April 25, 2003

Grokster, StreamCast Prevail - RIAA Unbowed

"This is not the end, but it sends a very strong message to the technology community that the court understands the risk to innovation."

- Fred von Lohmann, on Grokster/Streamcast Decision,
April 25, 2003

News of this ruling is popping up every. CNET is running the most concise overview of the ruling.
Posted by ross at 06:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Food for Think: Steve Jobs v. Dave Winer

Steve Jobs: Think Different.

Dave Winer: Think.

Posted by ross at 05:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rethinking the Network Economy

"For economic incentives to work appropriately, property rights must protect the rights of capital assets....At present...severe economic damage [is being done] to the property rights of owners of copyrights in sound recordings and musical compositions...under present and emerging conditions, the industry simply has no out...Unless something meaningful is done to respond to the problem, the industry itself is at risk.

- Alan Greenspan, on "Audiotaping",
October 25, 1983

[Alan Greenspan, Testimony on the Home Recording Act before the Senate Judiciary's
Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks, October 25, 1983]

Just finished up a new (for me) book entitled "Rethinking the Network Economy: The True Forces that Drive the Digital Marketplace". Excellent work by Stan Liebowitz that completely confirms a lot of my views on some otherwise commonly accepted constructs like "Customer Lock-in", "First Mover Advantage" and "Network Effects".

The quote above is but one glimpse into the cynical but insightful perspective of the author. What else would you expect from a book that starts of with an explanation that "I shorted Yahoo! in April of 1996....I was way too early on the short side...[and]...I threw in the towel in April of 1998. I took my losses and vowed to expose what I saw as insanity in the business press....That was when I conceived of writing this book...Not necessarily the best of motivations, but not the worst either."

I've always believed that the internet was special and that it would change the way things worked - but that it didn't change the way that the earth spun on its axis and certainly not the fundamental underpinnings of economics, business and technical innovation. It makes all of these things "better", but it can't put the constants of our universe on hold while we search for a better way of doing things.

Some of my favorite passages stem from examinations of the outright silliness and hubris of the business sector over the last few years. "We're from the internet, don't worry, everything will be okay." Of course, all of this is easy to say in retrospect - but still leaves us with a good read.

Posted by ross at 08:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

FCC Ruling On UNE-P Not All Bad

I've posted another screed over at The Farm. From my perspective, I don't think the FCC got it right, but they didn't get it all wrong either. And its certainly not all bad for small ISPs. At some point, I'd love to do, or read, a compare and contrast between the Canadian and US regulatory differences - I suspect that these decisions are leading us towards two distinctly different results in two very similar countries.
Posted by ross at 07:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Some of you have written asking about life in the hotzone. To be quite honest, I hear more about it on the news than anywhere else in my life. It was scary for a bit - especially with people breaking their quarantines. Our Prime Minister set a great example for the rest of the country by quarantining himself in the Dominican Republic for 12 days.

Favorite SARS quote: "The mayor of Toronto looks like he is going to cry every time someone asks him about [SARS]." - Craig Oliver, CTV News

Let's put it this way - everyone that works in or near a hospital is taking precautions to prevent spreading this terrible disease. On the other hand, I didn't see one face mask at any of the Toronto Maple Leaf playoff games.

I learned today that Canada's health agencies report probable and likely cases of communicable diseases lumped together as one number. This is causing some to view the Canadian outbreak as being worse than it actually is.

At this stage, over-reacting and eliminating the spread of this disease sounds better than the alternatives - as long as hysteria and politics stay out of the picture.

On the bright side of the Toronto travel ban, as Mike Bullard points out, maybe the Toronto Blue Jays might start winning some games - by forfeit.

Posted by ross at 12:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack