EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.31.13

Copyright Promotes Censorship and Surveillance, Cannot Rescue Broken Business Models

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly at 11:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Thoughts and observations about who is being served by today’s copyright “law” (written by the copyright monopoly)

Copyright reform in the digital age is an important topic [1] because more often than not we see copyright abused to kill information or censor it. In a world of abundance through sharing everyone including artists would benefit; monopolists and middlemen, however, would not.

The Pirate Bay is not copyright abuse although it can, if misused, contain copyrighted material against the will of the copyright holder/s (not always same as the creator). The Pirate Bay is still online [2], but its founder gets treated worse than serial killers, showing perhaps that “law” these days is an instrument of the rich and powerful. Those who call for ridiculous new “laws” (like “Six strikes”) may actually be the real criminals [3] and when illegal raids are used against people like Kim Dotcom (with biased “justifications” to come only years after the act [4]) we just know that copyright “law” deserves little respect. It’s written by lobbyists and politicians funded by billionaires who profit from their cartels. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” is currently being censored by those thuggish billionaires, using copyright “law” of course [5].

Torrents have just turned a decade old [6] and one must remember that a lot of this technology is being used for totally legitimate purposes by very legitimate entities, including businesses and governments. Torrents should be celebrated — not demonised — for they improve utilisation of the networks while reducing surveillance.

Don’t let scapegoat rulings [7] scare you and remember that those who hunt down sharers are deemed human rights violators, according to the European Court Of Human Rights [8]. A lot of those who are prosecuted are not even guilty of copyright infringement. Remember that “Google Discarded 21,000,000 Takedown Requests in 2013″ [9] (almost unworkable to do because the total number of requests was 235,000,000). How can any site keep copyrighted material (and check validity of claims) without employing thousands of staff to work 24/7 and hopefully make correct rulings 100% of the time? It’s impossible. Sites that have copyrighted material on them (uploaded by users) cannot honestly be prosecuted unless they deliberately turn a blind eye to the problem and support/advocate the problem. Some nations have already moved on, realising that it’s impractical to stop sharing [10] (one way or another people will share files, even using physical devices like portable drives) and some artists too are trying to evolve (even if it’s just a rumour [11]) rather than just litigate.

Google can explain the issue at hand pretty well because it does challenge current copyright law in various ways, e.g. in fair use of scanned books. To demonstrate the copyright problem of scale, consider YouTube. Every single second, hours of footage are uploaded. How can a moderator check the source, assess in context fair use (must view the original), assess satirical/critical additions, or even verify with the copyright owner whether takedowns are desirable? This is not possible. It’s infeasible even if Google had thousands of staff doing it 24/7. So should the only alternative be to completely ban all such video sharing sites? And if so, what about self hosting of videos? Who would regulate it, the ISPs and the hosts? The other problem with copyright “law” is that it destroys data hosting sites; some people may occasionally put infringing material in their Web-based filespace (e.g. DropBox) and in order to enforce copyright “law” scanners (in effect surveillance) need to go through personal files, essentially opening the door to the NSA (which sought to add DropBox as a PRISM partner). Hence, copyright law is not just a tool in the censorship toolbox but also in the surveillance toolbox. It’s clear who benefits from it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Fundamental Cultural Rights Must be at the Heart of Copyright Reform in Europe!
  2. Pirate Bay Back in Sweden’s Calm Waters After .GY Suspension

    The Pirate Bay’s domain troubles seem to be never ending. Just a day after the troubled torrent site found a new home in Guyana, the site’s new .GY domain has already been suspended. The local domain registry informs TorrentFreak that all domains that violate its policies will be suspended immediately. The Pirate Bay, meanwhile, has decided to return to the relatively calm waters of Sweden for the time being.

  3. “Six strikes” Copyright Alert System may violate antitrust law

    Antitrust law is as thoroughly unlibertarian as IP law is, though my guess is patent and copyright do more damage to property rights, freedom, the free market, and the economy.1 The perverse thing is that the state helps to create monopolies by its various policies (patent, copyright, FDA regulations) and then it turns around and uses its antitrust regulations to punish companies for acquiring these monopolies.2 And, also perversely, the use of antitrust law itself can limit the abilities of private actors to deal privately with “piracy,” competition and knockoffs, which then supports the argument that IP is needed (and then the IP rights, once granted, get the companies in trouble with antitrust law if these IP monopoly rights are “abused”). (As an example: antitrust law has been used against the fashion industry, and the movie chain system, making it harder for these industries to engage in private measures in response to knockoffs and “piracy”.)

  4. U.S. Releases More Evidence of Megaupload’s ‘Mass Infringing Use’

    The U.S. Department of Justice has released a new 191-page filing in which Megaupload is portrayed as a massive piracy hub. The Government is using data obtained from Megaupload’s seized databases to back up and expand several of the allegations against Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants. Among other things, the evidence suggests that “repeat infringers” drove a lot of traffic to Mega’s sites. The document further shows that roughly 43% of all files streamed on Megavideo received a takedown notice.

  5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town… And EMI Is Keeping The Copyright

    We were just talking about the latest efforts to remove termination rights from musicians (and other artists), and a number of termination rights battles are still ongoing. Most of the existing ones are slightly different from the ones we’re talking about — and it gets pretty down in the weeds technically. In short, there are different rules for works created prior to 1978 and those after 1978. Most of the focus is on the termination rights for works created after 1978 — though there are some interesting ongoing battles concerning works created prior to 1978… including that song you just can’t stop hearing this time of year: Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

  6. The Matrix ASCII: Oldest Torrent Alive Turns 10 Years Old

    A fan-created ASCII version of the 1999 sci-fi classic The Matrix is currently the oldest torrent alive. Created exactly 10 years ago the file in question has achieved iconic status, piquing the interest of dozens of downloaders week after week. Warner Bros, is not known to go after this type of fan-art, so those who are interested can proceed to download without worry.

  7. Crazy Calculations Behind $652,000 File-Sharing Damages

    Earlier this week a torrent site user was hit with a damages claim of $652,000 for uploading one movie to the Internet. With the huge amount undoubtedly still ringing in the 28-year-old’s ears, questions are now being raised about how this figure was arrived at. It’s an amazing process that shows that sometimes copyright holders may as well just think of a number, double it, multiply it by the day of the week and then add it all to their dog’s age.

  8. Reminder 2: Hunt For File-Sharers Violates Fundamental Human Rights (Says The European Court Of Human Rights)
  9. Google Discarded 21,000,000 Takedown Requests in 2013

    Google discarded 9% of the 235,000,000 allegedly infringing links copyright holders asked the company to remove from its search engine this year. This amounts to 21 million URLs for which Google took no action, either because the requests were illegitimate or were duplicates already submitted in previous notices. NBC Universal, Fox and Lynda.com have the worst track record in this regard as more than a quarter of their requests were discarded.

  10. How To Solve The Piracy Problem: Give Everyone A Basic Income For Doing Nothing
  11. Why the Iron Maiden ‘Playing for Pirates’ Error is Such a Disappointment
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. White House Intervention Harms Android and Every Software Developer on the Planet

    US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli urges the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to let APIs be covered by copyrights, rendering almost every program a potential copyright violation



  2. Microsoft Lobbying in India Shoots Down or At Least Weakens Free/Libre Software Policy

    Microsoft's covert efforts (lobbying with the help of public partners like NASSCOM) to eliminate an India-leaning software policy in India is finally paying off



  3. Propaganda Mode for UPC Agreement Whilst EPO Increasingly Grants Patents on Software

    In order to make the Unitary Patent a reality (towards a 'no place to hide' patent approach) misleading claims are being made



  4. Patents Are Not Source Code

    Ford is once again misleading regarding Open Source, mischievously associating a patent pledge with Open Source



  5. Links 29/5/2015: ALT Linux 7.0.5, Google I/O 2015

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  7. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  8. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  9. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  10. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  11. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  12. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  13. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  14. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  15. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  16. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  17. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  18. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  19. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  20. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  21. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  22. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  23. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  24. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  25. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  26. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  27. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  28. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  29. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  30. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts