MPAA and software copyright

From Boing Boing, MPAA Rips Off Freeware Author. Cory Doctorow writes about someone at the MPAA making them hypocrites by not following software licensing terms. They used the coder’s free blogging tools, but didn’t link back to the author’s site or leave the lines giving him credit, as the terms and conditions required. Doctorow makes some very good observations.

Copyright law is hard. It used to only govern relations between giant industrial players. Copyright didn’t regulate reading an interesting tidbit from the newspaper for a friend. It didn’t regulate watching movies. But now, sharing a newspaper article with a friend (by blogging it) involves copying, and so triggers copyright. Now watching a movie (by downloading it) involves copying, so it triggers copyright. The rules that are supposed to be interpreted by lawyers at Fortune 100 companies now apply to every single kid working on a project for her class’s website.

This is like having to file with the SEC every time you loan a buddy $5 for lunch.

One would hope that the MPAA as an organization would learn from this experience.

University professor asked to stop using Tor.

From a story found on Slashdot about a professor at Bowling Green who got a visit from a networking and the police for using Tor, a Web anonymizing application. There are some very interesting implications involving academic freedom and privacy.