In the midst of this crazy, crazy workweek and the very good news emerging out of Washington yesterday (now let’s just hope that stimulus works, for America’s sake… want to see how potentially FUBAR America could become if the stimulus doesn’t work? The Blue Screen of Death is old news; check out the Green Line of Death), some stories for those of you interested in Intellectual Property issues (yes, all 28 of you) and downloading pirated material should check these stories out:
* One of the biggest trials in Swedish history that will have worldwide ramifications is about to commence next Monday — the trial against one of the net’s giants, The Pirate Bay. Sweden is an oddball among European nations in that its copyright laws have, at least until recently, been permissive enough to allow The Pirate Bay to operate in a legal vacuum of sorts. The Swedish government — which has been under considerable pressure to get tough with The Pirate Bay from foreign governments like the U.S. government and this blogger’s less-than-favoured entity, the Motion Picture Association of America — is going to war against The Pirate Bay in an effort to shut them down, possibly permanently. Interestingly, The Pirate Bay — a site that is actively supported by a large number of ordinary Swedes and even an organized political party – is providing worldwide online streaming of the case so more than the 40 people allowed in the courtroom can actually hear what’s going on. They’re certainly not going down without a major fight and the legal case against them is questionable at best. Of course, there’s always the option of going off-shore to a more friendly nation and/or region if The Pirate Bay loses the case: after all, it’s not like major corporations would ever, ever skirt national laws to their own benefit. *snark*
* Speaking of The Pirate Bay, the site’s recently created a page that tracks where connections and downloads via The Pirate Bay are coming from. Long and short: China’s got an overwhelming number of pirates. Yet the United States has a large number too, and Canada (!) has a disproportionate number of downloaders relative to our population.
* Anybody else just a wee bit pissed off at the prospect of Live Nation and Ticketmaster possibly merging? Well, hard times aren’t just about the economic fundamentals — this proposed merger will likely be another nail in the coffin for corporately-backed music.
* As gorgeous, beautiful and enticing as the Amazon Kindle 2 is for a major book lover like me, I can’t and won’t give in, especially since I’m not American. In the economic times we live in, Amazon’s approach is what we call “highway robbery.”
* Porn star Jesse Jane has some interesting things to say about 3-D and HD technology beyond the obvious. Just think: if this technology was in mass deployment today, those Comcast subscribers who saw the 30-second porn clip during the Super Bowl might have gotten an ever bigger credit towards their monthly bill!
* First there was WikiScanner — a brilliant piece of software that’s kept Wikipedia edits accountable beyond IP addresses. Now comes WikiDashboard — a social transparency site that makes it easier to determine how edits are being done, comparing knowledge and edits and how these topics relate back to the subject page. Great, great idea.
* My pal John Carson has some great advice today about Google and how it can affect your career. Bookmark this link and follow him on Twitter — he has great insights and advice.