Nov 08, 2000

Who defines the rules for the Net ring?
Free Speech
11/8/2000; 11:34:57 AM

'WE ARE USED to thinking of censorship as something governments do. But on the Internet of late, censorship appears to be more of a private enterprise.In the last two weeks, we've looked at AT&T@Home's termination of several different Internet accounts that belonged to Wesley and Digital Convergence's proprietary claims on its CueCat; both actions demonstrate the newfound power of big companies to enforce commercial censorship. Although different situations in many respects, @Home and Digital Convergence both successfully used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get their rather dubious intellectual property claims upheld....

'One final, gloomy note: This is all happening without UCITA being the law in any of the relevant states. If you combine UCITA -- and its ability to enforce such things as shrinkwrap terms prohibiting product criticism and reverse engineering -- with the DMCA, what will we have? I fear it could be a form of censorship that will make the most despotic governments exceedingly envious.'

p.s.: No election news!

Nov 07, 2000

Court lets company pursue download patent rights
Patents11/7/2000; 12:12:35 PM 'E-Data, which says it owns the technology that allows information to be distributed via the Web, will be allowed to continue its legal bid to collect royalties from scores of Web sites. 'The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit threw out late Friday a lower court's decision that E-Data's patent did not entitle the company to charge fees to the thousands of sites that sell downloads of video games, music and other products online....'The case had at one time been closely watched because, had the courts agreed with E-Data's interpretation of the patent laws, tens of thousands of sites might have owed the company royalties for software downloads.'Yes, all of those tens of thousands of sites that dare use the Internet to do the non-obvious: Move data from one place to another. Damn, I wish I thought of that!

Nov 06, 2000

Calif. Shuts 'Nader Trader' Vote Swap Web Sites
Political Speech11/6/2000; 9:18:47 PM 'California authorities have shut down a vote swap web site aimed at so-called ``Nader traders'' -- people in battleground states who agree to vote for Democrat Al Gore if someone in a less contested state votes for the Green Party's Ralph Nader.'``We did notify the site manager that they were in violation ofCalifornia election law and they did need to cease activities onthe Web site, and they complied,'' Shad Balch, a spokesmanfor California Secretary of State Bill Jones, said Tuesday.'Old news, from Oct. 31, 2000. Interesting because vote trading may or may not be legal, depending on what state you are in and how that state interprets its own laws. California laws shut down a nation-wide website.

Nov 06, 2000

After Napster Deal, BMG Execs Depart
Music & MP3
11/6/2000; 11:10:01 AM

'Just days after German media giant Bertelsmann formed an alliance with Napster, BMG Entertainment's two top executives have announced that they're leaving....

'Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff said the timing of the Napster deal and the BMG resignations was coincidental. However, Zelnick had been an outspoken critic of Napster as late as July, when at a conference in Los Angeles, he compared Napster users to thieves.'

Yeah... aren't those sort of resignations always coincidental? Take that as you may...

Nov 05, 2000

Carpe Diem
11/5/2000; 8:36:15 PM I'm proud to welcome Carpe Diem to LinkBack.

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