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Archive for March, 2005

Grokster and the SC: hairs raised and split

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Today, Timothy Armstrong, a teaching assistant for the class that provides impetus for this blog, writes from the exciting Supreme Court argument in MGM v. Grokster. Tim’s comments are encouraging and it seems Grokster is off to a strong start considering my waning optimism.

“…the Justices have a hearteningly clear grasp of what the software does and doesn’t do. MGM also argued that the Ninth Circuit’s decision was itself chilling technological innovation, although they defined “innovation” as innovation authorized by copyright holders. MGM closed with its pity-the-starving-artists line, complaining about the lost revenues from hypothesized sales it says would have occurred absent file-sharing.”

Read the complete account over at Timothy K. Armstrong’s blog.

True love is the mixtape

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Thurston Moore‘s piece in the latest Wired, The Best 90 Minutes of My Life is an ode to the mixtape. He name-drops obscure hardcore punk bands and even manages a dig at the forgotten lossy compression of mp3 format.

“Trying to control music sharing – by shutting down P2P sites or MP3 blogs or BitTorrent or whatever other technology comes along – is like trying to control an affair of the heart. Nothing will stop it.”

Nothing will stop it.

Christo gates Gates

Monday, March 21st, 2005

According to the following email requoted from Stay Free blog, Christo’s indulgent ambition extends beyond his beautiful installations to the design of fantastical IP protection schemes.

Christo’s publisher claims a vast new degree of copyright and trademark protection. They claim they will prosecute anyone who sells their own original photos of The Gates; who makes and sells a drawing of The Gates or who even uses the words, The Gates, without their permission….They also claim to have an agreement with the media that media sources may only use news photos of the gates for the period the installation is up. That after that the media will only be allowed to use “official” photos of The Gates.

If this is the case, it seems to upend the assertion on Christo’s website that following the deployment of “the Gates”(tm)(c), “The people of New York used the park as usual.”

Charter schools critized on misleading website

Sunday, March 20th, 2005

In the latest example of intentionally mis-leading domain names, the anti-charter school group Massachusetts Taxpayers for Accountable Spending (MTAS) registered to catch traffic headed for, home of the Massachusetts Charter School Association (MCSA)

. Although the MTAS insists that it seeks accountability and reform, it has hardly provided a mature argument opposing the charter school system. Text on the fake-out website promotes references to charter schools as “gravy sucking pigs” and suggests that the specially-focused public schools
are little more than unscrupulous money-making ventures.

“It’s most unfortunate that presumably responsible people have put this out there,” [said Education Commissioner David Driscoll]. “Our students deserve better than to have adults act this way.”– Charter school foe casts Web: Same-name site angers officials, Kevin
Rothstein, Boston Herald, 18 March 2005

So what next? Does MTAS have a legal right to operate a website that appears to have a clearly misleading domain name? Paul Schlichtman, MTAS site operator and former president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, cites protection under the First Amendment. “It’s reasonable to put up a Web site about charter schools with a domain
name that talks about charter schools.”

Still I remain unconvinced. Although clearly unethical, I am not sure if it is unlawful. I suppose it depends on whether the MCSA previously sought trademark protection of its domain. In any case, it is disheartening to think that public discourse over the future of our state’s public education should find itself suddenly so deep in the aforementioned “gravy.”


Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

In an effort to further split my online persona, I am initiating new space in the blogosphere. Rather than continue to mesh pop culture ephemera with growing academic interests at the long-running, I am taking the latter over here and bringing proper capitalization with it!

Please bear with me as I get the hang of using Manila. My deep affection for WordPress has made me somewhat blind to the alternatives.

Enjoy! I eagerly wait your first flame.

It Worked!

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

Welcome to your new weblog. To get started, please visit this page for tips on posting to your weblog, and participating in the weblog community here.