Viacom Is Barking Up the Wrong Tree

I think that Viacom is barking up the wrong tree. YouTube and Google have done nothing wrong in how the operate.
They operate under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act where they remove infringing material when requested by the copyright holder. In fact, Viacom screwed up and screwed some posters when they requested a bunch of infringing material be removed and they requested that YouTube remove material that had nothing to do with Viacom.

The issue is that people are posting shows from various Viacom properties. In the suit, has Viacom been damaged from this posting by people who love these shows? I doubt it. In fact, I bet that Viacom is seeing an increase in their viewership because more people are watching their shows because they saw them on YouTube.

I hope this ends quickly in a settlement like YouTube has entered into agreements with other media companies, but I don’t think that is going to happen. YouTube/Google is ready to go to battle and in this copyright case they have a good chance of winning.

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What is up with Comcast

I am wondering why everyone is having problems with the change to an earlier daylight savings time. This change was solidified a couple of years ago with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Well Comcast seems to be having problems. I have a HD DVR through Comcast and all of the scheduled recordings are recording an hour earlier. So instead of CBS Sunday Morning, I got some kids cartoon.

Give me a break Comcast. You have had two years to get this fixed and you still couldn’t do it. You may have sent out patches, but if they don’t make it to everyones DVR or they don’t work, then you have a problem and you failed.

As of now I have had no other problems and everything is working fine, including my computers. It is amazing in 2007 that we are still having these problems.

C-SPAN Allows Video Use

It is nice to see a media company allow the use of video that is produced by Congress or a Federal agency.  This is a liberal copyright policy and is only fair to the American taxpayer because the American Taxpayer helps pay or has paid for this video.  Read the news release…  It does not include any video that C-Span has produced themselves.
In a statement from C-Span Executive Committee Chairman William J. Bresnan, CEO of Bresnan Communications said that the network’s directors enthusiastically endorsed the copyright policy liberalization. Bresnan said, “The cable industry created this network to allow citizens greater access to their government and this enhancement appropriately reflects the rapid changes in the online information world.”

A controversy erupted because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used video from C-Span on her website and bloggers accused her of stealing video from C-Span.

But in my opinion the use of video of Congress or a Federal agency that appears on C-Span should be free to use by the citizens since they have helped fun this station and the cameras that are used in Congress.  It is nice to see that C-Span agrees with that.

Jobs Calls for DRM Free Music

In a great move, and one that is needed, Steve Jobs released his thoughts on music on the Apple Website today. In this letter, he makes a pretty good case for making all music DRM free. I thinked he summed it up in one paragraph.

“Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.”

DRM hasn’t worked and needs to be abolished. DRM does not hurt the the people are distributing it illegally. It only hurts the people who want to legitimally listen and use the music.

Let’s see what comes from the four music labels and see how they can hold on to their DRM dreams. Many pundits said that this year we would begin to see the end of DRM. I am beginning to believe them. The tidal wave is growing and it will only be a litte bit until it comes crashing down on the four big music labels.

Unrestricted Music Coming Soon…Hopefully

I hope that the music industry is seriously thinking of providing DRM free music. This would be a tremendous step forward in the progression of the internet and the music industry.
In an article in the New York Times, “Record Labels Contemplate Unrestricted Digital Music” the Chief Executive of Real Networks thinks that it will happen in a couple years.

“It will happen between next year and five years from now, but it is more likely to be in one to two years,” said Rob Glaser.

I think that this will be amazing. There have been increases in people being more open to unrestricted music. E-Music has seen success and the Pod Safe Music Network has really helped independent and sole-promotion artists get play time without having to bribe radio stations.

I can’t wait for this to happen. I just wish the record companies will get a clue and do it sooner rather than later.

Dvorak Nails it with Deep Linking

Deep linking is something that every blogger and most all people who manage websites do. They link to web addresses other than the top level domain.
In a column in PC Mag from December 27, 2006, Hate Deep Linking? Lock the Door, Dummy!, John Dvorak hits it on the nose when if you don’t want it, don’t let them do it.

I agree that if this ever gets enforced across the web, the internet as we know it will go away. It hits at the very basic building blocks of why the Internet has taken off. It allows information to be linked and shared and other links, tying it all together. That is why it is called the web.

If you don’t want people deep linking to your site, use the technology that is available today to block it. If you allow it, I agree with Dvorak:

The message a judge should hear is that if a site technically allows deep linking, then it is tacitly and overtly allowing it—perhaps encouraging it. The links are fair game, period. If it tries to block it, then it is not allowing it. That’s that. Simple. It works. No more complaining.

Judges who will be ruling on this need to understand the technology that they are ruling on and make rules that apply. If someone tells you to stop linking to their site, respect them and take it down. But if you have site and don’t want people to deep link into your site, then block it. If you don’t, you can’t complain.