Piracy & Copyright
How Hollywood Is Encouraging Online Piracy Face it, movie fans: the DVD is destined to be dead as a doornail. Only a few Blockbuster stores are still open. Netflix's CEO says, “We expect DVD subscribers to decline steadily every quarter, forever.” The latest laptops don't even come with DVD slots. So where are film enthusiasts suppose to rent their flicks?
One Million - Brain Overflow
| Glyn Moody | January 18, 2012 may well go down as a pivotal date in the history of the Internet – and of copyright. For on that day, the English-language Wikipedia and thousands of other websites were blacked out or modified to protest against two bills passing through the US legislative system that were designed to fight copyright infringement. To understand why that unprecedented action took place, and what it means for the future of the Net, it’s necessary to review the history of copyright briefly. The Struggle Between Copyright and the Internet
Should I be worried about piracy? I would discourage worrying of any kind as a general principle. Worrying is a fear that something bad might happen — a negative emotional state with no external cause in reality. So on that basis, no — I wouldn’t worry about piracy. I’d also suggest that piracy is not something that tends to happen on the scale that the mainstream media seems to suggest. Unauthorised duplication goes on, but not piracy. The idea that these two things are the same is one that major record labels tend to be quite fond of, but it bears no resemblance to either external reality, or what words actually mean.
How piracy works [Everything in this post is purely my own personal opinion, and may not reflect the opinions of everyone working at Mojang Specifications!] Large parts of the culture these days exists in a world where copies are free. Copying a physical book costs money, but copying a digital movie is free. In fact, simply moving a movie from one hard drive to another actually copies the movie first, then deletes the original. Copying games is also free. No resources are lost, nobody loses any money, and more people are having fun.
In Praise Of Piracy I’ve had to think a lot about digital rights management lately. Not that I wanted to. But I recently did some eye-opening contract software development for a DRM-heavy media app, just as our government up here in the Great White North introduced a new and extremely DRM-friendly copyright law, and links to Don’t Make Me Steal started popping up all over the Internet. You probably don’t realize, unless you actually work on a software project laden with DRM, just how much Sisyphean effort goes into it. I estimate fully a quarter of the developer-hours that went into the app in question were devoted to building or dealing with the DRM, meaning a quarter of the total effort did not go into crafting a killer app. Similarly, the countless hours and dollars Sony spent on CD rootkits and impressively inept PS3 encryption did not go into building better products.
Rupert, my son had a simple request. “Daddy, can we watch last week’s episode of The Simpsons?” No, son, we can’t. Dear Rupert Murdoch: Let’s Talk Piracy & “The Simpsons”
Is copyright working?
Five years ago, when I founded the Swedish and first Pirate Party, we set three pillars for our policy: shared culture, free knowledge, and fundamental privacy. These were themes that were heard as ideals in the respected activist circles. I had a gut feeling that they were connected somehow, but it would take another couple months for me to connect the dots between the right to fundamental liberty of privacy and the right to share culture. The connection was so obvious once you had made it, it’s still one of our best points: Today’s level of copyright can’t coexist with the right to communicate in private. Do You Prefer Copyright or the Right to Talk in Private?
It’s Time to Stop Talking About Copyright I inaugurated this column in 2008 with an editorial called ‘‘Why I Copyfight’’, which talked about the tricky balance between creativity, culture, and the relationship between audiences and creators. These have always been hard subjects, and the Internet has made them harder still, because the thing that triggers copyright rules – copying – is an intrinsic part of the functioning of the Internet and computers. There’s really no such thing as ‘‘loading’’ a web-page – you make a copy of it.
Piracy is NOT Theft: Problems of a Nonsense Metaphor When talking about piracy the entertainment industry and politicians often use the term "theft." This is a huge problem according to the Swedish sociologist of law Stefan Larsson. In his thesis "Metaphors and Norms – Understanding Copyright Law in a Digital Society," he explains that these metaphors are in part keeping the wide gap between people's norms and the law intact.
As an artist who probably makes a substantial income from licensing his music, you might think Neil Young would frown on piracy and file-sharing, but that appears not to be the case, according to an interview he gave at the Dive Into Media conference in Los Angeles. Instead of railing against file-sharers, Young called piracy “the new radio” because it’s “how music gets around.” The musician’s comment puts a lot of the hysteria about copyright infringement into perspective — as we’ve pointed out before, file-sharing and monetization aren’t mutually exclusive, and in many cases a certain amount of so-called “piracy” can actually be good for business, as authors, musicians and even game developers have come to realize. Piracy is the new radio
BitTorrent Piracy Doesn’t Effect US Box Office Returns, Study Finds A new academic paper by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College has examined the link between BitTorrent downloads and box office returns. Contrary to what's often claimed by the movie industry, the researchers conclude that there is no evidence that BitTorrent piracy hurts US box office returns. Internationally, there is a link between downloads and revenues, which the researchers attribute to long release windows. With their unconditional support for SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, Hollywood is pressing hard for new legislation to curb piracy. The studios want ‘rogue’ websites to be censored and are calling on Google and Internet providers to take responsibility.
Music: The Internet’s Original Sin In a recent Search Engine podcast, host Jesse Brown wondered about music’s ongoing centrality to the debate over file-sharing and freedom. After all, the music industry has all but abandoned lawsuits against fans, and services from Last.fm to the Amazon MP3 store present a robust set of legit ways of hearing and acquiring music. The labels have even abandoned DRM. So why is the music industry the enduring bogeyman of Internet policy fights? Brown called downloading music ‘‘the Internet’s original sin,’’ and posited that we’ll go on talking for music for a long time yet. I think he’s right.