We have talked about how the MPAA, RIAA and others use fantasy math to come up with the figures about how much Piracy hurts them. Usually they use these fantasy number when asking lawmakers for harsher punishments and also to show how malignant file sharers are. These numbers allege that every single download is a lost sale which leads to more revenue lost in concessions and many other non-related areas.
Several record companies filed a lawsuit against an Internet radio service Pandora due to the use of old songs without permission. Sony, Universal, Warner Music and independent houses ABKCO (owner of many of the early songs of the Rolling Stones) have accused Pandora of using songs recorded before February 15, 1972. without paying a license.
The MPAA can score another victory in their ongoing (and lopsided) battle against file sharing on the internet as the popular Torrent search site ISOHunt has announced it is closing down. For the last few years site owner Gary Fung has fought the MPAA over allegations of copyright infringement. The case resembles the one that was thrown at The Pirate Bay several years ago in that ISOHunt did not actually store files on the site. The lawsuit brings many questions to mind about search engines in general and if systems designed to index the internet can be policed.
After having their ideas shot down by popular displeasure the Copyright lobbyists are now trying to make aggressive tactics ok. They have put together a report on the state of American Intellectual property theft and have managed to build up some of the old boogeymen like they always do. This time, they are starting to make more open suggestions about fighting fire with fire. In the past these reports have always centered on the commercial market and the state of individual piracy, product copying and other more economic concepts. These were enough to get higher mandatory fines, to criminalize certain fair use tactics and more. Now by subtly changing the report to show highlight the national security aspect the industry hopes to be given considerably more power to act.
The Google Glass project has caused some concern in Washington. They seem to feel that a device that can capture still images and movies which you wear around all the time could be a problem. Already we have seen casinos ban them, which is not surprising as they could be used to cheat the house. Next to ban Google Glass were the strip clubs, again not a big surprise and you can imagine why. Google Glass could be a problem and we can see businesses, schools and other place banning their use in the very near future. Still we wonder about Congress getting involved. Is their concern really about privacy?
It seems that the French could be making some changes to the way they handle copyright law when it comes to movies, TV, Music and other titles. Although they admit that piracy is a problem they are joining a growing number of countries and governments that are concerned about the way the entertainment industry is dictating laws. Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of protest group La Quadrature du Net recently commented on this saying: “The government will be judged on its ability to resist the harmful influence of the entertainment industry to whom the conception of policies has been delegated by the governments one after the other.”
An important step for privacy on the internet and actually people’s general right to privacy happened yesterday. Most of us have heard the rumblings of the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and also the Executive Order signed by the US president that allows law enforcement to simply ask for user information. These laws also remove the right to privacy and in some cases the right to anonymity from the public on the internet. What many might not know is that a limited form of these acts has been in effect for some time inside the infamous Patriot Act.
Over the past year or two we have watched as companies like Microsoft, Crytek, Ubisoft and others push their business model into the cloud. At the same time we have watched as the number of cyber-attacks and data breaches increase. These attacks have also increased in sophistication and in some cases have not been detected until after the breach has been made and data lost. Still companies try to make the claim that their services, out of all of the others, are secure. Simply put (as we have always said) there is no such thing as a secure service, operating system, network or anything else. If it is connected or even powered on it is in danger.
A documentary film about the founders of the popular site for file sharing, The Pirate Bay, should be premiered on February 8th, and will be available through the Internet for free downloading. Fredik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde, the founders of The Pirate Bay, are the main stars of a documentary called "TPB AFK" or "The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard." The premiere of a documentary film directed by Simon Klose will be shown at the 63rd International Film Festival in Berlin.
Saturday marked the day that Megaupload was reborn in the form of Mega. It was an event that has had much talk since Kim Dotcom first announced that he would be doing this last year. It is also an event that many internet users have been looking forward to for a very long time. On the other side of the coin the content industry (including the MPAA, RIAA, BSA and others) have not been looking forward to this and have tried to make the tired old argument that ALL file sharing services are nothing more than a haven for piracy.