mail attachments without first making sure they are safe, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said in a study (.pdf) issued Wednesday."

Anick Jesdanun. Fear of Spyware Changing Online Habits. BusinessWeek Online. July 6, 2005.

See also:
Susannah Fox. Spyware: The threat of Unwanted Software Programs is Changing the Way People Use the Internet. (.pdf) July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 06, 2005

K. Matthew Dames Gives SLA Virtual Presentation

K. Matthew Dames, managing partner of Seso Group Digital Information Advisors and the executive editor of SNTReport.com and Search & Text Mining Report, is this month's speaker for SLA's Virtual Seminar series. Dames will present a two-part series on digital collaboration projects for information professionals, with the first live session being Webcast at 2:00 EST on July 6. and the second live session being Webcast at 2:00 EST on July 20.

Attendance & Registration
Want to view Dames' presentation live? Check the SLA Virtual Seminar page for more information. If you have any additional questions, e-mail SLA at learning@sla.org or call the Professional Development Center at (703) 647-4925.

This session will be taped and available for viewing within one week of the Webcast.

Description
Whatever you call it – digital collaboration, social software, social networking – working across the Web is about more than technology or devices. Ultimately, it is about developing a community of practice where people readily share their information and knowledge, regardless of distance.

Many clients and end-users will suggest that the trend toward using digital collaboration lessens the need for librarians and other information professionals. Instead, the opposite is true: online information sharing increases the need for librarians as facilitators, researchers, and knowledge managers. With some work and initiative, technology-savvy Info Pros can position themselves inside their organizations as critically important team members at a time when their value is being questioned.

This two-part series looks at the tools and issues involved in creating an effective digital collaboration environment, and shares some ideas on how best to establish a digital collaboration initiative within an organization. The first part of the series, part of SLA's Virtual Learning Series, will explain the tools and terminology of digital collaboration, and how different organizations are using these tools to improve productivity and knowledge sharing.

Slides
K. Matthew Dames. Digital Collaboration: Tools & Terms. (.pdf, 2.7 MB) July 6, 2005.

Webliography
Covad. "The Ringing" (Flash movie; Flash Player required.)

Salesforce.com: Hosted customer relationship management tool, with contact management, marketing campaign budgeting and analysis, and mobile and wireless capability.

Bloglines: Hosted RSS and news aggregator.

37Signals: Developer of several hosted business tools, including Backpack (a collaborative online planner and to-do list), and the highly regarded Basecamp (hosted project management application).

Thomas Bleha. Down to the Wire. Foreign Affairs. May/June 2005. ("Once a leader in Internet innovation, the United States has fallen far behind Japan and other Asian states in deploying broadband and the latest mobile-phone technology.")

Heather Green and Robert D. Hof. Picking Up Where Search Leaves Off. BusinessWeek Online. April 11, 2005. ("The time-saving trend of "tagging" is luring legions of Web surfers -- and Yahoo! ")

Daniel Terdiman. Folksonomies Tap People Power. Wired News. Feb. 1, 2005. ("The job of tags isn't to organize all the world's information into tidy categories. It's to add value to the giant piles of data that are already out there.")

Technorati: A blog index.

SNTReport.com: Seso Group LLC publication that finds, filters, summarizes important digital collaboration news six days each week.

Search & Text Mining Report: Seso Group LLC publication that finds, filters, summarizes important news about the business, technology, and law of search and search engines. Published five days each week.

Micro Persuasion: Blog of public relations executive Steve Rubel.

GM FastLane: "The FastLane blog is where you can come to read the latest, greatest musings of GM leaders on topics relevant to the company, the industry and the global economy, and -- most of all -- to our customers and other car enthusiasts."

Charlene Li. Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal? Forrester Research. Nov. 5, 2004.

Mark Pilgrim. What Is RSS? O'Reilly XML.com. Dec. 18, 2002.

Jeff Tyson. How Instant Messaging Works. HowStuffWorks. No date.

Robert Kaye. Next-Generation File Sharing with Social Networks. O'Reilly Open P2P. March 5, 2004.

Miriam Rainsford. A Musician's Take on File Sharing, DRM, and Copyleft Licensing. O'Reilly Open P2P. June 10, 2003.

Wikipedia. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia bills itself as "the free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit."

JotSpot: A Wiki web application development through a " Microsoft Word style editing" interface. For a demonstration of JotSpot's capabilities, please see Jon Udell's Flash movie. (Flash Player required.)

Federal Communications Commission. Voice Over Internet Protocol: Frequently Asked Questions. May 24, 2005.

vSkype: Skype plugin that allows users to see who they are talking to while sharing applications, spreadsheets or photos in real time. (Windows only)

IPDrum. Its IPdrum Mobile Cable connects Skype to a mobile telephone via the mobile telephone network - allowing Skype users true mobility and worldwide calling for local rates.

Heather Wilson. Gaming for Librarians: An Introduction. (.pdf) VOYA. February 2005.

K. Matthew Dames. Commentary on New iTunes Cell Phone. SNTReport.com. July 5, 2005.

Fred Vogelstein. Gates vs. Google: Search and Destroy. Fortune. May 2, 2005. ("Bill Gates is on a mission to build a Google killer. What got him so riled? The darling of search is moving into software—and that's Microsoft's turf.")

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 05, 2005

Technology Decisions in the Courtroom

"Some of the most important technology decisions this week were made not in the boardroom but by nine men and women wearing black robes.

"The Supreme Court handed movie studios and record labels a sweeping victory against file swapping, ruling that peer-to-peer companies such as Grokster could be held responsible for the copyright piracy on their networks. In a unanimous decision, the nine justices said companies that build businesses with the active intent of encouraging copyright infringement should be held liable for their customers' illegal actions.

"The decision comes as a surprisingly strong victory for copyright companies and stands to reshape an Internet landscape in which file swapping has become commonplace."

Steven Musil. Week in Review: Judging Tech. News.com. July 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:44 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 02, 2005

Will the Past Haunt BitTorrent?

"BitTorrent programmer Bram Cohen may be in legal jeopardy after the discovery on Wednesday of an old agenda buried on his website saying he creates programs to 'commit digital piracy.'

"The polemic would have been of little interest a week ago. But on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the intent behind a file-sharing program can be a decisive factor in determining whether the creator can be sued for its users' copyright infringement.

"Undated and less than 200 words long, Cohen's 'Technological Activist's Agenda' says he creates and gives away software in furtherance of laissez-faire political objectives."

Katie Dean and Kevin Poulsen. BitTorrent Whiz Extolled Piracy?. Wired News. June 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 01, 2005

Feds Lead Global Crackdown on Piracy

"The government announced Thursday an 11-nation crackdown on Internet piracy organizations responsible for stealing copies of the latest 'Star Wars' film and other movies, games and software programs worth at least $50 million.

"FBI agents and investigators in the other nations conducted 90 searches, starting Wednesday, arresting four people, seizing hundreds of computers and shutting down at least eight major online distribution servers for pirated works.

"Called Operation Site Down, the crackdown involved undercover FBI operations run out of Chicago, San Francisco and Charlotte, N.C., and included help from authorities in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom."

Mark Sherman. Feds Target Internet Piracy Organizations. San Jose Mercury News. June 30, 2005.

See also:
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Justice Department Announces International Internet Piracy Sweep. (Press Release.) June 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 29, 2005

New Haven for P2P Music Service

"While the technology has been vilified for making it easier to swap illegally copied music over the Internet, peer-to-peer software is increasingly being embraced by cellular phone manufacturers and service providers to help their nascent music businesses.

"Handset maker Nokia has reportedly developed peer-to-peer software that would allow sharing of text documents, photos and, eventually, music between its 6600 model phones.

"It's not just Nokia. Electronics maker Mitsubishi says it too has developed a prototype peer-to-peer phone. And three weeks ago, Canadian cell phone operator Rogers Wireless started using peer-to-peer software as a marketing tool for its music download service. Rogers lets users send the first 30 seconds of a song to a friend's cell phone. If the friend likes it, he or she can buy the rest of the song."

Ben Charny. Wireless: A Peer-to-Peer Music Asylum. News.com. June 28, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 28, 2005

Supreme Court Rules Against Grokster

"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (.pdf) Monday that software companies can be held liable for copyright infringement when individuals use their technology to download songs and movies illegally.

"The unanimous decision handed the music and movie industries a crucial victory in their ongoing battle to curb Internet piracy -- a campaign centered on lobbying for new laws, filing thousands of lawsuits against Internet users, and winning a ruling from the nation's highest court.

"Their victory Monday on the third piece of that strategy dealt a big blow to technology companies, which claim that holding them accountable for the illegal downloading of songs, movies, video games and other proprietary products would stifle their ability to develop new products."

Krysten Crawford. Hollywood Wins Internet Piracy Battle. CNNMoney.com. June 27, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Supreme Court. On Writ of Certiorari: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., et al. v. Grokster, LTD., et al.. (.pdf) June 27, 2005.

News.com Special Coverage. File-Swap Fallout. News.com.

Libe Goad. Supreme Court Deals Blow to P2P Services. eWeek. June 27, 2005.

Technology & Marketing Law Blog. Grokster Supreme Court Ruling. June 27, 2005.

Electric Frontier Foundation. Supreme Court Sows Uncertainty. Deep Links. June 27, 2005.

Vauhini Vara. A Grokster Primer. WSJ.com. June 27, 2005.

The Wall Street Journal. Grokster Roundtable. June 27, 2005.

National Public Radio. File-Sharing Firms May Be Liable, Says High Court. All Things Considered. June 27, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 24, 2005

Law Firms Brace for Grokster Verdict

"Want to know how heated the lobbying, arguing, positioning and maneuvering over copyright legislation is going to get this fall? Ask anyone who's ever published anything containing the words 'peer to peer' for a look in their e-mail in-box.

"Chances are good it has filled up in the past few days with helpful messages from publicists and lawyers offering expert opinions on the ramifications of the pending Supreme Court decision in the case known as MGM v. Grokster.

"During the year, the court releases its decisions on Mondays—and only on Mondays. But this is its final week of deliberation, and opinion could be issued at any time."

Chris Nolan. Preparing for the Grokster Watershed. eWeek. June 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 23, 2005

P2P Commerce Marches On

"As the file-swapping world waits for a verdict on its future from the Supreme Court, a handful of entrepreneurs are pushing ahead with plans to harness the anarchic networks for commerce.

"On Wednesday, a new service called Gnutelligence launched with the aim of bringing something very like Google's sponsored search results to the open-source Gnutella network.

"Run by a former LimeWire employee, the service is designed to produce clearly marked advertising results in response to specific, pre-purchased keywords inside the Gnutella network.

John Borland. New Plans for P2P Commerce, Despite Court Wait. News.com. June 22, 2005.

Related:
Associated Press. File-Swapping May Be Here to Stay. Forbes.com. June 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 21, 2005

Skype: An Alternative Communications Network?

"Skype Technologies' strategy of welcoming third-party vendors is spawning numerous extensions to its popular Internet telephony service, which is beginning to branch into videoconferencing, data collaboration and mobile wireless calls.

"Santa Cruz Networks on Wednesday launched vSkype Beta, group videoconferencing and collaboration software that lets Skype users meet online with as many as 200 friends or business associates who also use Skype.

"On Tuesday, a Norwegian company, IPDrum, introduced the Mobile Skype Cable, a wire that connects a cell phone to a Skype-equipped PC in order to link Skype to the cellular network for mobile calls."

Stephen Lawson. Third-party Technologies Enhance Skype. PCWorld. June 20, 2005.

See also:
Robert Jacques. Skype Adds Videoconferencing to Arsenal. TechNewsWorld. June 17, 2005.

Sumner Lemon. Call Skype for Free From Your Mobile Phone. PCWorld. June 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

Whither the Grokster Decision?

Ever since the Supreme Court agreed in December to hear the entertainment industry's case against the file-sharing software companies Grokster and Streamcast, armchair legal experts have been casually wagering on the outcome. The case pits copyright holders against those who fear a stifling of technological innovation. With the court poised to weigh in, perhaps as early as today, all sides have been getting edgy.

Tom Zeller Jr. The Court of Online Opinion Has Its Say on File Sharing. The New York Times. June 20, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Microsoft Develops Bit Torrent Alternative

"Researchers at Microsoft's labs in Cambridge, England, are developing a file-sharing technology that they say could make it easier to distribute big files such as films, television programs, and software applications to end users over the Internet.

Code-named Avalanche, the technology is similar to existing peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file swapping systems such as BitTorrent, in the sense that large files can be divided into many smaller pieces to ease their distribution. End users request the file parts from other users' hard drives and reassemble them to create the original file.

"Such systems can scale well to serve millions of users, and reduce the bandwidth and computing costs of sending content directly to users from central servers. Some have also irritated publishers who complain the services are used to share copyright works illegally."

James Niccolai. Microsoft Builds Its Own Peer-to-Peer App. PCWorld. June 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 15, 2005

OECD Disputes Link Between P2P And Music Sales

"File-swapping networks alone are not to blame for the recording industry's woes and might plausibly be converted into legitimate channels for distributing music, one of Europe's most influential economic bodies has concluded.

"In a report (.pdf) issued Monday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development -- a Paris-based alliance of developed nations -- also suggested that it's difficult to establish a link between piracy and the music industry's shrinking revenues.

"The report said a 're-evaluation' of music distribution needs to happen to achieve a balance between consumers' desire to access digital music and the industry's copyright protection concerns."

Bruce Gain. Come On Music Biz, Embrace P2P. Wired News. June 13, 2005.

See also:
Dr. Sacha Wunsch-Vincent and Dr. Graham Vickery. OECD Report on Digital Music: Opportunities and Challenges. (.pdf) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. June 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:52 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Napster Creator Launches Legit P2P Service

"Snocap, the content management system for music distributed via peer-to-peer networks, is set to open its digital registry Monday.

"Chief strategy officer Shawn Fanning described Snocap as a music registry that would serve as a clearinghouse for files that consumers are trading among themselves.

"Each song has its digital 'fingerprint' determined and entered into a database. Then when users share a song, Snocap checks the database for the associated copyright information and enforces whatever usage rules the owner has assigned. This will allow music retailers and P2P networks to offer a massive library of legal content without having to maintain relationships with each individual copyright holder, according to Fanning."

Chris Marlowe. Online Music Firm Snocap Goes Indie Route. Reuters. June 13, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 11, 2005

Business Software Alliance Describes Future Technologies

"Too much wine with dinner? In the future, your car might not start if you're drunk -- and it might automatically call a cab, notify your spouse and even reschedule business appointments early the next morning.

"That sobering vision of things to come could also include the ability to read important e-mails and other vital messages on television, wireless telephone or computers at work and at home.

"To Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, technology in the future promises better tools for sorting and managing important information -- from e-mails, instant messages, blogs and Web sites -- that will help computer users discard their digital junk."

Ted Bridis. Top CEOs Describe Future Technologies. BusinessWeek Online. June 10, 2005.

See also:
Associated Press. Video Interview with Business Software Alliance.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 08, 2005

iTunes Gives P2P Sites a Run for Money

"Apple Computer's iTunes online music store is as popular as most music-swapping networks, according to a study released Tuesday.

"The survey by market research firm NPD Group found that approximately 1.7 million U.S. households downloaded a song from iTunes in March. That was good enough to earn the store a second-place ranking with peer-to-peer downloading service LimeWire.

"The most popular digital music service during the month, however, was P2P site WinMX, which was used by 2.1 million households to download music during the month.

CNET News.com Staff. Study: iTunes More Popular Than Many P2P Sites. News.com. June 7, 2005.

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June 07, 2005

Mercora Offers Music Search Tool

"Music start-up Mercora is dipping its toes into the trendy world of Internet search, with a new Web-based tool aimed at finding free music being played on the company's peer-to-peer radio network.

"The company is expanding quickly from its roots as an innovative streaming Net radio service, in which it has blended much of the immediate on-demand listening of file-swapping networks with the legal framework of Web radio.

"The new tool is aimed at appealing to a new audience of casual Web surfers, allowing them to search the Mercora network and listen to a wide range of songs that approximates on demand. Thus, a person might search for The Beatles and have two dozen or more songs instantly at their fingertips to listen to for free."

John Borland. P2P Radio Morphing into Free Music Search. News.com. June 6, 2005.

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June 06, 2005

BitTorrent As Distribution Platform

"Film and television executives no doubt wish the increasingly popular BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing system never saw the light of day. Thousands of consumers are using the software to download hundreds of movies and hours upon hours of television programming.

"But one industry's threat is another's opportunity. There's an upside to allowing viewers to transfer copyright material content over BitTorrent."

Patrick Gray. The Other Side of BitTorrent. Wired News. June 2, 2005.

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Web-Delivered TV Needs Work

"Years ago, our futuristic fantasies involved robot butlers, video wristwatches and flying cars. These days, we would be happy to have a cell phone with no dead spots, e-mail without spam and the ability to watch any TV show, anytime we want it.

"Actually, they are making progress on that last item. A company called Akimbo has a tantalizing idea. What if you had a TiVo-like set-top box, complete with a hard drive that could hold 200 hours of video--but instead of recording live broadcasts, you could tap into an enormous library of shows, stored on the Internet, and watch them whenever you liked?"

David Pogue. TV's Future Is Here, But It Needs Work. News.com. June 4, 2005.

Stefanie Olsen and Richard Shim. Search Giants Court TiVo. News.com. April 18, 2005.

Stefanie Olsen. Akimbo Debuts Video on Demand on Amazon. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

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June 04, 2005

Skype Adds Video to VoIP Service

"Skype users can now download a free plug-in from Dialcom that will enable video conferencing using the Skype P2P engine.

"The Spontania Video4skype, allows any users with a webcam connected to their PCs and a Skype account and broadband internet access, to make video-calls using the Skype client."

Faultline. Skype Enables Video Calling. The Register. June 1, 2005.

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June 02, 2005

Lawmaker Opposes Broadcast Flag in DTV Bill

"A key lawmaker has complicated the movie industry's push for a law to restrict consumers' ability to redistribute digital TV content over peer-to-peer networks and the internet at large.

"Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, has indicated that he opposes inserting a broadcast flag measure in his newly introduced digital TV bill, which would set a 2008 hard deadline for broadcasters to give back their analog spectrum."

Michael Grebb. Broadcast Flag at Half Mast?. Wired News. June 1, 2005.

Related:
CRS Report for Congress. Copyright Protection of Digital Television: The "Broadcast Flag". (.pdf) April 5, 2005.

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May 26, 2005

SEMs Wary of P2P Search Ads

"Revelations that controversial file-sharing software developer Ask Jeeves alongside its upcoming search engine have drawn mixed results from SEMs.

"BitTorrent announced Monday that it is planning to launch a search engine to index the thousands of movies, music, video games and other files currently shared using the company's peer-to-peer software. Alongside search results, the company will show keyword-targeted text ads from Ask Jeeves."

Kevin Newcomb. Prospect of Search Ads on P2P Site Rattle SEMs. ClickZNews. May 25, 2005.

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Feds Target Star Wars Pirates, BitTorrent

"Federal agents launched a crackdown on users of a popular new technology used to steal the latest 'Star Wars' movie and other large data files off the Internet, immigration officials announced Wednesday.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday that the campaign, which included search warrants and the shutdown of a Web site, was its first-ever criminal enforcement action against users of a file-sharing program known as BitTorrent."

Krysten Crawford. Feds Bite BitTorrent. CNNMoney. May 25, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Law Enforcement Announces Operation D-Elite Crackdown on P2P Piracy Network. (Press Release.) May 25, 2005.

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Senators Address International IP Piracy

"U.S. senators urged the Bush administration on Wednesday to increase pressure on Russia and China to respect copyright law, warning that those nations have become havens for movie and software piracy.

"Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who chairs the Senate copyright subcommittee, made one of the most ominous statements to date about what might happen if unfettered piracy continues.

"James Mendenhall, the acting general counsel for the U.S. Trade Representative, said his colleagues are hosting a delegation from China this week to talk in part about copyright law."

Declan McCullagh. Senators Urge International Copyright Crackdown. News.com. May 25, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Testimony of James Mendenhall. May 25, 2005.

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May 25, 2005

BitTorrent Search Engine to Carry Search Ads

"Whiz kid inventor Bram Cohen and a small cadre of developers and entrepreneurs are in the final stage of launching an advertising-supported search engine dedicated to cataloging and indexing the thousands of movies, music tracks, software programs and other files for download over Cohen's popular BitTorrent protocol.

"The free search tool will be the first large-scale commercial offering from BitTorrent, a five-person company headed by Cohen that so far has drawn most of its revenue from T-shirt sales and PayPal donations."

Kevin Poulsen. Next for BitTorrent: Search. Wired News. May 23, 2005.

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May 24, 2005

Elementary Schoolers Receive Copyright Warning

"Think schools are just scaring kids about drugs, sex and poor study habits these days? Now you can put illegal file trading on the list.

"Sixth-graders in American Fork, Utah, will start their journey to middle school on Tuesday with a warning from the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office about the ills of illegally downloading music, movies and games from the Web."

Alorie Gilbert. Never Too Young for a Copyright Lesson. News.com. May 23, 2005.

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May 21, 2005

Swedish Minister to Consider DRM Ban on CDs

"Sweden's justice minister, Thomas Bodström, has called for record companies to stop copy-protecting CDs.

"In a move which will stoke up the country's increasingly heated copyright protection debate, Bodström has said that if the industry continues to put blocking technology on new music CDs, the government will make it illegal."

No author. Justice Minister Threatens to Ban CD "Copy Protection". The Local. May 19, 2005.

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May 19, 2005

BBC to Test Internet TV Downloads

"Around 190 hours of TV shows and 310 hours of radio programmes are to be made available for legal downloading to selected individuals across the UK.

"It marks the second stage in the development of the BBC's interactive Media Player (iMP).

"The iMP will allow viewers to catch up with programmes up to seven days after they are broadcast, using the internet to download shows to home computers."

BBC News. BBC Moves Ahead With TV Downloads. May 16, 2005.

See also:
Jason Deans. BBC to Trial TV Content Online. Guardian Unlimited. May 16, 2005.

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May 14, 2005

MPAA Sues TV File Sharing Sites

"Continuing its war on Internet file-swapping sites, the Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday that it has filed lawsuits against a half-dozen hubs for TV show trading.

"The trade association said that piracy of TV programming is growing quickly online, and that shows are as important to protect as big-budget films. This is the first legal action from the group that has focused most heavily on TV content."

John Borland. MPAA Targets TV Download Sites. News.com. May 12, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. All Shows, All the Time. News.com. No date.

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May 04, 2005

Study Notes Sharp P2P Increase

"Slyck.com has been tracking the population of the largest P2P networks since we opened in 2000. We gather the statistics from the network clients, and verify them through a third party.

"In March of 2005, Slyck compiled our collected data. Starting with January of 2003, the respective statistics for eDonkey2000, Direct Connect, FastTrack, Gnutella and Overnet were averaged per month. Unfortunately there is no accurate way to gauge BitTorrent’s population (other than bandwidth consumption), therefore it is excluded. We then released our 'Stats Expanded' section, which graphically depicted the growth or decline of these five networks."

Thomas Mennecke. Interest in File-Sharing at All Time High. Slyck. April 27, 2005.

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April 28, 2005

Grid Computing Moves to the Boardroom

"Two initiatives in the coming weeks will seek to make computing grids, where far-flung computers act as a single machine, more widespread in the business world.

"In May, a consortium of vendors called the Enterprise Grid Alliance plans to release its first recommendations for making grids more palatable to businesses. The EGA guidelines, which was formed one year ago to promote grid computing in business, will address a range of technical issues, from security to a utility-like pricing system for buying computing power in industry-standard increments."

Martin LaMonica. Grids Get Down to Business. News.com. April 27, 2005.

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Bush Signs Family Entertainment Act into Law

"File-swappers who distribute a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet can be imprisoned for up to three years, according to a bill that President Bush signed into law on Wednesday.

"The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, approved by the House of Representatives last Tuesday, represents the entertainment industry's latest attempt to thwart rampant piracy on file-swapping networks. "

Declan McCullagh. Bush Signs Law Targeting P2P Pirates. News.com. April 27, 2005.

Commentary by K. Matthew Dames, Executive Editor, SNTReport.com:

I had an interesting conversation yesterday about this legislation with Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor, author, cultural historian and copyright chronicler whose most recent book is The Anarchist in the Library. Siva was in Washington, D.C. yesterday to speak to members of the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. The speech, "How Fair and Useful Is Fair Use?," took place in the East Conference Room at the U.S. Supreme Court, mere steps from the courtroom where oral arguments (.pdf) in the MGM v. Grokster peer-to-peer case occurred last month.

First, I'll provide some background for our conversation. I noted last week that Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the ranking Republican on the Senate's Judiciary Committee, introduced The Family Entertainment Act in the Senate. (The Judiciary Committee considers and passes intellectual property legislation.) The law's primary beneficiary is a Utah company named ClearPlay, which makes technology that censors sex, violence, and other "objectionable" material from DVDs.

What I omitted from that note was my opinion on this issue, which I'll state now: The Family Entertainment Act sanctions a specific business model (home-based production of derivative works), and validates the existence of a corporate constituent whose home state, not coincidentally, is the same as one of the legislation's primary sponsors. Further, I see the Act as another in a series of events where public policy -- expressed through the legislative process in this case -- benefits specific corporate interests rather than the public at large. What I find interesting is that this legislation benefits a technology and the company that has developed the technology. Usually, most intellectual property legislation benefits entertainment companies that develop content.

Interestingly, Siva has a different take on this topic, one that suggests the Act does, in fact, serve the public's interest to the distinct detriment of industrial interests.

His thought is that the Act's passage is a Congressional sanction that gives consumers some level of control over their private uses of technology. To detail further, Siva thinks that by legally sanctioning ClearPlay's technology, families now have some autonomy in how they use their personal media spaces. Here is why this is important: by returning to consumers some control over their own personal media spaces, he says, the Act also diminishes the influence that the entertainment/content industry has over how digital media is used inside the home.

By diminishing this influence, Siva concludes, the entertainment industry's ability to set a copyright agenda for non-infringing uses that are not specifically accounted for in the Copyright Act also diminishes, however slightly.

I remain wary about this legislation, since I am always concerned about the ways in which the lines between private, corporate interests and public policy interests are continuing to blur. But Siva's take is quite interesting.

See also:
Associated Press. Bush Signs DVD 'Sanitizing' Bill. CBSNews.com. April 27, 2005.

National Public Radio. Decency Software Pits Hollywood Against Capitol Hill. Morning Edition. April 27, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. Prison Terms on Tap for 'Prerelease' Pirates. News.com. April 19, 2005.

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April 27, 2005

Open Media Network Shares Video, Audio

"Mike Homer sees the future of public broadcasting, and it's on the Internet.

"Or rather, it is the Internet.

"Homer and erstwhile Netscape wunderkind Marc Andreessen are using file-sharing technology to distribute audio and video files for free online. Unlike Kazaa and other popular 'peer-to-peer' programs, however, Open Media Network allows only authorized sharing and weeds out bootlegged goods."

Jon Healey. Network Shares Audio and Video, Screens Out Bootlegs. LATimes.com. April 26, 2005.

See also:
Benny Evangelista. Startup to Offer Digital TV, Radio Shows Online for Free. San Francisco Chronicle. April 26, 2005.

John Borland. Netscape Pioneers Launch Free Content Network. News.com. April 25, 2005.

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April 26, 2005

RealNetworks to Unveil Portable Music Service

"Digital media company RealNetworks Inc. plans to unveil on Tuesday a new portable music service for digital music players as part of its subscription service portfolio, a source familiar with the plans said on Monday.

"The Seattle-based company, which operates the Rhapsody subscription music service, will now let listeners rent music on a monthly basis that can be stored on a range of supported digital music players."

Kenneth Li. RealNetworks to Launch Music on the Go - Source. Reuters. April 25, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. RealNetworks Readies New Music Service. ZDNet. April 25, 2005.

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Motorola Invests in Asylum Telecom

"Motorola has invested an undisclosed sum in Voice over Internet Protocol specialist Asylum Telecom, the companies announced today.

"Asylum provides ISPs, resellers and corporate customers with communications services, including VoIP, that integrate with PBX systems and GSM mobile technology."

Colin C. Haley. Motorola Grants Asylum VC. InternetNews.com. April 25, 2005.

See also:
Motorola. Motorola Ventures Invests in Asylum Telecom. (Press Release.) April 25, 2005.

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April 25, 2005

P2P Not Just for Swapping Songs

"College kids looking for free music may have popularized Internet file-trading software, but the technology is now used by everyone from penny-pinching phone callers to polar explorers.

"Even the recording industry is changing its tune as labels that for years have waged a legal war against 'peer-to-peer' companies are now allowing authorized uses of the technology."

Andy Sullivan. Peer-To-Peer Users Share More Than Stolen Songs. Reuters. April 23, 2005.

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Video Search Stirs Rivalry

"As millions of broadband subscribers who missed a wardrobe-malfunction moment on TV can attest, the internet can be a convenient resource for finding much-talked-about events on video.

"Whether it's Janet Jackson's Super Bowl breast exposure or The Daily Show host Jon Stewart's explosive appearance on a political talk show, video clips of high-profile moments have sent millions of net users scrambling to search engines for footage.

"But until recently, internet users who don't patronize peer-to-peer sites had few options for tracking down video content outside of entering a query in a standard search box.

Joanna Glasner. Search Battle Heads to Video. Wired News. April 23, 2005.

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April 23, 2005

Verizon, Movielink Launch Movie Download Service

"Verizon Communications on Thursday launched a movie download service for broadband customers through a partnership with Movielink.

"The rentals are available to customers of Verizon Online's digital subscriber line and Fios Internet service, Verizon said. These customers can choose from a selection of titles on Movielink's video-on-demand service."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Verizon Calls 'Action' on Movie Downloads. News.com. April 21, 2005.

See also:
Ben Charny and Jim Hu. Verizon's Fiber Race is On. News.com. July 19, 2004.

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April 18, 2005

P2P Causes Upswing in Bandwidth Usage

"Internet users consumed more bandwidth than ever last year, driven by the growing popularity of peer-to-peer networks and heightened demand for video files.

"Burgeoning demand also prompted internet carriers to upgrade their network capacity to handle the upswing in traffic, a new report indicates.

"According to TeleGeography, a telecommunications research firm, international demand for bandwidth grew 42 percent in 2004, with the largest upswing in usage coming from Asian nations."

Joanna Glasner. P2P Fuels Global Bandwidth Binge. Wired News. April 14, 2005.

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April 16, 2005

Comcast Customer Sues Over Privacy Breach

"Comcast Corp., the top U.S. cable television network operator, is being sued by a Seattle-area woman for disclosing her name and contact information, court records showed on Thursday.

"In a lawsuit filed in King County, Washington, Dawnell Leadbetter said that she was contacted by a debt collection agency in January and told to pay a $4,500 for downloading copyright-protected music or face a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Reuters. Comcast Customer Sues Over Disclosure. MSNBC News. April 14, 2005.

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Motorola to Test iRadio for Cell Phones

"Motorola Inc. is betting consumers will pay to have it both ways, gaining control over the content on their car radios and the flexibility of taking their music with them on their cell phones when they turn off their engines.

"Motorola, the No. 2 maker of mobile telephones, is set to unveil a service called iRadio that will let users download preselected audio content from a range of providers on their home computers, dump it on their cell phones and listen to it on their car stereos."

Deborah Cohen. Motorola Set to Unveil iRadio for Cell Phones. Reuters. April 15, 2005.

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April 15, 2005

Grouper Twists P2P Debate

"Jennifer Urban, a law professor at USC, wanted to watch home movies of her 7-month-old nephew Peter in England, but nothing seemed to work. The videotapes and DVDs were in the wrong format, and the digital movie files were too big to e-mail. Then Urban hit on a software program called Grouper. And in addition to movies of her nephew, Grouper offers Urban, who specializes in copyright law, insight into how technology is testing the boundaries of copyright in a digital age.

"Grouper allows Urban to copy movies and pictures of young Peter directly from her brother and sister-in-law's computer without worrying about formats or oversized e-mail attachments. Unlike those global networks with millions of users, though, Grouper also lets Urban pick and choose with whom she shares online — and sets a strict limit of 30 people per group.

"What makes Grouper troubling to some entertainment industry executives are the other things people can do with it."

Jon Healey. Testing Copyright Limits. LATimes.com. April 12, 2005.

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Analysis of Issues in Supreme Court P2P Case

Although some people may not like it, copyright laws and regulations exist. Those who engage in mass copying and distribution of copyrighted works typically must pay licensing fees, or at least enter into an agreement with the owner of the content. That makes the free, unauthorized trading of massive numbers of music or video files over peer-to-peer networks illegal.

So far, the situation is clear.

What is not clear is the circumstances under which a technology company should be held liable if its product can be used to violate copyright restrictions. What standard should be used to judge this liability? How can one craft that standard so that the threat of liability is not so broad that it discourages beneficial technological innovation?

Anush Yegyazarian. Supreme Court Standards for Peer-to-Peer and Beyond. PC World. April 12, 2005.

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April 14, 2005

O'Reilly's Dornfest Expounds Upon P2P

Some would argue that the learned professional dominated the 20th century, whereas, in the 21st century it appears that a paradigm shift is poised and ready. In an age where knowledge, information, and global communication is at the fingertips of almost anyone, the amateur enthusiast, the "citizen engineer", has the ability to make an impact the economy and society, to remix culture.

In a highly concentrated, super-charged discussion, Rael Dorfest, CTO of O'Reilly Media and series editor of the popular O'Reilly Hacks book series, outlines the theme of the 2005 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, remixing. He examines the impact of the "remix culture" on business, innovation, the Internet, and the interaction between the customer with technology through mass amateurizaton. Mr. Dornfest discusses the ways in which we remix the web, remix music, remix television, remix networks, remix movies, remix data, remix text, remix syndication, remix the bookshelf, and other remixes.

Rael Dornfest. Rules for Remixing. ITConversations. March 15, 2005. (Speech is made available as a downloadable .MP3 and streamed Real Audio content.)

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April 13, 2005

P2P Ruling Will Set Technology Standards

"Although some people may not like it, copyright laws and regulations exist. Those who engage in mass copying and distribution of copyrighted works typically must pay licensing fees, or at least enter into an agreement with the owner of the content. That makes the free, unauthorized trading of massive numbers of music or video files over peer-to-peer networks illegal.

"So far, the situation is clear.

"What is not clear is the circumstances under which a technology company should be held liable if its product can be used to violate copyright restrictions."

Anush Yegyazarian. Supreme Court Standards for Peer-to-Peer and Beyond. PC World. April 12, 2005.

See also:
Grant Gross. Supreme Court Justices Question Peer-to-Peer Lawsuits. PC World. March 29, 2005.

U.S. Supreme Court. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc., et al. v. Grokster, Ltd, et al.. (.pdf) March 29, 2005.

Grant Gross. P-to-P Case May Have Far-Reaching Impact. PC World. March 25, 2005.

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April 12, 2005

Video Games to Include Dynamic Ads

"In video game vernacular, which of these commands seems out of place: throw punch, slay dragon or view Sprite billboard?

"It's a trick question; they all belong.

"At least they do to Mitchell Davis, who says he believes that advertisements and product placements will soon become as integral to video games as story lines and action."

Matt Richtel. A New Reality in Video Games: Advertisements. The New York Times. April 11, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Coming Soon: Ads in Video Games. CNN/Money. April 11, 2005.

David Becker. Play to Pay: Service Inserts Ads in Games. News.com. April 10, 2005.

Dinesh Sharma. Advertisers to Go Gaga Over Gaming. News.com. October 18, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Computers in Libraries' Presentations Available Online

"This page features links to World Wide Web sites, PowerPoint slideshows, and other electronic resources used in support of presentations at Computers in Libraries 2005. Links are provided at the discretion of presenters. Additional links will be provided as they become available."

Information Today. Computers in Libraries 2005: Presentation Links.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of these presentation links through a posting in beSpacific, edited by Sabrina I. Pacifici.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on K. Matthew Dames' presentation at the conference.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

P2P Myths Over Impact on Music Industry

"Canada is in the midst of a contentious copyright reform with advocates for stronger copyright protection maintaining that the Internet has led to widespread infringement that has harmed the economic interests of Canadian artists. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) has emerged as the leading proponent of copyright reform, claiming that peer–to–peer file sharing has led to billions in lost sales in Canada.

"This article examines CRIA’s claims by conducting an analysis of industry figures. It concludes that loss claims have been greatly exaggerated and challenges the contention that recent sales declines are primarily attributable to file–sharing activities."

Michael Geist. Piercing the P2P Myths: An Examination of the Canadian Experience. First Monday. April 2005.

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April 11, 2005

File Sharing Discussion at NYPL

"The tickets for the event Thursday sold out in five minutes on the Internet, and on the evening itself the lines stretched down the block. The reverent young fans might as well have been holding cellphones aloft as totems of their fealty.

"Then again, this was the New York Public Library, a place of very high ceilings and even higher cultural aspirations, so the rock concert vibe created some dissonance. Inside, things became clearer as two high priests of very different tribes came together to address the question of 'Who Owns Culture?' - a discussion of digital file-sharing sponsored by Wired magazine, part of a library series called 'Live From the NYPL.'

"Both Jeff Tweedy, the leader of the fervently followed rock band Wilco, and Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University law professor who has opposed criminalizing file sharing, seemed to agree that just about anybody who owns a modem also owns - or at least has every right to download - culture products."

David Carr. Exploring the Right to Share, Mix and Burn. The New York Times. April 9, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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April 08, 2005

AOL Launches Internet Phone Service

"America Online Inc. today plans to offer local and long-distance phone service via the Internet in Washington and 43 other cities, the latest entry in an increasingly crowded market that includes the major cable and telecommunications companies.

"AOL's new product is designed to work like regular phone service except that calls are routed over high-speed Internet connections. Setting up the service requires users to have AOL software on their computers."

David A. Vise. AOL to Introduce Internet Phone Service. WashingtonPost.com. April 7, 2005.

See also:
Tom Spring. AOL Answers the VoIP Call. PC World. April 7, 2005.

Sam Diaz. AOL Enters VoIP Arena. San Jose Mercury News. April 7, 2005.

Chris Richardson. AOL Introduces VOIP Service. WebProNews. April 7, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.


Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Growth of VoIP Poses Risk

"Dr. Shashi Phoha, director of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said she thinks that the growth of VOIP technology brings with it some significant risks that users need to be prepared to address.

"'The vulnerabilities are severe,' she said, pointing to a list that included ways to spoof or spy that aren't easily available on regular phones."

Wayne Rash. 'Severe' Vulnerabilities Are Possible in VOIP, Official Warns. eWeek. April 5, 2005.

See also:
Wayne Rash. SPIT Into This, Please. eWeek. March 16, 2005.

Wayne Rash. VOIP Panel Seeks Standard. eWeek. April 5, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:21 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

April 07, 2005

Phling! Enhances Mobile Lifestyle

"There’s a new player in the mobile social software sphere: Phling! is a service for your cellphone that allows you to relay multimedia between your phone, your IM buddy list, and your home computer."

Barb Dybwad. Phling! takes P2P Approach to MoSoSo-ing. thesocialsoftwareweblog. April 4, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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April 04, 2005

College Students: Early Adopters of Legal Downloading

"College junior Kyle Taylor is downloading hundreds of songs by No Doubt, Bruce Springsteen and others onto the Compaq laptop in his cramped dormitory room.

"With a few more clicks of his mouse, Taylor is watching commercial-free 'Seinfeld' episodes on his computer. In just minutes, he then downloads the entire movie 'A League of Their Own.' The 20-year-old is not breaking any laws. Nor is he at risk of expensive lawsuits by the entertainment industry over copyright violations."

Ted Bridis. Students Using New Generation of Downloads. BusinessWeek Online. April 3, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

Sony Plans iTunes for Movies

"Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment is trying to develop and own the next iTunes--but for films.

"We want to set business models, pricing models, distribution models like (Apple Computer CEO Steve) Jobs did for music, but for the film industry," Michael Arrieta, senior vice president of Sony Pictures, said at the Digital Hollywood conference here."

Stefanie Olsen. Hollywood Seeks iTunes for Film. News.com. March 30, 2005.

No author. Sony Wants an 'iTunes for Movies'. BBC News. March 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft Unveils Video Download Service

"Microsoft has launched a video download service that offers daily television programming, entertainment clips, and other digital content for viewing on Windows Mobile-based devices, it says.

"The MSN Video Downloads service draws on content from Microsoft partners such as CinemaNow, MSNBC.com, and TiVo, allowing subscribers to watch video on their smart phones, Pocket PCs, and Portable Media Centers."

Scarlet Pruitt. Microsoft Launches Mobile Video Downloads. PC World. March 30, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Intel, Bertelsmann Partner for P2P

"The world's largest chipmaker, Intel, and a unit of German media giant Bertelsmann plan to cooperate in technology for downloading and sharing films, music clips and games from the Internet.

"Intel will make chips for PCs, notebooks and mobile phones that are compatible with Bertelsmann's new online media file-sharing platform, capitalizing on a huge and growing public appetite for accessing music and other media online."

Reuters.Intel, Bertelsmann Link up for Online Media. News.com. March 30, 2005.

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Cellphones: Platforms for Services & Features

"Larry Azlin, a software engineer in El Cerrito, Calif., considers himself one of the lucky ones. His aging clamshell cellphone, a Motorola V60, seems to work just fine. But once he gives it some thought, it occurs to him that he does have a few complaints.

"His biggest complaint is that the phone insists on making noise at every opportunity.

"Mr. Azlin is hardly alone in being confused and confounded by his cellphone at times. Gone are the days when the most one expected from a mobile phone was to place or to receive a call."

Michel Marriot and Katie Hafner. It's Not Just a Phone, It's an Adventure. The New York Times. March 31, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:07 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 31, 2005

Skype Leveraged as Podcasting Tool

"Skype was created as a no-cost long-distance phone service. It does that very well. What it also allows you to do, if you're just a little technically-minded and have a homebrew gene or two, is to record your Skype phone conversation, with the other person's permission, to an audio file on a second computer. Once you've recorded the audio, you can edit out the uhms, ahs and pauses, compress the audio and then place it on the web for public consumption.

"I've been doing some experiments recording Skype interviews and am writing this article to pass along some tips and pointers."

Phil Shapiro. Using Skype as a Community Media Production Tool. No publisher. No date.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:17 PM | Send to a friend!

Skypecasters Turn Net Phones into Broadcasting System

"Calling all music players.

"A growing number of people are sharing the digital music on MP3 players and other music devices using freely available software and Skype, a free Internet phone service.

"The enthusiasts are borrowing heavily from another personal broadcasting phenomenon called podcasting, in which digital recordings are posted on a Web site for download to a variety of music players, including desktop PCs and portable gadgets like Apple Computer's wildly popular iPod. 'Skypecasters, as they call themselves, use Skype's peer-to-peer telephone network to distribute recordings over the Internet directly to each other for free."

Ben Charny. VoIP Calls Get Podcast Treatment. News.com. March 29, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. A Novel Podcast. News.com. March 24, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 30, 2005

Supreme Court Hears P2P Case

"The much-heralded Supreme Court showdown in the Grokster case today between old-fashioned entertainment and new-fangled technology found the justices surprisingly responsive to warnings from Grokster and its allies that a broad definition of copyright infringement could curtail innovation.

"Justice David H. Souter asked Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., the lawyer arguing for the Hollywood studios and the recording industry, to envision 'a guy sitting in his garage inventing the iPod.'

"That David Souter, the least technically minded of the justices, was an indication of how this confrontation of powerful interests had engaged the court.But by the end of the lively argument, any prediction about what the court will actually decide appeared perilous."

Linda Greenhouse. Justices Seem Responsive to Arguments on File Sharing. The New York Times. March 29, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Supreme Court Takes Hard Look at P2P. News.com. March 29, 2005.

Jon Healey. Technology or Piracy? Court Asked to Draw Line. Seattle Times. March 29, 2005.

Ted Bridis. Supreme Court Weighs in on File-Sharing. ABC News. March 29, 2005.

National Public Radio. Supreme Court Weighs Online File-Sharing Case. All Things Considered. March 29, 2005.

National Pubic Radio. Slate's Jurisprudence: File-Sharing. Day to Day. March 29, 2005.

David McGuire. At a Glance: MGM v. Grokster. WashingtonPost.com. March 29, 2005.

Katie Dean. Camping Out for the Grokster Case. Wired News. March 29, 2005.

Update:
Andrew Leonard. Music Rules. Salon. March 30, 2005.

Jim Puzzanghera. Justices Wary of Barring Tools for File-sharing. San Jose Mercury News. March 30, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Software Searches VoIP Calls

"For the price of tailored advertisements, an Internet ad company is peddling free add-on features, including search capabilities, for conversations on Skype and other voice over Internet Protocol services.

"Privately held United Virtualities, based in New York, on Monday introduced downloadable software for recording and searching phone conversations via voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP--a relatively new technology for placing phone calls over a broadband connection.

"The application, called HotRecorder, also allows people to create a voice mail box for VoIP calls and to forward messages to e-mail in-boxes or cell phones."

Stefanie Olsen. Software Lets People Search VoIP Chitchat. News.com. March 28, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 29, 2005

Showdown at the Supreme Court

"Ken Fuhrman's Colorado-based start-up company is a television junkie's dream, making powerful home media servers to hold digitized versions of television shows, movies and music.

"But Fuhrman is worried. On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether file-swapping software companies Grokster and StreamCast Networks should be held responsible for the widespread copyright infringement on their networks, and he's afraid his company, Interact-TV, could be affected too."

John Borland. Top Court to Hear Landmark P2P Case Tuesday. News.com. March 28, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. FAQ: Betamax--Tech's Favorite Ruling. News.com. March 28, 2005.

Katie Dean. Supreme Showdown for P2P's Future. Wired News. March 28, 2005.

Saul Hansell and Jeff Leeds. A Supreme Court Showdown for File Sharing. The New York Times. March 28, 2005.

Jon Healey. High Court Prepares for Case Against File Sharing. LATimes.com. March 28, 2005.

Marcia Coyle. Justices to Weigh Key Copyright Case. Law.com. March 21, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005

Mavericks Owner Funds Grokster Defense

Broadcast.com billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has announced that he will finance Grokster's defense against MGM's peer-to-peer lawsuit, which is expected to be argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 29.

Cuban, who sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion and is now president of HDNet, a provider of high-definition TV programming, wrote in a blog entry Saturday that he had agreed to fund the software company's defense after he was approached by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others.

Steven Musil. Mark Cuban to Finance Grokster Defense. News.com. March 27, 2005.

See also:
Blog Maverick. Let the Truth Be Told…MGM vs Grokster. March 26, 2005.

MercuryNews.com. Is a Software Maker or Distributor Obliged to Build Anti-theft Protections, Like Encryption, Into Its Design?. March 27, 2005. (Editorial)

Joan Biskupic. Online File Sharing to Face Judicial Test. USA Today. March 27, 2005.

P2PNet.com. Crux of Big Music's Problems. March 25, 2005.

Grant Gross. P-to-P Case May Have Far-Reaching Impact. PC World. March 25, 2005.

The Economist. Grokster and StreamCast Face the Music. March 24, 2005. (Editorial)

Julie Hilden. File Sharing Goes Before Supreme Court. CNN.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. MGM v. Grokster archive. No date.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 09:00 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 26, 2005

P2P @ SXSW

"Somewhere between the live music showcases on Sixth Street and the endless schmoozing that ran well past midnight, the deep-fried drunkfest known as South by Southwest also squeezed in some discussion of technology and how it's changing the music industry.

"In the tradition of the annual Austin music festival, which ended last weekend, panels covered both the industry and artistic side of the music game. Labels and managers, after all, are just as interested as the artists themselves in how the internet, digital downloading and other technologies are turning the music business on its head."

Michael Grebb. P2P: Music's Death Knell or Boon?. Wired.com. March 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:48 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Study: Enterprises Lack IM Security Policies

"Many businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to the emerging crop of IM-borne attacks because they aren't managing employee use of instant-messaging software, a new report finds.

"A report released Wednesday by SurfControl contends that a sizeable number of U.S. businesses have yet to formulate or put into practice any official guidelines for dictating how workers may use IM on their networks.

"A recent survey conducted by the IT security company found that 90 percent of the 7,500-plus businesses it spoke with have established policies to manage the use of e-mail, but 49 percent have no official rules in place to govern IM and peer-to-peer software usage."

Matt Hines. Report: Companies Unprepared for IM Attacks. News.com. March 23, 2005.

See also:
SurfControl. SurfControl Study Finds Majority of Enterprises Unprepared to Manage Instant Messaging Threats. (Press Release.) March 23, 2005.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport.com's prior story on the increase of IM attacks.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 25, 2005

Ireland's Cinemas Go All Digital

"Digital Cinema Limited (DCL), the Irish subsidiary of the digital cinema technology firm Avica Europe, will be installing new technology into 500 screens in 105 sites throughout the country at a cost of EUR40 million, making Ireland the first country in the world to convert all cinemas to a digital format from 35mm film."

Deirdre McArdle. Irish Cinemas Go Digital. ElectricNews.net. Mrach 22, 2005.

See also:
Laura Rohde. Ireland Putting Digital Films in Every Cinema. PC World. March 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Study: P2P Usage Declines

"About 36 million Americans—or 27% of internet users—say they download either music or video files and about half of them have found ways outside of traditional peer-to-peer networks or paid online services to swap their files, according to the most recent survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Mary Madden and Lee Rainie. Music and Video Downloading Moves Beyond P2P. Pew Internet and American Life Project. March 23, 2005.

Mary Madden and Lee Rainie. Music and Video Downloading Moves Beyond P2P (.pdf) March 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

British Man Accused of Copyright Infringement

"A British man who runs a Web site that allegedly once supported the BitTorrent peer-to-peer application is facing the threat of being sued by four major U.S. movie studios.

"Kevin Reid has been accused of copyright infringement by Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios and Warner Bros. The studios filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court earlier this month claiming that copyright-protected films have been uploaded and downloaded from bds-palace.co.uk, which Reid runs.

"Reid has not yet been formally named as a defendant in the lawsuit. However, lawyers representing the four labels have served him with legal papers asking him to reach a settlement."

Graeme Wearden. U.K. Man Threatened with BitTorrent Lawsuit. News.com. March 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

New Music Video Download Services

"Fans will be able to build libraries of their favorite music videos because of deals set to be announced Wednesday (March 16) involving digital entertainment companies CinemaNow and MediaPass Network.

"CinemaNow announced agreements with Warner Music Group, Epitaph Records and TVT Records to sell music videos on a download-to-own basis.

"This marks the first time music videos will be made available specifically for Microsoft's Windows Mobile-based secure devices, a category that includes Portable Media Centers, Pocket PCs and Smartphones from many different manufacturers."

Chris Marlowe. Download Deals Play Music Videos. Yahoo! News. March 20, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:44 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 23, 2005

Skype to Expand Paid Services

"Net phone phenom Skype is preparing to expand its menu of paid services, hastening its efforts to evolve from a free provider of niche services into a profitable company that could give industry giants a run for their money.

"The Luxembourg-based upstart has so far signed up 29 million registered users for its free Net phone calling software--a unique version of voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP--making it one of the fastest-growing services on the Net. Now it's aiming to milk profits from its swelling ranks of freeloaders with paid services that promise to make its Net-only product significantly more useful to consumers--and potentially more lethal to traditional phone providers."

Evan Hansen. Skype Goes for the Gold. News.com. March 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 22, 2005

Sony's PSP Focuses on Gaming

"Sony has often won big by thinking small. Portable gizmos such as the Walkman, the Discman and the Handicam helped make this company the consumer electronics power it is today. But until now, it hasn't tried to run that play with its most successful product of the past decade, the PlayStation line of video-game machines.

"That changes Thursday, when Sony introduces the PlayStation Portable -- PSP for short. This $250 device is Sony's answer to Nintendo's Game Boy and DS handhelds. It also represents yet another try by Sony to get into the portable-media market Apple's iPod owns."

Rob Pegoraro. Sony's PSP Wows, but Only if You Stick to the Games. WashingtonPost.com. March 20, 2005.

Related:
Tom Ham. With a New Toy, Plenty of Titles to Play. WashingtonPost.com. March 20, 2005.

See also:
Matthew D. Sarrel. Sony PSP. PC Magazine. March 17, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

Anti-P2P Senator Will Lead New IP Subcommittee

"Orrin Hatch, the senator who once said the recording industry should be able to destroy music pirates' PCs, will be in charge of a new Senate panel responsible for writing copyright laws.

"Hatch, a Utah Republican, on Thursday was formally named chairman of the Senate Intellectual Property subcommittee. It's responsible for overseeing the U.S. Copyright Office and drafting legislation and treaties relating to copyright and patent laws."

Declan McCullagh. Anti-P2P Lawmaker Gets Top Senate Spot. News.com. March 17, 2005.

See also:
David McGuire. Hatch to Head Senate Panel on Copyright. WashingtonPost.com. March 17, 2005.

U.S. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 19, 2005

Will Grokster Case Suffocate Legitimate Innovation?

"As the bitter debate over computer file sharing heads toward the Supreme Court, the pro-technology camp is growing increasingly anxious.

"Some technologists warn that if the court decides in favor of the music and recording industries after hearing arguments in the MGM v. Grokster case on March 29, the ruling could also stifle a proliferating set of new Internet-based services that have nothing to do with the sharing of copyrighted music and movies at issue in the court case.

"Some of those innovations were on display here at the Emerging Technology Conference, attended by about 750 hardware and software designers. The demonstrations included Flickr, a Canadian service that has made it possible for Web loggers and surfers to easily share and catalog millions of digital photographs."

John Markoff. As File Sharing Nears High Court, Techies Worry. News.com. March 17, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:51 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 18, 2005

K. Matthew Dames' Presentation on Social Software

On Thursday, K. Matthew Dames, SNTReport.com's executive editor, co-chaired the "Communities & Collaboration" track at Computers in Libraries 2005. Dames also gave the first presentation in that track, "Social Software 101," which is available in .pdf format below.

Editor's Note: I was very excited about this conference because I believed that the program Steven Cohen and I created contained some of the most valuable material in the entire conference. From the feedback I have received thus far, it seems that the attendees left each session with a lot of fresh ideas about using digital collaboration tools in their workplaces. If today's organizers and speakers were able to spur some of our audience to begin testing these tools for personal use, seek to implement them in the workplace, or merely spur enough curiosity to warrant further investigation, the track was a success.

I would like to thank all the people that attended Computers in Libraries 2005, and I also would like to congratulate Information Today on its 20th year as organizer of CIL.

There are some people, however, for which I reserve a special thanks. Thank you to Will Richardson (editor of Weblogg-ed), Aaron Schmidt (editor of Walking Paper), Michael Stephens (editor of Tame the Web), Megan Fox, and Blake Carver (editor of LISNews.com) for contributing a wealth of rich content and ideas to Thursday's sessions.

Thank you to Nancy Garman, Information Today's Director of Conference Program Planning, and Jane Dysart, CIL 2005 program chair, for their organizational guidance.

And a huge thank you to Steven Cohen, editor of Library Stuff. It was an honor working with you, a pleasure to finally get to know you, and I sincerely hope we can work together again to advance the information sciences and the profession called librarianship.

K. Matthew Dames. Social Software 101. (.pdf). March 17, 2005.

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FAST Launches Search for Mobiles

"Searching from a mobile device is about to get a whole lot easier, thanks to a new mobile search service from FAST. Called 'amsearch,' the service promises to provide mobile users relevant search results from within their carrier's networks, including applications such as ringtones.

"The msearch initiative is based on FAST's Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP) and empowers mobile carriers to deliver search results from within their own network's content as well as going outside of their network when appropriate to deliver relevant results."

Sean Michael Kerner. FAST Into New Mobile Search. InternetNews.com. March 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 17, 2005

Mobile Phone Makers to Embrace VoIP

"With cost-saving voice over Internet telephony taking off and replacing wired phones, makers of cellular phones are taking notice. Cell phone heavyweights Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Nortel Networks and others are incorporating VoIP into the cell phones, chips and wireless network equipment they manufacture or design, executives said here at CTIA Wireless 2005, a major North American wireless trade show.

"VoIP is the basis for Internet phone services, popularized by commercial VoIP provider Vonage and free peer-to-peer phone service provider Skype. VoIP calls are digitized and routed over networks using the Internet Protocol (IP), which is the backbone of the Internet. So far, VoIP calls are unregulated, a major factor that can keep VoIP calling plans at half the cost of traditional phone services.

"Major cell operators--many of which already make extensive internal use of VoIP to cut down on the cost of their own operations--are now making plans to extend VoIP calls from the network core to the handsets. This push coincides with wireless broadband networks the operators are now building, which can transmit the data bits fast enough, and with more accuracy, to make VoIP calling on cell phones a reality."

Ben Charny. Cell Phone Makers to Adopt Internet Calling. News.com. March 15, 2005.

See also:
Maribel D. Lopez. Commentary: Net calls? Not So Fast. News.com. March 8, 2005.

CNET News.com Staff. Overload for the Wireless Industry?. News.com. March 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

A Look at Web Conferencing Services

"Imagine that only certified and trained employees could make phone calls. And that each phone call took 15 minutes to initiate and cost 75 cents a minute, plus 25 cents per person if you wanted a conference. Do you think this might bog down your business?

"That's how the vast majority of Web conferencing services, such as WebEx and Genesys Meeting Center, work. Most are difficult to use, the meter is always running, only licensed and trained organizers can create meetings, and the services are generally not conducive to spur-of-the-moment collaboration.

"For Web conferencing to move beyond sales and marketing presentations and into everyday confabs for project teams, some things need to change. In this story, we look at services that offer low, flat-rate pricing, simple interfaces, and in many cases, innovative ways to start meetings and invite participants on the fly."

Robert P. Lipschutz. Instant Meeting: Easy Web Conferencing. PC Magazine. March 2, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 16, 2005

BitTorrent's Strength Focuses on Legitimate Use

"Most file-sharing programs aren't the most upstanding citizens of the computing world. Yes, the entertainment industry hates them for the way they're used to download movies and albums without paying -- but many of these programs also fail to treat their own users well, often installing an unadvertised, unwanted load of advertising and spyware.

"BitTorrent is different. This free, open-source program offers a spyware- and nuisance-free installation. And while it is certainly handy for downloading movies and other copyrighted material for free, it's also increasingly used to distribute software and entertainment legally.

"This makes BitTorrent (www.bittorrent.com) not only a fascinating test case for legal experts, but it also looks a lot like the logical fusion of peer-to-peer file-sharing and traditional downloading. It's too robust to stamp out with lawsuits, but too effective not to adopt for commercial use."

Rob Pegoraro. BitTorrent May Prove Too Good to Quash. WashingtonPost.com. March 13, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

Microsoft Acquires Groove Networks

"Microsoft Corp. Thursday announced it will acquire collaboration software firm Groove Networks Inc.

"Groove, which makes P2P (peer-to-peer) software that allows geographically dispersed workers to collaborate over the Internet, was founded by Ray Ozzie, creator of Lotus Notes.

"Ozzie will join Microsoft as a chief technology officer and report to Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder and chief software architect."

Michael Myser. Microsoft Buys Groove Networks. eWeek. March 10, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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March 11, 2005

Net Pirates Plead Guilty

"The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that three men pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement, as part of what attorneys called the largest multinational Net piracy investigation to date.

"The investigation, called 'Operation Higher Education,' has been conducted in 12 countries, prosecutors said. The three men pleaded guilty to being part of organized groups including Fairlight and Kalisto, both of which specialized in distributing pirated copies of computer and video games."

John Borland. Three Convictions in Net Piracy Sweeps. News.com. March 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Debate Over Downloading

"Copyright infringement may not sound like a hot topic, but for the generation of Americans born in the Internet age, the ability to download music and films off the Internet has brought the issue front and center, along with confusion, thousands of lawsuits and now a Supreme Court case.

"The entertainment industry is suing makers of software that allow computer users to find and download files from each other's computers, not just Web sites.

"The question for the Supreme Court: How to protect copyrights without stifling the innovation that has brought new technologies such as MP3 players and TiVo?"

Terence Smith. Downloading Debate. Online NewsHour. March 7, 2005.

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Virgin Radio Offers Daily Podcast

"Virgin Radio is making highlights of its breakfast show available for digital audio players in what it says is a first for 'podcasting'.

"The station began making its Pete and Geoff show available to download on Wednesday. It says it is the first UK station to podcast a daily show."

No author. Virgin Radio Starts Daily Podcast. BBC News. March 9, 2005.

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Napster Offers Consumers Free Digital Music 'To Go'

"Digital music download service Napster is launching its 'Napster To Go Cafe Tour' in four U.S. cities to promote its new subscription service.

"Napster will visit coffee shops and clubs in New York, Austin, Los Angeles and Nashville, where it will give away a thousand MP3 players and Napster subscriptions. Napster will take over the locales for a night with signs, t-shirts, Napster coffee cups, and an old-fashioned jukebox. It's promoting the giveaways as 'free fills & refills' of digital music and coffee, getting the word out via radio promotions and flyers."

Kevin Newcomb. Napster Takes Its Show on the Road. ClickZNews. March 8, 2005.

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March 10, 2005

China Hosts Anti-Piracy Events

"About 100 Chinese music celebrities gathered at Beijing's Capital Stadium Saturday night standing on a huge CD-shape platform and singing for public support in the country's fight against rampant music piracy. The stadium was nearly full, and organizers said 150 million more watched on television.

"Pop stars sang their hit songs and occasionally urged their fans not to buy pirated products. Organized by the central government and associations in entertainment circles, the concert was just one of a series anti-piracy events going on in Beijing Saturday, aiming to show officials' and entertainers' determination to hit hard on piracy. Events included a forum, a Beijing anti-piracy declaration and a public destruction of pirated products.

"'If Beijing fails to solve piracy soon, we will not deserve to host the Olympics in 2008,' said Feng Xiaogang, a Chinese director who was recently named the country's proponent of copyright protection."

Xinhua. Officials, Entertainers Stage Events to Fight Piracy. Peoples Daily Online. Feb. 27, 2005.

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March 09, 2005

Lines Blur Between Net Radio & P2P

"A new generation of start-ups is taking a page from Apple Computer's iTunes playbook, allowing Net radio listeners to draw their programming at will from one another's hard drives.

"At the head of a movement that could transform online radio, Live365 and start-up Grouper are the latest to blur these lines between Internet radio and online song-swapping, with an alliance aimed at turning the older companies' stable of amateur broadcasters into the hubs of peer-to-peer communities.

"The model looks to Apple's iTunes software, which lets people on the same network, such as in a dorm or office building, listen to songs from one another's music collections. Grouper's peer-to-peer service lets people stream songs at will to one another over the open Internet."

John Borland. Start-ups Blur Lines Between Radio, Music Swapping. News.com. March 4, 2005.

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March 04, 2005

Groups Urge Supreme Court to Protect File-Sharing

"Backed by powerful technology groups and a handful of artists, file-swapping software companies on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject proposals from the entertainment industry that could put them out of business.

"Record labels and Hollywood studios, seeking to overturn lower court rulings shielding file-swapping companies, have asked the court to rule that businesses distributing products 'predominately' devoted to copyright infringement should be held legally responsible for that illegal activity."

John Borland. P2P Companies Ask High Court for Help. News.com. March 1, 2005.

See also:
Grant Gross. Showdown Looms for P2P Networks. PC World. March 1, 2005.

Dawn C. Chmielewski. Intel Urges High Court to Protect File-Sharing. SilconValley.com. March 2, 2005.

Alex Veiga. Leading Scientists Back File-Sharing Firms. ABC News. March 1, 2005.

Jefferson Graham. Tech Industry Outlines File-Sharing Argument. USA Today. March 1, 2005.

Jonathan Krim. Artists Break With Industry on File Sharing. WashingtonPost.com. March 1, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 03, 2005

O'Reilly Network Interviews Lessig

"What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring of creativity based on creativity. This is not a certain future, however. Peer-to-peer is on the verge of being effectively outlawed. Continuation of the current copyright regime would mean that vast quantities of creative content will be forever locked away from remix artists.

"Lessig is joining the battle for the remix future on several fronts: the court battle on the legality of P2P; another legal battle to free 'orphan works' from their copyright gulag; rolling out new Creative Commons 'sampling licenses' with the help of big-name artists like David Byrne; and supporting the 'free culture' work of Brazilian musician and culture minister Gilberto Gil toward a society based on freedom of culture.

"In an extensive phone interview, I talked with Professor Lessig about all of these issues. Lessig will expound on many of these same topics in his upcoming keynote at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference, March 14-17 in San Diego."

Richard Koman. Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig. O'Reilly Network. Feb. 24, 2005.

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Skype = Seed of Redmond?

"Bill Gates has often outlined a vision of Microsoft becoming an 'information utility,' the nerve center of a Microsoftian infrastructure network where people subscribe to computing power (think 'grid') the way they subscriibe to electric power, cable television, or--you guessed it--telephone service. Skype's startling vision of a future telephone-over-Internet network is probably closer to creating the infrastructure of utility computing than even Bill Gates himself is prepared to admit.

"Skype is an orchestrated attempt to utterly replace a the global telephone network, driven by a small army of cash-armed tech warriors who are as success-driven and shrewd as Gates himself was as an ugly, gawky teenager in the 1970s. If I were Microsoft, or SBC, or Nextel, I'd be watching Skype very closely right now."

Tad Wallingford. Skype Looks More and More Like a Baby Microsoft. O'Reilly Developer Weblogs. Feb. 16, 2005.

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VoIP Experiences Growing Pains

"I want to start by saying I do not want to hear about how one or two readers out there have these VoIP systems and they work flawlessly. I have had good experiences intermittently too. But all too often, the network simply hiccups and you sound like you are on the worst sort of cellular connection.

"What makes this worse is that entire companies have hooked up to these things, with the same results. I'm always amused when a call center in India has one of these systems and it's so overloaded that you can't understand a thing, since the sound is so muffled."

John Dvorak. The Problem with VoIP Phones. PC Magazine. Feb. 24, 2005.

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Qwest Hedges Its Bets with VoIP Game

"To save money, some Minnesota government agencies are discarding their Qwest telephones and switching to new ones that convert calls into data packets that travel over computer networks.

"The new phone service, called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) , saves money for big users by eliminating the need for separate telephone networks, as well as by providing more workplace flexibility with simpler call routing. Hennepin County is embracing the technology, and the Minnesota Department of Revenue is the first large state agency to make the switch.

"The state and county projects will result in Qwest losing 15,000 phone lines, or more, over the next two years."

CRM Daily. Switch to VoIP Is Saving Taxpayers Money. Feb. 25, 2005.

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March 02, 2005

The 'Copyfight' Battle

"There will be no winners if we do not sort out copyright, argues columnist Bill Thompson. But let us not forget moral rights.

"Amidst all the 'will they?, won't they?' excitement over whether European patent law should be updated, and whether the version currently on offer will allow US-style software patents, it would be easy to forget that another, bigger, battle continues around the world.

It is the 'copyfight' - the continuing dispute over what sort of legal protection creative people or the companies that employ them should have over the ways in which their works are used."

Bill Thompson. The Copyright 'Copyfight' Is On. BBC News. Feb. 18, 2005.

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March 01, 2005

MPAA Files More Piracy Lawsuits

"Hollywood studios launched a new round of legal action Thursday, aimed in part at people swapping versions of nominated films in Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

"As with previous rounds of lawsuits filed by the Motion Picture Association of America, the group's executives declined to say how many people were targeted in the lawsuits or where the suits were filed. They cited several award-nominated films--including 'Sideways,' 'The Incredibles' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'--as being involved in the lawsuits.

"The MPAA is several months into an aggressive new legal campaign against unauthorized film trading, which has resulted in several key file-swapping hubs being taken offline.

John Borland. Studios Target Oscar Film Swappers. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Hollywood Files More Web Lawsuits. CNN Money. Feb. 24, 2005.

John Borland. MPAA Files New Film-Swapping Suits. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

John Borland. File Swapping vs. Hollywood. News.com. Jan. 25, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

Russian Police Investigate MP3 Site

"A Russian digital-music site offering high-quality song downloads for just pennies apiece is the target of a criminal copyright investigation by the local police, recording industry groups said Tuesday.

"AllofMP3.com has been operating for several years, asking consumers to pay just 2 cents per megabyte of downloads--usually between 4 cents and 10 cents per song. Alongside the catalogue available at traditional stores like Apple Computer's iTunes, the site offered access to songs from the Beatles and other groups that haven't yet authorized digital distribution.

"The Russian site claimed it had licenses to do so from a local clearing house, but record labels have maintained that the licenses weren't valid. After long-standing complaints, the Moscow City Police Computer Crimes division completed an investigation earlier this month and recommended that prosecutors charge the site's operators with criminal copyright infringement."

John Borland. MP3s for Pennies? Russian Cops Say No. News.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

See also:
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Recording industry Welcomes Police Investigation of Allofmp3.com. (Press Release.) Feb. 22, 2005.

John Leyden. Russian Police Probe Cheap Downloads Site. The Register. Feb. 22, 2005.

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February 24, 2005

Tension Builds Over Use of High Tech

"In 2002, a young software programmer in Seattle named Bram Cohen solved a vexing Internet problem: how to get large computer files such as home movies or audio recordings of music concerts to travel rapidly across cyberspace.

"Among the benefits of the invention, called BitTorrent, was that millions of users could quickly see lengthy amateur videos documenting the devastation of the December tsunami in the Indian Ocean, helping to spur an outpouring of charitable aid.

"But BitTorrent also is wildly popular because the technology makes it easier to freely trade Hollywood movies and television shows, putting it in the cross hairs of the entertainment industry.

Jonathan Krim. High-Tech Tension Over Illegal Uses. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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iMesh P2P Network Moves Toward Release

"For more than six months, Israel's iMesh has been the strangest of beasts in the file-swapping world: a fully functioning peer-to-peer network operating with the blessing, albeit temporary, of the recording industry.

"That status is coming slowly to an end. The company is working to build a record-label-approved peer-to-peer service, using song-filtering company Audible Magic's technology to help turn unauthorized music trades into revenue for record labels.

"Originally expected by the end of last year, the song-sales service is taking longer than predicted. Company executives declined to comment on the details of the service, but said that progress on the new service has been satisfactory."

John Borland. iMesh Almost Ready to Become Paid File-Swap Network. News.com. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Record Labels Settle With Israeli P2P Company. News.com. July 20, 2004.

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February 22, 2005

Cryptographers to Hollywood: Design DRM to Fail

"Movie industry representatives at RSA 2005 in San Francisco today called on the IT industry for help in thwarting illegal file sharing before the problem threatened its revenues. But they were told that they must recognise the limitations of digital rights management in their fight against digital piracy.

"Speaking on the RSA conference panel Hollywood's Last Chance - Getting it Right on Digital Piracy, Carter Laren, security architect at Cryptographic Research, noted that cryptography is 'good at some problems, such as transmitting data so it can't be eavesdropped or even authentication, but it can't solve the content protection problem. If people have legitimate access to content, then you can't stop them misusing it.

"'Anyone designing content protection should design for failure and if it fails update it,' he added."

John Leyden. Cryptographers to Hollywood: Prepare to Fail on DRM. The Register. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
Cryptography Research. Cryptography Research Security Experts to Speak at RSA Conference 2005. (Press Release.) Feb. 14, 2005.

Michael A. Einhorn and Bill Rosenblatt. Peer-to-Peer Networking and Digital Rights Management: How Market Tools Can Solve Copyright Problems. (.pdf) Cato Institute. Feb. 17, 2005.

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February 21, 2005

AOL Updates Winamp Copy-Prevention Features

"America Online is disabling a feature of its popular music software that had been used to evade copy-prevention features of digital music services, the company said Friday.

"The company's Winamp software was identified by bloggers this week as part of a process that transformed copy-protected music downloads into songs that could be burned by the thousand to CD. The tool had potentially affected any subscription service that used Microsoft's media format, including Napster, Virgin Music and even America Online's own music subscription plan.

"AOL programmers are taking a series of steps to prevent its software from being used in this way, a representative said."

John Borland. AOL Blocks Music-Copying Feature. News.com. Feb. 17, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Napster Hack Leads to Free Downloads. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:06 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 19, 2005

EFF Creates Endangered Gizmos List

"Endangered animals lists are familiar to those who care about nature, but now technology has its own list of gadget 'species' under threat of extinction.

"High on the endangered list is the file-sharing network, Morpheus, which is about to fight for survival in court.

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) list highlights what it says is the grip industry holds over gadgets."

No author. Gizmos Under Threat of Extinction. BBC News. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Electronic Frontier Foundation. Endangered Gizmos List.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:35 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005

TCP/IP Pioneers Win Turing Award

"Late in the summer of 1973, two young scientists in the nascent field of computer networks hunkered down in a conference room of the Cabana Hyatt Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., a clean but bland stopping place for salesmen and the parents of students at nearby Stanford University. Their goal was to thrash out a way to make different, isolated computer networks talk to each other.

"They wrote, they sketched, they argued, all the while passing a yellow legal pad back and forth to capture ideas as they crystallized.

"When they emerged two days later, they knew they had the makings of a solid technical paper. What they did not know was that they had created the essential underpinnings of today's vast and sprawling Internet.

"For the work that began on that yellow pad, the Association for Computing Machinery plans to announce Wednesday that Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn will receive the 2004 A. M. Turing Award, widely considered to be the computing field's equivalent of the Nobel Prize."

Katie Hafner. Laurels for Giving the Internet Its Language. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
Association for Computing Machinery. Internet Pioneers Cerf and Kahn to Receive ACM Turing Award. (Press Release.) Feb. 16, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Napster Denies Flawed Copy Protection

"Less than three weeks after Napster Inc. began touting its all-you-can-rent music subscription service, the company finds itself refuting Internet claims that its copy-protection measures are flawed.

"The company posted a message this week, saying the service's digital music tracks are no more susceptible to unauthorized copying than any other licensed music service.

"The statement comes after word surfaced on the Internet about how subscribers of Napster To Go, which lets users play an unlimited number of tracks on their computer or on certain portable devices for about $15 a month, could make permanent copies of the songs."

Associated Press. Napster Refutes Flawed Protection Claims. SeattlePI.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

See also:
Sue Zeidler. Users Bypass Copy Protection on Napster To Go. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

John Borland. Napster Hack Leads to Free Downloads. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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February 15, 2005

The Next Music Format

"Classic-rock fan George Petersen doesn't need another copy of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" or Cream's "Disraeli Gears." He has spent the past four decades buying and re-buying his favorite music in a succession of new formats: vinyl, 8-track, cassette, compact disc, Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio.

Enough is enough. The basement is full.

"With tonight's 47th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles drawing attention to the ever-shifting world of the recording arts, Petersen and many other music-biz insiders agree that, in the next decade or so, the CD will very likely be surpassed as the album format of choice.

"'The new format is no format,' predicted Petersen, a 24-year industry veteran who also owns a record label, a recording studio and a music-publishing company. 'What the consumer would buy is a data file, and you could create whatever you need. If you want to make an MP3, you make an MP3. If you want a DVD-Audio surround disc, you make that.'"

Sean Daly. 10 Million iPods, Previewing the CD's End. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 13, 2005.

See also:
Dinesh C. Sharma. Study: Fee-based Music Gains on Swapping. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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February 14, 2005

MPAA Attacks P2P Again

"A Dallas federal court has ordered file-swapping site LokiTorrent.com to shut down and provide Hollywood lawyers with access to its full server logs, including data that could expose hundreds of thousands of people to copyright lawsuits.

"The Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday that it had won a quick court victory against LokiTorrent, and was launching a new round of actions against other online piracy hubs. The data provided by the onetime file-swapping hub would provide 'a roadmap to others who have used LokiTorrent to engage in illegal activities,' the trade group said.

"Hard numbers on the site's traffic are hard to come by. However, according to researchers at the Delft University of Technology, LokiTorrent was responsible for more than 800,000 downloads in the month of October alone."

John Borland. Court: Hollywood Gets P2P Giant's Server Logs. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

See also:
Ashlee Vance. MPAA Closes Loki. The Register. Feb. 10, 2005.

Elizabeth Millard. MPAA Wins File-Sharing Suit. CIO Today. Feb. 11, 2005.

John Borland. Movie Blackout for P2P Networks?. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

Motion Picture Association of America. MPAA Member Studios File Second Round of Lawsuits Against Major P2P Server Operators That Facilitate Global Movie Piracy. (Press Release.) Feb. 10, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 11, 2005

Grokster Implications Run Deep

"Over the next few months, the Supreme Court and--likely--Congress will resume a debate over rules that could determine whether consumers will continue to enjoy the benefits of many of the gadgets CNET covers.

"The debate is specifically about what kind of legal liability--if any--technology manufacturers, financiers, Internet service providers, journalists and others should have if their actions 'induce' another to commit copyright infringement.

"Congressional action this year will largely be shaped by what the Supreme Court does in the pending case involving Grokster, the peer-to-peer software used by millions. While the case may appear to be simply about illegal file trading, its implications are far deeper."

Gigi Sohn. Getting Real About the Grokster Case. News.com. Feb. 8, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Supreme Court to Hear P2P Case. News.com. Dec. 10, 2005.

John Borland. Judge: File-swapping Tools are Legal. News.com. April 25, 2003.

Mark Cuban. Grokster and America's Future. News.com. Feb. 2, 2005.

Edward W. Felten. Splitting the Grokster Baby. Freedom to Tinker. Feb. 8, 2005.

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Symposium Examines File-Sharing Networks

"Ferraris, guns and alcohol are all legal, even though manufacturers know their wares could be used to break the law.

"So should a similar standard apply to Internet users who share - or some would say, 'steal' - digital music?

"Legal scholars interested in copyright law discussed that question Saturday at a symposium put on by the Northern Kentucky Law Review."

Reid Forgrave. File-Sharing Networks Examined. Cincinnati.com. Feb. 6, 2005

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February 10, 2005

Media Campaign Intensifies As Grokster Case Nears

"Garret the Ferret is one hip copyright crusader. The cartoon character urges young cybercitizens toward ethical downloading and--in baggy jeans and a gold 'G' medallion--reminds them that copying and sharing software is uncool.

"He is also a byproduct of the long-roiling public relations battle between copyright owners, who say they are threatened by digital piracy, and technology advocates opposed to strict controls on digital media copying and on software that make piracy so easy.

"With the Supreme Court scheduled next month to hear a pivotal case pitting copyright holders (represented by MGM Studios) against the makers of file-sharing software (Grokster and StreamCast Networks), participants are putting their message machines into high gear."

Tom Zeller. Messages Grow Manic as Piracy Nears High Court. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Supreme Court Sets Date for File-Sharing Case. News.com. Jan. 21, 2005.

John Borland. Supreme Court to Hear P2P Case. News.com. Dec. 10, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Power of Tagging

"Erik Benson, 28, is a man with plans -- 28 plans. He's posted these aspirations for the whole Web to see at '43 Things,' a site he and some friends launched at the beginning of 2005. The purpose of the site: Anyone can post their goals, resolutions and grand designs, and meet others who share the same ambitions.

"There are currently 119 other people on 43things.com decreeing their pledge to do a start-up that makes it past that two-year threshold.

"But what's intriguing about 43 things isn't the voyeuristic itch it scratches, as we get to see so many people baring their heart's desire. What makes the site work is how it connects all these people to each other. By a simple software tweak known as tagging, this site and many others, like the photo site Flickr and the bookmark-sharing system del.icio.us, have found a new way to organize information and connect people. The surprise is that the organizing itself is unorganized -- and yet it works."

Katharine Mieszkowski. Steal This Bookmark!. Salon. Feb. 8, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 09, 2005

NY Times Interviews MPAA Chief

Deborah Solomon had the opportunity to interview Dan Glickman.

"As the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America, do you find it hard to follow in the steps of Jack Valenti, who was so flamboyant?

"It's true, no one knows who I am, but I am hoping that will change.

"Do you have any other ambitions?

"The big substantive issue for me right now is antipiracy, fighting those who want to get the content of movies free.

"Are we talking about school kids watching movies online? Or organized-crime lords?

"We are talking about an awful lot of people worldwide who are engaged in criminal activity. We need to educate kids so they understand the value of intellectual property."

Deborah Solomon. Going Hollywood. The New York Times. Feb. 6, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

French Teacher Fined for File Sharing

"A schoolteacher was fined 10,200 euros (13,300 dollars) for uploading and downloading music on the Internet in France's first big case designed to deter other peer-to-peer pirates.

"The 28-year-old teacher was ordered by a court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise to pay the money to copyright companies after being found guilty of illegally transferred 30 gigabytes of music files -- the equivalent of around 10,000 songs, or 614 albums."

Associated France Press. French Teacher Fined 10,200 Euros for Downloading Music. Yahoo! News. Feb. 2, 2005.

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February 07, 2005

Skype Expands VoIP Service to Linux, OS X

"At a time when major U.S. telephone operators are spending billions of dollars to expand, telephone software maker Skype on Tuesday says it's building a global phone network virtually for free.

"New renditions of Skype software for Linux and Macintosh operating systems are expected to become available on Tuesday. The new releases are a significant expansion for 17-month-old Skype. Since its debut, Skype's free software only worked on Microsoft devices, though test versions of the Linux and Macintosh software have been available since last year.

"Skype's latest software arrives at a time when many elite U.S. phone companies are consolidating with others in multibillion dollar deals that let the communications giants expand into new markets and territories. Using the merger-mania as a backdrop, Skype's new software releases should put even more fright into traditional telecom executives.

Ben Charny. Skype Creeps Under Phone Giants' Radar. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Skype. Skype for Mac OS X and Linux. (Press Release.) Feb. 1, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:39 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MP3 Founder to Launch New Digital Music Service

"Michael Robertson, the outspoken entrepreneur who helped set off the early digital music wars with his MP3.com site, said Wednesday that he is getting back in the online music business.

"Robertson, now chief executive both of Linux software company Linspire and Net-calling service SIPphone, said he wanted to give consumers--particularly those who use Linux-based computers--a broader choice of stores. His service would set itself apart from others by providing music without any copy protection added, he said.

"True to form, Robertson is launching a few barbs along with the new service, which will be unveiled at his Desktop Linux Summit conference in San Diego next week."

John Borland. MP3.com Founder Returns to Music Biz. News.com. Feb. 2, 2004.

Update: Matt Hines. MP3tunes.com Shuns Digital Rights Management. News.com. Feb. 9, 2005. (Michael Robinson launched MP3tunes.com on Wednesday. The songs are for sale in MP3 format without any digital rights management technology, which means the music can be copied without restrictions on any portable player that supports this standard.)

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February 03, 2005

Activists Work to Save 'Eyes on the Prize'

"A group of file-sharing activists is practicing a little civil disobedience of its own in order to bring the documentary series Eyes on the Prize to a wider audience.

"As Wired News first reported, Eyes on the Prize, the 14-part series chronicling the civil rights movement, can no longer be broadcast on television and has never been released on DVD because of copyright restrictions.

"Old VHS tapes that remain in schools and libraries were the only way to view the landmark series, until now. Downhill Battle enlisted the help of a group called Common Sense Releasers to digitize the series and convert it to MPEG-4 format for distribution on the internet. The group hopes people will organize community screenings of the series around the country."

Katie Dean. Eyes on the Prize Hits P2P. Wired News. Jan. 27, 2005.

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Library Allows Users to Copy E-Books

"For audio-book addicts, the King County Library System has something for you and you don't even have to set foot in a library.

"Last November, the county library became the first in the nation to allow people to download audio 'e-books' to home computers.

"An e-book can be downloaded from the library's Web site onto a computer and either burned to a CD or transferred to an MP3 player.

"For free."

Susan Gilmore. King County Library Lets You Copy its E-books. The Seattle Times. Jan. 31, 2005.

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February 02, 2005

The Future of Music

"On February 13, thousands of musicians from around the world will gather in Los Angeles at the Grammy Awards to celebrate music circa 2005.

"But the celebration won't hide the war that's going on. Record labels are threatened by technologies that give fans access to music in ways no one ever planned. They plead with Congress for more laws to control the fans.

"Activist organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge (on whose boards this columnist sits) are fighting back. They (we) demand an end to the war, and the attack on innovation that it represents."

Lawrence Lessig. Why Wilco Is the Future of Music. Wired. Feb. 2005.

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February 01, 2005

MPAA Sues Additional P2P Users

"Hollywood studios filed a second round of lawsuits against online movie-swappers on Wednesday, stepping up legal pressure on the file-trading community.

"The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) also made available a new free software tool so parents can scan their computers for file-swapping programs and for movie or music files which may be copyrighted.

"The group said its lawsuits were targeting people across the United States, but did not say how many people were being sued."

John Borland. MPAA Files New Film-Swapping Suits. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

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TV File Sharing Gains Popularity

"Isaac Richards didn't think of himself as a rebel, or a shock to the well-lubricated system of the television industry. He was merely unhappy with the cable box provided by his local operator.

"Dismayed by the sluggish channel-changing capability and the sparsely informative program guide, he decided to build a better cable box from scratch. Today, nearly three years since Mr. Richards, a 26-year-old computer software programmer in Willoughby, Ohio, embarked on his quest, hundreds of thousands of do-it-yourself television viewers are using the free software program he wrote, MythTV, to turn desktop personal computers into customized cable boxes, complete with the ability to record shows, surf the Web and strip out unwanted commercials.

"Millions of viewers are now watching illegal copies of television programs - even full seasons copied from popular DVD's - that are flitting about the Internet, thanks to other new programs that allow users to upload and download the large files quickly."

Lorne Manly and John Markoff. Steal This Show. The New York Times. Jan. 30, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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January 29, 2005

Google Seeks Open Source Manager

"If you've got an understanding of free and open source software licensing, project management skills and experience with Sourceforge.net, Google may be looking for you.

"The search engine giant has posted a position on the popular Craigslist site for an open source program manager. The posting comes in the same week that Google hired Mozilla Firefox lead engineer Ben Goodger and Mozilla contributor Darin Fischer.

"The job posting may be indicative of a further advance into the open source community as it adds staff to its open source roster."

Sean Michael Kerner. Looking For Open Source Work? So is Google.. InternetNews.com. Jan. 27, 2005.

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RIAA Sues 717 More File Sharers

"The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said Thursday that it had filed 717 new lawsuits against alleged file-swappers, including 68 unnamed people at universities."

John Borland. RIAA Sues 717 File-Swappers. News.com. Jan. 26, 2005.

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January 28, 2005

eXeem Public Beta Released

"Underground programmers hoping to capitalize on the BitTorrent file-swapping community on Friday unveiled highly anticipated software that some peer-to-peer advocates believe could blunt recent legal attacks from Hollywood.

"Called eXeem, the software aims to merge the speedy downloads of BitTorrent with the powerful global search capabilities of Kazaa or eDonkey. The first public version of the program was released by a company called Swarm Systems but has been associated with SuprNova, a Web site that, until recently, drew millions of people seeking free content online through the popular BitTorrent software."

John Borland. eXeem Opens New File-Swapping Doors. News.com. Jan. 21, 2005.

See also:
Sean Michael Kerner. BitTorrent P2P Trackers on The Move. InternetNews.com. Jan. 25, 2005.

Editor's note: See also SNTReport's prior story on eXeem software.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:04 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Napster Mulls Movie Downloads

"Digital-music service Napster is considering remaking itself to offer movie downloads too.

"Speaking at the Midem music conference in Cannes this week, Napster CEO Chris Gorog said the company is considering offering movies alongside its current catalog of some 1 million music tracks.

"'We are currently considering moving into video, particularly to tap the younger video game generation,' the Financial Times quoted him as saying. 'I do think that while there are huge players in the delivery of movies like Sky, there could be a role for Napster.'"

Jo Best. Napster Eyes Movie Downloads. News.com. Jan. 24, 2005.

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January 27, 2005

Entertainment Industry Files Arguments in P2P Case

"The Bush administration's top lawyer and the Christian Coalition threw their weight behind the entertainment industry Monday in a closely watched Supreme Court fight over file swapping.

"Monday was the deadline for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and their supporters to file their arguments with the nation's top court, in their efforts to reverse previous rulings that imposed only minimal legal restrictions on peer-to-peer software companies.

"The entertainment companies have argued strongly in lower courts that Grokster and other file-swapping software companies should be held liable for the widespread copyright infringement of their users. In a lengthy brief, the U.S. Solicitor General's office agreed."

John Borland. Conservatives Back Hollywood. News.com. Jan. 24, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Supreme Court. On Writ of Certiorari: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf) Jan. 24, 2005.

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January 26, 2005

Tech Companies Urge High Court to Protect Innovation

"Several large technology corporations will urge the U.S. Supreme Court today to continue to shield businesses and innovators from legal responsibility if their products or services are used by consumers for illegal acts.

"The companies, including industry giants Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Google, America Online Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., will argue in court filings that the innovations that have helped fuel U.S. economic growth could grind to a halt if protections from liability were stripped away.

"At issue is the continuing popularity of Internet file-sharing services, whose software lets users swap digital music, videos and software regardless of whether they are copyrighted works that should be paid for each time they are sent to another consumer."

Jonathan Krim. Tech Firms to Seek Legal Protection From Pirating. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 24, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Supreme Court. On Writ of Certiorari: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf) Jan. 24, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:24 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

January 24, 2005

Online Music Stores Go Mainstream

"Online music stores broke into the mainstream in 2004, with more than 200 million tracks sold in the United States and Europe, a tenfold increase from the previous year, according to data released Wednesday.

"Among well-known brands like iTunes and Napster, the number of online music stores quadrupled to more than 230 in 2004, according to the report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) trade group. The number of songs available online has doubled to about 1 million songs.

"The IFPI said research firm Jupiter expects the $330 million online music market to double in 2005."

Reuters. Online Music Stores Break Into Mainstream. News.com. Jan. 19, 2005.

See also:
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. IFPI Report Sees the Digital Music Market Taking Off in 2005. (Press Release.) Jan. 19, 2005.

IFPI:OS. Digital Music Report. (.pdf) Jan. 2005

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

January 22, 2005

California Bill to Outlaw P2P

"A bill introduced in California's Legislature last week has raised the possibility of jail time for developers of file-swapping software who don't stop trades of copyrighted movies and songs online.

"The proposal, introduced by Los Angeles Sen. Kevin Murray, takes direct aim at companies that distribute software such as Kazaa, eDonkey or Morpheus. If passed and signed into law, it could expose file-swapping software developers to fines of up to $2,500 per charge, or a year in jail, if they don't take 'reasonable care' in preventing the use of their software to swap copyrighted music or movies--or child pornography.

"Peer-to-peer software companies and their allies immediately criticized the bill as a danger to technological innovation, and as potentially unconstitutional."

John Borland. State Bill Could Cripple P2P. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

See also:
No author. California Senator Goes After P2P. Red Herring. Jan. 18, 2005.

Jason Schultz. Induce -- California Style. EFF Deep Links. Jan. 18, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

A P2P Manifesto

"Marco Montemagno, an Italian new mediacommunication expert, entrepreneur and blogger, who has worked and collaborated with some of the most established media corporations including Italy's RAI and Murdoch's Sky TV network, has just published online a notable P2P manifesto, in which he shares his uncensored view of what the majors (established media) should expect from P2P and its unstoppable growth.

"Montemagno central tenet is that P2P is unstoppable, good, useful, effective and a major disruptive technology able to breach into the oligarchy of established media business."

Robin Hood. Why P2P File Sharing Is Good: The P2P Manifesto Content Delivery And Distribution. Robin Good. Jan. 17, 2005.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of the P2P Manifesto through a posting in Slashdot, edited by Rob Malda.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Study Shows Online Music Stores Fall Short

"Online music stores like Apple Computer's iTunes have been a boon to fans and the beleaguered music industry, but many of them still have a long way to go, according to new research released Tuesday.

"A study from market research firm Shelley Taylor & Associates blasts music stores for confusing navigation and locking users into proprietary formats and music players.

"'As a result, users' initial enthusiasm is being deflated as they realize they have been conned--there are more limitations imposed on legitimate digital downloads, media players and portable devices than advertised,' Taylor said."

Reuters. Study: Online Music Stores Falling Short. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

See also:
Shelley Taylor & Associates. New Study Accuses Music Download Services of Spreading Latest Consumer Disease: Digital Deficit Disorder. (Press Release.) Jan. 18, 2005.

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January 21, 2005

NFL Game Broadcasts Coming to IPods

"Audio content provider Audible on Tuesday struck a deal with the National Football League to offer recordings of games on portable music players.

"Under terms of the agreement, Audible.com will offer MP3-compatible audio broadcasts of the Super Bowl and conference championship games. Listeners can download the entire broadcast, or selected highlights, the morning after the game.

"Consumers can download the games, from NFL.com, Audible.com and other online retailers, onto their MP3 players, including Apple Computer's iPod, Audible a said."

CNET Staff. NFL Games Heading to Your iPod. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

January 20, 2005

Current State of Copyright Framework

As reported in SNTReport.com recently, BayTSP announced FirstSource, an automated system that identifies the first users to upload copyright or trademark-protected content to P2P file sharing networks.

SNTReport.com also reported the legal and monetary issues surrounding documentary filmmaker's inability to broadcast or sell copies of Eyes on the Prize.

"The two news items offer a nice pair of brackets in which to frame the current state of copyright affairs. On the one hand, the public is denied the opportunity to view one of the most compelling histories of modern American life produced in the last 30 years because copyright restrictions make it financially unfeasible to broadcast it. On the other hand, actual copyright violation continues unabated, giving rise to an entire market niche devoted to the task of stamping it out. Is there any way to look at this situation in which it is not a complete mess?"

"The tragedy that a socially enriching documentary series like 'Eyes on the Prize' might fall victim to a copyright snafu seems like the kind of thing that could be addressed by selective tweaking of copyright laws. Perhaps a waiver for materials deemed 'educational' or a weakening of restrictions on the protections granted to archival footage. When do the benefits to society from increased access to information outweigh the financial interests of those who own the copyrights? In an ideal world, this is the kind of question that a democratic society could debate and answer to its own satisfaction."

"But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world where lobbyists for entertainment corporations routinely get the laws rewritten to serve their own profit-seeking special interests, and where trend lines reveal that copyright protections are only increased, never weakened."

Andrew Leonard. Eyes on Your Copyrighted Prize. Salon. Jan. 5, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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January 18, 2005

Report Examines Copyright Implications & Digital Business Models

"New digital technologies and the online environment pose significant challenges to the traditional business models of the music and film industries. The digital era threatens current revenue models by changing the environment in which copyright operates.

"To prevent unauthorized copying of their works, copyright holders have traditionally relied on practical barriers as well as their legal exclusive rights to control reproduction and distribution. The new technologies vitiating those practical barriers - peer-to-peer (P2P) services, digital compression technologies, and others - are demonstrating just how empty those legal rights may be and how poorly matched they may be with cultural norms and practice.

"Consumers are exploiting the exciting potential for greater interactivity and involvement with content, but also the opportunity to acquire content illicitly, and are thus finding themselves in conflict with many of those who make content possible."

Digital Media Project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices on Potential Online Business Models in the Music and Film Industries. (.pdf) Jan. 7, 2005.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of this report which examines copyright implications for digital business models through a posting in beSpacific, edited by Sabrina I. Pacifici.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Service Identifies First P2P Uploads

"File traders who seed peer-to-peer networks with copyrighted material can be identified and traced, according to a US company.

"BayTSP, based in California, US, monitors peer-to-peer (P2P) trading networks using a technique called software 'spidering'. The new software, called FirstSource, allows it to determine which user first uploaded a particular file for trading. It does this by mimicking the behaviour of a user on a massive scale - sending out multiple requests for a file extremely quickly. It deduces the culprits by assuming that only they will have the full 100% of the file, having uploaded the original."

Will Knight. Peer-to-Peer 'Seeders' Could be Targeted. New Scientist.com. Jan. 14, 2005.

No author. BayTSP Launches New Service That Identifies First Uploads To EDonkey, Bit Torrent P2P File-Sharing Networks. Mi2N.com. Jan. 11, 2005.

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January 17, 2005

Altnet Seeks Licensing Fees From P2P Competitors

"A software company and its parent are claiming they hold patent rights to widely used Internet song-swapping technology, and they are demanding that several file-sharing networks obtain licenses in order to continue operating.

"Attorneys for Altnet Inc. and its parent company, Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc., sent letters to several U.S.-based file-swapping firms -- including Lime Wire LLC, BearShare operator Free Peers Inc. and Mashboxx -- claiming that the companies were using patented technology in their products. The letter doesn't explicitly threaten a lawsuit but does invite the firms to 'discuss licensing opportunities.'

"'You could call it a warning. We call it an offer to license our technology,' said Lawrence M. Hadley, counsel for Altnet and Brilliant Digital.

"A valid patent would give the firm a tight hold on a popular means of identifying and trading digital copies of music, movies and software, just as a fledgling industry has sprung up to turn file sharing into a commercial enterprise."

David McGuire. Patents Pressed Against File-Sharing Networks. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 13, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Altnet Seeks Patent Royalties From P2P. News.com. Jan. 12, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

January 13, 2005

World's Smallest P2P Application

"In a bid to demonstrate the futility of trying to ban peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, a computer scientist has written the shortest P2P program ever.

"Like all P2P applications, Tiny P2P, written by Edward Felten of Princeton University in New Jersey, establishes a network between PCs on which files can be transferred without using a central server. Members of the network make content on their hard drives available to everyone else.

"Felten is concerned that Congress might revive a piece of legislation called the Induce Act, which would outlaw file-sharing networks, and he wrote Tiny P2P to make a point."

No author. Simple Programs Make File Sharing Inevitable. NewScientist.com. Jan. 8, 2005.

See also:
Iain Thomson. Boffin Writes World's Smallest P2P Application. IT Week. Jan. 7, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:25 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005

PC World's Legislative Year in Review

"For good or ill, Congress kept to its usual snail's pace on a number of controversial issues ranging from digital copyright to spyware; other government agencies, however, made up for some of the slack.

"Congress tried. It really did. And it came so close on several issues--spyware and digital copyright most prominently. But though a number of bills were proposed, and some were even passed by the House or the Senate, very few actually became law. The Federal Communications Commission, the Supreme Court, and the Department of Justice, however, were all busy bees.

"Below, I run through six of the year's major topics, what's been decided, the considerable amount still left on the to-do list for 2005--and my guess as to how much of that list Congress will actually get to this year."

Anush Yegyazarian. Legislative Year in Review: All Talk, Little Action. PC World. Jan. 6, 2005.

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January 07, 2005

Entertainment Industry Sees Piracy as Major Threat

"People working in the entertainment industry see digital piracy as a major threat to their businesses, according to a new study by ,In-Stat/MDR.

"In a survey of film and TV industry workers, nearly half said illegal theft of entertainment content threatened their bottom lines, In-Stat said Tuesday. About 27 percent of those surveyed said they had already lost revenue because of piracy. The survey was taken by 1,806 people working in the variety, broadcasting, cable and news sectors.

"The entertainment industry is trying to grapple with illegal downloading of music from the Internet, as well as file sharing and the use of peer-to-peer software. These efforts got a boost last month, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether companies that produce file-sharing software can be held legally responsible when people use their products to swap copyrighted material.

Dinesh C. Sharma. Piracy Hits Hollywood in the Wallet. News.com. Jan. 4, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

LokiTorrent Fights Back at MPAA

"The latest peer-to-peer site to come into the legal crosshairs of the motion-picture industry promised this week to fight, and put out a virtual hat to finance its legal fund.

"LokiTorrent, a Web site and index of files available through a peer-to-peer technology known as BitTorrent, posted a letter from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on its site on Tuesday. The letter states that the MPAA has filed suit in district court in Texas against the site and demands that Loki Torrent cease linking to video files that could infringe on studios' copyrights.

"LokiTorrent is the latest file-sharing site to run into the legal guns of the motion picture industry. Several peer-to-peer sites disappeared from the Internet earlier this month, after the MPAA filed suits against them."

Robert Lemos. LokiTorrent Fights MPAA Legal Attack. News.com. Dec. 30, 2004.

See also:
Jim Wagner. BitTorrent Operator Bites Back at MPAA. InternetNews.com. Dec. 30, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

EMI, Sony BMG Partner for New Music Formats

"In a bold move to pave the way for more widespread licensing of music publishing rights, EMI Music Publishing and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have entered an umbrella agreement that sets working guidelines for clearing rights to new digital music delivery opportunities on phones, PCs, digital cable systems and emerging physical configurations.

The pact, announced Dec. 17, which pairs the world's top publishing house and the second-largest record company globally, promises to drive the clearance of thousands of copyrighted works for new distribution formats.

"The deal covers North American rights for master ring tones and ringbacks; DualDisc, the new two-sided music format that combines CD and DVD functionality; digital video distribution, including video-on-demand services and video downloads; multi-session audio discs like copy-protected CDs; and 'locked' content for hard drives and storage media that consumers may 'unlock' by purchasing the tracks or albums online."

Reuters. EMI, Sony BMG Ink Digital Music Pact. News.com. Dec. 20, 2004.

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January 04, 2005

HMV, Microsoft Partner for Music Service

"British music giant HMV on Wednesday announced plans to launch a digital music service next year, using software being developed by Microsoft.

"Music downloads from the service will be compatible with the Windows Media Audio standard and usable by more than 75 portable players currently on the market, HMV said. Portable players, as well as the service software, will be sold in the company's stores and online. The service is slated to launch in the second half of 2005.

"Microsoft applications under development for the service include a customized jukebox that will let users select, purchase and manage their music online--all in one place. HMV said it intends to spend about $19 million (10 million pounds) on the download service and initial marketing."

Dinesh C. Sharma. HMV Taps Microsoft for Help With Music Service. News.com. Dec. 22, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

BitTorrent Reacts to MPAA's Pressure

"BitTorrent 'hubs' that publish lists of movies, TV shows and other free downloads suddenly went dark this weekend, in a major victory for Hollywood that highlights vulnerabilities in technology behind the world's busiest peer-to-peer network.

"Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America launched a series of worldwide legal actions, aimed at people who ran the infrastructure for BitTorrent networks being used to distribute movies and other copyrighted materials without permission.

"The MPAA's actions have put pressure on a short list of large Web sites that had served as hubs for the BitTorrent community and that had operated for months or even years. Many of those sites have now vanished almost overnight, including the SuprNova.org site that was by far the most popular gathering point for the community, serving more than a million people a day, according to one academic study.

John Borland. BitTorrent File-Swapping Networks Face Crisis. News.com. Dec. 20, 2004.

See also:
Peter Svensson. Popular File-Sharing Site Shuts Down. eWeek. Dec. 20, 2004.

Johan Pouwelse. The BitTorrent P2P File-Sharing System. The Register. Dec. 18, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

December 14, 2004

High Court to Hear MGM-Grokster case

"The Supreme Court, accepting urgent pleas from the recording and film industries, agreed on Friday to decide whether the online services that enable copyrighted songs and movies to be shared freely over the Internet can be held liable themselves for aiding copyright infringement.

"For the entertainment industry and for everyday consumers, the case is likely to produce the most important copyright decision since the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that the makers of the videocassette recorder were not liable for violating the copyrights of movies that owners of the devices recorded at home.

"The earlier decision, Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, ushered in one technological revolution. The new case, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios v. Grokster Ltd., No. 04-480, comes as another is already well under way. More than 85 million copyrighted songs and a smaller but rapidly growing number of movies are downloaded from the Internet every day by people using file-sharing services."

Linda Greenhouse. Justices to Hear Case on Sharing of Music Files. The New York Times. Dec. 11, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. Supreme Court to Hear P2P Case. News.com. Dec. 10, 2004.

Ashlee Vance. The Supremes Prep for P2P Battle Royal. The Register. Dec. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Canada Buries Copyright Myths

"The intense lobbying for stronger copyright legislation in response to music downloading, which culminated in last month's lobby day on Parliament Hill, is premised on three key pillars. First, that the Canadian recording industry has sustained significant financial losses in recent years due to decreased music sales. Second, that those losses can be attributed to peer-to-peer file sharing. Third, that the losses have materially harmed Canadian artists. The time has come to acknowledge that each of these pillars is a myth.

"Last week's column addressed the first two pillars. It documented how CRIA has been inconsistent in its claims of financial losses. The column also demonstrated how peer-to-peer file sharing is at best only marginally responsible for the losses that have been sustained in recent years.

"Following last week's column, readers highlighted yet more factors including a significant decline in the number of new releases issued over the past five years and the view that the CD sales decline simply reflects broader economic conditions.

"Against this backdrop, along with news that shipments of CDs in Canada jumped by more than 12 per cent in the six-month period following the Federal Court of Canada's file sharing decision, it is time to slay the third peer-to-peer myth — that Canadian artists have been materially harmed by the decline in revenue."

Michael Geist. Time Music Industry Focused on Product. Toronto Star. Dec. 6, 2004.

See also:
Michael Geist. Numbers Don't Crunch Against Downloading. Toronto Star. Nov. 29, 2004.

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December 11, 2004

A Clever Way to Promote Mobile Marketing

"The Incredibles has so far racked up over $200 million in U.S. ticket sales, gathered another $60 million overseas, and broken into the top 50 all-time-domestic blockbusters.

"But what's really incredible about this animated superhero movie isn't just the box office. It's the way co-creators at The Walt Disney Co. and Pixar Animation Studios have marketed the film over mobile devices. Pick up your phone or log onto Disney Mobile, the company's cell-centric Web site, and you can download two dozen Incredibles wallpaper graphics, two new video games and three dozen custom-made ring tones--including one of villain Syndrome growling, 'What, you expected a cute little ring?'

"It's a clever way to promote the movie--but perhaps just as importantly, it's a strong new revenue stream for both content and service providers. As the cell phone companies have expanded their presence among youth markets, other businesses are discovering that the mobile format is a great way to reach kids, and that these young consumers are willing and able to spend serious money over the phone."

David M. Ewalt. An 'Incredible' Marketing Ploy. Forbes.cm. Nov. 30, 2004.

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December 10, 2004

FTC Highlights Proposals on P2P Risks

"The head of the Federal Trade Commission sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday highlighting efforts that file-swapping companies are making to disclose potential online risks.

"Legislators have criticized software such as Kazaa, Morpheus and eDonkey for exposing users to spyware, pornography and the risk of lawsuits. Although protesting that their software was no more risky than use of the Internet at large, peer-to-peer companies have worked with the FTC to develop better consumer notification techniques.

"The FTC included several of those proposals with its letter to Congress, saying that when implemented, they would do a better job of warning consumers."

John Borland. FTC Spotlights Proposals on P2P Risks. News.com. Dec. 7. 2004.

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December 09, 2004

Reflections on the 108th Congress

At the Chicago Association of Law Libraries November meeting, Mary Alice Baish, American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Associate Washington Affairs Representative, spoke on "The 108th Congress Draws to an End: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

"I’d like to give you an overview of our core issues during the past two years—from the perspective of what was good, what was bad, and what was really ugly.

"I’m going to cover them under four broad categories: First, appropriations. Second, copyright and digital rights management. Third, the USA Patriot Act. And fourth, access to government information."

Mary Alice Baish. The 108th Congress: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (.pdf) American Association of Law Libraries. Nov. 17, 2004.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of Mary Alice Baish's presentation through a posting in LibraryLaw Blog, edited by Mary Minow.

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December 07, 2004

Pew Survey Addresses File-Sharing

"The battle over digital copyrights and illegal file sharing is often portrayed as a struggle between Internet scofflaws and greedy corporations. Online music junkies with no sense of the marketplace, the argument goes, want to download, copy and share copyrighted materials without restriction. The recording industry, on the other hand, wants to squeeze dollars - by lawsuit and legislation, if necessary - from its property.

"A survey released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, an arm of the Pew Research Center in Washington, aims to change that. The report, 'Artists, Musicians and the Internet,' combines and compares the opinions of three groups: the general public, those who identify themselves as artists of various stripes (including filmmakers, writers and digital artists) and a somewhat more self-selecting category of musicians.

"Most notably, it is the first large-scale snapshot of what the people who actually produce the goods that downloaders seek (and that the industry jealously guards) think about the Internet and file-sharing."

Tom Zeller Jr. Pew File-Sharing Survey Gives a Voice to Artists. The New York Times. Dec. 6, 2004.

Mary Madden. Artists, Musicians and the Internet (.pdf) Pew Internet and American Life Project. Dec. 5, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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December 04, 2004

Record Companies Befriend Napster Creator

"As a teenager, Shawn Fanning brought free music to the masses, creating the Napster file-swapping program and unleashing a technological genie that granted the wishes of fans seeking virtually any song at any time - gratis. Now, the recording industry is turning to the college dropout turned cult hero, with dreams of putting the genie back in its bottle.

"The major record corporations, who accused Mr. Fanning's Napster of ravaging CD sales and weakening the underpinnings of the industry, now say that a licensed file-sharing system could bolster their position in their legal fight against piracy as well as increase digital music sales.

"Mr. Fanning, now 24 and part of a new venture called Snocap, has lately written software that would recognize songs being made available on a peer-to-peer network and let copyright holders set terms for its price and its use by consumers who wish to download them."

Jeff Leeds. Music Industry Turns to Napster Creator for Help. The New York Times. Dec. 3, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. Napster Founder Unveils Funding, Label Support. News.com. Dec. 2, 2004.

John Borland. Music Rebels Seek to Tame P2P. News.com. Nov. 16, 2004.

John Borland and Stefanie Olsen. Napster's Fanning Has Snocap-ped Vision. News.com. Jan. 2, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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November 30, 2004

Recording Industry Battles Kazaa in Australia

"The next chapter in the global legal battle between the recording industry and file-sharing services began in Sydney, Australia on Monday when the owners of the hugely popular Kazaa software went to trial to defend against civil copyright infringement charges.

"The entertainment industry already has sued file-sharing services in the United States. Two federal courts in California have cleared Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. of liability, though the industry has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, said the U.S. cases should not directly affect the outcome of the Australian lawsuit, but all share the principle that a software developer is not directly responsible for the activities of its users, just as Xerox cannot be blamed for copying done on its machines."

Mike Cooper. Recording Industry, File-Share Face Off. WashingtonPost.com. Nov. 26, 2004.

See also:
Reuters. Kazaa Heads to Court for File-Swap Trial. News.com. Nov. 28, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Technology Industry Outguns Entertainment Industry?

"Is the entertainment industry losing its clout on Capitol Hill? At first blush, a lot of people might find that to be a laughable proposition. But a prominent architect of the Recording Industry Association of America's legal strategy confided to me last week that his colleagues are being 'outgunned' in the legislative skirmishing over new copyright laws.

"It may seem counterintuitive, but there is some truth to that statement. It explains why Marybeth Peters from the U.S. Copyright Office is saying that the entertainment industry won't get what it wants from Congress before politicians leave town for Thanksgiving.

"Predicting what copyright legislation will be enacted in the last days of the 108th Congress is a risky business, but one thing is certain: The list of laws will not include the Induce Act, which is revered by the entertainment industry but reviled by technology companies."

Declan McCullagh. Outgunned on Copyright?. News.com. Nov. 22, 2004.

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November 29, 2004

Rip & Burn Made Legal

"While the music industry attempts to shutter peer-to-peer services in court and in Congress, one company is using P2P networks to promote and pay artists.

"Shared Media Licensing, based in Seattle, offers Weed, a software program that allows interested music fans to download a song and play it three times for free. They are prompted to pay for the 'Weed file' the fourth time. Songs cost about a dollar and can be burned to an unlimited number of CDs, passed around on file-sharing networks and posted to web pages."

Katie Dean. File Sharing Growing Like a Weed. Wired News. Nov. 22, 2004.

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Actor Fined For Film Piracy

"Warner Bros. has secured a $309,600 judgment against an actor for allegedly making promotional 'screener' copies of 'The Last Samurai' and 'Mystic River' available for bootleg DVD copying and unauthorized Internet trading, the studio said Tuesday.

"Studio officials say Carmine Caridi, a former recurring actor on 'NYPD Blue,' has refused to respond to their civil suit for copyright infringement, forcing them to ask the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to enter a default judgment of $150,000 per film and $9,600 in attorney fees.

"Judge Stephen Wilson granted that request, adding that the defendant's conduct was 'particularly egregious' because of the intentional and deliberate nature of the infringement."

Jesse Hiestand Actor Must Pay $309,600 in Film Piracy Case. WashingtonPost.com. Nov. 24, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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November 22, 2004

Copyright Bill May Wait Till After Holidays

"Marybeth Peters, the U.S. register of copyrights, told a conference here (.pdf) that the so-called Induce Act would not be part of the slew of legislation--including key spending measures--that Congress is expected to vote on before leaving for next week's Thanksgiving holiday.

"'I don't think you'll ever see database protection,' said Peters, who has been involved in closed-door negotiations this fall over copyright legislation. 'Something else you won't see this year is something known as the Induce Act.'

"The database bill would create a new intellectual property right for collections of information, while the Induce Act would prohibit inducing anyone to violate copyright law."

Declan McCullagh. Anti-P2P Bill May Slip Past Legislative Rush. News.com. Nov. 18, 2004.

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RIAA Continues P2P Lawsuits

"The Recording Industry Association of America has filed new lawsuits against 761 people who allegedly use peer-to-peer software to trade music files without permission, the trade group announced this week.

"The lawsuits included users of the eDonkey, Limewire, and Kazaa services, as well as 25 people using university Internet connections to distribute music files.

"American University in Washington, D.C., Boston College, Iowa State University, and the University of Massachusetts were among the college networks used by those sued."

Grant Gross. RIAA Files New Lawsuits. PCWorld. Nov. 19, 2004.

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November 20, 2004

Wilco Speaks on P2P Music Sharing

"Giving away an album online isn't the way most artists end up with gold records. But it worked out that way for Wilco.

After being dropped from Reprise Records in 2001 over creative conflicts surrounding Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the Chicago-based band committed what some thought would be suicide -- they streamed it online for free.

"By conventional industry logic, file sharing hurts the odds for commercial success. Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy disagrees. Wired News caught up with him during his current tour to find out just what makes Wilco so wired."

Xeni Jardin. 'Music Is Not a Loaf of Bread'. Wired News. Nov. 15, 2004.

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November 19, 2004

Congress May Act on Copyright Bill

"Several lobbying camps from different industries and ideologies are joining forces to fight an overhaul of copyright law, which they say would radically shift in favor of Hollywood and the record companies and which Congress might try to push through during a lame-duck session that begins this week.

The Senate might vote on HR2391 (.pdf), the Intellectual Property Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that opponents charge could make many users of peer-to-peer networks, digital-music players and other products criminally liable for copyright infringement. The bill would also undo centuries of 'fair use' -- the principle that gives Americans the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay.

"The bill lumps together several pending copyright bills including HR4077, the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act, which would criminally punish a person who 'infringes a copyright by ... offering for distribution to the public by electronic means, with reckless disregard of the risk of further infringement.' Critics charge the vague language could apply to a person who uses the popular Apple iTunes music-sharing application."

Michael Grebb. Senate May Ram Copyright Bill. Wired News. Nov. 16, 2004.

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Wirehog Blends Social Networking and File Sharing

"Two rapidly growing Internet technologies in recent months have been social networks and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. Now three whiz kids have coupled those technologies together with a program released this week called Wirehog.

"Wirehog is a P2P application that works in conjunction with thefacebook.com, a social networking Web site for more than 250 colleges and universities.

Programs like Kazaa emphasize searching: You want a file and you search everyone's computer on the P2P network to find it. 'There's no searching involved with Wirehog,' says co-creator Mark Zuckerberg. 'It's about sharing interesting personal files with your friends.'"

John P. Mello Jr. Wirehog P2P Melds Social Networks and File-Sharing. TechNewsWorld. Nov. 16, 2004.

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November 18, 2004

MPAA Files First Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

"The trade group that represents movie studios filed its first round of lawsuits Tuesday against people who allegedly share copyright films on the internet. The Motion Picture Association of America declined to say where the lawsuits were filed or how many people were targeted.

"The civil lawsuits ask for damages. Individuals may be liable for up to $150,000 per film traded on the net.

"The MPAA said it hopes to give studio-supported companies like CinemaNow and Movielink, which sell movie downloads, a better chance to survive without free peer-to-peer services hampering their businesses."

Katie Dean. Movie Studios Sue File Traders. Wired News. Nov. 16, 2004.

See also:
Gary Gentile. Film Trade Group Files Anti-Piracy Suits. San Jose Mercury News. Nov. 17, 2004.

Cynthia L. Webb. Hollywood's One Strike Policy. WashingtonPost.com. Nov. 17, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Gates and Jobs Battle Over Entertainment

"Steven P. Jobs, Apple's chairman, boasted that the iPod has become the 'Walkman of the 21st century.'

"It dominates its market in a way that no Apple product has done in a generation, raising the possibility that the company is becoming more than just a purveyor of computers with high design and low market share. If Apple continues to ride the wave of digital consumer electronics products, it may become the Sony of the 21st century.

"For that to happen, however, Mr. Jobs must do what he failed to do last time: prevail over his old nemesis, Bill Gates, who sees entertainment as Microsoft's next great frontier. Microsoft is working hard to make sure that the iPod is less like the Walkman and more like the Betamax, Sony's videocassette format that was defeated in the marketplace by VHS."

Saul Hansell. Gates vs. Jobs: The Rematch. News.com. Nov. 14, 2004.

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November 17, 2004

Grokster Offers Streaming Web Radio Service

"File-swapping company Grokster is teaming up with newcomer Mercora to distribute an advanced streaming radio service to the peer-to-peer crowd.

"Beginning immediately, Grokster will offer its users a co-branded version of Mercora which allows people to search for and listen to music by specific artists.

"The service, called Grokster Radio, does not allow people to download tunes, but it lets users stream and listen to high-quality versions of specific songs--even music that is not available through download software like Apple Computer's iTunes."

John Borland. Grokster Teams With P2P Radio. News.com. Nov. 15, 2004.

See also:
Tony Smith. Grokster Touts 'Legal, Licensed' P2P Music Share System. The Register. Nov. 15, 2004.

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Blinkx 2.0 Launches

"Blinkx released over the weekend an improved version of its search software. It now creates specific topic folders in users' PCs and automatically populates them with documents grabbed from users' hard drives and the Internet.

"The feature, called Smart Folders, is the highlight of Blinkx 2.0, the newest version of this Internet and desktop search tool, which is available as a free download.

"Blinkx 2.0 also contains a feature called SIS, an acronym for the phrase Stuff I've Seen, which maintains a record of viewed files. Version 2.0 also adds support for querying peer-to-peer networks."

Juan Carlos Perez. Blinkx Unveils Smarter Desktop Search. PC World. Nov. 15, 2004.

See also:
Stefanie Olsen. Take Control of Your Desktop Chaos. News.com. Nov. 15, 2004.

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November 15, 2004

Coalition Voices Opposition to Copyright Bill

"A coalition of technology and advocacy groups on Friday asked the U.S. Senate to kill copyright legislation that might result in jail time for people who trade copyrighted files online.

"The coalition, led by civil rights group Public Knowledge, voiced their opposition to the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act, a bill passed by the House of Representatives in March.

"The bill, a combination of other copyright legislation introduced in the House, includes prison sentences of three to 10 years for the electronic distribution of copyrighted works worth more than $1,000 for willful violations, or in some cases, the distribution of more than 1,000 copies of a copyrighted work."

Grant Gross. Coalition Asks US Congress to Kill Copyright Bill. InfoWorld. Nov. 12, 2004.

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November 09, 2004

FoneShare: World’s First Mobile Content Sharing Application

"Cell phones are learning to share files, but the earliest efforts don't nearly resemble the peer-to-peer renegades like Napster and Kazaa that the designers have in mind.

"FoneShare, an application introduced two weeks ago by NewBay Software, does let people share their collections of ring tones, graphics, games, songs, movie trailers and other wireless extras with strangers. FoneShare will debut next year as a subscription service, running over privately owned and operated cellular networks, and the sharing will be done via Web sites controlled by a wireless operator, said NewBay Chief Executive Paddy Holahan.

"That's a far cry from Napster, which was free, let people choose from digital music libraries stored on untold millions of personal computers, and relied heavily upon the anonymity of the public Internet."

Ben Charny. P2P for Cell Phones: Reach out and Share Something. News.com. Nov. 3, 2004.

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November 08, 2004

Microsoft Expands MSN Music Stores in Europe

"Microsoft launched its MSN music download service in eight new European countries on Thursday in an attempt to fend off a recent expansion push by archrival Apple Computer's iTunes.

"With the new territories, Microsoft has extended its music download business to 19 market versions in 17 countries, including 13 Western European countries.

"In its announcement on Thursday, Microsoft said it had launched new MSN download stores in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland through a partnership with CDON.com, an online retailer owned by Swedish media company Modern Times Group."

Reuters. Microsoft Expands Music Store in Europe. News.com. Nov. 4, 2004.

See also:
Tony Smith. Microsoft Extends MSN Music Sales Into Europe. The Register. Nov. 5, 2004.

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November 06, 2004

China To Implement Copyright Draft Legislation

"The National Copyright Administration will soon implement a draft regulation on administrative protection of copyrights on information networks, to better protect Internet-based work and prevent piracy.

"The draft regulation, worked out by the administration and the Ministry of Information Industry, aims to further bring China's copyright protection closer to international standards, sources from the administration said at a hearing yesterday in Beijing.

"The draft regulation applies to the administrative protection of dissemination rights on Internet-based services. And these services refer to loading, saving, transmitting, linking, searching and other functions through the Internet, the draft regulation states."

Cui Ning. Regulation to Protect Copyrights on Networks. China Daily. Nov. 5, 2004.

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November 05, 2004

Creative Commons Offers Creative Copyright

"This issue of Wired magazine includes a copy of The Wired CD, a collection of 16 songs produced under the Creative Commons License. The licenses come from Creative Commons, the innovative nonprofit founded by Wired columnist and Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig.

"The songs on this CD use one of two Creative Commons licenses.The Noncommercial Sampling Plus license permits noncommercial file-sharing and noncommercial sampling. That means, first, that you can swap the songs on a peer-to-peer network (just don't sell them). And second, that you can sample from them, mash them up, use them to make something fresh - and then share that work, too (though again, you can't sell it). The Beastie Boys, Chuck D, and My Morning Jacket opted for the Noncommercial Sampling Plus license.

"The other 13 artists on the CD went a step further and released their songs under the more expansive Sampling Plus license. Like the noncommercial version, it allows file-sharing. But it also allows commercial use of samples - meaning you can insert a slice of these songs into your own composition and then try to sell the new track. The only restrictions: Use in advertisements is not permitted, and the new work must be 'highly transformative' of the original (translation: A flagrant rip-off like 'Ice Ice Baby' doesn't cut it)."

"More details on the licenses and their permissions are available at creativecommons.org/wired."

Thomas Goetz. Sample the Future. Wired. Nov. 2004.

See also:
Eric Steuer. The Remix Masters. Wired. Nov. 2004.

Hilary Rosen. How I Learned to Love Larry. Wired. Nov. 2004.

Julian Dibbell. We Pledge Allegiance to the Penguin. Wired. Nov. 2004.

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November 02, 2004

Suspected Music Pirate Goes to Court

"Lawyers for music industry players claimed that Stephen Cooper received 'hundreds of millions of hits' per year to his allegedly illegal music download site, MP3s4free.net, as the long-awaited federal court case against the retired policeman kicked off Monday in Sydney.

"The case first came to the court system's attention on Oct. 17 of last year, when Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), which suspected Cooper of music copyright infringement, raided his premises.

"Music industry lawyers say the Web site was first identified as a copyright law violator in December 2002, after it was picked up by MIPI's Internet surveillance activities."

Abby Dinham. Alleged Pirate Faces Labels in Australian Court. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

See also:
Abby Dinham. Expert Witness Embarrassed on the Stand in Cooper Copyright Case. ZD Net Australia. Oct. 29, 2004.

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November 01, 2004

Possible Shift in Online Music Pricing

"Since the launch of Apple's iTunes store in April 2003, the price of digital music has gravitated, with few exceptions, to 99 cents per song, following the Mac maker's unwavering lead. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been adamant that a consistent price is important to help consumers understand the new world of online music.

"But even as they have been pleased with Apples' iTunes successes, record label executives have chafed at the fixed prices. They're used to the retail world, where some albums can be priced higher than average, and some lower, in order to take advantage of demand.

"In announcing the U2 package, Apple executives stopped well short of saying that the flat-rate pricing era was over. But they did say that more experimentation might be on the way."

John Borland. Apple's U2 'Box Set' a Sign of Shifting Music Pricing?. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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DivX Networks to Offer Net Video-on-Demand

"Internet video bad boy DivX Networks is poised for a breakthrough deal that would see two major Hollywood studios announce support for its technology by Christmas, a top executive at the company said Tuesday.

"DivX already has a partnership with News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox to encode films for an airline movie-rental service. Now its video file format will be used in planned Internet video-on-demand services that would be available to consumers by the first half of 2005, DivX President Shahi Ghaman told CNET News.com.

"According to Ghaman, at least two unnamed studios are now planning to use DivX for so-called progressive download scans, allowing consumers to purchase movies directly from the Internet without going through the video store or cable and television networks."

Michael Kanellos and Evan Hansen. DivX Networks Touts New Studio Deals. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

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RIAA Introduces Digital Sales Awards

"It might not be the same as having a big gold record on the wall, but the Recording Industry Association of America has issued its first gold, platinum, and multiplatinum certifications for digital downloads.

"The awards are a sign of a maturing online music market, and a clear message that the business has a long way to go before reaching full mainstream status.

"The standards for reaching certification are much lower online, reflecting the fact that far fewer consumers buy music online, and that online sales remain just a small fraction of the overall music business."

John Borland. From Gold Records to Gold MP3s. News.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

See also:
Andy Sullivan. OutKast Tops First Digital-Music Sales Awards. Reuters. Oct. 27, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Billboard to Rank Ring Tones

"Billboard magazine now sees ring tones as worth including in its venerable top-seller listings.

"The music industry magazine will soon be publishing a list of best-selling ring tones, alongside its more traditional categories, like best-selling album.

"Ring tones are among the biggest hits in the market for cell phone services and content.

Ben Charny. Billboard Chimes in on Ring Tones. News.com. Oct. 26, 2004.

See also:
National Public Radio. Cell Phone Ring Tones Top the Charts. All Things Considered. Oct. 28, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 29, 2004

Delphi, XM Deliver Handheld Satellite Radio

"XM Satellite Radio and radio manufacturer Delphi yesterday introduced the Delphi XM MyFi, a portable, handheld satellite radio receiver the companies hope will lure more consumers to a medium currently limited to car and home units.

"Along with giving its subscribers the convenience of a traditional transistor radio, the MyFi also offers a five-hour recording capacity to let listeners download favorite programs and songs.

"The MyFi is the latest entry in the highly competitive battle over digital music, a fight that pits XM against its immediate competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio, but more broadly against on-line music sources like Napster, and the makers of small, highly portable MP3 and other devices.

Annys Shin. Delphi, XM Unveil Handheld Satellite Radio Receiver. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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MP3 Site Settles Copyright Suit

"The Recording Industry Association of America has reached a $10 million legal settlement with a Spanish company that briefly offered MP3s online for just pennies a song.

"The trade group on Monday said four people associated with Puretunes.com, which operated only briefly in mid-2003, collectively agreed to pay $500,000 in damages, while the holding company responsible for the Web site's operations will be responsible for $10 million.

"The company initially said it had acquired the rights to the songs legally through overseas licensing authorities. The RIAA disagreed and sued the company not long afterward."

John Borland. MP3 Site Settles for $10 Million with RIAA. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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ICQ Instant Messaging Adds Video to Chat

"America Online's ICQ instant messaging software now supports video chat, one of the first tangible results of the ICQ unit's recently launched developer program.

"ICQ in April began providing partners with access to the software's application programming interfaces, or APIs, so they could develop programs that run inside the IM client. The ICQ unit plans to offer an open API license to the public soon, according to a notice on its Web site.

"Applications created under the program are known as ICQ Xtraz, and now include video chat, several games and a sketching tool that lets users create custom avatars."

Evan Hansen. ICQ offers video chat. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Napster Accepts PayPal Online Payment

"Digital music service Napster announced Monday that customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada can now pay for tunes using PayPal.

"Napster users can choose to pay their monthly subscriptions or buy individual tracks and albums using the online payment service, the companies said.

"Subscribers can select the new payment option when they enter billing information. If they don't already have a PayPal account, they can set one up while registering for the service, Napster said."

Dinesh C. Sharma. Napster Befriends PayPal. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 28, 2004

Amazon Hosts Akimbo's Video-On-Demand

"Akimbo on Monday launched its video-on-demand service and signed on Amazon.com as its official retailer.

"The privately held company, based in San Mateo, Calif., makes the Akimbo Player, a set-top box that delivers hundreds of videos to television by way of Internet downloads. Seattle-based Amazon will be the exclusive retailer of the player through December, according to the company.

"The Akimbo Service, available by monthly subscription of about $10, hosts thousands of on-demand and largely niche programs, which are constantly updated and can range from yoga how-tos and CNN news to children's shows and surfing videos."

Stephanie Olsen. Akimbo Debuts Video on Demand on Amazon. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 25, 2004

Record Labels Now Embrace P2P

"Amid the recent collapse of talks over the Induce Act in Congress, record labels are closing in on deals to enable several new peer-to-peer services to emerge -- with the sanction of major record labels that have so far derided P2P as a haven for piracy.

"At a panel held Wednesday by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, at least one record industry representative predicted that such sanctioned P2P services will start to proliferate in the next several months.

"According to Mitch Glazier, senior vice president of government relations and legislative counsel at the Recording Industry Association of America, the new services will be consumer-friendly and enable the portability that digital music consumers demand, all without running afoul of copyright law."

Michael Grebb. Toe-to-Toe Over Peer-to-Peer. Wired News. Oct. 21, 2004.

See also:
Federal Trade Commission. FTC to Host Two-day Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Workshop. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Digital Entertainment Takes a Road Trip

"Your digital home entertainment system is about to take a road trip.

"Consumer electronics makers are racing to find new offerings, from wireless music downloads at gas stations to digital TV, to entertain American families when they're stuck in traffic, driving home for the holidays, or just out for a ride.

"Some of the efforts to transplant digital media technology from PCs and home entertainment centers are still on the drawing board, companies said at a technology conference. But other changes are likely to start appearing in new cars and SUVs as early as next year."

Declan McCullagh. Digital Home Entertainment Hits the Road. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Car Crazy: Microsoft in the Driver's Seat. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

David Becker. TVs, Cameras Top Holiday Plans. News.com. Oct. 18, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 23, 2004

What Crisis? CD Shipments Rise

"CD shipments are surging this year, but not enough to erase previous years' declines in the music business, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

"The record industry's trade group said the value of shipments of all music at the midpoint of 2004 had climbed nearly 4 percent compared to the previous year. The industry has shipped 10 percent more CDs to retail outlets than last year, showing a strong increase in demand.

"But that growth does not mean that the industry can let up in its years-long legal attacks on file swapping and other digital copying, executives said."

John Borland. CD Shipments Surge After Lean Years. ZDNet. Oct. 20, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 22, 2004

Stewart's Blast Explodes Across the Web

"When comedian Jon Stewart blasted the hosts of CNN's 'Crossfire' on the cable TV program, he ignited a frenzy of online activity.

On Friday night, the star of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' angered his 'Crossfire' hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, saying they promote partisan political debate. The online transcript and video clips of the program immediately became an overnight sensation among Web surfers, bloggers and pundits alike.

As of midday Tuesday, online video hosting site IFilm said, more than 670,000 people had downloaded the CNN clip from its site. The clip runs for about 13 minutes.

Matt Hines. Jon Stewart 'Crossfire' Feud Ignites Net Frenzy. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 21, 2004

Starbucks Launches Digital Music Service

"Starbucks announced it will add computer kiosks in stores in Austin, Texas and Seattle where customers can burn music CDs for about US$10 while waiting for their Frappuccino.

"Initially, the company will install the self-service touch-screen kiosks at 30 stores in Austin and 15 stores in Seattle by the end of the month. Willie Nelson is scheduled to headline a concert for the Austin kickoff on November 14.

"But the Seattle-based coffee retailer eventually plans to add the new 'music bars' nationwide as part of its plan to leverage its well-known name and chain of more than 8,300 stores to reach beyond coffee beans for profits."

Bob Keefe. Starbucks To Add Kiosks Where Customers Can Burn CDs. E-Commerce Times. Oct. 15, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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October 18, 2004

MP3 Withers Under iPod's Weight

"After years as the unrivaled king of the digital-media world, the venerable MP3 music format is losing ground to rival technologies from Microsoft and Apple Computer.

"MP3 is still the overwhelming favorite of file traders, but the once-universal format's popularity has been going quietly but steadily down in personal music collections for the last year. According to researchers at The NPD Group's MusicWatch Digital who track the contents of people's hard drives, the percentage of MP3-formatted songs in digital-music collections has slid steadily in recent months, down to about 72 percent of people's collections from about 82 percent a year ago."

John Borland. Is MP3 Losing Steam?. News.com. Oct. 15, 2004.

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October 16, 2004

UCLA Quarantines P2P Violators

"UCLA has developed a new process of identifying and disciplining copyright infringers on peer-to-peer networks, providing schools with another tool to crack down on illegal file sharing.

"Jim Davis, the university's associate vice chancellor of information technology, testified last week about the UCLA Quarantine project before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.

"The school developed a system that automatically alerts students to copyright violations. Since it debuted in the spring, the system has been successful, according to Davis."

Katie Dean. UCLA File Swappers in Quarantine. Wired News. Oct. 13, 2004.

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October 15, 2004

Justice Department Seeks New Antipiracy Powers

"The U.S. Justice Department recommended a sweeping transformation of the nation's intellectual-property laws, saying peer-to-peer piracy is a 'widespread' problem that can be addressed only through more spending, more FBI agents and more power for prosecutors.

"In an extensive report (.pdf) released Tuesday, senior department officials endorsed a pair of controversial copyright bills strongly favored by the entertainment industry that would criminalize 'passive sharing' on file-swapping networks and permit lawsuits against companies that sell products that 'induce' copyright infringement.

"Tuesday's report was not focused exclusively on Internet piracy: It also included recommendations about responses to trademark infringements, trade secret violations and fake pharmaceuticals. But the Internet-related bills it endorses are at the heart of the ongoing political battle pitting Hollywood and the music industry against the computer industry, 'fair use' advocates and librarians."

Declan McCullagh. Justice Dept. Wants New Antipiracy Powers. News.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
Katie Dean. Ashcroft Vows Piracy Assault. Wired News. Oct. 14, 2004.

The Hon. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Prepared Remarks: Release of the Report of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellectual Property. Oct. 12, 2004.

Department of Justice. Attorney General John Ashcroft Announces Recommendations of the Justice Department's Intellectual Property Task Force. Oct. 12, 2004.

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Lycos Plans Social Networking Site

"Lycos plans to launch a social networking site that, unlike many of its competitors, is more focused on letting users communicate with people they already know than on letting users get to know strangers. The company plans to release a test version of the site this week.

"Called Circles, the site will be announced officially at the DigitalLife conference in New York City and can be found online at circles.lycos.com.

"Circles lets users share a variety of things via the site, including text, photos, video and audio clips, and greeting cards."

Juan Carlos. Lycos Builds Web Circles. PCWorld. Oct. 13, 2004.

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October 14, 2004

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Net Privacy Case

"The Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand let stand a lower court decision holding that the recording industry can't force internet service providers to turn over the names of users trading music files online, effectively stopping one of the legal tactics of the music business as it tries to stamp out piracy.

"The case (.pdf) pitted the Recording Industry Association of America against Verizon Internet Services, which earlier had challenged a 2002 copyright subpoena stemming from a provision in the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

"Tuesday's loss came as a blow to the entertainment industry, which has tried to use litigation as a way to deter alleged copyright infringement on peer-to-peer networks."

Michael Grebb. Music Industry Spurned by Court. Wired News. Oct. 12, 2004.

See also:
Electronic Frontier Foundation. No "Fishing License" for the RIAA. Deep Links. Oct. 12, 2004.

No author. Subpoenas Snubbed in File-Sharing Fight. Red Herring. Oct. 12, 2004.

Gina Holland. High Court Won't Hear Music Sharing Case. SiliconValley.com. Oct. 12, 2004.

Cynthia Webb. Supremes Quietly Change Piracy Debate. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 13, 2004.

Update: WashingtonPost.com Supreme Court Internet Privacy Decision. Oct. 14, 2004. (Transcript of chat between Post writer David McGuire and Verizon vice president and associate general counsel Sarah Deutsch. Verizon was the lead party in the fight over keeping subscribers' identities private from entertainment companies seeking to sue for copyright infringement.)

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 13, 2004

An Alternative to Current Copyright Law

"Getting rights OK'd can be frustrating for artists, be they authors seeking to quote an essay or documentary filmmakers who've got snippets of pop songs playing in the background of key scenes. Artists and scholars who believe the current copyright system unduly stifles creativity are pushing a less restrictive alternative that they call the Creative Commons.

"Driving the movement is the belief that we all benefit when creative minds are free to expand upon others' work — that public discourse is hurt when too much of it is weighed down by the baggage of commerce.

"'The (Creative) Commons encourages sharing and makes explicit that creativity depends on easy access to raw materials,' said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a New York University professor critical of current copyright laws. 'Right now, you have to assume you're going to get in trouble if you quote from somebody extensively or build upon a previous expression.'"

Anick Jesdanun. Movement Seeks Copyright Alternatives. Yahoo! News. Oct. 10, 2004.

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October 12, 2004

Skype to Offer Business Service

"Skype plans to offer a business telephone service for 'individuals and work groups, not CIOs' that the free Internet phone service provider says will shake up another major telephone market.

"Winning over business will not be an easy task, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom said Wednesday. Incumbent suppliers of business phone services and equipment fiercely protect customers, who in turn are extremely loyal.

"Winning over business will not be an easy task, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom said Wednesday. Incumbent suppliers of business phone services and equipment fiercely protect customers, who in turn are extremely loyal."

Ben Charny. Skype Readies Business Telephone Offering. News.com. Oct. 6, 2004.

See also:
David M. Ewalt. Can Skype Cash In On Free?. Forbes. Oct. 6, 2004.

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October 11, 2004

Movie & Record Companies Ask High Court to Rescue Their Industries

"Hollywood studios and record companies on Friday asked the United States Supreme Court to overturn a controversial series of recent court decisions that have kept file-swapping software legal, saying that letting the lower court rulings stand would badly undermine the value of copyrighted work.

"The decisions have been among the biggest setbacks for the entertainment industry in the past several years, as they have tried to quell the rampant exchange of copyrighted materials over peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus."

Editor's Note: Former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr and former Bill Clinton impeachment counsel David E. Kendall are representing the entertainment industry in this matter.

John Borland. Hollywood Takes P2P Case to Supreme Court. News.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
U.S. Supreme Court. Petiton for Certiorari: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf). Oct. 8, 2004.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. MGM v. Grokster Case Archive.

John Borland. Judges Rule File-Sharing Software Legal. News.com. Aug. 19, 2004.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf). Aug. 19, 2004.

John Borland. Judge: File-Swapping Tools Are Legal. News.com. April 25, 2003.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, Ltd.. (.pdf). April 25, 2003.

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INDUCE Act Dies on Congress Floor

"A bill that would make it easier to sue online file-trading networks like Kazaa appeared on Friday to have died a quiet death, but other copyright bills sought by the entertainment industry continued to advance.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee declined late on Thursday to take up a bill that would hold liable anyone who 'induces' others to reproduce copyrighted material, a move observers said all but assures it would not become law this year."

Reuters. Copyright Bill Dies in Senate as Others Advance. News.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
Brooks Boliek. Induce Act Stalls as Compromise Talks Break Down. The Hollywood Reporter. Oct. 8, 2004.

Keith Regan. Congressional Action on Induce Act Could Be in Jeopardy. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 7, 2004.

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Nintendo DS Includes Wireless Download Capability

"Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed on Thursday that the company's dual-screen DS handheld gaming console can download game data wirelessly, then play it back.

"The Nintendo DS's greatest features are its revolutionary control schemes, such as the touch-sensitive screen and the microphone input," Iwata said during a press conference at CEATEC, a large technology conference taking place here this week. "And its other major feature is the wireless connection. With it, we're going to revolutionize the way that games are played."

Hirohiko Niizumi. Nintendo Handheld to Feature Wireless Downloading. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
Yuka Obayashi. Nintendo Says 12 DS Games to Debut in Japan. Reuters. Oct. 7, 2004.

David Smith. Nintendo DS American Launch Lineup. PC Magazine. Oct. 8, 2004.

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Study Shows Major Increase in Household Use of VoIP by 2009

"More than 12 million U.S. households could switch to Internet phone service by 2009, though younger people may be hard to sign up, according to a new market research report.

"JupiterResearch says that Internet phone service is likely to expand from just 400,000 customers now to nearly 10 percent of U.S. households within five years as prices fall, quality improves and new features are added.

"While startups like Vonage have gained early momentum, the research firm said that the established companies are likely to dominate the Internet phone market because of their brand strength, marketing clout and large customer base."

Scott Goldstein. Internet Phone Service Seen Booming. TechNewsWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
JupitermediaResearch.
JupiterResearch Forecasts Voice Over IP Telephony Services to Reach 12.1 Million U.S. Households by 2009
. Oct. 7, 2004.

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WiFi Hotspot Operators Beware of Patent Lawsuits

"Wi-Fi hotspot operators must pay $1,000 a year, or face a lawsuit from a patent enforcement firm.

"Acacia Technologies Group says it is enforcing a patent it says covers the methods that wireless ISPs, WLAN aggregators and other Wi-Fi networks use to redirect users to a common login Web page. The company claims it owns the technology behind gateway page redirection.

"The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company is sending out information packets to Wi-Fi operators informing them of the patent claim and including a licensing agreement. Companies have 30 days to ask questions, sign the licensing pact, or prove to Acacia that the wireless operator is not infringing the patent."

Ed Sutherland. Hotspot Operators Face Patent Lawsuits. InternetNews.com. Oct. 8, 2004.

See also:
Nancy Gohring. Hotspot Operators Face New Patent Fee Demand. WiFi Networking News. Oct. 5, 2004.

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October 09, 2004

Microsoft CEO Claims iPod Music is Stolen

"It's official. All iPod users are music thieves - according to Microsoft CEO Steve 'Monkey Boy' Ballmer.

"The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'," he told reporters in London today, according to a Silicon.com report.

"Ballmer conveniently ignores not only that there are many non-Apple music players out there, on which there are probably as many, if not more 'stolen' songs."

Tony Smith. Most Songs on iPods 'Stolen' - Microsoft CEO. The Register. Oct. 4, 2004.

See also:
John Lettice. iPod Owners Very Honest, Not Thieves At All, says MS. The Register. Oct. 8, 2004.

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October 08, 2004

Record Industry Using Net to Extend Reach

"When R.E.M.'s 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi' was released, music buyers yawned -- it was the start of a steady decline in U.S. album sales for R.E.M. as hip-hoppers and pop divas eclipsed the band.

"The record industry itself didn't do much better, as sales overall shrank from its halcyon days of routine multi-platinum hits. Record labels are quick to blame Internet piracy; many fans point to high CD prices instead.

"In 2004, both R.E.M. and the record industry are turning to the Internet to reverse their fortunes.

"Today, the band releases its 13th major album, 'Around the Sun' -- but for hundreds of thousands of fans, there's no suspense. They've already listened to the entire album for free on the Internet over the past two weeks, and with the band's label's encouragement."

Frank Ahrens. Record Labels Aim for Net, Hope to Score. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 5, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Sony Ericsson Predicts Slow Growth for Mobile Devices

"Japanese-Swedish mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson said on Tuesday it expects slower growth in the global handset market next year.

"Replacement sales in rich markets, which has powered the market this year as consumers are trading in their old phones for new models with color screens and built-in cameras, may not be such a major force next year, said Miles Flint, president of the three-year-old joint venture between Sony and Ericsson.

"The phone market will be dominated by current models, although 2005 will be the first year of volume sales of handsets that can work on third generation (3G) networks, for fast multimedia services like video telephony and song downloads."

Santosh Menon. INTERVIEW: Sony Ericsson Chief Sees Slower Growth. Reuters. Oct. 5, 2004.

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An Alternative to iPods

"As the trading of MP3 files ate into music sales, Damon Dash, the 33-year-old entrepreneur behind Roc-A-Fella Records, turned his hip-hop music company into a platform to sell other, more profitable products.

"Now Mr. Dash is taking his celebrity and music-infused marketing approach to a product line closer to the source of his troubles: MP3 files. In November, he will introduce a line of MP3 players under the name Rocbox, including one aimed squarely to compete with Apple Computer's iPod.

"Mr. Dash hopes to distinguish the Rocbox players from other players on the market by weaving images of them into videos for artists of his label, and put tags promoting them on his clothing. While details haven't been worked out yet, buyers of the player will have access to exclusive bits of Roc-A-Fella music."

Saul Hansell. Battle of Form (and Function) in MP3 Players. The New York Times. Oct. 4, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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October 07, 2004

AT&T; Offers Music Service

"In the first foray by a U.S. wireless carrier into the online music market, AT&T; Wireless is launching a service that lets subscribers buy songs using their cell phones and later download them to a computer.

"Until now, mobile music sales have centered on ringtones, the song snippets used to customize ringer and other sounds on mobile phones.

"At Tuesday's launch, mMode Music Store will offer roughly 750,000 tracks priced at 99 cents each. Full albums will start at $9.99."

Alex Veiga. AT&T; Wireless Launching Music Service. MSNBC News. Oct. 5, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. AT&T; Wireless Opens Mobile Music Store. News.com. Oct. 4, 2004.

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Balance Between Copy Protection and Technical Innovation

"A computer scientist at Princeton University, Edward Felten, took part in a contest sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America to test technology for guarding music against piracy. He and his students quickly found flaws in the new antipiracy software and prepared to publish their results.

"But when the RIAA learned of the plan, it threatened to sue under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Congress passed it back in 1998 to block hackers from breaking copy protection. And they wisely included a provision designed to let researchers such as Felten carry out their important work. Still, the RIAA deemed Felten's line of study too sensitive.

"The lesson many scientists drew was that copyright protection takes priority over research."

Heather Green. Commentary: Are The Copyright Wars Chilling Innovation?. BusinessWeekOnline. Oct. 11, 2004.

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October 05, 2004

RIAA Files 762 More P2P Lawsuits

"The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed 762 new lawsuits against alleged file-traders using P-to-P (peer-to-peer) services, with the total number of lawsuits filed since September 2003 now reaching more than 5,500.

"The 762 lawsuits announced Thursday included 32 people at 26 U.S. universities who allegedly used their university networks to distribute music files on P-to-P networks."

Grant Gross. RIAA Files 762 New File-Trading Lawsuits. InfoWorld. Oct. 1, 2004.

See also:
Brooks Boliek. Music Industry Files More Piracy Lawsuits. Reuters. Oct. 1, 2004.

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Friendster to Offer VoIP

"Social networking site Friendster has struck a deal with Voice over IP provider Voiceglo in order to offer the IP telephony service to millions of the site's users.

The new 'Friendster Phone,' powered by Voiceglo's GloPhone technology, will allow the social networking site users to make free calls to other users on the VoIP system.

"The deal with Friendster follows other deals VoiceGlo has made in recent months with large online networks. In July, it partnered with P2P network eDonkey to offer VoIP services to that user base."

Sean Michael Kerner. Friendster 'AGlo' For VoIP. InternetNews.com. Oct. 1, 2004.

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October 04, 2004

Mobile Devices Miss the Mainstream

"BlackBerrys and Bluetooth share an embarrassing trait -- these two uses of wireless technology have remained stubbornly irrelevant to many mainstream users, despite the benefits they might offer and the hype they often get in the press.

"Many busy executives have become utterly dependent on the always-on e-mail access provided by Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry handhelds, but these devices' high costs and business-oriented features haven't constituted an attractive bundle for people who mostly use their cell phones to talk."

Rob Pegoraro. BlackBerry, Bluetooth Miss a Shot to Move Into More Hands. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 02, 2004

Telecoms and Tech Companies Unite on Induce Act

"The Business Software Alliance, along with the Computer Systems Policy Project and the Information Technology Industry Council have informed Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in no uncertain terms what's wrong with the Induce Act and what is needed for any bill that expands copyright liability."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. BSA to Hatch -- We're with the Tech & Telecom Industries on Induce. Sept. 30, 2004.

See also:
Tom Zeller. Panel Considers Copyright Bill. The New York Times. Sept. 30, 2004.

Business Software Alliance, Computer Systems Policy Project, Information Technology Industry Council. S.2560, The "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004". (.pdf). Sept. 29, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

October 01, 2004

Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 Passed By House

"In a move that takes aim at file-swapping networks, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to boost penalties for online piracy and increase federal police powers against Net copyright infringement.

"By voice vote, politicians on Tuesday approved a sweeping copyright bill that would make it easier for the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate and convict file swappers. Other sections criminalize unauthorized recordings made in movie theaters and encourage the Justice Department to target Internet copyright infringement.

"Opponents had mounted an unsuccessful, last-ditch campaign earlier in the day to urge House leaders to remove the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act from the floor schedule."

Declan McCullagh. House Votes To Target P2P Pirates. News.com. Sept. 28, 2004.

See also:
Ted Bridist. House Votes to Make Video Cameras in Movie Theaters a Federal Crime. Technology Review. Sept. 29, 2004.

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September 30, 2004

Will Skype Last Beyond the Hype?

"Just over a year after Skype's launch, the Luxembourg-based upstart is showing signs of being the real deal. But as with early predictions about peer-to-peer technology and the music business, the expectations about an overthrow of the telephone industry remain unfulfilled.

"In fact, as much as Skype presents a budding competitive challenge to the old-line companies, it's also looking for ways to cooperate with them. The start-up voices lofty goals of expanding the way people communicate, but it still faces the down-to-earth demands of broadening its own sources of revenue."

Ben Charny. Can Skype Live Up to the Net Phone Hype?. News.com. Sept. 27, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:31 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MSN Ends Outlook Access to Hotmail

"Citing a rise in spam abuse, Microsoft Corp.'s MSN division has ended free access to its Hotmail Web-based e-mail service through the Outlook and Outlook Express clients.

MSN had offered its 187 million active Hotmail users the ability to read and send e-mail through the e-mail clients rather than a Web interface using a protocol called Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, or WebDAV.

"News users wanting to make use of WebDAV will have to pay for the service, said Brooke Richardson, product manager for MSN's communications services. MSN plans to transition current WebDAV users to subscription plans in the next few months as well."

Matt Hicks. MSN Ends Hotmail's Free Outlook Access. eWeek. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
Stefanie Olsen. Hotmail To Wean Users From Free Export Tool. News.com. Sept. 26, 2004.

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September 29, 2004

California May Terminate P2P Use

"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered the State CIO to come up with a policy for the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications by state personnel.

"While the order prohibited the use of state resources to illegally download copyrighted material, it specifically allowed for legitimate uses of the controversial software -- in moderation.

"Today California is taking a stand against use of state resources for illegal downloading of this material and standing in support of the work of these talented Californians," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Schwarzenegger said he wants to make sure that state computers aren't used to contribute to what he called 'huge losses of revenue to the state's valuable entertainment industry.'"

Susan Kuchinskas. California To Set P2P Policy. InternetNews.com. Sept. 20, 2004.

The Hon. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Executive Order S-16-04 by the Governor of the State of California. Sept. 16, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:23 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

See and Hear All Evil

"For the longest time, the recording labels viewed digital music as something that could hurt them with hurricane force but made no efforts to adjust to this new reality, let alone exploit it. Finally, they were persuaded to license their works to online music sellers. Apple's iTunes Store, which sells songs for 99 cents a shot, became a template for a mini-industry that clearly represents the future of music. Microsoft opened its own long-awaited online outlet earlier this month. And just last week Yahoo dropped $160 million to buy Musicmatch and its store.

"This summer provided a clue to further harnessing the force of digital nature. For three weeks, Real Networks tried to lure new customers by slashing prices to 49 cents a song and $4.99 per album. Since Real paid the full royalty load to the labels (almost 70 cents a tune), the company lost money on every transaction. CEO Rob Glaser says that the company did get new customers, but here's the real news: Real sold six times as much music and took in three times as much money."

Steven Levy. Music Companies Are In Denial. Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2004.

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September 28, 2004

EBay Allows You to Share the Love

"Internet giant EBay is joining the online music parade with a service that offers a slight twist for customers -- sharing hit songs earns rewards, not lawsuits.

The service, powered by Tennessee startup PassAlong Networks , lets customers share samples of their favorite tunes with friends and neighbors.

"And for every 10 songs that those friends purchase, the sender receives a free song."

Benny Evangelista. EBay Links With PassAlong to Offer New Music Service. San Francisco Chronicle. Sept. 23, 2004.

See also
BusinessWire. PassAlong Networks Debuts Music Download Service; Launches First Digital Music Store on eBay Offering Major Label Catalogs; Consumers Rewarded for Legally Sharing Music . Forbes.com. Sept. 23, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Downloading Via Subscription Service

"Long before Sir Richard Branson dreamed of becoming the latest billionaire with a reality TV show, before he started his cellphone company, his airline and his record label, he sold music from the Virgin Record Shop on Oxford Street in London. When he began in 1971, of course, music was presented as grooves pressed into a vinyl disk.

"Today, Sir Richard starts a new music store, VirginDigital.com, this time selling music as streams of bits to be downloaded from the Internet. Virgin becomes the first major music retailer to enter the download market, which has been dominated by Apple Computer and other technology companies.

"What's interesting is that Virgin is putting its biggest emphasis on its subscription service, rather than on selling songs one at time for 99 cents a track, as Apple and Microsoft do.

"It is betting that new customers will join its Virgin Music Club for a $7.99 monthly fee to listen to an unlimited amount of music from Virgin's one-million-track library on their computers."

Saul Hansell. Music Sites Ask, 'Why Buy If You Can Rent?'. The New York Times. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. Virgin Launches Online Music Service. News.com. Sept. 26, 2004.
Sue Zeidler. Virgin Launches New Digital Music Service. Reuters. Sept. 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:23 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

Conservatives Slam INDUCE Act

"The American Conservative Union, the nation's oldest conservative group, has become the latest and most vocal critic of an anti-file-swapping bill that foes say could target products like Apple Computer's iPod.

"The ACU, which holds influential Republican activists and former senators on its board of directors, is running newspaper and magazine advertisements that take a humorous jab at the so-called Induce Act -- and slams some conservative politicians for supporting it."

Declan McCullagh. Conservative Group Savages Anti-P2P Bill. News.com. Sept. 24, 2004.

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September 24, 2004

Tax Downloads?

"Pop piracy should be decriminalised and the music industry should realise that efforts to stop illegal downloading are doomed, a conference has been told.

"Instead the music industry should embrace file-sharers, said technology journalist and author Andrew Orlowski in a keynote speech at the Interactive @ In The City conference being held in Manchester. One way could be the addition of a small surcharge to net subscription fees which could be shared among artists whose music is being downloaded."

Mark Ward. Call to Legalise File-Sharing With Taxes BBC. Sept. 22, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:06 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

MySpace Premieres New R.E.M. Album

"MySpace.com, the leading social networking portal, announced today the exclusive debut of R.E.M.'s new album, Around the Sun, before its release in stores on October 5. This represents the first exclusive premiere of an album on a social networking portal.

"Using MySpace.com, R.E.M. and Warner Bros. Records are leveraging the reach of nearly 4 million users while adding a new dimension to the way music is marketed to fans by introducing a new album to a preexisting, highly interactive online community that can spread the word virally."

Chris Marlowe. MySpace Basks in R.E.M. 'Sun'. Reuters. Sept. 20, 2004.

See also
No author. MySpace Launches Exclusive Album Premiere of R.E.M.'S Around the Sun. Yahoo! Finance. Sept. 21, 2004.

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September 23, 2004

Interview with "Father of the Web"

"Perhaps for some, being credited with inventing the World Wide Web would be more than enough as far as life accomplishments go. But for Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it's merely the beginning of something even more fulfilling.

"The man who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century is now busy channeling his energies into the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards body he founded and now directs.

"Moments after delivering a keynote address at the SpeechTek Conference in New York earlier this week, Sir Tim sat down with internetnews.com to discuss the state of the Web browser market, the growth of the Semantic Web and some of the challenges facing the W3C."

Ryan Naraine. Tim Berners-Lee, Director, W3C. internetnews.com. Sept. 17, 2004.

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September 22, 2004

Compilation CD for Sharing

"Next month, songs by the Beastie Boys, David Byrne and 14 others will appear on a compilation CD whose contents are meant to be copied freely online, remixed or sampled by other artists for use in their own new recordings.

"'The Wired CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.' was compiled by the editors of Wired magazine, of San Francisco, as an experimental implementation of a new kind of intellectual-property license called Creative Commons.

"In this case, all 16 participants are allowing their work to be shared on the Internet. Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson describes Creative Commons as a way of declaring that the recordings come with 'some rights reserved,' as opposed to the traditional 'all rights reserved.'"

Eathan Smith. This Compilation CD Is Meant To Be Copied and Shared. Wall Street Journal Online. Sept. 20, 2004.

See also:
Brian Braiker. Take My Music . . . Please. Newsweek. Oct. 5. 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Microsoft Checking Software Licenses

"Microsoft is trying to get to know its pirates a little better.

"The software maker has launched a pilot program in which some visitors to the main Windows download page are being asked to let the software maker check to see whether their copy of the operating system is licensed.

"Visitors do not have to partipate in the program to get their downloads. They'll also get their downloads if they do participate and their copy of Windows turns out to be unlicensed. But Microsoft said the program is a first step in trying to provide a better experience for customers using legitimate copies of Windows."

Ina Fried. Microsoft: Can We Check Your Software License?. News.com. Sept. 17, 2004.

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September 21, 2004

Groups Seek Public Hearings on Induce Act

"Today, EFF joined a broad coalition of public interest and industry groups in sending a strong message (.pdf) to Congress regarding the highly controversial Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (S. 2560): Slow down."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Broad Coalition to Congress on Induce Act: Whoa There! Not So Fast. Deep Links. Sept. 17, 2004.

See also:
Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge Joins Widespread Opposition to Copyright Legislation. Sept. 17, 2004.
Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge Statement on Copyright Office Draft Legislation. Sept. 10, 2004.
Public Knowledge. Resource Room for the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004.

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September 20, 2004

Earthlink Provides New File Sharing Program

"A new file-sharing program hit the Net late Wednesday, posted by none other than Internet service provider EarthLink.

"The software, hosted on an out-of-the-way corner of the company's research and development site, is aimed at showing that a technology commonly used in Internet phone calls can be adapted to create a peer-to-peer network.

"On the research page, the company outlines a vision of creating voice over P2P, video services using peer-to-peer, and other applications, all based on the Net-calling standard."

John Borland. Earthlink Tests File-Sharing Program. News.com. Sept. 16 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

XM Radio to Launch Internet Radio Station

"Satellite radio operator XM Radio on Wednesday announced plans to launch an online music service.

"The Washington, D.C.-based company said the service, dubbed XM Radio Online will launch sometime in early October and operate commercial-free, just as its satellite programming does. XM will charge $7.99 per month for unlimited listening and offer a discount rate of $3.99 to subscribers of its existing radio services.

"The company's main business is a commercial-free radio service that's used with its portable satellite radio receivers, which are designed for use in homes and cars."

Matt Hines. XM Radio Tunes In Online Music Service. News.com. Sept. 15, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Yahoo! Acquires Musicmatch Online Jukebox

"In a move to expand its role in the online music business, Yahoo announced yesterday that it would buy Musicmatch, a company that sells music online, for $160 million.

"The move puts Yahoo in direct competition with Apple Computer's iTunes, Microsoft's new music store and RealNetworks in the small but growing market for online downloads of music.

"'Music is one of the most-used applications on the Web,' said Dan Rosensweig, Yahoo's chief operating officer. 'Our objective is to be the leading player in the digital music world.'"

Saul Hansell. Yahoo to Challenge iTunes With New Acquisition. The New York Times. Sept. 15, 2004.

See also:
Matt Hines. Yahoo to Buy Musicmatch for $160 million. News.com. Sept. 14, 2004.

Jefferson Graham. Yahoo Breaks into Music with Musicmatch Purchase. TechNewsWorld. Sept. 15, 2004.

Update: John Borland. Yahoo to Launch its Own Music Player. News.com. Sept. 17, 2004. (Yahoo is planning on launching its own online music service by the end of this year, using Musicmatch's customers to approach separate audiences.)

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:34 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

New Software Allows P2P Among Private Groups

"Welcome to the world of legal online music ambiguity. Say hello to Grouper.

"Grouper - a temporarily stealth software project - has gone up for download and instantly created a confusing divide between the old world and the new. Unlike most P2P software that shares music and other files with world+dog, Grouper focuses on sharing files between friends. Users can set up mini-P2P networks and open up their photos, music, movies and documents.

"This approach seems much more similar to old-style content swapping where friends handed each other a mixed CD or recording of the UT versus Texas A&M; football game, just with a techie twist."

Ashlee Vance. New P2P Software Could End Illegal Music Squabbles. The Register. Sept. 13, 2004.

See also Raymond Blijd. The Grouper Exception. P2Pnet.net. Sept. 16, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 16, 2004

OMB Seeks to Sweep Away P2P Use

"Federal chief information officers received a reminder this week that peer-to-peer file sharing is an activity that, in most cases, should not be tolerated on federal networks.

"A Sept. 8 memo from Karen Evans, administrator for information technology and e-government in the Office of Management and Budget, asked CIOs to monitor and enforce federal policies on employees' use of P2P technology. The memo cites no recent incidents or statistics on P2P file sharing by federal employees."

Florence Olsen. OMB: Clamp Down on P2P. FCW.com. Sept. 14, 2004.

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Free Download Protects IM and P2P

"IMlogic Inc. on Tuesday launched a free tool to let enterprises detect and block the use of instant messaging, peer-to-peer file sharing networks and voice-over-IP applications within their walls.

"Called IM Detector Pro, the software provides a first step for organizations to get a handle on the extent of such traffic flowing on their networks and to decide how to best manage it, said Dave Fowler, IMlogic's vice president of marketing and strategic alliances.

"With the use of IM and P2P increasing, corporations can face risks of sensitive information being disclosed, employees illegally sharing copyrighted files, or viruses and worms entering their networks, Fowler said. Meanwhile, they must meet corporate governance requirements to prevent security breaches."

Matt Hicks. IMlogic Launches Free IM, P2P Blocker. eWeek. Sept. 14, 2004.

See also Dan Muse. Detect and Block IM — for Free. InternetNews.com. Sept. 14, 2004.

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September 13, 2004

Anti-Piracy Technology for Video

"NDS, STMicroelectronics and Thomson said on Friday they will develop new encryption technology to foil video piracy, a $3.5 billion problem for broadcasters and movie studios.

"The anti-piracy technology, known as the secure video processor platform, is designed for media companies to protect their content from unauthorized copying and redistribution."

No author. Tech Firms Announce Video Anti-Piracy Technology. Reuters. Sept. 10, 2004.

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September 11, 2004

Musicians Using Internet to Introduce and Share Music

"Downloading music from the Internet is not illegal. Plenty of music available online is not just free but also easily available, legal and — most important — worth hearing.

"That fact may come as a surprise after highly publicized lawsuits by the RIAA against fans using peer-to-peer programs like Grokster and eDonkey to collect music on the Web.

"But the fine print of those lawsuits makes clear that fans are being sued not for downloading but for unauthorized distribution: leaving music in a shared folder for other peer-to-peer users to take. As copyright holders, the labels have the exclusive legal right to distribute the music recorded for them, even if technology now makes that right nearly impossible to enforce.

"While the recording business litigates and lobbies over music being given away online, countless musicians are taking advantage of the Internet to get their music heard. They are betting that if they give away a song or two, they will build audiences, promote live shows and sell more recordings."

Jon Pareles. No Fears: Laptop D.J.'s Have a Feast. The New York Times. Sept. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

House Judiciary Committee Approves P2P Bill

"People who illegally share copyrighted music and movies over the Internet could be jailed for up to five years under a bill approved by a powerful congressional panel today.

"The Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 is one of a handful of measures gathering steam in Congress that target the practice of Internet file sharing, which record companies blame for playing a part in a $2 billion dollar decline in yearly CD sales since 2000. The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure by voice vote, clearing it for debate in the full House.

"Congress has done little thus far to address Internet file-swapping, but that could change in the next few months as lawmakers in both houses consider a clutch of measures that target either individual downloaders or the companies -- like Kazaa and eDonkey -- that distribute the file-swapping software."

David McGuire. House Panel Moves to Criminalize Spyware, Net Piracy. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 8, 2004.

Cynthia L. Webb. Congress Puts Hooks in Spyware, Copyright Crooks. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 9, 2004.

See also:
Roy Mark. House Panel Gets Tough on Spyware, P2P Piracy. Internetnews.com. Sept. 8, 2004.
Public Knowledge. HR 4077, The Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004.
Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge Reacts to House Judiciary Committee Approval of Copyright Bill. Sept. 8, 2004.
Electronic Frontier Foundation. A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

RIAA Sued Over Patent

"Altnet, a company that sells music and other digital goods through file-swapping services, sued the Recording Industry Association of America on Wednesday for alleged patent infringement.

"The company, a subsidiary of Brilliant Digital Entertainment, contends that the RIAA has been infringing on one of its patents in the course of copyright enforcement efforts inside peer-to-peer networks. Overpeer, a copyright company owned by Loudeye, and MediaDefender, also are named in the lawsuit.

"The patent infringement suit comes as one of the sideshows in an ongoing legal battle over peer-to-peer networks that has led to piracy charges against technology companies and antitrust claims against record companies, and that now appears to be headed ultimately to Congress for resolution."

John Borland. P2P Company Sues RIAA Over Patent. News.com. Sept. 8, 2004.

See also:
Business Wire. Brilliant Digital Entertainment and Altnet File Suit Against Infringers of Its "TrueNames'' Patent. Sept. 8, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:58 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

Skype (and VoIP) Picks Up

"Skype, a made-up term that rhymes with "tripe," is the most popular and sexiest application of VoIP, which doesn't rhyme with anything. VoIP - sometimes pronounced letter by letter, like C.I.A., and at other times as a word - stands for voice over Internet protocol. Essentially, it is a way of allowing a computer with a broadband connection to serve as a telephone.

"This new form of conveying voice messages has so many advantages over traditional systems that the whole telecommunications industry is scrambling to see how fast it can shift traffic onto the Internet. AT&T;, for example, is no longer recruiting new home customers, but it is offering many new VoIP services. Dozens of other companies - new ones like Vonage and established ones like Verizon - are selling VoIP services, too."

Editor's note: As it celebrates its first birthday, Skype -- long a Windows-only application -- now has made its Web phone application available for the Mac platform. Skype for Mac is in beta testing now (version 0.8) and requires the Panther operating system (Mac OS X version 10.3 or higher). (Sorry, Jaguar users, you get no love.) Skype also runs on the Linux and PocketPC platforms.

James Fallows. In Internet Calling, Skype Is Living Up to the Hype. The New York Times. Sept. 5, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

See also:
Rob Pegoraro. It Takes Time to Judge the True Impact of New Technology. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 5, 2004.

Roy Mark. Congress Hangs Up on VoIP for 2004. Internetnews.com. Sept. 3, 2004.

Washington Post. Make Phone Calls Online. Aug. 29, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:27 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Copyright Office Drafts New Version of P2P Bill

"A hotly contested wrangle in Congress over how to outlaw file-swapping networks just took a new twist.

"The U.S. Copyright Office has drafted a new version of the Induce Act that it believes will ban networks like Kazaa and Morpheus while not putting hardware such as portable hard drives and MP3 players on the wrong side of the law.

"The Copyright Office's four-page 'discussion draft,' appears to back away from the broad sweep of the original Induce Act by making it more difficult for companies to be found liable for copyright violations. It says anyone who 'intentionally induces' copyright violations can be found liable, with 'induce' defined as one or more 'affirmative, overt acts that are reasonably expected to cause or persuade another person or persons' to violate copyright law."

Declan McCullagh. Copyright Office Pitches Anti-P2P Bill. News.com. Sept. 2, 2004.

See also:
Mike Godwin. Sept. 3 Letter to Copyright Office Regarding S2560. Public Knowledge. Sept. 3, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:10 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

The Internet Continues to Mature

"Thirty-five years after computer scientists at UCLA linked two bulky computers using a 15-foot gray cable, testing a new way to exchange data over networks, what would ultimately become the Internet remains a work in progress.

"University researchers are experimenting with ways to increase its capacity and speed. Programmers are trying to imbue Web pages with intelligence. And work is underway to re-engineer the network to reduce spam and security troubles.

"All the while threats loom: Critics warn that commercial, legal and political pressures could hinder the types of innovations that made the Internet what it is today."

Associated Press. The Internet at 35: Still Evolving. CNN.com. Aug. 29, 2004.

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August 28, 2004

FBI Targets Copyright Violators

"Federal authorities searched computers in six locations yesterday in an attempt to disrupt a network used to trade copies of movies, software, games and music.

"The Justice Department said the searches represented the first time that so-called peer-to-peer networks had been singled out for a criminal enforcement action under copyright law.

"The department has stepped up enforcement of copyright law this year, but until now it has focused on organizations known as warez groups, which steal copies of movies and other materials to make them available to downloaders."

Saul Hansell. U.S. Searches Computers, Trying to Disrupt Piracy. The New York Times. Aug. 26, 2004.

See also
Peter Kaplan and Andy Sullivan. U.S. Raids Net Song Swappers in Copyright Crackdown. Reuters. Aug. 25, 2004.

Attorney General John Ashcroft. Digital Gridlock Announcement. Aug. 25, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

New Proposal for 'Induce Act'

"Electronics manufacturers and some Internet providers are mounting a counterattack to a copyright bill intended to ban peer-to-peer networks and that could also imperil devices like Apple Computer's iPod.

"That measure, called the Induce Act, has been widely panned by the technology industry. Now some groups, including SBC Communications, Verizon Communications and the Consumer Electronics Association, are fighting back with their own proposal that will be sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

"Their proposal, dubbed the 'Don't Induce Act,' (.pdf) is designed to provide the Senate with an alternative that's less threatening to the industry. It is far narrower, saying that only someone who distributes a commercial computer program 'specifically designed' for widescale piracy on digital networks could be held liable for copyright violations."

Declan McCullagh. Industry Offers Alternative to P2P Bill. News.com. Aug. 24, 2004.

See also Katie Dean. Copyright Bill Needs Big Changes. Wired News. Aug. 25, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:47 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

RIAA and Colleges Address Illegal File Sharing

"Colleges and universities across the country are taking new steps to fight rampant Internet music piracy by beefing up their education efforts, offering legal music downloading options and stiffening penalties for illegal file sharing, according to a report released today.

"The report, which was prepared by a coalition of higher education institutions and the recording industry, said that schools are adopting new policies as well as technological and educational measures to ensure that students have access to online music without resorting to illegal downloads."

Jonathan Krim. Justice Dept. to Announce Cyber-Crime Crackdown. WashingtonPost.com. Aug. 25, 2004.

See also:
Katie Dean. Music Services Score an A-Plus. Wired News. Aug. 24, 2004.
Cynthia L. Webb. Online Music Goes Back to School. WashingtonPost.com. Aug. 24, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 25, 2004

Justice Department Re-visits Patriot Act

"A top Justice Department official on Monday took a swipe at one of the recording industry's favorite ideas: a law encouraging federal prosecutors to sue copyright infringers.

"Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for antitrust, expressed skepticism toward a bill called the Pirate Act that the Senate overwhelmingly approved in June. It's designed to curb peer-to-peer piracy by threatening individual infringers with civil lawsuits brought by the government.

"That idea is 'something that people should take with a grain of salt,' Pate said at a conference held by the Progress & Freedom Foundation. While 'the Justice Department is there to enforce the law, there's something to be said for those who help themselves.'"

Declan McCullagh. Justice Dept. Takes P2P with 'Grain of Salt'. News.com. Aug. 23, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 20, 2004

P2P Network Serves Students

"I2hub, the supercharged file-swapping network that has run for months on the university Internet2 network, is aiming to solidify its hold on campuses, with new businesses targeted at students.

"The I2hub founders have acquired a small online textbook exchange and are tying it into the file-swapping service, hoping that students will start reselling books to each other instead of using local bookstores. With this, and other similar student-focused services, they're aiming to turn the file-swapping traffic into a more traditional--and potentially profitable--hub of campus activities."

John Borland. Supercharged College P2P Project Expands. News.com. Aug. 16, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:11 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 18, 2004

Music Being Downloaded Directly to Cell Phones

"The ability to download complete tracks directly over cell-phone networks to mobile phones is becoming a reality in Europe.

"O2 Music, the music arm of U.K.-based international telecom operator mmO2, has started offering songs for download in Germany and the United Kingdom.

"The emerging trend of selling full-length songs directly to mobile phones in Europe has been triggered by better understanding and cooperation between mobile phone operators, handset manufacturers and record labels."

Reuters. Downloads on the Move in Europe. Wired News. Aug. 15, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 14, 2004

P2P Networks Distribute Windows Update

"Peer-to-peer advocacy group Downhill Battle has made a copy of Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 available at a site called SP2torrent.com through the BitTorrent file-sharing system.

"'Now is a crucial time to demonstrate ways that peer-to-peer can be useful,' according to co-founder Nicholas Reville. 'We are facing a situation where Congress is seriously considering outlawing peer-to-peer for all intents and purposes.'

"Reville was referring to the Induce Act, a bill before Congress that says 'whoever intentionally induces any violation' of copyright law is liable for that infraction. Downhill Battle also used peer-to-peer technology to distribute video of the congressional hearings on the Induce Act."

Ina Fried. Windows Update Hits File-Sharing Networks. News.com. Aug. 10, 2004.

See also Alfred Hermida. File-Sharers Offer Windows Update. BBCNews. Aug. 10, 2004.

UPDATE: Ina Fried. Group Cites Microsoft Tthreat, Says No SP2 Over P2P. News.com. Aug. 13, 2004. (Downhill Battle has stopped distributing Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 update following a DMCA threat from the software maker.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:33 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (1)

August 13, 2004

Variety of Secrets Exposed Through Use of MP3s

"Private photographs, confidential financial documents and even military secrets have joined the list of files that computer users can download as they scour the Internet.

"'One way files are being offered is by people bringing work home from the office and putting it on their home computers where they have a P2P application installed,' said Rick Wallace, who last month launched the SeeWhatYouShare.com web site.

"'At the office, their computer is behind a firewall that protects the network, but many do not have that protection at home and it can lead to great security lapses.' As more inexperienced users look for MP3 music clips, movies, television shows, pornography and computer programs, they often leave the digital door to their computers wide open."

Christopher Borowski. Computer Users Share Private Files with Their MP3s. Reuters. Aug. 9, 2004.

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August 09, 2004

States Continue Pressuring File Trading Companies

"A group of 46 state attorneys general sent a deeply critical letter to file-sharing companies Thursday, asking them to take stronger action on privacy and intellectual-property violations.

"Thursday's letter asked makers of file-sharing software to take 'meaningful steps' to prevent the dissemination of child pornography, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement. The group stopped short of citing specific legal action that states might take against companies but said they could target individuals using file-swapping networks for fraudulent purposes."

Kudos to News.com, which continues to chronicle the entertainment industry's moves to legislate copyright at the state level, in addition to it's increased efforts at the federal level.

Back in March, SNTReport.com cited a News.com report that outlined how the entertainment industry was assisting the states in portraying peer-to-peer networking companies as manufacturers of defective or potentially dangerous products. If classified in such a manner, file sharing products would have to bear extensive warning labels, and aggrieved copyright owners may be able to win damages from the products' manufacturers under state product liability statutes, in addition to any damages available pursuant to federal copyright infringement laws.

Additionally, Borland's article chronicles a trend amongst law enforcement officials and legislators at both the state and federal levels to portray P2P networks as harbors for adults who trade freely in child pornography. If such activity does occur on P2P networks, it is reprehensible and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But these allegations have been offered by entertainment industry lobbyists, then spoon-fed to state and federal officials -- almost always without the slightest shred of study or independently verifiable evidence. Clearly, the entertainment lobby has a vested interest in such a campaign, and any of their claims that concern copyrighted works always should be held to the strictest scrutiny.

Unfortunately, state and federal officials often fail to investigate such claims before acting.

John Borland. State AGs Warn File-Sharing Companies. News.com. Aug. 5, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh, et al. P2P Faces New Legal Scrutiny from States. News.com. March 15, 2004.

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August 03, 2004

Copies of Doom 3 Appear Before Release

"The eagerly awaited blockbuster computer game, Doom 3, has been leaked on the internet.

"Copies of the game on file-sharing networks and newsgroups are being downloaded by thousands of people. The cost to the game's makers, id Software, could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost sales.

"The sci-fi horror title has been four years in the making and is due to go on sale in the US on Tuesday and next week in the UK."

Alfred Hermida. Long-Awaited Doom 3 Leaked Online. BBC News. August 2, 2004.

See also Mike Snider. Long-awaited 'Doom 3' Begins Onslaught at 12 a.m. Tuesday. USA Today. August 1, 2004.

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August 02, 2004

SNTReport.com's Editor Writes About Libraries & Social Software

LLRX.com, an online publication dedicated to providing information professionals with the most up-to-date information on a wide range of technology-related issues, has published an article by SNTReport.com Editor in Chief K. Matthew Dames. The article, entitled "Social Software in the Library," discusses the role and uses of several social software applications within the library space.

"Most of the published literature about social software has been more about the commercial viability of services like Orkut, LinkedIn, Feedster, and Ryze. Missing from much of the discourse is an analysis of the practical and educational value of social software. There are few published articles that explain what social software is, how social software tools may be used to build knowledge networks, or the information professional’s role in using and mediating these tools."

"The purpose of this article is to fill that void. By its end, the reader should have a solid understanding of what social software is, and hopefully will understand how these tools may be used to help people and organizations work better and more collaboratively."

K. Matthew Dames. Social Software in the Library. LLRX.com. July 26, 2004.

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July 30, 2004

RIAA Wins Preliminary Victory

"A federal judge has handed a preliminary victory to the recording industry by granting its request to unmask anonymous file swappers accused of copyright infringement.

"U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ruled (.pdf) Monday that Cablevision, which provides broadband Internet access in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, can be required to divulge the identities of its subscribers sued over copyright violations.

"This ruling is the latest decision to clarify what legal methods copyright holders may use when hunting down people who are trading files on peer-to-peer networks."

Declan McCullagh. Judge: RIAA can unmask File Swappers. News.com. July 27, 2004.

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July 29, 2004

New P2P Package Links Networked Computers

"Two years after finding his way off the recording industry's "most wanted" list, Audiogalaxy founder Michael Merhej is back with a new peer-to-peer software venture.

"The Austin, Texas, programmer's new company, ByteTaxi, is aimed at people who work on more than one computer or at small teams of people collaborating on a project.

"His FolderShare software, which will be officially released in its completed form Tuesday, is similar to the autosynchronization features on Palm handhelds or iPods but instead keeps files on two or more Net-connected computers up-to-date with each other."

John Borland. Audiogalaxy Founder Tries New P2P Venture. News.com. July 26, 2004.

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July 26, 2004

Popular Source Code Offered on Usenet

"An online group claiming to have the source code for two popular computer programs for sale opened its doors for business again. An e-mail message that claims to come from 'larry hobbles' and the Source Code Club was sent to the Full-Disclosure security discussion list.

"The message says that the group has moved operations to Usenet, where interested customers can buy the source code for the Dragon intrusion detection system (IDS) software from Enterasys Networks and peer-to-peer server and client software from Napster, now owned by Roxio.

"While Roxio owns the rights to the original Napster code being sold by the club, the current Napster online service does not use any code from the original, free music swapping service and is not affected by the alleged theft."

Paul Roberts. Stolen Code Shop Back in Business. PCWorld. July 19, 2004.

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July 23, 2004

Controversy Surrounds Piracy Study

"A study (.pdf) released two weeks ago by the Business Software Alliance, which estimated the yearly losses from software piracy at $29 billion, has managed to stir real passion.

"The piracy study has become an issue because of a copyright bill, introduced in the Senate last month, that is strongly supported by the business alliance.

"In a letter last week to the Business Software Alliance, the heads of two other trade groups, who oppose the Senate bill, wrote that the results of the software piracy study were deeply troubling."

Steve Lohr. Software Group Enters Fray Over Proposed Piracy Law. The New York Times. July 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Website Deciphers Government Documents

"While legislators in Washington work to outlaw peer-to-peer networks, one website is turning the peer-to-peer technology back on Washington to expose its inner, secretive workings.

"But outragedmoderates.org isn't offering copyright music and videos for download. The site, launched two weeks ago, has aggregated more than 600 government and court documents to make them available for download through the Kazaa, LimeWire and Soulseek P2P networks in the interest of making government more transparent and accountable.

"Steven V. Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, says the site answers a growing demand from the public to examine original source documents."

Kim Zetter. Downloading for Democracy. Wired News. July 19, 2004.

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July 21, 2004

Napster Expands Services to Colleges

"Napster, in its latest guise as an ambassador for legal music on campus, said Monday that six universities have signed up to offer its digital song services to their students.

"By taking a lead in approaching college administrators to offer cut-rate subscriptions to its legal digital music service, it attempts to entice students away from popular file-swapping networks like Kazaa.

"Cornell University, George Washington University, Middlebury College, University of Miami, University of Southern California and Wright State University all are working to create their own on-campus version of the service, the company said. Pennsylvania State University and the University of Rochester have already started the service."

John Borland. Napster Makes Gains in Colleges. News.com. July 19, 2004.

See also Scarlet Pruitt. Napster Lands on Another Campus. PCWorld. February 5, 2004.

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July 20, 2004

EBay Offers Downloadable Music

"Online auctioneer eBay Inc. is offering downloadable music through selected sellers in a six-month test to decide whether to join other major companies in the marketing digital media.

"Sellers chosen for the pilot would have to ensure copyright protection for the content and meet service-level agreements. Music buyers would not be allowed to resell the files on eBay.

"The trial follows Apple Computer Inc.'s announcement this week that it has passed the 100-million mark for downloads from its iTunes Music Store."

Antone Gonsalves. EBay Tests Audience For Online Music. TechWeb. July 15, 2004.

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Railroad Uses Wireless for Safety

"When it comes to transporting people and freight by rail, nothing rolls until the tracks are secure.

"Union Pacific Railroad needed to streamline the process of locating shoddy or worn ties and improve the drop-off directions—both of which ultimately would reduce inspectors' time in the field.

"To reach those goals, the railroad company about 18 months ago turned to one of its former tech suppliers, Symbol Technologies Inc. Symbol, along with one of its channel partners, LinksPoint Inc., recommended a mobile computing solution built around ruggedized Symbol handhelds and LinksPoint's GPS (Global Positioning System) technology."

Shelley Solheim. Handhelds, GPS Help Union Pacific Track Down Bad Ties. eWeek. July 19, 2004.

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July 14, 2004

MP3 Blogs Unearth Forgotten Musical Gems

"A new genre of Web sites that offer an eclectic mix of free music downloads may not be strictly legit, but the sites' creators say they're doing the beleaguered record industry a favor.

"Named for the MP3 music format and the popular self-published Web sites known as blogs, they are part online mixtape, part diary, and part music magazine.

Well-known blogs include Soul Sides, which has underground hip-hop and forgotten R&B; The Tofu Hut, whose offerings range from gospel artists Blind Mamie and A.C. Forehand to rockabilly performer Carl Perkins to soul god Donnie Hathaway; and Said the Gramophone, which has indie rock, folk music and hip-hop."

Adam Pasick. Livewire: MP3 Blogs Serve Rare Songs, Dusty Grooves". Reuters. July 11, 2004.

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July 05, 2004

New Chief at MPAA

"Dan Glickman will replace Jack Valenti as the head of the Motion Picture Association of America - Hollywood's powerful lobbying organization and the shaper of laws that critics say may stifle technology in the name of preventing piracy.

"Valenti officially stepped down after nearly 40 years on the job. He will continue as chief executive until Glickman takes over.

Glickman, a moderate Democrat who served in Congress for 18 years and then served as the Secretary of Agriculture during the Clinton administration, will begin his tenure Sept. 1. During much of his tenure in Congress, he was both a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Copyright and Intellectual Property Subcommittee."

Katie Dean. Movie Lobby Group in New Hands. Wired News. July 1, 2004.

See also:
Brooks Boliek. Glickman Relishes Role as Hollywood Mouthpiece. Reuters, July 1, 2004.
Lisa Friedman. Ex-agriculture Secretary Succeeding Valenti. Los Angeles Daily News. July 1, 2004.
Art Brodsky. Public Knowledge Reacts to Selection of Dan Glickman as New MPAA president. Public Knowledge. July 1, 2004.
John Borland. Jack Valenti's Curtain Call. News.com. June 21, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:11 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 03, 2004

Whither Kazaa?

"When a federal judge shut down Napster in 2001, Kazaa parent Sharman Networks quickly stepped in as the replacement of choice, signing up millions of users and even surpassing its predecessor in some respects. Since then, however, newcomers such as eDonkey and BitTorrent have been coming on strong amid reports that millions of people are logging off Sharman's network.

"Although it's too early to draw broad conclusions about Sharman's future, experts said many people appear to be shopping more intently than ever for file-swapping alternatives that incorporate improvements in peer-to-peer technology that have not yet made it onto Kazaa."

John Borland. Does Kazaa Matter?. News.com. June 30, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:49 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Canada Shelters ISPs from Copyright Infringement

"Internet service providers cannot be held liable for the copyright infringement of their subscribers, even when a cached copy of a work is held on local servers, a Canadian court has ruled.

"The decision on Wednesday marked an important victory for the country's ISPs, which were worried about being held legally or financially responsible for subscribers' use of peer-to-peer and other music downloading services."

John Borland. Canadian ISPs Win on Copyright Ruling. News.com. June 30, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Pirate Act Moving Toward House

"Consumer groups jeered and recording and movie industry groups cheered the easy passage in the Senate of legislation that would allow civil suits against alleged file swappers.

"The Pirate Act of 2004 would allow the Department of Justice to provide greater legal support to content owners who feel their copyrights have been infringed upon online. Under current laws, copyright holders may onlypursue criminal suits against file swappers, which can result in jail time. If approved by the House, the new law would allow civil suits, which can result in financial penalties.

"Following its passage in the Senate, the legislation was sent to the House Judiciary Committee and it is still unclear as to when the Pirate Act will reach the floor of the House for a vote."

Mark S. Sullivan. File Swappers May Face Civil Suits. PC World. June 29, 2004.

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June 30, 2004

Alliance Demonstrates P2P Commercial Potential

"Veteran rocker Steve Winwood has partnered with 'Access Hollywood' in an experimental marketing alliance intended to demonstrate the commercial potential of file-sharing networks such as Kazaa, according to people involved in the project.

"The deal is one of the first to use sponsored downloads to support commercial music on the same peer-to-peer networks that the music industry has blamed for an explosion in piracy and weak CD sales in recent years.

"The major record labels are so afraid of file sharing that they're missing the opportunity,' said Bruce Forest, a principal in Jun Group, which brokered the unusual marketing alliance and helped place the free tracks on Web networks."

Reuters. Promo Uses P2P Networks To Sell Songs. News.com. June 29, 2004.

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June 24, 2004

Proposed Law Targets P2P Networks

“New legislation introduced late Tuesday by a group of powerful U.S. senators would let artists and entertainment companies sue creators of products, such as peer-to-peer software and copying programs, that ‘induce’ copyright violations.

“Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, clearly targeting Peer-to-Peer vendors, claims his bill focuses on companies that profit by encouraging children and teenagers to infringe copyrights.

"Hatch stated ‘It is illegal and immoral to induce or encourage children to commit crimes and tragically, some corporations now seem to think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal. Some think they can legally lure children into breaking the law with false promises of free music.'

"On the other hand, P-to-P United, calls the bill ‘horrible public policy.’ The measure could stifle the development of future technologies that could be used for copyright infringement but have substantial legitimate uses."

Grant Gross. Copying Programs Could Be Outlawed. PC World. June 23, 2004.

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June 22, 2004

Copyright Bill Targets Technology

"A forthcoming bill in the U.S. Senate would, if passed, dramatically reshape copyright law by prohibiting file-trading networks and some consumer electronics devices on the grounds that they could be used for unlawful purposes.

"The proposal, called the Induce Act, says 'whoever intentionally induces any violation' of copyright law would be legally liable for those violations, a prohibition that would effectively ban file-swapping networks like Kazaa and Morpheus. In the draft bill seen by CNET News.com, inducement is defined as "aids, abets, induces, counsels, or procures" and can be punished with civil fines and, in some circumstances, lengthy prison terms.

"The bill represents the latest legislative attempt by influential copyright holders to address what they view as the growing threat of peer-to-peer networks rife with pirated music, movies and software."

Declan McCullagh. Antipiracy Bill Targets Technology. News.com. June 17, 2004.

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June 10, 2004

The Future of Music

"The future playback of recorded music will not be tied to physical media (e.g., compact discs) or singular virtual players (e.g., iPods), but to many objects with shapes and sizes designed to appeal to our tactile relationships with music and, at the same time, to have the features of a virtual music device. I imagine these being called Playbacks.

"Playbacks may look like CDs. Many will cost about the same cost as a CD. But, Playbacks will be everywhere, appearing as all kinds of things. Some will look like traditional recorded media (CDs, tapes, LPs), but some will look utterly different."

The Ear Reverends. The Future of Music Playback. June 6, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:25 AM | Send to a friend!

June 08, 2004

Apple's Rendezvous Expands to PocketPC Platform

"Apple Computer released a very unique network recognition system, aptly named Rendezvous as part of its OSX operating system. The basic role of Rendezvous is to allow machines, and inadvertently their operators, to locate available networks and initiate conversations, in one form or another. For the most part, these conversations are either social a la user-user chat or functional a la synchronization, streaming, and sharing of files/resources.

"In the next few weeks, the Rendezvous methodology of auto-discovery will be unlatched from Apple, and more importantly from the desktop and destined for your pocket. A bright developer, Razvan Dragomirescu of Simedia, is poised to release his newest application: Pocket Rendezvous."

Get Real. Pocket Rendezvous: Spawning Connectivity. June 3, 2004.

See also

Andrew Orlowski. Promiscuous BluePod File Swapping -- Coming to a PDA Near You. The Register. June 3, 2004.

Technobiblio. Thoughts on "Rendezvous" Services in Libraries for Our Users. June 4, 2004. ("What if library patrons had their wireless device and we had a 'book locator server' that they could link to that would help get them to the book with step-by-step directions? Do a catalog look-up wirelessly, say you want to find that book, and your wireless device tells the server where you are in relation to that book and gives you 'MapQuest' directions?")

Andrew Orlowski. Apple's ‘BluePod’ – Promiscuous Exchanges with Strangers. The Register. Dec. 6, 2002.

Apple. Rendezvous: Networking Simplified. No date.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:12 AM | Send to a friend!

June 05, 2004

UK Economist Rails Against Record Industry

"he copyright lobby has acquired its power because it has persuaded creative people that it defends their interests. I remember upbraiding a colleague who was using pirated software: I argued that we had a common concern to protect intellectual property. But I was mistaken. The law protects computer programs but not the ideas of a think-tank. That is why software businesses are well endowed and think-tanks are not, except for those that lend support to arguments such as those of Mr Munns.

"The claim by the music business to maintain control of every subsequent exploitation of its product has no more moral basis than the claim of a think-tank to control every subsequent expression or development of its ideas. Or the right of Trinity College, Cambridge, to approve every application of calculus, the invention of Isaac Newton, its late employee. Far from stimulating creative effort, such restrictions would paralyse it. The unreasonable nature of the assertion and its unenforceability reinforce each other. This pretty much describes the music industry's situation. So it will be the first industry to be genuinely transformed by the internet."

John Kay. The Music Industry Needs to Change the Record. FT.com. June 2, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:46 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 04, 2004

RIAA Seeks to Restrict Legal Copies

"Record labels say CD sales have plummeted as a result of copies--and copies of copies. Now the labels are testing technology that would limit the number of times a CD, or its copy, could be burned.

"Tools under review by the major labels would limit the number of backups that could be made from ordinary compact discs and prevent copied, or 'burned,' versions from being used to create further copies, according to Macrovision and SunnComm International, rival companies that are developing competing versions of the digital rights management software."

"Such anticopying efforts have met with consumer resistance in the past, but if the labels have their way, it may be that not only CDs, but also iTunes-style digital downloads, will be restricted."

(Editor's Note: Jenny Levine, editor of The Shifted Librarian, points out that the industry seems willing to allow corporate partners to give away downloads, but will not allow the same opportunity for libraries.)

John Borland. Labels to Dampen CD Burning?. News.com. June 2, 2004.

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June 03, 2004

Inside the Courtroom at the P2P Corral

"At first, the RIAA’s strategy to sue individual users of peer-to-peer networks generated a stir, but, since last fall, most cases have quietly disappeared in private settlement agreements for sums averaging $3000.

"A recent court hearing offered a view into what might happen if these cases did not end in settlement negotiations and instead proceeded to trial. Inside the courtroom, the attorneys for the recording industry outnumbered defendants by a two-to-one margin, and the disparity of resources and expertise between the sides only continued to widen."

Berkman Briefings. Inside the Courtroom: The Music Industry Takes on the Uploaders. May 27, 2004.

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June 02, 2004

MPAA Still Has No Successor

(Editor's Note: Valenti's successor is a critical appointment in the social software landscape because the Motion Picture Association, along with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), has consistently sought to curtail peer-to-peer networking and file sharing through the courts and Congress.)

"For two years Jack Valenti, the venerable, 82-year-old chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, has been trying to retire.

"After nearly four decades as Hollywood's leading lobbyist, the silver-haired former adman and White House adviser announced in March that he would be gone within a few months. But those months have passed, summer approaches and the association is nowhere close to finding Mr. Valenti's successor.

Doesn't anyone want to run the M.P.A.A.?"

Sharon Waxman. Hollywood's Casting Problem: Who Will Run the M.P.A.A.?. The New York Times. May 30, 2004.

(Editor’s Note 2: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Entertainment Industry Pushes "Pirate Act" to Kill P2P

"A proposal that the Senate may vote on as early as next week would let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected copyright infringers, with fines reaching tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The so-called Pirate Act (S. 2237) is raising alarms among copyright lawyers and lobbyists for peer-to-peer firms, who have been eyeing the recording industry's lawsuits against thousands of peer-to-peer users with trepidation. The Justice Department, they say, could be far more ambitious."

Declan McCullagh. Pirate Act Raises Civil Rights Concerns. News.com. May 26, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Skype's the Limit

"The peer-to-peer strategy used by Skype is very similar to that of the Internet file-sharing systems, such as the original Napster, that have become the bane of the music industry. Indeed, the creators of Skype are largely the same team that unleashed Kazaa, the music-sharing program perhaps most loved by music swappers and most reviled by music corporations.

"But in reality, the key Skype team members are hardly radicals out to destroy the telephone as an instrument of profit. Despite their nonconformist markings, they’re simply ambitious businessmen intent on changing the economics of making a phone call."

Skype also has announced that it expand its service to include a paid service that will connect Skype calls to regular phones.

All of Skype's innovations could go for naught, however, if the U.S. does not resolve a potentially horrific thicket of regulatory issues.

Roxanne Khamsi. Skype Beyond the Hype. Technology Review. June 2004.

Eric Hellweg. Untangling Internet Telephony. Technology Review. May 28, 2004.

Colin McClelland. Skype Creator Promises Official VOIP Program Release. eWeek. May 19, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:38 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

May 27, 2004

File Sharing Battles Continue

Mere days after our luddites and legislation posting, SNTReport.com has learned that Italy's parliament has voted in favor of imposing jail sentences of up to three years on anyone caught uploading or downloading unauthorized copyrighted material to and from the Net. The legislation makes Italy one of the first countries to enact legislation that specifically criminalizes file sharing and P2P activities.

While several credible studies have published recently have provided reliable evidence that file sharing and peer-to-peer networking are not the sole -- or even primary -- causes of the music industry's lost revenue, Leigh Phillips's brief story in Digital Media Europe suggests that today's children are simply doing other things.

"Under-25s spend much more money per year on mobile products than on music. Manifestly, this is not simply a case of youngsters downloading music instead of purchasing CDs, it is a wholesale shift in mindset and way of life from earlier generations," said Phillips. "The mobile, to many young people, maintains a place in their life that pop music did for my generation and that of my parents. There was a survey published last year that found that UK teens are also spending far less on cigarettes and chocolate than preceding generations. What are they spending the money on? Why, mobile phones, of course.

"Thus, this shows, once more, that what is affecting music sales is so much broader than the issue of downloading and piracy."

Leigh Phillips. Mobile Phones are the New Rock and Roll. Digital Media Europe. May 24, 2004.

Tony Smith. Italy Approves 'Jail for P2P Users' Law. The Register. May 20, 2004.

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May 25, 2004

What Happens When Luddites Write Online Law

"A congressional hearing on Internet porn last week illustrates what happens when politicians try to ban technology they don't like or understand.

"The topic of Thursday's meeting of the House of Representatives' consumer protection subcommittee was a bill intended to require that programs like Kazaa and Grokster obtain parental consent before installation. The only problem: The bill that Stearns and his colleagues suggest as a solution is so broadly worded that it regulates far more than just peer-to-peer applications."

Declan McCullagh. Bad Laws, Bad Code, Bad Behavior. News.com. May 10, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

May 19, 2004

P2P Passes Photos

"OurPictures plans to launch its service for letting subscribers share pictures over the Internet but without the constraints of e-mail attachments or Web sites. The idea behind the service, which is set to conclude a three-month test, is that subscribers can post pictures to a network of fellow subscribers who transfer the pictures directly from one computer to another."

Paul Festa. Point, Click and Swap -- Digital Photos Go P2P. News.com. May 17, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (1)

May 14, 2004

IM & P2P Could Replace Extranets

"Peer-to-peer systems may provide complementary solutions and meet all of the core requirements that could be asked of an extranet. In this model, users directly access files saved on each other's computers. As a result, there is no one to pay for storage and no problem with stopping payment for the service.

"An unusual alternative for smaller projects is Microsoft Instant Messenger (Win|Mac), which has the potential to develop into something highly useful if combined with Microsoft's forthcoming database-driven operating system Longhorn."

Alec Milton. End in Sight for Extranets. Computer Weekly. May 12, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

May 05, 2004

Musicians Discuss Views on File Sharing

The Pew Internet & American Life Project presented at a conference some early findings of an online survey it did of more than 2,700 musicians to gather their views on copyright and file-sharing issues.

Among other things, these musicians are very divided about the problems and marketing potential of online file-sharing systems and they are not sure the recording industry campaign against illegal downloading will help them. Many of these artists themselves share some of their songs for free online and find that it helps them sell more CDs, draw bigger concert audiences, and get more playing time on commercial radio.

The survey of musicians and songwriters was conducted online between March 15 and April 15. While the sample for this survey is not representative or projectable to the entire population of musicians and songwriters, it brings many more voices into the debates about copyright laws, the impact of online music swapping, and the long-term prospects for the music industry.

Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew Ineternet Project Data Memo: Preliminary Findings from a Web Survey of Musicians and Songwriters. (.pdf) May 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:34 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

File Sharing: The Sequel

Granted, the iTunes and iPod music distribution model is pretty decent for both consumers and artists. Let us forget, for a moment, that the downloading model turns what historically has been a music sale (which is covered by copyright law's first sale doctrine) into a music lease (which is not covered by federal copyright law, and instead is handled as a contract between buyer and seller, often with no negotiation and take-it-or-leave-it terms.)

The current downloading model reintroduces the single to American music buyers, and, at least in the case of iTunes, gives buyers relatively free reign to transfer their leased songs across different players (i.e. from computer to car to home stereo).

What the iTunes model doesn't really allow for right now, though, is capturing live performances. And many of the best artists -- Clapton, Prince, Dave Matthews Band, Parliament -- often give their best performances live. eMusicLive gives buyers the opportunity to capture these performances in an authorized fashion.

It will be interesting to see how much money the musicians make from this venture, particularly since it seems that live performances will again be the way that musicians make their money. Let's face it: radio is so tightly programmed that it is virtually impossible for new songs to get play on the airwaves, although satellite radio ventures like XM Radio and Sirius may provide some opportunities. Further, most of the music is laden with samples of pre-existing work, making it harder for many songwriters to make a living by peddling tunes.

And theft, whether it be on the Web or on the street, always hampers revenue flow.

As a result, the live performance has become even more important as a way for musicians to earn money.

Associated Press. 'Dude! This Thing Is Awesome!'. Wired News. April 29, 2004.

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April 27, 2004

Music Downloads Rise

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a report Sunday that suggests that the future of music distribution is through online means.

"The number of those who say they download music online remains well below the peak levels that we tracked in the spring of 2003, but there was some growth in those who reported music downloading in our February survey. The data also shows growth since last November in usage of some of the smaller file-sharing applications, such as iMesh, BitTorrent, and eMule.

In the most recent survey, we found that 18% of Internet users said they download music files. That is a modest increase from the 14% of Internet users who reported in a survey just before last Christmas that they downloaded music files online. But it is still considerably below the 29% who said they had done this when we surveyed in the spring of 2003."

Pew Internet & American Life Project. 14% of Internet Users Say They No Longer Download Music Files. April 25, 2004.

David McGuire. Americans Head Back Online For Music. The Washington Post. April 25, 2004.

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April 26, 2004

DOJ Begins Sweep to Protect Entertainment Industry

Last week, the United States Department of Justice officially began assisting the entertainment industry in its fight against file sharing and peer-to-peer networks with its implementation of Operation Fastlink.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft describes Operation Fastlink as "the largest, most far-reaching and most aggressive enforcement action ever undertaken against the criminal core of digital theft, including theft of movies, music, games, business and educational software on the Internet."

Last Thursday's sweep identified more than 100 people in the United States and nine other countries involved in the "theft" of more than $50 million worth of music, movies and software, according to an Associated Press story.

No arrests were made Thursday, but several arrests will be forthcoming, said Ashcroft.

Operation Fastlink is the first Justice Department enforcement action since Ashcroft announced the formation of an Intellectual Property Task Force inside the Department. According to Ashcroft, the DOJ sweep was made with the assistance and approval of private sector entertainment industry companies.

"These investigations benefit from the important assistance provided by various intellectual property trade associations, including the Business Software Alliance, the Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association and the Recording Industry Association of America," said the Attorney General. "We thank them for their cooperation."

Associated Press. U.S. Moves Against Online Pirates. Wired News. April 23, 2004.

Brooks Boliek. Justice Dept. Nets Pirates in 'Fastlink' Raids . The Hollywood Reporter. April 23, 2004.

Dinah Greek. Cyber-cops Arrest Trio in Piracy Crackdown. Computing. April 23, 2004.

The Hon. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Prepared Remarks: Operation Fastlink Announcement. Department of Justice. April 22, 2004.

Department of Justice. Justice Department Announces Internet Piracy Sweep. (Press release.) April 22, 2004.

Update: Matt Hines. Feds Convict Warez Pirate. News.com. Dec. 28, 2004. (The DOJ landed its first conviction against an American defendant trapped via Operation Fastlink. Jathan Desir, 26, of Iowa City, has pleaded guilty to charges related to his role in a criminal enterprise that distributed pirated software, games, movies and music over the Internet.)

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April 22, 2004

Music Industry Seeks to Nail Down P2P

Palisade Systems, a network security company, has announced that it will launch PacketHound 3.0 this week, a software package this week that is designed to identify and block copyrighted songs as they are being traded online.

PacketHound is created by Audible Magic, a California-based software company, pursuant to a strategic partnership the two firms created in September 2003. The software has triggered interest in Washington, D.C., and skepticism in the peer-to-peer world and among some students and universities, according to a News.com story.

The the song-filtering software is backed strongly by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the large record companies' main lobbying organization. The announcement of PacketHound's release comes just a day after it became widely known that the RIAA had discontinued its amnesty program (.pdf) for file sharers. The policy change came to light in court papers RIAA filed in California, according to a second News.com story.

John Borland. New Tool Designed to Block Song Swaps. News.com. April 21, 2004.

Matt Hines. RIAA Drops Amnesty Program. News.com. April 20, 2004.

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April 03, 2004

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Profit From Them

[Editor's Note 1: Wired Magazine broke this story in October with a profile of BigChampagne, but it is worth reviewing now, given the music industry's continued courtroom and legislative assault on file sharing and P2P networks.]

"While the music industry publicly flays Kazaa and other file-swapping services for aiding piracy, those same services provide an excellent view of what's really popular with fans.

"Record-label executives discreetly use BigChampagne and other services to track which songs are traded online and help pick which new singles to release. They increasingly use such file-sharing data to persuade radio stations and MTV to give new songs a spin or boost airplay for those that are popular with downloaders.

"Some labels even monitor what people do with their music after they download it to better structure deals with licensed downloading services. The ultimate goal is what it always has been in the record business: Sell more music.

...

"I definitely don't like to spin it that piracy is OK because we get to look at the data. It's too bad that people are stealing so much music,'' said Jeremy Welt, Maverick [Records'] head of new media. "That said, we would be very foolish if we didn't look and pay attention to what's going on.''

[Editor's note 2: Maverick is Madonna's record company, and the company's use of P2P networks in order to boost or protect sales has a history beyond BigChampagne. Last year, Maverick posted dummy copies of songs from the Madonna's American Life album that repeatedly asked "What the f*%! do you think you're doing?"]

Dawn C. Chmielewski. Music labels use file-sharing data to boost sales. The Mercury News. March 31, 2004.

Jeff Howe. BigChampagne is Watching You. Wired. October 2003.

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April 02, 2004

Oh, Canada! P2P Sharing is Legal

A federal court in Canada has ruled that people who share copyrighted works on peer-to-peer networks are not liabile for copyright infringement.

The decision (.pdf) was issued in response to a motion by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) that sought permission to identify more than 25 people who allegedly were swapping musical works across P2P networks.

The CRIA had filed the motion as a prerequisite to suing those people for copyright infringement, much like its American counterpart, the Recording Industry Association of America, has been doing for much of the past year.

The crux of CRIA's motion was about privacy, particularly the circumstances under which Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs) would be forced to divulge the identity of their subscribers in response to allegations of illegal file swapping. In a highly anticipated decision, Canada's Federal Court denied the CRIA motion and in doing so, issued a decision that went far beyond the core privacy issue and greatly influenced the country's copyright law.

"No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer user via a P2P service," wrote Judge Konrad von Finckenstein as part of his reasoning. "Thus, downloading a song for personal use does not amount to infringement."

"I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service," von Finckenstein added. "In either case the preconditions to copying and infringement are set up but the element of authorization is missing."

While the Federal Court ruling affects only the law within the country of Canada, it is sure to be studied by lawyers in other countries, including lawyers in the United States, who may seek to use some of the decision's legal theory in future court battles with the entertainment industry.

The Federal Court decision comes just days after News.com reported that the record industry had begun to take its fight against file sharing international.

This decision was the second major copyright ruling issued by a Canadian court this month. On March 4, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the Law Society of Upper Canada, the self-governing body for lawyers in Ontario, does not infringe copyright when a single copy of a reported decision, case summary, or statute is made by the Great Library in accordance with its access policy. The Court added that the Law Society did not authorize copyright infringement by maintaining a photocopier in the Great Library. (The Library had posted a notice warning that it would not be responsible for any copies made in infringement of copyright.)

When the Supreme Court decision was announced, Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, made a keen observation about the evolution of Canadian copyright law.

"Copyright is no longer viewed as being primarily about large-scale commercial infringement claims that do not resonate with the average person," wrote Geist in a Toronto Star story. "Rather, copyright is now very personal, focusing on the work, creativity, and activities of millions of individuals — including judges — who will increasingly question standards of what is right and wrong through the lens of their own actions.

"As society has shifted in its view of copyright, so, too, have Canadian courts," continued Geist. "The result is a genuine revolution in the state of Canadian copyright law that will manifest itself long after the current battle over peer-to-peer file sharing has been resolved."

UPDATE: Faultline. Music Biz Appeals Canada File Sharing-is-Legal Ruling. The Register. April 19, 2004.

Janet McFarland. Ruling Deals Blow to Music Industry. The Globe & Mail. April 1, 2004.

John Borland. Judge: File Sharing Legal in Canada. News.com. March 31, 2004.

Matt Hines. File-Sharing Lawsuits Go Abroad. News.com. March 30, 2004.

Canadian Federal Court. BMG Canada, Inc. v. John Doe. 2004 FC 488. March 31, 2004.

Michael Geist. Low-Tech Case Has High-Tech Impact. Toronto Star. March 22, 2004.

Canadian Supreme Court. The Law Society of Upper Canada v. CCH Canadian Limited. 2004 SCC 13. March 4, 2004.

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As if DOJ Didn't Have Enough to Do

"The Justice Department said Wednesday it has formed an intellectual-property task force to analyze how the department addresses issues like piracy of software, music and movies.

"Led by David Israelite, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the attorney general, the task force will also recommend what the Justice Department should do in the future to combat unauthorized use of copyright material."

Xeni Jardin. Feds Crank Up Heat on P2P. Wired News. March 31, 2004.

Update: Department of Justice. Atorney General Ashcroft Announces Creation of Intellectual Property Task Force. (Press release.) March 31, 2004.

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March 30, 2004

Congress Looking to Kill P2P

Members of Congress may be leading a bipartisan effort that would give federal prosecutors the authority to prosecute people that use peer-to-peer networks, and collect fines and other monetary damages from those users.

Wired News reported last week that members of the House Judiciary Committee have been circulating a draft bill that "would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof."

The bill also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing, according to the story.

Additionally, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) have drafted and introduced a separate bill, named the Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004 (or "Pirate Act"), that would give federal prosecutors the ability to collect monetary damages from persons who are liable for copyright infringement. Currently, copyright law allows only the copyright owner to recover monetary damages.

"Peer-to-peer file sharing software has created a dilemma for law-enforcement agencies. Millions of otherwise law-abiding American citizens are using this software to create and redistribute infringing copies of popular music, movies, computer games and software," said Hatch. "It is critical that we bring the moral force of the government to bear against those who knowingly violate the federal copyrights enshrined in our Constitution. The bill I join Senator Leahy in sponsoring today will allow the Department of Justice to supplement its existing criminal-enforcement powers through the new civil-enforcement mechanism. As a result, the [Department of Justice] will be able to impose stiff penalties for violating copyrights, but can avoid criminal action when warranted."

Hatch and Leahy have been longtime members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee that has jurisdiction over intellectual property matters. The House Judiciary Committee also has jurisdiction over intellectual property legislation passed in the junior house of Congress.

This legislative initiative is another in a string of several recent efforts to criminalize the use of peer-to-peer networks. On March 19, we analyzed a separate news item that reported an initiative by states' attorneys general to portray the makers of peer-to-peer software as manufacturers of defective products. Under such a legal theory, the manufacturers could be held liable under state product liability laws.

Additionally, the Wired News story points out that the entertainment industries "are pushing to portray P2P networks as dens of terrorists, child pornographers and criminals -- a strategy that would make it more palatable for politicians to pass laws against products that are very popular with their constituents."

Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004

Xeni Jardin. Congress Moves to Criminalize P2P. Wired News. March 26, 2004.

Declan McCullagh, et al. P2P Faces New Legal Scrutiny from States News.com. March 15, 2004.

United States Senate, Committee on the Judiciary. Protecting Creative Works in a Digital Age.

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March 19, 2004

States Looking to Lock Up P2P

Once the exclusive domain of federal prosecutors, strategies aimed at shutting down peer-to-peer networks are now being studied by state attorneys general, according to a March 15 California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was discovered. The letter, which was leaked to peer-to-peer networking companies, "demands that peer-to-peer companies do a better job of protecting customers from numerous 'known risks' of their products and warns them against developing features that would hinder police from pursuing criminals such as copyright infringers," according to the News.com report.

By using such language, the states may be trying to portray peer-to-peer networking companies as manufacturers of defective or potentially dangerous products. If classified in such a manner, file sharing products would have to bear extensive warning labels, and aggrieved copyright owners may be able to win damages from the products' manufacturers under state product liability statutes and federal copyright infringement laws.

In addition to being home to a vast number of entertainment companies whose intellectual property may be illegally traded on peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa, California also has some of the most stringent product liability laws in the country.

Officials from the Motion Picture Association appear to been involved in drafting a portion of the letter, the News.com report continues. "[It] should 'come as no surprise to anybody that we talked to attorneys general, particularly the chief law enforcement officer in California, because of the impact that illegal file copying and stealing has on motion pictures and sound-recording industries, the lifeblood of California,'" MPAA Vice President for state legislative affairs Van Stevenson said to News.com.

If the states were to get involved in copyright issues by investigating and bringing legal action against file sharing companies, it would mark the second time over the past decade that the entertainment industries sought to use or affect state law in order to enforce or influence copyright law, an area governed by federal statute. Previously, a coalition led in part by the entertainment industries sought to pass the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) in all 50 states.

If passed as a uniform law, UCITA would have created new rules for software licensing, online access and other transactions in computer information that would have been detrimental to consumers' rights. In the end, most states' attorneys general opposed UCITA, as did a coalition that included library associations, law professors, and consumer advocacy groups.

To date, UCITA has been implemented as law only in Maryland and Virginia.

Declan McCullagh, et al. P2P Faces New Legal Scrutiny from States. News.com. March 15, 2004.

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March 12, 2004

P2P Being Used as Distribution Tool

A recent News.com story outlines how one peer-to-peer network has reconfigured its business model into a content distribution business.

"Red Swoosh and rival Kontiki, along with a handful of other companies, say peer-to-peer technology allows content distributors to pass off much of their distribution costs--largely in the form of Net bandwidth charges--to their customers," according to the article. "For companies distributing large files to many people, such as gaming or video publishers, that can be a huge benefit, they say."

John Borland. Legal P2P Networks Gaining Ground. News.com. March 11, 2004.

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March 01, 2004

Getting More Information Into Less Space

The Grey Lady writes about innovative applications for the cellular telephone. Zipdash lets cell phones with global positioning systems (GPS) get traffic information instantly.

"The Zipdash application displays a map of traffic speeds as green, yellow and red arrows, graphically representing traffic jams and bottlenecks. The company plans to add features, including route planning and accident alerts. The service will be free to cellphone users and Zipdash is planning to create a business by selling accurate traffic information to Web sites and other publishers," writes the Times.

"The system is available in the Bay Area and is expected to be extended nationally in the coming months."

These sorts of appications are common for cell phones in Europe and Japan. Such innovations, however, have yet to become commonplace in the States. When that time comes, though, bibliographic information may be the sort of data that people want available through their phones or other handheld device.

John Markoff. "That's the Weather, and Now, Let's Go to the Cellphone for the Traffic". The New York Times. (Registration required.) March 1, 2004.

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February 27, 2004

Internet Telephony Becoming More Popular

LLRX.com has just posted a story on Internet telephony that reviews the Skype application.

Skype is a piece of software that uses KaZaa's peer-to-peer technology to send telephone calls over the Internet, bypassing Ma Bell and her progeny. Author Chris Hayes says one benefit of this approach is that the network's power increases as more users come online. (With the alternative -- a centralized server -- the network's power decreases as more users come online because the server's resources are drained.)

An interesting opportunity for librarians may be to discover how to manage and classify the information in these messages in order to support an organization's knowledge management efforts. I wouldn't even know how to start doing such work; perhaps there are some vanguard librarians already doing this work who would like to share their ideas or experiences.

Chris Hayes. "Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Opportunity Arises With New Skype Application." LLRX.com. Feb. 23, 2004.

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February 24, 2004

How File Sharing Works

"In this article, you will learn about the differences between Gnutella and Napster that allow Gnutella to survive today despite a hostile legal environment."

Do you know of any library that is using P2P networking or file sharing to serve patrons? Let us know.

Marshall Brain. "How File Sharing Works." Howstuffworks.com. No Date.

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