The Canadian DMCA: What You Can Do

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| Many people have asked for a short note on why this bill is bad for
| Canadians. I've obviously written a lot about Canadian copyright and
| copyright reform, but in my view it boils down to three primary concerns.

DoJ says $222,000 damages in Capitol v. Thomas trial not unconstitutional

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| After a three-day trial, single mother Jammie Thomas was found to have
| willfully infringed on the record label's copyrights. The jury awarded the
| RIAA statutory damages of $9,250 per song, for a total of $222,000, out of a
| maximum of $150,000 per track.

DOJ: $222,000 award in RIAA copyright case not excessive

[Limewire's RIAA Antitrust Fails]

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| A federal judge dismissed all claims yesterday by the P2P file-sharing
| network LimeWire that the record industry illegally blocked its attempts to
| build a legitimate digital music service.

In relation to a story that was posted yesterday:

Troll Tracker [Why People Hate Lawyers]

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| Meanwhile, Niro is in a spat with Troll Tracker, a blog by anonymous blogger
| (apparently an experienced patent attorney) which covers various patent troll
| patent lawsuit filings. Niro doesn't liked being called a Troll, as Troll
| Tracker often does. So Niro threatens to sue Troll Tracker, for infringing
| U.S. Pat. No. 5,253,341. What was Troll Tracker's terrible action
| of "infringement"? Including a JPEG image on his website. Yep. That's what
| Niro claims to "own" by virtue of this patent--the right to put JPEG pictures
| on websites. Yikes! I guess Drudge Report and Craigs List are safe, though
| I'm not sure about anyone else.

Tell Erik. Maybe he'd like to sue the whole Web for using JPEGs.


The RIAA will come to regret its court win

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| And, he told his blog readers: "If [the industry tries to] keep up the
| strategy of 'you need us badly and therefore we make the rules' you will lose
| the artists, their managers... and the audience. Another 12 months for this
| Radiohead experiment to become the default approach. Get engaged or get
| outmoded. And do it soon."

Mom Sues Universal Music for DMCA Abuse

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| The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit today against Universal
| Music Publishing Group (UMPG), asking a federal court to protect the fair use
| and free speech rights of a mother who posted a short video of her toddler
| son dancing to a Prince song on the Internet.

The Land of "Nothing for free"

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| I was down there to give a talk on "Open Source Business Models"
| for a conference. Also represented were entertainment industry
| lawyers, "Big Telecom" management, and a smattering of software
| people. Microsoft was there of course. You can't hold a church
| fete with "Open Source" on the banner these days without Microsoft
| turning up and requesting representation. At least we also had
| Bruce Perens on our side to help make up the balance. The venue
| eas an unbelievably expensive hotel. Even though I was on
| expenses I balked at asking the company to pay for a room
| there and found something cheaper (not by much) a few miles
| down the road.

Music industry attacks Sunday newspaper's free Prince CD

| The eagerly awaited new album by Prince is being launched as a free
| CD with a national Sunday newspaper in a move that has drawn
| widespread criticism from music retailers.

Microsoft too busy to name Linux patents

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| First you get everyone riled claiming open source and Linux infringe on
| your patents, then you won’t detail those patents. Why? The paperwork.
| Yes, Microsoft cited administrative overhead for not detailing the 235
| Microsoft patents its chief legal counsel recently told Forbes exist in
| Linux and open source.

Shuttleworth: Microsoft Fracturing the Open-Source Community

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| "That's extortion and we should call it what it is," he said. "To say, as
| [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet
| liability, that's just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that
| game. On the other side, if Microsoft is concerned about its intellectual
| property, there is no one in the free software community that wants to
| violate anyone's IP. Disclose the patents and we'll fix the code.
| Alternatively, move on."
| Microsoft has said it does disclose which patents are being violated, but
| only in one-on-one conversations with vendors. To Shuttleworth, that is not
| disclosure, because patents are public documents.

[Mark Shuttleworth Interview]

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| Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won't
| say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: "It's an
| unsafe neighbourhood, why don't you pay me 20 bucks and I'll make
| sure you're okay," that's illegal. It's racketeering. What Microsoft
| is doing with intellectual property is exactly the same. It's a great
| company and I have great admiration for it, but this was not a
| well considered position.
| So you wouldn't do a deal?
| No, absolutely not. But the time will come when the folks at
| Microsoft who have a clear vision for the company as a participant
| in this community, rather than as a hostile antagonist, will win.

Radiohead album bets on fast release, open pricing

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| The release of popular rock group Radiohead's new album next week is the
| latest wake-up call for a music industry still struggling to deal with the
| advent of digital music, experts say.

Why popstars are going it alone

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| Music industry lobby groups have long been among the most vocal advocates of
| copyright reform, urging governments worldwide to prioritise intellectual
| property protection.
| [...]
| Last week, Radiohead released its latest CD without copy-controls on its
| website under a pay-as-you like system (Canada's Issa - formerly known as
| Jane Siberry - has successfully employed a similar approach for many years).
| The Radiohead announcement has unleashed a stunning series of follow-up
| moves - reports indicate that Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Jamiroquai, the
| Charlatans, and Madonna have either left or are ready to leave their record
| labels in search of greater commercial success through live performances,
| merchandise sales, and other online innovation that may include free
| distribution of their music.

Pop musician Peter Gabriel launches "YouTube for human rights"

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| Web accessibility simplifies this process by facilitating the
| media-independent global distribution of information and videos recorded on
| film or mobile phone cameras. *