Oct 30, 2000

Librarians Slam Digital Copyright Ruling
10/30/2000; 12:56:59 PM 'But Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a prepared statement that he wanted to stress the importance of preserving the fair-use principle in the digital age. 'Billington also said that the ruling specifically addresses access, not use of the content itself. "Our primary responsibility was to assess whether current technologies that control access to copyrighted works are diminishing the ability of individuals to use works in a lawful, noninfringing way."' Bull. Access control and fair use are in stark, complete opposition. Pick one or the other. Here's the problem. Copyright has traditionally granted seven rights (see question 2.1): reproduction, adaptation, distribution, performance, display, attribution, and integrity. It has also recognized the right to fair use, which is relatively complicated to fully spell out. The DMCA essentially adds "the right to control access" to the list of copyrights, and it should not stun anyone that it is fundamentally impossible to balance hundreds of years of well-formed tradition (and case law!) with this totally new 'right'. These new "rights to control access" are like foriegn bodies obstructing the airway. It was a real coup of the big companies to get this put in.

Oct 30, 2000

Are You at War With Your Customers?
Misc.10/30/2000; 12:45:31 PM This is a fairly standard "The Internet is empowering your customers to talk to each other, so you'd better start shaping up if you want to keep them" article, but there's a wonderful image in the story:'The trouble is, marketers can get away with [abusing the customers] only if their customers are isolated, unconnected, and have no voice. Online, millions of customers are just beginning to clear their throats for the first time. They're discovering that they do have a voice and that they are connected and can aggregate their opinions with millions of others.'That's a great image; millions of people around the world waking from their collective marketing-induced stupor, clearing their throats, and saying "Ahem..."

Oct 29, 2000

Net privacy measure faces veto
Privacy from Companies
10/29/2000; 3:03:57 PM 'A budget provision banning the Internet sale of Social Security numbers has so many loopholes that President Clinton has promised to veto it, critics of the proposal say.'

But what about the next President?

Oct 28, 2000

UK Snooping Bill could be ruled illegal
Country Watch: Britain
10/28/2000; 2:22:55 PM

'The European Commission is investigating the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill under four separate counts of possible illegality under EU law.'

Oct 28, 2000

EFF Statement Before Congress on Carnivore
Surveillance and Privacy from Government
10/28/2000; 2:00:02 PM

'The use of pen registers as applied to traditional land-line telephone systems is fundamentally different than information that is collected using pen registers on the Internet. Allowing a system such as Carnivore to be used unchecked by law enforcement exacerbates the problem of over collection of data and has the potential to harm our open society.'

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