Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekend Tech/Legal News Roundup

Copyright Litigation...

The RIAA continues to sue unwitting individuals, as they attempt to bully people into paying out settlements to increase their bottom line. Interestingly, it looks like the musicians are fighting back. I am glad to see that the artists realize the detrimental effect the RIAA's action has on the music business and the distribution of Copyrighted material. The MPAA has engaged in similar legal action, but it appears at least one person isn't going to take the case lying down. Up until now, few have been willing to stand up to the guerilla tactics of the major media companies. Its kind of hard to counterclaim, though, when the defendants are dead. Regardless, this litigation is fruitless, and I wish more people would stand up to these corporations. The government may becoming after the RIAA and the MPAA though, since a court has ordered the RIAA to release formerly confidential papers regarding a recently abandoned anti-trust investigation.

Follow-up on Oklahoma laws concerning digital entertainment rights...

Oklahoma passed a bill prohibiting violent video games. After what Microsoft did and now this, I won't be moving to the big OK any time soon.

On another note speaking of Microsoft, it appears MS is going to continue to role out abusive anti-consumer software under the auspice of preventing piracy. Does it bother anyone that this is largely occurring regardless of the wishes of the end user. I may think twice about accepting the EULA.

On the need for Net Neutrality...

As an end user, we have fewer rights when subject to the free market without regulation. Yesterday's posted short film by PublicKnowledge explains exactly why this is the case. Interesting, AT&T is already attempting to limit bandwidth by not rolling out new technology for the masses. Apparently, Verizon is now attempting to charge extra for dial up users. This works to the disadvantage of people outside of serviceable high speed internet areas. Net Neutrality is now working against people in rural areas.

Internet Privacy is Still an Issue

This is especially true since Congress is considering mandatory ISP snooping. This means, Congress will require internet service providers to record user traffic. The government is also asserting a national security privilege in the AT&T wire tap litigation. Not only does the government want to expand the scope of their investigatory powers, they also want to make sure that the courts cannot work to remedy any violation of civil liberties that may result. The prospect of the Executive Branch violating its duty to enforce the Constitution should be at least disturbing. It makes me feel ill. Don't forget, the government wants to know everything you do on-line, regardless of whether you are a terrorist or if they have reason to believe you are a terrorist.

Finally, For those keeping up with Supreme Court News...

The United States Supreme Court reversed a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals permitting Federal Courts to get involved in Anna Nicole Smith's probate litigation. Federalists should be pleased since this holding will limit the power of federal courts to get involved in probate battles, allocating more power to the states to determine how to deal with property claims. Lets not forget that this could make Miss Smith a billionaire.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

As if there ever was a good reason to move to Oklahoma?