Mickey Mouse Thoughts on Copyright Extensions

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Courts decision backing the U.S. Congress’ extension of copyrights from 75 to 95 years, Reason magazine has published an ‘exclusive interview’ with Mickey Mouse. Among the cartoon rodent’s comments: “For almost 70 years, I’ve only been allowed to do what the Disney people say I can do. Sometimes someone comes up with a new idea, and I think to myself, ‘Great! Here’s a chance to stretch myself!’ But of course they won’t let me leave the reservation. If I do, they send out their lawyers to bring me home.” “My first laugh in […]

'Forced Migration' of Online Users

In one of the largest ‘forced migration’ in Internet history, Comcast will forcibly migrate the e-mail addresses of the 1.9 million AT&T Broadband cable modem users from the attbi.com to comcast net domain. All because the Comcast company purchased AT&T’s broadband operations last year. Comcast will automatically forward users e-mail to the new addresses, but only for 60 days. Besides their e-mail addresses changing, all the domains for any AT&T Broadband users’ personal web sites will change. I’m sure that many of those millions of subscribers will forget to send changes of e-mail messages to their friends. Few will remember […]

Judge Rules Kazaa is Liable to U.S. Laws

A U.S. District Court judge yesterday ruled that file-swapping software company Kazaa, which is based in Australia and incorporated in the island republic of Vanuatu, can be sued in U.S. courts for copyright infringement. Federal Judge Stephen Wilson ruled that because Kazaa does substantial business in the U.S. and is alleged to engage in copyright infringement, it is subject to U.S. copyright law. During the previous two months, Judge Wilson in Los Angeles heard evidence and testimony from Kazaa and from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Kazaa claims that, unlike […]

New EU Libel Law Proposal Draws Publishers' Protests

Are you shopping for the best country in which to sue for libel in print? In public hearings in Brussels last week, the European Association of Magazine Publishers and the British Periodical Publishers Association protested a European Commission proposal, known as Rome II, that would allow libel plaintiffs to choose the laws of their country of residence rather than the laws of the publication’s country. Last year, the European Publishers Council, the UK’s Advertising Association, and the American Media Law Center (PDF) had protested the EC proposal. Although the Internet publishing community was rocked last month by an Australian decision […]

W3C Endorses SVG

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today recommended Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 and Mobile SVG profiles be anointed standards. Vector Graphics (VG) are how Adobe PostScript and Macromedia Flash work, although those two companies each uses a proprietary version of that technology. By contrast, SVG is an XML-based ‘Open Standard’ file format that does basically the same things but also scales images to fit the size and resolution of the user’s display screen. SVG’s real benefit will be as a universal standard to provide rich graphics to looming Third Wave of Online Journalism: publications published to wireless devices and […]

Blog by Phone

Hey, desk-bound bloggers: Perhaps you didn’t believe my prediction last year that there is a rising Third Wave of Online Journalism utilizing wireless technologies? Then point your mouse towards NewBay. This Irish company’s software lets cellular network customers operate weblogs from mobile phones. And in case you think that means blogging just text, note that more than 10 million digital camera-equipped phones were sold in the 3rd Qtr of 2002 and are predicted to outsell digital cameras by 2007. Soon, you’ll no longer be desk-bound.

Some Resources on Privacy Issues

While researching international online privacy issues for a client today, I happened across the Center for Democracy & Technology‘s fairly comprehensive Guide to Online Privacy. I initially came across it while looking for any updates to the U.S. Commerce Department’s ‘Safe Harbor’ consumer privacy agreement with the European Union. The CDT site had no such updates but contains a wealth of hyperlinks to information about the ‘Safe Harbor’ treaty,

The 'Wireless PDA' Strategy

There is a posting on the Online-News listserv today that asks this question about Sybase’s acquition of AvantGo: Do you foresee this changing your wireless/PDA strategy? (Is that question moot?) I think it’s sad to see American publishers mistake PDAs as having anything at all to do with wireless. Yes, I myself carry a MDA (Mobile Digital Assistant, a merged PDA and cell phone), but suchwireless devices have almost nothing to do with AvantGo’s type of service. How many truly wireless subscribers does AvantGo have? Hardly any. AvantGo users are chained to their desktop PCs; they must insert their PDAs […]