A Little Bit of Laches Goes a Long Way (via Volokh Conspiracy) — On January 21, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Though the issue involves laches, the case arises out of a claim of copyright infringement, so you’re sure to hear about it in the next several weeks if you follow copyright issues. Here is an interesting and informative look at the issues here.
The Google Book project: is it fair use? — Attorney Barry Sookman has an excellent and thorough analysis of last November’s district court decision in the Google Books litigation. He follows that with some pointed questions about the court opinion.
My Songs = Your Instagram Photos. A New Trichordist Statement of Purpose — “Your average Internet user is being exploited in exactly same way that the artists are. You are being exploited by exactly the same companies. Ad supported piracy? What’s the difference from “shared endorsements”? They take something that belongs to you without your permission. They then sell advertising against it and keep all the money without letting you set the price—much less paying you a share of the revenue.”
Top MPAA Lawyer on Google’s Failures, Suing Kim Dotcom and Obama After SOPA (Q&A) — Interesting interview. “I’ve been in this game for close to 15 years dealing with the Kim Dotcoms of the world, by whatever name they call themselves. And they all position themselves as a champion of something because it doesn’t sell papers for them to position themselves for what they are — people who just slap together some crude technology to make as much money as quickly as they can before they get caught and then run and hide.”
Google’s Knowledge Graph Boxes: killing Wikipedia? — Here is another example of how Google embraces free and open to build its market share, and then uses the resulting dominance to close off competitors. “The sad irony is that Google is very much for-profit, while Wikipedia is non-profit. Google has donated several million tax-exempt dollars to support Wikipedia in the past, and the Wikimedia Foundation thought that was a lovely series of gifts at the time. But now, Google has figured out a way to take that same Wikipedia content and “import” it directly into Google’s own Knowledge Graph space, where it can be surrounded by advertisements that put money back in Google’s pocket. And if these recent Wikipedia traffic statistics are to be trusted, the shift of Wikipedia “knowledge” over to Google may be exactly what is simultaneously robbing Wikipedia of its readers.”
Understanding Media Markets in the Digital Age: Economics and Methodology — Highly informative. “Viewpoints on such topics as filesharing, copyright enforcement, and digital distribution strategies can be quite polarized. Further complicating the picture, empirical ‘research’ appears to support both sides of the issues on these topics, with one example being the fact that some studies suggest that piracy harms sales of artistic works while others seem to suggest that piracy may be beneficial toward these sales. But not all ‘research’ is created equal.”
Google’s Spymasters Are Now Worried About Your Secrets — Wait, are you telling me there might be a downside to this idea of “permissionless innovation”? “Google has turned once private data into a commodity routinely exploited for profit. No wonder these executives are now made uncomfortable when old-fashioned dictators appropriate the snooper culture of the new technology.”