Friday, July 02, 2004

As to open source material on the web it seems that the copyleft movement is gaining some ground, in Canada at least:

"Canada's Supreme Court ruled in a landmark judgment that Internet service providers (ISP) do not have to pay royalties on music downloaded by customers.
In a unanimous 9-0 decision Wednesday, the court ruled that ISPs are not responsible for material web surfers download.
The court ruled that companies that provide access to the worldwide web are "intermediaries" who are not subject to copyright law. "
Sydney Morning Herald

With new laws coming into force in Sweden from January 1st 2005 concerning the illegality of downloading music (i.e. it will be illegal after this date to download copyright bound material from P2P internet sources) there seems to be a wide stretch of discrepancy in regard to international digital copyright interpretation. In an April 1st ruling Federal Court Judge Finckenstein (a former Commissioner of Competition at the Competition Bureau Canada) ruled:

“I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P (peer-to-peer) service.” - Federal Court Judge Konrad von Finckenstein 1 April 2004

Meanwhile Warner, BMG, EMI, Sony and Universal control 90 percent of the Swedish music market. The government is attempting to introduce greater competition in to the economy in general but with millions of songs being downloaded in Sweden today, where broadband internet connection is common, the new laws are unlikely to effect the present situation (especially when Swedes pay $US20 for a CD).

A final mention of Marlon Brando (1924-2004) who died this morning……a great actor and activist. His 1973 refusal of an Oscar for The Godfather as a protest against the treatment of Native Americans by the State should be remembered as a moment of affirmative direct action:

"Hello. My name is Sacheen Littlefeather. I am an Apache and I am the president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee.
I'm representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you, in a very long speech which I cannot share with you presently, because of time, but I will be glad to share with the press afterward, that he must very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry... [audience gasps] Excuse me... [some boos and some clapping] and on television in movie re-runs, and also the recent happenings at Wounded Knee.
I beg at this time that I have not intruded upon this evening and that we will, in the future, in our hearts and our understanding will meet with love and generosity.
Thank you on behalf of Marlon Brando."

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