Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reasonable, what a concept!

German court sets file sharing damages at €15, not €300

October 31, 2010 by Dissent

A German court has said that a teenager who was guilty of posting copyrighted material to a file sharing network must pay €15 in damages per track and not the €300 the rights holders were demanding.

The court said that the basis for a fine should be the amount that reasonable parties would agree as a royalty for the use of the music.

The case is a rare ruling on damages for the uploading of copyrighted content. In US cases rights holders can demand up to $150.000 per song.


For my Computer Security students.

Our Government Can’t Prevent A Digital 9-11: Entrepreneurs Need To Step In

At the Security Innovation Network (SINET) Showcase at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C., this week, Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, presented a dire assessment of the cyber-security threat facing our nation. He discussed how rogue governments and hackers are quietly infiltrating our computer systems and the disasters that can be perpetuated—like those you see on the TV show “24”. Chertoff worries that these risks haven’t yet gripped the public imagination; that it may take a “digital 9-11” to get businesses, consumers, and governments to fortify their defenses.

Is maintaining the old model more costly than developing a new model?

Customers Suffer As TV Networks Obfuscate

Last week, we brought you the story of how television networks were blocking Google TVs by not allowing them to display content normally accessible by browser. At that time, the likes of CBS and Disney were claiming that it was Google's refusal to remove links to pirated content that had them up in arms.

Apparently aware that the piracy argument wasn't very strong, the major networks have played the 'creative compensation' card. "Everyone of these businesses [dastardly web providers] is building these services out on our product," Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said about devices like Google TV at an industry panel discussion in Los Angeles. Reilly later claimed this was a critical issue, saying networks must "get fairly compensated for the programs we make." Similar statements were made by other industry heads, including CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler. "We invest a tremendous amount of time and money in making great shows and we should be justly compensated," she said. "There is great value to it and we have to protect that. It is important to provide (content), but we just have to be compensated."

Such protestations don't reek as much as the RIAA's claim to be acting on behalf of music artists, but it's a near thing. The real battle has nothing to do with creative control and everything to do with what are called "retransmission fees." Retransmission fees were originally instituted when cable and satellite were newfangled options. The name is self-explanatory—if Cable Company X wants to carry Fox programming, it pays a fee for the privilege of doing so. With the advertising market in the tank, the major networks have been cranking up their retransmission fees in an attempt to compensate.

… The various major networks appear to have missed two key facts in their rush to retain revenue. First, customers who buy a Google TV and then attempt to actually watch something with it aren't going to blame Google when they discover they can't see anything on Fox or CBS—they're going to blame Fox and CBS. This is doubly true if the household in question still pays for cable or satellite service. From the consumer's point of view, they already pay for the privilege of NBC, ABC, and the Midget Dating Network. Network executives might have more ground to stand on if they'd collectively refused to broadcast on Hulu or their own Internet sites, but having established the practice of making content available online they'll have an exceptionally difficult time turning off the tap.

Just because it could be handy...

October 30, 2010

Google Launches Place Search - a faster, easier way to find local information

Official Google Blog: "Today we’re introducing Place Search, a new kind of local search result that organizes the world’s information around places. We’ve clustered search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go. Say you’re looking for that great barbecue restaurant with live music... The new results are marked with red pins, and each one is a unique restaurant with relevant information and links from across the web."

For my students to learn resume writing and for me to locate “experts”

Kabroo: Find & Download Resumes For Free Online

Many professionals upload their resumes to the web and make them searchable. You can search for these resumes and find them to be very helpful whether you are planning to hire somebody or simply looking for sample resumes. Kabroo is one website that lets find and download those resumes for free.

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