• Piracy Infographic

    posted by Keito
    2012-10-02 18:38:18
  • Copyright Killbots Strike Again: Official DNC Livestream Taken Down By Just About Every Copyright Holder

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-05 21:21:27
    'Here we go again. Less than 24 hours ago, content-protection bots killed a livestream of the Hugo Awards, thanks to the brief appearance of fully approved clips from an episode of Dr. Who. The whole situation was completely absurd to anyone harboring the tiniest vestige of common sense, but IP-protection software isn't built on common sense: it's built on algorithms.

    This time, content protection via crawling bots have taken down another approved, perfectly legal stream. The victim this time? The Democratic National Convention's official stream, hosted at YouTube. As Wired reports, if you're looking to catch up on last night's activities, including a speech by Michelle Obama, don't bother:

    The video, posted by the official YouTube account for the convention, DemConvention2012, was blocked, according to YouTube, for ostensibly infringing on the copyright of one of many possible suspects:


    This video contains content from WMG, SME, Associated Press (AP), UMG, Dow Jones, New York Times Digital, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), Warner Chappell, UMPG Publishing and EMI Music Publishing, one or more of whom have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
    Sorry about that.


    When contacted by Wired for comment, Erica Sackin, an Obama campaign staffer who works on digital outreach, had no knowledge of the outage, asked this reporter for the url and then upon seeing the takedown, said, "I'll have to call you back."

    The video has since been updated to state that "This video is private." There's probably quite a bit going on behind the scenes at the moment, but fortunately Wired snagged the complete list of claimants for future reference.

    Take a good, long look at that list. There's a few of the usual suspects in there, including AP, UMG and Warner, entities not known to be shy about claiming content that isn't theirs.

    Now, these entities aren't directly responsible for this takedown. This is more of an automated match situation, but it still doesn't change the fact that the inherent stupidity of the action, automated or not, does absolutely nothing to lock down stray, unmonetized content and absolutely everything to highlight the ridiculous nature of copyright protection in a digital age.

    If Google can work with copyright holders to produce content matching software, it seems like it might be possible to designate certain accounts or entities as "off limits" from the wandering killbots. If the stream is authorized by, I don't know, the party of the current President of the United States, maybe, just fucking maybe, everything's "above board."

    Sure, defining legitimate, pre-approved accounts may prove to be as difficult as determining which content is infringing and which isn't, but this should be the sort of thing that content holders should be working toward, rather than simply moving from disaster to disaster, smugly secure in the knowledge that filthy file sharers are getting content-blocked thousands of times a day.

    Nice going, huge list of content holders. Your boundless, maximalist enthusiasm is just another nail in the coffin containing what's left of copyright's reputation.'
  • Children Has The Right To Music

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-04 21:14:44
    'Bruce Willis 'considering iTunes legal action' against Apple...

    Bruce Willis, the Hollywood actor, is said to be considering legal action against Apple so he can leave his iTunes music collection to his three daughters.

    The 57-year-old action star has reportedly spent thousands of dollars on digital music, which he wants to leave to daughters Rumer, 24, Scout, 20, and Tallaluh, 18.

    Existing iTunes rules mean he cannot do so however, as purchased music is only “borrowed” under a license.

    If Willis is able to successfully challenge the small print, it could benefit millions of frustrated iTunes users who haven’t had the resources to fight the technology giant.

    He is said to be considering two approaches to the digital battle. His first option would be asking his lawyers to establish a family trust to hold the downloads.

    A second approach would be supporting ongoing legal tussles in other US states, where complainants are already seeking to gain more rights to their music.

    With more and more people buying digital media products, the issue of ownership is becoming an increasing problem with many not realising they do not hold the rights to their books, music, films or games.

    Solicitor Chris Walton told The Daily Mail: “Lots of people will be surprised on learning all those tracks and books they have bought over the years don’t actually belong to them. It’s only natural you would want to pass them on to a loved one.

    “The law will catch up, but ideally Apple and the like will update their policies and work out the best solution for their customers.”'

    UPDATE: According to a tweet made by Bruce's wife this story isn't actually true... shame!
  • BitTorrent study finds most file-sharers are monitored

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-04 20:24:42
    'Anyone using file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the latest film or music release is likely to be monitored, UK-based researchers suggest.

    A Birmingham University study indicates that an illegal file-sharer downloading popular content would be logged by a monitoring firm within three hours.

    The team said it was "surprised" by the scale of the monitoring.

    Copyright holders could use the data to crack down on illegal downloads.

    The three-year research was carried out by a team of computer scientists who developed software that acted like a BitTorrent file-sharing client and logged all the connections made to it.

    BitTorrent is a method of obtaining files by downloading from many users at the same time.

    The logs revealed that monitoring did not distinguish between hardcore illegal downloaders and those new to it.

    "You don't have to be a mass downloader. Someone who downloads a single movie will be logged as well," said Dr Tom Chothia, who led the research.

    "If the content was in the top 100 it was monitored within hours," he said. "Someone will notice and it will be recorded."

    Less popular content was also monitored although less frequently, the study indicated.

    Marketing tool...

    The research identified about 10 different monitoring firms logging content. Of these, a handful were identifiable as copyright-enforcement organisations, security firms and even other research labs.

    But about six of the biggest-scale monitors were harder to identify, as the companies behind them used third-party hosting firms to run the searches for them.

    Why such firms wanted the massive amounts of data was unclear, said Dr Chothia.

    "Many firms are simply sitting on the data. Such monitoring is easy to do and the data is out there so they think they may as well collect it as it may be valuable in future," he said.

    Some firms alleged to be carrying out mass-scale monitoring have been accused of selling the data to copyright holders for marketing purposes.

    "The data shows what content is popular and where," said Dr Chothia.

    The study also revealed that so-called blocklists, used by some illegal file-sharers to prevent monitors from connecting to their computers, might not be much use.

    "Many of the monitors we found weren't on the blocklists so these measures to bypass the monitors aren't really working," said Dr Chothia.

    Hard evidence...

    Some copyright owners in Europe and the US are using IP addresses gathered by monitoring firms to apply for court orders obliging internet service providers to hand over the physical addresses associated with them.

    They are then writing to individuals seeking recompense or warning of the possibility of court action.

    But Dr Chothia doubts evidence gathered in this manner would stand up in court.

    "All the monitors observed during the study would connect to file-sharers and verify that they were running the BitTorrent software, but they would not actually collect any of the files being shared," he said.

    "It is questionable whether the monitors observed would actually have evidence of file-sharing that would stand up in court," he added.

    Lawyers have previously cast doubt on whether evidence collected from an IP address can be used in court because such an address pinpoints the internet connection used for downloading rather than a specific individual.'
  • Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-29 20:24:36
    'The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) endangers the Internet and digital freedoms on par with ACTA, SOPA, and PIPA, and it does so in two significant ways: First, its intellectual property (IP) chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedoms and innovation, and second, the entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy. The TPP is a major threat because it will rewrite global rules on IP enforcement and restrict the public domain.

    As of now, corporate lobbyists are the only ones who have been officially invited to contribute and access the negotiating text. The Bush administration initiated TPP negotiations back in 2008, but closed door sessions over this powerful multi-national trade agreement have continued under the Obama administration, led by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Governments are characterizing this as a free trade agreement, but its effects will go far beyond trade.

    We are fighting back.

    Activists, scholars, and individuals around the world are speaking out against the TPP’s onerous intellectual property chapter and the threat it poses to our digital freedoms. Americans and Canadians are protesting at every negotiation round; the Japanese are growing more disaffected; and demonstrations have also occurred in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia. Law professors from around the world and over 130 US representatives have raised alarm over the TPP in letters to Representative Ron Kirk, the head of the U.S. delegation.'

    Check the article below to see how you can take action against this proposed legislation...