It's conventional wisdom that copyright law doesn't keep up with technology. How could it? And yet the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, in its decision Monday in the Cablevision DVR case, somehow made the leap into the Web 2.0 world without tripping over 32-year-old provisions of the main federal copyright statute. It's an important ruling that has intriguing implications for products and services with recording features, potentially extending to Web-based companies the protection that the Supreme Court gave to home recorders.
Continue reading The Cablevision DVR ruling »
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has taken a lot of flak since he announced last week that the commission was ready to rule that Comcast improperly interfered with BitTorrent traffic. The Wall Street Journal's editorial board groused that Martin, a Republican, was "poised to expand government regulation of the Internet." Fellow Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate accused Martin and the commission's two Democrats, Jonathan Adelstein and Michael J. Copps, of "issuing broad mandates to protect the few" instead of looking out for average Internet users and intellectual property owners. ("By requiring ISPs to `carefully tailor' their network management practices, I am concerned that we will potentially be
stripping them of the important tools they use—and we need-- to purge their
platforms of illegal content which negatively impacts every type of intellectual
property, from software to pharmaceuticals to of course, songwriters and motion
pictures." Who knew that counterfeit medicines were made through file sharing?) And the third Republican on the FCC, Robert McDowell, complained, "For the first time, today our government is choosing regulation over collaboration when it comes to Internet governance. The majority has thrust politicians and bureaucrats into engineering decisions."
But it's worth remembering the difference between what Comcast actually did and what its defenders seem to think it did.
Continue reading The FCC's Comcast decision »
Here's a value proposition for you: a subscription music service that lets you download 88 MP3s a month for a little less than $3. And you thought eMusic was a good deal.... The catch is, you have to be in China to subscribe. And in China, music fans aren't used to paying anything for MP3s.
Continue reading R2G, IODA launch music service in China »