Aug 11, 2000 Federal Judge Overturns Net Porn Law
Free Speech8/11/2000; 9:34:03 AM 'A federal judge has ruled that a Virginia law aimed at blocking children's online access to adult material violates First Amendment free-speech protections and the constitutional interstate commerce clause. The opinion by U.S. District Judge James H. Michael Jr. marks the latest in a string of defeats for activists trying to apply historical standards for adult material to the Internet.'Key reasons:'"The 1999 Act provides no way for Internet speakers to prevent their communications from reaching minors without also denying adults access to the material," Michael wrote. "The Act is also overbroad because it infringes on the rights of adults in communities outside of Virginia."'

Aug 10, 2000

Preventing an e-book Napster
General IP Issues
8/10/2000; 9:54:10 AM 'If there’s one thing the book publishers want to avoid as they move into the digital realm, it’s a repeat of the Napster controversy that has plagued their e-music counterparts.'

Hey, they can learn!

Aug 09, 2000

Chinese govt. seeks control of Web
Country Watch: China8/9/2000; 7:07:07 PM 'Chinese leaders are keen to promote the Web's economic benefits and use it, as they do the entirely state-run traditional media, to rally public opinion. But they are nervous that the Web gives Chinese access to uncensored news and information, and are trying to block its use in spreading opposition to communist rule.'It's worth watching the Chinese... I expect them to pioneer techniques of controlling the usage of the Internet, as Communism can't tolerate truth, or for that matter, lies other then its own.'Many state media are already online, but sites that provide access to less heavily controlled or uncensored information are among China's most popular.'

Aug 09, 2000

RIAA's documents
Music & MP38/9/2000; 6:41:56 PM I explicitly looked for these when this issue was more topical but could not find them. Perhaps they've moved or become more prominent, or perhaps the RIAA was just slow putting them up? At any rate, see the RIAA's Napster Lawsuit Documents, most notably their reply (in PDF form) to Napsters request to stay the injunction shutting the service down.There are some good points... lawyers paid that much should make at least a few . They catch Napster's brief in a few places that I think are indeed weak. However, I see two places where I think they really screwed up. One is not really "their fault", which is the assertion that a computer is not a digital recording device. This is incorrect. Any computer with a sound-card is a digital recording device. This is how I created my MP3 file... it was recorded on my computer. If my computer is not a digital recording device, then this recording apparently sprang forth from the ether.It depends on what a "recording device" is. The obvious definition, "A device capable of recording audio digitally", means my computer is one. Admittedly, this is obviously not what was meant by the law, as when one uses Napster one is not using the computer as a digital recording device; a computer is many things, not necessarily simultaneously. This probably means this law needs tweaking.Secondly, when it comes time for the RIAA to establish that this infringement would not have happened without Napster, they fall flat on their face. Either they're blind and truly believe Napster is the only way to aquire MP3's, or they are lying about Napster being the only way. There just isn't much in-between.And it's worth one final note: The court to which this brief was submitted did indeed stay the injunction, despite this document.

Aug 09, 2000

AOL MP3 Search Service
Music & MP3
8/9/2000; 6:32:51 PM Yesterday, Scripting News broke the story that WinAmp, owned by AOL, had a hosting service that allowed you to upload your own MP3s and allow others to download them, which in fact was far worse then Napster is. This is especially interesting in light of the fact AOL is aiming to aquire Time-Warner, one of the big members of the RIAA, Napster's mortal foe.

Well, for one reason or another AOL/WinAmp is pulling the service, due to their inability to keep copyrighted material off of the server. One could speculate the reporters nosing around the story scared them, but it would just be speculation.

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