Thursday, November 6, 2008

Other Big Events

These are historical times, to be sure. What is not getting much talk, I'm fairly certain, among many in the U.S. are the following court cases:

Google settled with publishers (like McGraw-Hill and Pearson Scientific, text book makers, and we know THAT'S a racket) that claimed their copyrights were being violated by Google for scanning and making available sections of their books. As part of the agreement Google must help to establish a program that would seek-out copyright holders and ask them if they would be willing to have their "orphaned" works available online. I suspect this organization won't have teeth and pretty impotent, actually.

The Internet can rejoice because the FCC has unanimously ruled in favor of allowing the white spaces in the tv spectrum be used for high speed internet activity. Ars Technica and Computer World both have great discussions of why this is a landmark case for America. In short: this is on the same level as breaking "Ma Bell."

And, of course, those goons at the Motion Picture Association of America have begun lobbying our new President. The U.S. is going to have a new "Copryright Czar" I guess because all the other czars we've had were so great at what they did. We're still fighting that War on Drugs, right?

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