Ernie the Attorney : searching for truth & justice (in an unjust world)
Updated: 6/5/2003; 10:33:31 PM.


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Sunday, April 21, 2002

Pro football is making techies out of  coaches

Brian Billick wants to put cumbersome playbooks on CD-ROM, but he likes that sort of stuff.   John Gruden is a reluctant techie.  Still Gruden has learned to love it.  Now, when he's not glued to his desktop display in the wee hours, Gruden works on his Avid video workstation. Now standard equipment for most NFL teams, the system acts as an instant video library, breaking down entire game tapes into sortable play catalogs.  [Business 2.0]
9:53:30 PM    

Nothing to Hide - Why Get Paranoid About Digital Identity?

Digital identy is obviously important, and the greatest threat to that identity comes not from hackers and criminals, but rather from rouge law enforcement types.  This article is worth reading.  [Digital Identity World]

Thanks to Jenny for pointing out this site, which I have subscribed to by going to the Syndic8 site and entering the feed number, which is 7219.
6:47:36 PM    

IBM says it will not seek royalties for ebXML

A Web standard called Electronic Business XML, or ebXML,  allows companies in many industries to communicate over the Web. It was a standard created by a United Nations organization and by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, or OASIS, a consortium of tech companies that includes IBM, Sun Microsystems, BEA Systems and Hewlett-Packard. ..."We are making this at zero cost," the IBM representative said. "OASIS policy requires companies to disclose patents. IBM followed the OASIS procedure."  [C/net]

It's good to see a company taking a gregarious approach to its intellectual property.
6:29:51 PM    

Illinois wrestles with death penalty via [Christian Science Monitor]

This is a difficult issue, like abortion.  I don't get worked up about it these days because I don't practice criminal law and so it isn't on my radar screen.  However, I remember when I clerked for a federal trial judge that we had a habeas corpus case involving a death row convict. 

I was surprised at how working on that case affected me.  The idea that somewhere in the morass of legal documents might be an argument that would prevent a person from being executed was a heavy weight.  After that experience, I concluded that the overall process makes no sense.  The death penalty is not a deterrent, and it is too costly to carry out.  And, of course, if the legal system makes a mistake the results are fatal and irreversible.
3:50:12 PM    

Grab some lawyers boys, there's (intellectual property) gold in them there hills...

Wired News revisits the issue of deep linking. Via [Scripting News]

The Wired article says that "legal experts" conclude that deep linking may violate Copyright laws.  I don't pretend to be a legal expert in the area of intellectual property, but I have read a lot and informed myself to the point where I can sniff out something that doesn't make sense.

Copyright laws protect (1) creative expression (2) fixed in a tangible medium.  And a hyperlink (even one that bypasses a home page) is simply a pointer to a source of information or creative expression.  Now we all know that what fuels the contention that it is wrong to deep-link: the person who enters a site through the back door avoids the trail of advertising that has been so carefully laid out for site visitors by the site operator.  They come in the back door, sure. But where's the copyright violation?

If all I do is point someone to a location on the web, then what have I done that triggers the copyright laws?  I haven't made a "copy" of anything.  I have simply directed traffic to a particular place at that site.  I suppose one could argue in certain cases (but that facts would have to be egregious) that there is an unfair trade practice or some other legal issue.  But not a copyright violation.  And by the way, doesn't Google often point people into sites in a way that bypasses the front door?  To me, if some form of deep linking serves a common good (and clearly it does) then all deep linking should be allowed.  We don't have time to parse this issue just so that we can zero in on some microbial examples of wrongdoing.

This is just one more example of how we are running amok with intellectual property claim-staking.  It's like the California gold rush of 1849 all over again.  Does common sense even matter any more?
10:59:59 AM    

© Copyright 2003 Ernest Svenson.

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