Archive for June 2007

End of the WIPO Broadcast Treaty, for now

June 29, 2007

Not enough time to write on this today but WIPO is the UN’s copyright agency and they have been proposing a treaty to deal with signal theft. As with much deal making at the international level negotiations have rendered the treaty unworkable (talk of anti-copyright org.s and some countries peddling their own agendas). The Hollywood Reporter link fills in quite well and there’s always the EFF for the view from one side of the copyright debate…



June 28, 2007

When I did a China update before I saw a large spike in reader interest. So, following China’s acquisition of a $3bn stake in Blackstone, the US private equity company, the ramifications of which are still being discussed, it seemed a good time to revisit China.

There has been much to and fro-ing between the US and China, what with the WTO activity, and now there is also a pact on physical piracy data. Not before time since China is behind 93% of euro cd piracy according to Billboard

In music the mobile market is picking up in China driven not least by realistic pricing, huge numbers of handset owners and a degree of distrust of online payment mechanisms meaning consumers lean towards the operator-controlled billing. An interesting aside is that there has been moves to adopt Western mobile standards  in China.

There has been much copyright related legal activity with Baidu and Yahoo! China and there are other similar services online already, as well as talk of plans from Baidu to expand overseas.
Another interesting aside is Google’s testimony on China which can be read here.  

After all this criticism the Chinese launched a 2007 Action Plan which may be aimed at tackling protectionist measures in the US. (more detail on the Plan here)

So, battle lines are being drawn at the same time as increases in trade and investment. With internet penetration at 10%, and that already equating to an online audience of 60m, there is huge potential in this market but the question remains how to make digital entertainment pay.

Pirate of the Week #1

June 27, 2007

Piracy comes in many forms, and so do pirates…


Leader of online piracy group is jailed

June 26, 2007

A US court has jailed the British leader of an online piracy group, DrinkOrDie, which specialised in software cracks. Founded in 1993 the group ran until 2001 when raids in six countries broke up the group. As the BBC article points out the case was one of the first to involve extradition for IP crime.

Perez Hilton blog mired in legal complaints

June 25, 2007

Here’s a bit of an aside from what we normally cover, but still raises interesting issues. The gossip blog is finding it hard to stay fully functioning under the weight of complaints from photo agencies and the consequent lack of support from ISPs. The article at Plagiarism Today notes that Perez’s high volume of complaints, coupled with high volume of visitors mean he is probably an unattractive proposition for many ISPs. Unless an ISP can streamline it’s take down program, the costs are unlikely to be met by the hosting fees being paid byt the site incurring the takedown requests.

Dutch ISP forced to take down torrent site

June 22, 2007

Slyck reports that Dutch music industry group BREIN have succeded in getting a notorious Dutch ISP Leaseweb to shut down a torrent site and reveal the identity of the web site owner. BREIN have had similar success before, although I am not suer that included revealing owner details, so expect more of this in the Netherlands.

Public shaming of leakers of content

June 21, 2007

Idolator posted a link to this blog before the writer could even get his first name and shame live. The idea according to the blogger behind the site is to:

…create a little blog to post the names, indelible and set out for all to see, of those people who’ve been given the care of having an early copy of a release and have set that responsibility aside and leaked the record they were entrusted with.

The comments are of course growing…

It’s obviously quite a shaky approach to trying to quell pre-release leaks of music being vulnerable to people sending in names maliciously. But it does suggest an interesting extension of some of the discussion that goes on in fans’ forums about whether to upload pre-release material. Some are so desperate to hear it that they want it posted, claiming they will buy it anyway. Others cite the undermining of an artist’s hard work and intentions as a reason not to post.

If this blog takes off, and I am not sure it will, it will be interesting to see what effect it has and the discussion that follow.