Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bloggers are protected just like journalists

OR at least so says a South Carolina judge.

Philip Smith blogged to describe his bad experience of working with an eBay listing company. He ended up representing himself in a federal defamation and trademark dilution lawsuit. To add insult to injury the plantiff's lawyer turned to dirty tricks like hindering the sale of his condo by clouding his title to the property.

The Federal judge Henry Hurlong Jr, ruling pretty much says that bloggers are journalists. "It's not about the title, it's about the content, a journalist turns out to be anyone who does journalism, and bloggers who do so have the same rights and privileges under federal law as the real journalists."

Elwell, the ass hole attorney for the plaintiffs,was sanctioned for his actions. The court found that he should have known that what he had done was totally inappropraite. The case in question was not about the title to any real estate, lawyers can't simply go clouding up the title to people's homes to ensure they get paid at the end of a case.

Elwell was forced to pay $1,000 in fines direct to Smith for his actions.I think it should have been much more.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Duluth jury decides Brainerd woman must pay $222,000 for downloaded music files

Sorry for the long absence, but work is consuming all my time now.I plan to update at least weekly from now on. Promise!

Well the first RIAA case that went to trial ended in a judgement for the plantiff. There was quite a bit of evidence that is really hard to prove without the hard drive forensics. Unfortunatly the defendant's drive had to be replaced two weeks after Media Sentry logged her ip address.

Too bad as it seems she was a avid music fan and legally purchaced hundreds of cds. I hope this doesn't discourage those who are wrongly accused of file sharing to fight back against these boiler plate lawsuits.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sound Exchange caught lobbying

A federal appeals court recently rejected a plea from webcasters to postpone the deadline for a new royalty scheme that sets the stage for SoundExchange to begin levying billions of dollars from internet radio stations in the coming decades. It already collects a tidy sum from satellite radio and now it has set its sights on U.S. terrestrial radio stations, which currently pay no broadcast performance royalties. If it wins there, its power could grow exponentially.

You can read the article in entirity here

This is really bad news to know a company thats supposed to be a third party without any interest in the internet stream royality rates other than getting paid for collecting. It interesting to find out they are freaking lobbist as well.

I am to the point in my life that I think "the gov" is so far corrupt because of how powerful few large cooperations are. They become even more so when they get together and form a "gang"

Every time I think I am out (of this topic) they pull me back in....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Saved at the buzzer, but.......

Of course there was a stipulation on the agreement. That is that webcasters must work to ensure that stream-ripping is not feasible. I know that sounds like crazy talk, but it's true! That is what this whole mess was about in the first place.

Ripping streams is very easy, and there are several programs that do so such as streamtuner/streamripper(gnome apps), kstreamripper/amarok(kde apps) , stationripper (windows), and radiolover (mac).

Remember I said crazy talk, well this is why. Many of you have a dvr like tivo. Well recording internet streams is pretty much the same principle. The software records what you hear playing through your speakers. This is NOT illegal! The way you can record tv for your own private use later, applies to music streams as well.

How do you think the public would react if tomorrow, you set your tivo or other dvr to record your favorite shows, and you weren't allowed to? There would be a such a public outcry that it would be written in the history books for future generations.

I think those greedy fat swine at the RIAA, are getting way to bold in their tactics. They couldn't change the laws on streams to make it illegal "protect the artists rights", and ensure they are making money off you every time you listen to their music, so they come up with this.

DRM is failing everywhere, I just read yesterday that someone has cracked the Zune MS's mp3 player,and have written a program that strips the DRM from the media on the device, making it yours again. Hell you bought it, and you should own it, right?

My hats are off to the RIAA thou, thanks guys I knew you would find another way to screw the consumer once again. Fact is no matter what you do, it won't stop people from defending their rights. Every time you introduce another technology to limit our ability to enjoy the product we bought from you, it will be circumvented. Live with it!

Just a little point, if the streams I rip in the future are cross faded, which is the only way I see to feasibly prevent a rip don't worry. I already have software that will separate the tracks, and with a few commands I can easily a tag my entire collection.

So what you did was just piss off your customers again. Congrats! You may prevent a few less tech savvy people from ripping streams, at least until a point and click solution is available, but the people who who run large scale piracy operations you can't touch anyway.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Time is running out!

As I have been writing about for many months the deadline draws near to when the new internet radio royalty rates will be enforced. This is such an act of bulling I can hardly believe it.

Yes bulling. By whom you ask? The large record labels, thats who. Most people don't realize this, but what you hear on the radio is what they are payed to play. Traditional radio listeners are zombies, that hear songs in rotation many times a day, thus becoming popular. MTV is no different kids, they are slaves to the record companies as well.

I began listening to web casts around a year ago, and when ever I listen to my local radio stations I get sick at all the crap they play, and the hours upon hours of commercials they force upon you as a listener.

I was doing some yard work last week and while mowing my lawn, I listened to a local rock station. I counted the songs that were played in the hour and a half it took me. Anyone have a guess? Twelve! Yes twelve songs.

We have established that the lack of programming control is something the record labels can't stand. ( you may actually decide for yourself what you like) Now to another point that the "recording industry" wants to kill net radio.

This is that few very large companies control the music that's put out. Smaller, new companies can't afford the playing time to get their artist's music played. The big companies have that niche controlled. They now have a quickly growing media the net.

How unfair is it to charge web casters more money than large radio stations? Basically it will put everyone out of business. The stations I listen to don't even have commercials!!! There is no income from all the bs advertising you are forced to listen to on FM.

You have a voice people! Let it be heard before they silence a great thing!


Call your elected officials. Tell them to stop this tragedy. Demand it, they work for you!!

You can find their numbers by filling out the form with your address here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

State of open source

There has been many articles floating about the internets (thanks Senator Stevens) lately about the sad state of open source. One of which today I feel the need to discuss. Hey this is my blog, and I can do what I want so sit back and listen.

Microsoft's new browser plug-in called Silverlight is supposed to deliver rich media and interactive apps from within web pages. Which for those who don't know is what adobe's flash does. I am not a microsoft fanboy by any measure of the word, but I don't think this is a bad thing.

For years flash has been the web standard for this type of content. We linux users were at the mercy of adobe to write linux versions, and often we were waiting many, many months before it would be released. Now with the cooperation between ms and novell, the development of silverlight for linux is going strong.

I don't like the fact that this is proprietary software any more than any other FOSS advocate. However the fact that we penguins are already stuck with one proprietary web standard makes the argument for healthy competition valid in my opinion. What I hope for is that Adobe will recognize the Linux user base is constantly growing, and they stand to loose those users to Silverlight if they don't put Linux development in a higher priority.

Now if we can just convince everyone that the periodic threats issued by MS via Steve Ballmer are just scare tactics to sway business' from making the move to open source. But that is for another post.....