11.12.13

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The War is Over: Sharers Won, the Copyright Cartel Resorts to DRM on the Web

Posted in DRM at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Draconian Restrictions at Microsoft

Summary: How the Internet, a platform of mass dissemination, cracked the copyright monopoly and how this monopoly is trying to get back in the old game

SHARING is not about breaking the law. It is about making information — however it’s stored — available for free, maximising dissemination without exploiting financial limitations (as typically done so divisively for profit). A society which maximises sharing and cooperation is better equipped to fight and perhaps end poverty. It can distribute generic drugs (developed with grants to the public sector, never to be privatised), maximise one’s access to material (video, audio, text, etc.), so rather than preach greed and competition we should aspire to incentivise sharing, punishing/penalising those who hoard and resort to protectionism (like trans-national/continental/oceanic deals).

“The goal is to educate people and help them realise that more sharing is more beneficial to more people.”Based on articles like [1], more people turn to the Web and take advantage of fair use or liberal licensing of videos in order to get “entertained” (to use a self-serving euphemism like “content” and “consumption”). Google, Microsoft, and Netflix (close partner of Microsoft) are trying to put DRM in Web standards and so far they have mostly succeeded [1, 2, 3]. This is very bad news. The Web has become a huge platform for commerce, communication, and so much more. Losing control of the Web (to corporations) would have devastating effects for decades to come.

According to news from [2], “European Parliament Members Explore Decriminalizing File-Sharing” and there is evidence that so-called “pirate” politicians are gaining public support [3]. The British Pirate Party (led by a man from Manchester) gains access to Parliament [4] and a French site advocating people’s rights [5] gets involved in the Committee of the European Parliament as well. Copyright destroys culture, sharing saves it. The Internet Archive building was damaged by fire last week [6], reminding us that just because a few people with a good cause choose to preserve information doesn’t guarantee preservation. We need to make sharing the norm (not too aggressively [7] as that just leads to blowback [8]). The goal is to educate people and help them realise that more sharing is more beneficial to more people. The gategeekers of the old world (far less than 1% of the population) are those who would lose from a culture that thrives in free sharing. As these people control our media and our politicians (and apparently the W3C too), it is too easy to overlook this simple fact. Their propaganda is taken for fact and absorbed by so many people out there.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Netflix, YouTube gobble up half of Internet traffic

    Netflix and YouTube together make up half of peak Internet traffic in North America while their main rivals barely register, a study says. At the same time, file sharing is a sliver of its former self.

  2. European Parliament Members Explore Decriminalizing File-Sharing

    Frustrated by the lack of copyright reform in Europe, several Members of European Parliament have started a coordinated platform to urge the European Commission to update its outdated policy. The MEPs are looking for a more flexible copyright system which benefits European citizens and businesses, including the decriminalization of file-sharing for personal use. The first steps towards these goals are to be made during an event in Brussels on Tuesday.

  3. Vote Christian For The Pirate Party EU Ballot – Here’s Why
  4. Pirates at the 8th Annual Parliament and Internet Conference

    This week two delegates (Governors Harley faggetter and Stephen Ogden) from the Pirate Party UK attended the Eighth Annual Parliament and Internet Conference on 31st October. The event, held by the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) which is the leading all-party group in the technology sector in the Houses of Parliament, was attended by parliamentarians, regulators, delegates from technology industries, public interest groups and many more.

  5. The Castex Resolution on Private Copying Must Take Sharing Into Account!

    The “Legal Affairs” (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament will consider on Monday, November 4th, the draft resolution on Private copying levies of the Member of the EU Parliament Françoise Castex. The draft invites the EU Commission and Member States “to examine the possibility of legalising works sharing for non-commercial purposes so as to guarantee consumers access to a wide variety of content and real choice in terms of cultural diversity”, but has been the subject of numerous attacks to stall the debate on sharing once again. Ahead of the vote, citizens must mobilize and ask MEPs to maintain this reference, so as to force the Commission to consider all means for the recognition of sharing and to guarantee cultural rights in Europe.

  6. Internet Archive building damaged by fire

    The non-profit organisation behind the Internet Archive has made a plea for donations following a fire at its building in San Francisco.

  7. Too Much Cash Causes Pirate Admin to Quit, 43K Ebook Dump Imminent

    Faced with unmanageable euro revenues “in six digits” and a reluctance of publishers to legitimize the site, the administrator of a Tor-based download site developed to shake up the eBook market says he has been forced to leave the project. In other knock-on developments, TorrentFreak is informed that the site’s contents – around 43,000 eBooks – will today spill out onto the Internet, free of charge.

  8. Piracy Release Group Has Been Spying on Downloaders For 9 Months
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