The Jury in the Oracle vs. Google case has decided that Google violated Oracle’s copyright in implementing the Java APIs. Now, that’s actually not too bad of news, because the Judge in the case told the jury to “assume APIs are copyrightable for this decision” but that he would eventually decide that independently. Given that the EU just ruled they are not, I’m hoping the judge in this case comes to the same conclusion.
Stop SOPA/PIPA today.
What does an industry with almost no intellectual property protection look like? It looks like fashion, and this TED video gives you a lot to think about when it comes to IP protection of creative works. The low IP industries are much bigger markets than the high IP industries, and there is not a death of innovation in them.
From the youtube blog:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.
Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
This is so absurd you’d be hard to come up with a better “who’s on first” plan yourself.
One of the constant tensions that exist is the new media age is between preservation of culture and copyrights. Personally this doesn’t get summed up any better for me than the fact that Schickele Mix is now lost to us.
Peter Schickele produced 175 episodes of a radio show that explored concepts in music in a very accessible way. I heard it by accident on our local NPR station 7 years ago, and fell in love with it. This was already during one of it’s many encores, as new shows had stopped being produced the last 90s. Even though I possess no real musical talent (or perhaps because of that), the show was facinating, and taught me incredible amounts about music. I only wished it was still running somewhere.
Because the show was about music, it played full length songs. The royalty rates for those on broadcast radio were something that was payable at the time, but those rates are substantially higher for online distribution. Hence, there are no archives, and a big piece of culture, one that could get people really excited about music, is now unpublishable due to copyright.
When I was in college, I was always fascinated by the fact that all that still remained of Ancient Greek Theater were 40 some odd plays. How could culture like that get lost? In a digital age it seems incredible that it would be possible to loose important parts of our culture.