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Shady AOL legal tactics

Practicing law can be as much about strategy as it is about legality. For instance, AOL decided to maximize the legal funds at it’s disposal by individually strong arming developers of the Gaim project. By threatening each developer individually the Gaim team was forced to retain different legal support each and every time. This could have been extremely costly but luckily there are enough kind hearted lawyers around that the Gaim team was able to continue to negotiate. The end result however is that Gaim is “too similar” to AIM which AOL has trademarked. So Gaim will now become pidgin and all the other assets (libraries, etc) will be renamed. More info here

Vidi well, Vidi well

Considering where I spend most of my work day this is a really funny Captcha image.

Digg the Article

The article I wrote about Vista as a degenerative technology was selected by the FSF for publication and is now on digg.

Here is the gist of the article:

More then ever, the industries who produce the entertainment consumed by the masses treat those very same people as potential criminals. Microsoft isn ’t kowtowing to demands; they are gladly aiding the entertainment industry to fight a battle they themselves are waging.

“Education Through Litigation.” and maybe censorship too.

A RIAA VP lectured students at ASU and was visited by protesters. The entire thing is captured on film here however the 5th video containing the protesters has been removed by YouTube. The link to the YouTube video officially states “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.” but doesn’t specifiy what terms of use were violated.
The other videos can be seen here. It is a good idea to upload to parties other then YouTube these days if the material could be removed by risk adverse censors. The cost is the same to the uploader so I’m not sure why only YouTube was used. The Daily Motion and are fine alternatives among others. I’ve emailed a few people including geekMethod to ask about the missing 5th video.
As a final note the RIAA VP continues blaming P2P for lost revenue even though evidence to the contrary has been published such as a paper from two economists. In their paper, “The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales An Empirical Analysis” Oberholzer and Strumpf found that “downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates.”

UPDATE: I had a quick email exchange with Geek Method and they think the video was taken down due to the length of the video (over 10 mins). They are in the process of fixing it now.