Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Intellectual Property Category

Conversation with Isha Datar from New Harvest »

This year, the Shuttleworth Foundation asked me to be the honorary steward of the September 2016 fellowship intake. This meant that I would help review and recommend the people who would receive the Shuttleworth Fellowship which funds the fellow's salary as well as their project up to $250,000. It's one of the most interesting and successful fellowship programs that I know for funding unique, provocative and unconventional individuals and their ideas. I'm a huge fan. We saw some great applications and I was really happy with the three fellows selected for the round that I worked on, Achal, Isha...

Conversation with Julia Reda, MEP and Pirate Party of Germany »

I learned about Julia Reda reading Kaz Taira's blog post about her visit to Japan for a Movements for Internet Active Users (MIAU) meeting. Julia Reda is a Member of the European Parliament representing Germany, and she also serves as a Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group, president of the Young Pirates of Europe and a member of the Pirate Party of Germany. She is was the rapporteur of the Parliament's review of 2001's Copyright Directive. We set a Skype call and some of the EU's secret conversations about copyright leaked just as the call was starting so we used...

A recent discussion about DRM with Richard Stallman, Danny O'Brien and Harry Halpin » »

LibrePlanet 2016 and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) happened to be having meetings at MIT at the same time so Harry Halpin from the W3C thought that it would be a great opportunity to have a public discussion about Digital Restrictions Management* (DRM). The W3C was having a discussion about DRM and the World Wide Web and considering Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) which would build DRM support into the Web standards and various parties were trying argue against it. They didn't have room over at CSAIL so he approached me about having it at the Media Lab and...

Why anti-money laundering laws and poorly designed copyright laws are similar and should be revised »

Published this on pubpub.ito.com. Please comment there. Abstract: Intentionally or unintentionally, poorly crafted or outdated laws and technical standards threaten to undermine security, privacy and the viability of our most promising new technologies and networks, such as Bitcoin and Blockchain. We should vigilantly be reviewing and revising laws and standards for the public good and working to prevent the creation of fragile and cumbersome systems designed to comply with these poorly crafted or outdated laws. In this post, I discuss the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's Anti-Circumvention provision, Digital Rights Management, Anti-Money Laundering Law, Know Your Customer Laws and security backdoors....

A conversation about altruism »

Philipp and I had a conversation about altruism as a follow-on to a bunch of posts he done on the iCommons.org site. I end up rambling on and don't give him much of a chance to talk, but it was fun. Check out other posts on the site and let me know what you think about my theory of altriusm. ;-)philipp (South Africa) on iCommons.orgThe role of altruism in the digital commons Listen to Joi Ito and Philipp Schmidt discuss altruism, the economic man, the difference between happiness and pleasure, carriers of compassion, and that being a happy sharer yourself,...

Ars Electronica 2007 »

Gerfried Stocker Other than being 7 degrees celcius and raining most of the time, Ars Electronica this year was a lot of fun. It was packed full of work for me this week with five talks and ten media interviews, but with Sandra, Elizabeth and Fumi's help, everything went smoothly and I survived. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see all of the installations or talk to as many artists as I would have liked, but I had more than enough interesting conversations to make it great. I went to Ars Electronica this year together with the MOGA unit...

Viacom DMCA Misfire »

Viacom sends a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube alleging that Jim Moore and his friends having ribs on Sunday night is a copyright violation. Doh. I hope they aren't allowed to get away with this sort of thing with impunity. This "collateral damage" is as bad as the "piracy" they are trying to suppress....

Larry's awesome 23C3 talk »

Larry's talk is on Google Video. Definitely worth watching. Standing ovation. There are some new ideas that I'd love people's feedback on....

Winny comments from Shinji Yamane and Isamu Kaneko »

People interested in copyright and P2P will have already seen the news but the developer of the P2P file-sharing software called Winny was arrested in Japan. A Japanese court recently found him guilty because his software "assists" people in committing crimes. This reminds me a bit of the FLMASK case where the developer of reversible "mosaic" was found guilty of operating a pornography business for linking to his pornography customers. (I testified as a expert witness back when I was chairman of Infoseek Japan.) This time it is about copyright. This trend of charging the developers of software for crimes...

Elderly harmonica player arrested for performing copyrighted songs at bar »

Another thief has been put to justice by the Law. Phew. (Sarcasm in case you didn't get that...) Lucky he didn't sing Happy Birthday too, or he'd be in even bigger trouble.Mainichi Daily NewsElderly harmonica player arrested for performing copyrighted songs at bar A 73-year-old bar manager who illegally performed copyrighted tunes by the Beatles and other artists on the harmonica was arrested Thursday on suspicion of violating the Copyright Law, police said. Arrested was Masami Toyoda, of Tokyo's Nerima-ku. He has reportedly admitted to the allegations against him. Investigators accuse Toyoda of illegally performing 33 songs such as...

Nano Kabamo »

Last year, I blogged about how one of my favorite DJs from my DJ stint in Chicago back in the 80s, Jeff Pazen, filled up a Nano with music and made a few great playlists for me. They were playlists by club, year and tone. I nearly stopped carrying my iPod around and just carried the Nano picking the playlist that best suited my mood. It was like playing that favorite DJ tape over and over again. The problem was, the iTunes Music Store music was registered under Jeff's name. In other words the Nano was "loaned" to me, so...

Bound by Law? »

Fellow Creative Commons board member and friend James Boyle helped work on and just released this very cool comic book that depicts in a cool and easy to understand way, the copyright struggle going on right now. You can buy the book or download it since it is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 license.Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain has just released "BOUND BY LAW?" - a comic book on copyright and creativity -- specifically, documentary film. It is being published today --March 15 under a Creative Commons License. The comic, by Keith...

mp4 of Larry's Google Book Fair Use presentation »

Lawrence Lessig has posted a torrent to an mp4 file of his presentation about whether Google Book Search is Fair Use. It's a typically great presentation, but his description on how he put the presentation together is also very cool....

22C3 Talk »

I just finished my keynote for the 22C3 conference. I'd been mulling over what to talk about from about 2AM or so this morning. After reading the program and the amazing breadth of the 150 or so talks and imagining the 3000 leet hackers that I would be talking to, I decided to put together a brand new talk hitting a lot of the points that often skip because they are controversial or difficult for me to discuss. I was a bit nervous kicking off what I think is one of the most important conference I go to. I am...

French Attempt to Legalize File Sharing »

By Thomas Crampton I was down at the sumptuous French National Assembly (A building that looks like a Greek temple from the outside and a livingroom overdosed with red velvet on the inside) yesterday because a group of latenight legislators this week amended a bill to include a global tax for people wishing to share files over the Internet. Once a user (an "internaut" in French) has paid the fee, that internaut is free to share music or movies on the basis that they are for personal use only. Result: Hey presto! Kazaa would suddenly be legal in France. What...

Used tape »

I remember someone telling me a story about the delivery of the first copy of MS DOS to Japan. (I don't know if this story is true, but it's a good story.) The shipment contained a copy of DOS on paper tape and a blank roll of tape. They taxed just the blank one because the one with DOS on it was "used". So... Does this make Amazon.com a "used comment salesman" and Six Apart a seller of "new comment space"? I'm of course mostly joking, but I think this represents two completely different views on the "media" business. You...

2 states in EU ease sales of songs over Internet »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Had to crank out a story on tight deadline about digital music rights in Europe: 2 states in EU ease sales of songs over Internet Selling music online in Europe could currently require an online music operater to get up to 25 licenses (one from each country) in order to operate, a situation Brussels seems strongly bent on changing: Collecting agencies in other European Union member states could face fines of up to 10 percent of their total revenue if they fail to open up in a similar manner, the official said. Interesting to see the...

Hilary Rosen guest blogging at Lessig's »

Hilary Rosen [WP], the former president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is guest blogging over at Lawrence Lessig's blog. She follows Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, on the slate of excellent guest bloggers during Larry's summer vacation....

One venture capitalist's view on software patents »

I am glad that Europe has once again rejected software patents by voting 648 against and 14 for the ruling of the patent - software directive. I hear that arguments have been made that software patents are helpful for innovation and that venture businesses may in some way benefit from software patents. I can of course imagine cases where software patents might be helpful for startup companies, but from my personal experience, they are generally more of a burden on innovation at the venture level than a benefit. Generally speaking, filing for patents is an expensive and time consuming task....

Grokster... »

As Wendy says... Grokster... EFF: MGM v. Grokster Technorati Tags: Grokster...

MPAA cam »

Photo of cameraby Jeff KogaThe Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is paying the Los Angeles police department to install cameras to crack down on DVD bootleggers. So far four cameras have been installed and six more are on the way. Although the LAPD refuses to say where the cameras are installed, but there is information on Xeni's post on Boing Boing. The post also contains funny details of their adventure. I hadn't realized that there was DVD piracy activity in LA. I wonder how much "lost revenue" they will recoup from these cameras. I wonder what else the LAPD...

Fandom shows that file sharing can create "gained fans" not "lost customers" »

While preparing for my talk in Melbourne, I was IM'ing with my sister who I steal a lot of my material from these days. We were talking about Naruto, which I blogged about earlier in the context of the Naruto Matrix Reloaded AMV. On the site, the author says, "To clarify, it's as much of a Naruto advertisement as it is a Matrix parody" (emphasis added) We were talking about the amazing fan community around Naruto. If you go to the site that lists the BitTorrent files of Naruto, you will see that fans have subtitled the episodes into a...

sms.ac C&D letter posted on Chilling Effects »

Chilling Effects has posted the Cease and Desist letter that I received from sms.ac. I know a number of other bloggers have received this letter. Take a look at their analysis if you've received this letter. Chiling effects has done a great job explaining it. Since I received the letter, some email has been exchanged with the lawyer and I extended on olive branch on a forum to a sms.ac employee, but I'm still not sure exactly where their threats stand at this point....

The Narutrix Re-Ninja'd »

click image for page with videoMimi @ ChanponThe Narutrix Re-Ninja'd The Matrix continues to be great fodder for transnational cultural ping-pong. While the Matrix creators acknowledge their debts to Japanese anime culture with Animatrix, Japanese fans re-domesticate the Matrix again with Matrix re-enactments. Now, UK anime fandom has brought us The Narutrix Re-Ninja'd, a brilliantly edited parody of the second Matrix trailer, staged in the world of Naruto. Check out manylemons.co.uk for some more fun anime music videos. Thanks Rachel!Amazing example of remix culture. It is rumored that fan remixes or derivative works are more tolerated by Japanese publishers than...

Prodigem Marketplace »

Stanford graduate student Gary Lerhaupt has created Prodigem Marketplace. It's basically a Bittorrent non-DRM'ed media marketplace.Prodigem MarketplaceThe Prodigem Marketplace allows Prodigem users to sell their independent media (videos, music, etc) while not concerning themselves with traditional bandwidth costs associated with repeated large data transfers. Content providers (YOU!) simply upload their work, set a price, and Prodigem does the rest. Once customers pay for access to the bit torrent peer-to-peer session for your content, Prodigem grants them access so they can begin their download (no DRM). Prodigem collects this revenue, removes 10% + transaction costs (PayPal) and then sends you a...

Shirky: stupid (c) laws block me from publishing own work online »

Xeni @ Boing Boing BlogShirky: stupid (c) laws block me from publishing own work online Clay Shirky tells Boing Boing:Welcome to the Copyfight. So, at Etech this year, I gave a talk entitled Ontology is Overrated. I want to put a transcript up online, and Mary Hodder, who recorded the talk, graciously agreed to give me a copy of the video. When she came by NYC last week, she dropped off a DVD, which I then wanted to convert to AVI (the format used by my transcription service.) I installed ffmpeg and tried to convert the material, at which point...

Google lawsuits guiding the way »

New York TimesGrowing Number of Lawsuits Could Hurt Google's Ad Revenue PARIS, March 27 - [...] This month, Mr. Dariot triumphed in his year-and-a-half-old lawsuit against Google's French subsidiary, which has been ordered to pay him $97,000 in fines and legal costs. Dariot and his travel companies, Luteciel and Viaticum, successfully challenged Google's practice of selling Internet advertising from rivals designed to appear with Web searches for his trademarked Web site name, Bourse des Vols, which means flight exchange. [...] Mr. Dariot's company is one of the first to win against Google; similar cases in the United States and Germany...

Amateurs vs Professionals »

In yesterday's discussion and in Charles Leadbeater's discussion the day before, there was a lot of talk about the rights of amateurs, the "pro-am revolution" and other arguments about how amateur content and creativity was important. I described how in the blogging world, it's mostly the people who create content who "pay" in contrast to the professional content world where it is the creator who gets paid. I talked about how Creative Commons was really helpful for amateurs who were more passionate about having their works widely accessible than making money. This is not to say that Creative Commons isn't...

NASA using BitTorrent »

From: John Parres Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2005 00:15:18 -0800 To: dave Subject: NASA using BitTorrent I just noticed the cool WIRED story "Around the World in 80 Clicks" http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/start.html?pg=7 about NASA's World Wind open source app that displays 10 terabytes of Earth imagery on demand so I thought I would give it a spin (heh). The story says "...When project manager Patrick Hogan unleashed World Wind, one of NASA's servers collapsed under a deluge of downloa requests - 100,000 a day - and the service went offline. This spring, it's back, with a bigger server..." and a BitTorrent link!http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/download.html...

Does "the Long Tail" mean we need longer copyrights? »

I'm posting this in full because it's important.Cory @ Boing Boing BlogDoes "the Long Tail" mean we need longer copyrights? Chris Anderson's brilliant Wired article, The Long Tail, talks about how indie, obscure and midlist/backlist material is more valuable, in aggregate, than all the glitzy, mainstream top-forty stuff is. However, when Lawrence Lessig argues for shorter copyright terms, he bases his stuff, in part, on the fact that old stuff is all out of print and can't be brought back into print because of the cost of clearing the copyright to the work. Are Lessig and the Long Tail irreconcilable?...

North Korea denies Boing Boing »

Xeni at Boing Boing linked to a flash movie on a North Korean site promoting vacations to North Korea. The North Korean Friendship Association was not pleased. Read the funny updates....

"Happy Birthday" is owned by Time Warner »

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing BlogHelp rat on people who sing Happy Birthday! Mako sez, "Unhappy Birthday is a website/project commenting on the fact that the song "Happy Birthday To You" is under an actively enforced copyright held by Time Warner. The site offers tools and information to report unauthorized public performances of that work. If educating people and upholding the principle of copyright means risking a DoS of ASCAP's licensing enforcement infrastructure, that's a risk I'm willing to take." Link (Thanks, Mako!)I didn't realize I was engaging in copyright infringement when I sang Happy Birthday in public without...

Europe rejects software patents again »

Cory @ Boing BoingEuro software patents: dead again! w00t!: Aymeric sez, "I was at the Brussels demo [against software patents] today and the result, it appears, was slightly positive." That's an understatement: the software patent issue is dead again in the European Parliament and has to be rebooted from start if the other side wants to get it through!The European Parliament has thrown out a bill that would have allowed software to be patented. Politicians unanimously rejected the bill and now it must go through another round of consultation if it is to have a chance of becoming law. During...

US Copyright Office asking about "orphan works" »

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots JournalismCopyright Progress, Maybe The U.S. Copyright Office wants comments on"the issues raised by 'orphan works,' i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts or making such works available to the public."This is wonderful news, and a sign of that people like Larry Lessig are making progress in educating the powers-that-be on the issues. Public Knowledge has a good summary.This is good news. Of course my...

What Can't I Do Today? »

CopyfightWhat Can't I Do Today? (Donna Wentworth) A Slashdotter, on Endangered Gizmos and the threat to harmless "me2me" uses: At this point, I've accepted that there are things I do that may someday be considered a crime. ...: Record TV shows from my DirecTV reciever that I pay a monthly subscription fee for into my computer using a Hauppauge PVR250 card for archival purposes (to show friends and family when they come over) Rip all CDs that I buy to the infinitely more convenient Ogg Vorbis format so that I can listen to my music anywhere Stream any audio or...

Gates clarifies is "communists" comment »

Bill Gates clarifies his comments about free culture people being communists in a Gizmodo interview. via Lessig...

IBM contributes 500 patents to the public »

Ross Mayfield's WeblogIBM Opens the Patent Market Steve Lohr reports that IBM is open sourcing 500 patents.John Kelly, the senior vice president for technology and intellectual property, called the patent contribution "the beginning of a new era in how I.B.M. will manage intellectual property."Perhaps for more than just IBM -- competitors may have to follow, um, suit.  While 500 patents is a drop in the bucket for the largest portfolio (40k), this is a significant move and part of a broader strategy to commoditize their inputs, pool risk, leverage a lead in services and change the game."This is exciting," said...

Off to the Sony Open Forum »

I'm off to Hawaii to the Sony Open Forum. It's a very small gathering of Sony executives, academics and business people who meet during the Sony Open in Hawaii, a PGA tournament. This is the third year I've been invited to go. I really suck a golf. I think I'm the only participant who isn't going to participate in the pro-am tournament. The first year, I promised I would learn to golf by the next year. Last year I made the same promise. I'm returning again, not a single step closer to being good enough to participate. I've been asked...

Stop sketching, little girl -- those paintings are copyrighted! »

Xeni @ Boing Boing BlogStop sketching, little girl -- those paintings are copyrighted! Museum security guard told a child to stop sketching paintings in a museum -- because they're copyrighted. It is standard operating procedure for students of art to learn by example by sketching masterpieces in an art museum. A budding artist in Durham found that the time honored tradition was challenged while seeking inspiration at the Matisse, Picasso and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from the Baltimore Museum of Art exhibit in Raleigh. Over the weekend at the North Carolina Museum of Art there were works by Matisse,...

Bill Gates calls free culture advocates communists »

Xeni @ Boing Boing Bill Gates: Free Culture advocates = Commies In an interview on news.com, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates described free culture advocates as a "modern-day sort of communists." Well now.Q: "In recent years, there's been a lot of people clamoring to reform and restrict intellectual-property rights. It started out with just a few people, but now there are a bunch of advocates saying, 'We've got to look at patents, we've got to look at copyrights.' What's driving this, and do you think intellectual-property laws need to be reformed? A: "No, I'd say that of the world's economies,...

Google adding major libraries to database »

New York TimesGoogle Is Adding Major Libraries to Its Database By JOHN MARKOFF and EDWARD WYATT Google, the operator of the world's most popular Internet search service, plans to announce an agreement today with some of the nation's leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web. It may be only a step on a long road toward the long-predicted global virtual library. But the collaboration of Google and research institutions that also include Harvard, the University of Michigan, Stanford and the New York Public Library is...

ACS Sues Google Over "Scholar" Trademark »

Donna Wentworth @ CopyfightACS Sues Google Over "Scholar" Trademark Because when we think about scholarship and online research, we think about the American Chemical Society (ACS). Or maybe not. Story here.Not. As Jon Stewart would say... Please stop. Can't we just get along. Ugh....

Artists Agree -- P2P Lawsuits Are Not the Answer »

EFF DeeplinksArtists Agree -- P2P Lawsuits Are Not the Answer Cynthia Webb of the Washington Post synthesizes the discussion about the new Pew study [PDF] reporting that while many artists believe file sharing should be illegal, they don't necessarily believe that 1.) it's actually hurting them, 2.) the RIAA lawsuits are doing anything to help the situationInteresting report and another blow to the RIAA's argument that they are doing it for the artists....

Japanese copyright collectors crack down on clubs »

Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) just won a case against the karaoke bars and is now going after clubs.asahi.comCHANGING ITS TUNE: It's closing time "I thought it was a new kind of fraud," said Naoki Kasugai, who runs Daytrip, a nightclub that offers live music in Nagoya. He received a letter from JASRAC in summer 2003 along with an invoice for a monthly charge of 28,350 yen in copyright fees, covering the entire time his bar has been open since 1997. It totaled a whopping 2.32 million yen. Kasugai was shocked and puzzled. He had...

Copyright Takedown Experiment Reveals Horrible ISP Policies »

Jason SchultzCopyright Takedown Experiment Reveals Horrible ISP Policies Doom9 sez:Dutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom has run an interesting experiment: They put up a text by a famous Dutch author, written in 1871 to accounts with 10 different ISPs. Then they made up an imaginary society that is supposed to be the copyright holder of the author in question, and sent copyright infringement takedown notices to those 10 ISP via email (using a Hotmail account). 7 out of 10 ISPs took down the material, sometimes within hours and without even informing the account holder. One ISP doubted the legitimacy...

No "Fishing License" for the RIAA »

Electronic Frontier FoundationNo "Fishing License" for the RIAA This just in: the Supreme Court has denied cert in RIAA v. Verizon, the case in which the recording industry initially won the right to unmask an anonymous KaZaA user with a special non-judicial, PATRIOT Act-like subpoena under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DC Circuit reversed (PDF) that ruling, but the RIAA appealed. Now the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case. [...] Said EFF's Wendy Seltzer, who worked on the case, "The Supreme Court's refusal to take the case leaves the DC Circuit's well reasoned opinion as law:...

Panel Consensus »

I'm sitting in the Italian Parliament (I think.) The panel I was on was dealing with the impact of digital/Internet on content creation and distribution. It started yesterday and continued today. I think it lasted about seven hours or so in total. I found myself in violent disagreement at the beginning because they kept talking about piracy. The interesting thing about this panel (probably more common in other cultures, but new for me) was that we had to come to a written consensus by the end of the session and present it in the Parliament building. It would then be...

Sony dumps CD DRM »

Gridle @ Slashdot"In a complete reversal of their policy and on the heels of Avex's partial cessation of copy protected CDs (translation), Sony Music Entertainment in Japan has announced that it will abolish its Label Gate CCCD format (translation) beginning in November 2004 and move back to normal CD-audio format discs for all future releases. Reasons cited are music users' increased consciousness about copyrights and maintenance of legality (conformity to the CD-audio format specification). In related news, Sony also released a slightly updated HD walkman (translation) due to pressure from the iPod, but because of hardware limitations the device still...

Anti-bootlegging booted »

Lessig blogs about a very important case: A district court in the Southern District of New York has struck down the anti-bootlegging provision of the copyright act....

Japanese P2P software developer pleads not guilty »

Japan TodayCreator of file-sharing software pleads not guilty to piracy KYOTO — The creator of a program for anonymous file-sharing over the Internet pleaded not guilty on Wednesday at the Kyoto District Court to the charge that he developed the software knowing it would facilitate Internet piracy. Isamu Kaneko, 34, who developed the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing program, is the first person in Japan to stand trial for creating software that can be used for the unauthorized reproduction of movies and video games over the Internet.In the US, they are trying to pass a law making it illegal to induce people...

Patenting punctuation »

Ernest Miller @ CopyfightPatenting Punctuation (Ernest Miller) Well, it seems that someone has patented some new forms of punctuation: WIPO Patent Publication No. WO9219458:Using two new punctuation marks, the question comma and the exclamation comma: and respectively, inquisitiveness and exclamation may be expressed within a written sentence structure, so that thoughts may be more easily and clearly conveyed to readers. The new punctuation marks are for use within a written sentence between words as a comma, but with more feeling or inquisitiveness.Seems that this is sort of an addition to the faddish punctuation known as the Interrobang.via I/P Updates This...

EFF wins Grockster case »

Xeni @ Boing BoingEFF wins GroksterBig news: The EFF prevails in the long-fought Grokster case. Court decision is available here (PDF). Link to 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruling in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, issued August 19, 2004.This is great news. Congrats to the whole EFF team who worked on this! More on Corante: Powerful Language from the MGM v. Grokster Decision - Posted by Jason Schultz...

How much the RIAA and the MPAA cost the media industry? »

An interesting survey based project to try to answer the question of whether the cost of what the MPAA and RIAA does exceeds their forgone revenues to piracy....

Hello Kitty flashlight for Doom 3 »

Cory @ Boing BoingHello Kitty flashlight for Doom 3 Doom 3 has only just come out and already the modders are revving up their engines. My favorite so far: a Hello Kitty flashlight mod that makes your gun's built-in light cast a kawaii beam on the objects it alights upon. Link (via Oblomovka)Doom modder culture has become truly sophisticated. ;-) How very Boing Boing....

Woody Guthrie's family likes JibJab, but copyright doesn't care »

It has already been widely reported that music publisher Ludlow Music has threatened copyright litigation against JibJab for their animation "This Land" which uses Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." Corante, Boing Boing and NPR report that the kids like JibJab. Wendy Seltzer makes an interesting point that when Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, they said it was "for the children." Wendy says, "It's worth remembering, again, that artists and copyright holders aren't always the same people."...

BitTorrent of Hearings on the INDUCE Act »

Lawrence Lessigno potential for a substantial noninfringing use? Here's a BitTorrent file that will get you, p2p, the video of the Hearings on the INDUCE Act, prepared by Tom Barger. Watch, and blog the substantial noninfringing use. BitTorrent is one of the most efficient p2p systems and is great for distributing movies and other large files. The Induce act is trying to make illegal basic technologies such as p2p which "could induce" people to break copyright law. With more powerful cameras and PCs, video and Flash have become important mediums for free speech. They are increasingly being used for political...

Roger Ailes complaing about Outfoxed »

Poor poor FOX.Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO, Fox News NetworkAny news organization that doesn’t support our position on copyright is crazy. Next week, we could take a month’s worth of video from CNN International and do a documentary “Why does CNN hate America?” You wouldn’t even have to do the hatchet job Outfoxed was. You damn well could run it without editing. CNN International, Al-Jazeera and BBC are the same in how they report-mostly that America is wrong and bad. Everybody should stand up and say these people don’t have the right to take our product anymore. They don’t have...

The Guardian - Suw on the effect on file sharing »

Suw Charman @ The GuardianListen to the flip side New research suggesting that file sharing has no impact upon sales of CDs has, not surprisingly, angered the music industry. [our very own] Suw Charman reportsSuw has a good article in the Guardian about the paper (PDF) by Associate Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard Business School in Boston and Professor Koleman Strumpf of the University of North Carolina where they assert that "Downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates." It's an important first paper in the battle against the rampant idea that...

Moore on filesharing of F 9/11 »

Sunday HeraldThe activist, author and director told the Sunday Herald that, as long as pirated copies of his film were not being sold, he had no problem with it being downloaded. "I don't agree with the copyright laws and I don't have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they're not trying to make a profit off my labour. I would oppose that," he said. "I do well enough already and I made this film because I want the world, to change. The more people who see it the better, so I'm...

Orlowski on Induce Act and hacker activism »

In an update on the new Induce Act that I blogged about earlier, Orlowski makes an interesting observation about why the IT lobby lost Hatch who is leading this bill and who used to be "on our side."Orlowski - The RegisterDirty rotten inducers - the law the IT world deserves? ...Well, perhaps it's a combination of all these factors. Perhaps too, the brief flood of speculative capital into the technology industry in the 1980s and 1990s convinced IT people they didn't have an exalted place in society. For a time, they did, and even now many seem to think so....

Update on "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004" »

Dan GillmorCongress Goes After Peer to PeerUPDATED I hadn't been taking some proposed new copyright legislation very seriously, mainly because it's logically absurd on its face. But the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004" (PDF) seems to be moving so quickly that we have to pay attention now.It's basically a bill that can make the creation of technology that could possibly be used for "piracy" illegal. More on Dan's blog. Please take a look. It's quite absurd and dangerous. If it's moving quickly, I think we need to mobilize against it as soon as possible. Japan always gets hand-me-downs...

The US constitution with DRM »

Lessigthis is the constitution on DRMSo jump over here to Amazon.com where you can purchase an electronic version of the Constitution, fitted very nicely to a Microsoft Reader (not Mac compatible), and protected quite completely with DRM. The description says you're not permitted to print it. The reader reviews report you're permitted to print it twice a year. And don't try to hack the code to print it more than twice -- until Boucher's H.R. 107 passes at least. (Though the ranking is higher than for my book. Maybe free fails after all?) (Thanks Paul!)Now who in their right mind...

If you can't convince 'em, sue 'em »

A paper by Felix Oberholzer of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of UNC Chapel Hill shows strong evidence that file-sharing has "statistically indistinguishable from zero" effect on CD sales and the RIAA decides to sue 482 more people for sharing copyright music on peer-to-peer networks. This brings the number of people sued by the RIAA for file-sharing to 3,429. I guess that if you can't convince everyone, you can always try to scare people into submission. But it looks like the RIAA will have event MORE reasons to sue people. They're trying to "criminalize the act of inducing another...

Cory's drm rant wikified »

Cory's excellent drm rant which he presented at Microsoft Research has now been wikified to allow people to comment and add to it. Excellent....

EFF and Stanford Law School to the rescue against DirecTV »

Dan GillmorDirecTV Reins in the Legal Attack DogsIn one of the uglier "intellectual property" abuses, DirecTV has been suing people for possession of tools it claims can be used to get TV shows without paying for them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society have challenged the satellite TV company on this conduct, and on Monday DirecTV agreed to modify its approach, according to this press release, which says in part:The company will no longer pursue people solely for purchasing smart card readers, writers, general-purpose programmers, and general-purpose emulators. It will maintain this policy...

EFF Patent Busting Project »

Help EFF stamp out stupid patents! Know of any stupid patents being used to hurt the little guys? Send them to the EFF. What a great project. Electronic Frontier FoundationEnter the Patent Busting Contest! The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project is here to protect you from dangerously bad patents. And you can help us pick which patents we're going to bust first! We're currently seeking nominations for ten patents that deserve to be revoked because they are invalid. Sadly, we don't have the resources to challenge every stupid patent out there. In order to qualify for our ten most-wanted...

freekaneko.com »

About freekaneko.comthis web site 'freekaneko.com' was created by official Isamu Kaneko supporters. We are consisted by software engineers who deeply concern our freedom to create and research software. We are conducting a publicity, and fund raising. We need a lot of attention from the people of the world. You can help us by telling the issue to your family, friends, and co-workers. Also, translation volunteers (and English proof readers) are needed to let the people know this issue. Freekaneko.com marked a million hit only a day after an opening. Also, we raised 10 million yen ($100,000) in 2weeksIsamu Kaneko is...

DMCRA Congressional hearing scheduled »

Congressional Hearing Called on Fair Use; 321 Studios President Asked to Testify Now Is the Time for Consumers to Effect Change Through www.protectfairuse.org WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A Congressional Hearing for H.R. 107, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA), has been set for Wednesday, May 12, at 10:00 AM Eastern. The DMCRA has been acknowledged and endorsed by major industry players like Intel Corp., Philips Consumer Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Bell South, Verizon, SBC, Qwest, Gateway, and the Consumer Electronics Association, among others, as a necessary balancing mechanism to restore consumers' fair use rights in the digital era. The...

EU planning to pass stupid software patent law without discussion »

ffiiEU Council Plans to Scrap Parliamentary Vote without Discussion 2004/05/07 For immediate Release The EU Council of Ministers is demonstrating that the concept of democracy is alien to the EU. This Wednesday, the Irish Presidency managed to secure a qualified majority for a counter-proposal to the software patents directive, with only a few countries - including Belgium and Germany - showing resistance. The new text proposes to discard all the amendments from the European which would limite patentability. Instead the lax language of the original Commission proposal is to be reinstated in its entirety, with direct patentability of computer programs,...

Dali on intellectual property »

Salvador DalíIdeas are made to be copied. I have enough ideas to sell them on. I prefer that they are stolen so that i don't have to actually use them myself.I wish Dalí has said, "works" or "art" instead of "ideas", but this still rocks. via danah...

Interview in The Tech with Jack Valenti »

There's a short interview in MIT's The Tech newpaper with Jack Valenti about DMCA. I'm glad that Jack is still willing to have discussions like this. This is what I meant when I said that I think Jack should be respected. Even if you don't agree with him, he's still willing to try to discuss his position with you. via Creative Commons weblog...

Essay about trends »

Several crucial shifts in technology are emerging that will drastically affect the relationship between users and technology in the near future. Wireless Internet is becoming ubiquitous and economically viable. Internet capable devices are becoming smaller and more powerful.Alongside technological shifts, new social trends are emerging. Users are shifting their attention from packaged content to social information about location, presence and community. Tools for identity, trust, relationship management and navigating social networks are becoming more popular. Mobile communication tools are shifting away from a 1-1 model, allowing for increased many-to-many interactions; such a shift is even being used to permit new forms of democracy and citizen participation in global dialog.While new technological and social trends are occurring, it is not without resistance, often by the developers and distributors of technology and content. In order to empower the consumer as a community member and producer, communication carriers, hardware manufacturers and content providers must understand and build models that focus less on the content and more on the relationships. Smaller fasterComputing started out as large mainframe computers, software developers and companies “time sharing” for slices of computing time on the large machines. The mini-computer was cheaper and smaller, allowing companies and labs to own their own computers. The mini computer allowed a much greater number of people to have access to computers and even use them in real time. The mini computer lead to a burst in software and networking technologies. In the early 80’s, the personal computer increased the number of computers by an order of magnitude and again, led to an explosion in new software and technology while lowering the cost even more. Console gaming companies proved once again that unit costs could be decreased significantly by dramatically increasing the number of units sold. Today, we have over a billion cell phones in the market. There are tens of millions camera phones. The incredible number of these devices has continued to lower the unit cost of computing as well as devices imbedded in these devices such as small cameras. High end phones have the computing power of the personal computers of the 80’s and the game consoles of the 90’s.History repeats with WiFiThere are parallels in the history of communications and computing. In the 1980’s the technology of packet switched networks became widely deployed. Two standards competed. X.25 was a packet switched network technology being promoted by CCITT (a large, formal international standards body) and the telephone companies. It involved a system run by telephone companies including metered tariffs and multiple bilateral agreements between carriers to hook up.Concurrently, universities and research labs were promoting TCP/IP and the Internet opportunity for loosely organized standards meetings being operated with flat rate tariffs and little or no agreements between the carriers. People just connected to the closest node and everyone agreed to freely carry traffic for others.There were several “free Internet” services such as “The Little Garden” in San Francisco. Commercial service providers, particularly the telephone company operators such as SprintNet tried to shut down such free services by threatening not to carry this free traffic.Eventually, large ISPs began providing high quality Internet connectivity and finally the telephone companies realized that the Internet was the dominant standard and shutdown or acquired the ISPs.A similar trend is happening in wireless data services. GPRS is currently the dominant technology among mobile telephone carriers. GPRS allows users to transmit packets of data across the carrier network to the Internet. One can roam to other networks as long as the mobile operators have agreements with each other. Just like in the days of X.25, the system requires many bilateral agreements between the carriers; their goal is to track and bill for each packet of information.Competing with this standard is WiFi. WiFi is just a simple wireless extension to the current Internet and many hotspots provide people with free access to the Internet in cafes and other public areas. WiFi service providers have emerged, while telephone operators –such as a T-Mobile and Vodaphone- are capitalizing on paid WiFi services. Just as with the Internet, network operators are threatening to shut down free WiFi providers, citing a violation of terms of service. Just as with X.25, the GPRS data network and the future data networks planned by the telephone carriers (e.g. 3G) are crippled with unwieldy standards bodies, bilateral agreements, and inherently complicated and expensive plant operations.It is clear that the simplicity of WiFi and the Internet is more efficient than the networks planned by the telephone companies. That said, the availability of low cost phones is controlled by mobile telephone carriers, their distribution networks and their subsidies.Content vs ContextMany of the mobile telephone carriers are hoping that users will purchase branded content manufactured in Hollywood and packaged and distributed by the telephone companies using sophisticated technology to thwart copying.Broadband in the home will always be cheaper than mobile broadband. Therefore it will be cheaper for people to download content at home and use storage devices to carry it with them rather than downloading or viewing content over a mobile phone network. Most entertainment content is not so time sensitive that it requires real time network access.The mobile carriers are making the same mistake that many of the network service providers made in the 80s. Consider Delphi, a joint venture between IBM and Sears Roebuck. Delphi assumed that branded content was going to be the main use of their system and designed the architecture of the network to provide users with such content. Conversely, the users ended up using primary email and communications and the system failed to provide such services effectively due to the mis-design.Similarly, it is clear that mobile computing is about communication. Not only are mobile phones being used for 1-1 communications, as expected through voice conversations; people are learning new forms of communication because of SMS, email and presence technologies. Often, the value of these communication processes is the transmission of “state” or “context” information; the content of the messages are less important.Copyright and the Creative CommonsIn addition to the constant flow of traffic keeping groups of people in touch with each other, significant changes are emerging in multimedia creation and sharing. The low cost of cameras and the nearly television studio quality capability of personal computers has caused an explosion in the number and quality of content being created by amateurs. Not only is this content easier to develop, people are using the power of weblogs and phones to distribute their creations to others. The network providers and many of the hardware providers are trying to build systems that make it difficult for users to share and manipulate multimedia content. Such regulation drastically stifles the users’ ability to produce, share and communicate. This is particularly surprising given that such activities are considered the primary “killer application” for networks.It may seem unintuitive to argue that packaged commercial content can co-exist alongside consumer content while concurrently stimulating content creation and sharing. In order to understand how this can work, it is crucial to understand how the current system of copyright is broken and can be fixed.First of all, copyright in the multimedia digital age is inherently broken. Historically, copyright works because it is difficult to copy or edit works and because only few people produce new works over a very long period of time. Today, technology allows us to find, sample, edit and share very quickly. The problem is that the current notion of copyright is not capable of addressing the complexity and the speed of what technology enables artists to create. Large copyright holders, notably Hollywood studios, have aggressively extended and strengthened their copyright protections to try to keep the ability to produce and distribute creative works in the realm of large corporations.Hollywood asserts, “all rights reserved” on works that they own. Sampling music, having a TV show running in the background in a movie scene or quoting lyrics to a song in a book about the history of music all require payment to and a negotiation with the copyright holder. Even though the Internet makes available a wide palette of wonderful works based on content from all over the world, the current copyright practices forbid most of such creation.However, most artists are happy to have their music sampled if they receive attribution. Most writers are happy to be quoted or have their books copied for non-commercial use. Most creators of content realize that all content builds on the past and the ability for people to build on what one has created is a natural and extremely important part of the creative process.Creative Commons tries to give artists that choice. By providing a more flexible copyright than the standards “all rights reserved” copyright of commercial content providers, Creative Commons allows artists to set a variety of rights to their works. This includes the ability to reuse for commercial use, copy, sample, require attribution, etc. Such an approach allows artists to decide how their work can be used, while providing people with the materials necessary for increased creation and sharing. Creative Commons also provides for a way to make the copyright of pieces of content machine-readable. This means that a search engine or other tool to manipulate content is able to read the copyright. As such, an artist can search for songs, images and text to use while having the information to provide the necessary attribution.Creative Commons can co-exist with the stringent copyright regimes of the Hollywood studios while allowing professional and amateur artists to take more control of how much they want their works to be shared and integrated into the commons. Until copyright law itself is fundamentally changed, the Creative Commons will provide an essential tool to provide an alternative to the completely inflexible copyright of commercial content. Content is not like some lump of gold to be horded and owned which diminishes in value each time it is shared. Content is a foundation upon which community and relationships are formed. Content is the foundation for culture. We must evolve beyond the current copyright regime that was developed in a world where the creation and transmission of content was unwieldy and expense, reserved to those privileged artists who were funded by commercial enterprises. This will provide the emerging wireless networks and mobile devices with the freedom necessary for them to become the community building tools of sharing that is their destiny.

Milia / MipTV Update »

I just gave a keynote this morning and I initially felt right, but a bit bad. Milia is one of the oldest and leading interactive content conferences and MipTV is a place where content providers meet with people who want to buy content from them. The halls are full of telephone companies, TV networks, Hollywood content providers and DRM technology companies. So here I am asked to give a keynote. What am I going to say? I talked about the shift in value away from packaged content and towards context oriented things like location, presence and transactions. I talked about...

Valenti, Right and Wrong, Is a Man to Respect »

Dan GillmorValenti, Right and Wrong, Is a Man to Respect How I wish Jack Valenti had been on our side in the copyright war. Valenti will soon retire from his decades-long post as president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the industry's enormously effective lobbying arm. I'm going to miss him.I recently met Jack at a conference last year but I first met Jack when I was working in Hollywood and was a translator at a meeting between him and the chairman of NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting company. I also worked with Jack's son, John, on Indian...

Hitting the iTunes DRM speedbump »

Cory blogged about this, but beware if you are buying music on iTunes and are prone to buying new Macintosh computers. You can only authorize three machines to play your iTunes purchased music. I recently bought a new machine and gave my old one to a friend. I have a desktop and my original PowerBook is being used by my aunt. So I had to track down my friend and have him log in as me and "deauthorize" the machine before I could authorize this machine. Which basically means, you have three lives. Lose/wreck/give away/sell three Macs and your iTunes...

"Free Culture" is »

Lawrence Lessig“Free Culture” is Thanks to the lessons explained by others (Cory), and the courage of a great publisher (Penguin), Free Culture launches today with a free online version of the book, licensed under a Creative Commons license. You can get the book here, though at the moment, only the bittorrent version is apparently up. Later today, there will be a direct download available from the Free Culture site, and from the Amazon site. Sorry, a bit late in blogging this......

California attorney general preparing to slam P2P »

Wired News just ran an article by Xeni exposing a draft letter circulated by Bill Lockyer, California attorney general slamming P2P. The metadata on the Word document shows that it has been edited/reviewed by the Motion Picture Association of America. Another example of Hollywood using the US government to push its agenda to blame and limit technology which it views as a threat. It is me, or is this pretty "smoking gun"?...

Porn Commons »

The Porn Commons - New York Times Via Mimi...

Eisbrecher including 2 blank CD-Rs with new album »

EisbrecherTwo blanks against the trend! The band has decided to make a statement for its fans and for music consumers in general and is releasing the album including a bonus DVD with 2 blank CD-Rs which have the same label as the CD itself. Alexx Wesselsky (singer and head of the group): "We are of the opinion that the music buyers are criminalized enough and have been made responsible for the wretched state in the music industry. We are giving them the chance to make 2 legal copies for private use with 'official blanks'. It can't always be that the...

RIAA's fake cops harrass based on racial stereotypes »

And even more racism...Kevin MarksRIAA's fake cops harrass based on racial stereotypes LA weekly story:'A large percentage [of the vendors] are of a Hispanic nature,' Langley said. 'Today hes Jose Rodriguez, tomorrow hes Raul something or other, and tomorrow after that hes something else. These people change their identity all the time. A pictures worth a thousand words.'Langley is Western regional coordinator for the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit.I feel sorry for Sir Howard Stringer. I'm glad I don't have to hang out with people like the RIAA. (tech dirt on how Sir Howard might save Sony Music) I wonder just how...

Aaron Swartz - Downloading Isn't Stealing »

Aaron SwartzThe New York Times Upfront asked me to contribute a short piece to a point/counterpoint they were having on download. (I would defend downloading, of course.) I thought I managed to write a pretty good piece, especially for its size and audience, in a couple days. But then I found out my piece was cut because the Times had decided not to tell kids to break the law. So, from the graveyard, here it is. Stealing is wrong. But downloading isn’t stealing. If I shoplift an album from my local record store, no one else can buy it. But...

Creative Commons and The Kuleshov Effect »

As we start working on the details involved in the launch the sampling license over at Creative Commons, we find, as always, that God is in the details. The idea behind the sampling license is that many artists don't mind if their music is sampled by other artists as long as there is attribution. The Creative Commons is currently proposing two sampling licenses. The normal sampling license which allows other artists to transform the work even for commercial use, while prohibiting distribution of verbatim copies of the entire work. The Sampling-Plus license offers the same rights but allows verbatim sharing...

Copy protection and copyright robs the future »

Don't mind the bots with $ sign heads behind Mickey and Minnie pleaseHalley, David Weinberger and Dan Bricklin blog about Microsoft using Visicalc to show the backward compatibility of Longhorn. The irony is Dan's comment that the only reason that he, an author of Visicalc, has a working copy is because someone had made an illegal bootleg copy of it.In May, I blogged about Brewster testifying about why the DMCA is preventing him from breaking copy protection on old software which he wants to archive. I think this is an important issue. Old films are decaying in the cans, books are decaying. Current copyright law combined with the DMCA prevent archivists from preserving most of the content created in any form. Mickey lives on in Disneyland at the expense of the wilting commons.

Broadcast Flag Bad »

Cory and the EFF have been leading the charge to stop the broadcast flag proposal. Lessig chimes in. The broadcast flag is a bad thing which is anti-end-to-end. Fight for the Stupid Network!If this entry is cryptic to you, you need to learn more about the broadcast flag and why it is bad. Click on the links.

RIAA sues first, thinks later, no apologies »

Seth GodinLiars, cheats and foolsThe record industry sued a "little old lady" named Sarah Ward. She's not that old, but she's little and she's not a pirate. She's never even downloaded the software you need to download the music. The RIAA has dropped the suit, but Amy Weiss, their spokesman, says, "We have chosen to give her the benefit of the doubt and are continuing to look into the facts... This is the only case of its kind."Now, regardless of how you feel about litigation as a business strategy, refusing to apologize is just a bad idea. This is clearly NOT the only case of its kind. Instead of stonewalling, why doesn't the RIAA say, "This is terrific! She's an honest citizen and we're proud of her. We made a mistake and we apologize. We're sending Ms. Ward a hundred CDs to apologize for bothering her. If there are any other cases like this one, we'll drop them immediately."Totally agreed. Now all of you who supported the RIAA suing the 12 year old girl, do you think it's cool for them to be suing people who haven't done anything?Being sued isn't like, "oh sorry... wrong number.."

It's not about the files »

Had an interesting breakfast discussion with David Weinberger and a few others about copyright. I seem to be having more and more heated debates about copyright these days and the more I become familiar with the arguments of old-school copyright guys, the more frustrated I become. As Lessig often says, we're not saying that there shouldn't be copyright or that artists should not be paid. The issue is that the current copyright framework and more importantly, the corporations who are currently entrusted with the task of managing these copyrights are dysfunctional. We need to fundamentally restructure the business of creating and being paid for creating artistic works and it's likely that this business doesn't involve record companies.The Internet has the potential to greatly enhance and enrich our culture, but old-school copyright people are trying to make their controls even stronger than the real world. The important point is to talk about the commons and the public, not about protecting the "rights" of the custodians of the "files". At one level, we're all conduits passing inspiration and knowledge from the past to the future by re-mixing, rendering and editing things that inspire us in ways that will inspire others. Talking about copyright is talking about the files. We should be talking about how to increase the commons and enrich culture. THAT's not about the files, it's about the the commons.Inspired by David's blog entry.

Lenz blog explaining new Japanese copyright law reform »

Karl-Friedrich Lenz explains the new Japanese copyright law reform on Lenz blog.

Is it FUD or is it ignorance? »

Lawrence lessigthe extremists in powerAccording to the Post, Lois Boland, director of international relations for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said "that open-source software runs counter to the mission of WIPO, which is to promote intellectual-property rights." As she is quoted as saying, "To hold a meeting which has as its purpose to disclaim or waive such rights seems to us to be contrary to the goals of WIPO."If Lois Boland said this, then she should be asked to resign. The level of ignorance built into that statement is astonishing, and the idea that a government official of her level would be so ignorant is an embarrassment. First, and most obviously, open-source software is based in intellectual-property rights. It can't exist (and free software can't have its effect) without it.People think that creative commons and free software are "anti-copyright". It's amazingly stupid. You can't have free software or "some rights reserved" without copyright. I wonder if people are truly stupid or whether there is some FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) machine running a "stupidity about copyright" process in the background...

Creative Commons presentation to Japanese copyright experts »

Yesterday, I gave a presentation about Creative Commons at a study group on copyright of which I am a member. The other members include the founding chairman, Hori-san of one of the largest talent management companies in Japan, Hori Productions, Professor Nakayama, the Tokyo University professor who invited Larry Lessig to Japan and one of the most influential copyright and constitutional law professors in Japan, Professor Iwamura, the former head of research and policy for the Bank of Japan and other professors and lawyers involved in copyright. I really like this study group because everyone is quite open-minded and frank and speaks from first-hand experience in court and law-writing.

mp3.com rejects Creative Commons »

Don't you hate when the people who should most "get it" TOTALLY DON'T GET IT!Neeru@Creative CommonsWe would love to help you offer Creative Commons license to your users — it’s free, and a great way to make clear the rights and restrictions artists would like to offer their fans.Legal Department@mp3.comNothing replaces the legal protections provided by registering a copyright with the US Copyright Office--most certainly not your “free license.”This email is formal notice for you to cease and desist from further contacting our artists through our web site to solicit for your product/services, which are not sanctioned by us.Legal Department Music & MediaVivendi Universal Net USA, Inc.

Is streamripping illegal? »

Some folks on #joiito turned me onto "streamripping". This is software that stores songs played on Internet radio stations as mp3's with meta data and everything. RadioLover is streamripping software for the Mac that lets you record multiple radio stations in parallel. You can drag and drop the songs into iTunes and sync to the iPod. The quality seems fine. I can listen to my favorite radio stations from all over the world when I'm walking in the park with my iPod. Is this illegal? It is SOOO useful it MUST be illegal. ;-pUPDATE: For the record, I've just bought several albums on Apple's Music Store and Amazon that I didn't know about until I started messing around with RadioLover.

GaiaX trademarks "Blog" in Japan »

GaiaX, a company that sells community Net services to ISP's and portals filed for a trademark for "Blog" on March 6 of this year. They issued a press release on June 28 saying that they would reserve the right use the word blog in products and services, but would allow people to use it freely in writing. I think some people have doubts as to whether they will be granted the trademark, but stranger things have happened in Japan. In the past, I think someone trademarked "groupware". I think GaiaX also has a trademarks in some categories on "Avatar."Anyway, I'm glad SixApart and MovableType don't include the word "blog" in the tradename. ;-P

Good news from Larry about the Eric Eldred Act »

Larry's been proposing an idea called The Eric Eldred Act to require a $1 payment to extend copyright. This would cause most works which are out of print and currently unavailable to the public to fall into the public domain while at the same time protecting the copyright of people who are using copywritten work commercially. I think it's a great idea. Larry reports that Congresswoman Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Doolittle (R-CA) have agreed to introduce the bill. That's great news.Thanks to Victor for the heads up on this...

Philip Greenspun's theory of why US stocks are going up »

Philip Greenspun blogs about the idea that stocks are going up in the US because more and more public domain is moving into the hands of large corporations. He gives the example of Disney being the beneficiary of the the copyright extension and the restriction on flying thru the airspace over Disneyland.Thanks to rvr and bluehaze on #joiito.

Copyright extension and DMCA-like bill passed in Japan »

A bill just quietly passed in Japan. It extends copyright from 50 years to 70 years. Also, under-reported, is the fact that "circumvention of copy protecton or deterrence mechanisms" is now illegal and the defendant is responsible for proving innocence. I wish this legal spill-over from the US into Japan would stop. Especially for these REALLY STUPID laws. At least I have another project to work on in Japan. ;-PThanks for the heads-up Gohsuke.

iCommons Japan »

The Creative Commons International Commons Japan page is up. Glocom porting the Creative Commons license to Japan.Thanks for the link Andreas!

Public Domain Enhancement Act - IMPORTANT »

Larry's been pushing this idea for awhile now, but it's coming to a head. It's VERY important. You folks better get this passed in the US so we can push it in Japan. Please please please. It's a great idea and is so simple to argue for that we MUST all support it.reclaiming the public domainLawrence LessigWe have launched a petition to build support for the Public Domain Enhancement Act. That act would require American copyright holders to pay $1 fifty years after a work was published. If they pay the $1, the copyright continues. If they don’t, the work passes into the public domain. Historical estimates would suggest 98% of works would pass into the pubilc domain after 50 years. The Act would do a great deal to reclaim a public domain.This proposal has received a great deal of support. It is now facing some important lobbyists’ opposition. We need a public way to begin to demonstrate who the lobbyists don’t speak for. This is the first step. If you are an ally in at least this cause, please sign the petition. Please blog it, please email it, please spam it, please buy billboards about it — please do whatever you can. And most importantly, please help us explain its importance. There is a chance to do something significant here. But it will take a clearer, simpler voice than mine.

Commons in Japan? »

Karl-Friedrich Lenz proposes the idea of setting up a server to provide access to out-of-copyright works in Japan where copyright expires 50 years after the death of the author. This is an interesting idea. The question is, would this pressure the US to change their copyright law or pressure the US to pressure Japan to "harmonize" with the US?

Defending Creative Commons »

Karl-Friedrich Lenz and others are dumping the Creative Commons license because they don't like the fact that users of the original licensor guarantees to the licensees. If I understand this correctly, it means that if I snap a photo of something, someone copies it from my site and posts it and get sued, it comes back to bite me.Me sense is that this is the way it should be. Tell me if I'm missing something.

The sucking sound of DRM - iTunes 4 »

I just downloaded iTunes 4, set up my .mac account for the music shop and started browsing around the music shop. Ooo, I don't have that Orb CD, "click", I wonder if they have.... "click"... "downloading..." "hey..." "click".Now maybe I'm not a good sample, but iTunes 4 is to music downloads what iPod was to mp3 players. Of course you have to download iPod patch to play the AAC protected music format and you are not downloading sharable mp3's.

Independent record sales increase, major labels lose markets, RIAA blame P2P, stats show RIAA is lying »

Tim O'Reilly fowards a rant about how the RIAA unfairly blames P2P as the reason for their drop in sales and how their statistics show otherwise.

Dave Winer's Speech about Napster, weblogs »

I'm late blogging this, but Dave Winer's speech about why programmers need to work with laywers, why Napster failed and why weblogs will allow us to do an "end-run" around the "fat smelly execs" of the media companies. Very funny and inspirational.

Lessig collecting information about business model and software patents »

I think business method and software patents are a very bad idea. I've been arguing against them for a long time. Larry has an idea to solicit specific examples and opinions from people. He will verify the information and make a web page. This should help the policy makers and lawyers understand what technologists are always complaining about.

Fair use question about uploading stuff from TV »

I have a fair use question that maybe someone can answer for me. NHK taped and broadcasted the Blueprint for Japan 2020 panel in Davos. I am one of the speakers. I taped the broadcast and would like to put it on my web page.

Industry execs claim file trading funds terrorism »

IDG News ServiceDoes File Trading Fund Terrorism?Industry execs claim peer-to-peer networks pose more than just legal problems.

Lessig is back! »

Larry has lifted his self-imposed gag order. He had filed a petition to have the case reheard, but it has been turned down so he will now need the support of the public to take this debate to the next level. Lets give him our support!

Robert Kaye from Musicbrainz »

Yesterday, I had dinner with Robert Kaye. He is the founder of Musicbrainz.

Japanese version of Creative Commons? »

Andreas Bovens"Free use label" for webcontentLast week, Niko pointed me to an interesting article at Asahi.com: "New rules and copyright labels to let users copy Web content". A quote: "There are three labels. One will say, "This mark indicates material can be copied." The mark lets users copy or print material from Internet Web sites and distribute it without specific permission from the copyright holder, as long as the labeled content is not altered.Two other labels will permit unrestricted use of copyrighted material by people with disabilities and for school."Creative Commons WeblogIn Japan, a project called the "Intellectual Property Outline" started in July 2002 and includes some provisions that seek to accomplish many of the same goals as the Creative Commons. While it is clear they were not influenced by us directly, it's interesting to watch the convergence of alternate forms of copyright come from governments world-wide.So I hope we can make sure it "converges" in a world where divergence is quite common.Thanks for the pointer Andreas!

Lessig's new proposal »

So Larry may have been on the ropes for a few days, but he's back. He has a great proposal.Lawrence LessigHere is something you can do right now. In this NYT op-ed, I describe a proposal that would move more work into the public domain than a total victory in the Supreme Court would have. The basic idea is this: 50 years after a work has been “published,” a copyright owner would be required to pay a copyright tax. That tax should be extremely low--this proposal says $50, but it could be $1. If the copyright holder does not pay the tax for 3 years, then the work is forfeit to the public domain. If the copyright holder does pay the tax, then its contacting agent would be made a matter of public record. Very quickly we would have a cheap, searchable record, of what work is controlled and what work is free. If Justice Breyer is right that only 2% of the work from the initial period affected by the Sonny Bono Act continues to have any commercial value at all, then this proposal would mean that all but 2% will move into the public domain within three years. And as the proposal applies to all work that is more than 50 years old, it would apply to a much larger range of work than would have been affected had we prevailed in the Supreme Court. This could give us (almost) everything we wante--98% of the public domain that our framers intended. Not bad for government work.There is an FAQ about the proposal. Also found the infoAnarchy International movement to save the Public Domain on Boing Boing.

Eldred loses - the bad guys win again »

Poor Larry. But I think Larry's right. MAYBE this will get people to realize that the default path is that we are stripped of our rights. I hope people get pissed off and get up off their damn butts and do something about it. Larry's not giving up.APJustices Uphold Copyrights in a Victory for Walt DisneyBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFiled at 10:21 a.m. ETWASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld longstanding copyrights designed to protect the profits of songs, books and cartoon characters, a huge victory for Disney and other companies.The 7-2 ruling, while not unexpected, was a blow to Internet publishers and others who wanted to make old books available online and use the likenesses of a Mickey Mouse cartoon and other old creations without paying high royalties[...]The Constitution ``gives Congress wide leeway to prescribe `limited times' for copyright protection and allows Congress to secure the same level and duration of protection for all copyright holders, present and future,'' Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said from the bench.[...]Congress passed the copyright law after heavy lobbying from companies with lucrative copyrights.

Cory's book is available with no DRM »

YES! Cory also puts his money where his mouth is. Good for him!Lawrence LessigCory Doctorow’s brilliant novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, is out today. Buy it early and often. Cory’s book is also the very first to be offered initially both for sale and under a CreativeCommons license. That means you can also download it for free. As Cory describes it, “The entire text of my novel is available as a free download in a variety of standards-defined formats. No crappy DRM, no teasers, just the whole damned book.” But as he (and I) expect, once you...

Copyright guilty until proven innocent law for Japan reports Lessig »

Last night Larry Lessig asked me if I had read his blog entry about the new Japanese copyright law that will put the burden of proof on the defendant. I had, but I didn't blog it because it's sort of the same-old same-old. To me, what was interesting was how suprising it was to Larry. ;-) Of course it is a bad law and a stupid thing and I will now point out this stupidity and unfairness when I have the opportunity. But on reflection, I realize that I had recently gone through this with the National ID so I'm burned out.So... It's unfair. What do you do? Call your congressman? Nope. That doesn't work in Japan. Protest? No one cares. Write the paper? Nope. They're biased. Go to the bureaucrats? Sue the government? Get the signatures of all of the heads of all of the factions of the LDP and push on the cabinet? I tried that, it doesn't work. Vote? The problem is... Even if EVERYONE thinks something is stupid, you can't stop what has been set in motion. Having said that, there are the occasional journalists and writers who seem to be able to make a difference after a multi-year campaign, fighting in public, but it's quite an effort. The other problem is, there is no shortage of stupid laws. I feel like Bilbo taking on Saurons' army by himself. Arrgh. Sorry if I sound frustrated.

Prentice Hall To Publish Open Content Licensed Books »

Slashdot says: Prentice Hall To Publish Open Content Licensed BooksWow!

Broadband Media Distribution/Can't We All Get Along? »

Some notes and thoughts on Broadband Media Distribution/Can't We All Get Along?

Lessig/Yamagata/Ito discussion for Chuo Koron »

So yesterday's discussion with Hiroo Yamagata and Lawrence Lessig went well. It was a lot of fun and I think a constructive discussion. Hiroo was in good form. But he usually is... in person. ;-) He had written something negative about Mr. Ikeda in the afterward of translation of "The Future of Ideas" and had gotten in a dispute with Mr. Ikeda. He had just finished the battle and I guess they have both gotten over it now. Maybe Hiroo was just tired from that. I do generally agree with Hiroo's position, although maybe not the way he said it....

RIAA was right... not. »

Found this on Marc's Voice today...Mitch RatcliffeListen to your market, stupid internetnews.com writes: RIAA Was Right ... The Sky Is Falling. It appears the music industry's fears were justified; new figures show that e-commerce music sales are down 25 percent as file sharing and CD-burning become commonplace. Oh, come on. The RIAA wasn't right, instead the RIAA has alienated music audiences so much with the difficult and limited access to online music that sales dropped. It's not due to file sharing and CD-burning, it's because buying online is an even worse deal than buying CDs at the store, where sales...

Band Can't Sell Own Music on EBay »

This is yet another example of where things are headed. Although this is a "mistake" on eBay's part, the natural direction of the copyright laws and technologies is to make it difficult or impossible for individuals or independants to share their content using the tools provided to us by corporations against public domain. This "chilling effect", I believe, will just drive artists and consumers further and further away from these channels. Hopefully, blogs and other non-mass media will help other forms of entertainment to become popular which have more liberal attitudes towards copyright. I hope that stuff like The Sims...

Disney and MSN Join Forces »

(AP Photo)A dark shadow passes over the land as the forces of evil group and unite in the war of the copyrightThe Associated PressMicrosoft, Disney Unveil Release of Upgraded MSN Internet Service Stocked With Disney Content...

Eldred v. Ashcroft »

Think... think...I was supposed to see Lawrence Lessig a few weeks ago, but he cancelled the meeting because he was busy preparing his argument for the U.S. Supreme Court. I forgive you Lawrence. ;-) This is a very important case for the future of copyright. As the digital world and all of our blogging and links show that copyright is less important when everything is live, the copyright manufacturers are trying to push the law in the other direction. All hands on deck to prevent a serious step backwards in the way we think about information. I am doing my...

Support the EFF »

The EFF is one of the few organizations fighting on the issues of copyright and privacy in the US courts. They need our support more than ever. I just sent my contribution. If you care about the Net shouldn't you?...

Sick off the Music Industry »

Dan Gillmor Music Industry's Death Wish Dan Bricklin has looked closely at the numbers in the music industry, and suggests that the record companies are killing themselves by stamping out music downloads. He makes a compelling case in this essay. His bottom line: "Given the slight dip in CD sales despite so many reasons for there to be a much larger drop, it seems that the effect of downloading, burning, and sharing is one of the few bright lights helping the music industry with their most loyal customers. Perhaps the real reason for some of the drop in sales was...

The music industry's self-inflicted wounds »

This is EXACTLY the point I'm trying to make. Kenji Eno, my Japanese guest blogger and successful game creator wanted to become a musician, but became a game creator instead because there was more freedom in the game industry at the time. People who used to spend their money on CD's moved to spending money on the i-mode data packet bills. Creators and consumers / participants can switch formats. If the music industry continues to suck as a platform, I'm sure people will be happy to move on for awhile until it basically collapses. Music will never go away, but...

Recording Industry Attacks Internet to Stop Chinese Pirates »

This is scary in many ways. On the one hand, the Chinese are trying to "cleanse Yahoo". On the other hand, the RIAA is trying to cleanse the US of Chinese copyright pirates. The RIAA is attacking the Internet backbone. Andy Oram and I talked before about the idea that the Internet may break up into a bunch of networks, each with different rules and much less end-to-end connectivity. It feels like it is starting to happen. Maybe the great push for connectivity is going change to the great push for division. I guess alternative networks may emerge in the...

Dan Gillmor on Copyright »

Dan Gillmor blogs about the twisted logic and language that the entertainment industry is using to tilt the copyright debate in their favor. Dan Gillmor is a San Jose Mercury journalists and one of the first professional journalists with a blog. (Also, he'll be in Tokyo later this month...) If you can set the rules, you can win the contest. That's the major reason the entertainment cartel is winning the debate over copyright in the Digital Age. Average people are not part of the conversation, not in any way that matters. To the cartel and its chattel in the halls...

Hollywood's Private War For Social Control »

Another article about the war on copyright offenders in the US. Found on David Farber's IP list. It really does show how much money really matters I guess. The question for me is, where will all of the artists go. Will young people continue to want to become motion picture directors or musicians when it becomes more and more obvious that it is a very regulated business controlled by lawyers, the FBI and politicians? Their recent actions show that they are not protecting "artists" but the ability for large corporations to "monetize" artists. Is the finally a chance for the...

Another BAD copyright bill being created in US »

TCS: Tech - Tipping Their Hand Tipping Their Hand By Glenn Harlan Reynolds 08/07/2002 For years now, I've been saying that the record industry's long-term legislative strategy had less to do with preventing copying than with sewing up the market to ensure that Big Entertainment companies won't have to worry about competition from independent artists. It looks like I've just been proven right. The proof comes in the form of a bill sponsored by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) that would make it a crime to fool "digital rights management" systems, even if doing so were for a legal purpose. Here's...

American Movie, Record and Software Execs Could Go to Jail in Australia »

theage.com.au - The Age spotted on boing boing American movie, recording and software executives could be prohibited from entering Australia or extradited to face criminal charges if a copyright protection bill before the US Congress passes into law. Californian Democrat congressman Howard Berman has proposed legislation to deal with the rising tide of copyrighted works illicitly traded over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as KaZaA. Berman's bill immunises copyright holders from civil litigation or criminal prosecution if they invade US PCs connected to the international P2P networks to take down their own copyrighted materials. But the global nature of P2P networks...

Suddenly a JPEG Patent and Licensing Fee »

From Slashdot: Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday July 18, @01:06PM from the where-have-I-heard-this-before. dept. Michael Long writes "Forgent Networks (www.forgentnetworks.com) has announced that it owns the software patent on JPEG compression technology, and has stated that it is "in contact" with computer, software, camera, and other digital imaging product manufacturers regarding licensing terms. This ambush of the digitial imaging industry will probably stand as the worst public relations nightmare a company can inflict upon itself." Thanks for sending this Sen. This is pretty intense. I wonder if this is the product of some vulture capitals, was planned from the beginning,...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

Category Archives

Monthly Archives