PK in the Know Podcast #011

February 21, 2006

We've broken past 10!

  • You can find the audio version of our In the Know newsletter here.

  • the enhanced audio version here.

  • and ideally, you could subscribe to the podcast here, but we still appear to be having technical difficulties with that.

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Siva on the Daily Show

February 17, 2006

I could describe it, but why when you can watch it? Go VideoBomb it here.

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To The Point with Gigi and the Gang

February 13, 2006

Gigi was on KCRW's To the Point talking about net neutrality and the roll out of broadband. Other guests were Jeff Chester, Adam Thierer, and Christopher Yoo.

You can hear the audio of the show here.

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ICAC’s State of the Net Conference 2006

February 13, 2006

Last week in DC there was a great conference put on by the good folks at Internet Caucus. There were several great panels that discussed issues regarding broadcast and radio flag, net neutrality and broadband policy, and independent media on the Internet.

There are some great videos of the event you should check out:

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Superbowl XL: Why Fair Use of Broadcast TV is So Important

February 10, 2006

Regardless of whether you hold allegiance to the Steelers or Seahawks, the debate continues on whether that first touchdown was really a touchdown.

Some may say, "It's just a game," or "It's just one call." But don't tell that to the football fans, and especially don't tell that to the NFL, ABC, ESPN, Disney, Sprint, Pepsi, or GM who all have a lot of money riding on the credibility of those officiating the game.

Would that credibility be enhanced or degraded if the NFL officials were the only ones allowed to see the instant replays of controvercial calls? Would the credibility be enhanced or degraded if the viewer were only allowed to see ABC / ESPN / Disney's edited version of the controvercial calls? Do these content providers have incentive to provide viewers with the full, unedited coverage of the game--or might they have more incentive to not have the officials criticized?

I submit to you the writings of Stephen Speicher, who does the Clicker column over at Engadget. In this weeks post, he discovers that in the VOD version of the Superbowl, some of the more interesting parts were edited out:

Gone was the Daryl Jackson play where one foot landed in bounds and the other hit the pylon. Touchdown? Gone was the phantom hold call. Gone was any discussion over whether Big Ben actually made it into the end zone. Gone was the flag being thrown on the Hasselbeck's tackle. Cynics might argue that the game was edited to support the NFL's conclusion of "proper officiating."

Granted, he'd have been better off actually recording the show instead of downloading the VOD version--something that thankfully the doctrine of fair use allows. Digital technologies allow football fans and media critics alike, to record the Superbowl for personal replay, excerpt portions, provide a commentary, and post it on a website like YouTube, and promote discussion of the controvercial plays using sites like VideoBomb.

Fair use is alive and well, and these types of activities are happening all over the Internet--not just for discussion in academic settings, not just on news and public domain materials, but of which any kind of content that one decides he or she wants to make criticism or comment.

Fair use may be alive, but if incentivized parties are permitted to artificially cripple technology to prevent fair use, we may never know who really won the Superbowl.

Digg this story here

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Net Neutrality Day II

February 7, 2006

Lots of net Net Neutrality going on today, as well. Perhaps it will end up being Net Neutrality week?!

  • The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the topic. Google's Vint Cerf and Prof. Larry Lessig did a great job standing up for the internet principles. Additionally, Gary Bachula of Internet2 gave us a view of what the internet could be if telco's kept it simple: side stepped the discrimination and just pumped bandwidth. Take a look at the webcast, make sure not to skip the second panel witnesses.

  • Daniel Berninger had a great op-ed on Om Malik's blog regarding net neutrality and why the internet won't be the internet without it.

  • There have been a bunch of articles on this in the past 24 hours on net neutrality, and we try to update you on them all. Check out Art's Breaking News for the latest headlines, or you could even subscribe to the Breaking News RSS feed.

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Net Neutrality Day

February 6, 2006

There's a lot going on today with regard to Net Neutrality and PK.

Elsewhere on the web, others are talking about net neutrality as well. One of my favorite v-logs, MobuzzTV had a great rant on it--check it out.

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They said wha?

February 2, 2006

Words I thought I'd never hear:

"One of the most effective weapons for defeating online piracy is providing legal, easy-to-use alternatives,"

from a studio exec about using P2P technology. In this case, it's reportedly Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group who said this to Reuters, when announcing their intent to use P2P technology for the legal distribution of their video content.

Right now, WB plans to use the technology to move around language-dubbed US content in Germany, but there are hopes of expansion to other markets.

The service will be called In2Movies (not sure if this site is the actual thing or a squatter).

Ah, times are a-changin'!

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PK in the Know Podcast #10

February 2, 2006

Our PKintheKnow podcast #10 was just posted to

Since our last post, we've started an enhanced podcast that allows for pictures and links embedded into the audio.

  • You can find the regular MP3 formatted podcast here.

  • You can find the new enhanced podcast here.

  • PK's page can be found here; it links to all of our podcasts.

  • And you can find our RSS podcast feed here, though is having some technical difficulties with the feed at the moment.

What?! You didn't know PK had a podcast? It's generally an audio version of our In The Know bi-monthly Newsletter, and tends to run about 10-12 minutes.

Not receiving our newsletter? If you'd like to be "in the know," you can quickly become a member by emailing here.

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The Copyright Office’s way to Solve Orphan Works

February 1, 2006

PK released a press release on the orphan works issue this afternoon.

The office set out to accomplish four goals: 1. to encourage owners to make themselves known and users to make all reasonable efforts to find owners of works they want to use; 2. when owners are unlocatable, users should be permitted to use the work, with limited remedies for the owner if he surfaces after the use commences; 3. legal provisions should work independently of the rest of copyright law, maintaining existing exemptions and limitations; and 4. a solution must be least burdensome to copyright owners, users, and the federal government.

PK believes that the Copyright Office's recommendation properly requires of a user of an orphan work a good-faith and reasonably diligent search. The guidelines for this reasonable search are balanced and attentive to the concerns raised by a number of the groups during last year's discussions. The recommendation properly sets the scope of the regulation to include both published and unpublished works, alike, and does not make separate distinctions based on the age of the work. We agree that orphan works users should also be required to provide up-to-date attribution information about work's owner and author. The proposal correctly dismisses the use of rainy-day escrow accounts and an orphan work-specific arbitration system, in the unlikely case that an orphan owner resurfaces.

With regard to the Copyright Office's recommendation, the problem at the core of the orphan works issue still remains: if the owner of a work can legitimately not be found, how do you properly reward/incentivize a user of the work for reviving and disseminating it?

Put another way, what is the appropriate legal protection for a user of a work who has diligently, and in good faith, searched for the owner of the work? Is protection against statutory damages enough?

The concern with the Copyright Office's recommendation is that "reasonable compensation" based on what a willing buyer and reasonable willing seller would have agreed to at the time of use, "based predominantly by reference to evidence of comparable marketplace transactions," does not adequately address the issue of orphan works. The whole problem is that there is no "comparable marketplace transaction" for an orphan works situation because there was no reasonable willing seller in the first place. To allow a court to decide what would have been reasonable retroactively, we think, creates too high of a hurdle for potential users of an orphan work, and will ensure that the orphans stay locked away in the orphanage.

That's why we proposed a cap [PDF] on the amount that a user of an orphaned work would have to pay to the owner. This gives the user of the work a tangible amount of certainty of what he or she would have to pay if the owner surfaced. Without this kind of cap, we don't believe any one would use an orphan work--it's just too risky.

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