February 18, 2008
Thomas D. Sydnor, Progress & Freedom Foundation, and Lee Hollaar, University of Utah, have published "Inadvertent Filesharing Revisited: Assessing LimeWire's Responses to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform," as Progress & Freedom Foundation Progress on Point Paper No. 14.22. Here is the abstract.
This report on inadvertent filesharing was released by the authors of Filesharing Programs and Technological Features to Induce Users to Share, a groundbreaking analysis published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March of 2007. This new report seeks to enhance understanding of the causes of inadvertent sharing by analyzing (1) recently released data that the distributors of the program LimeWire gave to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before its July 24, 2007 hearing on inadvertent sharing, and (2) the efficacy of efforts to improve the LimeWire program since the Committee's hearing. The authors conclude that law enforcement should investigate whether filesharing programs deliberately perpetuate inadvertent filesharing.
The paper concludes that LimeWire's Response neither identifies material deficiencies in the analysis and conclusions of the USPTO Report nor offers credible, good-faith explanations of why LimeWire deployed five features that were known to cause users to share infringing and sensitive files inadvertently.
The authors also conclude that LimeWire has implemented potentially meaningful changes in ways that repeat past errors and will tend to perpetuate inadvertent sharing by both new and existing users of the LimeWire program.
The results of these two analyses lead the authors to renew the conclusion that they drew in the USPTO Report. State and federal law-enforcement agencies should aggressively investigate to determine whether distributors of popular filesharing programs intended to blunt the deterrent effects of copyright-enforcement lawsuits by duping users of their program into sharing files inadvertently.
Download the paper from SSRN here.
A Paper on Net Neutrality and Consumer Access To Content
Christopher Marsden, University of Cambridge, and University of Essex, School of Law, has published "Net Neutrality and Consumer Access to Content," in Script-Ed, volume 4, number 4. Here is the abstract.
'Net Neutrality' is a very heated and contested United States policy principle regarding access for content providers to the Internet end-user, and potential discrimination in that access where the end-user's ISP (or another ISP) blocks that access in part or whole. The suggestion is that the problem can be resolved by either introducing greater competition, as for instance in certain Western European nations under the Telecoms Framework 2002 (as proposed for amendment 2007), or closely policing conditions for vertically integrated service, such as VOIP. This assumes that competition in the 'local loop' or 'last mile' to the end-user subscriber provides a choice of platform, and therefore rigorous telecoms competition regulation resolves the issue in Europe. However, that may not be the whole story. The question this paper aims to answer is: Are Internet Service Providers motivated to require content providers to pay for superior service via lower levels of service for the same price (e.g. blocking or "throttling" content) or higher price for higher Quality of Service? Can abusive discrimination take place even where an ISP does not have dominance? I consider market developments and policy responses in Europe and the United States, conclusions and regulatory recommendations.
Download the paper from SSRN here.
Peggy Sue Gets Nasty
Kathleen Turner, sued by Nicolas Cage over statements in her tell-all book Send Yourself Roses that he was arrested for driving under the influence and that as she remembers it, he once engaged in dognapping, now says that she's "truly sorry" if her remarks caused her former co-star "distress" or "harm." But she doesn't seem to be retracting them. Ms. Turner also writes that Ken Russell was "a mad, self-sabotaging genius" and Burt Reynolds is "nasty." As Best of Show winner Uno would say, "Arooooo!"