Friday, February 29, 2008

February: Interesting Clips

Here are some clips I have watched this month.

1. The RIAA on Filtering and Fair Use

The first is Cary Sherman from the RIAA talking about filtering copyright works on the Internet. He suggests that this technology would be ideal as it would only block the material of copyright holders that elect to prevent downloading and that despite the flaws in the technology and the impact on fair use, it should be implemented. He also comments on the issue of ripping CDs to space shift music for personal use. Sherman fails to state categorically that this is lawful however explains that that the record industry is the most permissive of all creative industries as it simply will not sue an individual for doing it.

I don't really know where to start criticising this clip - there's just too much to pick from! Filtering is a very very bad idea; it is an imperfect technology at best; it often results in material that is not meant to be filtered, being filtered; in the end it will only serve to impede the development of technology and society; it will not end up making more money for the major corporations in the content industry; it compromises the position of ISPs as independent communications providers; it costs heaps of money but is really really easy to avoid... need I go on? And on the notion that ripping CDs is a 'gift' from the lables out of the kindness of their hearts???? It bothers me [lots] to think that someone in a position such as this, fails to see that the central beneficiaries of copyright law were always meant to be the public. The law already offers very little balance and to characterise, what is a fundamental right, as something the labels have given US citizens is just appalling - of course its good that they wont sue people for ripping CDs but surely its not too much for them to openly state that the law permits it.(Australia has express terms in our Copyright Act permitting space shifting):

2. Chris Anderson on the economics of free:

Chris is the author of the text The Long Tail. Here he talks about the impact on digital goods and industries due to the reduction in costs of bandwidth, storage and processing. Read the whole article – it provides an excellent explanation of the economics of the Internet and how successful businesses have adapted to this environment.

3. Tracking of BitTorrent downloads

This is a really good demonstration of how individuals can be tracked whilst using BitTorrent. The graphic of the swarm is interesting as are the methods by which IP addresses can be located.

4. Russia Today on The Pirate Bay

This clip is of an interview with Gottfrid, one of the operators of the Pirate Bay, suggesting that merely linking to material is not illegal. In response it is claimed that the Priate Bay is making large amounts of money from their activities to the detriment of artists.

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