|Aug. 22, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 3.
News from the Web
On the Hill
Tech Law Journal is a free access online publication that
provides news, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and
regulation affecting the computer and Internet industry.
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Copyright 1998 - 2000 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights
8/21. MP3.com and Sony Music Entertainment (SME)
announced that they settled SME's copyright infringement
claims which are part of a suit brought by the five major recording
companies in U.S. District Court in January. Time Warner Inc.'s
Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann AG's music arm BMG, and EMI Group
Plc previously settled with MP3.com. Seagram Co.'s Universal Music
Group is the only plaintiff which has yet to settle. Under the SME
settlement MP3.com will make payment for past acts, and MP3.com will
enter into a non-exclusive, North American license with SME. See, MP3.com release. The Court
ruled in April that MP3.com is liable for copyright infringement. A
hearing on the issue of damages is set for Aug. 28. Music publishers
are not a party to this suit.
8/21. An undated study
in the Xerox Palo Alto Research
Center web site concludes that the free rider problem,
more than copyright litigation, may doom peer to peer file
sharing systems, such as Gnutella.
Authors Eytan Adar and Bernardo Huberman conclude that: "An
extensive analysis of user traffic on Gnutella shows a significant
amount of free riding in the system. By sampling messages on the
Gnutella network over a 24-hour period, we established that 70% of
Gnutella users share no files, and 90% of the users answer no
queries. Furthermore, we found out that free riding is distributed
evenly between domains, so that no one group contributes
significantly more than others, and that peers that volunteer to
share files are not necessarily those who have desirable ones. We
argue that free riding leads to degradation of the system
performance and adds vulnerability to the system. If this trend
continues copyright issues might become moot compared to the
possible collapse of such systems."
8/21. The Pew Internet &
American Life Project released a report titled Trust
and Privacy Online: Why Americans Want to Rewrite the Rules [PDF],
which is based on a survey of over 2,117 people. Among its many
findings are that people are concerned about online privacy, and
that they want individual control, but not government regulation.
8/21. A lawsuit alleging securities fraud was filed in U.S.
District Court in Utah against e-commerce applications producer Tenfold Corp. The plaintiffs, who
are represented by the law firm of Cauley & Geller, seek class
8/20. Verizon, the IBEW,
and the CWA announced a
tentative agreement in New York and New England on new three year
collective bargaining agreements. The proposed contracts cover about
50,000 union employees in New York and New England. The contracts
provide that union employees will be given more DSL
jobs. More than 35,000 union employees represented by the CWA in the
mid-Atlantic states remained on strike. See also, IBEW release.
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to
Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates
indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech
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