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Alcatel-Lucent logo December 20, 2006

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What a shame that the old red Lucent logo is being retired. The “Infinity” branding of the new merged company looks pleasant enough, but just doesn’t have the same ‘class’. And it makes me think of a drug/ biotech company.

Early days yet, though. Plus I’m biased : I was at Lucent for nearly 7 of its 10 years, and always liked the logo.

…[via Design Observer]

Bill Gates on The Future of DRM December 14, 2006

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Some notes from a Q&A session with Bill Gates, by Michael Arrington (TechCrunch). Unexpected, because Microsoft is generally considered to be a supporter of DRM.

Gates didn’t get into what could replace DRM, but he did give some reasonably candid insights suggesting that he thinks DRM is as lame as the rest of us.

Gates said that no one is satisfied with the current state of DRM, which “causes too much pain for legitmate buyers” while trying to distinguish between legal and illegal uses. He says no one has done it right, yet. There are “huge problems” with DRM, he says, and “we need more flexible models, such as the ability to “buy an artist out for life” (not sure what he means). He also criticized DRM schemes that try to install intelligence in each copy so that it is device specific.

His short term advice: “People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then.”

…Though, of course, in the UK that isn’t legal (yet).

Gowers Review December 6, 2006

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The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, commissioned by the UK government, published its final report today.

So far I’ve only read the ORG summary, and comments from Lawrence Lessig. The recommendations seem surprisingly sensible, given that recent media coverage of it was ‘music industry’ lobbying to extend copyright (for existing works).

Tom Coates has some initial comments that include DRM and orphaned works, but his preview from yesterday is more interesting :

People in favour of copyright extension argue that it’s necessary to give artists income into their pensionable years, but for the most part artists very rarely make any money at all from recordings that record companies refuse to distribute.

Read the ORG summary.