Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Is Streaming on the Internet a Broadcast?

A recent Australian Federal Court case determined whether whether the scope of the non-exclusive licence of the right to broadcast certain sound recordings granted by a copyright collection agency to radio stations included the right to play those recordings in radio programs transmitted by FM broadcast as a simulcast with transmission of the same program via the Internet.

"The service which transmits the very same radio programs at essentially the same time both to the FM transmitters and beyond and to the web stream servers and beyond is the one service. On the facts before me, the members of CRA who stream their radio programs on the Internet do so only as part of a program package which also simultaneously transmits those programs via frequency modulated radio waves to the consumer’s FM receiver. In truth, the service is but one service being a service which combines various delivery methods or platforms and which delivers the same radio program using the broadcasting services band. It falls within the exception to the exclusion set out in the Ministerial Determination.

Therefore, in my view, the service provided by the members of CRA is a broadcasting service.

That being so, the simulcast transmission of the same radio program via the FM waves and the Internet is also a “broadcast” within the current definition of that term in s 10(1) of the Copyright Act and, for that reason, is within the scope of the licence which PPCA agreed to grant to the members of CRA and which it did grant from time to time to members of CRA upon the terms and conditions set out in the Member Agreement."

See Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd v Commercial Radio Australia Limited [2012] FCA 93 (15 February 2012)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Class Timetable


The first class is this Thursday, 1 March, in room Z308.  Then, we are changing to Monday nights, so the next class will be Monday 5 March.

Please see the Blackboard announcement, and note:
1) If you are unable to complete the unit on a Monday night, you can with choose an alternative Semester 1 unit up until Friday 9 March.
2) You can withdraw from Semester 1 units until March 23.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First Class

The first class for LWN117 for semester 1, 2012, is Thursday, 1 March 2012, at 6pm.    It appears that the first class is in Z308.  (The class was originally scheduled for Mondays.  The first class is on Thursday.  Later classes may be moved back to Mondays.)

Google Goggles

Later this year, Google is expected to start selling eyeglasses that will project information, entertainment and, this being a Google product, advertisements onto the lenses. The glasses are not being designed to be worn constantly — although Google engineers expect some users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed, with the lenses serving as a kind of see-through computer monitor. ...


Several people who have seen the glasses, but who are not allowed to speak publicly about them, said that the location information was a major feature of the glasses. Through the built-in camera on the glasses, Google will be able to stream images to its rack computers and return augmented reality information to the person wearing them. For instance, a person looking at a landmark could see detailed historical information and comments about it left by friends. ...


“In addition to privacy, it’s also going to change real-world advertising, where companies can virtually place ads over other people’s ads,” he said. “I’m really interested in seeing how the government can successfully regulate augmented reality in this sense. They are not really going to know what people are seeing behind those glasses.”


See NY Times

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Interview with Kim Dotcom Lawyer

Here is an interview from NZ TV with Mr Kim Dotcom's U.S. lawyer.  Can the operator of a file storage system be criminally liable for copyright infringement of its users?  Or is there more to this case than this?

Friday, February 24, 2012

JotForm Shut Down by US Secret Service

The strange case of the US Secret Service having a website taken down, by having the domain name registrar (GoDaddy) block the use of the domain name.
See here and Wired and eWeek.
Maybe a good reason to use a non-U.S. domain name registrar?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

China Blogging

A spokesperson for the Beijing Internet Propaganda Management Office announced in a recent press conference that Beijing aims to complete mandatory real name registration for microblog platforms by March 16.  The Office has also established a microblog development expert advisory group composed of experts from Tsinghua University, China University of Political Science and Law, the People's Daily Online's Public Opinion Testing Center, China Labs, and the Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI).

Chinese internet company Sina launched a real name verification function to its user registration form as of January 1, 2012. The new function compares user-submitted data, such as name and national ID card number, and if a user's information does not match comparison records the user can only browse existing posts. In order to be able to post content, users must resubmit correct information. To date, 3 mlllion new users have submitted real name information, and single day registration volume continues to grow. For existing users, Sina will offer additional functionality and privileges to users that submit real name credentials, implement a user trust ratings system, and this week will launch a verified real name ID badge. Sohu previously launched a promotional campaign, offering 20 mln Sohu Video monthly subscription cards and RMB 1 mln worth of mobile phone recharge cards to users who submit real name data early. Online real estate site Soufun offered prizes, including free vacation housing in 13 popular tourist destination cities. Users who do not register by March 16 will lose their posting and reposting privileges.

Regarding user data security, a Sina spokesperson said that users will be notified by mobile phone or other channels if someone logs into their account from a different location. If any anomalies occur, users can lock their account from their mobile phone even if someone else is logged in. A spokesperson for Sohu said that Sohu does not store any user data after authenticating the user's identity.

Source:  Marbridge

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Twitter Being Sued For Defamation

Twitter is being sued for defamation by a Melbourne man, Joshua Meggitt, who was wrongly identified as the author of a “hate blog”.
See story here and SMH.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Misleading Online Reviews

A blog entry from the NY Times: Discounting Bad Reviews

"Are reviews of products and services on the Internet believable? Probably not. In the latest case, a merchant offered a rebate in exchange for getting a customer to revise a rating, but it says that is not the way it usually does things."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Advertising Financial Products on the Internet

ASIC has today released RG 234, Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance, to assist promoters in complying with their legal obligations when advertising financial products and services. See the media release - 14 February 2012, for further information and related material.

It applies to advertising on the Internet, via Twitter and the like.  See section RG 234.115
and following.
What is interesting is that the Guidelines also apply to publishers (such as newspapers), Internet sites, and aggregators and comparison websites.  See Section E and RG234.164 and following.

"While the primary responsibility for advertising material rests with the organisation placing the advertisement, the publisher may also have some responsibility for the content of an advertisement."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Online Privacy

A good comment:  "The piracy of online privacy".

"Online privacy doesn’t exist. It was lost years ago. And not only was it taken, we’ve all already gotten used to it. Loss of privacy is a fundamental tradeoff at the very core of social networking. Our privacy has been taken in service of the social tools we so crave and suddenly cannot live without. If not for the piracy of privacy, Facebook wouldn’t exist. Nor would Twitter. Nor even would Gmail, Foursquare, Groupon, Zynga, etc.  And yet people keep fretting about losing what’s already gone...."