<-- The Filter --> November 2004

November 22, 2004
No. 6.13 <--The Filter--> 11.22.04


[1] In the News -- Election Afterthoughts, MPAA Lawsuits, & Saudi Censorship
[2] Berkman News -- Amicus Brief, Blogging & Journalism
[3] Conference Watch
[4] Bookmarks
[5] Quotables
[6] Filter Facts

* Election Afterthoughts
Record numbers of voters turned out, "red states" carried the day, and wrangles over e-voting machines continue.  Now, in the post-election lull, campaigners, journalists, scholars and bloggers are beginning to ask, "Did the Internet make any difference at all?"  Dan Carol, creator of the Senate's first website in 1994, isn't bullish: "I don’t mean to be a curmudgeon but there was not that much new really."  Meanwhile, a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates that 40% of internet users find political information on the web -- more people than ever before.  How do these trends reconcile?  Next month, the Berkman Center is hosting a conference on this question and more.  Join us at Votes, Bits & Bytes from December 9-11, 2004 to discuss the effect of the internet on politics. (Spaces are filling quickly, so register soon.)
E-voting aftermath: <http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-5438198.html>
Experts weigh in: <http://www.personaldemocracy.com/node/120>
Pew Study: <http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/141/report_display.asp>
Votes, Bits & Bytes: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/is2k4/home>
* The Saudi-Wide Web
A report released today from the OpenNet Initiative sheds light on the what the Internet looks like from inside Saudi Arabia.  ONI tested sites blocked by the government's internet filtering system and found the highest percentage of blocked sites in the categories of pornography, drugs, and gambling.  The study found less evidence of blocking related to the state of Israel (2% of sites tested), the Jewish religion (0%), and alcohol (5%).  The study also revealed that blocking has changed since 2000.  The Israeli Defense Forces website, for example, was blocked in 2002 and 2003 but not in 2004.  The results of the ONI study offer a window into the country's evolving efforts to manage the type of information available to its citizens. The OpenNet Initiative is a partnership of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, and the Advanced Network Research Group at the Centre for Security in International Society (Cambridge Security Programme), University of Cambridge.
Read the full bulletin: <http://www.opennetinitiative.net/studies/saudi/>
Information on the OpenNet Initiative:  <http://www.opennetinitiative.net/>
* Film Studios Join Lawsuit Bandwagon
Specific details on the lawsuits remain unclear, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has announced a news campaign to sue users accused of illegally sharing copyrighted films.  Following in the footsteps of the RIAA, the film studios are trying to squelch what MPAA President Dan Glickman calls "the greatest threat to the economic basis of movie-making in its 110-year history" -- illegal trading of films over the internet.  News of this crackdown came one week after a new report by CacheLogic indicated that BitTorrent, a popular file-sharing program, accounts for more than a third of the internet's total bandwidth.  MPAA Lawsuits -- coming soon to a courtroom near you.

MPAA Release: <http://mpaa.org/CurrentReleases/2004_11_04_PressRelease.pdf>
Primary Documents on the case: <http://msl1.mit.edu/furdlog/index.php?m=20041105#post-2767>
BitTorrent Bandwidth: <http://www.cachelogic.com/research/slide1.php>
More on the State of Digital Media: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media>
* Pornography Site Sues Google for IP Claims
Perfect 10, a California-based publisher of "adult content," claims that Google has benefited from "stolen content" sites and filed suit against Google for 12 counts of intellectual property violations. According to the LA Times, the company claims it sent 27 requests to Google asking it to remove links to websites that illegally distributed Perfect 10's content.  Perfect 10 said that Google's response has been unsatisfactory and that Google provides links to 800,000 unauthorized versions of Perfect 10's photos.  Google has declined to comment on the case, which involves allegations of unfair competition as well as copyright, trademark, and right of publicity infringements.  The suit is the first of its kind for the search engine behemoth and could raise questions about DMCA safe-harbor provisions as well as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Perfect 10's Complaint (redacted for graphic content): <http://cyber.harvard.edu/blogs/gems/palfrey/Perfect10ComplaintPDFCropped...
News Coverage: <http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-porn20nov20,1,6907711.story>
Legal Commentary: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2004/11/20>

* Fellows Inform and Influence Blogosphere
Berkman Center Fellows Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman continue to buck the trappings of traditional media.  Both are mentioned in Foreign Policy Magazine in the article "Web of Influence," which highlights activists who are bringing attention to overlooked stories. In addition, the two have organized a series of discussions entitled "Global Voices Online: Blogging for Independent Journalists, Concerned Citizens and Activists," to take place at the conference, Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes.
Foreign Policy: <http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/files/story2707.php>
Global Voices: <http://cyber.harvard.edu:8080/globalvoices/>
Votes, Bits & Bytes: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/is2k4/home>
* Clinical Program Files Amici Brief In "Gripe Site" Case
The Berkman Center's Clinical Program in Cyberlaw filed an amici curiae brief in Bosley Medical Institute v. Kremer this month, on behalf of 15 intellectual property law faculty.  The case involves a non-commercial "gripe site," created by a disgruntled customer, that used the company's mark in its domain name.  The Berkman brief urges the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to hold that, consistent with First Amendment values, a mark must be used in a commercial context before it can violate the trademark laws and that Kremer’s site was non-commercial.  The brief was drafted by Clinical Program students Agnes Li, Eric Priest, Parishi Sanjanwala, and Thiru Vignarajah, the Clinical Program co-directors, and Professor Rebecca Tushnet of Georgetown and NYU.
The Brief: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/clinical/bosley.pdf>
Berkman's Clinical Program: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/clinical/>

* November 25-28, 2004, Baku, Azerbaijan - Digital Divide and Knowledge Economy: Problems and Solutions <http://www.global-ict.mincom.gov.az/about.php>
* December 1-5, 2004, Cape Town, South Africa - ICANN Meeting <http://www.icanncapetown.co.za/>
* December 9-11, 2004, Cambridge, Massachusetts - Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits and Bytes
* December 13-17, 2004, Tallinn, Estonia - iLaw Eurasia <http://cyber.harvard.edu/ilaw/eurasia_2004>
* January 3-6, 2004, Big Island, Hawaii - The Semantic Web: The Goal of Web Intelligence
* January 18-19, 2004, Brisbane, Australia - Open Content Licensing (OCL): Cultivating the Creative Commons <http://www.law.qut.edu.au/about/news.jsp#ocl>
* January 31 - February 4, 2004, Trento, Italy - 2005 International Symposium on Applications and the Internet <http://www.saint2005.org/>

* March 4-5, 2004, Ottawa, Ontario - The Concealed: Anonymity, Identity and the Prospect of Privacy

* Science Commons <http://creativecommons.org/projects/science/proposal>
* The Free Culture Movement <http://savetheipod.com/index1.php>
* Google Scholar <http://scholar.google.com/>

"We haven't made records for years."
-Bono, on the out-dated-ness of the "recording industry" and his enthusiasm about a special-edition iPod
After the debate that evening, Lessig and I strolled beneath the sycamore trees on the USC campus. We talked of his dream for Creative Commons and how artists and fans would benefit... if we all could enjoy more walks in the commons. Our debate on the second night would not have much disagreeable fervor.
-Hilary Rosen, former CEO of the RIAA, on coming to love Creative Commons <http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.11/larry.html>

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Contributors -- Wendy Koslow and Erica George; Editor -- Mary Bridges
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Last updated

October 31, 2008