PP International

Why the RIAA may be afraid of targeting Harvard students - by Eric Bangeman

Posted On: Tue, 2007-11-27 08:46 by TheBaldingOne

Earlier this month, the RIAA announced that it had sent off yet another wave of prelitigation settlement letters to college campuses across the US. This time, the recording industry targeted 16 schools, including almost the entire membership of the Ivy League. There was one notable Ivy school missing from the roster, one that has failed to appear in any of the RIAA's press releases: Harvard.

Since beginning its campaign against college students in February, the RIAA has sent out 4,157 prelitigation settlement letters to 160 different schools in ten separate waves.

The schools targeted run the gamut. There are large state schools like Ohio State University, the University of Texas - Austin, and the University of Tennessee. There are also a handful of small liberal arts colleges on the list, including Swarthmore College, evangelical Christian school Bethel University in Minnesota, Gettysburg College, and Carleton College. And the elite schools in the US are well represented, too: Stanford, Northwestern, MIT, and the aforementioned Ivy League schools have all received missives from the RIAA. But not Harvard.

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The insanity of France's anti-file-sharing plan: L'État, c'est IFPI - by Eric Bangeman

Posted On: Mon, 2007-11-26 08:26 by TheBaldingOne

It's hard to engage in file-sharing if you don't have any Internet access. That's the threat behind a new memorandum of understanding between the government, ISPs, and Big Content in France that would see repeat P2P infringers lose their Internet connections. In exchange, the French music industry would make its French-language archive freely available available sans DRM. In addition, DVDs would be on store shelves within six months of a film's theatrical release, instead of the current seven and a half months.

The proposal is backed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and arose from the findings of a independent review commission appointed by Sarkozy shortly after taking office. That commission was headed up by the chairman of French consumer electronics retailer FNAC, Denis Olivennes.

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RIAA, MPAA urge pro-copyright vows from presidential candidates - by Anne Braoche

Posted On: Thu, 2007-11-22 08:30 by TheBaldingOne

A coalition of entertainment and publishing industry heavyweights would like to see the 2008 presidential candidates champion "meaningful copyright protection" in their policy platforms.

The requests came Tuesday in the form of a letter (PDF) and a questionnaire (PDF), dispatched by the Washington-based Copyright Alliance to 17 candidates vying for Democratic or Republican nominations next year. The group has requested responses to its questionnaire by early January of next year and plans to make the answers public.

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China cleared of leading global piracy - by Iain Thomson

Posted On: Wed, 2007-11-21 08:40 by TheBaldingOne

Worst countries for intellectual property theft are Mexico, the UK and France

An analysis of the recording industry's own piracy data has shown that China is far from leading the theft of digital media, and that the UK ranks near the top of the table.

A survey of over 20,000 consumers in 22 countries conducted last year showed that US movie studios lost $6.1bn to piracy, of which 80 per cent came from overseas.

Topping the list of offenders was Mexico, the UK and France, accounting for a quarter of all losses. China was well down the table in sixth place.

The data was published in the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law by Aaron Schwabach, associate professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

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MPAA: Linking college funding, piracy is 'perfectly legitimate' - by Anne Broache

Posted On: Wed, 2007-11-21 08:30 by TheBaldingOne

What's wrong with Congress being a little stingy about doling out taxpayer dollars to universities if they let peer-to-peer file-sharing pirates run amok on campus networks?

Not a thing, says the Motion Picture Association of America's top lawyer in the nation's capital.

On the heels of a House of Representatives committee's passage of a higher-education funding bill that includes new antipiracy obligations for universities that participate in federal financial aid programs, MPAA Washington general counsel Fritz Attaway suggested it's reasonable to condition federal education funding on copyright enforcement efforts.

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Overly-broad copyright law has made USA a "nation of infringers" - by Nate Anderson

Posted On: Tue, 2007-11-20 08:30 by TheBaldingOne

How many copyright violations does an average user commit in a single day? John Tehranian, a law professor at the University of Utah, calculates in a new paper that he rings up $12.45 million in liability (PDF) over the course of an average day. The gap between what the law allows and what social norms permit is so great now that "we are, technically speaking, a nation of infringers."

Tehranian's paper points out just how pervasive copyright has become in our lives. Simply checking one's e-mail and including the full text in response could be a violation of copyright. So could a tattoo on Tehranian's shoulder of Captain Caveman—and potential damages escalate when Tehranian takes off his shirt at the university pool and engages in public performance of an unauthorized copyrighted work.

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Piracy isn’t THAT bad and they know it - by Martin

Posted On: Wed, 2007-11-14 08:46 by TheBaldingOne

I received a very pleasant mail today. My inbox is usually full of stupid cease & desist messages from various antipiracy organizations, but it’s mails like this one which make you happy. It’s good to see that some people realize that internet piracy isn’t just evil…

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Eric D. Wilkinson and I am the producer of a small independent film called “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth” (our review).

I am sending you this email after realizing that our website has had nearly 23,000 hits in the last 12 days, much of it coming from your website. In addition, our trailer, both on the www.manfromearth.com site and other sites like YouTube, MySpace and AOL has been watched nearly 20,000 times AND what’s most impressive is our ranking on IMDb went from being the 11,235th most popular movie, to the 5th most popular movie in 2 weeks (we are also the #1 independent film on IMDb & the #1 science fiction film on IMDb). How did this all happen? Two words: Torrent / File Sharing sites (well, four words and a slash).

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Infringement in perspective: major movie bust fine dwarfed by RIAA tab - by Eric Bangeman

Posted On: Wed, 2007-11-14 08:33 by TheBaldingOne

If a woman found to have shared 24 songs over KaZaA was ordered to pay $9,250 for each track, what do you think an appropriate fine for uploading the first copy of The Simpsons Movie to the Internet? According to an Australian magistrate, AUS$1,000, or about US$890.

Jose Duarte, a 21-year-old resident of Sydney, was fined that amount after he pleaded guilty to a single count of distributing copyrighted material earlier today. Duarte was arrested in August after an international investigation spearheaded by Fox, which released the movie, fingered him as the first person to have uploaded The Simpsons Movie.

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Pirates, Or Merely Devoted Fans? - by Stan Schroeder

Posted On: Tue, 2007-11-13 08:43 by TheBaldingOne

A study conducted on 2000 Canadians has shown that most people download songs off the Internet simply because they want to try-before-buy or because they were unable to find this music in their local stores. Yet, the recording industry is playing deaf, dumb and blind, endlessly trying to prove that sharing, by its very nature, is bad.

The two researchers at the University of London that conducted the study for the Canadian Government estimated that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is actually an increase in music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year.

In other words, P2P sharing (or pirating, however you want to put it) increases music sales.

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Report favors minor changes to EU copyright tax - by Huw Jones

Posted On: Fri, 2007-11-09 08:40 by TheBaldingOne

A European Union copyright tax on MP3 players and blank CDs to compensate authors generates benefits and needs only tweaking rather than fundamental reform, a report for an industry body said on Thursday.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy was forced to abandon his proposal to reform the levy that varies enormously across the 20 EU states that apply it. Britain and Ireland have no levy at all.

The tax at import level is often passed on to consumers and raised 560 million euros ($819.7 million) in 2005.

Last year's retreat came after then French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin intervened to say McCreevy's initiative would threaten Europe's cultural heritage.

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