August 6, 2020

Archives for November 2002

Lobbyists to Solve Copyright Problem

Declan McCullagh at news.com reports that “Technology and entertainment lobbyists will sit down at the negotiating table [today] to seek a resolution to the long-running political spat over digital copyright.”

The article makes the alarming but unstated assumption that the last Congress’s refusal to pass any “anti-piracy” bills is actually a problem. When Congress rejects bad bills, that’s not an “impasse,” that’s democracy at work. We should all hope that Congress continues to reject any bad bills that are put before it.

It’s a classic error to assume that every social problem can best be solved by passing new laws. Copyright infringement is a difficult problem, but so far I haven’t seen any convincing argument that passing laws can do much to address it.

Clarification (added at 11:30 AM): Declan is one of the last people I would expect to make the “classic error” of assuming that all problems require government action. I suspect the hand of an editor at work here.

RIAA's Anti-Infringement Site Infringes

I swear I’m not making this up.

DSLReports observes that the RIAA’s new anti-infringement website, UnitedMusic, contained material copied without permission from a page at the University of Chicago. The RIAA has now removed the apparently infringing material.

My Worst Fears, Confirmed

Cory Doctorow points to a new tool, GetContentSize, that evaluates what portion of a Web site is content, as opposed to formatting and other junk. When applied to this site, here is GetContentSize’s report:

http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com

Total page size: 32939 bytes (not including images, attached scripts or style sheets)

[NO CONTENT]

UPDATE (1:00 PM): Adrian Holovaty, the author of GetContentSize, writes that he has fixed the bug that caused this site to be labeled as content-free. Now the site rates as 38.7% text content. Now that it’s fixed, GetContentSize looks pretty useful in diagnosing sites that have too much baggage and too little content.