Commentary: What's Real and Make-Believe with the RIAA Subpoenas?
If any of the current rash of RIAA's subpoenas were determined to be "patently unlawful," file sharers could potentially retaliate with lawsuits for alleged electronic privacy and computer fraud violations. In this opinion piece, I take a close look at the current tension between the RIAA and file sharers.
Hot debate over the future of Webcasting September 21, 2001 After years of big-money litigation, bankruptcy, and polemics, Webcasters, artists, and labels are finally sitting down with the U.S. Copyright Office to hammer out the licenses under which music will be distributed on the Internet. But Webcasters and artists claim that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with its deep pockets and high-placed lobbyists, has hijacked the process and is setting up a world where the music industry fox guards the Internet henhouse.
The RIAA is lobbying the U.S. Copyright Office to set both the royalty rates paid by Webcasters for the music they play and the means by which those royalties will be collected and distributed to artists. Whatever rate is set will also apply retroactively; Webcasters will be legally obligated to compensate copyright holders for any material used over the past three years.
Webcasters insist that the RIAA's proposed rates are too high, while artists insist that the system the RIAA proposes for collecting and distributing royalties is unsound. There's a lot at stake for all interested parties, from Webcasters to artists to the recording industry.
CARP Rejected: A Ray of Hope for Independent Webcasters
May 21, 2002
Based on the Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights (Marybeth Peters), the Librarian of Congress (James H. Billington) has formally rejected the CARP Panel's determinations for webcasting rates. The Librarian of Congress now has until June 20, 2002 to issue his final determination.
The E Development Platform: It's a real eye opener!
May 18, 2002 Marc Stiegler's presentation on the E Development platform and "capability secure" browsers and desktops caught the attention of many an E-Tech conference goer. (Paul Prescod, Wes Felten, Aaron Swartz and myself, just to name just a few...)
Dmitry Sets the Record Straight
December 21, 2001
Dmitry Sklyarov, his past, present and future employer (Elcomsoft), and Elcomsoft's attorney clarify a few facts about their cases and the agreement Dmitry made with the U.S. Attorney's office.
Dmitry Buys Some Time With Testimony
December 13, 2001
Dmitry Sklyarov's case has been deferred until the case against his former employer, Elcomsoft, is resolved -- or one year (whichever is longer) in exchange for his testimony.
RIAA President Hilary Rosen Speaks to P2P Community
November 7, 2001 Hilary Rosen delivered an enlightening talk at the O'Reilly Peer-to-peer and Web Services Conference about the evolution of the relationship between the recording industry and Peer-to-peer technologies.
RIAA Threatened By Anti-Terrorist Law
October 15, 2001 Under the Uniting and Strengthening America Act (USA Act), 'collateral damage' inflicted by virus-like software used to seek out and delete infringing files on a home user's computer (non-infringing files deleted by accident) would constitute an act of terrorism.
P2P Keeps the World
Connected September 13, 2001
In the wake of Tuesday's events, P2P networks played a key role in
connecting survivors with their loved ones and providing a timely and
reliable source of information.
Fired over MP3s August 6, 2001
If you've been running file sharing or distributed computation
software over your employer's network, even if you're not causing
anyone any harm in any way, now would be a good time to stop.
Dmitry Sklyarov Released On
Bail August 6, 2001
Dmitry Sklyarov has been released on bail and instructed to remain in
Northern California under a friend's supervision until his pre-trial
hearing on August 23.
So Much For Letting the Market Decide July 31, 2001
After receiving proposals from what it feels are the important
the U.S. Copyright Office is in the process of deciding how much
webcasters will be required to pay
copyright owners for webcasts.
And Justice for
Adobe July 24, 2001 An individual's right to Free Speech has been
put to the test after a Russian
programmer was arrested last week in Las Vegas. Find out what exactly
happened and how the legal
implications of what took place could affect us all. (Includes a
cohesive Resources section linking to
all legal documentation, public statements and media coverage on the
subject to date.)
Turn About Is Fair
Player July 10, 2001 How Microsoft's platform and media
format-specific digital rights management
strategy will only benefit its competitors in the long run. (Includes
lots of links to Windows
Digital Media Rights (DRM) technical documentation.)
This piece provides a detailed explanation of the
issues surrounding Intermind
Corporation's claims that the P3P standard-in-progress infringes upon
its patented technology. The
story includes both sides of the story, including: a summary of a
legal analysis by the W3C's patent
counsel and a first hand explanation from one of Intermind's founders
explaining the company's point
A report back
from the trenches of the GCA's
MetaStructures 99 and Jon Bosak's hand-tailored XML Developer Days in
Montreal. A discussion of the
new technologies and discussion of some of the most noteworthy content
of some of the presentation
(but by no means all of the noteworthy content that was presented, I'm
An over view of Lars Marius
Garshol's XSA format for notifying software directories about
developer updates. The XSA client is
Java-based and very easy to install use. This is an XML-based
"syndication" format in the sense that
it provides a distribution channel for the repurposing of update
information, not like many of the
"XML Syndication formats", such as XML News or RSS or ICE, that are
beginning to come of
This piece describes
JABR Technologies' use of XML as a data format for storing and
communicating patient information for a
remote medical consulting system that works using a simple process
based on SMTP-based e-mail messages
and a server-side XSL transformation process, called XMTP (extensible
mail transaction protocol).
Microsoft has been reluctant
to adopt the SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language)
standard, even after it became a W3C
Recommendation. Is this reluctance a technical decision on the part of
Microsoft due to flaws in the
SMIL specification itself, or is there more to it than that?
Association of America has formed a task force to develop an
electronic classified advertising
standard. If it takes, supporters think the business of online selling
may get a lot more intelligent.
protocol under development will
provide Web-based businesses and content providers with a standardized
way of exchanging users'
personal information, preferences, and other types of data related to
By upgrading Perl
to be more XML-compatible, millions of pages of existing Web content
could be enhanced with the
eXtensible Markup Language (XML), almost overnight. Such is the goal
of Perl programmers in updating
the behind-the-scenes language...
As the date approaches for Netscape's browser source-code giveaway,
developers are lining up to create
their own, mutated versions of the world's most popular browser.
Keeping the free-for-all under
control may be the company's next great challenge.
A potentially serious security hole inherent to both
Netscape's Navigator and
Microsoft's Internet Explorer opens up hard-drive files to
ill-intentioned Web servers. And there's
not much they can do about it.
As HTML-based search engines reach their limits, a new method of
categorizing Web-page data offers
promise for returning more focused query results - though it's
uncertain when the search-engine
vendors will get around to supporting it.
This story discusses the issues surrounding the
formation of a Scalable Vector
Graphics format, and analyses the two member submissions that were
relevant at the time (PGML -
Precision Graphics Markup Language) and VML (Vector Markup