Don't get me wrong, I'm all for artists getting reasonably paid for their work, it's all the other fat cats that make their money off the artists that piss me off. Along comes this story which brings up memories of three months ago when I first heard about the frightening MGM v. Grokster verdict which ruled that Grokster was at fault for promoting illegal file sharing because it did not explicitly discourage illegal file sharing.

So now cease-and-desist letters from lawyers to peer-to-peer companies go flowing out to all the other P2P companies. The result? From the article, the president of Metamachine (company behind eDonkey) Sam Yagan is quoted:

...because the court hasn't offered a standard to define how to measure whether a company is inducing users to infringe, any litigation will result in exhaustive trial proceedings during which organizations like the RIAA will dig up company e-mails, advertising, and any other evidence that might prove the file-sharing company intended to induce copyright infringement. Such a process would be just too expensive for most P-to-P companies...

So because they can't afford the legal fees, these companies will likely crumple into "closed" P2P networks like Napster did. Isn't there something wrong with that? Hasn't the horribly convoluted and expensive legal system completely failed these companies?

The internet has caused the old distribution model to be almost completely flattened. Now anyone with a camcorder and some time to kill can make a movie and publish it worldwide. To make an understatement plain: I don't think anyone quite realized the full extent that a global computer network would have on society.

It is both frightening and fascinating to watch the entertainment industry going through its painful evolution. These latest attempts, coupled with heavy research being sunk into advanced copyright protection (in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD) and recent high-profile fines to bootleggers of popular movies are nothing short of a full-on war being waged by the entertainment industry. Don't they realize that all previous efforts to stop piracy have failed? Next time I go spend $10/person on a movie ticket I'll be wondering how many of those dollars are funding this onslaught instead of making quality entertainment.

[Update: This related story also just surfaced. The entertainment industry is just sounding more and more like greedy misers scrounging for every penny. They know their days are numbered. ]

§160 · September 30, 2005 · Entertainment, Technology · Comments Off on Desparate Hands Tighten ·

A new draft of the Compound Document Framework and WICD Profiles was released last week by the W3C and is available here. CDF/WICD (or whatever they end up calling it) is an important specification that will help to define how browsers should deal with "compound documents". An example is an XHTML document that has SVG elements embedded in it. As XML continues to replace HTML as the language of the web, such a specification becomes more and more important.

And it's great bedside reading, too!

§159 · September 21, 2005 · QuickLinks, Software, SVG, Technology, Web, XML · Comments Off on New CDF Working Draft ·

As speculate last month, the Opera has now removed the ads from its desktop web browser. If you're interested, go download it.

§158 · September 20, 2005 · Opera, QuickLinks, Software, Technology, Web · Comments Off on Opera Now Ad-Free ·

A presumably candid post from the IEBlog reveals that Internet Explorer 7 will not support the MIME type "application/xml+xhtml". The reason given is that implementing this in IE7 would be done using the HTML parser and could end up being a hack. Chris Wilson hints that a future version of IE will support the MIME type and it will be implemented properly. As long as the release schedule for Internet Explorer is under a year per version, I'm happy with that.

They do reveal that IE7 will properly skip the xml prolog and handle XHTML in strict mode (instead of quirks mode). He also states that it is relatively easy to configure a web server to serve text/html instead of application/xml+xhtml when the user agent does not support application/xml+xhtml. This is a step forward, but it looks like XHTML will still go nowhere until IE8.

§157 · September 16, 2005 · QuickLinks, Software, Technology, Web, XML · Comments Off on IE7 Will Not Support application/xml+xhtml ·

Sam and I finally got a babysitter and went out for a movie on Sunday night. We saw "The 40-Year Old Virgin" and we both really enjoyed it. Steve Carell plays Andy, the title character, who is lead through a series of misadventures by his new-found friends in attempt to deflower him, all the while he falls in love with Trish, a "hot grandma" played by Catherine Keener. The movie is hilarious. There were literally 8 people in the theatre (late night Sunday showing and the theatre's air conditioning was broken) but we were all laughing out loud and clapping at various points, which is weird because an empty theatre can sometimes kill the experience for me. When strangers are able to sit in a room and allow their laughter to be heard without being self-conscious about it, that's usually a good sign that either the movie's very good or everyone's half-drunk. Read the rest of this entry ...

§156 · September 14, 2005 · Entertainment, Movies, Television, The Office · 2 comments ·