In the News

  • The iPhone is reportedly encouraging new collaboration between wireless carriers and cell phone manufacturers:

    Two years ago, David Ulmer, senior director of entertainment products at Motorola in Sunnyvale, Calif., and his colleagues got a "no, thank you" from wireless carriers when they tried to pitch a mobile phone with a touch screen. "Now, we are finding it easier to get people to talk to us," Mr. Ulmer said. "Apple has changed the perception of how sexy a phone can be. Now, everyone wants to get in. It's a whole new world. We're in talks with everyone, Universal Studios, Time Warner, you name it."

However, as we have argued before, the wireless market is structured to make these sorts of creative coordinations the exception, not the rule. The wireless carrier's control over the device and content markets have stunted the development of new products for consumers.

  • Meanwhile, presidential campaigns are having a hard time raising money with cell phones. Because the campaigns have to make deals with each carrier for mobile fundraisers, and because the carriers can take up to 40% of any money donated from each text message, candidates have to jump through a series of technological hoops to raise any money wirelessly.

  • Reuters covers the collapse of the WIPO broadcast treaty:

    "It is going to be a while before we return to convene a diplomatic conference," WIPO Deputy Director-General Michael Keplinger told Reuters in a telephone interview...In a statement, the United States delegation to the talks said negotiators remained "far apart" on fundamental issues related to the new treaty, including the nature and extent of protections needed.

You can read Sherwin's coverage of the whole event here, here, here, and here.

  • The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld a ruling that compilations of yacht listing can be copyrighted. William Patry blogs that if the defendant (who copied the compilations) had succeeded, it would have created a dangerous double standard for determining copyright infringement between the traditional 'substantial similarity' and an unprecedented 'virtual similarity'.

  • The New York Times covers Larry Lessig's retirement from the Free Culture/Creative Commons movement to focus on campaign finance reform:

    "Politicians are starved for the resources concentrated interests can provide," [Lessig] wrote. "In the United States, listening to money is the only way to secure re-election. And so an economy of influence bends public policy away from sense, always to dollars."

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