Archive for the ‘Video 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. 



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!

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. 

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.

MySpace beats YouTube to filtering

May 14, 2007

Apparently MySpace has it’s filtering technology up and running now – before YouTube. I wonder how this will affect YouTube’s position copyright cases going forward. They announced some weeks ago that filtering was on it’s way – but when?

Take Down, Stay Down fingerprints files taken down to prevent them being re-upped.

YouTube claims Safe harbor at Capitol Hill committee

May 11, 2007

I just read this story that policiticans in the US met with one of the founders of YouTube, plus Mark Cuban and execs from Slingbox and Tivo. YouTube got a bit of a grilling but failed to answer important questions about why they do not remove copyrighted content.

It is worth a glance at some of the comments following this article as they demonstrate how these issues tend to get cast in black and white with little regard for the shades of grey needed to discuss productively.

Premier League sues YouTube

May 5, 2007

Following their threats to the 101GreatGoals blog last year, the Premier League is suing YouTube for copyright infringement. Blogger Nick at points out some of the interesting territorial aspects of the case as well as the point that apparently the Premier League is requesting a class action suit, which would mean one case against Google/YouTube for all content copyright holders.

Techdirt suggests the PL want a piece of Viacom’s action. You will of course remember that Viacom is the biggest recent big name to sue YouTube. Google recently responded to the Viacom claims, apparently saying that the rights of millions of net users were under threat if Viacom’s claims were upheld.