Corante

AUTHORS

Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Jason Schultz
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Wendy Seltzer
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile )

Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

COPYFIGHTERS
a Typical Joe
Academic Copyright
Jack Balkin
John Perry Barlow
Benlog
beSpacific
bIPlog
Blogaritaville
Blogbook IP
BoingBoing
David Bollier
James Boyle
Robert Boynton
Brad Ideas
Ren Bucholz
Cabalamat: Digital Rights
Cinema Minima
CoCo
Commons-blog
Consensus @ Lawyerpoint
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyfutures
Copyright Readings
Copyrighteous
CopyrightWatch Canada
Susan Crawford
Walt Crawford
Creative Commons
Cruelty to Analog
Culture Cat
Deep Links
Derivative Work
Detritus
Julian Dibbell
DigitalConsumer
Digital Copyright Canada
Displacement of Concepts
Downhill Battle
DTM:<|
Electrolite
Exploded Library
Bret Fausett
Edward Felten - Freedom to Tinker
Edward Felten - Dashlog
Frank Field
Seth Finkelstein
Brian Flemming
Frankston, Reed
Free Culture
Free Range Librarian
Michael Froomkin
Michael Geist
Michael Geist's BNA News
Dan Gillmor
Mike Godwin
Joe Gratz
GrepLaw
James Grimmelmann
GrokLaw
Groklaw News
Matt Haughey
Erik J. Heels
ICANNWatch.org
Illegal-art.org
Induce Act blog
Inter Alia
IP & Social Justice
IPac blog
IPTAblog
Joi Ito
Jon Johansen
JD Lasica
LawMeme.org
Legal Theory Blog
Lenz Blog
Larry Lessig
Jessica Litman
James Love
Alex Macgillivray
Madisonian Theory
Maison Bisson
Kevin Marks
Tim Marman
Matt Rolls a Hoover
miniLinks
Mary Minow
Declan McCullagh
Eben Moglen
Dan Moniz
Napsterization
Nerdlaw
NQB
Danny O'Brien
Open Access
Open Codex
John Palfrey
Chris Palmer
Promote the Progress
PK News
PVR Blog
Eric Raymond
Joseph Reagle
Recording Industry vs. the People
Lisa Rein
Thomas Roessler
Seth Schoen
Doc Searls
Seb's Open Research
Shifted Librarian
Doug Simpson
Slapnose
Slashdot.org
Stay Free! Daily
Sarah Stirland
Swarthmore Coalition
Tech Law Advisor
Technology Liberation Front
Teleread
Siva Vaidhyanathan
Vertical Hold
Kim Weatherall
Weblogg-ed
David Weinberger
Matthew Yglesias

LINKABLE + THINKABLE
AKMA
Timothy Armstrong
Bag and Baggage
Charles Bailey
Beltway Blogroll
Between Lawyers
Blawg Channel
bk
Chief Blogging Officer
Drew Clark
Chris Cohen
Crawlspace
Crooked Timber
Daily Whirl
Dead Parrots Society
Delaware Law Office
J. Bradford DeLong
Betsy Devine
Dispositive
Ben Edelman
EEJD
Ernie the Attorney
FedLawyerGuy
Foreword
How Appealing
Industry Standard
IP Democracy
IPnewsblog
IP Watch
Dennis Kennedy
Rick Klau
Wendy Koslow
Kuro5hin.org
Elizabeth L. Lawley
Jerry Lawson
Legal Reader
Likelihood of Confusion
Chris Locke
Derek Lowe
Misbehaving
MIT Tech Review
NewsGrist
OtherMag
Paper Chase
Frank Paynter
PHOSITA
Scott Rosenberg
Scrivener's Error
Jeneane Sessum
Silent Lucidity
Smart Mobs
Trademark Blog
Eugene Volokh
Kevin Werbach

ORGANIZATIONS
ARL
Berkman @ Harvard
CDT
Chilling Effects
CIS @ Stanford
CPSR
Copyright Reform
Creative Commons
DigitalConsumer.org
DFC
EFF
EPIC
FIPR
FCC
FEPP
FSF
Global Internet Proj.
ICANN
IETF
ILPF
Info Commons
IP Justice
ISP @ Yale
NY for Fair Use
Open Content
PFF
Public Knowledge
Shidler Center @ UW
Tech Center @ GMU
U. Maine Tech Law Center
US Copyright Office
US Dept. of Justice
US Patent Office
W3C


Copyfight

Monthly Archives

April 28, 2006

Follow the Money

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Paul Graham cynically pointed out that once there's money involved, lawsuits will happen, regardless of patents. He might as well have said the same thing about DRM. Everyone's favorite target, Sony, is now on the receiving end of a lawsuit claiming that the corporate giant has been ripping off artists on the proceeds of digital download sales.

At present the suit is just a few bands but is seeking class-action status, which could lead to a lot of artists claiming that they didn't get their rightful shares. Specific charges are that Sony has been passing on a mere 4.5 cents of its 70 cent take from selling a downloaded single. Claimants The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick assert that they were due to get 30 cents.

The question of whether the higher rate is due depends on whether you think the download is more like a license for use (such as in a movie or TV show) - expensive - or more like a CD sale - cheap. The artists claim the former; Sony is claiming the latter.

At this point, those of you who have been following along should be sitting up like me and saying "Wait, isn't the point of the DRM on downloaded tunes precisely to enforce licensing terms?" And "Wait, isn't the consumer complaint about DRM that it restricts them from doing with downloaded music what they're allowed to do with CD tracks? Hmmmm. Seems to me that's pretty much de facto evidence that the download is indeed much more like the license for use than it is like the CD. If in court the plaintiffs use and the judge buys this reasoning it's going to be sweet irony.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:

April 27, 2006

Public Citizen Sounds Alarm on Trademark Bill

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Paul Alan Levy of the Public Citizen Litigation Group sent out a letter pointing his readers to an ongoing debate in Editor & Publisher on the topic of HR 683, the "Trademark Dilution Revision Act." Levy has, for some time, been trying to draw attention to provisions in this bill that will strip the defense of noncommercial use from defendants in trademark infringement cases.

The first item is a column by Steven Yahn that went online last weekend describing some of the problems Public Citizen and others see in the bill: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/shoptalk_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002384406

That column was followed by two letters from lawyers and Yahn's reply, which gets into some pretty gritty details of the bill's wording:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002385861

Finally, a response appeared midweek from the International Trademark Association, which Levy identifies as "the bill's main private sector sponsor." That was followed by a response by Levy:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002423272

Part of the point made by Levy is that people are commenting without reading the original bill, which I haven't done, so I'll refrain from adding my own commentary here. If you can wade through it and want to add something I'd appreciate that.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations

April 26, 2006

Did Patents Harm Microsoft?

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Another big thinker whom I respect even when I disagree with him: John Dvorak. His latest is a piece in PC Magazine in which he calls Internet Explorer an "albatross" and a "costly gaffe." The piece is more about business strategy than Copyfight issues, buit it touches on the part played by the Eolas patents and their impact on Microsoft's core business (which is selling Windows everywhere to everyone for everything). In essence, Dvorak argues that by building and then deeply tying IE into Windows, Microsoft opened itself up to a whole range of new attacks, including patent litigation.

I think Dvorak overstates his case when he claims that all of Microsoft's legal problems stem from IE in some way (anyone besides me remember Burst?) but he's not too far off.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Big Thoughts

April 24, 2006