Archive for the ‘Anti-piracy’ category

Anti-piracy trade bodies

November 30, 2007

The FT reports on rumours that EMI’s new owners might cut back on trade body funding (such as BPI, IFPI, RIAA). Whilst the cutting back on the RIAA may look sensible given EMI’s appalling performance in the US and the RIAA’s hapless performance in dealing with piracy in the US EMI need to consider that they are dealing with a global problem.

Trade bodies can give their members useful economies of scale not available to individual members. In something like the fight against content piracy most companies share the same targets.

Guy Hands wants EMI to be a 360 degree music company (or something ) but at the moment he has only recorded music and publishing. If he turns his back on the united method of fighting online piracy he further risks one of his core asset types before he has grown other revenue streams. Dangerous.

Fingerprinting

August 28, 2007

An interesting article in the Guardian about fingerprinting videos and the issues it poses, how tech vendors are using different ways to counter the fact that hash recognition can easily be circumvented, and how it is an issue to YouTube.

The article really gets interesting at then end, where it talks about commercial value in the fingerprint itself being one of the reasons YouTube has gone it’s own way with developing a fingerprint solution rather than buying in from the likes of Audible Magic.

Also raised is the possiblity of targeting advertising by using a watermark to know what someone is watching:

“If someone could make money by generating ads just because a viewer watched [part of the film] Transformers, Paramount would want to be involved in that,” Ishikawa says. He warns content owners not to give up their content without a financial agreement: “They will be a commercial asset.”

The cost of policing digital piracy

August 9, 2007

The Wired blog runs this piece based on a WSJ article about US company Bay TSP and the work they do for content owners. What strikes me most about the article is the cost and the inefficiency of the whole process. Fair enough humans need to be involved – but $11 an hour for that kind of work. Prime candidate for offshoring. Some clients pay $500,000 a month for Bay’s services!

And classic quotes on the inefficiency of the scheme:

  • “‘By the time I send notices and take them down, they’ll be reposted,’ says [BayTSP analyst] Justin Hernandez…”
  • “When YouTube receives such [takedown request] emails, employees review them and then remove the clips.” 

Whackamole, cat-and-mouse, whatever you want to call it this process of finding copyrighted material and issuing takedowns has to be improved to be in anyway worthwhile for the content owners. In addition, when a service is licensed, the content identification still has to work. All the major labels are now signed up with YouTube and must have or be seeking answers to questions such as  – does the content owner get paid when a member of the public uploads? does YouTube track geography of user? who gets paid when labels have rights for same material in different countries, and so on.  I suspect most labels will be looking to fingerprinting to handle some of this. Whether it can remains to be seen.