Oct 15, 2000

Author of Napster's Congressional Testimony
Music & MP3
10/15/2000; 12:51:46 PM The testimony is apparently at the above link; I can't seem to access it, so no comments.

Oct 13, 2000

Answers from Carnivore Reviewer Henry H. Perrit, Jr.
Surveillance and Privacy from Government
10/13/2000; 4:38:46 PM One of the people who will be reviewing Carnivore has replied to questions in a Slashdot interview, which, as you may expect, boils down to a defense of the review. Unfortunately, most of the questions are redundant.

The one technical question was not answered in a way that would inspire confidence in me or this slashdot poster.

Oct 13, 2000

Amazon Tastes Its Own Patent-Pending Medicine
Patents10/13/2000; 4:14:03 PM 'In late September OpenTV applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to broaden the scope of a patent originally awarded to the company in 1998 so it includes "one-click" shopping. This tool lets repeat customers make purchases without having to re-enter address and credit card information each time. Amazon first made one-click shopping available on its site in September 1997 and was awarded the patent for it in September 1999. 'Should the Patent Office decide in OpenTV's favor, Amazon could be forced to either pay licensing fees for one-click shopping or abandon it altogether. Ironically, that's the same position Amazon has been trying to put into for the past year.'Could you ask for any better proof that patents have become too broad? What could these two systems, Amazon's and OpenTV's, possibly have in common, except a vague resemblence (and I do mean vague) in functionality?This is fortuitous timing for me... I was just writing this section of the essay.

Oct 13, 2000

Senate Passes Net Liquor Ban
10/13/2000; 9:59:48 AM

'The U.S. Senate voted 95-0 on Wednesday to slap strict rules on Internet purchases of intoxicating beverages by prohibiting wineries, breweries or virtually anyone else from selling and shipping alcohol directly to consumers.'

Interesting because it's a case of a Internet jurisdiction issue being settled, which there haven't been too many of.

Amusing: 'The restriction was included in an unrelated bill dealing with trafficking in sex slaves.'

Oct 12, 2000

Copyrights Rule
General IP Issues
10/12/2000; 3:58:48 PM

'As the copyright wars rage on in courts across the country – the deCSS case in New York, (MPPP) and Napster in California, Cyberpatrol in Massachusetts – some people are beginning to ask a very interesting question: Why do the courts treat laws that regulate copyright so differently from laws that regulate pornography? Or to put it another way, why is it so easy to invoke the power of the state to protect Hollywood, yet so difficult to wield the power of the state to protect kids?...

'The regulation of porn raises a question of free speech. Courts get that. So too does the regulation of copyright raise a question of free speech. But courts don't yet see that. They don't yet understand the ways in which this state sponsored monopoly over "who can say what" can, at times, interfere with the "freedom of speech." They don't see it because for 200 years, copyright law has functioned with little interference from the First Amendment. There have been a handful of cases raising extreme claims of conflict, but no clear case that yet addresses how courts are to evaluate the intersection of copyright law and the First Amendment.'

The major issues on this site are all about the intersection of laws previously seperate.

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