September, 2019

FEC releases draft rules for Internet political communication

After the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill last year, one big topic of conversation was how the Federal Elections Commission would attempt to regulate political speech on the Internet. Questions abounded about how the FEC would look at blogs that linked to a candidate’s home page and "grassroots" political activity on the ‘Net. HangZhou Night Net

In advance of a meeting scheduled for March 27, the FEC has proposed a new set of rules (PDF) that will govern poitical activity on the Internet. Most notable is a provision that would treat Internet advertising in the exact same manner as any other campaign advertising. The FEC’s rules would place Internet ads in the same category as traditional print, radio, and TV ads, meaining that the funds used to pay for them would be regulated by federal campaign laws.

The FEC’s proposed new rules come in response to a federal court ruling that held that the FEC’s definition of "public communication" illegally excluded all Internet communications.

Aside from paid ads, all other online political speech would be unregulated under the proposed rules. Citing the Internet’s "minimal barriers to entry," the FEC believes that it is an important platform for citizens to voice their opinions about and support for political candidates.

Through this rulemaking, the Commission recognizes the Internet as a unique and evolving mode of mass communication and political speech that is distinct from other media in a manner that warrants a restrained regulatory approach. The Internet’s accessibility, low cost, and interactive features make it a popular choice for sending and receiving information. Unlike other forms of mass communication, the Internet has minimal barriers to entry, including its low cost and widespread accessibility. Whereas the general public can communicate through television or radio broadcasts and most other forms of mass communication only by paying substantial advertising fees, the vast majority of the general public who choose to communicate through the Internet can afford to do so.

In the draft of the proposed rules, the FEC spends a fair amount of time discussing the role of blogs in election campaigns. The new rules will leave blogs almost entirely unregulated. In particular, bloggers will not have to disclose if they are receiving payments from candidates or campaigns. The FEC’s reasoning is that such disclosure is unnecessary since campaigns and political committees are already required to report such payments on publicly available reports filed with the Commission.

Given the amount of concern over the possibility of heavy-handed regulation of online political speech and advertising, the FEC’s draft rules are a relief. Trying to monitor the Internet to ensure bloggers, candidates, and grassroots organization were complying witha byzantine set of regulations would have been a nightmare at best. The FEC’s chosen path of limiting its regulatory reach to online advertising looks as though it goes a long way towards ensuring that the Internet remains a "unique mode of mass communication and political speech."

Denmark next in line to challenge Apple, DRM

Apple’s problems in Europe look to be getting worse, not better. Following on the heels of France’s legislative push for DRM interoperability comes word that Denmark is thinking along the same lines. Reportedly, Maersk and the country’s largest telecommunications company, TDC, are speaking out in favor of such interoperability. Maersk and TDC are not only two of largest companies in Denmark, but they are amongst the largest and most powerful in Europe. Both also operate online music ventures. HangZhou Night Net

Media attention has focused primarily on how the French legislation could affect Apple, and for good reason. The company owns both the world’s most popular online music store and the massively successful iPod. The legislation is not Apple-specific, however. Rather, France (and now Denmark) is pushing for general DRM interoperability that would eliminate customer lock-in. This has led Apple to lash out at the legislation, with the company going so far as to charge France with promoting state-sponsored piracy. The real issue is competition, however, and Apple clearly prefers that its iTunes+iPod lock-in remain untouched.

And as you might expect, Apple’s competitors would prefer otherwise. Henrik Olesen, product manager at Maersk’s Dansk Supermarked, told Danish-language Politiken.dk that interoperability would be a win-win situation.

"We would like to ask the politicians to follow the route they’re taking in France, so that it becomes as easy as possible for the consumers to purchase music legally. This will in the end mean larger gross sales for all music stores," he said.

Likewise, Gert Rieder, CEO of TDC, said that "We can only press for something like the French, because it gives the consumers as many opportunities to shop for music." In Denmark it is currently illegal to circumvent DRM.

Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister of Culture, said that legislation addressing the matter would be introduced in 2007. He expressed optimism that DRM interoperability would be backed by the various record labels who are eager to see legal alternatives to piracy flourish online.

~Thomas Wesley Hinton contributed to this article~

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Introduction

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Publisher: 2K Games, Bethesda Softworks (site)
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
MSRP: $49.99—PC version (shop for this item), US$59.99—Xbox 360 version (shop for this item). Add US$10 for the collector’s edition
Platform: PC and Xbox 360
Rating: T for Teen (13+)HangZhou Night Net

In our minds the point of any open-ended RPG is to get you to think that you’re a part of the world you’re interacting with. You should be fooled into thinking the world is real and be given as many choices as you possibly can as to who you want to be in that world and how you interact with it. Doing this takes time, effort, and a whole lot of skill.

Morrowind came closer than maybe any other game at providing these things. The world was huge, detailed, and you could go anywhere and do almost anything. There were a lot of surprising things you only saw if you put a ton of time and effort into the game. It was no surprise therefore, that it was successful both on consoles and the PC

For some of us, the whole thing just seemed a little bit too big. While there may have been a central story, your quests became hard to keep track of as they piled up. Traveling often took too much time. I kept feeling like I was sliding off the sides of it and often felt overwhelmed and confused by the whole thing. It was an interesting experiment, but in many ways I feel like it failed. The console version had its share of bugs, and many of them were only fixed in the Game of the Year edition that came out much later. It also chugged on all but the fastest computers; I tend to look down on games that don’t scale well. It feels lazy to me.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has been hyped to… well, oblivion. It was supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox 360 but got pushed back in order to give the game some polish. I know more than one person who even cancelled their Xbox 360 preorder because of that. The 360 needed a good RPG, and in my opinion the PC could use one as well.

Bethesda most likely has a hit on their hands no matter what they do. Morrowind’s star has risen as the game has aged; computers have finally caught up with how demanding the game is and hundreds of player-created mods have improved the play of the game substantially. The sequel will have a lot to live up to.

It’s also interesting in that it’s launching simultaneously on the PC and the 360. A lot of people are going to be looking at this game as a way to bench their system against Microsoft’s new console. It’s a hugely ambitious game and will bring most computer’ to their knees. How will a US$400 console compare? Will one control scheme be better than the other one? This game is firmly in the forefront of the battle between consoles and computers, and the arguing between the two camps has been intense for the past few months.

Many of these screens could be masterpieces in their own right

For this reason we’re doing something different with this review. Instead of just me hogging the spotlight we’ve brought fellow Opposable Thumbs writer Rodney Quinn on board to talk about the game. I picked up the 360 version and he bought the PC version. We’ve had three days to play it, and for those three days we’ve done little else. While our character choices have been different, between us we’ve seen a lot of what the game has to offer, and there’s a lot go over. Did one version trounce the other? There’s only one way to find out.

See you in Tamriel.

System requirements (PC version)

Minimum system requirements Recommended system requirements Test system OS

Windows XP, 2000, 64-bit XPWindows XP, 2000, 64-bit XPWindows XP Media Center Edition 2005

CPU

2.0GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent3.0GHz Pentium 4 or equivalentPentium D 820 Dual Core (2.80GHz)

RAM

512MB1GB1GB DDR2 (533MHz)

Video

128MB Direct3D compatible video card and DirectX 9.0 compatible driverATI X800 series, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series or higherNVIDIA GeForce 6800GT (256MB) (PCI Express)

Sound card

DirectX 8.1 compatible sound cardDirectX 8.1 compatible sound cardIntegrated 7.1 channel audio

Hard drive

4.6GB free4.6GB freeSufficiently large

Input device

Keyboard and mouseKeyboard and mouseKeyboard and mouse

Optical drive

8x DVD-ROM8x DVD-ROMDVD

Download the PDF
(This feature for Premier subscribers only.)

Monday Morning Bullets

As the week goes on and I collect potential stories, many of them are interesting, but not complicated enough to warrant a full writeup. I tend to hang on to them in the hope that some other story will flesh them out, and give me enough to write about. When that doesn't happen, but they still seem interesting, you get bullets. HangZhou Night Net

• Researchers have found that wasabi and other mustard derivatives all act through a single pain receptor. Aside from demonstrating that all us sushi afficionados are masochists, they're hoping that a better understanding of which pain receptors handle what stimulus will allow them to generate more targeted and less addictive pain medication.

• New research shows that 10 month old babies learn words for what interests them. The conclusion: "These findings suggest that parents might want to talk more about what their babies are interested in rather than what they, the parents, are interested in." The story suggests that babies eventually transition to being interested in what others are talking about. Unfortunately, they don't tell you when that second transition happens. I understand that period of being interested in what others are saying ends somewhere around 12 years old…

• Scientists working at Texas A&M have inserted interfering RNA genes into the genome of goats. Their target: the prion protein, which is the target of diseases such as mad cow and chronic wasting. Currently, food supply precautions seem to have limited the spread of the disease in agricultural stocks, but it's nice to know there's a fall back.

• I covered both the poor scientific literacy of some mainstream press, as well as creationist's new attack on evolution, critical analysis. So I'm happy to report a story where the regular press got a story about critical analysis absolutely right. The big surprise is that it's from the Tahlequah Daily Press somewhere in Oklahoma, not widely recognized for its journalistic impact. Go give it a read and support quality journalism by not blocking their ads.

• Meanwhile, the school board in Lancaster CA seems to have adopted some sort of philosophy of science statment that (surprise!) singles out evolution as being especially suspect. Details are extremely sketchy about what's been decided, and it's unclear whether this will actually impact anything in the classroom.

• Astronomers have spotted several globular clusters (aggregations of stars that are smaller than galaxies) that are leaving trails of stars behind as they move through the universe. They're hoping that detailed observations of the movement of the stars in the tails will let them infer mass in the cluster, and get a better grip on the dark matter that might be present there.

• Researchers have developed a new way to find the parts of the genome that regulate human gene expression: stick them in zebrafish. Fish are cheap to grow and easy to insert DNA into, and evolution has maintained the DNA sequences that mediate gene expression about as well as it has maintained the genes themselves.

A new lab rat to test general relativity

A central conundrum in physics is that general relativity
and quantum mechanics cannot both be right.
In general, quantum mechanics is only useful to describe properties on
very small scales, and as a result has very few consequences for the
macroscopic development of the universe.
General relativity is a theory of gravity, which is negligible at scales
for which quantum mechanics is applied.
However, physicists know that they can’t both be correct because general
relativity produces absurd results when considered at the same scale as quantum
mechanics. The only way to resolve this
issue is to gather data from experiments where both gravity and quantum
mechanics play a significant role.HangZhou Night Net

Researchers in Germany and France have identified* an experimental system* that meets these criteria. The experiment has its history in an anomaly observed in the field of superconductivity. When a superconducting ring is spun it will produce a magnetic field. The size of this magnetic field has been predicted by theory to an accuracy of 6 or 7 significant figures, thus when it was found that the magnetic field produced by niobium did not agree with that predicted, some new physics was in the offing. It was suggested that the difference was due to gravitational effects since general relativity predicts that a moving mass will produce a magnetic field, however this field is usually so small that it can generally be neglected. Nevertheless, a spinning superconductor, cooled below the critical temperature will produce a magnetic field due to both superconducting electron pairs and their mass.

Tajamar and Matos, set out to see if the gravitationally induced magnetic field could be accurately detected by measuring the acceleration fields surrounding a spinning superconducting ring. Their results have proven to be surprising; they have found that the acceleration fields are many times greater than those expected. Theoretically, these results can be explained by an increase of the mass of the photons that cause electrons to pair up and superconduct. This change in mass would bring a gravitational effect to the quantum world of superconductivity. If these results prove to be replicable and agree with the new theoretical predictions then physicists will have a new tool for testing general relativity at a scale where quantum mechanics can also be a significant factor. This might allow for the two to be brought into agreement with each other.

*=preprints

Remote storage DVR concept resurfaces with Cablevision

When is a DVR not a DVR? How about when there’s no DVR? If Cablevision has their way, customers will enjoy the benefits of a DVR without the DVR, at least in the sense that we’ve come to expect. The plan is so simple, you’ll swear you’ve heard it before: instead of recording shows on a box in your home, why not let the cable company do it for you? Enter "remote storage DVRs."HangZhou Night Net

RS-DVR for short, a remote storage DVR is like a TiVo that stores all of its data at the cable office. As a kind of glorified digital set-top box, the RS-DVR communicates over high-speed cable networks much in the way that on-demand services do, but there’s a twist: you set the shows to record, and you manage your recordings. You also don’t pay per show. Cablevision plans to provision 80GB of storage space for users who sign up for the service, billed for less than US$9.99/month—their current DVR fee. Since users only need a digital set-top box to make it work, Cablevision hopes that it can sign up a significant portion of the customer base who is already equipped to take advantage of the service. To make the plan sound even sweeter, Cablevision says that they expect such a service to save them money and hassle dealing with DVR repairs.

If you do think that you’ve heard all of this before, it’s because you have. In 2003 AOL/Time Warner planned a similar service dubbed Mystro, but canceled it amid fears that the entertainment industry would come down hard on them. Partners grew cold to the idea for the reasons we’ve come to expect: fears over how it would affect advertising revenues; fears over how widespread DVR usage would affect DVD sales; fears over muddying the waters between broadcaster and cable provider. Cablevision will likely see the same kinds of pressures, but the company hopes that the now-established marketplace for DVR technology will protect them from unreasonable objections.

"Consumers have well-established rights to ‘time-shift’ television programming by making copies for personal, in-home viewing," the company says. "This new technology merely enables consumers to exercise their time-shifting rights in the same manner as with traditional DVRs, but at less cost."

Just who is the broadcaster?

While certain proposals such as the broadcast flag threaten certain aspects of DVR usage, the citizen’s right to timeshift—recording a broadcast show to watch later—is currently safe and sound. But Cablevision’s service, just like AOL’s failed Mystro, blurs the picture. Copyright owners begin to twitch when they hear about cable companies centrally storing recorded shows and playing them back to users, all without paying royalties and/or licensing rights. In the minds of the copyright holders, this is on-demand priced to make the cable companies rich off of the backs of Hollywood.

Cablevision should be safe. For now, the saving distinction comes from the fact that Joe User has to instruct his DVR to record shows. This exposes two key points that we think will feature centrally in the way that RS-DVR efforts will avoid the sharp fangs of the entertainment industry. First, RS-DVR won’t allow users to tap into a centralized storage system to get at shows that they didn’t record. At the very least, this is a good faith effort to stay away from TV’s syndication and DVD efforts. Second, the storage capacity will have to be kept modest; consumers can’t be permitted to record practically everything on TV. Limited storage and limited recording capabilities (two shows at once) will keep the service from becoming a true threat to the entertainment industry. Maybe.

But as networks speeds get faster, DVR gets more complex, and the entertainment industry hones its skills on selling content online, look for this issue to get political. In the meantime, Cablevision’s plans will provide for a fantastic opportunity to look at DVR uptake sans DVR. Could this be the thing that finally makes the DVR concept ubiquitous?

Skype hit with RICO suit

VoIP company Skype is the target of an interesting lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Filed by Streamcast, makers of the once-popular Morpheus file-sharing software, the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit centers around the FastTrack peer-to-peer technology that powered both Morpheus and Kazaa. HangZhou Night Net

RICO is most often associated with organized crime, but companies are sometimes the targets of RICO actions. Most notably, the RIAA was hit with a RICO lawsuit last October by a woman who claims she was mistakenly accused of file-sharing by the recording industry group.

Let’s set the way-back machine to early 2002. The original Napster had been dead for a couple years and arising to fill the P2P void were a pair of applications: Morpheus and Kazaa. Both of them were built on the same FastTrack technology. FastTrack was the brainchild of Niklas Zennström, Janus Friis, and a handful of others. Morpheus and Kazaa had coexisted peacefully in the P2P world until February 2002, when Morpheus users were suddenly barred from the FastTrack file-sharing network, reportedly due to its not paying licensing fees.

The history of FastTrack since then has been a convoluted one. Kazaa and its underlying FastTrack technology were spun off to Sharman Networks, a company incorporated in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. Since that time, Sharman has been embroiled in all manner of lawsuits, including one that resulted in a ruling that said Sharman had encouraged Kazaa users to violate copyright laws and ordering the company to foot 90 percent of the plaintiffs’ legal bills.

So what does all of this have to do with Skype? After washing their hands of Kazaa and starting Altnet, a "legitimate" P2P business, Zennström and Friis started Skype. Getting its start as a VoIP service that allowed members to make free PC-to-PC calls and paid calls from PCs to telephones, Skype was snapped up by eBay last fall for a cool US$2.6 billion.

Streamcast says that the technology used in Skype is the same FastTrack technology that was used in Morpheus and Kazaa. More importantly, the company claims that it had the right of first refusal to purchase the technology before it was redirected to Sharman Networks. Streamcast is also alleging that the FastTrack technology has remained under the control of Zennström and Friis the entire time.

It remains to be seen whether there is any basis for Streamcast’s lawsuit. With the infusion of cash from the eBay takeover, Skype certainly makes a tempting target. eBay is not a party to the lawsuit, as all the alleged chicanery took place prior to the deal last year, but the case makes me wonder if the online auction house wishes it had done a little more thorough job with due-diligence before consumating the transaction.

Podcasts don’t cast into the Pod

A study done by Bridge Data suggests what many of us already suspected: Podcasting is popular, but it has little to do with the "pods," that is, the iPods and other portable players for which "Podcasting" was supposedly born. The study concluded that 80 percent of podcasts are either listened to and/or watched on a PC, or simply deleted. HangZhou Night Net

For some, this begs the question: what is a podcast? TDG Research is apparently puzzled by this quandary: isn’t a podcast, by definition, supposed to be played on a portable device? I have another question: is this really a dilemma?

"Push" content is nothing new, and podcasts are fine examples of push content. Regardless of where a podcast is played, the mechanism for delivery has become the essence of podcasting. Automatic updating/delivery, usually fueled by either RSS or some helper application such as iTunes, is what drives it.

How people consume the content they download shouldn’t be important on any definitional level. In fact, I think that the explosion of online content sales, timeshifting, and more recently, placeshifting has shown us that pinning down how people consume content is misguided. At least, I think it’s misguided when we’re talking about defining a new medium, if that’s what "podcasting" is.

If podcasting is indeed a new medium, it’s a small one. According to Bridge Research, only 9 million people will listen to podcasts this year. To put that into perspective, women’s living portal iVillage.com reportedly has about 35 million readers. In short, podcasting is still emerging, which is another way of saying that the medium could change drastically over the course of the next year, as more people subscribe to podcasts, both commercial and free. And like a giant black hole, the PC is becoming an entertainment device (for more than just gamers) by exerting its gravity on all things digital, including these podcasts. iPods and other portable media players are mere accessories.

Over the next year, podcasting may truly take off, but not necessarily on account of its grassroots feel. At around two years old (depending on who you ask), podcasting is still extremely new, but it’s showing the maturity of something much older. Already we have both audio and video podcasts, and commercial offerings are on the rise. Unlike MP3, which lived for years online with no "commercial" component, podcasting is being commercialized as we speak. I expect many players, big and small, to dip their toes into the commercial podcasting businesses, either by booking advertising spots into their podcasts (many, many already do this), or by charging for their content outright. Regardless, the era of push content is upon us again, but this time the name is "cooler," even if it’s not entirely clear what the name means to everyone.

Oxygen metabolism and the rise of the modern world

The latest issue of Science contains an article and perspective on the use of oxygen in metabolic pathways, with details of the article available to non-subscribers. Which is a shame, because the perspective is much more interesting than the article, and I can only summarize it. As many of you probably know, life started out in a reducing atmosphere, utilizing anaerobic metabolism. Significant amounts of free oxygen didn't exist on earth until the advent of photosynthesis, over a billion years following the start of life. This came after the three main branches of life had already split, inheriting a single anaerobic metabolic system from their common ancestor. HangZhou Night Net

Photosynthesis undoubtedly evolved because it provided an energy source, but it did have the side effect of producing oxygen. Although oxygen is technically just a waste product of photosynthesis, its arrival must have been quite a shock, as it was effectively toxic to the existing cellular metabolisms. Organisms came under immediate selective pressure to protect their components from being oxidized. At the same time, oxygen presented an opportunity: metabolizing with oxygen provided much more energy than could be generated by anaerobic pathways. As the perspective suggests, the organisms alive at the time were either pushed into anaerobic niches, or did, "the biological equivalent of grabbing the most valuable possessions (including pictures of your ancestors) when your house is on fire, so that you may be able to start life anew after the catastrophe."

Existing enzymes were re-purposed to protect the cells' components from oxygen, existing pathways were expanded to include oxygen, and entirely new pathways were evolved. The study provides a glimpse into the results of this by using computers to randomly sample about 100,000 metabolic networks and determine their size and dependency upon oxygen. The authors discovered that oxygen has become the most prevalent chemical in metabolism, outpacing even the universal energy source, ATP. Oxygen utilizing pathways have also outpaced the anaerobic ones in complexity, with far more proteins involved. The variation of anaerobic systems roughly follows the pattern of the tree of life, as would be expected from inheritance of a single system through common descent. Extensive speciation had already occurred by the time cells needed to handle oxygen though, so many different solutions to this problem occurred throughout the tree of life, and the variation shows little overall pattern.

One thing that is suggested by the pattern of aerobic pathways, however, is that the eukaryotes, which include all multicellular organisms, were the big beneficiaries from the appearance of oxygen. Only about 20 percent of the anaerobic pathways are unique to eukaryotes, while about half of the oxygen-based ones are. Somewhat suspiciously, the perspective notes that multicelluar organisms arose within the eukaryote lineage at roughly the same time as the start of photosynthesis. It seems like the added energy efficiency, coming at a time of new selective pressures, may have pushed life into multicellularity.

Meanwhile, the New Scientist covers a more controversial proposal related to the onset of photosynthesis. The current chemical weathering of rock requires carbon dioxide, which may not have been present in significant amounts prior to photosynthesis. Researchers are proposing that the CO2-based weathering is necessary for the formation of granite, a type of rock that appears to be unique to earth, although that may just be because we haven't looked in the right places on other planets. Regardless, granite is a low density rock that is responsible for the light crust that supports the continents. Putting this together, the proposal suggests that the onset of photosynthesis created the right conditions for the formation of the current, continent-based tectonic system. Future research may tell whether photosynthesis shaped not only life, but the world which it came to inhabit.

A tale of two Apples… and three lawsuits

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Apple Computer, a company sharing a moniker with the Apple recording label, being sued by that label’s parent company, not once but thrice. The first two suits were settled for very different amounts, but the third suit goes to the British High Court this week, and could turn out to be the most damaging of all.HangZhou Night Net

The first court case probably seemed a bit frivolous in 1989: a record label devoted primarily to issuing recordings made by a band that had ceased to exist a decade earlier suing a computer company, for little more than a similarity in names. Yet the band behind the Apple Corps record label was the Beatles, arguably the most important rock act ever, and the company named in the law suit was Apple Computer, then in its influential heyday as a computer manufacturer.

The results of the suit didn’t seem particularly significant at the time. Reportedly, Apple Corps accepted a settlement of around US$80,000 from the computer builder, and extracted a seemingly inconsequential agreement that Apple Computer would stay out of the music business.

Twenty-five years later, that agreement looms large, as Apple Computer is now known as the company behind the iPod, iTunes, and even more importantly to Apple Corps, the iTunes Music Store. With overall downloads recently topping a billion songs, iTMS is nothing if not part of the music industry, and Apple Computer has become one of the major players in the biz.

In September 2003, Apple Corps again filed suit against Apple Computer, this time for entering the music business in violation of their previous agreement. On the surface, it certainly looks as though Apple Computer could end up on the hook for a potentially very large and damaging settlement.

The defense revolves around the second lawsuit, which was filed in 1989 by the music label against the computer maker. At that time, the suit involved the Macintosh’s growing ability to produce music. In 1991, this case resulted in a much larger cash settlement (reports vary from US$26 million to US$50 million) and a new set of agreements in which Apple Computer would stay out of distribution of music media. Data transfers were allowed under the agreement, and music as data as opposed to physical media is likely to form the crux of Apple’s argument.

It is important to note that, at the time, there was no such thing as online transfer of music. While compact discs were common and digital music had existed for years, storing sound as a file was a fairly esoteric concept, the Internet was in an embryonic state, and data transfer was based on 300 baud modems. In short, only the most daring futurist might have properly predicted where the music business would be headed just ten years later. The concept of transferring music as digital data was little more than science fiction.

So Apple Computer finds itself on the receiving end again. This time, Apple Corps looks like it has a powerful case, as it has already twice received settlements for far less direct infringement on its business interests by the computer maker. Nevertheless, with so much at stake, expect Apple Computer to fight long and hard to prove that iTMS file transfers are perfectly acceptable under the 1991 agreement.

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