The rapper, whose music is available through Apple's iTunes, is, saying that his music publishers have not given Apple permission to offer the artist's music for download. Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, the companies representing Eminem, demand that Apple stop offering downloads.
Part of the problem may be confusion over who owns the rights to downloads. Apparently, Eminem is asserting that record companies do not hold these rights exclusively. Apple pays a portion of the revenue it collects from Eminem downloads to Universal Music Group, which distributes the music, but not to Eminem's publishers.
Meanwhile, many bloggers feel they are being ripped off by automated digital plagiarism, in which software botson which contextual ads next to them can generate money for the site owner.
Such Web sites are known among Web publishers as "scraper sites" because they effectively scrape the content off blogs, usually through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and other feeds on which those blogs are sent.
Lorelle VanFossen, a writer who has a popular blog about blogging, is frustrated by her near-daily encounters with plagiarism.
"I make my living from my writing, and when people take it because they are ignorant of copyright laws--or think that because it's on the Internet, it's free--it makes me really mad," she said. "It's stealing content, in my mind."
More typical conflicts over content use on the Net involve tech start-ups that are sued by media conglomerates for copyright infringement. Quite often, the defendants, a medical researcher turned lawyer who has backed long-shot copyright cases. Rothken is defending TorrentSpy, a search engine often used by file sharers to locate pirated films. TorrentSpy is facing a copyright suit filed by the Motion Picture Association of America, the trade group that represents the top film studios.
In May, a federal magistrate judge ordered the company to turn over user information stored in its servers' random access memory (RAM). The courts have never before ruled that RAM, a computer's temporary memory, is a tangible document that must be produced and turned over to litigants in civil cases, according to legal experts. Rothken has filed an appeal, and on August 13 will try to persuade a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles to reverse the decision. At stake is nothing less than Internet anonymity, say some legal experts. If companies can be compelled to turn over RAM any time they face a civil suit, then no U.S. Web site can ever again promise not to share user data, according to Rothken.
Theft of content is one thing, but a tech trade group is accusing a handful of sports leagues and media companies of, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission. The complaint by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)--a trade group that represents tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo--names the National Football League, Major League Baseball, NBC-Universal, Morgan Creek Productions, DreamWorks Pictures, Harcourt and Penguin Group.
An example of what CCIA is referring to is the little speech that TV or radio announcers make during breaks in games. Most sports fans can recite at least a smidgen of the boilerplate. While the statements have become a tradition during professional football and baseball broadcasts, the CCIA claims such statements are false and are harmful to consumers and technology companies. Similar warnings can be found in books, CDs and DVDS, according to the CCIA.
Some CNET News.com readers also expressed frustration with the current state of copyright laws.
"With the way things are right now, consumers are not seeing any of the benefits of the 'digital age' and are instead seeing their rights slip away in a barrage of draconian laws," one reader wrote to the News.com TalkBack forum.
The Federal Communications Commission ruled that a valuable chunk of wireless spectrum will be , amounting to a political setback for traditional telephone companies and a partial win for Google. As was hinted in recent weeks, the FCC approved that requirement as part of broader rules for auctioning licenses in the coveted 700MHz analog television band.
Congress has mandated the airwaves in the 700MHz band be vacated in February 2009, forcing analog TV broadcasters off those channels as part of a long-anticipated switch to all-digital television. Current and would-be wireless broadband operators are eager to get their hands on the spectrum because of its inherent physical properties, which allow signals to travel farther and more easily penetrate walls.
But companies such as Google, along with several consumer activist groups, see the current rules as only a partial victory. While they praised the FCC for taking a first step in offering consumers more choice in terms of devices and applications used on these new networks, they also criticized the commission for not going far enough.
They argue that without a comprehensive set of "open access" rules that also requires license winners to wholesale network capacity at affordable prices, there's no guarantee that well-entrenched wireless operators won't restrict consumer choices on the new spectrum.
The House alsothat calls for pouring some $33.6 billion into a bevy of federal science, technology and research programs. But the measure's big price tag continued to draw opposition from a number of Republicans, who questioned how the bill's sponsors planned to finance their "lofty" proposals amid a growing federal deficit.
The Senate is expected to vote on the same proposal on Friday.
Meanwhile, a congressional panel voted--against the Bush administration's wishes--toin many situations.
In response to concerns raised by the Bush administration and other politicians, the Free Flow of Information Act attempts to exclude the "casual blogger" from reaping those benefits by stipulating the protections apply only to those who derive "financial gain or livelihood" from the journalistic activity. That broad rule could, however, include part-time writers who receive even a trickle of revenue from Google Ads or Blogads.com.
The bill defines the practice of journalism as "gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public."
Another Apple harvest
On the heels of its iPhone release, it appears that Apple is
By the way, if you own a Mac or an iPhone, chances are
Some of the vulnerabilities seem quite serious, leading to arbitrary code execution, downed applications or both. You can download the updates for your specific Mac at Apple's support Web site or by clicking on the "Software Update" selection under the Apple menu.
Apple also issued the first software update for the iPhone. Unlike the Mac updates, the iPhone update will be delivered through iTunes the next time you sync your iPhone with your Mac or PC.
Also of note