August, 2010

First skirmish in DMCA overhaul coming ‘in the very near future’

Copyright U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke dropped a tidbit of news yesterday in remarks to a music-business crowd at Belmont University in Nashville  “In the very near future,” Locke said, according to the text of his prepared remarks, “the Department will be issue a Notice of Inquiry, seeking public comment on the challenges of protecting copyrighted works on-line and the relationship between copyright law and innovation” (h/t Ben Sheffner). Comments in response to the NOI, he said, will be used “to create a report that will help shape the administration-wide policy on copyright protection and innovation.” Read More »

More DMCA push-back from copyright owners

Copyright RIAA president Cary Sherman isn’t the only music industry figure willing to talk openly now about revisiting the DMCA. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Eagles front man Don Henley says the time has come to blockade the safe harbors:

Congress should amend the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), eliminating or dramatically limiting the Safe Harbor provisions so that ISPs [Internet service providers] and websites such as YouTube, MySpace and Facebook have legal liability for hosting infringing content.

[snip]

Without this change, copyright owners are left with the unjustifiable and oppressive burden of constant policing of the online companies’ sites, which has little real effect on the continual problem of infringement of property, and serves mostly to embitter fans and the users of these sites. Read More »

Google in talks with studios for pay-per-view movies. No, really

Streaming Video Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: According to a report in the Financial Times (sub. req.), Google is in advance talks with the major studios about a pay-per-view movie streaming service via YouTube. The service will launch in the U.S. before the end of this year and eventually be rolled out globally, according to the report.

Actually, you have heard this one before. Just about a year ago to the day, the Wall Street Journal reported more or less the same story. That one turned out to be a false alarm. But enough water has gone under the bridge since that I wouldn’t write off the latest report as just a recurring, seasonal rumor.

What’s changed? Read More »

From devices to desires

Apple Apple watchers anticipating the big iTV announcement from Apple next month were disappointed yesterday when Cupertino sent out media invitations to a “special event” on September 1 in San Francisco that is pretty clearly not going to be a TV announcement.

The invitation was typically cryptic but featured a picture of a an acoustic guitar with an Apple logo cutout, pointing strongly to an music-related announcement. Speculation has now shifted to something iPod, with maybe a little iTunes news thrown in. Read More »

Is this Apple TV?

TV Apps One of the many unanswered questions surrounding Apple’s purported plans for an all-in-one, App Store-powered HDTV has been whether or how Apple’s touch-based iOS interface could translate to 46-inch screen in the living room. A European patent uncovered by the web site Patently Apple may offer a hint.

The filing describes an iMac-like desktop device with a touchscreen interface. The support stand is flexible to allow the height of the screen to be adjusted while a swivel mount would allow the screen to tilt  for optimal fingertip control and viewing. The device could operate either in OS X or iOS modes; switching between the two is done by touching advanced sensors embedded in the frame. Read More »