ip/tech round-up

So many interesting IP/tech stories to follow & things to read, squeezing in updates between political polls … must link appropriately later, but for now will just jot, a way to organize my fevered mind:

  • The Lessig blog spanked Richard Epstein for his “why open source is unsustainable” article. … I’m wishing I had thought of a different way to say that.
  • Did I mention that I love NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer? He’s looking into the record labels.
  • Kahle v. Ashcroft oral arguments postponed.
  • The new HBO copy protection scheme.
  • The Induce Act died. The ensuing legislative paste-up (HR 4077) also died. For now. Stay tuned for CDBTPA/Induce/HR 4077 II: Copyright Über All (alternate title: Return of Copyright)
  • Podcasting. … Apparently it’s a new Big Deal, and folks are concerned about the legal liabilities of podcasting copyrighted music. I will probably regret saying this at some point when I am shown the error of my ways, but how is this different (copyright liability-wise) from MP3 blogs? I mean, assuming that in either case the podcast / mp3blog is disseminating copyrighted files (probably music) that the copyright owner hasn’t authorized. What the hell, I don’t even really know what it is right now, although I can sort of guess from the name. But that’s why it’s on my list — an issue I’m tracking.
  • Disney is being sued over Peter Pan. How delightful to see the myriad ironies of copyright bite Disney on the ass.
  • Rosa Parks. Not likely to make significant law, but another example of IP laws interfacing (negatively) with our most valuable and esteemed cultural and historical signifiers. The NYT article from 10/18 briefly explains how the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development [co-founded by Elaine Steele] is suing OutKast & its publisher over its song, “Rosa Parks,” which protests the recording industry’s treatment of artists. The references to Rosa Parks are (a) the title; and (b) the line, “Ah ha, hush that fuss; Everybody move to the back of the bus.” The Institute is suing OutKast for right of publicity, trademark and defamation. (!) Her family states that Ms. Parks would not approve of the lawsuit.
  • A couple of interesting take-down experiments in the last few months. One recently involved, I think, a hotmail account sending fake C&Ds to ISPs where public domain works were posted (by the C&D senders, under other addresses). Not surprisingly the works were removed. The other experiment was several months ago, as I recall, and was one recognizably public domain work, also taken down. And the Free Expression Policy Project studied the Chilling Effects database to see takedown outcomes.
  • The DOJ last week (was it only last week? maybe 10 days ago) vowed to fight, fight, fight against those evil IP rights infringers. … Hey, whatever happened to the anthrax senders? [DOJ Report of the DOJ Task Force on IPashcroft remarkspress release]
  • The Supreme Court denied cert in Verizon. Ha.
  • All these fun cases: Grosso v. Miramax, 9th Circuit (unsolicited script leads to implied contract leads to potential claim for copyright infringement! yikes)
  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette v. Brantley, Arkansas Supreme Court. Copyright is hurting America.
  • And did I mention Jon Stewart and his delightful CNN Crossfire interview? Media criticism done ju-u-u-st right.
  • Voting technology issues galore. Waay too many to list here.
  • The Chinese “happy birthday” trademark which was posted several places, including EFF and umm I think Guiding Rights. Not as upsetting as it initially sounds but still — absurd!Can’t some TM office just say NO to silly, silly trademarks like this?
  • Indymedia got their servers back but is still trying to figure out just what the hell really happened.
  • Oral arguments in the webcasting royalty rates case.
  • FTC decided to go after spyware. [hat tip to Susan Crawford, 10/16]
  • I love the ALA, Public Knowledge, and others, who have challenged the FCC’s jurisdiction to impose a broadcast flag.

… hat tips to copyfight and eff deep links and susan crawford and guiding rights and a bunch of other fabulous blogs all linked under info blogs …