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Re: Backlash vs. Third-Party Annotations from MS Smart Tags

From: TRAICOVN (NW) <nickwil@freenet.tlh.fl.us>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 15:52:45 -0400 (EDT)
To: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@seltzer.com>
Cc: <www-annotation@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.31.0106181618190.24437-100000@fn3.freenet.tlh.fl.us>
I think the fear is that companies (especially microsoft which heads the
browser business now) could hurt any competition that was out there. AKA.
If microsoft doesn't want you to see it, you don't. Now, yes, if Microsoft
didn't want you to go to competitors websites, they could add that into
the MSIE code, but I think that people fear this is a more covert way of
doing it. If the feature is as annoying as say, the MS paperclip, it could
be even worse....

For example, MSNBC could steal alot of CNN's views because an annotation
says to check out MSNBC's site instead. Also, if I type in
www.priceline.com, and I REALLY want to go to priceline, do I want to be
asked, do you want to try microsoft's expedia? when it's going there. I
wonder how much control Microsoft will have over recording what websites
you go to also (how centralized this feature is)s. What kind of profiling
might be created? It's kinda creepy
when you think about it.

anyway, post your feedback at me, don't flame...
 * TRAICOVN  ----------------------------------- http://www.traicovn.com *

On Mon, 18 Jun 2001, Wendy Seltzer wrote:

> The "smart tags" furor has been interesting -- with many people seemingly
> opposed just because it's Microsoft.  I'd argue that there is no copyright
> claim against a website annotator (either the technology or the person who
> adds and views notes).  Although some copyright maximalists would disagree,
> I'd argue that a reader has the right to combine two sources of information
> in his web browser just as he could write notes in a book's
> margins.   Annotation is akin to viewing the work under different lighting,
> not creating a derivative work.
> If Microsoft is sloppy enough or too overbearing, there might be an unfair
> competition claim, but that would depend more on the business practices
> than the technology.
> At 01:47 PM 6/18/01 -0400, Jon Garfunkel wrote:
> >At 01:24 PM 6/17/2001 -0500, Wesley M. Felter wrote:
> > >BTW, I don't think it's accurate to say that annotation can't be
> > >prevented. Annotation software developers can only fight off so many
> > >lawsuits before they go bankrupt.
> >
> >Huh? Have their been any annotation lawsuits? By whom, over what? I still
> >think that the "grafitti" complaint is spurrious, aside from the cases
> >where offensive or libelous content is annotated on.
> If anyone knows of any lawsuits or threat letters, I'd be very interested
> to hear about them.  I might have better luck applying my legal than
> programming skills.
> >The courts, at least in the U.S., just don't allow a technology to be
> >killed. If the technology has some social value, some vendors work with the
> >gov to meet the guidelines established for its use.
> I wish I could be so sanguine!  The Second and Ninth Circuits (DeCSS and
> Napster) seem well on their way to declaring that certain technologies have
> no social value, or are illegal notwithstanding possible valuable
> uses.  Litigation can be very expensive, and many developers seem to settle
> rather than pushing their claims through the courts, so the bargaining is
> usually between the "upstart innovator / pirate" and the established
> industry, not with the government.
> --Wendy
> --
> Wendy Seltzer -- wendy@seltzer.com
> Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
> http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/seltzer.html
Received on Tuesday, 19 June 2001 00:43:56 UTC

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