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Apr 11, 2001

Passport Licensing Changes
Privacy from Companies4/11/2001; 12:38:41 PM As I was one of the critics of Microsoft's Passport privacy policy, I feel a moral obligation to point out that while ETP was down, Microsoft did change the policy. However, it seems that all may still not be well. The end of Dan Gillmore's column today talks about it and also mentions a colloquium will be held at Stanford:'The terms are still not what you'd call consumer-friendly. And if you want to learn just how these kinds of terms get written, you may want to stop by Stanford University this afternoon for a colloquium where Jack Russo, a Silicon Valley lawyer who specializes in intellectual-property issues, will deconstruct the Microsoft document from several points of view.'Line up the 15 major points in the terms of use, Russo said Tuesday, and look at them from a consumer's side and Microsoft's side. ``They're 180 degrees apart,'' said Russo, of Russo & Hale in Palo Alto.'The colloquium is open to the public. It starts at 4:15 p.m. today in the NEC Auditorium, which is located in -- you guessed it -- the Gates Computer Science Building. It will also be available afterward in a streaming media format (www.stanford.edu/class/ee380/).'It looks like it will be in Windows Media Player format.


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Apr 11, 2001

Judge threatens 'disgraceful' Napster with closure - again
Music & MP34/11/2001; 12:30:29 PM Or, The Judge Who Wanted The Moon.'At issue is Napster's attempt to follow Judge Patel's 5 March order that the sharing of songs nominated by the Recording Industry Association of America should be blocked. The RIAA claimed that Napster hadn't complied with the order, and brought the company before the court to demand Napster explain itself. 'Napster's argument has been that it has tried to block the 135,000 songs named by RIAA on behalf of its members, and indeed had blocked 275,000 songs hidden behind 1.6 million filenames. It also said that some RIAA members had not provided enough information on filenames for it to carry out the court's order to the letter. 'A fair point, considering Judge Patel's ruling said the music industry had to do what it could to help Napster - and that included supplying filenames as well as song titles. 'Whatever the specifics of Judge Patel's advice to the recording companies, she clearly feels they have done all they need to and that the burden should fall upon Napster.'


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Apr 11, 2001

Europe To Adopt Strict Internet Copyright Law
DMCA
4/11/2001; 12:12:04 PM Details at the EU's site. I haven't gone over it with a fine-toothed comb (it would take a couple of days anyhow), but my intuitive take on it seems to be that they trumped the DMCA, tipping the so-called "balance" even further in favor of the content producers. It seems the idea that intellectual property exists for the purposes of improving society, not lining corporate pockets, is now an anachronistic idea to be paid lip service only.


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Apr 11, 2001

Why do we need privacy?
Surveillance and Privacy from Government4/11/2001; 11:38:36 AM This typical article on why we really don't need privacy is fairly uninteresting as is. The comments at the bottom are much more interesting. I think this one is particularly good.I'm noticing several commonalities in all anti-privacy articles:

Generally, I'm a generous person and will willingly grant that people who disagree with me have points, but just can't find the virtue in the position that privacy is unimportant.


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Apr 10, 2001

Jurors badly miscalculate MP3.com damages
Humor/Amusing4/10/2001; 9:27:14 AM 'Jurors inadvertently let MP3.com off the hook last week when they wrote down the wrong damages figure in a court case over copyright infringement. 'On Friday the eight female jurors in a New York court, including one maths teacher, ordered the online music giant to pay around $300,000 to record label TVT (Tee Vee Toons). MP3.com was ecstatic, issuing a press release today crowing over victory. TVT had been asking for $8.5 million - and in the last year MP3.com has paid out around $130 million over copyright struggles with record companies. 'But over the weekend red-faced jurors began informing US District Judge Jed Rakoff that they had messed.... '"This matter is far from obvious in how it should be adjudicated," the judge said today.'


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