Aug 01, 2000

Napster Press Room
Music & MP38/1/2000; 12:41:15 PM Not much going on today or yesterday, but I wanted to point to this earlier, except my machine wouldn't read the PDF.In Napster's Press Room, in the legal section, is the document requesting a stay of last Friday's injunction, straight from the horse's mouth.In particular, I've heard a lot of people saying "Napster didn't have to come down, they were just ordered to remove all copyrighted material from the server." This document counters that claim (with credence added by the fact that the injunction was indeed stayed) by pointing out that when pressed, even the labels are unable to determine the copyright status of any given piece of music in any sort of timely fashion, or on a bulk scale. This is not make-believe, they really tried and failed. The only choice Napster would have, in light of the number of songs the service indexes, would be to come down entirely.Note that the percentage really didn't matter. Even if only .01% of the songs on the service were in violation of copyright, Napster would still have had to come down, because ferreting out those songs (and filtering through and proving that the rest were OK) would still have been impossible.If the labels can't even do it, how can Napster, or, indeed, Napster's users?

Aug 01, 2000

86400 dollars a day
8/1/2000; 9:44:22 AM 'a tale of how kishore balakrishnan uses this most valuable thing in the world every day - off and on the net...'

Jul 31, 2000

Multimedia 'Napster' Awaits Fate
Music & MP37/31/2000; 11:40:37 AM 'Despite the fact that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Napster a stay on Friday, seemed ripe for a similar brow beating at the hands of the recording industry after Judge Marilyn Patel all but dismantled the arguments both companies are expected to use.'...'Despite deals with Miramax and Hollywood Records that allowed Scour to legally distribute certain copyrighted materials, on July 20 the motion picture industry and the recording industry filed an infringement suit against the company.'...'"I am not convinced that Napster has been trounced as some others may be," copyright lawyer Whitney Broussard of Selverne, Mandelbaum & Mintz, wrote in an email. "Judge Patel has, it seems, rewritten the Betamax decision such that a developer of a copying technology now has a duty to ensure that the technology is not used to make copies of copyrighted materials, regardless of whether or not the copy may be protected by principles of fair use. I am not so sure that this ruling will be upheld in the Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court, if it goes that far."'The Betamax decision refers to the decision ruling that VCRs were legal because they had substantial non-infringing uses, despite the fact they could easily be used. This looks like a good discussion on the reasoning, the ramifications, and the irony of that decision, if you've not read an in-depth analysis before.

Jul 30, 2000

Bad News, Europe: EC Will Stand By 'Safe Harbor' Deal
Privacy from Companies7/30/2000; 12:21:42 PM 'The European Commission announced Thursday that it will move ahead with the data-privacy deal it hashed out with the U.S., despite the objections of the European Parliament that the deal was too weak. The commission said the deal would take effect by November for U.S. sites that electronically gather personal data from European visitors. 'Under the terms of the U.S.-EC agreement, negotiated over two years by the commission and the U.S. Department Commerce, many U.S. companies that want to continue transferring personal data from Europe must commit to respecting detailed standards of notice, user choice, data access and security. Making that commitment will put the companies into "safe harbor" against regulation under the EU's omnibus Data Protection Directive, which has been in effect in the EU's 15 member nations since October 1998.'Europe to US Companies: "We trust you!"? Who'da thunk it?

Jul 28, 2000

Napster Wins Court Stay
Music & MP37/28/2000; 5:14:00 PM 'A federal appeals court Friday granted a last minute reprieve to online music company Napster Inc., staying a judge's order which had directed it to pull the plug on its online song-swapping service by midnight Friday.'In a brief order, a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Napster could stay in business pending a further resolution of its case.'I thought this injunction was unfair and the judge was being... hasty, to be kind.One wonders if this isn't a message from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Judge Patel that she's being a little too gung-ho in her support of RIAA.

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