<-- The Filter --> August 2004

August 19, 2004
No. 6.10 <--The Filter--> 8.19.04

[1] In the News: Who's Got the Right?
[2] Berkman News: Internet Works
[3] Conference Watch
[4] Bookmarks: What Is Free
[5] Quotables: Violations
[6] Talk Back
[7] Subscription Info
[8] About us
[9] Not a Copyright


                  [1]  IN THE NEWS

* Breaking News: Ninth Circuit Upholds Grokster Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district
court's decision in MGM v. Grokster that distributors of software using
the Gnutella and FastTrack peer-to-peer technologies are not liable for
copyright infringement committed by users of the defendants' software.
The court hewed closely to the standards set forth in Supreme Court's
seminal Betamax decision, as interpreted by the Ninth Circuit in its
February 2001 Napster I opinion. The court held that, because the
technologies do not utilize a central server, defendants are not liable
for copyright infringement under either contributory copyright
infringement or vicarious liability theories.


* Political Parody Tests Fair Use

George Bush and John Kerry dance gleefully over the banjo music for "This Land is Your Land," -- "Right-wing nut job," accuses Kerry.  "Liberal wiener," retorts Bush.  The short animated piece created by Jib Jab, Inc. has become enormously popular on the Internet, but Ludlow Music,
the company that owns the copyright to "This Land," recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jib Jab over claims of "blatant and willful copyright infringement."  Jib Jab's attorney, Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) defended the animation as a clear case of
fair use of the song: "Jib Jab is engaging in political speech at the core of the First Amendment."

Jib Jab animation:

Cease-and-Desist from Ludlow's Counsel:

EFF's Response:

While the matter is now in the hands of attorneys who will debate the
applicability of a fair use defense, Cathy Guthrie, Woody's
granddaughter, recently gave her thoughts on the parody: "My personal
opinion is that if I were the one who had written that song, I would be
honored to have it used that way."  And according to the website of the
Museum of Musical Instruments, Guthrie himself, whose rights to the work
are now held by Ludlow Music, had a refreshing view of
copyright: "This song is Copyrighted in U.S... and anybody caught
singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn,
cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it.
Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

Cathy Guthrie's Opinion, from boingboing:

Woody Guthrie's thoughts on copyright:

* Apple's Music Services Under Attack?

The same man who brought DeCSS to the world has reportedly cracked Apple Airport Express at the same time that RealNetworks has opened up the iPod with its own software, Harmony, and slashed its prices. Famed hacker Jon Lech Johanson of Norway has revealed the Airport Express public key which encrypts songs when sent from a computer using iTunes to a wireless base station, as well as writing a new program, JustePort, which allows other programs to stream to the Airport Express.  Similarly, RealNetworks' Harmony enables users of the Real Music Store to stream to the previously iTunes-only iPod, though it also works with other devices. Real has also lowered its price per song to only 49 cents, far less than iTunes's 99 cents.  Apple, having previously owned the whole iTunes-Airport-iPod loop, is up in arms about the circumventions, and is said to be looking into possible legal recourse.


* Cybernews from Around the Globe

South Africa ICT Charter Nears Completion: <http://allafrica.com/stories/200408130788.html>
SMS for Women's Rights in Africa: <http://www.afrol.com/articles/13702>

China Crackdown Targets Porn: <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/08/16/tech/main636203.shtml>
Asia Linux Project Close to Launch: <http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=598...

Trans-Atlantic Rift in Antitrust Law: <http://www.iht.com/articles/534030.html>
EU Extends Review of MS, Time-Warner Venture: <http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=598...

* Google Raises $1.67 Billion, Begins Public Trading Amid Much Controversy

On the brink of going public, Google faced more hurdles.  An interview with Google's founders in Playboy magazine, though conducted just before the "quiet period" required by the SEC, threatened to derail plans for the auctioning of shares.  Allegations that shares were offered improperly to employees caused the company to offer to rescind those shares and options.  After a surprise failure of the SEC to approve their registration statement on 8/17, Google sharply reduced the expected price for its shares.  Trading is now underway, initially strong, as investors recall the tech boom and bust of the late 90's, and as search engine competition grows hotter.


                  [2] BERKMAN NEWS              

* Is Anyone Really Running the Internet?

Questions about how to resolve disputes and police the Internet have
divided scholars, regulators, technologists, and activists for over a
decade. _The Harvard Journal of Law & Technology_ recently published a
paper by John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Berkman Center, on this
topic: The End of the Experiment: How ICANN's Foray Into Global Internet
Democracy Failed.  Also, a new Berkman Briefing describes a recent
conference -- Preventing the Internet Meltdown -- in which technology
experts shared their alarm about recent increases in Internet

John Palfrey's Paper:

Berkman Briefing, Averting the Internet Meltdown:

More on the conference, Preventing the Internet Meltdown:

* Announcing Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits and Bytes

On December 10th at Harvard Law School, the fifth conference in a biennial series, Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits and Bytes, will take a hard, skeptical look at the election in 2004 as well as the many issue-based campaigns, emerging business models, and new technologies that affect and comprise “politics” online and off. Key topics include electoral politics; issue campaigns, including NGOs and labor organizing; business; and international development. The Berkman Center is proud to host this conference with primary sponsor eBay and co-sponsors the Omidyar Network and the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.


                  [3] CONFERENCE WATCH


* August 27-28, 2004, Amsterdam - Guaranteeing Media Freedom on the Internet


* September 29-October 1, 2004, Zurich, Switzerland - OSCOM (Open Source Content Management) 4


* October 1-2, 2004, Ottawa, Canada - The Internet and the Law - A Global Conversation

* October 26-29, 2004, Seoul, Korea - International Symposium on Public Participation in Internet Governance

* October 27-29, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana - IAPP Privacy & Data Security Academy & Expo


* December 10, 2004, Cambridge, Massachusetts - Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits and Bytes

                  [4]  BOOKMARKS

* Public Domain Classics - for $1000?
<http://www.teleread.org/blog/2004_08_01_archive.html#109158157304939407> [via Copyfight]

* Creative Commons Interviews Dan Gillmor

* eBay Purchases 25% of Craigslist: Craig Speaks

* OpenNet Initiative Bulletin on Filtering in Iran

                  [5]  QUOTABLES

"Hey, there 'may' be life on Mars. What does 'may' mean?"

- Linux Torvalds, responding to the possibility that Linux "may" violate
300 patents - a claim made by the group, Open Source Risk Management,
which is trying to sell liability insurance to companies that use Linux


"JibJab merely uses Mr. Guthrie's lyrics and music as a convenient
vehicle to caricature the partisan climate of the campaign.  Although the
combination of Mr. Guthrie's music with Jib Jab's script and animation
is very funny, the caricaturing of the candidates' sound-byte attacks on
each other does not transform the work into a parody of Mr. Guthrie's

- Letter from Paul V. LiCalsi, attorney for Ludlow Music which claims
copyright ownership of Woody Guthrie's song, "This Land...", to JibJab
lawyer Ken Hertz


                  [6]  TALK BACK

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                  [8]  ABOUT US

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                  [9]  NOT A COPYRIGHT

A publication of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard
Law School <http://cyber.harvard.edu> You may--and please
do--forward or copy this newsletter to friends and colleagues.

This work is hereby released into the Public Domain. To view a copy of the
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Last updated

January 16, 2008