Pirates, Grapes, Irony

We had an interesting week here over at OSNews. We had lots of talk about the Windows worm Conficker, information regarding computer sales figures, a sentence in the Pirate Bay case, and much, much more. This week’s My Take is about the irony of copyright law.

Week in Review

Let’s start with Conficker. Data gathered from enterprise users of Sophos’ Endpoint Assessment Test revealed that 10% of Windows machines have not yet been patched against the hole that enables the Conficker variants to spread, despite the fact that the patch has been out for six months, and was released before Conficker got out. At OSNews, we also posed the very hypothetical question about who would be to blame if a similar situation ever arose in the Linux world.

This week was also marked by sales estimates for the computer industry for the first quarter of this year. Even though sales declined overall, the decline was less sharp then expected. The winners here were the netbooks, who continued to sell very well.

OSNews also covered Grape, a Mac OS X program that allows you to manage your desktop in new and interesting ways. The project is still in closed beta, but OSNews was allowed to give out beta invites to our readers, and you boys and girls took tremendous advantage of that – much more than I anticipated. I hope those of you who got the invites are having lots of fun trying out Grape.

The landmark The Pirate Bay trial came to its first conclusion this week, with the four founders of the website being sentenced to 1 year in jail, as well as a massive fine of 3.6 million USD for sharing 33 copyrighted files. Lots of discussion ensued.

Yesterday, we ended the week with the news that the first Macintosh-powered botnet has appeared. This botnet is constructed using machines infected by the trojan that emerged earlier this year. This trojan piggybacked on copies of iWork and PhotoShop CS4 found on warez sites.

My Take: Irony

How’s this for irony?

Henley, one of the founders of rock group The Eagles, has filed a lawsuit accusing Senate candidate Charles DeVore of violating his copyright. DeVore allegedly used two of Henley’s hit songs “The Boys of Summer” and “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” in two YouTube campaign videos without authorization. […] DeVore, who used Henley’s music to attack opponent Sen. Barbara Boxer, maintains he is authorized to use the music as part of his First Amendment right to political free speech.

I fully agree with Don Henley. If this Republican senate candidate wants to use Henley’s music in his campaign videos, he’ll have to receive permission to do so, just like everybody else. If the right to free speech were to enable this senator to disregard copyright, wouldn’t it then mean that everyone can disregard copyright using the right to free speech as the justification?

Mr DeVore, if you want to be able to use copyrighted content without permission, and I agree with you that you should be able to do so in short videos, then advocate changing copyright law. Don’t you find it ironic that politicians, who shove these strict insane copyright laws upon us in the first place under pressure form the big media companies, now suddenly want to give themselves exemptions?

Oh, the irony.


  1. 2009-04-19 7:43 pm
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    • 2009-04-20 9:03 am