PP International

When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of Record Industry Suicide.

Posted On: Mon, 2007-10-29 08:52 by TheBaldingOne

[Currently Listening To: Music I Didn't Pay For]

For quite a long time I've been intending to post some sort of commentary on the music industry - piracy, distribution, morality, those types of things. I've thought about it many times, but never gone through with it, because the issue is such a broad, messy one - such a difficult thing to address fairly and compactly. I knew it would result in a rambly, unfocused commentary, and my exact opinion has teetered back and forth quite a bit over the years anyway. But on Monday, when I woke up to the news that Oink, the world famous torrent site and mecca for music-lovers everywhere, had been shut down by international police and various anti-piracy groups, I knew it was finally time to try and organize my thoughts on this huge, sticky, important issue.

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Public Knowledge Proposes Six-Point Program for Copyright Reform

Posted On: Mon, 2007-10-29 08:49 by TheBaldingOne

Saying that copyright law has “become out of touch with our technological reality to the detriment of creators and the public,” Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn today unveiled a new program for copyright reform that will be more responsive to new innovations.

“Pre-VCR copyright policies must be transformed to embrace our new user-generated culture,” Sohn said in a speech to the New Media and the Marketplace of Ideas Conference at Boston University. A complete text of the speech is available at: http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1244.

She added: “For the past 35 years, the trend has been nearly unmitigated expansion of the scope and duration of copyright, resulting in a clear mismatch between the technology and the law. Over the past decade copyright reformers like Public Knowledge have stopped the pendulum from swinging even farther away from digital reality. Now it is time to move the pendulum towards the future and away from the past.”

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RIAA denied default judgement as judge cites doubt over positive ID - by Eric Bangeman

Posted On: Mon, 2007-10-29 08:26 by TheBaldingOne

A federal judge has denied the RIAA's motion for default judgment in the case of Atlantic v. Dangler, a case where alleged infringer Jeff Dangler failed to appear in court. The RIAA filed the original complaint in March, then moved for a default judgment less than two months later after the Clerk of the Court entered Dangler's default.

Despite the fact that Dangler hadn't bothered to answer the charges brought against him, Judge David G. Larimer decided against awarding the RIAA's motion for a default judgment of $6,000 plus court costs. The judge cited "significant issues of fact" regarding the RIAA's linking of the KaZaA username "heavyjeffmc@KaZaA" to Dangler, as well as a lack of details about when the alleged infringement took place.

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Anti file-sharing laws considered - by BBC News

Posted On: Thu, 2007-10-25 07:44 by TheBaldingOne

The UK government could legislate to crack down on illegal file-sharers, a senior official has told the BBC's iPM programme.

Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said intellectual property theft would not be tolerated.

"If we can't get voluntary arrangements we will legislate," he said.

The comments could prove controversial with privacy advocates and internet service providers.

Lord Triesman called on internet service providers to take a "more activist role" in the problem of illegal file-sharing.

Data banks

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TV-Links man was arrested under trademark laws - by Lucy Sherriff

Posted On: Tue, 2007-10-23 21:09 by TheBaldingOne

Curiouser and curiouser

Gloucestershire police have confirmed that a 26-year-old Cheltenham man at the centre of an investigation into the website TV-Links was arrested under section 92 of the Trade Mark Act, on suspicion of supplying property with a registered trademark, without permission.

The man was taken into custody on Thursday last week after an investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the local trading standards office. Initial reports from FACT said he had been arrested for "offences relating to the facilitation of copyright infringement on the Internet".

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Huge pirate music site shut down - via BBC News

Posted On: Tue, 2007-10-23 13:30 by TheBaldingOne

British and Dutch police have shut down one of the world's biggest sources of illegally-downloaded music.

A flat on Teesside and several properties in Amsterdam were raided as part of an Interpol investigation into the members-only website OiNK.

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Apple, Tesco 'most to blame' for music biz crisis - by Andrew Orlowski

Posted On: Mon, 2007-10-22 07:46 by TheBaldingOne

The great unbundling

A new report suggests that Apple and Tesco, not P2P file sharers, should take the most blame for the woes of the British music industry.

The report, prepared privately by consultants Capgemini for the Value Recognition Strategy working group, set out to examine the "value gap", the amount sound recordings revenue has fallen in the UK since 2004. The report remains confidential, but details are starting to emerge.

The consultants suggest that "format changes" and price pressure from discounted CDs on sale in supermarkets, are most to blame for this "value gap".

However, the report gives lie [not "life", as a typo suggested - ed.] to the idea that P2P file sharing stimulates demand for sales, or is even a neutral factor. This idea has given comfort to the powerful anti-copyright lobby, backed by internet users who want digital music for free - and find endless justifications to avoid paying for it.

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Exclusive: I Was a Hacker for the MPAA - by David Kravets

Posted On: Mon, 2007-10-22 07:38 by TheBaldingOne

Promises of Hollywood fame and fortune persuaded a young hacker to betray former associates in the BitTorrent scene to Tinseltown's anti-piracy lobby, according to the hacker.

In an exclusive interview with Wired News, gun-for-hire hacker Robert Anderson tells for the first time how the Motion Picture Association of America promised him money and power if he provided confidential information on TorrentSpy, a popular BitTorrent search site.

According to Anderson, the MPAA told him: "We would need somebody like you. We would give you a nice paying job, a house, a car, anything you needed.... if you save Hollywood for us you can become rich and powerful."

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RIAA Fights to Avoid Attorney Fees in Dismissed Piracy Lawsuit - by David Kravets

Posted On: Fri, 2007-10-19 07:50 by TheBaldingOne

The Recording Industry Association of America taketh away, but must it also give?

The music-industry lobbying-and-litigation arm is protesting a federal magistrate's recommendation that it cough up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for an Oregon woman. Tanya Andersen, 42, says she racked up the expenses defending against an RIAA infringement lawsuit that was ultimately dismissed for lack of evidence.

The RIAA dropped the case this summer against Andersen, months after concluding her hard drive didn't contain any purloined music tracks. The RIAA sued her two years ago, alleging a Kazaa shared directory that linked to her internet-protocol address was unlawfully distributing thousands of songs -- a case Andersen's lawyers decried as "frivolous."

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Media companies in copyright pact, Google absent - by Kenneth Li

Posted On: Fri, 2007-10-19 07:41 by TheBaldingOne

Viacom Inc, Walt Disney Co, Microsoft Corp and other media companies have agreed to a set of guidelines to protect copyrights online but Google Inc, owner of the Web's biggest video site, was notably absent from the pact.

The companies agreed to use technology to eliminate copyright-infringing content uploaded by Web users and to block any pirated material before it is publicly accessible.

"These principles offer a road map for unlocking the enormous potential of online video and user-generated content," Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said in a statement issued by the participating companies.

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