Archive for the ‘file-sharing’ category

What’s on ?

April 23, 2008

eDonkey has been on the receiving end of much music industry legal action in recent months. Last September a number of German eDonkey servers were taken offline after a court issued an injunction against them. User numbers halved – temporarily. In January this year the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN won judgement against an eDonkey hashlinksite, Shareconnector.

Would the file-sharing community miss a lot if eDonkey went down? Well some recent research from iPoque gives interesting indications of what people use eDonkey (and Bit Torrent) for.

Across the regions looked at – Germany, Southern Europe and Middle East – patterns of usage vary. the most popuilar BT and eDonkey music downloads are in the form of discographies (i.e. more than one album at once). In ME and Southern Europe over half of the top 75 audio was discogs. Neither the top BT audio nor the top eDonkey audio downloads closely reflected the charts and in Southern Europe much of the top downloads appeared to be local language.

BT video downloads are primarly movies, with some pornography featuring in the Top 75 for Germany. On eDonkey on ther other hand every region is sharing porn. A cursory look at the titles and one can make the generalisations that Southern Europeans like anal, Germans like lesbians and the odd animal, and the Middle East has more specialist and suspect interests like shemales and children.

When it comes to eBooks English is the prevalant language with Sat Nav data being particularly in demand in Southern Europe.

Mp3newswire reports on a new Digital Music News research report which shows continued rapid growth in use of Bit torrent and increased consolidation in P2P client apps so maybe eDonkey will get killed by IFPI/MPAA anyway and users migrate. 



P2P not legalised in Italy

February 5, 2008

Seems that tech site Ars Technica slipped up in reporting that Italy had inadvertently legalised peer to peer. Whilst the news has predictably spread like wildfire all over the blogosphere and tech press it is not entirely true. More to come…

“The advent of a civilised internet” … in France

November 23, 2007

These were President Sarkozy’s words this morning as he oversaw the signing of an agreement between the content industries, ISPs and the French government. This agreement is the outcome of the Olivennes commission which was convened earlier this year to look into ways to diminsh online piracy. In Europe this may be looked back on as a defining moment in relationships between ISPs and content industries.  

In short the French government is backing the creation of an Administration Authority which on receipt of complaints from content owners (or their chosen administrators) will send messages via ISPs to end users infringing copyright.

First message is a warning to cease infringing activity, second message results in suspension and the third results in the user having their internet account terminated.

The Administration Authority also has the power to sanction ISPs for not acting or to request they implement measures (such as filtering) to prevent further infringing activities.

The quid pro quo?  One year after this process is set up and working the labels will ensure French catalogue is available for conventional download store sale without DRM (excepting subscription models I believe). An Online Piracy Observatory (!) will be established to monitor levels of piracy.

For the film companies they will be committing to diminish the release window between cinema screening and release of DVD which, let’s face it, mid-term will be  their strategy anyway.

It is important to note that this undertaking draws a distinction between the professional pirate and the casual pirate and applies only to the latter.

Consumer groups, such as UFC-Que Choisir have spoken out against this, and it is true there are some issues about establishing an extra-judicial authority to do this kind of thing, but it does get the full weight of the law off the back of the consumer for copyright infringment whilst giving the content companies the roadbloack they want.

Definitely one to watch, but I’m surprised the BBC has missed this one. FT takes a neutral reporting position:

Prince suing the digital big boys

September 14, 2007

Prince has been sucked in by publicity hungry company Web Sheriff , giving them an opportunity to crow about themselves like they did a few months ago. Anyway the Sheriff announces that Prince is going to sue YouTube, eBay and Pirate Bay plus possibly others. I don’t suppose the Pirate Bay suit will get very far but may add weight to any industry activities in that direction.

Some of the press have suggested it is a shame that an artist who was so ahead of the game (NPG Shop and Club etc) with digital would resort to suing, but I think that misses the point that his work is being exploited on a huge scale against his wishes and any campaign for control of and remuneration for use of copyrighted works could do with a high profile artist in there.

Despite the publicity this will gain it’s a shame to spend his earnings from extended touring on lawyers!

Tackling music piracy in the workplace

July 3, 2007

The BPI is investigating allegations of music copyright infringment at Honeywell through a file-sharing network on the company network.

 The Guardian reports the Honeywell spokesperson as saying: 

“Similar to the recording industry, Honeywell vigorously protects its vast portfolio of intellectual property from others attempting to capitalise on their value and the strength of the Honeywell brand. We will continue to fully cooperate with investigators and the BPI.”

This kind of activity must be rife. Companies had this going on back in 2000 in the early days of Napster – think how much more widespread it must be now. There are also now companies offering to track down companies hosting such activity, most of whom are probably oblivious to what employees are doing. 

Oh, and is down. But Russia, well the same company Media Services, spawns more sites just the same – Mp3sparks. I wonder how long it will take for payment mechanisms to be removed…

Promusicae v Telefonica

June 7, 2007

Well, all the reports and commentary are in Spanish but basically the Promusicae v Telefonica case has just gone to the ECJ. The Spanish music industry body wants a clarification from the European Court on European Directives since Telefonica is claiming that Spanish date laws do not permit them to reveal identities of users involved in P2P activity. This could prove an important ruling for the relationship and balance of power between ISPs and the music industry so hopefully there will be some English reporting of this.

Stanford’s response to piracy on University networks

May 15, 2007

Stanford University has received so many notices of copyright infringement by students on it’s network that it has developed a new process for dealing with it:

1st offence – 48 hours to get rid of the material or face disconnection followed by a $100 fine to reconnect

2nd offence – disconnection and bigger fine to reconnect

3rd offence – all network privileges removed, discipline and $1000 fine for reconnection

 This is clearly a success for the move, which I think was started a few months ago by the RIAA, from noticing students directly to noticing the students via the college.