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RIAA Lobbyist, Drafter of DMCA, Now Judge in Patent Troll Cases

POSTED ON August 26th  - POSTED IN Intellectual Property, Law, Law, New Media Order, news, Opinion
Mike Masnick, CEO and founder of Techdirt

Mike Masnick, CEO and founder of Techdirt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, you read the headline right.  While I am not surprised to hear about such a tactic, I am still appalled.  According to Mike Masnick at TechDirt:

We’ve written about judge Beryl Howell a few times before. She’s the recently-appointed judge whose immediate job prior to that was as a lobbyist for the RIAA. Before that, she worked for the Judiciary Committee and was apparently a key player in drafting the DMCA. It seems pretty damn clear that she holds a strong viewpoint on the nature of copyright law and copyright infringement — but that hasn’t stopped her from taking those cases, even when her rulings appear to be exactly the opposite of nearly every other court. For example, while most courts have been throwing out copyright trolling lawsuits for improper joinder, Judge Howell had no problem with the practice and ordered various ISPs to cough up names based solely on IP addresses.

I wonder if the Pussy Riot trails inspired any of this sham version of justice?  Honestly, judges, lawyers, and politicians, this is why the public is becoming more and more sympathetic to organizations like Anonymous.  If the “legitimate” government and court systems become a scam only to serve lobbyist, corporations, and the élite, should you not expect a revolution?  How could this judge, having any semblance of mental stability, NOT remove himself from the case due to a conflict of interest? Are we supposed to believe that this is some type of justice and not simply a guise for corporate coersion and collection?

2012.06.04 – Tech Net News and Opinion

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2012.06.04 – Tech Net News and Opinion

Greetings listeners,

English: Wil Wheaton at the 2011 Phoenix Comic...

English: Wil Wheaton at the 2011 Phoenix Comicon in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to this week’s episode of Tech Net News and Opinion.  This week we accidentally/intentionally did things a bit differently.  For those of you who have been asking for more news and less music, you got it.  Brian, Knowles, Meshelly, Knunez (iPhone at Geekshed), OmniDragon and Lumpy start and end this week’s show with music but the rest is all news talk.

Remember listeners and readers, if you wish to participate, the way to do so is to get on over to the Geekshed IRC Network and join us in #indienation.  We do the news live almost every Monday from 8-10 PM EST.  (As a general rule, if a Monday is a holiday in the USA, we do NOT do the news.)  If you have items you think we should cover as news, shoot us an email at news@indienation.fm or tweet us @indienationfm.

2012.01.30 – Tech Net News and Opinion – 007

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Tech Net News and Opinion – Episode 007 – 2012.01.30

Greetings Listeners,

The Hush Now at The Roc Bar

Wi-Fi Signal logo
In this week’s episode of Tech Net News and Opinion, we discuss, Newt Gingrich being sued for IP law violations, a super hot X-ray laser, capturing Wi-Fi passwords and fake projects at Apple.  So tune in enjoy the music and our chat about the various news items.

SOPA and PIPA

POSTED ON January 19th  - POSTED IN site

Google did a “black out” doodle and Wikipedia shut down to bring attention to the two bills now making the rounds at Capital Hill. I got a few emails and one phone call, asking me if I intended to shut down Indie Nation as part of the protest. Frankly, I didn’t see any point to doing that, so know we were open for business on “American Censorship Day”.

Tech and Net – News and Opinion – Episode 001

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Google Music Launches

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

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 Purchase

Motorola Xoom + Atrix + Lapdock [49]

Image by bigdigo via Flickr

Following 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

Recording Industry Association of America

Image via Wikipedia

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

 

NYC signing September 1,2009 Nintendo Store - NYC

Image via Wikipedia

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:

The EFF lists even more who oppose this bill, “including Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, AOL and Mozilla”.

EFF_logo_notype_black

Image by ElectronicFrontierFoundation via Flickr

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 news@indienation.fm.

Google Don’t Link to Us… Wait… Why Did You Take the Links Down?

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Google Link War

Google's homepage in 1998

Image via Wikipedia

I had an ex-girlfriend who always used to say “be careful what you ask for because you may get just that”. That phrase seems to perfectly describe what this article at Techdirt is reporting.

A lawsuit going all the way back to 2006 filed by a group of Belgium newspapers complained that Google should be paying them when they link to their sites. After all it is intellectual copyrighted property. While that claim alone should raise an eyebrow, the courts actually ruled against Google. The court ordered Google to pay up and remove the links. Google did as the court ordered.

Less Than 10 Percent of Copyright Fees Gets to the Authors?

POSTED ON June 7th  - POSTED IN Copyright, Law, New Media Order, news, Opinion, Things that make you go hmmm
Intellectual Property symbol

Image via Wikipedia

TechDirt brings to our attention some disturbing news.  With all the intellectual property litigation going on and copyright fees increasing, one would think that the authors would be seeing fair share.  It seems, however, that at least in the case of Access Copyright, this may well not be the case.  The TechDirt article links to a post by Michael Geist who has some questions about a report from Access  Copyright.  Seems the math and reporting is very similar to the voodoo math of the RIAA.

The authors may well be getting less than 10 %.  The rest is eaten up in administrative expenses.  I think the Tech Dirt post sums this up nicely:

it does seem quite eye opening to find out that the group brought in $33.7 million last year, and only about $3.1 million of that went to authors directly, while $8.7 million went to administrative expenses. Kinda makes you wonder who Access Copyright is really representing.

While this author feels that litigation and legal expense are not taboo in the budget of companies associated with intellectual property, one has to wonder how much they budget for spreadsheet and accounting software.  Well that is my two cents which is likely more than I would earn for anything I might copyright.

RIAA and MPAA Back Legislation to Support Warrentless Searches of DVD Duplication Labs

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DVD-R bottom side

Image via Wikipedia

 

A post over at Boing! Boing! points to a disturbing article.  Wired is reporting that a California Senate Bill has already passed two committees.  This bill would make it legal for warrentless searches of CD and DVD plants legal.  The MPAA and the RIAA, in true form, are backing this bill.  The RIAA claims that 90 % of counterfeiting is done is such plants and that the sunshine state has 70 such facilities.  This author must note that the RIAA does not have a, shall we say, an undisputed track record regarding mathematics.

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