YouTube and copyright has been a controversial subject since they first hit the internet. The problem is who is liable for copyright infringement. Is it the poster or the service? The copyright gang would love to tell you it is both. They want the chance to go after the individuals and also to be sure to get financially compensated by the service provider. Sadly in the US the courts are siding with the copyright cartels for a multitude of reasons (none are based on how technology works though). In EMEA, well things are a tad different over there.
It was only a couple of days that the internet broke open with the news that The Pirate Bay was offline and that their offices had been raided by police. It looked like the end of the world for the file sharing community and a major win for the copyright gang. However, as it turns out, neither of these is likely to be even remotely close to the truth. Although The Pirate Bay has become synonymous with copyright infringement that was not really the intent of the site nor is pulling TBP down going to have any real impact on piracy and copyright infringement. This, like many other very public takedowns will end up being little more than a footnote in the ongoing war between the copyright cartels and… well everyone else.
It would seem that the guys over at the Recording Industry Artists of America have lost their collective minds. In a recent rant they are actually trying to claim that sites like The Pirate Bay are an “assault on our humanity”. To (intentionally) quote a great line from The Princess Bride: “I do not think it means what you think it means”. The last time I checked copyright law was not a protected “right” in any form of the constitution. Freedom of speech/expression is as it the right against unlawful search and seizure (which the blind copyright letters violate).
There is a story running around the internet that says Google is now processing one million piracy take down requests in a single day. Now there are two different spins to this story (and we will cover both) out there. One of them is being pushed by the copyright lobby groups, while the other is popping up through sites like Google and various net neutrality groups.
For years we have heard about the high cost of internet piracy, but other than some seriously twisted math we have never actually seen where this “cost” was coming from. At least not until very recently. No we are not talking about any real financial impact on the copyright holders. While it is true that there is a small impact to them in terms of box office revenue the overall percentage is around 1-3%. Where things really get expensive for them is in maintaining the massive anti-piracy campaign.
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.
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.
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.
According to the Financial Times, Google is reportedly negotiating with major music publishing companies regarding their services for streaming music. These services would supposedly be available at a subscription model or as a free service that would be financed through advertisements, similar to models from competing services such as Spotify and Deezer.
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.