Roundup: Good News From A Short Week

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.

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Comments on “Roundup: Good News From A Short Week”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Later on some news came out about the Megaupload case. It results in a Catch 22 or damned if you do or damned if you don’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

When the FIB/DOJ applied for the seizure warrant against Megaupload they stated in the indictment that they had issued a warrant previously regarding infringing files and that these files were still sitting on the servers and had not been deleted. What the FBI/DOJ failed to state in the indictment and to the judge to obtain a seizure warrant against Megaupload was that the previous warrant issued was NOT against Megaupload. If they had mentioned that fact in the the indictment and to the Judge that the warrant issued was NOT against Megaupload then would the Judge have issued the seizure warrant against Megaupload? Perhaps the FBI/DOJ deliberately on purpose witheld that fact from the indictment and the Judge in order to maintain that the seizure warrant was issued against Megaupload.

out_of_the_bob says:

Man closed halfway in door will surely bangkok

its good to see masnick get so amazingly defeated on his own turf, pirate masnick pretends to have a piece of the pie, but it turns out that he is actually the pie. mike is a pie, the google pie that masnick was cooked in order to maintain his multimillion dollar google paycheck for advocating the destruction of so many innocent content creators


M (user link) says:

I like how the conversation has changed really. It is no longer about term extensions, killing fair use, monitoring everyone’s private communications or Internet black lists, and us having to explain how insane their ideas are.

Because of all their insane copyright enforcement ideas over the past year, they’ve inadvertently damaged the reputation of copyright itself. Pre-SOPA, the concept of copyright was pretty much untouchable, the battleground was copyright enforcement and how far we will go. No longer, now they are stuck basically trying to do damage control on the basic tents of copyright these days.

I’m hopeful that politicians are taking heed and give us some much needed copyright reform soon. After 19 copyright bills over the last 30 years that have done nothing but expand copyright to the point of ridiculousness, it’s time for a copyright bill that balances copyright with the desire to share and disseminate knowledge that their new digital world has created.

The ball is in our court now, and we got to work to slam it out of the park.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And now in response, Apple filed suit against Samsung over more devices.

Strangely, I’m finding Apple the lessor of two evils this time…Apple is just being childish with a tit-for-tat response…Samsung doesn’t own a patent on 3.5mm stereo head phone jacks, built in speakers, or things that control the the volume of your device. Both sides now look absolutely foolish.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

btrussle my dear friend, here’s the evidence. The iPod Touch 5 and iPad Mini “infringe upon” external audio ports…aka the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Here’s an article if you don’t believe me. It’s worse than Apple’s claim to rounded corners….at least Apple owns a patent for the rounded corners…look at what Samsung is claiming XD

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually, Apple has been a bit better behaving in patents. I’m wondering if Techdirt writers are going to cover Samsung’s latest additions to their case against Apple.

Honestly both sides have been rather petulant about it. Apple acting like the teenage brother who has no clue how to handle his younger 6 year old brother, so they play the Tit for Tat game. Meanwhile, Samsung’s execs have been like the toddler in the “my toy” stage, meaning they claim to own things that they don’t.

I just hope that it gets covered.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

My aren’t we a child…

First of all, you are ignoring one simple fact…Apple owns its patent on rounded corners (as ridiculas as that is). Samsung is claiming ownership on a patent for “External Audio Ports” that it does not own…do a quick search on Google image search before you question me on what devices are attached to the broad language Samsung has put out…

Now, one will ask what an “External Audio Port” is..If you’ve ever seen an RCA Audio connector or a Digital Coaxial connector port on DVD players, that’s an external audio port. I’ve clearly said both sides are being stupid.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘The government’s case against many seized sites isn’t based on an actual law’

since when has the government (any government) or law enforcement (any law enforcement) given a crap about basing something on actual law? every day there are reports of something else having happened that just erodes still further the rights of the people and basically no one in any position of power gives a shit. until, that is, that they themselves are on the receiving end, then all hell breaks loose!

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