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03.03.14

The Continued Occupation of US ‘Trade’ by Microsoft- and Monopolies-backed Entities Like BSA

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly at 6:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Corruption in the process which synthesises draconian laws whose only purpose is to protect monopolies, including the copyright monopoly

“Nice animation,” calls it Glyn Moody, “makes bias clear” (referring to this visualisation). So it seems like the BSA is now officially well inside the insidious panels that try to take everything from the public and pass everything to few plutocrats, under the guise of “free” “trade”. The Hill described the latest addition, namely Robert Holleyman, as “a former software trade group lobbyist for a top trade office.” President Obama has just nominated him, which shows what side Obama and Biden are really on. There is already interpretation of the news [1], which in many people’s views helps show (yet again) that policy around copyright, patents, etc. has nothing to do with public interests. Suffice to say, the corporate media does not cover this [2] (or hardly ever does) and only few voices of reasons do give it coverage in the corporate media [3]; they even slam the TPP, albeit too gently. Here in the UK, some shamelessly-named “Intellectual Property” Office [4] continues to distract from a policy which favours public interests, leaving it to sites that British ISPs are blocking by default (TorrentFreak, or the people’s voice, is not allowed) to speak some sanity [5-10] and also cover [11] the latest case of abuse of copyrights [12-15] (Professor Lessig has just won).

When it comes to copyrights, patents and all those other plutocrats-leaning laws, just remember that there is a war being fought against the people, ensuring that everything that’s ours if no longer ours, using some pixie dust which is draconian laws. We are never really part of making those laws; lobbyists of companies make up these laws, sometimes in secret. This massive injustice rarely receives press coverage because owners of the media have vested (multiple but aligning) interests.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Revolving Door: Obama Nominates Copyright Maximalist Lobbyist To Deputy USTR Position

    We recently highlighted the massive problem of the revolving door between the USTR’s office and various patent and copyright maximalist organizations. One example of this was Victoria Espinel, a former USTR official (and then IP Enforcement Coordinator — better known as the IP Czar), who went on to become the head of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the maximalist lobbying/trade group that is basically a voice for Microsoft, IBM and Adobe’s copyright maximalist positions. Espinel’s predecessor in the job was Robert Hollyeman, who lead the BSA for two decades, during which time it became well known for its preposterous studies equating every infringing copy to a lost sale.

  2. As TPP Opposition Soars, Corporate Media Blackout Deafening

    Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership—dubbed ‘NAFTA on steroids’—is receiving unprecedented popular opposition and nearly no news coverage by major outlets

  3. No Big Deal

    And you know what? That’s O.K. It’s far from clear that the T.P.P. is a good idea. It’s even less clear that it’s something on which President Obama should be spending political capital. I am in general a free trader, but I’ll be undismayed and even a bit relieved if the T.P.P. just fades away.

  4. Government response to consultation on EU copyright rules
  5. RapidShare Stops Washington Lobbying Efforts and Regains Pirate Stamp

    Popular file-hosting service RapidShare has stopped its lobbying efforts in Washington. The company invested over a million dollars in recent years to upgrade its image, an effort that initially paid off. However, just a few months after RapidShare’s lobbyists left Washington and despite huge changes to the company’s operations, the U.S. Government has now rebranded the service as a notorious market.

  6. RIAA Accuses Grooveshark of Making Piracy a Job Requirement

    In the long-running case of the RIAA versus music-streaming service Grooveshark, the major labels have this week asked the court for summary judgment in their favor. They claim that Grooveshark’s founders instructed employees to upload as much infringing content as possible, even making that a job requirement. Evidence proving greater levels of infringement was subsequently destroyed, the labels say.

  7. Why YouTube’s Automated Copyright Takedown System Hurts Artists
  8. Why Is The Copyright Monopoly Necessary, Anyway?

    The copyright industry is amazing at pretending the copyright monopoly has always been there in its current form. But international copyright monopolies didn’t exist in practice across the Western world before 1989.

  9. Google Downranks The Pirate Bay in Search Results

    Google is downranking The Pirate Bay’s website in its search results for a wide variety of queries, some of which are not linked to copyright-infringing content. Interestingly, the change mostly seems to affect TPB results via the Google.com domain, not other variants such as Google.ca and Google.co.uk.

  10. World’s Largest BitTorrent Trackers Suffer Prolonged Downtime

    The two largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet have been down for a few days, and will remain offline for another week. The tracker owners are performing maintenance and replacing hardware to cope with the billions of connection requests they get each day. Interestingly enough, most casual BitTorrent users are completely unaware of the prolonged downtime.

  11. Lawrence Lessig Wins Damages For Bogus YouTube Takedown

    Law professor, Creative Commons co-founder and advocate for copyright reform Lawrence Lessig has agreed to receive damages from an Australian music label. Without considering fair use Liberation wrongly had some of Lessig’s work removed from YouTube and threatened to sue – it didn’t go well.

  12. Label Threatening Larry Lessig With Insane Infringement Claim Over Fair Use Video Caves In, Pays Up

    Last summer, we wrote about what appeared to be a suicidal Australian record label, Liberation Music, which issued a DMCA claim (after first having a disputed ContentID claim) on a classic presentation by famed professor (and copyright/fair use expert) Larry Lessig, in which he discusses fair use and creativity, using as an example, some clips that made use of the song “Lisztomania” by the band Phoenix. Liberation holds the Australian (not US) rights to that song, but still went DMCA crazy. Lessig filed a counter-notice and Liberation (again, apparently having no idea what it was doing) sent Lessig a letter saying that it would be filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against him if he didn’t retract his counter-notice. The whole thing was bizarre. It was as if whoever was doing all of this at Liberation Music was unaware of basic copyright law, the concept of fair use, how the DMCA works and (most importantly) who Larry Lessig is. In response, Lessig did the appropriate thing and filed for declaratory judgment and (more importantly) sought damages under section 512(f) of the DMCA, the nearly toothless clause of the DMCA that lets victims of bogus takedowns seek damages. As we’ve been pointing out for years 512(f) is almost entirely useless because courts almost never enforce it — and we hoped that with such a clear cut case, we might finally get a good 512(f) ruling on the books.

  13. Australian music label Liberation to pay damages to Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig in copyright battle

    An Australian music label has agreed to pay damages to a Harvard law professor after it threatened to sue him for using a popular song in a YouTube video lecture.

  14. A Win For Fair Use After Record Label, Copyright Lawyer Settle

    An Australian record label that threatened to sue one of the world’s most famous copyright attorneys for infringement has reached a settlement with him.

    The settlement includes an admission that Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, had the right to use a song by the band Phoenix.

  15. Phoenix Side With Lawrence Lessig On “Lisztomania” Fair Use Lawsuit

    LL’s video was, of course, in defense of free-use and used my video as an example (my original video that once had millions of views and is now stuck in a reuploaded YT purgatory, but I’ll get to that). My little bad-quality joke of a video spawned a life of its own in numerous live-action remakes, which is incredible. And Lessig – a Harvard copywright lawyer – was using it in speeches as an example.

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