from the a-break-from-tradition dept
With the extra-long weekend, we only had three days of regular posts this week, so rather than try to rouse one of our regulars from their turkey-induced torpor to pick favorites from a diminished pool, we're bringing you a quick roundup of our own. And, as I began to look at the week's posts, I realized that there was an awful lot of positive news—rather appropriately, given the holiday.
On Monday, those of us who oppose the DOJ's wanton domain seizures were dealt another trump card when an appeals court confirmed that yes, domain names are a form of speech and thus qualify for first amendment protections. The government's case against many seized sites isn't based on an actual law so much as a pastiche of legal gray areas that suggest some vague notion of guilt without any clear violations—but, one by one, those gray areas are being cleared up.
Monday also came on the tails of some bad news—the RSC's spineless retraction of their astonishingly clear-headed copyright policy brief, seemingly confirming the common wisdom about things that seem too good to be true. But, as we reminded everyone, the brief was still brilliant, and the fact that such ideas entered the political debate at that level at all, however briefly, is still a milestone. Meanwhile, Darrell Issa announced that he's planning a bill to clarify fair use law and ensure that ripping your own DVDs is legal.
There's more too, this time in the good-but-incredibly-late news department. AC/DC has finally done the dirty deed (though, probably not dirt cheap) and agreed to sell their music in the iTunes store. Kid Rock too, in case anyone cares.
To close out Monday, we enter the world of video games (figuratively that is, rather than a maze full of ghosts or whatever) for two pieces of news that should have every indie game enthusiast excited to the point of button-mashing. Not only did we learn that Double Fine and the Humble Bundle have teamed up to let you vote on new games, we also saw a pretty badass preview of the meme-based game Dudebro. Plus, both stories came with extremely entertaining videos.
Moving on to Tuesday, we start with the news of an upcoming book from George Mason University that makes the case for copyright reform. In this case, at least, we can count on there not being any immediate retractions. We also got word of the UK band Chapel Club, which recently left its label and is now encouraging fans not only to remix their work, but to sell what they make. Though the restriction against free sharing is silly, it's still a cool experiment.
Tuesday was also the day we created our own bit of good news by announcing two new holiday deals in the Insider Shop: the Holiday Bundle and a 15% discount for anyone who buys three or more t-shirts. These are limited time deals, so get them while they last!
On Wednesday, we learned that the FTC may be getting ready to back down from its antitrust threats against Google, ending a pointless showdown that may have resulted from FTC boss Jon Leibowitz's quest for glory. It's hard to accuse a search engine of antitrust when their results frequently highlight their competitors' products.
Finally, we took a look at one piece of news that could be good far beyond the scope of music business models and copyright policy: the emergence of a major breakthrough in medical technology for non-invasive heart scans. Unfortunately, the creators are being tied up by immigration problems—so here's hoping we don't end up having to move this into the bad news column because of burdensome regulations.
With that, we return to our regularly scheduled blogging. See you tomorrow for the top comments, and Monday for (hopefully) more good news.