This Video Explains How Patent Trolls Came to Be
If you listen to our news broadcasts here, you are very likely to hear stories about patent trolls and “copywrong” as Lumpy uses to refer to the current state of intellectual property law. It has reached the ridiculous point where trolls are laying claims to broad matters such as playlists and podcasting. This is about as logical as patenting the alphabet. The video below, explains how old law and new tech combined to create software patent trolls.
Google Music Launches
Although pretty much everywhere, I caught the news of this via my EnGadget RSS feed. Google Music has launched and offered over 8 million tracks the first day. The selection of music will soon increase to over 13 million.
While the music program has been known and in beta, there was speculation as to which and how many labels would be on board, EnGadget reports that 3 major labels and 23 independents have signed on.
In conversation, we discussed how the MPAA likely cost Hollywood more than Torrents, MP3 vs Physical Media, why do people pirate and how these items relate.
Motorola Approve Google PurchaseFollowing up on recent old news, more specifically the recent “Google bought Motorola” stories. First off, to clarify what I have too often heard, Google did not buy Motorola in entirety, specifically only Motorola Mobility. In Lumpy’s opinion, likely for patents to defend the Droid phone.
They announced sticking to a “hands off” approach regarding operations. The purchase, however likely, needed final approval from the “actual” owners of Motorola.
According to a post at Physorg.com, Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility was given final approval by the Motorola stock holders. The deal was valued at 12.5 billion dollars. Of note however, though no problem is expected, the regulators has still not officially approved this purchase.
RIAA Does Not Like The Used Digital Music Sale Business
This is one we may wish to file under “no surprise”… After all other than there outdated-make-no-sense-lobby-and-sue-to-make-it-our-way business model what part of the music business does the music industry actually love? This is the same organization that tried to stop 8-tracks, cassettes and used record stores for they were all certainly going to destroy the music business.
Thanks to the ingenious strategy of “sue em all” and total alienation of their customers, the Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity has kept this dying business alive for decades. Unfortunately, when they are done paying the organization’s officers, legal fees and lawyers, there is nothing left for the artists.
Slashdot points to a few good articles relevant to ReDigi, a company which is claiming to re-sell digital music. The RIAA has sent ReDigi a letter, more or less telling them to stop. This one should be an interesting one to follow. Will it reverse the decision of Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc. or will the industries stance of “first sale” win?
Unfortunately, with both the US legal system and the RIAA involved, one has no clue what a court may decide. While I am not too sure, “re-selling” digital media is actually legal. The case referenced was more specifically involving software not music… software purchased and physically resold. As for music, sooner or later a line must be drawn in the litigious sand that fills the litter box of the current war over content, distribution and ownership.
SOPA Not Well Liked By Many
Mike Masnick of TechDirt posted that many have been expressing a dislike for SOPA. The “Stop On-line Piracy Act” or H.R. 3261 is currently in committee hearings. One of the more popular news stories which came out of the public reaction to this potential law was “Free Justin Beiber”. The bill would make on-line streaming copyright offenses a felony, with up to 5 years prison time. Ironically, Beiber sent a cease and dessist order to Free Beiber which was started by Fight for the Future.
The TechDirt article lists the following as opposing this bill:
- Hacker News who has actually put up a site so that you can send representatives a letter.
- The ACLU regarding free speech issues
- The American Library Association as part of the Library Copyright Alliance
- Association of Research Libraries (PDF of letter) as part of the Library Copyright Alliance
- Human Rights Watch
- New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative
- The Competitive Enterprise Institute over due process concerns
- EFF – Has many articles on this topic
- Public Knowledge
- Consumers Union
- Consumer Federation of America
- US PIRG
- The Brookings Institution
- ESET over security concerns
The EFF lists even more who oppose this bill, “including Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, AOL and Mozilla”.
The process of approving this bill has also come under scrutiny, TechDirt discusses that the committee is perceived as biased and, add to that, those opposed to the bill have not been permitted to attend the hearings. The EFF has more on those who are not permitted to attend and states that many of those who are permitted to attend actually helped draft the bill.
An additional link was also brought up during the live discussion:
If you would like to participate in this show’s live discussion, contact us at 818-81-INDIE or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cautious Optimism Follows SOPA Hearings: Don’t Get Cocky (readwriteweb.com)
- SOPA copyright bill draws fire (news.cnet.com)
- TechFast: SOPA Backlash, Google’s Music Store, Tablet Wars (techland.time.com)
- Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act Now (dailyfinance.com)
- Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act Now (fool.com)
- ISPs versus SOPA: Anti-piracy bill could force severe privacy-invading measures (zdnet.com)
- Google Music debuts, with downloads and sharing (live blog) (news.cnet.com)
- Google Music debuts, with downloads and sharing (live blog) (news.cnet.com)
- How SOPA would affect you: FAQ (news.cnet.com)
- Tech Giants Take Out Newspaper Ad Blasting Net Censorship Proposition (ostatic.com)
- Google Buys Motorola (indienation.fm)
- RIAA goes after ReDigi for selling “used” iTunes tracks (electronista.com)
- T-Mobile may be part of Google Music launch (news.cnet.com)
Whole lotta letters it dat thur title eh? Kinda fancy smancy make me look smart kinda talk. Actually, it is much, much simpler than that. First off, what do all of those letters really mean?
- EFF – TheElectronic Frontier Foundation – These are the good guys, they beat up the RIAA (Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity), defend your privacy rights and even argue against DRM (that anti-piracy stuff that means you need a virgin sacrifice to transfer stuff from your iPod to your Zune. Since pirates don’t care and hack it regardless, it now stands for Don’t Really Matter). They are kind of old fashioned in the sense that they still believe in probable cause and due process, personal privacy and such. This is one major difference between them and those that follow… on to the rest of the “alphabet boys”
- FBI – That one, I reckon, many of you know as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, historically and supposedly one of the good guys who are supposed to protect and serve but, lately, they are seeking Gestapo-like authority
- DEA – Drug Enforcement Agency – Also, according to what I was taught in school, one of the good guys
- DOJ – Department of Justice – Pretty self descriptive, so much so that we even use the “o” in the acronym. Hate to confuse them with a DJ. Personally they seem mighty confused at the moment. How did this department ever get involved in spying? Shouldn’t they be more about due process and such?
Have you noticed that all of the letters above are supposed to be the good guys? Well, as my Uncle Fictitious used to always say “there is often a fine grey line between deception and total evil”. The issue has to do with encryption and privacy. For those of you who may not know it, encryption is a method of scrambling your data so that some needs a “key” to interpret it. If you don’t have the key, you get gibberish. Now any encryption can be hacked but, if the encryption is any good, it is a long, difficult and time-consuming process.