An analysis on the role of hackers in the age of cyberwarfare, published in the special issue on business and technology of the Hungarian weekly HVG.
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The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media ageIt’s an astonishing look inside the cultural change still needed in the shi

via The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age » Nieman Journalism Lab.

5-Year Suspended Sentence For S. Africa’s First Online Pirate – Slashdot.

The Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, has announced plans to move the title to a digital-first strategy in a move he described as a "big cultural shift" for the business daily, and cut 35 jobs.

Barber said the FT will make a net headcount reduction of 25 – after hiring 10 journalists for digital roles – in an effort to save £1.6m this year as part of the strategy, outlined to staff in a memo on Monday, seen by MediaGuardian. He added that the FT needed to be "reshaped for the digital age".

via Financial Times editor announces digital-first strategy | Media |

A lengthy analysis on the Megaupload case in Magyar Narancs, a Hungarian weekly.
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Responses to's hire of Laurence Kirshbaum as publisher have varied from worried to fear of a “dampening” effect on competition among delegates at the BEA conference.

Word that started to spread Sunday night was confirmed first thing Monday morning with the announcement that Kirshbaum, former TimeWarner c.e.o.-turned-agent, would be heading up Amazon's publishing operation in New York.

Everybody knew that an Amazon push into frontlist publishing was coming: the move into original genre books and the cooperation with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was not enough to satisfy the giant's ever-hungry maw. Highly-placed executives from New York houses have been migrating to Amazon for a while, and the company ratcheted up expectations after circulating a recruiting letter for various personnel a few weeks back. The question was only when.

The news spread swiftly around the Javits Center even though the exhibition floor was not yet open, the first day of BEA being devoted to conference sessions. For Kirshbaum, it seemed a natural: as Workman's Bob Miller put it, “Larry missed running the whole show. Being an agent just wasn't the same.”

Independent booksellers took the news in their stride: “it didn't surprise” outgoing ABA president Michael Tucker, whose store is in San Francisco. Another major indie bookseller, Elliott Bay's Rick Simonsen (on Amazon's home turf of Seattle), saw it being “of more concern to publishers than to booksellers at this point. Remember, most booksellers have to deal with B&N's Sterling [publishing subsidiary] already. And Amazon will now get trapped in the real world!”

The proprietor of a store much closer to New York, who preferred to talk on background, said that given the state of Borders, and the likely difficulties Amazon may encounter with B&N, indies might actually get higher discounts on the books Amazon publishes since they will need a bricks and mortar storefront.

What people on the publishing side are feeling—again, off the record for the most part—is worried. Publishers, already feeling squeezed, have been feeling even more so since Monday morning.

Agent Richard Curtis, who doubles as proprietor of E-Reads, one of the earliest e-publishing and POD reprinters of out-of-print books, said: “I think Larry is an iconic branded figure in the American book business and will be the perfect person to bring the old and new worlds of publishing together.

via Amazon’s Kirshbaum move could reduce competition—BEA | The Bookseller.

Slashdot Stories (10)

“Google has found a way to let iPhone owners use Google Voice, launching a Google Voice Web app that runs on iPhone 3.0 OS devices, as well as on Palm WebOS devices. The Google Voice application leverages HTML 5’s functionality for running sophisticated Web applications on a browser at speeds matching those of native applications, Google said. The Google Voice-iPhone conflict is one of several issues putting the companies on a collision course, the latest of which involves Apple potentially courting Microsoft to tap Bing as the iPhone’s default search.”

A Boston University student has been ordered to pay $675,000 to four record labels for illegally downloading and sharing music.

Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., admitted he downloaded and distributed 30 songs. The only issue for the jury to decide was how much in damages to award the record labels.

Under federal law, the recording companies were entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement. But the law allows as much as $150,000 per track if the jury finds the infringements were willful. The maximum jurors could have awarded in Tenenbaum’s case was $4.5 million.

The case is only the nation’s second music downloading case against an individual to go to trial.

Last month, a federal jury in Minneapolis ruled a Minnesota woman must pay nearly $2 million for copyright infringement.

YouTube Biz Blog

Last week the world watched in wonder as Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s wedding party transformed a familiar and predictable tradition into something spontaneous and just flat-out fun. The video, set to R&B star Chris Brown’s hypnotic dance jam “Forever,” became an overnight sensation, accumulating more than 10 million views on YouTube in less than one week. But as with all great YouTube videos, there’s more to this story than simple view counts.

At YouTube, we have sophisticated content management tools in place to help rights holders control their content on our site. The rights holders for “Forever” used these tools to claim and monetize the song, as well as to start running Click-to-Buy links over the video, giving viewers the opportunity to purchase the music track on Amazon and iTunes. As a result, the rights holders were able to capitalize on the massive wave of popularity generated by “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” — in the last week, searches for “Chris Brown Forever” on YouTube have skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular queries on the site:

This traffic is also very engaged — the click-through rate (CTR) on the “JK Wedding Entrance” video is 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. And this newfound interest in downloading “Forever” goes beyond the viral video itself: “JK Wedding Entrance” also appears to have influenced the official “Forever” music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x in the last week.

So, what does all of this mean? Despite compelling data and studies around consumer purchasing habits, many still question the promotional and bottom-line business value sites like YouTube provide artists. But in the last week, over a year after its release, Chris Brown’s “Forever” has again rocketed up the charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list. We’ve seen similar successes in the past with partners like Monty Python.

One of our main goals at YouTube is to help content creators effectively make money from the distribution of their content online. That
they can do so in a way that brings artists and our community together to create fun, spontaneous and inspiring works, is one of the best and most exciting things about YouTube.

The Becker-Posner Blog

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental sources of news and opinion.

I wonder if Judge Posner will stop writing his blog because I linked to his post.


“The NYTimes reported in their June 13, 1897 edition that ‘Canadian pirates’ were flooding the country
with spurious editions of the latest copyrighted popular songs. ‘They
use the mails to reach purchasers, so members of the American Music
Publishers Association assert, and as a result the legitimate music
publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50 per cent in
the past twelve months’ while the pirates published 5,000,000 copies of
songs in just one month. The Times added that pirates were publishing
sheet music at 2 cents to 5 cents per copy although the original
compositions sold for 20 to 40 cents per copy. But ‘American publishers
had held a conference’ and a ‘committee had been appointed to fight the
pirates’ by getting the ‘Post Office authorities to stop such mail
matter because it infringes the copyright law.’ Interestingly enough
the pirates of 1897 worked in league with Canadian newspapers that
published lists of songs to be sold, with a post office box address
belonging to the newspaper itself. Half the money went to pay the
newspapers’ advertising while the other half went to the pirates who
sent the music by mail.”
“The NYTimes reported in their June 13, 1897 edition that ‘Canadian pirates’ were flooding the country with spurious editions of the latest copyrighted popular songs. ‘They use the mails to reach purchasers, so members of the American Music Publishers Association assert, and as a result the legitimate music publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50 per cent in the past twelve months’ while the pirates published 5,000,000 copies of songs in just one month. The Times added that pirates were publishing sheet music at 2 cents to 5 cents per copy although the original compositions sold for 20 to 40 cents per copy. But ‘American publishers had held a conference’ and a ‘committee had been appointed to fight the pirates’ by getting the ‘Post Office authorities to stop such mail matter because it infringes the copyright law.’ Interestingly enough the pirates of 1897 worked in league with Canadian newspapers that published lists of songs to be sold, with a post office box address belonging to the newspaper itself. Half the money went to pay the newspapers’ advertising while the other half went to the pirates who sent the music by mail.”


In Germany, the file-hosting service Rapidshare has handed over the personal details of alleged copyright infringers to several major record labels. The information is used to pursue legal action against the Rapidshare users and at least one alleged uploader saw his house raided.

Yahoo! Finance

A defense lawyer in the Pirate Bay file-sharing case said Thursday he will demand a retrial after the judge admitted he was a member of copyright protection organizations.

A Stockholm court last week convicted four men behind the notorious Web site of helping others commit copyright violations and gave them one-year prison sentences.

They also were ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to entertainment companies, including Warner Bros., Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.

Peter Althin, who represented Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde in the case, said he would request a retrial after Judge Tomas Norstrom confirmed Swedish Radio reports that he was a member of two Swedish copyright groups.

Althin said that constituted a conflict of interest, especially considering that three people who represented the entertainment industry during the trial also held membership in one of the organizations.

The Local

nternet service providers refuse to cooperate with an entertainment industry group’s demand to shut down The Pirate Bay.

Following yesterday’s conviction of the four men connected with the popular file sharing site, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is demanding that Pirate Bay website be shut down.

But Internet service providers (ISPs) refuse to cooperate, reports the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Neither has the judgement slowed down file sharing. Several minutes after the Stockholm District Court delivered the verdict, almost ten billion files were being downloaded.

The ISPs maintain that the ruling doesn’t apply to them.

“In part, this is not a legally binding decision, but above all, this is a judgement against Pirate Bay and nothing that effects any service provider. We will not take any action (to block) the contents if we are not compelled to do so,” Patrik Hiselius, a lawyer at Telia Sonera, told Svenska Dagbladet.

Bredbandsbolaget and Com Hem had the same reply. Jon Karlung, managing director of Bahnhofs, said the judgement does not change anything.

“We will not censor sites for our customers; that is not our job. I am against anything that contradicts the principle of a free and open Internet.”


Quantos writes with word that in Sweden, in addition to a drop in traffic following the introduction of the IPRED anti-file sharing law, the country also saw a doubling of legal downloads. “The sale of music via the Internet and mobile phones has increased by 100 percent since the Swedish anti-file sharing IPRED law entered into force last week, according to digital content provider InProdicon. ‘…I don’t know if this is only because of IPRED, but it is definitely a sign of a major change,’ said managing director Klas Brännström. InProdicon provides half of the downloaded tunes in Sweden via several online and mobile music services.” Meanwhile The Pirate Bay’s anticipated VPN service has seen over 113,000 requests for beta invitations since late last month; 80% are from Sweden. Traffic numbers may begin to rise again once the service goes live.

Fox fired up over ‘Wolverine’ review – Entertainment News, Technology News, Media – Variety

Has longtime Fox News entertainment blogger Roger Friedman been fired? It depends whom you ask.

On Saturday News Corp. released a statement saying the Hollywood gadfly had been “terminated.”

But on Sunday afternoon Friedman told Daily Variety that he had not been let go.

Fox News released its own missive when asked on Sunday afternoon if Friedman had been ousted. “This is an internal matter that we’re not prepared to discuss at this time,” a Fox News spokesperson said.

For its part, the studio weighed in Friday with its own statement, calling Friedman’s actions “reprehensible.”

Friedman came under fire for posting a review of a pirated version of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Both Fox News and 20th Century Fox are divisions of parent company News Corp.

Friedman posted a review of the film Thursday, one day after an incomplete version of the tentpole was leaked on the Internet, a breach that occurred a month before the film’s release and that could potentially cost the studio millions in box office receipts.

After Friedman’s positive “Wolverine” review hit the Web, the fanboy blogging community, which had largely called for a boycott of any reviews of the film, immediately lobbied for Friedman’s dismissal., which posted a screen grab of Friedman’s item, echoed the sentiments of many bloggers when it wrote: “Where does come up with the balls to publish a review of an unfinished illegal copy of a film their sister company is so desperately trying to squelch the existence of?”

As of Sunday afternoon, Friedman’s Fox 411 blog was still on’s website; however, the offending “Wolverine” item had long since been pulled and deleted from the website’s cache.

The whole sequence of events looks like a case of corporate synergy gone awry, as three different divisions of News Corp. couldn’t even agree on the fate of Friedman.

Fox News’ boss Roger Ailes has strained relations with other News Corp. division execs, and, in fact, the entire Fox News division has an entirely different style than the rest of the company.

But Fox News is a cable ratings hotshot and contributes mightily to the conglom’s bottom line. Friedman’s posting was bound to cause friction between the two News Corp. divisions especially considering that Friedman’s Fox 411 blog is a top traffic draw for

Studio execs began to hear about Friedman’s post Friday and called for the matter to be addressed by its sister company, though stopped short of asking for Friedman’s ouster. The studio’s statement said: “We’ve just been made aware that Roger Friedman, a freelance columnist who writes Fox 411 on — an entirely separate company from 20th Century Fox — watched on the Internet and reviewed a stolen and unfinished version of ‘X-Men Organs: Wolverine.’ This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically — whether the review is good or bad.”

Calling an entirely separate company from 20th Century Fox was an interesting choice of words, given that they’re sibling companies.

It took another day — and a torrent of negative press aimed at News Corp. in the blogging community — before News Corp. took action. Late Saturday night, News Corp. released a statement saying: “Roger Friedman’s views in no way reflect the views of News Corp. We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corp., have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. When we advised Fox News of the facts they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr. Friedman.”


A Svédországban megalakult, önmagát Kalóz Pártnak nevező csoport elsősorban azok támogatására számíthat, akik a szellemi termékek megosztása, letöltése és másolása ellen kiszabott szigorú büntetések ellen tiltakoznak.

Mint az EUobserver írja, a svédek több mint 10 százaléka vesz részt valamilyen hálózati fájlcserélő tevékenységben, a 26-35 éves férfi korosztály esetében az arány eléri az 56 százalékot. Ez azt jelenti, hogy akár 1,3 millió is lehet azoknak a száma, akiket a bűnözővé nyilvánítás fenyeget.

A hobbikalózok a legkülönfélébb foglalkozási, képzettségi és korcsoportból kerülnek ki, ezért rendszeresen figyelik a szerzői jogok szabályozása terén történő változásokat, és várhatóan támogatni fogják a „hálózati radikálisokként” ismert jelölteket a júniusi európai parlamenti választásokon.

A Kalóz Párt fő célja az on-line kultúra vívmányainak díjtalan használata. Ennek részeként a párt követeli a copyright szabályozás alapvető megreformálását, a szabadalmi rendszer eltörlését, valamint az állampolgárok magánéletének és adatainak háboríthatatlanságát. A KP szerint ezek a célok megvalósíthatóak a mai Európában.

A Kalóz Párt növekvő népszerűségét jelzi, hogy támogatói és aktivistái száma messze meghaladja a Svédországban hagyományosan népszerű környezetvédő szervezetekét. A kalózjelöltek azt is remélik, hogy az EP-választásokon nagy létszámban tudnak mozgósítani olyan választókat is, akik egyébként passzívan viszonyulnak az uniós ügyekhez.

BBC NEWS | Technology

YouTube will not reverse its decision to block music videos to UK users despite a plea from the Performing Rights Society to change its mind.

It is removing all premium music videos to UK users after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the PRS.

Patrick Walker, YouTube’s director of video partnerships said it remained committed to agreeing terms.

But such agreement needed to be done “at a rate which is sustainable to all”, he told the BBC.

Thousands of videos were made unavailable to YouTube users from late on 9 March.

Patrick Walker, YouTube’s director of video partnerships, told BBC News that the move was “regrettable” but that it continued to talk to the PRS.

“The more music videos YouTube streams, and the more popular those music videos are, the more money YouTube will generate to share with the PRS and its song writers. It’s a win-win arrangement.

YouTube, however, cannot be expected to engage in a business in which it loses money every time a music video is played – that is simply not a sustainable business model.” he said.

Steve Porter, head of the PRS, said he was “outraged… shocked and disappointed” by YouTube’s decision.

In a statement, Mr Porter said the move “punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent”.

The PRS has asked YouTube to reconsider its decision as a “matter of urgency”.

This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties
PRS statement

The body, which represents music publishers, added: “Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing.

“This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties.”

The Music Publishers Association (MPA) joined with the PRS is urging Google to rethink.

“Music publishers are in the business of getting their music heard by as wide an audience as possible, and websites such as YouTube rely on this music to attract traffic. It is difficult to see how anyone’s interests are served by denying the YouTube community the content they most enjoy,” said MPA chief executive Stephen Navin.

Lord Carter, the UK’s Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, has also waded into the debate.

Giving evidence before the Business Select Committee the minister said he suspected a degree of “commercial posturing on the part of both parties” but said the row was indicative of a wider issue.

“It is an example of the question of how do you price and fund content in the digital world?” he said.

“We have had decades of content being funded in one way – via the license fee and advertising – and that model is changing at a rapid speed,” he told MPs.

Mr Walker told BBC News the PRS was seeking a rise in fees “many, many factors” higher than the previous agreement.

He said: “We feel we are so far apart that we have to remove content while we continue to negotiate with the PRS.”

“We are making the message public because it will be noticeable to users on the site.”

Consumers must be scratching their heads in amazement at such obstacles to delivering legal content in a timely and straightforward fashion.
Darren Waters, Technology editor, BBC News website

Read more on the Dot.Life blog

The majority of videos will be made inaccessible over the next two days.

YouTube pays a licence to the PRS which covers the streaming of music videos from three of the four major music labels and many independent labels.

Stream online

While deals with individual record labels cover the use of the visual element and sound recording in a music video, firms that want to stream online also have to have a separate deal with music publishers which covers the music and lyrics.

In the UK, the PRS acts as a collecting society on behalf of member publishers for licensing fees relating to use of music.

YouTube stressed that it continued to have “strong partnerships” with three of the four largest record labels in the world.

Mr Walker said the PRS was asking for a “prohibitive” rise in the cost of a new licence.

While not specifying the rate the PRS was seeking, he said: “It has to be a rate that can drive a business model. We are in the business for the long run and we want to drive the use of online video.

“The rate they are applying would mean we would lose significant amounts of money on every stream of a music video. It is not a reasonable rate to ask.”

New deal

YouTube has also complained of a lack of transparency by the PRS, saying the organisation would not specify exactly which artists would be covered by any new deal.

“That’s like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it,” a statement from YouTube UK says on its official blog.

YouTube is the world’s most popular online video site but has been under increased pressure to generate more revenue since its purchase by Google for $1.65bn in 2006.

“We are not willing to do this [new licensing deal] at any cost,” said Mr Walker.

He said the issue was an industry-wide one and not just related to YouTube.

“By setting rates that don’t allow new business models to flourish, nobody wins.”

Services such as, MySpace UK and Imeem have also had issues securing licence deals in the UK in the past 12 months.

After years of futile efforts to stop digital pirates from copying its music, the music business has started to copy the pirates.

An entrance on Sunday at the music industry’s conference in France, where Nokia said it was expanding Comes With Music.

Online and mobile services offering listeners unlimited “free” access to millions of songs are set to proliferate in the coming months, according to music industry executives.

Unlike illegal file-sharing services, which the music industry says are responsible for billions of dollars in lost sales, these new offerings are perfectly legal. The services are not really free, but payment is included in the cost of, say, a new cellphone or a broadband Internet access contract, so the cost to the consumer is disguised. And, unlike pirate sites, these services provide revenue to the music companies.

“Two thousand nine should be the year when the music industry stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb,” said Feargal Sharkey, a former punk rocker who now heads UK Music, a trade group for the British music industry.

David Barrett says on Pho

Mininova, founded in January 2005, soon became one of the most successful torrent sites. The site has grown steadily over recent months, and for a few weeks now the millions of daily users have been downloading well over 10 million torrents a day.

In 2008 the site passed several milestones, and in December Mininova broke a new record of 44.7 million unique visitors in one month. More users download more torrents, and just about every three to four months the site added another million torrent downloads to its counter. Today, just a few days into 2009, Mininova is close to recording the 7 billionth download, a double up compared to a year ago.

Mininova co-founder Niek told TorrentFreak that he expects this growth to continue in the new year. “Traffic is still growing according to Quantcast and Google Analytics. Unless something drastically changes, I see no reason why this will be different in 2009,” he commented. – Torrentfreak

In comparison, iTunes traffic:

  • iTunes has now sold six billion songs (it crossed the 5 billion mark last June).
  • Over 10 million different tracks are available on iTunes.
  • Starting today, 8 million songs are DRM-free, and all 10 million will be DRM free by the end of March.
  • There are now over 75 million accounts on iTunes linked to credit cards.
  • In fiscal year 2008, Apple sold 9.7 million Macs
  • Mac sales grew twice as fast as the overall PC market.

The last billion songs took about five and half months to sell, which was the same pace more or less that it took Apple to get to its fourth billion (January, 2008) and fifth billion songs (June, 2008). So iTunes sales are no longer accelerating, despite many more iPhones and iPods out there. It makes you wonder what the saturation point is for consumers buying songs from iTunes. One thing to cheer about, DRM is now officially dead (it looks like Apple traded variable pricing for getting rid of DRM), but I’m not sure that is going to spur sales much. – Techcrunch


The extremely rare account chronicles a three-year round-the world voyage of the swashbuckling privateer Capt Woodes Rogers, who made a fortune pillaging from pirate ships and Spanish galleons.

During that journey, Rogers, who was a friend of the author Daniel Defoe, even stopped off at a remote Pacific island and found castaway Alexander Selkirk, who inspired the character and book Robinson Crusoe. He said he found him “wild-looking” and wearing “goatskins”, adding: “He had with him his clothes and bedding, with a firelock, some powder, bullets and tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, a Bible and books.”

Rogers, who left Britain in 1708, had been tasked with “victimising” pirates targeting his fellow British merchants.

Commanding two 36-gun ships, the Duke and the Duchess, and 333 men, he sailed the South Seas, the East Indies and the Cape of Good Hope, going about his task with great gusto.

His finest catch was the prized vessel The Great Manila, a Spanish trading ship that sailed across the Pacific with a valuable cargo, including precious stones and exotic silks worth $2 million.

In 1717, he was appointed the governor of the Behamas by King George I and played a major role in ridding the islands of 2,000 pirates, including Edward Teach, also called Blackbeard. He was pursued by Rogers’ forces and killed.

The slogan of his epic voyage, “Piracy expelled, commerce restored”, remained the islands’ own motto until independence was declared in 1973.

It is thought only a hundred copies of his book, A Cruising Voyage Around the World, were printed seven years after Rogers completed his odyssey. One was recently found in a loft in Bristol, where Rogers’ was based, and is expected to fetch £3,000 when it is auctioned on January 21st.

Recording Industry vs. The People

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the defendant has moved for all court proceedings to be televised over the internet through Courtroom View Network. The motion argues:

is the currency of democracy, sunshine laws open government. The
federal court is open not only as a court of justice but a forum of
civic education. WE the PEOPLE are the ultimate check in our
constitutional system of checks and balances, we the people of the
integrated media space opened and connected by the net in a public
domain. Net access will allow an intelligent public domain to shape
itself by attending and engaging in a public trial of issues
conflicting our society.

Net access to this litigation will
allow an interested and growingly sophisticated public to understand
the RIAA’s education campaign. Surely education is the purpose of the
Digital Deterrence Act of 1999, the constitutionality of which we are
challenging. How can RIAA object? Yet they do, fear of sunlight shone
upon them.

Net access will allow demonstration by the parties to
the jury of the nature and context of the copyright infringement with
which Joel Tenenbaum is charged.

Net access will allow an
intelligent public domain to shape itself by attending and engaging a
public trial prosecuted by a dying CD industry against a defendant who
did what comes naturally to digital kids.

Net access will allow
educational and public media institutions to build a digital archive
and resource for understanding law akin to Jonathan Harr’s A Civil
Action reconceived in execution for legal pedagogy in a digital age,
Another Civil Action. The immediacy of net-based access to court
opinions already allows lawyers, professors, students, and reporters to
better keep abreast of the most recent legal developments, but none
with the immediacy the Net allows.

If the motion is granted, it will be the first RIAA case of which we are aware to be televised.

Motion and memorandum of law in support of internet audio-visual coverage
Declaration of John Shin
Declaration of Charles Nesson


Kevin Bermeister who, along with Nikki Hemming, created the KaZaA file-sharing software and was sued for millions by the RIAA from 2004 to 2006, has now partnered with Michael Speck who ran the RIAA’s case as the head of its anti-piracy arm, Music Industry Piracy Investigations, have teamed up at Brilliant Digital Entertainment to fight online piracy.

The company has developed software which will run on an ISPs network
and enable the “instantaneous conversion of infringing activity into
legitimate content transactions.” In other words, instead of seeing
search results for illegally free copyrighted material users will
instead see legal copies available for instant purchase.

The incentive for the ISPs to run the software is that they are
promised a share of the revenue. The legal download is delivered by the
ISP which then simply adds a charge for it to the customer’s monthly
Internet bill.

“When the architecture of the internet that has our technology
recognises one of those proven illicit files, it blocks it, disconnects
the link to it and adds to the search results the opportunity to
purchase the legitimate material,” said Mr. Speck.

“At that point there is no other information collected – the entire
action revolves around the identification of the content and action
taken against illicit content; there’s an absolute protection of

so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”

The piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago, Somali officials said, as a response to illegal fishing. Somalia’s central government imploded in 1991, casting the country into chaos. With no patrols along the shoreline, Somalia’s tuna-rich waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax.

“From there, they got greedy,” said Mohamed Osman Aden, a Somali diplomat in Kenya. “They starting attacking everyone.”

Threat Level from

It was five years ago Monday the Recording Industry Association of America began its massive litigation campaign that now includes more than 30,000 lawsuits targeting alleged copyright scofflaws on peer-to-peer networks.

Today, the RIAA — the lobbying group for the world’s big four music companies, Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Music — admits that the lawsuits are largely a public relations effort, aimed at striking fear into the hearts of would-be downloaders. Spokeswoman Cara Duckworth of the RIAA says the lawsuits have spawned a “general sense of awareness” that file sharing copyrighted music without authorization is “illegal.”

“It costs more to hire a lawyer to defend these cases than take the
settlement,” agrees Lory Lybeck, a Washington State attorney, who is
leading a prospective class-action against the RIAA for engaging in
what he says is “sham” litigation tactics. “That’s an important part of
what’s going on. The recording industry is setting a price where you
know they cannot hire lawyers. It’s a pretty well-designed system
whereby people are not allowed any effective participation in one of
the three prongs in the federal government.”


When BuckCherry found out that their latest single had leaked on BitTorrent, they didn’t try to cover this up, or take the file down. No, instead, they issued a press release (update: the press release has been removed, Google cache), where they stated: “Honestly, we hate it when this s*** happens, because we want our FANS to have any new songs first.”

This is strange to say the least. Not only because their label, Atlantic Records, is known to release (and spam) tracks for free on BitTorrent sites, but also because the press release was more about promoting the band than the actual leak. Without any hard evidence, we suggested that this leak may have been set up to get some free promotion and publicity, which BuckCherry seems to need.

Out of curiosity, we decided to follow this up, to see if this was indeed the case. With some help of a user in the community, we tracked down some of the initial seeders of the torrent. A BitTorrent site insider was kind enough to help us out, because BitTorrent is not supposed to be “abused” like this, and confirmed that the IP of one of the early seeders did indeed belong to the person who uploaded the torrent file.

It turns out that the uploader, a New York resident, had only uploaded one torrent, the BuckCherry track. When we entered the IP-address into the Wiki-scanner, we found out that the person in question had edited the BuckCherry wikipedia entry, and added the name of the band manager to another page.

This confirmed our suspicions, but it was not quite enough, since it could be an overly obsessed fan (if they have fans). So, we decided to send the band manager, Josh Klemme – who happens to live in New York – an email to ask for his opinion on our findings. Klemme, replied to our email within a few hours, and surprisingly enough his IP-address was the same as the uploader.

The Swazi Observer

THE Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture says it will soon hold yet another copyright awareness campaign.

“This will be an ongoing activity to raise awareness among the public and the retailers.

The impact will be seen after a long time and we plan not to stop hosting such a campaign,” Arts and Culture Acting CEO Vusi Nkambule said.

He said they were also trying to forge unity among the different artists and associations in the country.

“We will soon have another campaign in Mbabane and we still have to meet to discuss the date.”

Last Saturday, a Mozambican national who was selling fake CDs was nabbed and brought to the gathering with his stock.

The CDs were crushed in full view of the gathering to demonstrate that such will not be tolerated. The artists stamped on them while others brought metal rods to smash such.

The Mozambican, identified as Itu was warned never to be involved in such illegal practice again.


The Higher Education Opportunity Act, passed Wednesday by the House and Thursday by the Senate, promotes education, legal alternatives, and improved monitoring of campus networks.

If signed into law by President George W. Bush, the bipartisan bill would require publicly funded universities and colleges to teach students and employees about illegal downloading, distribution of copyrighted materials, and related campus policies.

The bill also requires universities and colleges to create plans to prevent piracy by using technology and to present legal alternatives. The bill would provide grants to support those efforts.


The Kyoto District Court sentenced a man to 18 months in prison Thursday, suspended for three years, for distributing popular TV animation footage using the Share file-sharing software without the permission of the copyright holders.


Hundreds of thousands of UK net users could soon find a letter on their mat from their net supplier saying their account is being used to illegally share files. The letters are one of the most tangible elements of an anti-piracy plan brokered by the government. Here we explain some of the background to the agreement.

GLOBAL sales of recorded music fell by 8% in 2007, according to figures released in June by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group. It blamed 70% of the decline on “file-sharing” software, which allows internet users to exchange music and video without paying for it. Industry groups have sued thousands of users of such software, and have supported legislation to criminalise it. But file-sharing has so far proved impossible to stop. And it is not all bad news for the industry, because it can provide helpful insights into music-lovers’ interests.

For every song that is bought legally, in shops or online, around 20 songs are illegally downloaded, according to BigChampagne, a firm based in Beverly Hills, California, that compiles and sells statistics about file-sharing. Its customers can find out how many times, and where, a song has been illicitly downloaded, for example, what the figure was five weeks ago, what other music its fans like, and so on.

“It doesn’t make sense to put your head in the sand,” says Ken Bunt, head of marketing at Disney’s Hollywood Records, a BigChampagne customer. One of Hollywood Records’ artists, Jesse McCartney, is particularly popular in Italy, so that might be a good place for a tour, says Mr Bunt.

David Ross, the editor of Music Row, the largest country-music trade journal, based in Nashville, Tennessee, says the “anti-intellectual argument” not to use such data is emotional nonsense. Music Row publishes file-sharing figures, as well as conventional charts. Such information can help managers promote their artists. Jennifer Bird of Red Light Management, a management agency in Los Angeles, says her agency knows the names and geographic destinations of the 7.5 billion songs swapped in 2007. That is a big help if you are trying to work out whether people are raving about an artist—or merely about a song. And planning joint tours is easier when you know what other music an artist’s fans listen to.

BigChampagne’s latest venture, launched this month, extends its monitoring to television programmes and films, which are also widely shared online. Knowing what is popular among file-sharers could help broadcasters and film studios when negotiating with advertisers, for example. Hulu, a website operated by News Corporation that offers free, advertising-supported video-streaming, already uses file-sharing statistics to design its programming and to set advertising rates.

Many music executives were reluctant to take advantage of file-sharing statistics because of the trouble the technology has caused in the industry, says Eric Garland, BigChampagne’s boss. TV stations and film studios, by contrast, are “sprinting through the stages of grief”—and coming to terms with the reality that details of the illegal use of their material can, in fact, be very useful indeed.

the tech herald

a court in Quebec has sided with trade group complainants representing the Canadian music and media industries and ordered the immediate closure of music and media file-sharing torrents on Web site, reports Mediacaster.

Following the Quebec Superior Court’s ruling, non-profit music and television industry organisations ADISQ and APFTQ were granted an order of permanent injunction against QuebecTorrent, effectively forcing the online service’s full operational closure.

According to the accusations put forward by ADISQ and AFPTQ, QuebecTorrent was knowingly allowing its service users to illegally share copyrighted music, television shows and movies made by legitimate media producers based in Quebec and also across Canada.


Mumbai: TV actor Rajeev Khandelwal, who’s basking under the success of his debut in recently released film Aamir, is now on a mission to stop piracy. The actor recently released the DVD and VCD of his power-packed film.

“You can easily get pirated DVDs in the market, which is really unfortunate. So I feel it makes sense to release the original DVD of the film even while it’s still in theatres,” Rajeev said.

“The film is still hot and there will be many people who would like to keep this as a collectors item. I think it is a wise decision because the market is probably already flooded with the pirated DVDs,” the actor added.


Jesse Alexander has co-produced and written for both ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lost’, two of the most successful TV-series today. In addition to millions of viewers on TV, both shows are are also extremely popular on BitTorrent. In fact, millions of people share a single episode and this can go on to 10 million downloads per episode.

One could argue that their availability on BitTorrent actually helped ‘Lost’ and ‘Heroes’ to build a stronger fanbase. With torrents, no-one has to miss an episode anymore which keeps the fans more engaged. So called “pirates” advertise the shows to their friends, or write about it on their blogs. Accordingly, when we asked Jesse Alexander whether he thinks that BitTorrent might have helped to reach a broader audience, he answered with a clear cut “Yes”.

Not that Jesse wants everybody to get the shows off BitTorrent, but he said that it certainly signals that there is a market for on-demand and interactive TV. “People watching shows such as Lost and Heroes on BitTorrent is the present world reality,” Jesse told TorrentFreak. TV networks have to recognize this, give their viewers more ways to interact with the shows, and find ways to generate revenue from every member of the global audience.”

“It’s the same for music artists. The reality is, people share music. Artist now make money by driving people to concerts, through community websites, and by offering exclusive events. TV networks are focusing too much on one exclusive product, instead of building a community. This is a mistake I think.”

The success of Heroes on BitTorrent didn’t pass by the cast of the show unnoticed either. “The cast and the people behind the scenes have all been talking about it,” Jesse said. As an example he mentioned last year’s promotional tour in France, where the actors were recognized by hundreds of fans, even though the show had not even premiered on TV yet.

Alexander has hit the nail on the head. This is in fact one of the main reasons why shows like ‘Heroes’ are so popular on filesharing networks. It can take up to six months after the US premiere before these shows are aired in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world. Jesse agreed that this is indeed one of the major causes of piracy. “This gap is something that is certainly going to change in the future,” he added.

Jesse went on to say that in the near future, thanks to the Internet, the viewers of TV-shows will see more interactive components and alternate realities they can participate in. The future of TV will be more international, with real interaction, and shows will be more and more integrated into the core part of an online community.

When we asked Jesse if he has ever downloaded TV-shows off BitTorrent, he told us: “I can’t confirm or deny, but I’m familiar with all kind of new technologies.” I guess we all know what he’s trying to say.

It is no surprise that Jesse is more positive towards new technologies than some others in the entertainment industry. Last week we reported on the upcoming “Pirate TV” show that he is working on, together with Matt Mason, the author of ‘The Pirate’s Dilemma’.

“Matt’s book needs to get a broader audience,” said Jesse. “We want to discuss the negative and the positive side of piracy, and place things in a broader historical context. We want to start a real conversation about the future of intellectual property.”

We’re happy to join the debate, what about you?

The Register

The BPI has written to 800 Virgin Media customers warning them to stop sharing music files or risk losing their broadband connection.

The letters came in an envelope marked: “Important. If you don’t read this, your broadband could be disconnected.” But Virgin told Radio 1’s Newsbeat that the phrase was a mistake and the letters were part of an education campaign. Virgin said it was not making any kind of accusation and that it was possible someone other than the account holder was involved.

When the Virgin campaign was revealed last month the company assured us that the letters were not part of a “three strikes” process. The BPI has pushed ISPs to warn users three times for copyright infringement before cutting off their broadband.

The individuals were identified by the BPI which, as we exclusively revealed , is working on a similar scheme with BT. The BPI letter sent on by BT warns of further action including “litigation and suspension by BT your internet connection”.

At least one Virgin customer who received a letter in June told Newsbeat he was certain it was not him or his flatmates who were responsible for downloading the Amy Winehouse song. He said it was possible that someone had used the flat’s wireless network.

Will McGree said: “The campaign is doomed to fail. Virgin will lose a lot of customers over this because people don’t like to be accused of stealing music over their morning coffee.

“It made me feel betrayed. I was under the impression that I paid a broadband company to keep my internet connection protected.”

The BPI has been busy lobbying the government for stronger laws against file sharing. But the government seems to be resisting the pressure and is instead pushing the music industry and ISPs to get talking to find a licensed, and paid for, form of file sharing.

Although BT and Virgin are supporting the BPI’s approach others, notably Carphone Warehouse, are refusing to co-operate.

A survey last month found 63 per cent of internet users were downloading unlicensed music.


To date, Ofcom has not made a lot of public noise about the piracy issue. But that should not be mistaken for a lack of interest or concern. Our formal locus may be limited. But this sort of piracy is something that affects network operators, ISPs, content creators and consumers – and as the converged regulator we have of course been keeping a watchful eye on developments.

The issue is critical. An operator investing in next generation networks will not want it clogged up with illegal peer-to-peer content if that means no-one will pay to ensure a return on the investment, as we have seen in some Asia Pacific markets. And content providers, self evidently, do not want illegal traffic undermining their investment in IPR.

This is a crucial issue for both network providers and content creators. It has not touched every company in these spheres yet, but it will do. We very much hope that a commercial or voluntary agreement can be found to resolve these difficult issues. As the converged communications regulator, if we can play a constructive role in helping to find a common solution in the best interests of companies and consumers we would be very happy to do so.

The Statesman

The Afrikan Arts Network in partnership with the Copyright Association of Ghana, has announced it will organise a three day Anti-Piracy event, dubbed Afrikan Arts Festival & Award, from the 20th-22nd of August 2008 in Ghana.

The event which will be under the theme “Piracy: a Bane to Creativity in Africa,” is designed to create a culture of respect for intellectual property, and encourage quality and respect for Africa content.

The event will also aim at offering a big platform for participants to discuss the dangers of piracy for intellectual property protection in Africa, will also seek to create a culture of respect which will develop a virile distribution network for African content.

It will also provide a ground for Africa to celebrate the ideals of the Pan-Africanist and African nationalist movements, recognise and reward individuals who have contributed to the immense growth of African arts across her borders besides serving as a commemorative event that will generate and foster a spirit of unity among Africans in the Film and Music industry.

A joint statement issued by Afrikan Arts Network Ltd and Copyright Office said the event is to further strengthen the combat of piracy. “It beats our imagination to see that musical and film festivals/awards are hosted over the years by stakeholders in Africa without giving space for Anti-piracy discussion. Ignoring piracy in Africa is passing a death sentence on African creative minds”, it said.

Other events like Film Screening and Premiering, Hall of Fame Induction and Awards night are expected to climax the programme.


Incidents of piracy have spiked across the world since 2000 but there is no evidence to support fears of extremist groups linking up with pirates for their operations, a new study released on Thursday has found.

It attributed the rise to the expansion of the global sea trade, congested chokepoints, corrupt officials, shifting spending priorities, lax coastal and port security, and the availability of small arms.

“Combined with the large number of ports around the world, this growth has provided pirates with an almost limitless range of tempting, high pay-off targets,” said the study by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit organization.

The study, which was authored by Peter Chalk, said 2,463 actual or attempted acts of piracy occurred between 2000 and the end of 2006, nearly a quarter of them in waters around the Indonesian archipelago.

Harsányi László, a Nemzeti Kulturális Alap elnöke, a rettenetesen kommunikált, internetre kivetendő kulturális járulék ötletgazdája az MTV Este című műsorában a következőket mondta:

Havi 20-50 forint havi többlet költségért, amit az előfizető fizet továbbra is ingyen lehet letölteni zenét, filmet.

Bullshit, mondja erre az amerikai. Miért?

Az Igazségügyi és Rendészeti minisztériumban ezekben a napokban zajlik a szerzői jogi törvény módosítása (IRM/EUJFO/460-15 /2008), mely érinti a magáncélú másolatok kérdését is. Az eredeti előterjesztésben a következő javaslat szerepel:

“Az SzJSzT 17/06. számú szakértői véleménye és számos szakirodalmi forrás szerint a nemzetközi, közösségi és hazai szerzői jogi szabályozásból következik, hogy a jogellenes forrásból történő magáncélú másolás egyetlen esetben sem megengedett, sem szabad felhasználásként, sem pedig a jogdíjigényre való korlátozás alapján. Ennek az álláspontnak az egyértelművé tételét végzi el a 35. § (8) bekezdésének módosítása.[…]A 35. § új (8) bekezdése értelmében a 35. § (4) bekezdésében meghatározott célokra történő többszörözések is csak jogszerűen létrejött műpéldányról vagy a nyilvánossághoz jogszerűen közvetített műről történhetnek.”

E javaslat az egyeztetési folyamatban úgy finomodott, hogy csak akkor számít majd jogsértőnek az internetről letöltő felhasználó, ha tudta, vagy tudnia kellett volna, hogy a forrás, ahonnan a másolatot készítette, illegálisan lett közzétéve. Hogy mi az, amiről egy átlagos felhasználónak tudnia kellene azt majd a bíróság dönti el hónapok alatt.

Harsányi:igazság 0:1, a félidőben.

Merthogy mitől lehetnének legálisak az internetes letöltések, így a p2p hálózatok is? Ha jogosultak, az őket képviselő szervezeteken (a közös jogkezelőkön) keresztül, vagy egyénileg, díj ellenében engedélyeznék a felhasználást (letöltést és feltöltést). Azaz ha ugyanez az összeg a jogosultak javaslatára az ő zsebükbe folyna, cserébe ők engedélyezhetnék a felhasználást. Erről természetesen szó nincs, ahogy az NKA által elosztott kulturális járuléknak sincs semmi köze a jogosultaknak járó díjhoz.

Harsányi:igazság 0:2

A kérdés immár csak az, hogy a fenti kijelentés nyelvbotlás volt, vagy inkább annak a jele, hogy a magyar kulturális ellátórendszer egyik erős emberének fogalma sincs arról a területről, amit irányítani és adóztatni szeretne.

Threat Level from

University of Florida professor Michael Moulton thinks copyright law protects the lectures he gives to his students, and he’s headed to court to prove it.

Moulton and his e-textbook publisher are suing Thomas Bean, who runs a company that repackages and sells student notes, arguing that the business is illegal since notes taken during college lectures violate the professor’s copyright.

Faulkner Press filed suit in a Florida court Tuesday against the the owner of Einstein’s Notes, which sells “study kits” for classes, including Professor Michael Moulton’s course on “Wildlife Issues in the New Millennium.”

Those notes are illegal, Faulkner and Moulton contend, since they are derivative works of the professor’s copyrighted lectures.

If successful, the suit (.pdf) could put an end to a lucrative, but ethically murky businesses that have grown up around large universities to profit from students who don’t always want to go to the classes they are paying for.


So last week Deutsche Telekom, owners of the global T-Mobile brand, sent Engadget a late birthday present: a hand-delivered letter direct from their German legal department requesting the prompt discontinuation of the use of the color magenta on Engadget Mobile. Yep, seriously.

Digital Civil Rights in Europe

EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal have sued Ireland’s largest ISP, Eircom, demanding that it install filters to prevent users from illegally sharing or downloading music. The action was admitted by Mr. Justice Peter Kelly to the Commercial Court, meaning that it will be heard on an expedited basis.

Rolling Stone

Wal-Mart is like no traditional record seller. Unlike a typical Tower store, which stocks 60,000 titles, an average Wal-Mart carries about 5,000 CDs. That leaves little room on the shelf for developing artists or independent labels. There’s also scant space for catalog albums, which now represent about forty percent of all sales.

– Entertainment News, Chasing Pirates, Media – Variety

The government of Antigua is likely to abrogate intellectual property treaties with the U.S. by the end of March and authorize wholesale copying of American movies, music and other “soft targets” if the Bush administration fails to respond to proposals for settling a trade dispute between the two counties, according to the lawyer representing the Caribbean island nation.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has been closely following the case with tremendous concern, an org official said, fearing that the copying could be extensively damaging and that — worse — a dangerous precedent could be set for other small countries angry at U.S. trade policy.

“It is not our preferred option to punish the MPAA or others for the U.S. government’s intransigence, but the U.S. has refused to negotiate fairly,” said Mark E. Mendel, who represents Antigua.

Goods and materials that would be copied include “virtually everything from pharmaceuticals to music, anything with IP protection that can be duplicated, though we’ll go for softer targets first,” Mendel said.

Antigua has previously suggested it might retaliate as such — with approval from the World Trade Organization — but has never stipulated when. So far, the U.S. Trade Representative has dismissed that threat simply as a negotiating ploy.

“Antigua would be breaking the law if it did that,” said USTR spokesman Sean Spicer.

The WTO ruled last year that Antigua was entitled to $21 million in damages because of a dispute with the U.S. over Internet gambling. But Antigua has not received WTO approval to procure its damages via reproducing and selling domestically U.S.-copyrighted goods and materials, Spicer added.

“They continually engage in disinformation,” Mendel responded. “The reality is, yes, we have to go before WTO and request their authorization for IP sanctions against the U.S., but we can do that at any time and the WTO will agree. That is 100% guaranteed.”

Mendel acknowledged his client would like such entities as the MPAA, the recording industry and Microsoft — orgs that depend on IP protection — to pressure the Bush administration into negotiating a “preferred” settlement, which would allow Internet gambling between Antigua and the U.S.

But he insisted the threat was neither idle nor empty. “Perhaps the U.S. doesn’t think we’re serious,” Mendel said. “We are.”

The case dates back to 2003, when Antigua claimed that the U.S. unlawfully prevented Antigua’s online gambling operators from accessing American markets although the U.S. allowed domestic online bets for horse racing. Antigua claimed $3.4 billion in losses and took its grievance to the WTO, which agreed, but awarded only $21 million in damages.

Mendel said his client has been trying ever since to work out an agreement that would allow online gambling between the two countries, but instead the U.S. has responded by “using every possible appeal, counterattack and side attack it could think of. We’ve been through five separate full-blown WTO proceedings on this and have won every step of the way.”

The most recent victory was in December, when the WTO ruled that Antigua could exact damages by ignoring IP agreements with the U.S. should a negotiated settlement fail.

Mendel said the U.S. promised then to respond to proposals for settling the dispute. “We have been waiting for three months already and there’s been nothing,” he said. “If the U.S. doesn’t come in with something by the end of March, my suggestion to the Antiguan government will be to forge ahead and impose IP sanctions.”

In a letter to the USTR about the potential effects of Antigua’s retaliation, sent prior to December’s ruling granting $21 million in damages, the MPAA wrote: “The proposed retaliation would be impossible to manage. The real and resulting economic harm would vastly exceed any amount the (WTO) might approve, even the grossly exaggerated amount ($3.4 billion) for which Antigua seeks approval, plus the economic harm would extend to other WTO members.

“MPAA believes it would be very difficult to insulate other WTO members from the effects of Antigua’s proposed retaliation,” the letter continued. “The unfortunate reality is that the failure to offer or enforce adequate protection of intellectual property rights in Antigua could foster abuses in other countries.”

The Underwire from

South Park fans will soon be able to watch any episode of the seminal animated show free online, thanks to a deal between show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Comedy Central’s parent company, Viacom.

According to Comedy Central reps, Parker and Stone are the driving force behind South Park Studios, the series’ new online HQ offering free viewing of all 12 seasons of South Park. Currently in its beta format, the site and its episodes are ad-supported, but require no additional fees to view as many episodes as a fan’s heart desires.

In an appropriately glib statement, Parker and Stone said they were inspired to start the site when they got “really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative.”

New episodes will appear on the site soon after airing on Comedy Central and will remain available for one week. After 30 days, the new episode will return to the site permanently. Parker and Stone insist that the new service won’t affect DVD sales as hardcore fans of the show could still want to own the episodes in “hard copy” form.

There’s no word yet on whether other genre shows will follow South Park’s new model.

The Huffington Post

Apple Inc. is negotiating with record labels over a deal to give iPhone and iPod customers free access to the entire iTunes music library if they pay extra for the devices.

The Financial Times is reporting that the sticking point in the talks is how much Cupertino-based Apple will pay the record labels for the access. The newspaper cites unnamed music industry sources for Wednesday’s report.

Apple declined to comment.

The newspaper reports that Apple is looking at offering the unlimited music bundle with for the iPod and iPhone, and also a monthly music subscription service only for the iPhone.

via Pho

 Written by enigmax<>on March 15, 2008

Following a huge increase in complaints from the music, movie and software industries, the four major Japanese ISP organizations have agreed that they will work with copyright holders to track down copyright infringing file-sharers and disconnect them from the internet.

In 2006, a Japanese ISP decided to plan measures to stop their subscribers using file-sharing software, by tracking their activities and disconnecting them from the Internet. The plan didn’t come to fruition as the government stepped in and said that such monitoring might have privacy implications.

Now, under huge pressure from the movie, music and software industries, the four major ISP organizations in Japan are at it again, and have agreed to take drastic action against online pirates.

According to the
Yomiuri Shimbun, the agreement would see copyright holders tracking down file-sharers on the Internet using “special detection software” and then notifying ISPs of alleged infringers. ISPs would first send out emailed warnings to those traced, then interrupt the Internet connection if action to cease the activity isn’t taken. For persistent breaches, the ISP would ultimately terminate the accounts of its subscribers.

These four major ISP organizations – which include Telecom Service Association and the Telecommunications Carriers Association – are made up of around 1,000 other ISPs, a large portion of the Japanese market. In collaboration with the copyright holders, the ISPs will set up a panel in April to decide exactly how the system should operate.

Right now, there is a lot discussion surrounding the suggestion that persistent file-sharers could be banned from the internet. So far there have been proposals in France<>,
the UK<>and

During December last year we
the number of internet users file-sharing in Japan had increased by a 180% in a single year.

 | TorrentFreak

Talented independent filmmakers are benefiting immensely from having their movies distributed for free on BitTorrent. Films that might never have been heard of before are now being watched by millions of people.


Certainly the MPAA has the right to fight illegal downloads of its material, and it certainly has the right to go after those making a profit by ripping off its DVDs. But the rhetoric around “piracy” (a term used far too broadly) simply doesn’t fit with reality. If piracy is killing the movie business, it’s doing so in exactly the same way that home taping killed the music business in the 1980s.


P2P startup AllPeers announced today that it would be closing its doors due to insufficient growth.

 - Israel Culture, Ynetnews

The Haifa District Court two weeks ago ordered the three largest internet service providers in Israel to block access to the Israeli file-sharing site httpshare, this following a petition levied by the 12 largest record companies in Israel.

 | Digital Media Wire

Skyrider, a developer of monetization technology for peer-to-peer networks, has raised $5 million in new financing, from previous investors Sequoia Capital, Charles River Ventures and Velocity Interactive Group, VentureBeat reports.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Skyrider is developing technology that can be used to insert ads on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

The company has previously raised $8 million and $12 million financing rounds since its founding in 2006.

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters

“It looks like Trent Reznor’s new Nine Inch Nails album experiment is a success. Among the various options he gave fans, the most expensive was the $300 Limited Edition Ultra Deluxe Package. It took just over a day for that package to completely sell out, earning Reznor $750,000 in revenue from just that option alone.”

 - International Herald Tribune

“There are more people availing themselves of free intellectual property than at any time in history,” said Eric Garland, chief executive of BigChampagne Online Media Measurement, which tracks digital traffic. “The content companies could knock out tens of Pirate Bays, and they will still face the same problem.”

Envisional, a research firm in Cambridge, England, estimates that
nearly 18 million people are connected to peer-to-peer file sharing
services at any one time, up from about 15 million a year ago. Because
the latest generation of file-sharing systems is more efficient than
older programs, the increase in the amount of material being exchanged
is probably even larger, said David Price, head of piracy intelligence
at Envisional.

The Industry Standard

One of Denmark’s largest ISPs said on Wednesday it will fight a court injunction mandating that it shut off access to a file-sharing Web site, in what could be a closely-watched battle with the music industry in Europe.

Tele2 met with representatives of other ISPs on Monday and decided to challenge the injunction, said Nicholai Pfeiffer, Tele2’s chief of regulations.

As a result, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is understood to have filed on Tuesday a further justification for the injunction with the court, Pfeiffer said.

Tele2 has complied with the injunction and blocked its customers from accessing The Pirate Bay, a Web site that hosts torrents, or small information files used to download larger files from the BitTorrent P-to-P (peer-to-peer) network. The IFPI alleges that Danish Internet users are using BitTorrent to download, without authorization, copyright content that they found using The Pirate Bay’s list of available torrents.

No other Danish ISP has been ordered to shut off access to The Pirate Bay. However, IFPI plans to send letters this week to other Danish ISPs asking them to also block The Pirate Bay, said Jesper Bay [cq], spokesman.

“Whether they are going to do that or not, it’s up to them,” Bay said, adding that IFPI hasn’t decided whether to pursue more injunctions.

Bay said the injunction has two purposes: It sends a signal to ISPs that they have a responsibility to stop piracy and to users that downloading copyright content without permission is illegal.

The content the IFPI objects to is actually hosted on the PCs of users around the world. The torrents coordinate the download of file fragments from different PCs, and those fragments are eventually linked together to form a complete file that can then be uploaded to other machines. BitTorrent has many legitimate uses, including software distribution, and is used by some media companies to deliver their content.

The record industry has employed companies specializing in file-sharing forensics to track down individual Internet users it says are sharing copyright content illegally. It also sought to shut down Web sites such as The Pirate Bay that are part of the P-to-P network.

The Danish court concluded that Tele2 was assisting in copyright infringement. Tele2, as well as other ISPs that have come under pressure, maintain they are blind to what their customers transmit on their networks and should not be responsible for policing content.

“Our overall view is we don’t actually want to take sides in this dispute between IFPI and The Pirate Bay,” Pfeiffer said.

The Pirate Bay said on Friday that traffic from Denmark has shot up 12 percent since Tele2’s block was imposed. The Pirate Bay also set up an alternative Web site for Tele2 customers giving them instructions on how to circumvent the block.

Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay faces trouble in its own waters. In Sweden, charges of profiting and encouraging copyright infringement are pending against four people involved with the Web site.

Four years after being shut down by Swiss authorities, Christian Riesen (aka Simon Moon), owner of the Edonkey link site, has been guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay 4700 Swiss francs (about $4,268).

“I have sold the domain,” Riesen posted in 2006.

“The new owner has now put it back online, with some of the old crew and some content. ShareReactor still is an ed2k website, and still features the same contents (and more) it was known for before.”

Meanwhile, attracted up to 250,000 visitors per day, according to an Afterdawn interview with Moon from October 2004, says P2P Blog, going on:

“Moon also revealed in that interview that he paid about 5000 dollars per month for the bandwidth of the site, which means that the total judgement is worth less than one month of Sharereactor’s operating costs.”

The site, under new ownership, wasn’t online for long chiefly because ED2K was usurped by Bittorrent, says the story, observing all that’s left is, Host is under construction.

“The site is hosted on a server that also is home to a hand full of sites registered to or maintained by simon Moon’s company ‘Riesen Industries’, which, according to Swiss news outlets, is now operating from Canada,” adds P2P Blog.

International Herald Tribune

Singers and musicians should earn royalty fees for 95 years — almost double the current 50-year limit, a European Union official said Thursday as he promised to draft new copyright protection rules.

“If nothing is done, thousands of European performers who recorded in the late 1950s and 1960s will lose all of their airplay royalties over the next ten years,” said EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, the union’s internal market chief. “These royalties are often their sole pension.”

People are living longer and 50 years of copyright protection no longer give lifetime income to artists who recorded hits in their late teens or early twenties, he said.

Most European composers and lyricists currently receive lifetime copyright protection which is passed on to their descendants for another 70 years. The new EU rules would not change that.

But the change would mean that performers would get the same 95-year copyright period enjoyed by their U.S. counterparts.

BBC NEWS | Technology |

UK net firms are resisting government suggestions that they should do more to monitor what customers do online.

The industry association for net providers said legal and technical barriers prohibit them from being anything other than a “mere conduit”.

The declaration comes as the government floats the idea of persistent pirates being denied net access.

And in the US one net supplier has admitted to “degrading” traffic from some file-sharing networks.

 at Jonathan Zittrain

Seems increasingly likely.

Two weeks ago we reported on Greens EFA launching the pro-filesharing campaign “I Wouldn’t Steal“. With new editorials in Swedish newspapers coinciding with The Pirate Bay’s charges, it seems the Green Party is looking to push the issue forward, thereby supporting The Pirate Bay.

In recent years, the Swedish Green Party, which holds 19 seats in parliament, has taken a clear stance on filesharing. Following the raid on The Pirate Bay in 2006, the party board released a memo entitled “Free the files!”in which they suggested to fully legalize non-commercial filesharing.

This year was Mininova’s third birthday and almost by way of celebration, yesterday it announced several new features, one of them offering musicians a new way to reach potential listeners.

“In close cooperation with the guys from BitLet, we added a ’stream this music’ button to torrents containing music (MP3/OGG Vorbis) files (example),” says Niek on the Mininova blog.

This lets users play the music right in their browse, without nedding downloads from a BitTorrent client.

But, it’s only enabled on distributed (featured) torrents and, “Artists who’re interested in this feature are invited to sign up for the free Mininova Content Distribution service.

New York Times

Nokia, the telecommunications company, and the Universal Music Group, the recording company, said on Tuesday that they would offer unlimited free downloads of Universal songs to buyers of certain Nokia phones as a way to promote cellphones as media devices and to develop new revenue for a music industry struggling with piracy.

Under the agreement, Universal will let users download its entire catalog at no cost for 12 months, and keep the songs at the end of that time. Users will be able to download the songs to new Nokia phones or to their computers via mobile or fixed-line broadband connections.


Néhány napja levetette a Kossuth kiadó Rejtő Jenő hangoskönyvetit a Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár (MEK) polcairól – december végén azonban visszakerülhetnek József Attila művei, mert megszűnik a szerzői jogvédettség. Helycserék a virtuális világban.

| Mark Cuban’s blog – CNET Blogs

I’m not a Comcast customer. I happen to get service from Verizon, ATT and Time Warner at various locations where I pay for internet service.

If I was a Comcast customer, I would tell them, as I am now telling all the services I am a customer of:


As a consumer, I want my internet experience to be as fast as possible. The last thing I want slowing my internet service down are P2P freeloaders. Thats right, P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders. The only person/organization that benefits from P2P usage are those that are trying to distribute content and want to distribute it on someone else’s bandwidth dime.

Does anyone really think its free ? That all the bandwidth consumed with content being distributed by P2P isn’t being paid for by someone ? That bandwidth is being paid for by consumers. Consumers who pay for personal, not commercial applications. When consumers provide their bandwidth to assist commercial applications, they are subsidizing those commercial applications which if it isn’t already, should be against an ISPs terms of service.

Thats not to say there isnt a place for P2P. There is. P2P is probably the least efficient means of distributing content in the last mile. Comcast, Time Warner, etc should charge a premium to those users who want to act as a seed and relay for P2P traffic. After all, that is why P2P is used, right ? For content distributors to avoid significant bandwidth and hosting charges. That makes it commercial traffic far more often than not. So make them pay commercial rates.

That will stop P2P dead in its tracks. P2P isnt so good that people will use it when they have to pay for all the bandwidth it consumes. It will die a quick death. That will speed up my internet connection.

thats a good thing.

So hang in there Comcast


Silicon Alley Insider

iTunes buyers who want to purchase Jay-Z’s newest album, the soundtrack to the American Gangster movie, are out of luck. That’s because the rapper insists that fans buy the entire album, not individual tracks, and Apple’s (AAPL) online store won’t allow that.

Jay-Z’s not the first artist to stay off of iTunes because of an album vs. tracks dispute (other notable holdouts include Radiohead). But is the first time he’s had a problem with it: You can buy much of his earlier music, track by track, on iTunes today. What gives?
Jay-Z is also the titular head of Universal Music Group’s Def-Jam label, and his boss Doug Morris has become one of Apple’s (AAPL) loudest critics, so it’s easy to imagine that Jay-Z’s move had something to do with that — note that album will be sold via Amazon (AMZN), which is trying to create an iTunes competitor with UMG’s help.

Maybe the rapper is sincere when he says he wants fans to experience the entire album as a whole, just like they’d watch a film all the way through instead of scenes. Or it may just be Jay-Z wishing he could dial the clock back to the late 90s, when people who wanted to buy an individual song had no choice but to buy the album it was on — a lousy deal for consumers but fantastic for the music business.

Whatever the motivations are, the result will be the same: Fans who want to acquire Jay-Z’s music legally have lost their easiest and most widely used option, which means they’ll be that much less likely to pay for it at all.


Serbia is one of the worst places in the world for pirated software, according to the Business Software Alliance. Dragomir Kojic of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) claims that illegal software accounts for more than 78 per cent of the IT market in Serbia.

The average salary in Serbia is about 300 Euros a month, but the average cost of software of Voleware is about 800 euros. While Microsoft has looked at reducing software costs in places like China, the poorer places in Eastern Europe are often overlooked.


Bangladesh has been found to have a software piracy rate of 92 percent, which is number one in the Asian Pacific region and the fourth highest in the world, local newspaper The Daily Star reported Wednesday. A report, Global Software Piracy Study 2006, conducted by IDC, the IT industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm, warned that the software piracy in Bangladesh is crippling the local industry and costing local retailers 90 million U.S. dollars a year. The report shows that 92 percent of software used on personal computers in Bangladesh had been pirated in 2006.

The average annual income in Bangladesh is only US $380, and malnutrition and illiteracy are widespread. (


“I’ll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often. At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world’s greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted.”


The Pirate Bay is featuring the Swedish glam rock band “Lamont” on their frontpage. Unlike the major record labels, Lamont recognizes the power of filesharing and they give away their album for free. Not without success, over 100,000 people downloaded their album in less than 24 hours, numbers that other artists can only dream of.

The Canadian Press

LONDON – British and Dutch police shut down what they say is one the world’s biggest online sources of pirated music Tuesday and arrested the website’s 24-year-old suspected operator.The invitation-only OiNK website specialized in distributing albums leaked before their official release by record companies, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.

Many among OiNK’s estimated 180,000 members paid “donations” to upload or download albums, often weeks before their release, and within hours albums would be distributed through public forums and blogs across the Internet. Users were invited to the site if they could prove they had music to share, the IFPI said.

The IFPI said more than 60 major albums were leaked on OiNK so far this year, making it the primary source worldwide for illegal prerelease music.

Prerelease piracy is considered particularly damaging to music sales as it leads to early mixes and unfinished versions of artists’ recordings circulating on the Internet months before the release.

Police in Cleveland, in northeast England, said they were tracing the money generated through the website, expected to amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The arrest of a 24-year-old IT worker at a house in Middlesbrough, northeast England, followed a two-year investigation by Dutch and British police and raids co-ordinated by Interpol.

Cleveland police said the man, whose name was not released, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.

OiNK’s servers, in Amsterdam, were shut down by Dutch police, the IFPI said.

“OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of prerelease music online,” said Jeremy Banks, the head of the IFPI’s Internet Anti-Piracy Unit.

“This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online.”

and an OINK user who thinks otherwise…

“Personally i’ve never downloaded a pre-release album on oink (don’t need oink for that, every public tracker has those kind of releases). I like OiNK because you could find that extremely-rare edition that you’d have died for and you could listen to it and decide if that was worth your money.
If you couldn’t find a release on oink, those record probably simply did’t exist.

oh…i’m so sad…”

Nigeria Village Square

Rioting broke out yesterday in the northern Greek port of Thessaloniki as Nigerians, mainly young demonstrators, confronted the Police in that country after the death of a Nigerian immigrant.Greek television showed footage of dozens of smashed windows and several damaged cars. Police said the victim, whose name has not been made public, had been selling CDs and DVDs illegally, and that he jumped from the first floor of a cafeteria to escape a police inspection. His injuries were fatal and he died on the spot.

Yahoo! News UK

Britney Spears’ music label filed a copyright infringement suit on Thursday, accusing the popular Internet gossip site of posting unauthorized recordings from her forthcoming album.

The lawsuit came a day after Jive Records, part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s Zomba Label Group, announced that it would release “Blackout” two weeks earlier than originally planned because some tracks had been leaked online.

“Blackout,” Spears’ first album of new material in four years, is now slated to reach stores October 30 in the United States and a day earlier internationally.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses and its proprietor, Mario Lavandeira, of illegally obtaining and posting at least 10 completed songs and unfinished demos during the past three months.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order barring further infringement by the site.


Inspired by an archive-digging post by Jason Kottke, here are some industry-related articles I’ve dug up since the New York Times opened up its online archives (back to 1981). I’ve enjoyed reading about industry changes, Napster and the emergence of the Internet given knowledge of how the industry and technology has developed over the years.

Market wire

Movie piracy continues to be the thorn in the side of the Indian, Chinese and U.S. film industries. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), India suffered industry losses of $180 million (US) in 2005, the vast majority of which were to the local film industry. In China where the piracy rate is estimated at 93%, meaning that there is virtually no legitimate market for filmed content, the losses from movie piracy are estimated at $2.7 (US) billion.

Despite the negative impact of piracy on India and China’s film industry, the problems continue to be fueled by challenged regulatory systems.

Elizabeth Kaltman, MPAA’s Communications Director explains, “Lack of enforcement resources and attention are key to the piracy problem in India, as is the lack of any real deterrent sentencing from the judiciary. Unquestionably one of the foundations of China’s piracy problems is the lack of market access accorded to foreign films (non-Chinese films). China’s theatrical exhibition quota, frequent imposition of ‘blackouts’ on the theatrical release of foreign films, and restrictions placed on home video distributors, give movie pirates a tremendous market advantage.”

Dear customer, we regret to announce that the Virgin Digital service is due to close.

We will be taking no new customers from today, Friday 21st September.

On Friday the 28th September we will cease selling tracks and access will be for current Club users only.

On Friday the 19th October the site will close for all customers.

If you have purchased tracks from the service then we recommend that you back up your music files – Information about backing up and re-downloading your tracks

Business Week

An ethics group is urging Congress to scrutinize Google Inc.’s copyright controls after finding hundreds of apparently pirated movies available on the Internet search leader’s Web site.

In letters sent to several lawmakers Wednesday, the National Legal and Policy Center excoriated Google for allowing its video-hosting service to become an online theater for showing and promoting illegally copied movies.

The nonprofit group, which says it has no financial ties to the movie industry, is best known for helping to expose a 2003 corruption scandal involving the Air Force and Boeing Co. that landed two executives in jail.

The grievances made to Congress focused exclusively on content found on Google’s Web site rather than the company’s more popular YouTube subsidiary that is being sued by Viacom Inc. for alleged copyright infringement.

The harsh critique echoes similar complaints that have asserted Google is more interested in boosting its audience — and potential profit — than protecting the intellectual property of Hollywood studios, record labels, authors and publishers.

Google says it adheres to federal law by removing unauthorized content whenever asked by copyright owners.

But that method has proven to be woefully inadequate, said Ken Boehm, chairman of the nonprofit National Legal and Policy Center.

Ars Technica

A new peer-to-peer music service developed by a “team of enterprising college students” has a novel twist on the music sales business: give users a cut of the sales. Grooveshark is currently in beta and claims to have signed a number of independent labels up for its service. All the sales traffic will go over a P2P network, and users will be “rewarded” for sharing their music.

P2P-based music stores are nothing new. Indeed, a number of P2P networks have tried to go legit after running afoul of the RIAA, none with any notable success. The most recent example is LimeWire, which recently announced plans to begin selling MP3s encoded at 256Kbps. LimeWire has managed to sign on a couple of notable distributors, including Nettwerk Productions, home to Avril Lavigne, Sara McLachlan, and the Barenaked Ladies, among other acts.

There are a couple of significant differences between LimeWire and Grooveshark’s business models, however. First, LimeWire will start out as a direct-download site, with the P2P component coming later. Also, Grooveshark’s virtual tip jar feature appears to be unique among the P2P music stores.

Grooveshark is banking on users being attracted to the idea of getting a cut of the action when someone downloads a track from their PC. At 99¢ per non-DRMed MP3, the user’s cut isn’t going to be much more than a few cents after the artist, label, and Grooveshark take their share, but it may be enough to convince some music fans to sign up for the service and share some of their bandwidth.


There’s an interesting article expected to be published in a forthcoming issue of Windows Middle East magazine that argues that film licensing restrictions have made illegal file-sharing in the Middle East the only real option with which to acquire movies online.

Apparently due to film licensing restrictions, which tend to cover distinct geographical regions – most often the US and Europe – Western films such as Pulp Fiction or Shrek 3 cannot currently be licensed for online distribution to end users in the Middle East, meaning internet surfers here simply cannot download content legally online.

“Due to the paid-for movie download market still being in its infancy, and as such online distribution licenses only covering the so-called ‘developed’ markets, net users here in this region don’t currently have a moral, legal means of paying to download their favorite films,” commented Matt Wade, the editor of Windows Middle East.

The Windows Middle East team discovered therefore that the only option available to film buffs who are looking to download movie content there is to use illegally use P2P and file-sharing software.

For all the reports the MPAA throws around about “calculated” losses due to piracy, it’s reports like this that make me me even more suspect of their conclusions. Some countries and regions lack true consumer choice and some of the viewing options afforded other countries like the US, and so to say that the blame falls entirely on them for not being able to see a movie on the MPAA’s terms is just silly.

If the MPAA is serious about fighting piracy then it has to learn what the RIAA still can’t figure out – give consumers what they want! Has capitalism become that difficult?

Listening Post – Wired Blogs

If you’re looking for a way to grab music from peer-to-peer networks without that nagging feeling that you’re depriving a starving artist of her next meal (or a label exec of that Learjet upgrade), Grooveshark might help. It’s a P2P app like Limewire or Kazaa, except you have to pay for tracks (“around $0.99”). The artist/label takes their cut, and then Grooveshark splits the remainder 50/50 with the user who uploaded the track to the buyer.

Once the service launches (it’s in private beta), you’ll be able to purchase tracks via the web, but you’ll need to run a small client (Linux/Mac/Windows) in order to share. The system apparently selects the highest bitrate file available when you purchase a track, and all tracks are delivered in the unprotected MP3 format. Artist information is created and edited using a wiki-style collaborative system. Bands and artists whose music is not already shared by Grooveshark users can share their own music in order to seed it into the system.

This is an interesting concept, but one problem is likely to be the size of the music catalog, because songs aren’t available unless the artist/label want them to be. Grooveshark says “it has gotten interest of a ton of independent labels as well as some larger ones (Magnatunes/Naxos/Sheridan Square),” but in order for a store like this to be useful, it has to be truly comprehensive.

One way to solve the problem would be to allow all music to be sold through the site, only paying the artists and labels who register — sort of like SoundExchange does.

Update: Grooveshark is in fact going to index songs from any label so the catalog problems I mention above shouldn’t be a factor. Problem solved?

We’re back!

Suprnova has been down for some years due to some heavy pressure from the copyright lobby. The former owner sloncek donated suprnova to The Pirate Bay – and as you know, we like to kick ass and bow for noone!

We were going to keep this site a secret until we had finished it, but of course it leaked, that’s how internet works. So now that the word is out, we’re releasing it!

Please consider these first weeks/months as a beta test. Since we love all you guys and gals so much we decided to keep it an open beta test.
That means, please behave, don’t complaint to much and if you discover any weird bugs or problems, let us know.

Some of you have also already discovered our new forum, Suprbay! Which is a joint forum for both Suprnova and The Pirate Bay. Discuss movies, music, love and whatever with your fellow pirates.

Finally, some words for non-internet loving companies: This is how it works. Whatever you sink, we build back up. Whomever you sue, ten new pirates are recruited. Wherever you go, we are already ahead of you.
You are the past and the forgotten, we are the internet and the future.




Starbucks may not be the powerful promotional partner Hollywood thought it would be.

Classics’ “Arctic Tale” has become the second pic backed by the coffee
giant not able to translate the company’s caffeine buzz into strong box
office. (Starbucks previously backed Lionsgate’s “Akeelah and the Bee.”)

environmentally focused docu revolving around polar bears and walruses
has earned $484,000 since bowing July 25. Pic’s widest opening on 227
theaters occurred in its fourth week of release Aug. 17. It plays in
158 venues in its fifth frame this weekend.

National Geographic
Films produced “Arctic,” as well as surprise hit “March of the
Penguins,” which went on to earn $77 million for Warner Independent in

Par Classics (a division of Paramount Vantage) had hoped
the success of the penguin tale would rub off on its own pic and help
sell more tickets.

But it also hoped that having Starbucks aboard
would raise awareness for the film and entice the company’s 44 million
weekly customers to hit the multiplexes.

Starbucks installed
signage and stickers in 6,800 of its stores, printed “Arctic”-branded
cup sleeves, sold plush walruses and the pic’s soundtrack and sponsored
discussions in select stores nationwide about climate change. Materials
for the movie also appear on the company’s website.

Chain doesn’t
have video screens in its stores as rival Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
does, so footage from a pic it pushes can’t be displayed in stores.

Campaign runs in stores in the U.S. and Canada through Monday.

said it didn’t go further and create a themed Frappuccino, for example,
because it didn’t want to overly commercialize the tie-in.

all of our entertainment options, we are careful to promote our
products and projects in a tasteful manner and not to interfere with
the coffeehouse experience,” said Ken Lombard, prexy of Starbucks

Starbucks’ pic deals go beyond a traditional promo
pact like that of, say, General Motors for “Transformers,” because
Starbucks collects a percentage of a movie’s profits in return for its
marketing muscle.

And that unusual payoff pact winds up putting a
bigger spotlight on the results of the films the company decides to
back — especially given that Starbucks does not invest in the
production of the films it promotes.

Promo partners are
increasingly becoming a studio’s best friend, with brands ponying up
their own marketing dollars to help push pics and make their companies
seem more appealing to customers through entertainment tie-ins.

has long been considered a potential powerhouse for Hollywood,
especially after helping launch music artists and assisting more
familiar ones to sell CDs.

But it hasn’t fared as well on the film front.

Tale’s” performance has been chilly so far. Its $484,000 compares with
the $4 million “Penguins” had earned by the end of its fourth week when
it played on 132 screens.

“Akeelah,” the first film Starbucks
promoted, ultimately earned $19 million. Pic still turned a profit
given its $8 million production budget (Lionsgate spent around $20
million to market it). But industryites had expected it to earn more
given Starbucks’ backing and rhetoric from the Seattle-based company
that it’s a bona fide entertainment player.

“We are an innovative
company that is not afraid to go outside of our comfort zone, and
‘Akeelah’ and ‘Arctic Tale’ showed us the coffeehouse can be a means to
introduce films to our customers they might not normally be exposed
to,” Lombard said.

Pics also are a way to associate Starbucks with a particular message — climate change in the case of “Arctic Tale.”

introduced ‘Arctic Tale’ to our customers because we want to spark a
dialogue about environmental issues,” Lombard said. “The coffeehouse is
a great place to inspire such discussion. There is no more important
issue facing our planet today than climate change.” The tie-in was an
“avenue to get people of all ages to talk … and hopefully be inspired
to be a part of the solution.”

But studios ultimately want
Starbucks customers to be inspired to buy tickets; the B.O. tallies
show that Starbucks may still need to massage its marketing efforts
when it comes to studio partnerships.

When it announced the
“Arctic Tale” deal, Lombard said the company had “learned its lesson”
as a result of its “Akeelah” campaign, saying it needed to make a
better effort to let customers know it wants them to “go see” the films
it promotes.

“We are still evaluating our ‘Arctic Tale’
promotion,” Lombard said. “Nonetheless, we are always looking to
provide tangible customer experiences that educate and inspire
discussion and go beyond traditional movie marketing.”

Vantage and National Geographic Films execs say that while they’re
disappointed with the B.O. for “Arctic Tale,” they’re happy with
Starbucks’ effort and look forward to sales of the eventual DVD in the
company’s stores.

“They were great partners and awesome to work
with,” said one National Geographic exec. “They did everything they
said they would do. I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.”

some of the negative critical reaction to the U.S. version of “Arctic
Tale,” National Geographic Films is lobbying to sell the European
version of the docu on DVD, complete with a different score, songs and

Starbucks pushed a healthy number of “Akeelah” DVDs.
It’s also sold other studio titles like Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet” and
Sony’s “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

But then again, a DVD can be easily picked up and purchased as a customer is ordering a grande vanilla latte.

Read the full article at:

Media Buyer Planner

This year, internet ad spending in the U.S. will outpace radio, according to a new report from eMarketer. Online spending has already overtaken radio in the U.K., writes Media Life.

The eMarketer forecast predicts that online ad spending will hit $21.7 billion for 2007 – $1.3 billion more than radio. Internet spending trailed radio by more than $3 billion last year. The report also predicts that web spending will double between now and 2011, where as radio spending will grow by just $2.2 billion.

eMarketer’s prediction suggests that the internet will surpass radio a year before a similar prediction from ZenithOptimedia, which said back in April that the change would take place in 2008.

 – New York Times

NBC Universal, unable to come to an agreement with Apple on pricing, has decided not to renew its contract to sell digital downloads of television shows on iTunes.

The media conglomerate — which is the No. 1 supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, accounting for about 40 percent of downloads — notified Apple of its decision late yesterday, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.

A spokesman for NBC Universal, part of General Electric, confirmed the decision, but otherwise declined to comment. A spokesmen for Apple declined to comment. The decision by NBC Universal highlights the escalating tension between Apple and media companies, which are unhappy that Apple will not give them more control over the pricing of songs and videos that are sold on iTunes.

NBC Universal is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue, the person familiar with the matter said.

NBC Universal is the second major iTunes supplier recently to have a rift with Apple over pricing and packaging matters. In July, the Universal Music Group of Vivendi, the world’s biggest music corporation, said it would not renew its long-term contract with iTunes. Instead, Universal Music said it would market music to Apple at will, which would allow it to remove its songs from iTunes on short notice.

The action by Jeff Zucker, NBC Universal’s chief executive, will not have an immediate impact on iTunes. The current two-year deal extends through December, so a vast video catalog — some 1,500 hours of NBC Universal’s news, sports and entertainment programming — will remain available on iTunes at least until then.

Among the most popular NBC Universal shows available for sale on iTunes are “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Office” and “Heroes.” The company has been talking to iTunes about offering Universal movies, but has not done so to date because of piracy concerns.

The two companies could still reach an agreement on a new contract before their current deal expires. While each side has so far refused to budge, the talks will continue and have been free of acrimony, the person familiar with the matter said.

But the defiant moves by NBC Universal and Universal Music could embolden other media companies that have been less than thrilled with Apple’s policies. NBC Universal was the second company to sign an agreement with Apple to sell content on iTunes, and its contract stipulated that Apple receive notice of plans to cancel 90 days before the expiration date. Otherwise, the deal would automatically renew according to the original terms.

Assuming similar provisions in deals negotiated with media companies like CBS, Discovery and the News Corporation, a parade of 90-day windows will be coming due.

A move by NBC Universal to walk away or withdraw a large amount of content would probably hobble Apple’s efforts to move deeper into the sale of video-focused consumer electronics like the iPhone and a new class of iPods. While Apple’s early efforts in this area depended on music to fuel sales, analysts say video is what will drive much of Apple’s retail business in the future.

The iTunes service wields incredible power in the music business, since it accounts for more than 76 percent of digital music sales. And its influence is on the rise: Apple recently passed Amazon to become the third-biggest seller of music over all, behind Wal-Mart and Best Buy, according to the market research firm NPD.

But the sale of video online is still at a nascent stage. Media giants like NBC Universal are aggressively trying to move into the business — in part to avoid the piracy that has plagued music companies — but the revenue they earn from online video sales does not yet have a material impact on their financial performances.

So some media companies feel they have the upper hand: Apple, for now at least, needs their content more than they need Apple. And there are an array of companies — like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Sony — that would love to have NBC Universal as a partner to muscle in on Apple’s turf.

Then there is NBC Universal’s own, a venture in partnership with the News Corporation to build a video portal to compete with YouTube.

The risks that media companies face in removing content from well-known Web sites involve perception and promotion. NBC Universal could anger consumers by preventing them from easily watching shows and movies in the most popular way — through iTunes and the iPod. Television networks and movie studios have vigorously tried to avoid being branded with the same anticonsumer sentiment that has worked against the record labels.

And because iTunes is so popular, NBC Universal would lose an increasingly important way of marketing entertainment products, particularly fledgling television shows, to consumers.

For months, most media companies have grumbled that Apple underprices video and audio content as a way to propel sales of a much more significant profit center: iPods and related merchandise. (One noteworthy abstainer from the grumbling is the Walt Disney Company, which has Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, as a board member.)

The iTunes service has sold songs for 99 cents each since its beginning four years ago, except for the recent introduction of songs without copy protection. Episodes of television shows sell for $1.99, with movies priced at $9.99.

NBC Universal and other companies say they want to increase prices by packaging content— say an episode of “The Office” with the movie “The 40- Year-Old Virgin,” because they both star the comedian Steve Carell.

In the past, Apple has argued that a range of pricing would complicate the iTunes experience and squelch demand.

Helsingin Sanomat – International Edition – Culture

On Wednesday evening in a house occupied by young squatters in the Helsinki district of Vallila, films downloaded from the Internet were being shown for free in what is called the Pirate Cinema.
About 20 young people sat on threadbare chairs to watch the film Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez. The projection system involves a laptop computer and a video projector. Popcorn and drinks are sold on the side.

A judge in the city of Pécs has sentenced two individuals caught accidentally with 85 and 735 illegally copied CDs and DVDs to seven and eighteen months suspended prison term and 2 million HUF penality. The damage was 12 million HUF. The prosecution has not appealed the decision.

Precedens értékû, jogerõs ítéletet hozott a Pécsi Városi Bíróság a napokban egy évek óta húzódó, szerzõi jogokat sértõ kalóz-ügyben – adta hírül az ASVA, az Audiovizuális Mûvek Szerzõi Jogait Védõ Közcélú Alapítvány. A bírói döntés értelmében a két elkövetõ hét hónap, illetve egy év hat hónap szabadságvesztésre és összesen több mint 2 millió forint pénzbírság megfizetésére ítéltetett. A jog 1992 óta ad lehetõséget arra, hogy a szerzõi jogok megsértését akár szabadságvesztés kirovásával is sújtsa a bíróság
Az 2004 nyara óta húzódó ügyben az egyik elkövetõt 85 rendbeli, a szerzõi jogok üzletszerûen elkövetett megsértésének bûntettében és szerzõi, vagy szerzõi joghoz kapcsolódó jogok védelmét biztosító mûszaki intézkedés kijátszásának vétségében találta bûnösnek a pécsi bíróság, így õt halmazati büntetésként hét hónapi szabadságvesztésre, míg társát, aki 735 rendbeli, a szerzõi jogok üzletszerûen elkövetett megsértésének bûntettében találtatott bûnösnek, 1 év hat hónap börtönbüntetésre ítélte a bíróság. Mindkét esetben a szabadságvesztés végrehajtását próbaidõre felfüggeszti a bíróság.

The official Hungarian translation of the last HP book is due in February 2008, but fans can’t wait: they started to publish the translated parts (as they proceed) online.

The internet has killed the release windows, and now it raises the question: can legitimate publishers afford to wait with the translations, or they need to create an international secure infrastructure of translators, who are able to produce the localized version by the time of the release of the originals?

(note: the chinese fan-tran is available in full)

Index – Neten az új Harry Potter magyar kalózfordítása

Már magyarul is hozzáférhető az interneten a Harry Potter napról-napra bővülő kalózfordítása. Sőt a kalózfordítás kalózfordítása is. Ezernyi topic született már a témában, szavazni is lehet, hogy melyik a jobb. A hivatalos Harry Potter jövőre jelenik meg magyarul.

Times Online

Pirated software worth more than $500 million (£242 million) has been seized by authorities in China as part of a joint operation run by Chinese police and the FBI.

The syndicates targeted by the raids in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong are believed to have distributed more than $2 billion (£968 million) worth of counterfeit software to countries around the world, including the UK.

Chinese police arrested 25 people and shut down six manufacturing and retail facilities as part of the operation, which was described by officials in China as “an unprecedented co-operative effort” with the FBI.

More than 290,000 counterfeit software CDs were seized by the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB), including 47,000 which contained fake Microsoft products, such as the Windows Vista operating system and the Office suite.

BigChampagne’s clients say ignoring file sharing wouldn’t make sense. “It’s a fact of life at this time,” says Rich Meyer, Mediabase’s president and executive vice president at Premiere.
Joe Fleischer, BigChampagne’s vice president for sales and marketing, says the legality of grabbing music is a separate issue from the insight into people’s taste the downloads offer. He notes the company incorporates legal, paid downloads from sites like iTunes into its data, though they represent a fraction of all downloads.
Currently, says Emmis radio head Rick Cummings, the download information is not as helpful as the phone calls known in the business as “call-out” research, in which people listen to clips of songs and rate them. But at some point, the download data are “going to be the primary method of research.”
It’s getting harder to do passive call-out research, Cummings says, because “people don’t have time, they have their phone blocked.” But Emmis perseveres with the calls, in part because it reaches a slightly different listener that way — people who don’t necessarily buy or download music regularly but who like to listen to the radio.
Filesharers tend to be bigger music fans than radio listeners and generally warm to new songs faster. But basing a playlist exclusively on downloaders’ tastes could end up alienating more passive listeners, Cummings says.
It also isn’t easy to tell which medium influences the other more. “When a radio station adds a song, you oftentimes see an immediate bump in downloading activity” in that city, says Meyer of Mediabase.

Funny, I linked to the Techcruch story on the new HP book two days ago and through the trackback link thousands of visitors have arrived to Warsystems. Welcome. Now Techcruch has received a notice and takedown letter from the lawyers of the US HP publisher to stop distributing any copyrighted material (I guess that would be the photo of the title page they run along the article, and the link to the link from where the book can be acquired). This is either a dumb PR move as some suggest, or these guys simply don’t get it.  The revolt around the leaked HD-DVD key was a lesson never learned (and be assured, it will never be forgotten either). Dumb. As I write this, in Cambridge, MA, thousands of kids are running around yelling abracadabra and waving wands, and queuing in front of bookstores to be the first to get the official copies in the morning, and they do not have the slightest idea that they are nothing more than a sad-to-see victims and human billboards of a cold-as-the-sound-of-the-cash-register marketing blitz to publicize this franchise, which in my opinion will eventually be a never ending story, just like the James Bond franchise.

I wonder whether these lawyers will bother busy beeing after the book turns out to be the biggest grossing book release in history?


I, the undersigned, certify under penalty of perjury that the information in this notification is accurate and that I am authorized to act on behalf of J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books and owner of copyright rights therein, and Scholastic Inc., exclusive U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter books, including without limitation the cover and all other art incorporated therein (collectively, the “IP Owner”). I have a good faith belief that the materials identified below are not authorized by the IP Owner, its agent, or the law and therefore infringe the IP Owner’s rights according to state and federal law. Please act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material or items claimed to be infringing.

ABC News

Forget about digging a hole with a spoon to escape from prison. Four federal inmates are accused of going above and beyond that call.

The four were indicted Tuesday on allegations that they copyrighted their names, then demanded millions of dollars from prison officials for using the names without authorization.


Hogy pontosan mennyivel növeli meg az eladásokat a honosított program, valójában csak becslés, hiszen nincs összehasonlítási alap: ha egy program megjelenik magyarul, nem valószínű, hogy ugyanazon a piacon az angol változatával is próbálkoznának. Tóth Tibor, a tavaly alakult, tehát kevés honosítási tapasztalattal bíró, de lengyel anyacégük többéves ismeretei révén mégsem teljesen kezdő disztribútor vállalkozás, a CD-Projekt munkatársa tudomása szerint Lengyelországban 40-60 százalékkal nyomta meg az eladásokat, hogy lefordítják a szoftvereket.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, the latest and last of the wildly popular Harry Potter books that is due to go on sale this weekend, has hit BitTorrent. Various torrents of the novel consist of photographed pages (as above) with reading quality that isn’t perfect, but for desperate fans readable enough. Whilst the validity of the hype surrounding Harry Potter may be subject to debate, what the leaking of the book does demonstrate is that the days of the mainstream media and publishers strictly controlling the dissemination of information has well and truly past; simply where there is a fan with a will, there is a way.

For educational purposes only, the Harry Potter book can be found by searching The Pirate Bay.

Whether it’s a professional recording taken from a Web site or an accordion player singing a Jimmy Buffet tune in a small venue, the industry is working to collect royalties for whoever wrote the songs.

Hollywood is using its frightening political clout to once again coerce Sweden’s elected and appointed authorities into a step ultimately aimed at closing down its nemesis, The Pirate Bay.

And this time it’s using child pornography as its weapon.

The Inquirer

RATHER THAN STOPPING P2P sites in their tracks, the Motion Picture Association of America has decided to set up a few of its own.

However, the sites have been built by the MPAA outfit Media Defender as honeypots in a bid to entrap P2P users.

Once a person has logged onto one of the sites, the MPAA records the sharers IP address and then sues them into a coma for a huge wodge of cash.

One site has been identified as It has a user registration, forum, and “family filter”, offers complete downloads of movies and “fast and easy video downloading all in one great site.”

The site offers software which it claims is to speed up downloading process. However it actually searches your computer for other copyrighted files and reports back to the MPAA laywers.

Los Angeles Times

Universal Music Group declined to renew its yearlong deal to license songs to Apple Inc. in the most public clash to date between a record label and the top retailer of digital music.

The largest of the four major labels informed Apple last week, people familiar with the matter said Monday.

Universal has no plans to stop selling music over Apple’s iTunes music store, which sells a majority of digitized tracks in the U.S., the people said.

But top Universal executives wanted the right to offer exclusive tracks to other Web retailers that could emerge, such as

Under the previous deal with Apple, Universal was obliged to sell on iTunes any music it sold digitally elsewhere.


“Everybody forgets that when the VCR was first developed, most of the uses were infringing copyright,” von Lohmann said. “There was no Blockbuster or legitimate way to rent movies back then. It’s vital to leave room for innovation. You have to give technology a chance to develop into something.”

Meanwhile, Charnley and von Lohmann agree the studios must offer a more attractive proposition than the one being dangled by file sharing. They essentially have to learn to compete with free downloads.

“Ironically, if the studios changed their business model, that would put Napster’s progeny out of business,” Charnley said. “If they offer something that’s legal, easy to use and affordable–these sites are useless.”

New York Times

The Universal Music Group of Vivendi, the world’s biggest music corporation, last week notified Apple that it will not renew its annual contract to sell music through iTunes, according to executives briefed on the issue who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.

Instead, Universal said that it would market music to Apple at will, a move that could allow Universal to remove its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides do not agree on pricing or other terms in the future, these executives said.

Universal’s roster of artists includes stars like U2, Akon and Amy Winehouse.

Representatives for Universal and Apple declined to comment. The move, which comes after a standoff in negotiations, is likely to be regarded in the music industry as a boiling over of the long-simmering tensions between Mr. Jobs and the major record labels.

With the shift, Universal appears to be aiming to regain a bit of leverage — although at the risk of provoking a showdown with Mr. Jobs.

Music industry attacks Sunday newspaper’s free Prince CD | | Guardian Unlimited Business

The eagerly awaited new album by Prince is being launched as a free CD with a national Sunday newspaper in a move that has drawn widespread criticism from music retailers.

The Mail on Sunday revealed yesterday that the 10-track Planet Earth CD will be available with an “imminent” edition, making it the first place in the world to get the album. Planet Earth will go on sale on July 24.

One music store executive described the plan as “madness” while others said it was a huge insult to an industry battling fierce competition from supermarkets and online stores. Prince’s label has cut its ties with the album in the UK to try to appease music stores.

The Entertainment Retailers Association said the giveaway “beggars belief”. “It would be an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career,” ERA co-chairman Paul Quirk told a music conference. “It would be yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music.

“The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores. And I say that to all the other artists who may be tempted to dally with the Mail on Sunday.”

Los Angeles Times:

AT&T Inc. has joined Hollywood studios and recording companies in trying to keep pirated films, music and other content off its network — the first major carrier of Internet traffic to do so.

The San Antonio-based company started working last week with studios and record companies to develop anti-piracy technology that would target the most frequent offenders, said James W. Cicconi, an AT&T senior vice president.

The nation’s largest telephone and Internet service provider also operates the biggest cross-country system for handling Internet traffic for its customers and those of other providers.

Boing Boing

“Open Source Cinema is trying to put together a collaborative documentary about copyright in the digital age. They’ve travelled the world and have loads of raw footage available under creative commons which anybody can download, remix, and upload again! The script is also completely editable by users. The finished documentary is to be screened on the documentary channel and in many theaters. They need help, however: people, get editing!”

Ars Technica

Take the case of Ohio University, which earned its place on the RIAA’s dishonor roll by being the recipient of almost 1,300 copyright infringement notices. The school reacted by banning P2P on campus, a move that’s being watched by other schools.

When we first reported on the Ohio U. moves, we heard from a few students at the school who said that they had long since moved to darknets because of the fear of getting caught. As it turns out, despite Ohio U’s ban on P2P, darknet Direct Connect hubs are running on campus.

Australia hands over man to US courts – National –

BEFORE he was extradited to the United States, Hew Griffiths, from Berkeley Vale in NSW, had never even set foot in America. But he had pirated software produced by American companies.

Now, having been given up to the US by former justice minister Chris Ellison, Griffiths, 44, is in a Virginia cell, facing up to 10 years in an American prison after a guilty plea late last month.

Griffiths’ case — involving one of the first extraditions for intellectual property crime — has been a triumph for US authorities, demonstrating their ability to enforce US laws protecting US companies against Australians in Australia, with the co-operation of the Australian Government.

In some corners of the Australian legal community, however,
there is concern about Griffiths’ case. In a recent article for the
Australian Law Journal, NSW Chief Judge in Equity, Peter
Young, wrote: “International copyright violations are a great
problem. However, there is also the consideration that a country
must protect its nationals from being removed from their homeland
to a foreign country merely because the commercial interests of
that foreign country are claimed to have been affected by the
person’s behaviour in Australia and the foreign country can
exercise influence over Australia.”

NYC Makes Film Piracy a Misdemeanor –

With the summer blockbuster movie season just ahead, City Hall and the Motion Picture Association of America are warning that secretly videotaping films is now a misdemeanor in New York City.

Days before the highly anticipated Spider-Man 3 opens nationwide, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation into law on Tuesday that upgrades film piracy from a violation with a $250 fine to a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and criminal penalties of up to $5,000.

The Register

While ADSL providers are imposing caps and resorting to traffic throttling, Vodafone has slipped in a clause allowing it to charge different amounts for mobile bandwidth depending on the application, though how it will do so is unclear.

Vodafone’s new pricing model for data comes in on 1 June and at a glance seems fair enough – if you use less than 0.5MB in a day you’re charged at a penny for every 5KB you use (£2 a MB), go over that and the next 14.5MB is free, then you’re back to a penny for every 5KB used.

Most users should fall somewhere in below the 15MB limit, and the current rate is £2.35 a MB, so everyone should be better off.

Well, not quite everyone.

Slipped in to the conditions of use is a clause stating that VoIP and peer-to-peer services (P2P) are excluded from the offer, billed separately at £2 a megabyte, with a minimum of 5 pence per session. Skype is listed as an example of a VoIP service, but the definition of P2P is much broader, including “instant messenger services, text messaging clients, or file sharing”.

Vodafone won’t comment on how it’s going to identify such traffic, though there are concerns that anything other than web browsing might be considered peer-to-peer and thus be subject to the separate charge. Encrypted connections could well fall foul – it would be impossible for Vodafone to identify the application being used, leaving anyone regularly and securely checking email open to high charges.

Vodafone does say it’ll be offering a mobile internet tariff, but isn’t revealing any details and it’s likely it’s waiting to see how customers respond to the new data pricing before making a decision.

CE Pro §

Manufacturers, dealers, and champions of digital rights everywhere can rejoice: Video server maker Kaleidescape has beaten the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA).

The DVD CCA, which licenses the Content Scramble System (CSS) for protecting DVDs, had claimed that Kaleidescape breached a contract when it created products that enable (indeed encourage) individuals to copy protected DVDs onto hard-drive servers.

Kaleidescape argued, first and foremost, that nothing in the DVD CCA licensing agreement prohibits the development of products that allow users to copy their DVDs. (For the full background, see “Copy Protection Group Sues Kaleidescape.”)

Indeed, that’s exactly what Judge Leslie C. Nichols ruled today in the non-jury trial at the Downtown Superior Court of Santa Clara in San Jose, Calif.: There was no breach of contract.


BBC shows such as Doctor Who and EastEnders are to be
made available on-demand after the BBC’s iPlayer service was given the
green light.

The service – which will launch later this year – allows
viewers to watch programmes online for seven days after their first TV

Episodes can also be downloaded and stored for up to 30 days.

The BBC Trust gave the iPlayer the go-ahead after consultations with members of the public.


  • iPlayer will allow viewers to catch up on TV programmes for seven days
  • Some TV series can be downloaded and stored for 30 days
  • Viewers will be able to watch shows streamed live over the internet
  • Users will not be able to download programmes from other broadcasters
    Classical recordings and book-readings are excluded from iPlayer

So Yahoo got busted because of linking to infringing content. That is not a very good news to anyone in the search business: my estimate is that the majority of any content in the search services’ indexes is infringing to a certain extent from the Colbert Report clips on YouTube to blog entries like this one. The DMCA in the US and similar laws in other countries may shield search engines from liability  at least till the Viacom-YouTube lawsuit ends with another conclusion. I wonder if the reason behind the Yahoo China decision is the lack of such a safe harbour.

But nevertheless, this is a very dangerous road to go down. If it turns out that search engines are liable, because they link to infringing content, that would effectively end the web-search  as such.

A court has ordered Yahoo Inc.’s China subsidiary to pay $27,000 for aiding music piracy, the company and a music industry group said Tuesday.

The ruling came amid U.S. pressure for Beijing to stop rampant copying of music and other goods.

The lawsuit filed by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries accused Yahoo China of violating copyrights because its search engine linked to sites that carried 229 pirated songs. It was filed on behalf of 11 recording companies including Sony BMG, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Vivendi.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome,” said Leong May Seey, Asia regional director for the federation.

“We think it is a step in the right direction in creating a legitimate online music service in China.”

The ruling Monday by the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ordered Yahoo China to pay 210,000 yuan ($27,000) in damages, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Court employees declined to confirm the report or release any other information.

China’s infamous movie pirates have done it again — “Spider-Man 3” is already being sold on Beijing’s streets almost two weeks ahead of its U.S. premier.

Costing just over $1 apiece, the pirated DVDs appear to be of the actual movie, complete with a picture of the hero in a new, black spider suit which he wears for some of the film.

There is even a warning on the back, printed in Chinese, against pirating the product.

“It’s too expensive to go to the cinema to watch movies,” said Beijing resident Duan Nana. “This has a lot to do with why people are rushing to buy fake DVDs and watch movies at home. It’s very common and it’s logical.”

Yahoo! News

Amazon, which is considered the best bet to challenge iTunes’ supremacy in the digital world, is shooting to launch its MP3 digital download store in May, a target date it has yet to publicly acknowledge. (Amazon declines comment.) Meanwhile, sources familiar with the situation say Universal Music Group plans to test the sale of unprotected digital music files, including some of its classical music catalog conceivably including titles by
Andrea Bocelli, at the new Amazon store and other outlets.

Kevin J. Delaney. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Apr 17, 2007. pg. A.1

newtube-wsj.gif“It’s out there — you just have to hunt around for it a bit,” says the 28-year-old Mr. [Sam Martinez]. Like many similar sites, YouTVpc relies heavily on video-sharing sites outside the U.S., such as a French outfit called Dailymotion and in China. Mr. Martinez estimates that about 40% of the shows and films on the site — including episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and Fox’s “Prison Break” are provided by

Last year Mr. Martinez’s childhood friend, Mr. [Billy Duran], built on the idea and created a site called “VTele” as an assignment for a computer-science class at Central New Mexico Community College. Through it, users could view TV shows and movies that he and Mr. Martinez copied from DVDs and uploaded to the school’s computer servers. The 23-year-old Mr. Duran says he got an “A” on the project. But within a month, the site attracted so many users that some of the school’s computer servers crashed. Administrators threatened Mr. Duran with expulsion.

Mr. Duran dropped out of Central New Mexico, and the two friends relaunched the site in September. At first it relied on volunteers to store video files on their own servers, until a user pointed Mr. Martinez to Dailymotion. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh — gold mine!'” recalls Mr. Martinez. “We had all 18 seasons of ‘The Simpsons’ in two hours.”

Read the rest of this entry »

via CeskeNoviny

A case of illegal music file sharing on the Internet has resulted in a court sentence for the first time in the Czech Republic, police officer Libor Macek who deals with such cases told journalists today.

The perpetrator, who used the name Lubsoft on the Internet, caused damage of more than one million crowns. He received a suspended sentence of seven months in prison.

Chinese intellectual property officials rejected U.S. criticism of China’s anti-piracy efforts, insisting they are cracking down and saying countries such as Canada are worse offenders.

The officials said the
scale of Chinese enforcement is growing, with 235 criminal cases taken
to court last year and 73 million DVDs, books and other products

They rejected suggestions Chinese limits on imports of books and
movies is driving demand for pirated copies. A second U.S. complaint to
the WTO last week said Beijing has failed to live up to promises to
remove restrictions the import and distribution of books, newspapers,
magazines, CDs, DVDs and video games.

Industry groups said the lack of legitimate products is feeding Chinese demand for pirated movies, music and other goods.

“I don’t think it is a good argument that restrictions on imports
of books and audio-video products led to rampant piracy,” Mr. Wang [a spokesman for the Chinese National Copyright Administration,]said.

THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Vado on Eyemelt — update

NRAMA: Since was launched, a major comics torrent site has stopped trafficking in SLG comics. Did you have any conversations with them to do this?

DV: No, they did that on their own. That site has always maintained that they would stop making files available from their site when publishers started making their content available for download at an affordable price.

Microsoft changes tune on selling DRM-free songs

Following digital music pioneer Apple Inc.’s lead, Microsoft Corp. said it will soon sell digital music online without digital rights management (DRM) protection.

Microsoft’s apparent change of heart on selling DRM-free music came in response to Apple’s deal earlier in the week to sell unprotected content from recording company EMI Group PLC. The company previously claimed that DRM was necessary for current and emerging digital media business models.

“The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple,” said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels “for some time now” about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.

“Consumers have made it clear that unprotected music is something they want,” Asher said. “We plan on offering it to them as soon as our label partners are comfortable with it.” – Login

In a major break with the music industry’s longstanding antipiracy strategy, EMI Group PLC is set to announce today that it plans to sell significant amounts of its catalog without anticopying software, according to people familiar with the matter.

The London music company is to make its announcement at a London news conference featuring Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs. EMI is to sell songs without the software — known as digital rights management — through Apple’s iTunes Store and possibly through other online outlets.


About to leak a copy of the new Arctic Monkeys album on the net? Don’t bother unless you’re willing to risk a knock on the door from the Web Sheriff.

Cutting-edge bands who built a following by letting fans trade MP3 song files are secretly hiring web enforcers to track down and remove unauthorised leaks that might destroy album sales.

The web detectives trace the source of a leak and individuals found to have deliberately spread copyright-protected material receive a personal visit followed by legal threats.

This sounds very-very familiar. Adrian Johns has a wonderful article on “Pop music pirate hunters”,  telling the story of early 1900’s British music publishers who used barely legal private enforcement hitmen to intimidate sheet music pirates. Well worth a read.


Like other online publishers, has had to puzzle out ways to deal with the perennial problem of copyright infringement on peer-to-peer networks and Usenet.’s solution is live shows. In some ways, it’s is a throwback to a more analog era, back when the Grateful Dead encouraged taping and sharing of live concerts (while still charging admission). The band Phish follows the same model today by authorizing taping and Internet sharing for “non-commercial purposes.”

Earlier this month, began streaming live 1080i high-definition video–at a time when mainstream sites such as offer jerky, blurry pre-edited clips at roughly one-tenth the resolution of high-def.

I guess this also means, that if you don’t have your 60th birthday, and you are not Elton John, then you will never see a 100% of your back catalog online.

iTunes scoops Sir Elton John catalogue exclusive – iPod/iTunes – Macworld UK

Sir Elton John this morning revealed plans to make his entire catalogue of releases available exclusively through iTunes starting next week.

The entire catalogue of 400 tracks will be made available through the store starting 26 March, his artist management agents explained. The music will be available exclusively there until 30 April, when it will be made available through other music services.

The artist explained: “I’ve wanted my music to be available for digital download worldwide for some time, but I knew that the entire catalogue not just the hits needed care and attention to be released in this way. Now that it’s happening, I’m pleased for the fans’ sake.

At least this is what proprietary software people prefer…

Microsoft executive: Pirating software? Choose Microsoft!

At the Morgan Stanley Technology conference last week in San Francisco, Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes commented on the benefits of software counterfeiting. “If they’re going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else,” he said. “We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products. What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software.”

 – International Business Times –

Tired of being turned away at the theater box office when a movie’s
sold out? Unhappy there’s no art-house theater in your neighborhood to
cater to your hoity-toity theatrical tastes?
Those days could be ending, say representatives of Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment and a company called Digital Cinema Implementation Partners.

The three are working on a new digital film delivery system that, if successful, could give theater operators the flexibility to put a popular movie on an extra screen as quickly as the demand for it arises. At the same time, theater operators could boot out a surprise stinker and even book in for a day or two an art-house film with a small but devoted audience.

“Our goal really is to have the easiest, fastest, most reliable, most cost-effective content delivery technique possible to the theaters we represent,” said Travis Reid, Chief Executive of Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, which is working with Warner Bros. and Universal.

The process, still in the early stages of development, would use satellite and broadband delivery systems to beam digital films directly to theaters, rather than have them copied onto hard drives and delivered by hand, as for the most part they are now, said Darcy Antonellis, Warner Bros.’ executive vice president for distribution and technology.

That kind of rapid delivery, Reid said, would allow theater operators the flexibility to economically market niche films that could be shown for just a day or two to a targeted audience. It would also allow operators to quickly find more screens for surprise hits.

“We believe that if we can make that a very efficient process, very fast, they’ll be able to respond to audience demands more,” he said.

Beaming an encrypted version of a digital film directly to the theater should also cut down on film piracy and bootlegging, Antonellis said, by eliminating the number of opportunities for people to get their hands on the movie as it is transit.

DCIP is owned equally by the Regal, AMC and Cinemark theater chains, which have 14,000 screens in North America. The new system would be available to those and other interested theater operators, Reid and Antonellis said. About 2,200 U.S. theater screens currently show digital films.

Officials with the venture wouldn’t offer a date by which they hope to have the system in place or give a cost estimate.

“I think the latter part of this year we’ll likely be doing some testing,” said Antonellis. “Our hope is as things progress and … as the projectors roll out there will be a lot more activity.”

New York Times

In remarks prepared for delivery on Tuesday to the Association of American Publishers, the associate general counsel of Microsoft, Thomas Rubin, argues that Google’s move into new media markets has come at the expense of publishers of books, videos and software.

Mr. Rubin’s comments echo arguments at the heart of a 16-month-old copyright lawsuit against Google brought by five book publishers and organized by the Association of American Publishers, an industry trade group.

“Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and I.P.O.s,” said Mr. Rubin, who oversees copyright and trade-secret law.

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Rada Banjanin plans to stay up late on Sunday, fingers crossed that “Babel” will take the best picture Oscar at the 79th Academy Awards.

Not that she watched the inter-continental saga on the big screen. Rada hasn’t been to the cinema for over a year, but has seen nearly all this year’s Oscar nominees for 2.5 euros ($1.3) a copy in the comfort of her Belgrade living room.

“I like to see the latest hits, and I get them all on DVD,” she said ahead of the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles on February 25.

Belgrade’s “King Aleksandar” boulevard is packed with vendors selling the latest movies from cardboard crates on wooden stands, often before they open in European cinemas.

“The Last King of Scotland” and “Rocky Balboa” were available this week. “The Departed” went on sale months ago.

This year, the Motown musical “Dreamgirls” is in big demand in Serbia. “Everyone wants ‘Dreamgirls’. But we’ve run out of copies,” said one street vendor, who asked not to be named.

It’s a poke in the eye for Serbian authorities, who say they have cracked down on the film piracy that gave Serbs one up on the rest of the world while their country sank under war, sanctions and isolation in the 1990s.


Things have improved since then, says Zoran Savic, Serbia’s anti-piracy chief. But according to some estimates, he says, “pirate copies arrive in Belgrade between five and seven days after the movie premieres in the United State”.

“The main problem here is the copies are so easy to get hold of on the streets, and sometimes via Internet,” Savic said.

Video clubs offer under-the-counter lists of pirate offers to loyal customers, sometimes including screening copies sent out for review only and marked “not for public viewing”.

In the United Nations-administered Serbian province of Kosovo, the bootleg trade is wide open.

At the gates of NATO headquarters, aptly named ‘Film City’, brightly colored four-storey shops sell thousands of pirated films and music CDs, as well as fake Breitling wristwatches.

The customers are international police officers in an array of uniforms and gun-toting NATO peace troops in camouflage.

And it’s not only Serbia.

“It’s the same here in Sarajevo. It’s easy and everyone is doing it,” said Reuters Bosnia correspondent Daria Sito-Sucic.

In the Macedonian capital, Skopje, correspondent Kole Casule says films such as the James Bond hit “Casino Royale” and Scorsese’s “Departed” sell for 80 denars (1.5 euros).

Albania correspondent Benet Koleka bought “The Queen” and “Next President” from a Tirana shop loaded with bootlegs.

Officially, the sales are illegal in all four countries. Of the former Yugoslav republics, only Croatia has clamped down with success on the suitcase DVD trade, says correspondent Zoran Radosalvjevic. “It’s mostly illegal downloads now,” he said.


The fact pirates still thrive in the Balkans will hardly dampen spirits at the Oscar ceremonies.

But piracy undermines the home-grown movie industry, which is unable to offer good financial rewards because so few people go the cinema. Research shows under 20 percent of the 7.5 million people in Serbia went to the movies in 2006.

“People don’t have the feeling they are doing anything wrong by buying pirate DVDs and watching them at home,” says Danijela Milosevic of Taramount, which distributes Disney movies here.

In 2005, Serbian ‘blockbuster’ “Mi Nismo Andjeli” (We’re No Angels) lost an estimated 400,000 cinema-goers when pirate copies hit the stalls just days after the film premiered in Belgrade, according to its director, Srdjan Dragojevic.

Director Miroslav Momcilovic said his 2006 movie “Sedam i po” (Seven-and-a-half), a bitter-sweet take on the sinking of postwar Serbian society, suffered a similar fate.

But he didn’t have the heart to put up a fight when he saw fake copies of his own movie being sold on the streets.

“Pirates have given me such pleasure over the years. I can’t just forget a dozen years of watching those films and turn around and be radically against piracy.”

Warsaw Business Journal Online

The era of Warsaw’s infamous stadium (Stadion Dziesięciolecia) is coming to an end this year and the ubiquitous sellers of pirated media will no longer need to lamely unfurl plastic tarps over their goods every time the police circle past.

Which, if any, location will be next to host their ilk is unknown as
yet, but Polish piracy – as a common practice – is going nowhere.


In Poland the tradition of intellectual-property infringement
stretches back to the heady days of the VCR, when video cassettes
containing episodes of Dallas and Dynasty, recorded over to a point
that skewed sound and picture quality, were swapped under the noses of
the communist authorities. In many communities, extended family and
friends would gather to watch the illicit Western programs in what was,
in its own way, an act of defiance.


Apologists for digital theft might suggest that the Polish
anti-authoritarian streak is a contributing factor. A more globally
applicable (and defensible) argument points to the economic disparity
between more developed, media-rich markets and their poorer brethren,
in which piracy runs rampant.


There is merit in the second argument. Moreover, there is an
arrogance implicit in Western nations’ outcry over piracy in
under-developed nations, particularly when the “best solutions” they’re
putting forward, along the lines of Microsoft Vista’s integrated
digital-rights-management (DRM) architecture, do nothing to address the
root of the problem. These are, in other words, proscriptive rather
than medicative approaches.

In dealing with media piracy there is no 100-percent solution –
theft arguably predates any concept of property. However, reducing the
rate of piracy in Poland to Western levels is a worthy project.
Open-source software, web-based programs and digital download all offer
promise, while bigger players like Microsoft should release products
priced to the local market, if at the cost of a few bells and whistles. It will take some incentive to get Poles to break with tradition.

This is the most important thing that has happened on the intellectual property front lately. Former Soviet president Gorbachev asks Microsoft’s Bill Gates not to pursue IP litigation against a high school teacher in Perm who used pirated software in classroom because:

– he is poor
– he is dedicated his life to teaching
– he was just using  pirated software, but has not installed and/or downloaded it,
– because the possible punishment (imprisonment is Siberia) is disproportionate.

The situation is super-interesting because if Gates does not do anything (claiming that he cannot, or can but not willing to) intervene, that will create super -bad PR not only for him as a philanthropist and Microsoft, as a company, but for all IP cases as well.

But by intervening, he admits, that such legal actions around the world are initiated by a handful of individuals like him, and he also admits that there are exceptions from copyright infringement, in some or all of the cases above.

Seems very much like a loose-loose situation.


Prosecutors accuse Ponosov, headmaster of a middle school in the Perm region, of violating Microsoft’s intellectual property rules by using computers in his school that contained unlicensed copies of the firm’s software.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday asked Microsoft
co-founder Bill Gates to intercede on behalf of a Russian teacher
accused of using pirated software in his classroom.

“A teacher, who has dedicated his life to the education of children and
who receives a modest salary that does not bear comparison with the
salaries of even regular staff in your company, is threatened with
detention in Siberian prison camps,” read the letter, posted on the
Internet site of Gorbachev’s charitable foundation

Gawker Media mystery ads appear on YouTube | CNET

For the past three months, an employee at Gawker Media has posted copyright videos sandwiched between ads for Gawker-owned properties such as Valleywag and Gizmodo.

Nick Denton, the owner and founder of Gawker Media, acknowledged Friday that the Gawker employee, who goes by the YouTube username Belowtheradar, is the company’s “video guy.”


The quest for the universal library.
Issue of 2007-02-05
Posted 2007-01-29

Every weekday, a truck pulls up to the Cecil H. Green Library, on the campus
of Stanford University, and collects at least a thousand books, which
are taken to an undisclosed location and scanned, page by page, into an
enormous database being created by Google. The company is also
retrieving books from libraries at several other leading universities,
including Harvard and Oxford, as well as the New York Public Library.
At the University of Michigan, Google’s original partner in Google Book
Search, tens of thousands of books are processed each week on the
company’s custom-made scanning equipment.
Read the rest of this entry »

Radio listening reaches record high thanks to digital technology | News | This is London

Radio listening has reached a record high, with more than 45 million people tuning in each week, according to new figures.

It is the highest figure since industry body Rajar began keeping track of the nation’s listening habits in 1992.

The rise is being attributed to growing numbers of people tuning in via the internet, digital television or their mobile phones. Some 7.8 per cent of people aged 15 and above listen to the radio via their mobiles, according to Rajar research conducted in the last three months of 2006.

The figure is 24 per cent up on the same period of 2005.

A quarter of all 15- to 24-year-olds said they listened to the radio in this way.

Listening via the internet was up 10 per cent and via digital television up 9 per cent. – Spanish pirates flip for disk drives

Spain’s uphill battle against piracy is getting steeper.

The reason: small modem-like boxes, with remote controls and a computer USB plugs. Sold in department stores, they sport names like Best Buy’s Easy Player Jumbo Plus HD 400GB or Argosy’s Mobile Video GDD 400 GB.

They’re hard disk drives that plug into PCs and then TV sets, allowing downloaded movies easy TV play. Their sales are rising fast. “They’re steady little earners,” said one retailer over the Christmas season.

Prices have held, ranging from the Easy Player’s E379 ($493) to $194 for a drive from Woxster, a Spanish brand. But with sales ramping up, the drives are increasing capacity and features, such as photo and memory disk storage.

As hard disk usage seeps from Spanish geekdom to the mainstream, Spanish Internet piracy has hit Himalayan heights. According to consultancy Gfk, 43% of Spaniards pirate movies.

Now this is public service.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | BBC’s download plans get backing

TV shows like Doctor Who are expected to be available for download later this year after the BBC Trust gave initial approval to the BBC’s on-demand plans.

Under the proposals, viewers will be able to watch popular programmes online or download them to a home computer up to a week after they are broadcast.

But the trust imposed tough conditions on classical music, which could stop a repeat of the BBC’s Beethoven podcasts.

Full approval of the on-demand plans will follow a two-month consultation.

BBC NEWS | Business |

YouTube founder Chad Hurley confirmed to the BBC that his team was working on a revenue-sharing mechanism that would “reward creativity”.

The system would be rolled out in a couple of months, he said, and use a mixture of adverts, including short clips shown ahead of the actual film.

Speaking to the BBC after the session, he declined to
give further details, saying that YouTube was still working out the
technology and processes involved – both for the rewards system and the
video clip advertising system.

Levi’s Turns to Suing Its Rivals – New York Times

United States Patent and Trademark No. 1,139,254 is not much to look at: a pentagon surrounding a childlike drawing of a seagull in flight.

But the design for a Levi’s pocket, first used 133 years ago, has become the biggest legal battleground in American fashion.

Strauss claims that legions of competitors have stolen its signature
denim stitches — two intersecting arcs and a cloth label — for their
own pockets, slapping them on the seats of high-priced, hip-hugging
jeans that have soared in popularity.

So Levi’s is becoming a
leader in a new arena: lawsuits. The company, once the undisputed king
of denim and now a case study in missed opportunities, has emerged as
the most litigious in the apparel industry when it comes to trademark
infringement lawsuits, firing off nearly 100 against its competitors
since 2001. That’s far more than General Motors, Walt Disney or Nike, according to an analysis by research firm Thomson West. – the original daily p2p and digital media news site

Totte Alm asks: The Pirate
bay is defending file sharing with the argument that artists makes
their money on live performances, and actors on ticket sales, and that
home users and poor students never would buy Photoshop anyway. But,
what is forgotten is that file sharing in reality strikes against the
small developer.

An example: A small company
have pu down a lot of time and borrowed money to develop a program that
resembles Photoshop. It can’t do everything that Photoshop can do, but
the price is low, say 400 to 700 SEK ($57-100). The market exists –
everyone thinks that Photoshop is too expensive.

problem for the user is: why pay 70 bucks when you can have Photoshop
for free via the Pirate Bay, and Photoshop is much better?

you can see, piracy strikes against the small developers, not the big
ones. The small die and the big gets bigger. Have you ever concidered
that you help big business by evaporating their competition?

Again, The Pirate Bay as a unit has no opinions in any question. My
personal opinion is that you’ll have to find other ways to make money
than selling licenses. I have this background myself, so I am aware of
the problems. One have to find ways around them instead of calling for
more police and harder controlling methods.

Peter: Perhaps that market model doesn’t work anymore? One have to look at other alternatives.

Guardian Unlimited Technology

The BBC is in advanced negotiations with Google to make programming available via a branded channel on the search giant’s video-sharing site, can reveal.

It is understood that BBC executives are keen that the deal, which involves BBC Worldwide and the BBC, is eventually expanded to include putting content on Google-owned YouTube.

BBC Worldwide is understood to be looking at commercial options for the agreement, such as a share on contextual advertising that will run alongside BBC content.

Several large broadcasters in the US have similar arrangements with
Google-owned YouTube including CBS, which claimed 200,000 extra viewers
for The Late Show with David Letterman after clips from the show were
posted on the video-sharing website. – the original daily p2p and digital media news site

Chinese Internet search engine and Big 4 Organized Music member EMI say they’re going to run an advertising-supported online music streaming service in China.

“The agreement will see Chinese repertoire from EMI’s Typhoon Music being made available for streaming, at no charge, to all users of Baidu,” says ChinaTechNews.

Baidu will feature an ‘EMI Music Zone’ in its music search channel, “which will legally stream all of EMI Music’s Chinese repertoire, including recordings from artists such as Jolin Tsai, Stephanie Sun, David Tao, Sandy Lam and Richie Ren,” says the story, adding:

“While consumers listen to the music for free they will be exposed to Internet advertising, and EMI and Baidu will share the revenue generated by the advertising, a lackluster approach to monetizing and promoting digital music in China.”

Digital World Norway Outlaws iTunes

Norway has […] declare[d] that Apple’s iTunes store is illegal under Norwegian law.

Advertising Age – MediaWorks – How Many? 289 Out at Time Inc.

Time Inc., the country’s largest magazine publisher, spent the morning telling hundreds of staffers their jobs were being eliminated — in its latest and largest yet round of staff cuts — for the company’s good.

“As you all know, the past year has been a time of transition at Time Inc.,” said Chairman-CEO Ann S. Moore in a midday memo to staff. “While we continue to invest in our core magazines, we are also focused on transforming our work force and broadening our digital capabilities in order to become a truly multiplatform publisher.


The first night I arrived at the protest against the Second Life headquarters of Front National, the far right French political party of Jean-Marie Le Pen, it was ringed on all sides by protesters with signs to wave and statements to distribute. By the second night I came (this was late last week), the conflict had become more literal, for many Residents had armed themselves. Multi-colored explosions and constant gunfire shredded the air of Porcupine, a shopping island which FN had inexplicably picked for the site of their virtual world HQ, in December.

The server lag from so many people throwing up so much gunfire slows the battle to a slow motion firefight, but I manage to wade up to TonTonCarton Yue, who is strafing the FN building with a chaingun usually associated with an AC-130 gunship, than a political protest.

“Can I ask,” I begin, “why are you shooting?”
“Because I hate Front National,” Yue tells me simply.
“If you use violence, doesn’t that reduce you to their level?”
“I don’t know,” Yue answers, after awhile. “I don’t care. FN equals violence.”

And having offered that axiom, he returns his aim to the enemy, and unleashes another barrage. DJ Drama arrested in RIAA piracy sting

A police SWAT team and antipiracy agents from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) raided the Atlanta-based Aphilliates Music Group office and Gangsta Grillz studio, arresting mix tape specialist Drama and his partner DJ Don Cannon. Authorities told Atlanta’s Fox 5 News that they confiscated more than 81,000 mix tape CDs, several computers, recording equipment, and four cars, among other items. Drama, real name Tyree Simmons, and DJ Don Cannon, spent the night in Fulton County Jail. The raid occurred under the Rackeetering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, and Drama and Cannon could face felony charges.

I doubt that SWAT team is needed against djs. They are either not only DJs ora something is really fucked up.

Yahoo! News

Global digital music sales almost doubled in 2006 to around $2 billion, or 10 percent of all sales, but have not yet reached the industry’s “holy grail” of offsetting the fall in CD sales, a trade organization said.

Index – Tech – Nem adja fel a ProArt

Szinger András ügyvéd, az Artisjus (a ProArt egyik tagszervezete) jogásza szerint is a precedens értékű ítélet hiánya a legfőbb problémájuk per pillanat a fájlcserélők elleni harcban. Ők mindent megtettek, hogy “mondja már ki végre a magyar bíróság, hogy a fájlcsere illegális”, a büntetőügyek azonban eddig nem jutottak el bírói szakba, bár még van folyamatban lévő eljárás, melyben ez várható. Az eredménytelenséget részben annak tulajdonítja, hogy a Diablo hub elleni nyomozást megszüntető ügyészség álláspontja – a szabad felhasználásra történő hivatkozás – “totálisan téves”, másrészt elismeri, hogy “a jogalkalmazók szerint talán nem a büntetőjog a legmegfelelőbb eszköz a probléma kezelésére”.

Büntetőjogilag ugyanis jövedelemszerzést, vagy vagyoni hátrányt (elmaradt hasznot) is kellett volna bizonyítani, ez azonban annak ellenére sem sikerült, hogy az Artisjus által felkért szakértő jogvédett műveket megosztó felhasználókat azonosított (IP-cím alapján) a Diablo hub nevű fájlcsereközponton. Az ügyészség azonban eljárásjogi hiba miatt nem vette figyelembe a feljelentő által benyújtott szakvéleményt, így a vagyoni hátrány bizonyítása egyelőre elmaradt, de a pótmagánvádat az Artisjus ki fogja egészíteni a szükséges adatokkal.

Buy Sealand? Is it possible?

ACFI is a group of people working for the peoples right to it’s Internets. We have made progress in
Ladonia and are now working on the Micronation of Sealand.

Recently it was made clear that this country is for sale. To make sure the owners will be kopimistic and that the country won’t be governed by people that do not care about it’s future, we have come up with a plan.

This is what sais about the plans buying Sealand, a sovereign piece of land in the North Sea.

But there are no more white spots on the map. Autonomy in the sense Hakim Bey describes is not a geographical notion. Pirate utopias are not designed to maintain themselves in the long run: there is no such thing as radical and uncompromising independence, separation from the rest of the world.

There is though guerrilla warfare, temporary autonomy, hit and run independence. But you need more than a bunch of 12 years old, who have not read The Lord of the Flies to achieve that…

Buy Sealand? Is it possible?

ACFI is a group of people working for the peoples right to it’s Internets. We have made progress in Ladonia and are now working on the Micronation of Sealand.

Recently it was made clear that this country is for sale. To make sure the owners will be kopimistic and that the country won’t be governed by people that do not care about it’s future, we have come up with a plan.

This is what about the plans buying Sealand, a sovereign piece of land in the North Sea.

But there are no more white spots on the map. Autonomy in the sense Hakim Bey describes  is not a geographical notion. Pirate utopias are not designed to maintain themselves in the long run: there is no such thing as radical and uncompromising independence, separation from the rest of the world.

There is though guerrilla warfare, temporary autonomy, hit and run independence. But you need more than a bunch of 12 years old, who have not read The Lord of the Flies to achieve that…


The news that the British BBC plans to make hundreds of episodes of
its popular British television programs available on a file-sharing
network has three separate stories behind it.

The first is the BBC has done a deal between the commercial arm of
the company, BBC Worldwide, and the Java-based BitTorrent client
technological firm, Azureus. The file sharing means that users of
Azureus` Zudeo software in the United States can legally download
titles, such as ‘Little Britain.’

This coincides with the second pieve of news which is that the BBC,
which is paid for by compulsory subscription, is not getting a rise
next year. Indeed, it is getting a slightly less money if you allow for

Many critics – Richard Ingrams in The Independent leading the charge – have asked why ANY money should be given to the BBC.

Good point.

2006: Year in Music: It Was Free Cuz I Stole It (Seattle Weekly)

Now is a bad time to be a giant music corporation, but ethically challenged music fans couldn’t ask for better days. Bootlegging has always been about catering directly to the fans, and the Internet breeds the best bootleggers yet: bigger and stronger and faster than ever before, the better to handle the demands of 10 million file sharers trading a billion and a half songs daily.

It’s clear now that the CD-R bent the CD over and the MP3 player finished it off, and although the industry is still in shock, smaller and more agile labels are already accepting the inevitable and locking in a vinyl/digital-only production schedule, then using merch like T-shirts—low production cost, high sale price, lots of options to ratchet up collectibility—to plug their revenue gaps.

Since file sharing is permanent enough now that you can buy $19-per-year lawsuit insurance, it’s time to acknowledge the bright side. Out-of-print doesn’t mean anything anymore. If you can learn about it, you can listen to it, and if the record company doesn’t want to reissue it, you can probably find it without even having to stand up. The romance is gone but the music is cheap, accessible, and instant—that’s the music industry of the future, brought to you now by Russian MP3 pirates, obsessive genre bloggers, and criminals selling albums off a blanket on the street. Highlights of a year of unfair shares:

Marketplace: The end of musicals?

Lloyd Webber has three hit shows running in London, including his version of the Sound of Music.

But he warns the sound in the seven West End theatres he owns could become inaudible. The wireless mics his productions rely on could get too expensive to run.

Britain’s telecom regulator is to blame, he says. The regulator is planning to auction off to the highest bidder the airwaves used by theatres and concert venues.

A cell phone company with deep pockets is likely to win. The fees could then soar and the theatres could be priced out.

The regulator refuses to listen to the growing chorus of disapproval. Lloyd Webber warns the West End could fall silent, .that the end of Musical Theatre in Britain is nigh.

I am being mean now, but this is interesting.

AT&T Plans Push in Wireless, Ads –

AT&T Inc., which became the world’s largest telecom company by closing the $86 billion acquisition of BellSouth Corp., will aggressively push new wireless services to corporate customers and consumers, and make advertising a key revenue stream, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Edward E. Whitacre Jr.

With full control of cellphone operator Cingular Wireless, formerly a joint-venture with BellSouth, the San Antonio-based phone company will begin selling AT&T-branded wireless services to its large pool of corporate phone and Internet customers, allowing it to offer discounts for bundles that were impossible when Cingular was a separate entity. AT&T corporate users will be able to access their files and desktops remotely, whether they are plugged into a land-line Internet connection or connected to the Web wirelessly.
[Edward Whitacre Jr]

Consumers will have a choice of signing up for a new package of cellphone and Internet service rather than just the traditional bundle of land-line phone and Internet service, the company says. Until now AT&T had worried about cannibalizing its land-line phone business. AT&T has also been testing cellphones that can run on Wi-Fi networks when at home, letting consumers save money on their cellphone bills and potentially get better reception indoors.

“The biggest asset we bought here was Cingular,” said Mr. Whitacre. “We’re about to become a company with wireless at its heart.”

AT&T also will begin selling advertising on cellphones, television and its Internet-access service this year, allowing advertisers to reach consumers across multiple platforms with a single operator. Advertisers will be able to buy spots for TV and broadband beginning early this year, with wireless ads following suit later this year. The advertising business could generate several billion dollars in revenue per year in the next five years, the company says.

Movie Group Claims Win in Chinese Piracy – Breaking – Technology –

A Beijing court has ordered the popular Chinese Web portal to pay $140,000 in damages for distributing Hollywood
movies online without permission, the movie industry’s trade group
said Friday.

China is regarded as the world’s leading source of illegally copied movies, software and other goods, despite repeated government promises to stamp out the underground industry. The MPA blames piracy in China for costing U.S. studios $244 million in lost box office revenues last year.

The group says Chinese regulators are encouraging a market for pirated movies by allowing only a few dozen foreign titles per year for theatrical release. It said five of the 10 movies cited in its lawsuit against Sohu were not released theatrically in China.

Battle of Britain: Piracy, pricing key DVD issues

LONDON — Price and piracy once again dominated the U.K. home entertainment scene this year, with both issues raising hackles throughout the industry as 2006 draws to a close.

For instance, the major supermarkets here are using DVDs as loss leaders — offering such hot new releases as “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” for less than £10 ($19.60).

Gennaro Castaldo, head of communications at leading U.K. specialist entertainment retailer HMV described the supermarkets’ actions as being “like a cuckoo in the nest that works against the best interests of the industry and other retailers. I can’t think of a thing the supermarkets do in a positive way to develop and sustain the industry.”

He adds that specialists such as HMV have “almost written off the blockbuster releases as revenue earners” because of supermarket pricing and have been forced to concentrate even more on deep catalogs.

[poor, poor retailers being forced to concentrate on deep catalogs. i can’t feel enough sorry for them. and even there they have to compete with bastards like amazon and other e-tailers. maybe they should be forced out of business as well, not just the supermarkets.]

“Giving it away below cost also damages the aspiration to collect DVDs because consumers perceive it as an almost throwaway product,” Castaldo said.


Castaldo argues that, far from benefiting the consumer, the cumulative effect of this sort of price-cutting is putting specialist retailers at risk and “damaging the diversity of the retail landscape in towns.”

[this is bullshit. supermarkets take the blockbusters, and the rest needs to find its own niche, with its special supply. specialist retailers should be flourishing, shouldn’t they?]

While supermarket pricing on new releases has drawn gasps of pain from specialist home entertainment retailers and distributors alike, some industry leaders, like Universal Pictures International Entertainment president Eddie Cunningham, believe there isn’t much more room for prices to fall — on catalog titles at least.

“But to be honest, I’ve been saying that for 4-5 years,” he explains. “I take a little bit of consolation in the fact that most people must be looking at the £5 catalog price point and saying if they move to £4 they will need a third more volume just to stand still.”

Unofficial estimates suggest that if December retail sales match those of 2005, the U.K. business will see a sell-through volume of about 222 million units. The problem is that the overall value of those sales has fallen roughly 7% thanks to the proliferation of cheap chart releases.

Most distributors and specialist retailers seem at a loss as to what to do to counter the plummeting prices. Some point to the proliferation of giveaway DVDs attached to newspapers as a contributing factor,

[so the studios and other copyright owners selling stuff to magazines cheap enough so they can give it free to consumers. so what we have here? it is called competition my friends, competition. retailers have to compete. finally. thanks god.]

saying that it sends consumers the message that DVDs are virtually free.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which will release “Casino Royale” next year on DVD, is rumored to be contemplating a particularly high dealer price for the hugely successful Bond movie in a bid to combat price-cutting.

But, for many in the industry, the major issue facing the business is still piracy. Seasoned observers note that the issue has become much worse with the virtual elimination of the independent rental dealer, who provided the eyes and ears at local level in the fight against intellectual property theft.

“We feel abandoned,” said John Worthington, owner of a rental store in Deal, Kent. “On the real frontline, the next person through your door could be someone telling us we are unemployed.”

[John, try to compete. not only with pirates but with other retailers as well. Others can do it, You can do it. see how independent bookstores are doing it: ]

Creative Industries minister Shaun Woodward told the British Video Assn. recently that more enforcement officers was not the answer and that the movie business had to tackle the problem on a global scale. “If you only look at it in the context of the U.K., you won’t achieve the solution you want,” he told the association’s recent general meeting.

Responded BVA director general Lavinia Carey: “Enforcement is the key for us and if we could see a lead coming from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in trying to reinvigorate the creative industries’ Intellectual Property Rights focus group or forum as it was then I think that would be extremely welcome.”

The studios are moving to help themselves, however, with sources suggesting that Warner is leading a group of distributors who wish to significantly increase the financial commitment to fighting piracy. They argue that the losses justify the investment.

[Everyone is whining when the status quo is upset by competing distribution channels. Get used to it and be competitive.]

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia – News In English

(AGI) – Rome, Dec. 30 – Computers, CD burners, cases, covers and labels ready to be printed, plus a very up-to-date archive, both on the computer and in paper version, from which customers could choose the DVDs, CDs or the PC program preferred from among thousands just put on the market. It was a bona fide “pirate” recording centre discovered by the financial police of the provincial command in an apartment on via Prenestina, not far from Porta Maggiore. Six have been arrested (3 Italians and 3 Senegalese), 20 reported, 20,000 DVDs and over 10,000 CDs sequestered. All of this was part of the operation “Roma Plus”, which was participated in by civil servants of the IFPI anti-piracy enforcement (International federation of phonographic industry) who came down for the purpose form Great Britain. The “mastermind” behind the organization was an 39-yr-old Italo-American, S.G., who owned the illegal workshop, and who daily supplied the illegal sellers with goods by using his scooter. Most of the sellers were non-Europeans who with the Christmas season coming up had to deal with a high-than-average demand. The favourite selling spots were the roads around the university and the main shopping streets. The offer was very wide-ranging (“and the quality excellent” admitted the police): among the material sequestered were, among others, 6,000 copies of the film “Commediasexy” ready to be sold, with 1,000 others to be assembled, hundreds of copies of “Natale a New York” and “Ole'”, thousands of disks which are already in the top places of the hit parade but also multimedia encyclopaedias, design and architecture software, antivirus and videogames which are very popular among those in university. (AGI) .

Copyright vow going down the YouTube | FT business | The Australian

YOUTUBE’S failure to complete a key piece of anti-piracy software as promised could represent a serious obstacle to efforts by Google, its new owner, to forge closer relations with the media and entertainment industry.

The video website, the internet sensation of 2006, promised in September the software would be ready by the end of the year. Known as a content identification system, the technology is meant to make it possible to track down copyrighted music or video on YouTube, making it the first line of defence against piracy on the wildly popular website.

YouTube’s offices were closed for the New Year holidays. While providing no further details about when the system would be made formally available, it said tests of the system had been under way with some media companies since October 2005 and the system remained on track.

Mike McGuire, a digital media analyst at Gartner, said there was likely to be little patience for missed deadlines.

“The technology industry really has to start living up to the media industry’s expectations,” Mr McGuire said.

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” tallied first-week sales of 10.5 million units, according to the studio, making it the biggest home video debut of any new release this year.

The sequel, also the top box office earner of 2006, shot to No. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart for the week ending December 10, and its draft pulled the original “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” back up to No. 9 a full three years after it was released.

It is despite of or because of file-sharing? POTC was number 1 on p2p networks as well.

Interfax China:

Shanghai. December 19. INTERFAX-CHINA – Shanghai Push Sound Music & Entertainment Co. Ltd. won a case against Kuro, a mainland operator of peer-to-peer software, setting a legal precedent in China, Shanghai Push’s lawyer said.

“This is a milestone in the online copyright field,” Rong Chao, who represented Shanghai Push, said. “The judge’s ruling didn’t solely rely on the central servers the company keeps, rather the judge made full consideration of the intentions of the company. The key point is that the copyright infringement was organized – the company charged money and its activity could be defined as active inducement.”

However, Rong didn’t think any cases against individual users would be filed. “Individual users conducted direct copyright infringement, but due to state policy and other reasons, I don’t think it’s smart to file lawsuits against individuals.”

Index – Tech:

A szervert lefoglalták, az üzemeltetőt feljelentették, házkutatást tartottak nála és kihallgatták, majd amikor az eljárás bűncselekmény hiányában megszűnt, pótmagánvádat is beterjesztettek ellene. De a ProArt teljes jogi arzenálja sem volt elég a Diablo Hub nevű fájlcsereközpont kiiktatására, az ügy a hangzatos nyilatkozatok ellenére a vádemelésig sem jutott el. Az ország egyik legnagyobb fájlcserélője most rágalmazás és hamis tanúzás miatt ellenperelné a szerzői jogvédő ernyőszervezetet.

 Computer Business Review:

According to the UK research, nearly one third of eight to 13 year olds are sharing songs on their mobiles via the Bluetooth wireless feature, but without the consent of copyright holders.

Out of the 1,500 children surveyed, 45% said that while they didn’t currently share music, they would like to in the future.

The Register:

The leading DRM digital download service, Apple’s iTunes, has experienced a collapse in sales revenues this year according to analyst company Forrester Research.

While the iTunes service saw healthy growth for much of the period, since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 per cent, with the average transaction size falling 17 per cent. The previous spring’s rebound wasn’t repeated this year.

Forrester revealed some fascinating details about iTunes purchasing habits. Some 3.2 per cent of online households (around 60 per cent of the wider population) bought at least one download, and these dabblers made on average 5.6 transactions, with the median household making just three a year. The median transaction was slightly under $3.

“iTunes sales are not cutting into CD sales,” he elaborated to us, “they’re an incremental purchase at best.

“There’s a problem here. CD sales have fallen 20 per cent over five years. The message here is not that CD sales are coming back, the ability to obtain pirated music is now so widespread the DRM looks to consumers more like a problem than a benefit.”

Forrester and Nielsen’s figures merely confirm that what the industry is losing in falling CD sales, it isn’t gaining in DRM downloads.


Wikia Inc. plans to offer a free online application hosting service in the near future, but has no idea how it will make money from it.

Set up by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in 2004, Wikia’s goal is to encourage the sharing of information. It hosts Web sites for free, using wiki software to let its customers and their readers edit the sites freely. Wikia asks its customers to share their content under a variety of Creative Commons or GNU licenses.

“Open source was the beginning. Free culture is what’s happening next,” Wikia CEO Gil Penchina said Monday, announcing the company’s plans at the Le Web 3 conference in Paris on the future of social media.

Musicians Oppose Media Consolidation: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance:

Radio consolidation is shrinking playlists and creating a homogenized musical landscape, several singers and songwriters told the Federal Communication Commission on Monday. “Big radio is bad radio,” Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America, told FCC commissioners in the second of six public meetings nationwide. “You can drive I-40 from Knoxville to Barstow, California, and hear the same 20 songs on every country radio station.”

IGN: RIAA Petitions Judges to Lower Artist Royalties:

“Mechanical royalties currently are out of whack with historical and international rates,” RIAA executive VP and General Counsel Steven Marks said. “We hope the judges will restore the proper balance by reducing the rate and moving to a more flexible percentage rate structure so that record companies can continue to create the sound recordings that drive revenues for music publishers.”

Now this sounds very much like RIAA wants to keep the artists on leash. Not only they have lost their grip on the production and distribution segment, they are now in heavy competition with other sources of revenues, that endanger their ability to control artists. Strange tactics, that is for sure.
The story was /.-ted, there the comments were heavily in favor of the artists and against RIAA. This is a signal that those, who do not condemn p2p networks (i guess the slashdot crowd is more on the p2p side) are not automatically against the artists, they are against the music industry. / World / International economy – Universal, MySpace set for landmark battle:

The legal battle brewing between Universal Music and MySpace could shape the broader commercial relationship between traditional media companies and a new generation of internet start-ups that rely on them for content.

Mr Zittrain said that the DMCA probably favoured the user-generated sites but that their case was hardly airtight.

“If I had to place a bet, I think they would probably pull it off. But there is plenty of room for a judge to rule on the equities,” he said.

Content companies could also be bolstered by the Supreme Court’s ruling last year against Grokster, an online file-sharing service.

Germany slaps cap on fines for illegal music downloads:

Berlin – Music company lawyers who impose huge fines for illegal music downloads are to face a cap of 50 euros (64 dollars) per case in Germany, the government in Berlin announced Friday. ‘The limitation for the first warning letter from a lawyer ensures that we don’t exaggerate in punishing copyright breaches,’ said Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries. The maximum applies to those who download music without intending to resell it. German teenagers have been keen users of online sites offering MP3 music files, many of them illegally copied. To fine the downloaders, the music industry has been using a provision of German law that allows lawyers to force wrongdoers to write apologies, and then to pay the law firm’s entire bill. In future, the law firms would only be able to charge members of the public 50 euros per incident for this service. Announcing draft legislation, Zypries said it would also increase powers to prevent product piracy, enabling German customs agents to rapidly destroy counterfeit goods that imitate famous brands.

I wonder who pays who…

Google Reaches Copyright Deal With Belgians – New York Times:

Google, the world’s most-used Internet search engine, reached a settlement with Belgian photographers and journalists yesterday in a copyright dispute over how Google’s news service links to newspaper content.

“We reached an agreement with Sofam and Scam that will help us make extensive use of their content,” Jessica Powell, a spokeswoman for Google, said in a phone interview yesterday. She declined to give details of the agreement or say whether it involved paying the groups for the content, and declined to say whether Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., was considering similar accords with the newspapers.

AGORAVOX – The Citizen Media:

Sony’s Grouper application gives users a way to share music videos with each other and, in entertainment and software cartel parlance, that’s a criminal offence not even second to murder and rape.

The people who run Sony are “criminals” and “thieves,” says Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, to all intents and purposes.

“In a filing with the U.S District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Grouper denied the copyright-infringement allegations and said Universal was using the lawsuit to boost a rival video-sharing site in which it has a stake,” says Reuters, going on:

“Universal, owned by French media group Vivendi and the world’s largest music company, has been leading an aggressive drive to get paid for all uses of its works on new digital services over the Internet.”

Newswire / Press Release: GetByMail Releases New Remote Access and File Sharing Version GetByMail 1.5 – Software | NewswireToday:

Using GetByMail you can stay at home and have access to your office computer and vice versa simply through your e-mail account. You can get remote directory listings and tree view, download/upload files and directories, perform change dir, make dir, rename and delete operations, capture remote computer desktop screens, run remote applications, shutdown, reboot and logoff remote computer. During download/upload operations files and directories are automatically compressed and split into small pieces to assure reliable transmission. GetByMail gives you a unique ability to share files on your computer with other people simply through e-mail. It is an excellent solution if you want to share files with people who do not have access to FTP, P2P or are behind firewalls. With a help of GetByMail you can get through the firewall without any hassle. GetByMail only requires a unique e-mail address for every PC where the program is installed. No complex network configuration, no dedicated IP and no additional FTP software are required. Most popular Internet E-mail (POP3/IMAP/SMTP) and Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail configurations are supported.

Nokia Launches a Solution to Fight the “Bit Pipe” Challenge: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance:

To help mobile operators better manage their data traffic, Nokia  is introducing a network solution that lets operators control the use of network resources by bandwidth hungry applications such as file sharing and Voice over IP telephony — giving operators the tools to maintain better control over their networks.

The Nokia Peer-to-peer Traffic Control is the industry’s first integrated solution to allow mobile operators to profitably manage the bandwidth available for peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, and thus balance the allocation of network resources. The centralized solution is implemented as a software upgrade to the Nokia Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN) and will be commercially available during the first half of 2007.

AMAZON NOIR ~ The Big Book Crime:

Amazon Noir – The Big Book Crime – Out of court settlement UBERMORGEN.COM, PAOLO CIRIO, ALESSANDRO LUDOVICO The Bad Guys (The Amazon Noir Crew: Cirio, Lizvlx, Ludovico, Bernhard) stole copyrighted books from Amazon by using sophisticated robot-perversion technology coded by supervillain Paolo Cirio. A subliminal media fight and a covert legal dispute escalated into an online showdown withthe heist of over 3000 books at the center of the story. Lizvlx from UBERMORGEN.COM had daily shoot outs with the global mass- media,Cirio continuousely pushed the boundaries of copyright (books are just pixels on a screen or just ink on paper), Ludovico and Bernhard resisted kickback- bribes from powerful until they finally gave in and sold the technology for an undisclosed sum to Amazon. Betrayal, blasphemy and pessimism finally split the gang of bad guys. The good guys ( won the showdown and drove off into the blistering sun with the beautiful femme fatale, the seductive and erotic massmedia.

File-sharing defendant says Kazaa has him covered:

As the RIAA-shepherded file-sharing lawsuits wend their way through the courts, we have seen defendants utilizing a handful of different strategies as they fight back. A novel defense comes courtesy of Arista v. Greubel, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. David Greubel argues that even if is found liable for copyright infringement, Arista and the other record labels are barred from recovering any damages because the of the Kazaa settlement. In his first affirmative defense to Arista’s complaint, Greubel says that the RIAA has been “fully satisfied for any liability and damages” due to his alleged conduct because of its settlement with Sharman Networks. Since the RIAA held Kazaa’s parent company liable for the infringement of Kazaa users, Greubel argues, the cartel has been fully compensated for whatever harm Greubel may have done.

The Pine Log Online:

In a recent nationwide survey conducted by the Business Week Research Services, 86 percent of the managers and supervisors involved considered job applicants’ downloading and file-sharing activity when making hiring decisions. In fact, just over 60 percent of hiring managers and supervisors say the employee would be fired (18 percent). 14 percent of hiring managers and 16 of supervisors report the person would be put on probation.

The Register:

Twenty-two people were convicted of internet piracy in Finland last week.
A judge in Turku ordered them to pay fines and more than €420,000 in damages for copyright offences – about €19,000 each.
All 22, some of whom are still under the age of 18, were operators or administrators of Finnish BitTorrent tracker Finreactor.
In its ruling, the court said the administrators had intentionally created the service to violate copyright law. The court rejected the defendants’ claim that as operators of the service they were not responsible for the infringement since the content was transferred directly between the users and no infringing content was either stored or transferred through the tracker.

The court argued that the service should be seen as a whole and the convicted defendants “were directly and essentially involved in the infringing activities”.

Fox to sell films in China to help reduce piracy – Los Angeles Times:

News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox film group will sell movies in China through an agreement with Zoke Culture Group, the largest video distributor there, to help cut down on DVD piracy.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will start selling videos including “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” and films such as “X-Men: The Last Stand” this month with Zoke, the News Corp. unit said Monday.

Moviemakers such as Fox are trying to recoup some of the $1.2 billion that the Motion Picture Assn. of America estimates its members, the world’s six largest studios, lost in Asian sales last year because of piracy. Time Warner Inc. in September said it might sell movies on DVDs in China when they were released in U.S. theaters to discourage illegal copying.

via  Hardware 2.0 |

Speaking last week at the Digital Home Developers Conference, Brad Hunt, the executive vice president and chief technology officer for the MPAA, conceded that many people are frustrated at having to buy multiple copies of the same content to use on different devices and that this is driving them to piracy.

“I understand that if we frustrate the consumer, they will simply pirate the content,” he said. “The issue we face today is that consumers are buying content that uses specific DRM and that, in turn, is gradually creating a world of separate DRM systems.”

Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | 

“Under UK copyright law,” says Ben White, copyright and compliance manager at the British Library, “we are unable to copy for preservation purposes film or sound material that sits in our permanent collection.” A further complication is the fact that about 10% of the archive, which includes more than a million discs and 185,000 tapes, is unpublished. Much of that is known as orphan works – pieces whose owners are unknown. We know who owns When I’m 64, but who owns the archive’s recording of Nelson Mandela’s speech at the Rivonia trial?

“We think the extra 45 years is very important,” Richard Mollet, director of public affairs for the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the industry’s trade association says, calling the 1950s a “big bang moment” for the world impact of British music. “Copyrights are the asset bases of British record companies. If we enhance the asset base, we can go on to make other, more exciting entrepreneurial investment decisions. If we increase the length of the term, we increase the value of these assets. We think they should remain in British ownership, because that’s where they came from.”

Industry people often use the phrase “the Beatles extension” because the first Beatles recordings, owned by EMI – which has called for term extension in evidence submitted to the EU and the UK – will come out of copyright in 2012. When I’m 64 is 39 years old.

Much of the Beatles’ catalogue was sold to Michael Jackson, who outbid McCartney for the publishing rights in 1985 and has since sold them to Sony Records. McCartney has to pay royalties to sing many of his own songs. There are plenty of other, less famous musicians whose recordings are out of print yet locked in the ownership of someone who refuses to release them.

“Locked” is, however, a fighting word to Mollet: “We falsely hear it said that copyright equals locked up.” Not so, he insists: “It’s allowing companies to make available their back catalogues.”

Nonetheless, even without term extension, Glenn Gould’s 1955 performance – now out of copyright -of Bach’s Goldberg Variations is still available; it was recently reissued by Sony. And there are no industry figures for what proportion of revenue comes from old material.

“The cultural institutions are quite correctly identifying that they have film or recording stock that’s rotting away because of cost and, in some cases, ambiguity around whether it would be within the law to make preservation copies of that work,” says Paula le Dieu, managing director of the new media company Magic Lantern and former head of the BBC’s Creative Archive. “But they need to continuously be thinking about what the next problem is that they face: having made those digital copies, what access are they going to provide for the public?”

After all, she says, “a vast, vast collection of British cultural heritage is locked away on dusty shelves, of no apparent value or not enough value that people have been prepared to make even the most basic preservation efforts with that material, and why can’t the public access that material? Preservation is not enough.”

via MarketWatch:

On May 24, lawyers for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures convinced a federal judge in San Francisco to issue a subpoena requiring YouTube to turn over details about a user who uploaded dialog from the movie studio’s “Twin Towers,” according to a copy of the document.

YouTube promptly handed over the data to Paramount, which on June 16 sued the creator of the 12-minute clip, New York City-based filmmaker Chris Moukarbel, for copyright infringement, in federal court in Washington.

That YouTube chose to turn over the data, rather than simply remove the offending video from its site — as it did Friday when it agreed to take down 30,000 videos at the request of a group of Japanese media companies — came as a surprise to copyright experts.

Slyck News – iPod Sales help Apple Soar:

Today Apple is a premier technology firm. But don’t thank the Mac, at least not entirely. According to Apple’s financial report from last quarter, the company sold over 8.7 million iPods in the last quarter. Mac sales were also impressive, with a record 1.6 million units sold. Total revenue generated by the iPod equaled $1.6 billion, while the Macs made up the difference with over $2.2 billion in sales. What about the left over billion?

iTunes continued to played a small role in Apple’s revenue with about $452 million in sales. This represents a substantial increase of 70% from the same quarter in 2005, but is actually a drop of 1% from the 3rd quarter of this year. It’s clear from Apple’s financial report that the iTunes music store is no where near the money maker that the iPod or Mac represent. Although $452 million is hardly a number to dismiss, iPod’s dominance in the market is powered by factors other than Tunes.

In Era of Blockbuster Books, One Publisher Rolls the Dice –

Mr. Sterling says he agrees that book publishing, for all its planning, remains a roll of the dice. “I still marvel that despite everything we do, we just don’t know,” he says. “It’s the wonderful thing and the agonizing thing about the business.” On Sept. 20, when the bad news about Mr. Rubenfeld’s book was coming over the transom, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave a speech to the United Nations. He held up a copy of Noam Chomsky’s “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance” and praised the book, which shot up the Amazon best-seller list, prompting the printing of an additional 50,000 copies to meet demand. Mr. Chomsky’s publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

and some replies to the article

I’ve been hearing the “publishing is becoming a winner-take-all sweepstakes” riff since I started working in the industry. It’s not true, and it’s not becoming true. I suspect it’s generated by lazy news departments that can’t be bothered to take notice of books that aren’t blockbusters, and from this conclude that blockbusters are all that matters in publishing.

Bestsellers aren’t the whole of publishing. Every year, we publish a great many okaysellers. You guys buy them because they look interesting, or because a friend has recommended them, or because you liked another book by that author. Marketing push only goes so far.

Free-for-all over Russian music site – Print Version – International Herald Tribune:

Free-for-all over Russian music site By Thomas Crampton International Herald Tribune WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2006 PARIS A Moscow-based Web site that the U.S. Commerce Department has branded as the world’s highest- volume online seller of pirated music announced plans Tuesday to release hundreds of thousands of albums free. Low prices and ease of use have made AllofMP3 a consumer favorite among music download sites, but the site – which claims to operate legally under Russian copyright law – faces continuing legal battles with the music industry and harsh criticism from the U.S. government. On Tuesday, the credit card company Visa International said it had suspended card service to the site, citing concerns over copyright issues. The U.S. trade representative, Susan Schwab, has warned that continued operation of the site signals a lack of respect for intellectual property law that could jeopardize Russia’s long-sought entry into the World Trade Organization. The company, which lists no telephone number on its Web site and normally declines all comment, undertook a rare public relations offensive Tuesday. Vadim Mamotin, director general of the site’s parent company, Mediaservices, spoke through a translator during an interview by telephone with the International Herald Tribune and then participated in an online chat with 59 journalists. Defiant, Mamotin maintained that the company operated legally under Russian law. “In six years of operation we have never been convicted by a Russian court or declared illegal,” Mamotin said, speaking through the translator. “Under Russian law we are 100 percent legal.” The site, which claims five million subscribers and a growth rate of 5,000 a day, remunerates artists by paying 15 percent of its revenue to a collecting agency, the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society, or ROMS by its initials in Russian, Mamotin said.

Wallflower at the Web Party – New York Times:

JONATHAN ABRAMS was in a spot. He could take the safe bet and accept the $30 million that Google was offering him for Friendster, the social networking Web start-up he began only a year earlier, in 2002. Saying yes to Google would provide a quick and stunning payout for relatively little work and instantly place the Friendster Web site in front of hundreds of millions of users across the globe.

Rolling Stone : Wal-Mart Wants $10 CDs:

Getting Wal-Mart excited about carrying a record is at the top of every label’s to-do list, but it’s harder than it sounds. There is an immense cultural chasm between slick industry executives and Severson’s team of three music buyers at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Only one of the three had ever worked in music retailing — until that person moved to a new division in August and was replaced by someone who previously bought Wal-Mart’s salty snacks. – Why YouTube won’t be Napster redux:

Given these changes, what is the likelihood that a new licensed P2P model will come to the fore in the near future? Better than you might think.

There are several such initiatives currently underway, the most advanced of which appears to be Noank. The brainchild of Terry Fisher, a Harvard law professor, the system is billed as a “digital media exchange” and is expected to launch in China sometime next year. Once operational, it will enable ten million Chinese university students to freely download music and movies with no technological restrictions. The service will be funded by a mandatory student fee (similar to a student activity fee), with 85 per cent of the proceeds distributed to participating artists and content owners. Fisher estimatesc that the service will generate $200 million (U.S.) per year from these fees alone, with additional advertising revenue possibly doubling that figure.


The Jobs interview, which marked the fifth anniversary of iPod, revealed that the Apple co-founder claims that if you charge the market a price it will accept for music, users will forgo illegal downloads and pay iTunes to download tracks.

What Jobs didn’t say, however, is that the strategy only works up to a point. Of the hundreds and sometimes thousands of tracks that each iPod owner has on his or her player, on average only 20 to 25 were bought through iTunes.

The Future of Music: New Artist Model at Work:

Barenaked Ladies grossed $978,127.99 in revenue from intellectual property in its first week music sales from their new album, Barenaked Ladies Are Free (Desperation Records/Nettwerk Music Group). Understanding this sales figure requires looking beyond the numbers on the charts, according to Terry McBride, band manager and CEO of the Nettwerk Music. McBride notes BNL released their album on their own artist-run label, Desperation Records, in multiple formats, from physical CDs to digital albums, deluxe editions, USB flash drives, ring tones, multi-tracks for remixing, streams, etc.

Inside Google Book Search:

So without further ado, here’s our list of most-viewed English language books supplied by our publisher partners for the week of September 17th through 23rd:

  • Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers
  • Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms
  • Measuring and Controlling Interest Rate and Credit Risk
  • Ultimate Healing: The Power of Compassion
  • The Holy Qur’an
  • Peterson’s Study Abroad 2006
  • Hegemony Or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance
  • Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage
  • Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense
  • Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot
  • As books go online, publishers run for cover – Technology – International Herald Tribune:

    “We are facing all the same risks as the music industry,” said Olaf Ernst, worldwide director of e-books for Springer, a German scientific publisher. “But if our reaction is like theirs was, we will have problems.”

    De Kemp said that in time, new techniques for restricting access to copyrighted books – like dicing a single work into many PDF files and using digital watermarks – could solve this problem.

    while from its competitors google:

     has asked for a list of all the books available through their rivals’ online book projects now, and what books will be added to their digital stacks through 2010.

    It also wants to see a showing of a legal right to scan each book, and the digital rights management process used to secure the book from copyright abuses.
    Google also wants to see documents about any disputes the companies have had with The Authors Guild with respect to their book projects.

    From, Google also wants to know the effect its book project has on Amazon’s book sales. (MarketWatch)

    the whole lawsuuit of authors against googloe seems irrelevant:

    “Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers,” said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press.

    She declined to provide specific figures, but said that sales growth has been “significant”. Scollans estimated that 1 million customers have viewed 12,000 Oxford titles using the Google program.

    Specialty publisher Springer Science + Business reported sales growth of its backlist catalog using Google Book Search, with 99 percent of the 30,000 titles it has in the program getting viewed, including many published before 1992.

    “We suspect that Google really helps us sell more books,” said Kim Zwollo, Springer’s global director of special licensing, declining to provide specific figures because the company is privately owned.

    “Our experience has been that the revenue generated from Google has been pretty modest, whereas the Amazon program has generated more book sales,” Penguin Chief Executive John Makinson told Reuters at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week.’s search tool also allows users to scan the contents of books and browse sample pages. For Penguin’s books included in the U.S. “Search Inside” program, sales have increased by 7 percent.

    Historical warfare publisher Osprey is reaping the benefits of using both Google and Amazon to boost sales.

    “When we looked at the first six months of stats, we saw that 30 percent of Google Book Search clicks went directly to our site, while roughly 40 percent went to Amazon,” said William Shepherd, Osprey’s managing director.

    “Our sales through the Web are steadily increasing in proportion to our total sales, and we’re confident that Google Book Search will accelerate this growth.”

    Walter de Gruyter/Mouton-De Gruyter, a German publisher, said its encyclopaedia of fairy tales has been viewed 471 times since appearing in the program, with 44 percent of them clicking on the “buy this book” Google link.

    One of its many scientific titles, “Principles of Visual Anthropology”, has seen about one-quarter of the 1,206 views click on “buy this book”.

    Arty coffee-table book publisher teNeues said its online sales have doubled over the past year, attributable primarily to a fresh marketing campaign and inclusion in Google’s book search, Chief Executive Hendrik teNeues said.  (reuters)

    This goes back to my samling argument, that by providing pre-purchase sampling possibility to customers you can lower the entry barrier for buying as you lower risks associated with buying. But still, the data are pretty impressing…

    Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Amie Street Takes Innovative Music Model Into Beta:

    DRM-free music marketplace Amie Street is announcing its beta launch this morning. (Note: it looks like it’s having traffic issues today, but it is coming up if you’re patient.) We wrote about the company’s alpha launch and interesting demand-driven pricing model here in July. Songs uploaded by artists fluctuate in price according to demand over time. Users get recommendation tokens for each dollar they put into the system and get free credits if the songs they recommend rise in price. Artists receive 70% of sales proceeds. The company is angel funded, with one of the most notable angels being Robin Richards of fame.

    NewsFactor Network:

    Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record company, recently accused YouTube of being a serial copyright infringer. Universal CEO Doug Morris said as much during a Merrill Lynch investors’ conference speech last month. “The poster child for [user-generated media] sites are MySpace and YouTube,” said Morris, according to publicly released transcripts of the closed-door meeting. “We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars.”

    Congress looks at P2P in academia:

    College students: while they excel at both binge drinking and mumps-spreading, they’re also voracious media consumers. Like the python which can distend itself to eat an entire deer, college students show an almost unlimited appetite for music and movies, so much so that they are Public Enemy no. 1 on the entertainment industry’s Most Wanted poster.

    Skype’s Venice Project Revealed:

    Skype’s Venice Project Revealed The company is combining professionally produced TV and videos with the Internet, and got the first look

    The existence of the project was first reported on by in July (see, 7/24/06, “Kazaa, Skype, and now ‘The Venice Project'”). has since received an exclusive demonstration of how the system works.

    To get started, users need to download a piece of software from the Web and install it on their PCs. When they boot up, the software will connect to the Web and open a full-screen window displaying “near high-definition” quality video images.

    While the software turns your PC screen into something that looks a lot like your TV, the capabilities go far beyond anything you’ll experience in your den. Jiggle your computer mouse, and a variety of tools appear along the edges of the screen, even as the video continues to play. At the bottom of the screen, there are controls like those on a DVD player, including stop, pause, and fast-forward, as well as a search window to find new videos. An image on the left includes a menu of preset channels. And on the right, there’s a set of interactive tools that let you share video playlists with friends or family. An image at the top of the screen identifies the channel and the name of the clip you’re watching. All of the images can be expanded by clicking on them with a mouse.

    Peer-to-Peer Executives Reflect on the Relevancy of Their Industry | Digital Media Wire:

    Peer-to-Peer Executives Reflect on the Relevancy of Their Industry

    Amanda Marks, EVP of Universal Music’s eLabs, set off an alarm among the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) executives in attendance this morning with her suggestion that P2P has become irrelevant. Not surprisingly, they disagreed.

    “What that really means,” said Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, “is, ‘We’re going to take P2P off the agenda. We’ve knocked out a lot of household names (in legal battles), and now we’ve got to focus on creating a lot of growth, because we’re probably not going to thwart people’s desire to pass stuff around on the Internet.’”

    The sense that the labels are hiding their anxiety by dismissing P2P companies as a threat was shared by others. All of the panelists agreed the playing field has changed, perhaps unfavorably, if you’re one of the major labels. Joey Patuleia, VP of Artist Relations with INTENT MediaWorks, said, “Very quickly, new artists are figuring out they don’t need labels.” One of the ideas behind social networking and P2P, as it relates to the artists who use it as a professional vehicle, is that anyone is empowered to promote themselves and their brand, to meet new people, and to spread their music on their own. The label is less necessary as a path to success.

    O’Reilly Radar > Oops – Only 4% of Titles Are Being Commercially Exploited:

    on November 04, 2005 In a recent post, I made the assertion that 10-20% of titles published were still in print and being commercially exploited, with another 20% clearly in the public domain, leaving approximately 60% in what I called “the twilight zone” — with no clear rights. Farhad Manjoo of Salon, who is writing a followup story, emailed me for confirmation of those numbers, and in so doing, made me realize an error in my calculations. I had taken the number supplied by the OCLC, of 10.5 million unique titles in the five libraries cooperating with the Google Print Library Project, and applied to that the recent report by Nielsen Bookscan that 1.2 million unique titles sold at least one copy in 2004, and came up with the estimate of 12% I used in that prior post, which I generously expanded to 10-20% by assuming that books that didn’t sell even one copy might still be considered “active” by some publishers. – TV Downloads May Undercut ABC Stations:

    Last Thursday morning, Apple Computer Inc. started selling an episode of the hit television series “Lost” through its iTunes Music Store for $1.99 after the show aired the night before on ABC. It marked the first time a popular show was made available for legal downloading over the Internet so quickly after its original airing. With that, Apple may have helped open a Pandora’s box for the media business. The Cupertino, Calif., company and its first TV partner — Walt Disney Co., the parent of ABC — have taken a potentially significant step in the dismantling of a decades-old system for distributing TV programming to viewers, a move that could have profound long-term consequences for broadcasters, cable systems and satellite companies if more users download shows instead of watching them the old-fashioned way.

    Apple’s deal with Disney, which also includes past and current episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” “Night Stalker” and “That’s So Raven,” is already causing waves in the TV business. On Friday, Leon Long, the president of the association representing ABC’s affiliate stations, expressed misgivings about the partnership, which was announced publicly by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Disney CEO Robert Iger at an event last Wednesday. In a letter Mr. Long sent to the president of the ABC network, Alex Wallau, Mr. Long said ABC affiliates are concerned that they weren’t given an opportunity for financial participation in a new form of distributing shows that derives value through the promotion and broadcasting of affiliates.

    The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, says: “It is both disappointing and unsettling that ABC would embark on a new — and competitive — network program distribution partnership without the fundamental courtesy of consultation” with its affiliates.

    Mr. Long, who runs the ABC affiliate WXON in Biloxi, Miss., didn’t return calls seeking comment. Mr. Wallau said he would respond to the affiliates this week but declined to comment further.

    For TV affiliates, Apple’s new offering “is really bad,” says Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass. “You don’t get anything. You just get a smaller audience,” he says.

    Also concerned about the Apple-Disney partnership are the unions that represent TV-show writers, producers, directors and actors. Soon after Disney and Apple’s announcement, those unions issued a joint statement saying, “We look forward to a dialogue that ensures our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work.”

    Patric Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America West, says the Apple-Disney pact would fall under current guidelines that cover video-on-demand and other forms of pay TV, which is 1.2% of the licensing fee that a production entity receives for retransmitting a TV show or movie. Apple and Disney haven’t said how they’re splitting the revenue from the $1.99 sale of TV episodes.

    It’s unlikely Apple will cause a meaningful diversion of viewers from traditional TV in the near term. For now, it offers less than a half-dozen TV series from Disney through iTunes. Shows can take more than an hour to download if users don’t have the speediest Internet connection. And the video quality is inferior if displayed on a large television, though the picture looks better on a computer or one of Apple’s new video-capable iPod portable players.

    But the partnership with Disney may be merely a first step for Apple, which said it expects to offer more TV shows. If downloading episodes over the Internet proves popular, analysts believe Apple will get permission to offer shows with better-fidelity pictures. Any success Apple has won’t go unnoticed by other online media powerhouses with expanding video initiatives like Yahoo Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which could all help extend TV downloading to more viewers.



     Page One: Comcast Builds a Mini Internet1
     Video Comes to the iPod2

    The Disney deal with Apple is part of a whirl of efforts at all major media companies to explore new means of distributing TV shows. Live broadcasts of news channels like MSNBC are now available on cellular phones. Programmers typically make hit shows available on DVD within a year after the episodes have aired on a network.

    On cable networks, there’s a growing selection of TV shows available through video-on-demand, though hit shows aren’t typically available for on-demand viewing as quickly as iTunes is putting Disney programming on the Internet. Cable giant Comcast Corp., for instance, has been trying for some time to strike a similar deal with Disney to offer “Desperate Housewives” on video-on-demand soon after it airs on the network. These talks haven’t advanced to a serious level because Comcast generally prefers to get content for video-on-demand free of charge, which it typically offers at no additional charge to subscribers beyond their regular monthly cable bills.

    The technologies are all part of the slow death of “appointment viewing,” the mantra networks lived by for decades as they sought to habituate viewers to watching shows at one time on one outlet. The growth of TiVo and other personal video recorders that make it easy for viewers to record shows and watch them when they like, while skipping through commercials, helped undermine the networks’ control over viewing habits.

    If Apple is able to assemble enough top-notch TV programming for iTunes, it could prove vexing to cable operators like Comcast. In the past, cable operators have faced pressure by politicians and consumer groups to offer individual channels “a la carte,” rather than forcing all subscribers to pay for large packages of programming that most don’t watch in their entirety.

    Apple is, in effect, giving consumers the opportunity to cherry-pick programs for $1.99 each, though analysts expect it will be years before Internet companies represent a viable alternative to cable TV. On the other hand, the iTunes video offerings could help boost demand for the high-speed cable Internet connections supplied by Comcast and others.

    TV advertisers, too, could someday be forced to adapt if Internet downloading of shows takes off, since the programs Apple is selling are commercial-free. Advertisers typically pay fees based on the size of TV audiences; if audiences shrink, they pay less. The Apple deal “is part of the changed world that we are living in,” says Peter Gardiner, a media executive at Interpublic Group’s Deutsch ad agency. “This is about finding news ways to distribute content and it’s up to us to find new ways to advertise.”

    BBC NEWS | Entertainment | File-sharing ‘not cut by courts’:

    Global court action against music file-sharers has not reduced illegal downloading, an industry report says. The level of file-sharing has remained the same for two years despite 20,000 legal cases in 17 countries. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) said it was “containing” the problem and more people were connecting to broadband. The global music industry trade body said sales of legal downloads were worth more than $1bn (£570m) in 2005. That is up from $380m (£215m) in 2004, with “significant further growth” predicted this year. DIGITAL MUSIC: STATE OF THE INDUSTRY Legal download sales pass $1bn a year A library of two million songs legally available 420 million singles downloaded in 2005 19,400 people sued for illegal song-swapping to date 335 legal online music services available 35% of illegal file-sharers have cut back* 14% of illegal file sharers have increased activity* One in three illegal file-sharers buy less music* *Jupiter survey of 3,000 people in UK, Germany and Spain Download stores now offer two million songs – double the number available a year ago – and the total number of legal downloads shot up to 420 million in 2005. IFPI chairman John Kennedy said the industry was “winning the war but we haven’t won the war” against piracy.

    In this series i collect various market data and researches that deal with the effect of file-sharing on the markets. Our first is a research from 2000:

    Wired News: Napster’s Good? Bad? Er, What…?:

    The study, compiled by the Yankelovich Partners, surveyed 16,000 Americans between the ages of 13 and 39 who say they listen to more than 10 hours of music a week and have spent at least $25 on music in the past six months. Among the findings: 59 percent of those who said they heard a certain piece of music for the first time while online ended up purchasing that music as a CD.


    In the midst of an explosion in digital music sales, and a flourishing new music scene, industry executives are lobbying the UK government to extend protection for sound recordings from 50 years to 95.

    This, they say, would protect existing revenue streams that bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones provide.

    The argument for the extension of copyright is often presented as win-win situation for all. If we do not extend copyright, then the Beatles’ sound recordings could be packaged and released by anybody, and the recording artists would not receive any money from future sales of the songs they recorded and made popular.

    The debate surrounding whether it is right or wrong to increase copyright term is often presented as a choice between all or nothing: either continue to protect the Beatles’ songs or give them away for nothing, and allow artists to be ripped off and the music industry to suffer.

    But this false polarisation is not very helpful. The majority of works produced in the 50s and 60s are no longer of any commercial value. Many are out of circulation and unavailable to would be listeners.

    Opportunities offered by the internet and digital distribution could allow niche providers to re-package and re-distribute old recordings, bringing previously ‘lost’ creative content to contemporary ears.

    If you walk into a bookshop you can buy a copy of Dickens’ Bleak House, or Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for about £1.50. The copyright in these works has long expired so different publishers can compete to offer them at lower prices. Consumers have benefited from the works being out of protection.

    So perhaps the expiration of copyright in sound recordings for the Beatles should not be seen as the end of music. Instead it could be the end of an era, perhaps.

    It arrives at the start of new careers for new artists producing new and exciting music.

    From the BL website:

    “The current stand-off on IP threatens innovation, research and our digital heritage” – Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive, British Library

    As the Library prepares for legal deposit of digital items we are discovering that DRMs can pose a real, technical threat to our ability to conserve and give access to the nation’s creative output now and in the future. Contracts can also prevent users’ legitimate access to databases. In fact, twenty eight out of thirty licences offered to the British Library and selected randomly were found to be more restrictive than rights that currently exist within copyright law. It is of concern that, unchecked, this trend will drastically undermine public access, thus significantly undermining the strength and vitality of our creative and education sectors.

    1 Digital is not different – Fair dealing access and library privilege should apply to the digital world as is the case in the analogue one.

    2 Contracts and DRM – New, potentially restricting technologies (such as DRMs /TPMs) and contracts issued with digital works should not exceed the statutory exceptions for fair dealing access allowed for in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

    3 Archiving – Libraries should be allowed to make copies of sound (and film) recordings to ensure they can be preserved for posterity in the future.

    4 Term of copyright – The copyright term for sound recording rights should not be extended without empirical evidence and the needs of society as a whole being borne in mind.

    5 Orphan works – The US model of dealing with orphan works should be considered for the UK.

    6 Unpublished works – The length of copyright term for unpublished works should be retrospectively brought in line with other terms – life plus 70 years. reports:

    A San Francisco-based company figures it’s found a way for film fans to edit copyrighted movies —– without being sued.

    How does it work?

    Cutlists are “virtual edits separated from the content itself” and with them, “users can share their creations over the Internet,” says Cuts. “The cutlists then act like a virtual remote control, automatically skipping, stopping, muting or playing comments created by the ‘Cut-Maker.’

    “Cutlists work with DVDs and multiple download video formats including Protected WMV files and even video purchased from iTunes.”

    Recording Industry vs The People sais:

    In Arista v. Lime Wire, in Manhattan federal court, Lime Wire has filed its answer and interposed counterclaims against the RIAA for antitrust violations, consumer fraud, and other misconduct. Lime Wire alleged that the RIAA’s

    goal was simple: to destroy any online music distribution service they did not own or control, or force such services to do business with them on exclusive and/or other anticompetitive terms so as to limit and ultimately control the distribution and pricing of digital music, all to the detriment of consumers. (Counterclaim, paragraph 26, page 18).

    Wired News: Voters Keelhaul Pirate Party:

    The Pirate Party not only failed to score the 4 percent required for a seat in Sweden’s Parliament, but appears to have missed the 1 percent that would have afforded the party state assistance with printing ballots and funding staff in the next election. Final numbers won’t be in until Wednesday the 20th, but the Pirate Party appears to be pulling .62 percent of the vote, or about 33,000 votes, according to party leader Rick Falkvinge. “This percentage may change somewhat as more districts are counted … but I don’t expect it to change to a significantly different number.”

    Christian Newswire:

    Scott R. McCausland, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and one count of criminal copyright infringement in violation of the Family Entertainment Copyright Act. His guilty plea stems from his involvement in the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) network previously known as Elite Torrents. The plea was entered before U.S. District Court Judge Sean J. McLaughlin for the Western District of Pennsylvania. McCausland, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec.12, 2006, faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.

    Index – Tech – Fájlcserélők célkeresztben:

    A honlapján közölt információk szerint a ProArt az internetet folyamatosan figyeli, és ha jogvédett anyagokra bukkan, megkeresi a szerverüzemeltetőket, megjelöli a kérdéses illegális fájlokat, majd kéri, hogy töröljék azokat vagy tegyék lehetetlenné a hozzáférésüket. “E kérésnek az üzemeltetők jelentős hányada eleget is tesz, ellenkező esetben az üzemeltetővel szemben is jogi eljárás kezdődhet.” – áll a ProArt honlapján.

    A gyakorlatban azonban ez a fajta “jogvédelem” egészen máshogy működik – állítja dr. Dallos Zsolt ügyvéd, az Elite DC Hub nevű népszerű magyar fájlcserélő rendszer üzemeltetőinek jogi képviselője. A ProArt meg sem próbálta megkeresni a szerver üzemeltetőit, a jogvédők feljelentéséről akkor értesültek, amikor 2006. február 10-én reggel 6 órakor rendőrök dörömböltek az Elite üzemeltetőjének (akit a fájlcserélő közösség Dentro néven ismer) ajtaján. Négy órával később a szerverparkban lefoglalták az Elite szerverét, és még aznap házkutatást tartottak két rendszergazdánál is, lefoglalva számítógépeiket és adathordozóikat – mint később kiderült, az akcióra a ProArt 2005. novemberi büntetőfeljelentése nyomán, ugyanakkor határozat nélkül, sürgősségi alapon került sor.

    Films That Come Over the Net Don’t Come Easy – New York Times:

    In addition to the lethargic download times, the playback restrictions imposed by studios are reminiscent of the fine print on a car lease. CinemaNow’s typical rental fees for the store’s 1,000-plus library of movies range from $2.99 for older titles to $3.99 for new releases. Offerings include most of the latest major releases, matching those you would find in a video store. You have 30 days from the date of rental to watch a movie, but once you hit the start button you have just 24 hours to watch before the rental self-destructs. If you want to download a title permanently to your hard drive, prices at CinemaNow are $9.95 to $19.95. The catch is that to adhere to Hollywood’s copyright restrictions these movies can be viewed on only three devices, all compatible with Windows Media Player, that you register with the service. You can make a backup copy of a purchase to a DVD, but that DVD will play only on the computer that was originally used to download the movie. Furthermore, not all rental movies are available for purchase — and not all movies available for purchase are available for rental.

    the rest are as pathetic as this one. combat p2p with this….

    The Korea Times : Online Music Sharing Flourishes:

    Soribada, the largest peer-to-peer music sharing service in South Korea, said yesterday the number of its paying subscribers exceeded 500,000 as of Saturday. The number of users who pay 3,000 won (3.12 USD, 671 HUF) per month for unlimited music downloads has steadily increased since the charging system was first adopted on July 10, it said. In August alone, over 300,000 have registered as new subscribers.

    New York Times reports:

    In the last few months, trade groups representing music publishers have used the threat of copyright lawsuits to shut down guitar tablature sites, where users exchange tips on how to play songs like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Highway to Hell” and thousands of others. The battle shares many similarities with the war between Napster and the music recording industry, but this time it involves free sites like, and and even discussion boards on the Google Groups service like and, where amateur musicians trade “tabs” — music notation especially for guitar — for songs they have figured out or have copied from music books. On the other side are music publishers like Sony/ATV, which holds the rights to the songs of John Mayer, and EMI, which publishes Christina Aguilera’s music. “People can get it for free on the Internet, and it’s hurting the songwriters,” said Lauren Keiser, who is president of the Music Publishers’ Association and chief executive of Carl Fischer, a music publisher in New York.

    Wired News runs an uber-interesting story on the  Secrets of the Pirate Bay:

    “The general perception is that they are doing something good … they’ve always had this image, very ideological,” says Tobias Brandel, the reporter who broke the story. If the Pirate Bay turns out to be a collection of businessmen profiting off of piracy via porn ads and online poker, it would lose popular support in the moralistic Swedish society. And if the Pirate Bay’s crew is eventually convicted of copyright crimes “they will have a much harder punishment,”

    So, the dilemma, according to Wired and the swedish journalist representing the “swedish moral (minimum) consent” is that stealing a la Robin Hood is okay, but keeping a share of the bounty is bad.

    Apart from the fact that pirating is not by definition an altruistic activity, lets think for a moment about the economics of this case.
    Providing access to “pirated” material comes with a cost. The two images show the difference:

    The first 3 servers of pirate bay

    The current configuration of 12 Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL140 servers.

    And these are only the hw costs. The costs of litigation, police raids, and eventually the inevitable conviction are much-much higher. These guys are willing to pay that price for

    The Pirate Bay’s jaunty image was blemished when a July 5 article in the Swedish daily paper Svenska Dagbladet revealed the site’s hidden financial life for the first time. Posing as an internet firm seeking advertising on the Bay, the paper phoned Eastpoint Media, which sells banner ads for the Pirate Bay in Scandinavia. Eastpoint revealed to the reporter that they place 600,000 Kr of ads per month — about $84,000 U.S.

    for an indefinite amount of (but possible not very long) time. So this is the wage of fear (Le salaire de la peur) for providing links to 3.513.240 torrent files on the net. Good to know.

    Well, i know it is a very bad title for anything but it was the shortest way to describe the content of Ken Fischer’s article on “The RIAA, IP addresses, and evidence” in which he explains the recent RIAA backdowns on some alleged pirates. The bottom line is: when it proves to be difficult to link illegal downloads to a specific person that might be behind an IP addresss RIAA chooses to walk away rather then trying to make the link. At least that was the case so far in the US.

    Inside Bay Area reports: “Digital albums sales are up 126 percent in comparison to the first six months of last year. Thus far, some 14.7 million digital albums have been sold, which is a staggering figure, given that only 16.2 million were purchased in all of 2005.”

    Darn! I was working on a very sophisticated argument based on the assumption that people prefer single tract to whole albums.

    The Register reports”A Dutch appeals court has thwarted attempts by the Dutch anti-piracy organisation BREIN to get the identities of file-sharers from five ISPs, including Wanadoo and Tiscali. The court found that the manner in which IP addresses were collected and processed by US company MediaSentry had no lawful basis under European privacy laws. A lower court in Utrecht had reached a similar conclusion last year.”

    I will discuss that with lawyers specialized in EU legislation, and will get back to You with more details. reports that for £17 ($31.50) “BT’s download service will include two digital copies – one for a PC and one for a portable device – plus a DVD sent through the mail. The movies will be available as soon as the DVDs hit stores, several months before they air on pay-TV.”

    Amazon also plans to launch a movie download service, where prices like $20 for newer movies and $10 for older ones are expected.

    IDG News Service reports”About 1.8 million people in Japan are active users of file-sharing software, a sharp increase from a year ago, according to a survey by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), TV broadcasters, and other industry groups.

    The figure is equal to about 3.5 percent of all Internet users and represents a big jump from last year’s survey, which put the number at about 1.3 million, or about 2.7 percent of Internet users.

    The survey was conducted online in mid-June and gathered 18,596 responses. The average number of downloads per user per year was 194 files, of which about 87 were music, 79 were movies, 11 were images, nine were software applications, and eight were documents.”

    The New York Times has a nice piece on the self publishing market:”The print-on-demand business is gradually moving toward the center of the marketplace. What began as a way for publishers to reduce their inventory and stop wasting paper is becoming a tool for anyone who needs a bound document. Short-run presses can turn out books economically in small quantities or singly, and new software simplifies the process of designing a book.”

    Ever wondered what is the point in piracy (besides providing free access to things that are too expensive/late/unavailable on the market?) They teach corporations the new rules. Reuters reports: “Hollywood studio Warner Bros. is taking on the pirates in China’s film market, using lightning-fast home video release and low prices to beat DVD counterfeiters at their own game.

    Warner’s China film-making joint venture released its first picture, a low-budget film called “Crazy Stone”, in cinemas on June 30, then followed with a DVD version selling for as little as 10 yuan ($1.25) just 12 days later.”

    This is what it means not to be in a monopol position and exposed to competition. But at least it has turned out, that $1.25 is still a price worth going after. Talking about a nearly pure information good this should be natural, shouldn’t it.

    ZDNet UK News reports” The [British] Home Office wants to give the police and the courts sweeping new powers which could see suspected hackers and spammers receiving the cyber equivalent of an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

    The proposed Serious Crime Prevention Order is intended to combat organised crime where the police do not have enough evidence to bring a criminal prosecution. It would enable civil courts to impose the orders on individuals, even if they had not been convicted of a crime.”

    Sounds more and more like Orwell’s thought police. Great!

    Sometimes I feel ashamed (dont forget to scroll down on the target page to see why) for spending my time with copyright issues while in the world outside the wars in the middle east, escalating conflicts over energy supplies, the global ecological catastrophy we are heading to is happening, and instead of doing something for those issues I am in a comfortable, air conditioned room thinking about the rights of artists and users. Seems like entertaintment compared to what is happening out there right now.
    But I am more worried when it comes to the assessment of the results of the G8 summit: pump more oil , ignore the ecologic consequences, turn a blind eye to the middle east and the developing nations and strenghten the IP protection – this is how the result of the meeting of the world’s strongest people can be summed up.
    Anyway. The world leaders have issued the document”Combating IPR Piracy and Counterfeiting‘ in which they say: “We consider it necessary to give priority to promoting and upholding laws, regulations and/or procedures to strengthen intellectual property enforcement, raising awareness in civil society and in the business community of the legal ways to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and of the threats of piracy and counterfeiting, and also to providing technical assistance in that area to developing countries. Close cooperation between law enforcement agencies, including customs authorities, is also of great importance.” This means more FBI raids in Hungarian university campuses, and i guess more publicly financed police squads patrolling the interests of the entertainment industry (A police unit dedicated to combating movie piracy and those responsible for the manufacture and distribution of pirated films has launched in London. – BBC) Thank You, just what we need.
    One of the first victims of this can be the russian, which is a legal service selling music and paying royalties under russian copyright laws. So that is the problem with allofmp3?  “The labels demand, and get, between 60 and 85 cents wholesale for each music file. This means iTunes, for example, wants £9.79 (almost $18.20) for an album where an AllofMP3.comn typically pays only about £0.75 (about $1.40) for a download. ” (P2Pnet)
    We are talking about information products here. The marginal cost of any song in mp3 format is very-very close to zero. So what is the reason behind charging 1 dollar/song, and puuting this on the agenda of G8? I tell you: GREED.

    PC Pro reports that “P2P downloads made up 18 per cent of the digital tunes, with a further 11 per cent copied from friends’ CDs’; 65 per cent were ripped from purchased CDs with the remaining six per cent from paid-for download” in the UK. The study was done by British Music Rights (BMR), “an umbrella organisation representing a number of composers’, songwriters’ and music publishers’ bodies.”

    These numbers seem to be a bit low for me, but this is not the point now. BMR wishes to use these numbers to push for a licence fee collected from hardware manufacturers and ISPs. I quess I can understand that, this is where cash is abundant, fight for a stake where there is a bounty.

    But, the name they have coined:Value Recognition Right, is a telling us about an intent of making telcos and ISP’ part of the content value chain. This not only is damaging of Net Neutrality, but serious intrusion of the privacy of the users. Someone watching my packages, peeping into whether they are part of an illegal mp3, and metering these packages? Lobbying for rent seeking, instead of trying to create economic/legal/cultural models to gain revenue on the right of their own? Come on, this is plain wrong.

    Ars Technika writes: “An Oklahoma mother, Debbie Foster, was accused by the RIAA of copyright infringement back in November 2004, and her daughter Amanda was added to the complaint in July 2005. According to the RIAA, the Internet account paid for by Debbie Foster was used for file sharing, with an unspecified number of songs downloaded.

    The music group offered to settle the case for US$5,000, but Foster decided to take her chances in court. She requested that the RIAA provide specifics such as the dates of the alleged downloading and the files involved. The RIAA failed to provide the requested information and Foster filed a motion for summary judgment. In turn, the RIAA decided to cut its losses and asked the court to withdraw its case. The court approved the RIAA’s request, but named Foster the winner and awarded her attorneys fees over the RIAA’s objections.”

    I wonder how many of RIAA’s lawsuits lack any actual evindence?

    Coming home from a salsa event last night i have bought the book at Dupont Circle, and I am reading it now. so stay tuned for a more detailed review.

    For accessibility reasons mentioned in my previous post for those of You, whose local library doesn’t carry WSJ, or you dont have a credit card or the necessary means to pay for that article, here is a reprint of a copyrighted WSJ article. The rest of you, go and buy it, so they can write such articles in the future.

    “Picks Rare Art Films Surface Online By IAN MOUNT July 8, 2006; Page P2

    A groundbreaking experimental Man Ray film, made in 1923, is now available for anyone to watch free online. It isn’t on the Web sites of the Library of Congress or the Internet Moving Image Archive. But you’ll find it at both YouTube and Google Video, two amateur-video-sharing sites. Increasingly, rare and avant-garde films are showing up on sites like these, best known for hosting homemade video spoofs. On YouTube, there are 1969 art videos by Nam June Paik, a 1967 student movie by George Lucas and an iconic 1930 film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, as well as a clip of Dalí in a chocolate commercial (pictured).

    It’s the latest reflection of an online culture where fans can function as curators of digital entertainment, bypassing libraries and museums with their own collections of music or movies. In many cases, these rare film clips are posted by amateur film buffs who’ve scooped up film reels or rare VHS tapes from eBay or local sales, and then digitized them for online viewing. A handful of Web sites and blogs, such as the Greylodge Podcasting Company (, link to the clips, many of which aren’t available on DVD.

    The posting of these rare films can raise legal issues, however. Some of the films are still under copyright, and will be taken down if a copyright holder objects. Two short films by director David Lynch, for instance, were recently removed from YouTube when Mr. Lynch’s production company complained. People who post these films say they’re only trying to increase awareness of overlooked cinematic gems, and say they receive few complaints. Because the posters generally aren’t profiting from the film clips, and aren’t cutting into anyone’s profits in cases where the films aren’t sold commercially, lawsuits over these film clips are rare. “Is George Lucas going to spend money chasing down his grad-school films? Probably not,” says attorney Daniel Harris, who heads the intellectual-property group at the law firm of Clifford Chance in Menlo Park, Calif. HOW TO FIND IT: For an index of rare films on YouTube, go to and choose “link dump” under “categories.” — Ian Mount”

    (Note: CC licence does not apply to the WSJ article).

    Well, this is very much like the point i am trying to make here. A Nam June Paik video piece might be interesting for 1620 people worldwide, and that might be enough to make a business model on. But aggregating this demand on the physical infrastructure is impossible. The question whether all of these 1620 people would be willing to pay for watching the film is yet to be answered. But the risk of the answer being no, might be a pretty high entry barrier for copyright owners when it comes to digitizing the archives in large quantities.

    But what is costly and risky for one entity is cheap, easy, (but not quite) risk-free for the users.
    Distributing the costs of digitization among the network members is a wise choice, even if it means you have to think about copyright in different terms.

    According to the story of International Herald Tribune Virgin, the british consumer retailer giant has been caught red-handed in stealing and then reselling a Madonna song. “The store’s online portal was ordered by the Paris Tribunal of Commerce to pay €600,000, or $754,000, in damages for downloading the Madonna song “Hung Up” from a France Télécom Web site. The Web site had exclusive rights to distribute the song for one week.”

    Virgin downloaded the song, cracked the DRM and started selling the song herself.

    Not exactly like Robin Hood. Well, at least they define the standards for stealing for our sake.

    P2Pnet adds, rightly:

    “Pirates like Virgin steal and profit from their criminal activities.

    Filesharers don’t steal a thing and make no profit whatsoever.

    That’s a big difference.”

    Derek Slater was lucky enough to receive a copy of Andersons book the “The Long Tail“. In his review he mentiones one statement:

    “Hollywood economics is not the same as Web video economics, and Madonna’s financial expectations are not the same as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s. But when Congress extends copyright terms for anothe decade at the request of the Disney lobby, they’re playing just to the top of the curve. What’s good for Disney is not necessarily what’s good for America. Likewise for legislation restricting technologies that allow digital file copying or video transmissions. The problem is that the Long Tail doesn’t have a lobby, so all too often only the Short Head is heard.”

    I am happy to read this. I would continue this line of thought: What’s good for America is not necessarily good for other big cultural entities (like for example the French, see their effort on “Cultural Exception“), and what is good for the French is not necessarily good for small languages and cultures, like Hungarian.

    Different country sizes, different number of native speakers, GDP per capita, different scope of cultural markets, different systems of cultural production and distribution.

    To what extent does the uniform global IP legislation leave space for local specifities? Can they, shold they be regulated in a single policy space? I hope to have answers in a few months.

    Torrentfreak has collected the pro-piracy political parties forming an international coalition. Wow.
    I was wondering lately how something which by its very nature should be and is hiding from public eye because it is illegal would affect policy-making and public discourse. People active in illegal file-sharing want to avoid publicity. They have no interest in being part of the public annales. Or at least that was the theory of James C. Scott in his Domination and the Arts of Resistance : Hidden Transcripts: „The goal of […] subordinate groups, as they conduct their ideological and material resistance, is precisely to escape detection; to the extent that they achieve their goal, such activities do dot appear in the archives.”

    But it seems that we are witnessing a coming out of filesharers and that is very-very important. I see them as the only group that propose a serious alternative to current IP legislation, the rest is softie blabla respecting the rules of the global IP playground. Revolutions do not start like this. Revolutions start by announcing the discontinuity.

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. ” (declaration of independence)

    Now, what is only left is to lay out the causes, isn’t it, 😉

    The UK’s independent music labels want a change in the law so internet service providers (ISPs) become liable for illegal file-sharing by their users.” – says the headline of BBC News.
    It is the second attack this week on intermediaries like ISPs to bear responsibility for the behaviour of their users, but the bottom line might be to create a legal construction where ISPs are in a similar position as other more traditional intermediaries are like radio stations and other broadcasters, who pay a licence fee for the use of copyrighted material to rightsholders in exchange for letting their users listen to copyrighted material.
    People behind the swedish pirate bay have heavily argued against this kind of flat-rate copyright fee. (via nettime) Well worth a read.
    Well, i guess the big war about what ISPs
    are: phone companies (not responsible for the content they convey) or media companies is just about to start. Yummy.

    many sources in the blogosphere report the standoff between the isp tiscali and the british phonographic industry. bpi wants tiscali to stop its ip-identified users from file-sharing, tiscali says slow down to them.

    they want tiscali to

    1.  suspend the relevant customers until such time as they enter
    into an undertaking with the BPI in the form required by bpi
    2.  disclos the personal details of the relevant customers to the
    BPI; and
    3.  itself enter into a legal agreement with the BPI obliging it
    to do the above.

    none of the above will happen. details here and here and here.