I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to feel this way, but my overall impression of copyright, intellectual property, and swirling vortex of issues around those two issues can be summed up in one word: unsatisfactory. […]
Professionally, it feels like dancing through a landmine field. I am trying to steer people to the legitimate track of properly authorized and compensated copies of digital media, but society and business seems to conspire against this ideal. The social acceptance of media copying have lead me to the hardly surprising conclusion that people are copying the music and movies that they check out from the library at home. Over the course of my library years, I’ve even had the unfortunate experience of intervening when people were brazenly ripping CDs onto their laptops at the library. Some honestly didn’t know that it was a copyright infraction while others picked up on the fact that they could copy those CDs but in the privacy of their own homes. When it comes to eBooks, it’s tricky to guide people away from the ease of P2P downloading when the so called “friction” of eBook lending turns the question of borrowing into a overly long complex and extremely contextual answer. In trying to respect the owners of copyright, I end up showcasing all the madness that they have brought down on themselves in order to enforce it. It does nothing to encourage compliance nor engender respect for the concept or the laws supporting it.
Great post on his experience with downloading/file-sharing and copyright issues.
"All of Hollywood is run on one assumption: that women will watch stories about men, but men won’t watch stories about women… All of the decisions are made based on this - this concrete fact - and nobody’s ever really proved that that’s true. I think it’s a horrible indictment of our society of we assume that one-half of the population is just not interested in the other half”
-Geena Davis, Actor & Activist
For a lot of people, if they can’t get it cheap or free, they just won’t get it. For some people, it’s that they don’t have any money. The Discount Diva profiles the thinking of the cheap middle class, those who have some money, but don’t want to part with what they have. Just watch people haggle over library fines to see how cheap they are.
Libraries are helping both of them, and providing them with free stuff, but it’s free stuff that wouldn’t have been bought.
This sums up my public library usage very nicely. I do end up buying books (or asking for them for Christmas) when I really like something I’ve read from the library, but for the most part I don’t buy what I read. I don’t have the disposable income necessary to buy as many books as I read. ;-)
[Hasn’t paid for leisure reading or movie rentals for years, without torrents]
Torrents? No, Chuck Testa.
And by Chuck Testa I mean my local library.
This looks like an interesting tool, and I note that it includes video material as well as books. I’ll have fun poking around, I think. :)
WorldCat Genres allows you to browse dozens of fiction genres for hundreds of titles, authors, subjects, characters, locations, and more, ranked by popularity in the world’s libraries. It is a joint experiment from OCLC Research and the WorldCat.org team.
There’s plenty of excellent reasons to stagger the release of a new piece of software on an international scale: Doing so keeps servers from melting into pools of unusable silicon, and preserves the sanity of help desk agents, if only for a little while. That said, if a game’s not available in the states, even though the Italians have had it for a week, you know that someone, somewhere is going to be pirating that bad boy. By giving consumers what they want simultaneously on an international level, developers could strike another reason for illegally downloading an application from the the litany of excuses pirates have been employing for years.
This is also the case for movies and some TV shows.
This whole post is definitely worth a read.
…Tim points out that he and a lot of other content creators have been happily coexisting with piracy all this time, and I’m certainly one of them. Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan. The big content companies are TERRIBLE at doing both of these things, so it’s no wonder they’re not doing so well in the current environment. And right now everyone’s fighting to control distribution channels, which is why I can’t watch Star Wars on Netflix or iTunes. It’s fine if you want to have that fight, but don’t yell and scream about how you’re losing business to piracy when your stuff isn’t even available in the box I have on top of my TV. A lot of us have figured out how to do this.
So if you can stand me sounding a little crazy, listen: where is the proof that piracy causes economic harm to anyone? Looking at the music business, yes profits have gone down ever since Napster, but has anyone effectively demonstrated the causal link between that and piracy? There are many alternate theories (people buying songs and not whole albums, music sucking more, niches and indie acts becoming more viable, etc.). The Swiss government did a study and determined that unauthorized downloading (which 1/3 of their citizens do) does not create any loss in revenue for the entertainment industry. …
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) have to be understood in this light: it’s just another IP land grab. It’s an attempt to frighten those who would compete with the established media companies, an attempt to assert monopolistic control over creativity. The ability to take domains offline without due process, even on the basis of inadvertently linking to copyrighted material, is nothing if not an attempt to legitimize theft on a grand scale. Because there is no due process, a defendant can’t respond until he’s already out of business; and then, it’s a matter of whether the defendant can outlast Hollywood in their ability to pay legal fees. “Justice” is meaningless if you run out of money before you get to the end of your case.
Then as now, borrowing wasn’t limited to theatre. Mashups, which have been repeatedly attacked by the entertainment industry, are by no means a new art form; they’ve been central to creativity for years (related examples are embedded below). Bach’s “Goldberg Variations" incorporate a number of popular songs of the era, including the always popular “Cabbages and Beets drove me away from you,” in its entirety, along with “Get closer to me, baby" (that’s what the German really means, except the "baby" part). So did Beethoven’s sonatas, particularly the second movement of the magnificent Opus 110 piano sonata (“Our cat had kittens" and " I’m a slob, you’re a slob”). I could list examples for pages; musicologists spend entire careers searching for this stuff. The complexity with which these songs are woven into a much greater piece is amazing, but they’re there, they’ve obviously there once you know what to look for, and they go way beyond what would survive “fair use” and the DMCA, let alone SOPA and PIPA.
For more than a year, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America have argued that existing laws were insufficient to deal with the problem of “rogue sites” hosted overseas. They’ve been pushing bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act as essential weapons in the fight.
But evidently, American law enforcement didn’t get the memo that they were powerless against overseas file-sharing services. The day after the Internet’s historic protest of SOPA and PIPA last week, the United States government unsealed an indictment against the people behind Megaupload, one of the largest sites on the Internet. Four senior Megaupload officials were arrested in New Zealand on Thursday, and officials seized millions of dollars in assets.
During the last year Netflix managed to outgrow BitTorrent in terms of the amount of US Internet traffic it generates. A promising finding for Hollywood as it shows that there’s an overwhelming interest for the legal movie streaming service. At TorrentFreak we wondered what might happen if all US BitTorrent users made the switch to Netflix, and the results of this exploration are quite intriguing.
» via TorrentFreak
What interested me the most comes at the very end:
It shows that even when you assume that 90% of all US BitTorrent traffic is dedicated to video piracy, the added revenue for Hollywood in 2010 would have been less than the amount they paid to the MPAA. That is, if all BitTorrent users switched to Netflix.
The real added revenue if BitTorrent disappeared would of course be a fraction of this, as not everyone would start paying.
A major new survey of American attitudes to online copyright infringement has found that 70 percent of all 18 to 29-year-olds have pirated music, TV shows, or movies. But almost no Americans are hardcore grog-swillers, and two-thirds of those who do acquire copyrighted material without permission also acquire content legally.
The new research comes courtesy of a forthcoming report called Copy Culture in the US and Germany, and it was done by some of the same researchers who worked on the groundbreaking Media Piracy in Emerging Economies report earlier this year. Data comes from a Princeton Survey Research Associates telephone poll of 2,303 American adults during the month of August; a Google grant funded some of the research.
The poll found that 46 percent of all Americans have engaged in piracy, but that young people skew the numbers significantly. And while it found that piracy is common, it also found that most is relatively casual. Only 2 percent of Americans are “heavy music pirates” with more than 1,000 tracks of infringing music; only 1 percent of Americans are heavy TV/movie pirates with more than 100 infringing shows or films.
» via ars technica
Warner Bros is going to be pulling a Disney maneuver and locking away the Harry Potter films “in their vaults” for some time. So, very soon, you’ll not see the first movie on the shelves at the shops anymore. Then the second will disappear and so on until you can’t buy a new copy of any Harry Potter movie.
Let me stop right there and tell you about The Lion King.