Among the contents of the drive are unreleased songs from the past six years and two songs which should be released on a new single in a few weeks. Apparently those two songs on the drive were the only instance they had, off-site backups only contained older "beta" versions of the songs. As the band is touring at the moment (i.e. no time for re-recording the songs), it's unclear whether the single can be released in time.
 Well, I am a paranoid computer geek, and I'm probably not a normal person, but you get the point ;-)
 Oh, and if the thieves are stupid enough they will get caught while uploading the files ;-)
The EFF has published a paper called "Unintended Consequences: Seven Years under the DMCA". It contains a huge list of things which went wrong since the DMCA was introduced.
Years of experience with the "anti-circumvention" provisions of the DMCA demonstrate that the statute reaches too far, chilling a wide variety of legitimate activities in ways Congress did not intend. As an increasing number of copyright works are wrapped in technological protection measures, it is likely that the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions will be applied in further unforeseen contexts, hindering the legitimate activities of innovators, researchers, the press, and the public at large.
The video seems to be a bit older, and I have no idea who the original author is or what license applies to it. Anyways, it's funny, scary and very very true at the same time. Watch it.
Oh great, the software patent debate is back.
After a long and disgusting campaign where pro-software-patents lobbyists employed all kinds of semi-legal and undemocratic filthy tricks in order to introduce software patents in the EU behind our backs, the European Parliament decided by a large majority to reject the directive "on the patentability of computer implemented inventions" (a.k.a. software patents) in July 2005. Rightly so.
He has organized a "Consultation and public hearing on future patent policy in Europe" which pretends to collect your views on the software patent issue (which he's trying to introduce through the "Community Patent" backdoor).
Alas, the "questionnaire" is inaccessible (it's only available in 5 languages, instead of all 25 (+2) languages of the EU member states), biased towards software patents, very obfuscated and unreadable for the general public. There's no independent working group which conducts or oversees the consultation, no independent studies and reading materials, no mentions of the negative implications of software patents, no public debate, nothing. Now, who would have expected that?
Similarly, the FFII has questioned the validity of the consultation procedure, and gives a very detailed explanation of all the serious flaws of the process.
Let me quote Donald Knuth on this:
I strongly believe that the recent trend in patenting algorithms is of benefit only to a very small number of attorneys and inventors, while it is seriously harmful to the vast majority of people who want to do useful things with computers.
(via MJ Ray)