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October 08, 2002

Tech Tuesday Returns! 10-8

Roundup of Tech Stories- October 8, 2002

  • As the Supremes assemble this week, all geek eyes are on Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to Congress's ability to extend copyrights for already existing intellectual property. The constitutional argument is that since such extensions (in this case the "Sony Bono Act"/aka the Disney bill) cannot retroactively encourage their creation, they violate the Constitutional purpose of the copyright-creating powers granted to Congress in the Constitution. Honestly, while I hate the extensions, I don't buy the legal argument, but then I am suspicious of this whole kind of judicial review of Congressional power under Article 1.
  • ICANN, the body that controls domain names on the Internet, has published a new draft of Bylaws to reorganize itself, including making the elected community members of the Board part of a purely "advisory" adjunct. Here is ICANN's report on why they are making the changes and comments condemning it at ICANNwatch.org.
  • The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) testified against the so-called Consumer Privacy Act, arguing that it ""favors industry over the consumer, the invasion of privacy over the protection of privacy."
  • The ACLU is suing to protect the anonymity of online critics of public officials against legal intimidation. The ACLU argues, the "Federalist Papers and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, both printed pseudonymously, [changed] the course of American history." Public Citizen has also joined in the fight with this brief.
  • Consumer Federation of America has condemned current policies mandating digital tuners in new televisions as a boondoggle for patent holders which will not help advance digital television. They also note the failure of Congress and the FCC to advance real reforms to help consumers. See press release and the report.

    Posted by Nathan at October 8, 2002 09:30 AM

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