Just when the strong IP crowd thought they’d put in place their draconian system in France, the forgotten principles such as law and justice intervene:
French Council Defangs Plan to Crack Down on Internet Piracy
By ERIC PFANNER
PARIS — The highest constitutional body in France on Wednesday defanged the government’s plan to cut off the Internet connections of digital pirates, saying the authorities had no right to do so without obtaining court approval.
The decision, by the Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation approved by Parliament before it goes into effect, is a major setback for the music and movie industries, which had praised the French law as a model solution to the problem of illegal file-sharing.
Gotta love this spin by the French anti-Culture minister, as covered at ARS:
But none of that stopped French Culture Minister Christine Albanel, the woman in charge of pushing the government-backed bill into law, from declaring victory, of a sort.
In a statement issued yesterday, Albanel said that the ruling pleased her because “the principle of a pedagogical device to stop piracy was validated.” Sure, there were some minor problems—like the fact that the whole setup violated the 1789 Rights of Man—but such defects can be corrected.
A book about the broader effects of piracy that is next on my reading list gets a write up over at Ars. I have made many posts at TLF and IP Central weblog about the informational value of black markets and grey markets, a very interesting subject. It seems that there is much of interest for those looking at the intersection of web 2.0 and the production of cultural goods in this work:
Hat tip: Tim Lee
Ars Book Review: “The Pirate’s Dilemma”
Published: May 14, 2008 – 11:48PM CT
The strength of street knowledge
The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism (buy)
Matt Mason (blog)
Continue reading “Where’s the dilemma..?”
The case of the man who sued his drycleaners for 67 million dollars has nothing on the RIAA, who is suing the Russian web site allofmp3.com for 1.65 trillon dollars. This exceeds the entire GDP of Russia. If they succeeded in this lawsuit and were somehow able to collect, the income from this lawsuit alone would be greater the the income of the recording industry from all other sources since the recording industry came into existence.
As reported by wikipedia:
On December 18, 2006, the RIAA, on behalf of EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group filed a US$1.65 trillion lawsuit against the site. That equates to US$150,000 for each of 11 million songs downloaded between June to October 2006, and exceeds Russia’s entire GDP. $150,000 is the statutory limit for copyright infringement awards in the United States. Allofmp3 responded to the lawsuit saying “AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.”.
Continue reading “But what will the RIAA do with all the nukes…?”
Some new developments that reinforce an observation I’d made that the emerging world-wide IP landscape will become one that is divided into two differing regimes. One, centered on the USA, is built on strong restrictions on the free transfer of certain types of information. The two cornerstones of this restricted space are the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and overbroad patent protections. While software patents, a particularly pernicious form of overbroad patent protections, have gotten much attention, the real backbone of this restricted space is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which codifies criminal prosecution for the transfer of certain types of information, even to the extent that many types of speech, formerly thought by many to be protected by the First Amendment, have been criminalized.
The other economic space will be marked by freedom of information transfer, and it will develop into the place that innovative software development, digital content creation and design will occur. Historically, the first two of these fields had been dominated by America, and America still has many advantages over other regions in these fields, but is risking those advantages by adhering to such restrictive measures as the DMCA. This is a minority opinion, at present.
Continue reading “Exporting Restrictions, Importing Poverty”
Well, as expected, another country has joined Thailand in threatening to “break the patent” for Merck’s Efavirenz. Bloomberg has some reporting of the dispute, and it’s filled with sideways adjectives describing the dispute in a quite stilted way. But this is to be expected, after all someone is trying to buck the patent system which is part of TRIPS. Regarding Thailand’s initial efforts to negotiate a better price for Efavirenz, I had observed earlier that Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla is amazingly stupid or, in the unthinkable alternative, the Financial Times is biased and it is clear that the unthinkable alternative is the one that is aligned with reality. So here we go again.
But the real bias in this reporting comes mainly from what is omitted, rather than what is said. For example, from this reporting it seems that Brazil just pulled the price of 65 cents a pill out of thin air when they were just asking for the exactly the same price Thailand is getting. You can think what you want about what Brazil is doing, but it is crystal clear that Bloomberg is withholding relevant information. There’s also some basic background missing, which I’ll supply from another source below the fold.
Continue reading “Brazil Moves Forward”
If an important story concerning an issue of manifest public concern shows up in the New York Times only five years after its been written about in many well-researched books, is it still really a newspaper? Don’t we maybe need another word? What about all those images in the popular culture of newspapers rushing to ‘scoop’ the competition, to be first with a breaking story?
Continue reading “Is it a newspaper?”