Recently, in the Copyright category…

This week, the Supreme Court ruled in the MGM vs. Grokster case. SCOTUS decided that P2P file sharing networks could be held responsible for the copyright violations of their users if the networks were found, “… promoting its use to infringe copyright…”

We keep it real, hold steel, grab ya sword and ya shield
Terrorist and 9th Prince it’s either kill or be killed
9th Prince, Kill or be Killed

This puts a huge burden on all technology companies. Basically, they either have to comply with the demands of the major media conglomerates or risk their every action being interpreted as inducing and get buried by lawsuits.

If your thing is gone and you wanna ride on; cocaine.
Don’t forget this fact, you can’t get it back; cocaine.
She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie; cocaine.
Eric Clapton, Cocaine

Perhaps I missed something, but when did we promise the recording industry a rose garden? Who decided that maintaining their business model was more important than innovation? When did we agree to stop moving forward so that media companies wouldn’t have to change with the times? And, to whoever did agree to all this, I have to ask — What are you, an idiot?

If not from the records, from jackin the crops
Just like burglary, the definition is ‘jackin’
And when illegally armed it’s called ‘packin’
N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton

Some say this ruling could have been a lot worse, and they’re right. SCOTUS didn’t make file sharing illegal. Instead, they decided that file sharing companies could be held accountable for inducing their customers to break the law. I don’t agree with it, but I suppose it’s fair. After all, we wouldn’t let any other industry get away with encouraging illegal acts, would we?

I’ve been caught stealing;
Once when i was 5…
I enjoy stealing.
It’s just as simple as that.
Well, it’s just a simple fact.
When i want something,
I don’t want to pay for it.
Jane’s Addiction, Been Caught Stealing

I’m loving the new satellite view on Google Maps. I haven’t done anything useful with it yet, but it sure is fun.

I do have a question about it, though. Where I live, Yukon, OK, we’ve seen dozens of new businesses built here in the last few years. Looking at the Google satellite data for Yukon, it’s clear that the images are over a year old, probably more like two years old. You might notice something else about those images: the copyright. How can two-year-old images have a copyright of 2005?

There’s probably a reasonable explanation — I doubt Google is lacking in IP lawyers. If anybody knows how copyright applies in this situation, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

Wired News is reporting that the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 is likely to get passed by the House and signed by the President very soon. The article focuses on one section of the legislation, the Family Movie Act of 2005, but there’s actually several interesting things going on here.

Continue reading “New Copyright Law About to Pass”…