Intellectual property issues such as copyrights, patents, trademarks,
peer to peer networks, sampling and digital rights technology have a
profound impact on many aspects of society. Interbeing provides links
to emerging IP stories with a focus on law, technology and culture.
Internet Explorer losing market share
use jumped from 8 percent to 18 percent between January and September. The new release of Firefox 1.0 is close to 1 million downloads in its first 10 days. This shows that Open Source products can be compete on the desktop, as well as on the server.
Amazon and Netflix hit by patent suit
There seems to be no end to the patents coming out of the woodwork that cover common internet functionality. From Microsoft patenting "tabbed browsing
" to this latest suit by BTG
over tracking site visitors, it's hard for me to understand how anyone can believe that such patents are for the greater good.
Don't ask for whom the patent tolls, it tolls for RFID
The RFID consortium's attempt to create license-free standards hit a bump in the road today
. Intermec Technologies
announced it would seek royalties for a patent they hold related to the Electronic Product Code Generation 2 standard, an important new protocol that takes care of some compatibility problems and other technical glitches. Up until now, participating companies had been donating intellectual property in order to create open standards from which all could profit. It seems that Intermec decided it was in their own best interests to make a different move.
Cap Gemini report on Microsoft vs. Open Source not exacly independent
Microsoft recently hired Cap Gemini to evaluate the relative cost vs. benefits between a Microsoft and an Open Source solution for Newham, a London burough. Not surprisingly, the "independent" report recommended a 100% Microsoft solution. The Newham council ended up signing
a ten year, £5 million deal with Microsoft.
Guess what. It has now been reported
that Cap Gemini used unverified data supplied by Microsoft to calculate its findings. Hmm. Do you think it's possible that the data wasn't completely objective?
RIAA Sued. Turnabout is fair play.
The litigious Recording Engineering Association of America is one of the targets of a suit by Altnet
, a P2P technology company. The lawsuit revolves around the RIAA's use of Altnet's patented technology
which allows bogus files to be matched with files requested by users of P2P networks.
Ruling equates sampling with theft
Straight from Music City, USA, comes a court ruling
so restrictive that even a 2 second sample from a reording is considered to be protected under copyright law. This is lunacy!
Play just about any song from the Top 40 pop or country charts, and you can find beats, melodies, chord progressions and rhythms that have been lifted from prior works. Just about every artist collaborates to some degree with those who have come before them. The public benefits by a liberal policy that allows for the maximum level of creative freedom. I don't believe that a case could be made that allowing sampling will hurt the original artist in any way. If anything, a new audience might be attracted to the original content from which the sample was captured.
Top Censored Stories of 2004
Liberal Media? I don't think so. This year's list
of the most censored stories was just released. Major media continues to focus its limited attention span on sound bites and ratings instead of substantive issues.