Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Music Wars:
The RIAA strikes back again
Apparently, from this article the RIAA can indeed get your IP:
File swappers hoping to share music and other works online without exposing their identity to the prying eyes of copyright enforcers face a tough choice.

Popular peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa, where the lion's share of online trading of music and other files takes place, are designed so that participants who wish to remain completely anonymous must pay a severe price in terms of convenience and usability, experts warn.


Hiding on a file-sharing system is hard for a very simple reason: peer-to-peer networks are designed for efficiency, not anonymity. They rely on a straightforward mechanism that is ruthlessly efficient at trading files. But, by broadcasting the contents of shared folders, the system leaves users vulnerable to identification and, therefore, to possible legal action.


In a ruling last week in the Aimster case, a federal appeals court went even further, suggesting that a file-swapping network that cloaks its users' activities might run afoul of copyright law, precisely because it is designed to conceal illegal acts.

"Aimster hampered its search for evidence by providing encryption," wrote Judge Richard Posner, a respected economist and jurist. "It must take responsibility for that self-inflicted wound."

Posner, who serves on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote: "A service provider that would otherwise be a contributory infringer does not obtain immunity by using encryption to shield itself from actual knowledge of the unlawful purposes for which the service is being used."


Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, says that anonymity should remain the default condition both online and offline. "It is in many different contexts in the physical world, whether it's travel or commerce," Rotenberg said. "The burden typically falls on organisations that want your personal identity to justify their reason."

Given the RIAA's history of lawsuits, Rotenberg said he fears the worst. "To the extent that anonymity appears on the RIAA radar screen -- as have P2P and other technologies that stand in the way of copyright enforcement -- you can be sure that RIAA attorneys will launch a frontal assault, regardless of the constitutional implications," Rotenberg said.
This article seems to contradict what Myself has read in other articles about anonymous P2P networks. Given the source, ZD Net, which is generally pro-establishment, Myself takes this article with their leanings in mind. It does however raise Some concern for Myself, who relies on the "the RIAA can't sue 20 million individuals" meme. They can send cease and desist notices and that, even Myself will admit is daunting. There are uses for P2P that are completely legal, which is why the software itself can't be outlawed, which is incidentally why we have CD burners. The RIAA is going to fiercely persue it's policy of stopping all P2P music swapping, and only time will tell if programmers can keep one step ahead of them. Businesses that provide anonymous IP protection, shake in fear of even having to defend themselves against potential RIAA action, and opt not to extend their products to cover P2P networking, (which is understandable if your tyring to grow your business), but Myself is fairly certain there will be lone hack out there who doesn't give a shit and will post an anonymizer (not a real word I know, but it works), maybe even make it open source, just like DVD encryption. I'm fairly certain it already exists, out there, somewhere, if not then REAL SOON NOW.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The Volokh Conspiracy has a handful of excellent, in-depth, (read: long, involved) essays on the slippery slope of gay marriage here, here, here, and here. Yes four of them. Read them all. Be ready to put your thinking caps on, these guys are lawyers after all.
Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!
Yes that's right, Jerry "My fiancee is in love with another man" Springer has officially filed papers on Monday to run for the U.S. Senate from Ohio.
Springer, the former mayor of Cincinnati, will make a final decision on whether to run by the end of the month. State Sen. Eric Fingerhut has already announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and the right to challenge first-term Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, who served as governor of Ohio from 1991-99.

Voinovich, who won in 1998 with 57 percent of the vote, is considered a formidable candidate.
Although he still has time to make a final decision, Myself is betting he goes for it. Now, to be sure there will be lots of jokes to go around, David Letterman made one last night, something about teenage prostitutes if I remember, but you know what? I'd vote for the guy, if only for the jokes.

In a somewhat related story Former Minnesota Governor Jeesse "The Body" Ventura may get an MSNBC talk show While he's definitely not a democrat, he's not exactly a conservative republican either, more like an independent-libertarian, from what I've seen and heard, at least he's a damn site better than Michael "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig" Weiner Savage, I hope. Surely more entertaining. (hey I said somewhat related)

Monday, July 14, 2003

what's in a name
Here in Hawaii, our state capitol building that houses both legislative chambers, all of their offices as well as the offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor, has a fairly large underground parking lot. Now this parking lot is maintained by the state, as well as dozens of other parking lots across the state. Each lot has a three letter code, in which the first letter designates which county the lot is in and the remaining two letters indicate the individual lot. I had a chance to view the breakdown and it is as such: Oahu i.e. the city and county of Honolulu, parking lots are designated "A", and the two letter code for the capitol lot is, (here it comes), "SS". Yes thats right boys and girls, the "official" code for the state capitol underground parking lot is "ASS". This, Myself swears is absolutely true.