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The Internet

Globe and Mail on Kazaa vs. RIAA

Today's Globe and Mail editorial offered up its own comments on the Kazaa vs. RIAA settlement last week, and offered the following conclusion

"Whatever the mix of benefit and injury, if copyright is to mean anything, it should be enforceable on the copyright holder's terms. It's good to see another Wild West renegade acknowledge that."

Unfortunatly that argument wins frequently with more than just copyright. It results in daycares being sued for painting pictures of Mickey Mouse, or companies with domain names like volvo-tuning.com which specialize in Volvos losing their domain because Volvo asserts its trademark "rights". Books, films and music get routinely suppressed, all in the name of Intellectual Property.

Lawsuits threaten to chill online freedom of expression

(Additional information on p2pnet)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2006

Lawsuits threaten to chill online freedom of expression

TORONTO, ONTARIO and LAKE COWICHAN, BRITISH COLUMBIA - In May, one of the Internet's most notorious companies, and one of its most controversial personalities, sued a blogger from this tiny community on Vancouver Island. Sharman Networks, the Australia-based owner of the KaZaA file-sharing application, and Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming, launched a suit against Canadian Jon Newton, alleging that an article he posted to his Web site p2pnet.net, and readers' comments in response to it, were libelous. The plaintiffs also demanded the identity of the anonymous posters.

Wired: The Rise and Fall of the Hit

A Wired article by Chris Anderson in their July 2006 issue includes a discussion of the "long tail" and the belief that "The era of the blockbuster is so over. The niche is now king, and the entertainment industry – from music to movies to TV – will never be the same".

This will hopefully spell the end of the dominance of the major labels and major studios, paving the way for a more vibrant and competitive marketplace for entertainment. In my case I've always believed that what is good for the incumbent monopolists is bad for the industry as a whole, whether that industry is entertainment or any other marketplace.

Puretracks strikes out

Recently, a friend sent me a code that would enable me to download a single song at no cost from Puretracks.com. When discussing the junction between the digital world and copyright, I've often suggested that I would use a site like iTunes or Puretracks, if and only if they worked properly for me. Since I would be spending play money rather than my own real money, I decided to give it a whirl!

First and foremost, their web user interface isn't the shiniest penny in the bunch. There were a number of instances where I could swear I put a track into my basket, but when I followed the link to my basket, it was not there. Refreshing the page didn't help either, the only solution was to navigate to the shopping basket page via the "my account" page.

CBA Denounces Surveillance Bill

This Skyck article by Drew Wilson includes:

While many concerns have been raised over what was in Bill C-60, concerns are starting to surface over what was specifically in Bill C-74. These concerns come from the CBA (Canadian Bar Association).
...
According to the open letter, there was a concern over "a trend by internet service providers (ISPs) to monitor or investigate their customers' communications, similar to proposals in Bill C-74 from the 38th session of Parliament, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act

Watching the World Cup -- in China

Like many other people in Canada, I've been watching as much World Cup (soccer) as possible. Today, I manage to squeeze in part of a match during the lunch hour and the tail end of the Italy/Ukraine match. Since the games are on during the work day (in my time zone), I've entertained the notion of watching streaming feeds. Another person has made the same decision, choosing to use a set of streams out of China.

This seems like a typical story of trial and tribulation where the author finally resorts to a questionable method when all reasonable attempts to legitimately acquire the content fail.

'Deep packet inspection' tools allow Internet service providers to direct traffic

Jack Kapica of the Globe and Mail introduces the "net neutrality".

Bandwidth shaping is shaping up to be a bitter fight, promises Philippa Lawson of the University of Ottawa's Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. "It's nothing less than a battle for the future of the Internet."

I sent in the following letter to the editor which explains my views.

The debate over traffic shaping is like the debate over other technical measures. The question needs to be: who owns the thing that the technical measure is being applied to, and is the technical measure protecting the interests of the owner or protecting the interests of a third party.

Indie-Rock Revolution, Fueled by Net Neutrality

An article on SaveTheInternet.com, set up as part of the discussion in the USA about network neutrality, includes the following :

“For musicians, net neutrality means they should have the unfettered ability to make their work available to potential fans without undue interference from corporate gatekeepers. Similarly, music fans should have the ability to access this music via a range of legitimate business models. Net neutrality also ensures the continued innovation that has spurred the growth of the indie sector, the transition to a legitimate digital economy and, more widely, consumer adaptation of broadband services.

The attack on neutrality is just the latest attempt to put the Internet genie back in the bottle, with technological mandates like the DMCA (1996 WIPO treaties) and the "broadcast flag" type legislation being far more harmful. Hopefully the growing number of musicians releasing songs about these issues will be heard over the static of the old-economy lobby groups (CRIA/RIAA,etc).

Links to friends, foes fair game on the Internet

This Toronto Star article by Michael Geist (See homepage version) includes:

In the case of Captain Copyright, it is irrelevant whether the citation comes from a critical blogger or a supportive school board (a number of boards, including the Halton District School Board, linked to the site only to remove their links once the controversy erupted). Permission is not needed to link on the Internet and it cannot be denied in legal terms and conditions.

Ottawa Citizen article on the Government 2.0 Think Tank: Passion for progress

An Ottawa Citizen article by Peter Hum discusses the Government 2.0 Think Tank.

Cormier has attracted other public servants who share his desires and are willing to spend their own time furthering their common cause. As well, private-sector participants, especially those who embrace the open-source spirit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, are signing up for G2TT. Some were already members of GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic Into Governments), an Ottawa group that wants to change the way Canadian governments buy and develop software.

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