specifically not a blog about tech and ip law
July 1, 2004

Google bans Gmail swaps and illegal file-sharing

Stefanie Olsen (c-net):

According to Google's new policy, altered Monday, the Web search company prohibits Gmail subscribers from selling, trading or transferring the free e-mail accounts "for any unauthorized commercial purpose." It also bars people from setting up multiple accounts in violation of the policy.
Interestingly, the terms also state that users may not:
  • Use the Gmail Service in connection with illegal peer-to-peer file sharing
  • .

    So legal file sharing is allowed? Is gmail more like napster or like grokster? Does gmail potentially violate the INDUCE Act.

    Also, I say interesting because I just was testing out gmail's capacity for file sharing, i.e. I was emailing myself mp3 files. I was able to send 2-3 songs at a time and could easily listen to them via windows media player on my work computer without downloading them -- I emailed my self two entire albums and was only using about 4% of my capacity. Excellent.

    Michael Moore on Filesharing

    msnbc reports:

    A June 27 posting on the site invites visitors to download the film. It quotes Moore, though it doesn’t cite a source, as encouraging such downloading by saying: “I don’t agree with the copyright laws, and I don’t have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people. As long as they’re not doing it to make a profit, you know, as long as they’re not trying to make a profit off my labor. I would oppose that.”
    Apparently, the site is down so I couldn't download the movie, but the trailer is here [via One Reaction] and the transcript of F911 can be found here.

    Update: Brenda Stardom's Open Letter asks Michel Moore to put his money where his mouth is and make his movie available for download on the net now.

    BoingBoing: How to Bittorrent Fahrenheit 9/11

    Cyberlaw column up at Findlaw

    Thank you to Andrew Zangrilli for including me in Findlaw's Modern Practice this week: The Heat Is On: Fahrenheit 9/11 and the RIAA TechLaw Advisor's Insight on Two Heated Issues. I am especially pleased that he chose to include my File Sharing equal threat as terrorism and drugs post.

    iPod foulplay?

    Despite Apple's generous personal use rights, which indicates that music purchased from iTunes can be used on up to 5 computers, the Ipod "synchronization occurs only in one direction, from your computer to your iPod. This means you cannot transfer music, automatically or manually, from your iPod to a computer, and you cannot use iPod to copy a music library from one computer to another." [Apple iPod Faq]

    Walt Mossberg thinks it's ridiculous that the iPod doesn't allow you to keep legally purchased music "synchronized on all your computers." So he offers some solutions. [WSJ]

    Despite all that, I may buy a song or two or 10,000.

    June 30, 2004

    Barbie & iPorn decisions link round-up

    Andrew Raff does the COPA.

    Chris Rush Cohen has Barbie covered.

    Prior Barbie coverage here and here. Barbie Girl coverage here.

    Did Orkut swipe his own code for Google?

    Daniel Terdiman asks whether Google swiped Orkut code when engineer Orkut Buyukkokten joined Google. Additionally, Affinity Engines (which Buyukkokten co-founded) claims that Orkut promised that he wouldn't develop a competing social network service for Google.

    Employment Issues Raised: Many employment agreements include language saying that any inventions or intellectual property made by an employee automatically are assigned to their employer. However in some cases where the company asserted rights, the employee may claim to have developed the application on their own time. According to this, "California labor laws state that things developed on your own time and on your own equipment do not get handed over to your employer. However, there's also an exception to that rule. If the work you've done relates to R&D work being done at the company, they might have a claim to it."

    As more facts are discovered it will be interesting to see how this case plays out. Of course in this context, the facts are going to be the major determining factor as they usually are in employment matters.

    June 29, 2004

    Not Everyone Can See Fahrenheit

    If Defamer says that Jack Valenti said it then it must be true; although I couldn't find the quote in the Hollywood Reporter article:

    "Clearly, telling 'everyone' to see a film with an 'R' rating is an unabashed call to criminality," said the enraged Valenti. "If we were to allow this endorsement of age-blind anarchy, the nation's renegade seventeen-year-olds would abandon their marijuana-selling posts by the mall Pac-Man machines and turn their local cinematheques into sodomy-filled, psychotropic sock-hops. We cannot allow the children to download the movie into their brains!"
    Defamer: MPAA: Not "Everyone" Can See Fahrenheit
    So not only has F911 lost a ratings appeal but now it can't say "Everyone should see this film" because it lost a ratings appeal.

    Unless all the theaters adopt the R-card system, then everyone who has cool parents can see R movies.

    Americans Oppose Music Industry Lawsuits

    No shit? I thought Americans enjoyed being sued by the Cartel for what goes on behind our children's closed doors and that as CONSUMERS we especially enjoy being sued and being made to spend huge sums to settle for partaking in non-copyright infringing activities. [Findlaw via prnewswire ... via google news alerts]

    Find out why this study may be good news for INDUCE/IICA supporters here.

    Since the RIAA is unlikely to stop filing suit against innocent consumers instead of dealing the issue of pushing shitty music we might as well get some free legal downloads.

    June 28, 2004

    Save the iPod

    Stop the INDUCE Act

    Downhill Battle, Click the Vote, and are doing their best to stick it to INDUCE, picking up on the EFF's good idea.

    Keep in mind that the iPod is just the type of technology that could be potentially targeted via INDUCE.

    Prior: Prelude to a Million Lawsuits / You say INDUCE they say IICA / File Sharing equal threat as terrorism and drugs / Shift is Key / Induce Act

    June 27, 2004

    PIRATE Act passed by Senate

    Declan: "the Pirate Act, along with a related bill that criminalizes using camcorders in movie theaters, will be forwarded to the House of Representatives for approval."

    Reuters: "The Justice Department would get an extra $5 million per year through 2009 for enforcement."

    Prior Coverage here and here.

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