Archive for the ‘Copyright’ category

IFPI Digital Music Report 08

January 29, 2008

The IFPI Digital Music Report 08 calls on the European Union to consider the French approach to ISP responsibilty for copyright infringers and action.

But what the report show more than anytihng is the phenomenal growth in digital content and how the music industry is leading the pack.

Some eye-watering stats include that in 2003 there were approximately 50 legal music services and now there are more than 500 (consolidation will be next then…).  In the same period the value of digital music sales has gone from around US$20m to US$2.9bn.

In comparison with other industries PWC figures show that the music industry is deriving more of its revenue from digital:

Books 2%

Films 3%

Newspapers 7%

Recorded music 15%

For those immersed in the machinations of the legal and illegal consumption of digital music the report probably reports little unfamiliar. But for anyone who wants to get up to speed on the issues at play in the digital music field it is a more than worthy starting point. 


China bends online audio/video market in it’s favour

January 18, 2008

This article on Yahoo! News reports that the Chinese are struggling to deal with the huge increase in online piracy, purportedly having twice as many cases in 2007 than in 2005 and 2006 together.

It is notable that a senior official said that harsher punishments are required, but on reading on I noticed this which I must have missed last month: 

Last month, the government said that in a bid to curb pornography and politically sensitive online subjects, only state-owned firms would be allowed to apply for licenses to share videos and audio online.

Surely this is exactly the kind of behaviour that is contained in the WTO complaints made last year by the US. Under the guise of requiring censorship of inappropriate material it makes it hard for international firms to break into the domestic market. 

Rants about copyright laws come before fact-checking

September 24, 2007

Variety reported that the German government had made it illegal to copy CDs, even for personal use. The story was then picked up by BoingBoing which, fortunately, allows comments on its posts thereby enabling users who had read up some of the German reportage (e.g.) to reveal inaccuracies in Variety’s article.

From the users comments it becomes clear that:

  • ‘the law still allows people to make copies of CDs and DVDs for personal use as long as those media do not have any protection mechanism on them. what makes this illegal is the cracking of a protection mechanism.’
  • ‘the part of the new copyright law which says that breaking copy protection or encryption is illegal is actually not new, this was already the case before.’
  • ‘The private copy becomes illegal if it’s made from an illegal source.’
  • The levies system is being slightly updated.

 Now the Variety article sits on the internet hopelessly inaccurate and out of date whilst the BoingBoing article is an example how to use your readership to your advantage. Hell, I well know that Boing Boing is dead against anything copyright owners do to stick up for their IP but at least it is happy to stand corrected when it runs away with itself.

Copyright in India

August 10, 2007

There is a lot of focus in the digital entertainment industries on the opportunities and threats in China. So much so that often India with it’s 1.1 billion population is overlooked. India has some strange non-digital anomalies, like the popularity of music cassettes (rest of market is 67% CDs, 9% digital), and the widely reported infrastructure issues conspire to make India seem a less sure bet than China.

India also has a popular film tradition, known as Bollywood, and a large percentage of music is of domestic origin (91% according to IFPI). However, a large population of English speakers, a growing middle class, a legal system based on the English system (i.e. includes acknowledgement of copyright) and a rapid rate of mobile subscriber growth , all suggest many opportunities for Anglo-American content owners.

Here’s a helpful FAQ targetted at startups in the digital media space about copyright in India.

And if you thought I was joking above about cassettes  – among the top independent labels in India are Super Cassettes Industries and Venus Records and Tapes Ltd.!

Trend prediction #1

June 14, 2007

A growth in the number of users campaigning for protection from, and remedy for, copyright theft….as their works gets stolen/resold online…

Is it okay to circumvent DRM in Europe?

May 29, 2007

A Finnish court has ruled that a defendent was innocent of infringing copyright by cracking CSS and publishing code to do so. The defendent’s blog tells the story which is retold elsewhere with an overview of the potential circularity of the logci and with the catchy headline – Legal Gymnastics: It’s okay to circumvent drm in europe if its circumventable. It remains to be seen what impact this decision will have outside of Finland.

A fair(y) use tale

May 22, 2007

Let’s turn to our most mentioned educational institution and hotbed of piracy, Stanford, where the School of Law’s Center for Internet and Society links to  this video mashup of Disney characters explaining copyright.  According to the Stanford page it was put together by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University.