Archive for the ‘Piracy’ category

MTV anti-piracy ad sucks

May 27, 2008

Look at this pathetic ad from MTV against downloading illegally. The chasm between what the ad is saying and the worldview of the intended audience make it more or less useless. The comments on the linked page pour the appropriate level of scorn upon it.

 Now there is nothing wrong with MTV speaking out on digitial entertainment piracy. In fact informed debate and education is very much part of the way forward for the content industires. 

However this poor misguided ad makes them look thoroughly out of touch with their target demographic who probably look more like this (thanks Corbis) when listening to their illegally downloaded music……   







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. 


Music in China

December 17, 2007

That long tail chap Chris Anderson has been galavanting around for new ideas and got to China. His blog post about music in China covers the headline points about ringtones and Baidu but links to an article on The Register by a Beijing-based Western A&R guy. Sa Ding Ding (on Wrasse Records)A fascinating read it paints a vivid and informed picture of the state of the music industry in China today – the prevalance of recorded music piracy and why, despite millions of music consumers, it is hard to earn money from recorded music and even from 360-degree(esque) deals.

Among other factors:

Today’s China sees single-track, naked MP3s being Bluetoothed, file-shared, emailed, flash-disked, hard-drive-dumped and herded around the digital sphere in complete anonymity. Targeting potential listeners for your band in this scramble of a market is incredibly difficult because, in a great deal of cases, even your potential listener doesn’t know what he or she is listening to.

I wonder how much that happens elsewhere. Ed remains optimistic but it is hard to see how this particular potential market can be converted.

Bill Gates says software piracy has worked for Microsoft

July 19, 2007

Every now and then one of these stories pops up. Yep, Microsoft used piracy to their advantage to try and get their products embedded in the Chinese user community, but they are still committed to fighting piracy. Many people have thought Linux would destroy Microsoft’s attempts to expand in China but clealry not (check this out seven years ago in Salon).

European ISP updates

July 13, 2007

The ruling against Tiscali in Belgium provoked comment in the Guardian where one of Jupiter’s analysts Ian Fogg was named as believing that ISPs have a bigger problem with video-sharing because of the bandwidth involved, which is interesting since all of the public action against ISPs seems to be coming from the music industry.

Also in response to the Belgian case, the UK Internet Service Providers Association spoke out against the ruling, saying that “ISPs shouldn’t be set up to play judge and jury”. Despite the quote from telecoms lawyer Danny Preiskel that “we are a way away from reaching a similar decision in the U.K. in imposing such liability” there is clearly appetite within the policital parties for ISPs taking some responsibility, as mentioned by David Cameron at his BPI speech.  I would expect to see some ISPs in the UK voluntarily disconnecting copyright infringers (at least repeat infringers) by the end of the year, thereby avoiding litigious pressure from media owners.

Meanwhile, also on the subject of European ISPs, Slyck reports that BREIN successfully petitioned a Belgian Court to force Leaseweb, a Dutch ISP, to hand over the details of the owner of Bit Torrent index Demonoid,

Leaseweb signed a cease-and-desist undertaking which stipulates that it
will keep Demonoid offline under penalty of 50.000 Euro per day. In
addition Leaseweb supllied the name, adress and bankdetails of their client
to BREIN. 

Demonoid disappeared from Netherlands and popped up again hosted in Canada.

So, as we wrote back in February, ISPs, as gateways to the internet, are fast becoming a target for content owners looking to curb digital piracy. We’ll be focusing more on this area as we drop some of the endless news of the ‘Warners Sues Imeem’ / ‘ Warners Drops Suit Aginst Imeem’ kind.

London Calling

July 2, 2007

The Register reports on some of the comments made at the end of London Calling last week. Jon Kennedy of IFPI and Alison Wenham of AIM were among others talking about the problems facing the music industry.

Problems cited included:

  • no performance rights in Japan
  • no broadcast rights in the USA
  • consumers exploring the old music they already own rather than buying new music
  • AW: “We need to monetize the usage of our music – whether or not we delivered it in the first place.”
  • JK: “Competing with free

Reasons for hope included:

  • Mobile in Japan
  • New revenue from performance/broadcast rights in territories which historically do not have them enshrined in law
  • New business models in (particularly) mobile where there are large potential user bases.

Tim Clark formerly of Island Records was most quotable, saying  “If Ford’s revenues were down 40 per cent, the shareholders would be revolting“. Well what is happening at each label may be a bit more subtle than that but it underescores the point that all the reasons for optimism above need to pan out before too much time runs out.  

Reasons for hope included:


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.