- Copying, content and communism +/-
(BBC) Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, has been talking about the digital future. The other Bill, technology critic Bill Thompson, has been reading between the lines. Bill Gates thinks I'm a communist. Not the old-fashioned state socialist, but a 'new modern-day sort of communist', the sort who 'want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and movie-makers and software makers'. He clearly thinks that those of us who are concerned about the restrictions on creativity placed in our way by the extension of intellectual property law, and those who oppose software patents, pose a serious danger to the US economy and Microsoft's profitability.
- EU - Not-so-golden oldies +/-
(Economist) Over the next few decades a torrent of the most popular tracks from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many other artists will become public property in Europe, to the pleasure of fans and the consternation of the music industry. Music executives want the European Commission to protect them from unwelcome competition by extending the copyright term. Artists have rallied to the cause: Sir Cliff Richard, U2, Status Quo and Charles Aznavour all want the 50-year limit increased. The music industry points out that America gives artists almost twice as much copyright protection as Europe. America has repeatedly lengthened copyright terms, now giving performers protection for 95 years after publication.
- Online Groups Brag About Movie Piracy +/-
(AP) In not-too-secret online forums, Wesley Snipes' latest movie, 'Blade: Trinity,' is the subject of intense discussion and evaluation. But unlike typical movie fan sites, the chatter from visitors to Web sites like VCDQuality.com doesn't key on the vampire film's plot, acting or bloody visual effects. Instead, computer users dish out praise or criticism on the caliber of video and sound achieved by online groups whose sole mission is to make available unauthorized copies of Hollywood films within a day or two of a movie's debut, if not before.
- US - Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World +/-
(Harvard Law School) Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The Digital Media Project released a new report assessing how the digitization of music and movies has transformed not only businesses but copyright law and the idea of intellectual property. The report updates a whitepaper, released originally in 2003, to reflect major areas of change. In addition to new lawsuits and proposed legislation, one of the major developments since 2003 lies in international policy changes. The White Paper includes an International Supplement that offers an overview of the most fundamental shifts.
- US - Software firms want copyright law rewrite +/-
(CNET News.com) by Declan McCullagh. A group of large software companies has taken the first step toward a tussle with the telecommunications industry by asking Congress to rewrite copyright law so alleged Internet pirates can be more easily targeted by lawsuits. The Business Software Alliance, counts as members Microsoft, Autodesk, Borland, Intuit, Sybase and Symantec, has released a white paper that effectively describes its legislative proposals for 2005. The companies say they fear a revenue-sapping future in which software programs are traded as frequently and readily on peer-to-peer networks as MP3 music files are today.