Thursday, April 23, 2009

Judge in Pirate Bay case had conflict of interest

Downloading pirated movies is wrong.  But publishing a web index is not (see the activities of a company called Google for example).   

Nevertheless, if the judge in the Pirate Bay case were designing laws, Eric Schmidt would be looking at a year of jail time right about now.

That's the deal the owners of Pirate Bay got from him, anyway.  

But it looks like the judge may have been a card-carrying member of pro-copyright groups lobbying for tougher copyright laws.  Justice is so not blind.

Pirate Bay judge and pro-copyright lobbyist accused of bias • The Register
The judge in The Pirate Bay trial has been accused of bias, after Sweden's national radio station revealed that Thomas Norström was a member of the same pro-copyright groups as several of the main entertainment industry reps in the case.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What keeps you awake?

Xkcd is sometimes wickedly funny.   If you don't get it, you'll probably sleep easier. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things that count as Fair Use

Who knew that a court would actually side with the public's interest on fair use of copyright?  Refreshing.

Fair Use, Turnitin, And... Why Google Never Should Have Caved On Book Scanning | Techdirt
While O'Toole rushes through these points, they're actually pretty important, since they're quite often misunderstood by people (even copyright lawyers) who claim that commercial use isn't fair use, or that using an entire work can't be fair use or can't be transformative. In this case, the court lays out why none of that is true.

via Slashdot

Legislation to help musicians

Here's an interesting way to level the playing field between terrestrial and internet radio:  make terrestrial radio pay the same high royalties as streaming internet stations. 

But it turns out that the National Association of Broadcasters and the RIAA are against it (go figure) claiming that paying the higher royalties will hurt the artists.

This is ironically the same argument used by the same people in support of higher royalty rates for the internet stations.  

Bono: Radio Should Pay for Songs, Like Web Does - News and Analysis by PC Magazine
Should traditional radio stations have to pay the same royalty fees that are imposed on Internet and satellite radio stations? If pending legislation is successful, that could become a reality, but the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is hitting back at the bill's high-profile supporters to make sure that doesn't happen.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Funniest April Fool's Page

Google is always a class act on April Fool's, but this one is obvious enough to prevent any confusion about its authenticity.  At the same time, the humor is wickedly subtle. 

Its only mildly funny, in a geeky way, until you check out the FORTRAN SDK.

Don't get it?  Well I guess you had to be there.

Google App Engine Blog: A Brand New Language on Google App Engine!
If you're an enterprise customer and want to take advantage of Google App Engine, but have a large and cumbersome legacy system, we want to make it easy for you to port to the cloud. By providing a Fortran 77 runtime, along with a familiar, easy-to-use deployment mechanism, we hope to make this process efficient and straightforward.

Want to give it a try? Download our SDK and deploy your application by mailing punch cards to:

Google App Engine, C/O APPCFG
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043