News comes in like a lion, too.
Congratulations to The Lord of the Rings and its clean sweep at the Oscars.
- The DVD Copy Control Association tried to drop its lawsuit against Andrew Bunner and now we know why. Bunner was accused of posting the code for DeCSS, the program that breaks DVD copy protection. When the DVD-CCA tried to drop the suit, Bunner kept it alive, and on Friday a California Appeals court reversed the four year old court order banning publication of DeCSS, saying the injunction violated Bunner’s right to free speech. The court ruled that DeCSS is no longer a trade secret. It may still be protected by copyright law, however, so don’ t rush out and post it.
- Microsoft has managed to add its Windows Media Player 9 compression to the DVD spec. Friday the DVD Forum announced approval for VC-9 along with MPEG-2 as mandatory for HD-DVD. One condition of the approval was that Microsoft publish the underlying code and make it available to developers. The company will still collect royalties on all HD-DVDs, however. HD-DVD is one of three competing specs for hi-def DVDs. NEC and Toshiba back HD-DVD. Sony, HP, and Dell support Blu-Ray. China has a spec of its own.
- According to a New York Times article this weekend, aggressive enforcement of copyright laws may be bad for business and the economy. Susan Crawford of the Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University is quoted saying “bits are not the same as atoms. We need to reframe the legal discussion to treat the differences of bits and atoms in a more thoughtful way.” The report, authored by an offshoot of the influential Committee for Economic Development, called for a two-year moratorium on changes to copyright laws and regulations to allow for more public debate.
- According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 44% of Internet users have created content online, either a web site, posting to message boards, etc.
- How many flavors of flash memory are there? Smart media, compact flash, magic stick, MMC, SD, XD. Obviously that’s not enough. SanDisk has introduced T-Flash, the world’s smallest removable flash memory storage. T-Flash is designed for mobile phones, is about half the size of a phone SIM card, and will range in capacity from 32 to 128 MB. Fortunately there’s an SD adapter so you won’t have to buy yet another memory reader.
- Digital rights activists in Germany have managed to stop RFID tags in at least one big retail chain.