Archive for the ‘policy and law’ Category.

RIAA subpoenas quashed

Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Music Download Case:

In a major setback for the recording industry, a federal appeals court on Friday struck down a ruling ordering Internet service providers to identify customers using the Internet to share copyrighted music.

Thanks to TechDirt here is the text of the
full decision (PDF).

The RIAA Succeeds Where the Cypherpunks Failed

Clay Shirky:The RIAA Succeeds Where the Cypherpunks Failed:

In response to the RIAA’s suits, users who want to share music files
are adopting tools like WINW and BadBlue, that
allow them to create encrypted spaces where they can share files and
converse with one another. As a result, all their communications in
these spaces, even messages with no more commercial content than
“BRITN3Y SUX!!!1!” are hidden from prying eyes. This is not because
such messages are sensitive, but rather because once a user starts
encrypting messages and files, it’s often easier to encrypt everything
than to pick and choose. Note that the broadening adoption of
encryption is not because users have become libertarians, but because
they have become criminals; to a first approximation, every PC owner
under the age of 35 is now a felon.

Drink the USPTO Limeade

Scientific American: What a Little Limeade Can Do — Owning the rights for frozen juice to treat angina:

Method of treating chest pain, patent 6,457,474, Carl E. Hanson of St. Paul, Minn. This inventor has patented lime juice to replace nitroglycerin as a treatment for chest pain such as angina pectoris…. The lime juice can also be administered intravenously or by the angina sufferer’s placing the frozen concentrate directly into his or her mouth.

Penn State students revolt against Napster, DRM invasion

Buying into some digital right management scheme or another is a little tricky, especially when you’re doing on behalf of diverse student body. Penn State students react, see The Register:

At the heart of the Penn State/Napster service is something the organizations are calling a “tethered download.” As romantic as that sounds, it’s not all that convenient. Students can download – or stream – all the songs they like for free but can only use or play the tunes while at Penn State. After their four tuition-paying years are up, their tethered downloads disappear.

Student can opt to pay 99 cents to burn the songs on a CD, but even then there is another catch. Napster is a Windows-only service, so all the Mac fans out there receive squat for their $160 contribution to the IT fund.

“They are throwing the labels what is left of our IT fee and then once you leave Penn State, you won’t even be authenticated as a user,” he said. “They are deciding for us what service we want, and we are paying their bills.”

String ‘Em Up (Nigerian 419)

The Advocate – Bethel woman snares Canadian man charged with e-mail hoax:

Evans met Horvath-Howard in Bethel, where she said he expected to pick up more than $200,000. Instead, Bethel police were waiting for Horvath-Howard and charged him with first-degree attempted larceny.

Horvath-Howard was arraigned in Danbury Superior Court on Monday. Bond was set at $250,000 and his case was continued until Nov. 10.

I know that law enforcement must prioritize, but I hypothesize that making examples of a few tens of these criminals would deter quite a few more.

Note: My own personal observation is that many of my Nigerian 419 spam actually involves web crawlers with Nigerian IP addresses. I can’t say whether or not those are merely proxies.

String ‘Em Up

California Court Issues First Anti-Spam Judgment:

On October 24, 2003, the Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Clara issued a final judgment and injunction in the civil case of People v. Willis, ordering defendants to jointly and severally pay a $2 million fine for violating California’s anti-spam, consumer protection, and unfair business practice laws and enjoining them from sending unsolicited commercial e-mail messages and other practices that would violate the law. The judgment — entered by default because defendants failed to appear in court or defend themselves in a timely way — marks the end of California’s first ever anti-spam lawsuit.

Besides assessing $2 million in fines, the court enjoined defendants from nine specific business practices. Several of the injunction’s provisions require defendants to comply with existing law. However, the injunction also bars defendants from a) sending unsolicited commercial e-mail; b) sending any e-mail for which the sender appears to be something other than the actual sender, or for which replies could not be received by the sender, or which includes misleading information about the country/mail server sending the message; c) using false or misleading information to register an Internet domain name; or d) selling or otherwise distributing lists of e-mail addresses for use in sending unsolicited commercial e-mail. The injunction also prevents either Willis or Griffin from owning or operating any business (other than a publicly-traded business) that advertises over the Internet for ten years.

University of Florida squashes P2P

Wired News: Florida Dorms Lock Out P2P Users:

The University of Florida has developed a tool to help extricate the school from the morass of peer-to-peer file trading, and early results show that it’s succeeding.

Integrated Computer Application for Recognizing User Services, commonly called Icarus, debuted over the summer on the network that links all the residence halls on the UF campus.

Rasch: Journalists served subpoenas in Lamo case

Mark Rasch: The Subpoenas are Coming!:

The demand that journalists preserve their notes is being made under laws that require ISP’s and other “providers of electronic communications services” to preserve, for example, e-mails stored on their service, pending a subpoena, under a statute modified by the USA-PATRIOT Act.

The purpose of that law was to prevent the inadvertent destruction of ephemeral electronic records pending a subpoena. For example, you could tell an ISP that you were investigating a hacking case, and that they should preserve the audit logs while you ran to the local magistrate for a subpoena.

It was never intended to apply to journalist’s records.

KaZaA sues RIAA for copyright infringement

What a headline.
As Dave Barry would say,
“I am not making this up”:
The Register: KaZaA sues RIAA for copyright infringement
… Sharman says the RIAA has distributed versions of KaZaA Lite with warning messages to potential infringers, which it deems “monopolistic and conspiratorial” behavior. In July a Judge nixed an attempt by Sharman Networks to stop the distribution of RIAA-flavored KaZaA software using Antitrust legislation. That failed, but this time it’s trying again…

Warranties & Creative Commons licenses