The RIAA is perplexed. To a certain extent so am I. But a judge has ruled that just because a file is in a Kaazaa directory does not meet the definition of ‘distribution’. The confusing part? This very same judge ruled otherwise in a similar RIAA case against a different party.
In most cases, the answer has been yes. Judge Neil V. Wake, presiding over Atlantic vs. Pamela and Jeffrey Howell, bucked that trend by denying the RIAA’s motion for summary judgment in that case.
According to him, just because the RIAA’s investigative partner MediaSentry was able to download 12 copyrighted songs from the Howell’s Kazaa account at two in the morning on January 30, 2006, that doesn’t necessarily mean that other people were downloading the songs too. In fact, the judge held, there is no proof that the couple distributed copyrighted songs to anyone except the MediaSentry investigator.
“The statute does not define the term ‘distribute,’ so courts have interpreted the term in light of the statute’s plain meaning and legislative history,” wrote the judge. “The general rule, supported by the great weight of authority, is that ‘infringement of [the distribution right] requires an actual dissemination of either copies or phonorecords.’” Last year, the same judge ruled the other way on this case, so the Howells and their attorneys must have made significant progress since then.
Pols wonder why Americans consider going to court a crap shoot. Regardless this is an interesting twist. If upheld the legal bar for the RIAA has just been raised. Not only must they prove that the files were available but ALSO that someone other than the RIAA has downloaded the files. The rub is P2P systems tend to anonymousize [sic] the file transfer. So if the RIAA is not in the loop at the actual time a 3rd party downloads the file that may never capture the act of doing so. Heh.
And battle marches on…
The man pictured at the left is Senator Robert Byrd, all time champion and reigning king of the pork barrel and earmarks. Senator Byrd has successfully driven more federal spending per capita to his home state than any other elected representative in history. West Virginia is home to boundless interstate highways and federal office buildings. If there is a close vote in the Senate, you can bet Mr. Byrd will demand a little something extra for the folks back home before he’ll sway. Based on his actions, it seems Senator will not be happy until every square inch of WV is accessible from a federal funded road and any WV infrastructure project will be done twice for good measure. Now here’s the rub: West Virgina is far behind the rest of the nation in broadband availability.
The Southwest Virginia region around Roanoke and Blacksburg came in dead last in a Scarborough Research report that measured broadband use in 79 U.S. markets, with only 29 percent of adults reporting high-speed Internet connections in their homes.
Ranking one above Southwest Virginia was the Charleston/Huntington market, which reported only 33 percent of high-speed Internet connections in homes, tying with the Fresno-Visalia, Calif., region.
The low number of high-speed Internet connections in the Southwest Virginia region paled in comparison to the rest of the nation, which quadrupled broadband use from 2002 to 2007, according to the Scarborough Research study. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
Please don’t get the idea we advocate federal funding of broadband projects, we couldn’t think of a worse idea. This is just to make a point that the current crop lawmakers in Washington DC are clueless. The fact that man most likely to get the feds to pay for any imaginable infrastructure project in his state has done nothing to improve access in his state on the federal spend is very telling.
Please remember to vote in November.
Here’s more proof that the content and access businesses don’t mix well under the same corporate roof.
Time Warner is splitting off its cable services division, the company said Wednesday.
Time Warner currently owns around 84 percent of Time Warner Cable. The media giant, which has been struggling of late, has been rumored to be discussing merging the AOL division with Yahoo.
“A complete structural separation of Time Warner Cable, under the right circumstances, is in the best interest of both companies’ shareholders,” CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a release. (Cnet)
This blog wasn’t here when the Time Warner entered the cable business, but I can assure you the entire Third Pipe team agreed it was an unworkable marriage.
Just kidding but like the disaster that will be the DTV transition, it now appears that we have an issue with wireless health monitors. Now CNet paints a picture of possible problems. We don’t doubt that might be true. But CNet also paint a picture of a ‘woe is the hospital’ when in fact companies like GE Medical Systems knew that there would be a transition. They did not take advantage of the changeout. Heck there is even a channel space that has been designated for such systems for several years now.
What’s that old saying? Oh — “Bad planning on your part, does not constitute panic on mine.” Please get off the White Space mindset. Properly designed digital systems have tightly constrained spectrum use.
But this does point out that the whole transition will be a problem.
With somewhere around 96% penetration amoung American households the only way to grow a business is to steal customers. Verizon and AT&T have been very successful at this to the expense of Sprint and T-Mobile. But it also means that slowly the customer is becoming more important.
Case in point, taking a page out of the auto dealers, flipped customer playbook. Cellular South is willing to pay off a customers ETF if they sign up with them. The maximum is $200 and it is a service credit. Most likely you won’t see the bill off till the end of your contract with them. Recommend you read the fine print before you make a move. But if the it makes sense to you then consider it.