Internet Piracy and How to Stop It — The NY Times comes out in support of the PROTECT IP Act, though it does have some concerns. It worries that it may lead to overreaching and provides the DMCA takedown notice of Lenz’s dancing baby as an example — but it’s hard to see how that’s an appropriate comparison since a single DMCA takedown is relatively easy to send while the PROTECT IP Act’s remedies are only available after filing a lawsuit, something that is just as timely and costly without the bill.

Kudos to Google: Privacy Settlement Adds Insult to Injury — Sandra Aistars at the Copyright Alliance reports on the class-action settlement that Google agreed to for allegations that its Buzz service violated users privacy. The search giant paid out millions of dollars to advocacy groups that advance its business interests. Also be sure to check out Chris Castle’s skeptical look at this example of “Google justice.”

Is Hollywood Dead? — Great post from screenwriter William Martell over at his blog, Sex in a Submarine. “On message boards, there are always people who think that Hollywood is dead but just doesn’t know it, and there’s gonna be this whole new non-corporate paradigm. Look, we have the internet, and these cheap digital cameras — the movie industry as we know it will be dead in no time. We will not longer be *forced* to watch the movies that Hollywood makes, we can watch *good* movies for a change. No more TRANSFORMERS movies and no more sequels and no more HANGOVER lowest common denominator comedies. Once the evil corporations are gone, once Hollywood is dead and buried and being eaten by worms; we’ll be living in a freakin’ Entertainment Utopia! Only great films!” Martell explains why these people are wrong.

5 Reasons Free is Hurting us All — John Jantsch talks about when “free” becomes “free for all”. He believes that “information wants to be worth paying for” and provides five reasons why consistently giving content away for nothing hurts both content producers and audiences.

How long should a good thing last? — Dominic Young looks at the arguments for and against the length of copyright’s term.

Is Revoking Internet Access a Violation of Human Rights? — IP attorney James Gannon has an excellent response to the UN Human Rights Council’s recent remarks about graduated response laws.

“An English writer on statistics, on hearing that 80,000 copies of his book had been sold in Russia, sent a courteous letter to the Soviet Government to ask whether royalties were paid semi-annually as in England. An equally courteous reply said that royalties to capitalists were contrary to proletarian principles.” Zechariah Chafee, Jr., Reflections on the Law of Copyright, 45 Columbia Law Review 503 (1945).

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16 Comments

  1. Well, Hollywood may not be dead, but that part of Hollywood responsible for the Hangover should be dead, along with Bradley Cooper, Zach Gflzncxlkis, and Vince Vaughn.

    • Say it ain’t so! My Father’s Day plans this year include seeing Hangover 2 with the wife. I loved the first Hangover. I can’t imagine being let down by the sequel.

      • It works if you think of the second happening in a different continuity to the first. There’s not a lot of plotholes, it just suffers from “sequelitis”.

    • Did you read the article? That’s what it’s about: Hollywood follows the money, and once people stop paying to see Brad Cooper, et al, movies, Hollywood will stop making them. In other words, don’t blame Hollywood, blame the general population.

  2. OT:
    “John Jantsch”

    One word – Google

    1) Accountability – Keeps an open playground, keeps free products.
    2) [Increased] value – Can make a blog on Google’s platform without server costs. See also Youtube. (Note: buy a webcam first or enjoy the videos. Your choice)
    3) “Lowered expectations” – Yeah, the Mortal Kombat: Legacy videos say otherwise on this.
    4) Blocked revenue – BS. Khanacademy.com proved that free can work for him and work for others trying to learn the maths and sciences.
    5) Community buster – Either this guy has never been to an anime convention, he’s never played a video game in his life, or he’s incredibly misinformed about communities.
    Anime – Crunchyroll.com made a platform that works for them as well as producers
    Game community – Check out all of the *free* videos about the characters and how people use it as advertising.
    Music – Remix. Nuff said.

    I’d go on, but that short read left me crying in tears from how badly misinformed it was.

    “James Gannon”
    Wait, is this the same guy that was horribly misinformed about asking for permission to link to a story while he’s in Canada? And he’s also the same guy horribly misinformed about how economics works? Having him talk about the internet when he’s lost so much credibility is to make him damn near a laughingstock.

    • Wait, is this the same guy that was horribly misinformed about asking for permission to link to a story while he’s in Canada? And he’s also the same guy horribly misinformed about how economics works? Having him talk about the internet when he’s lost so much credibility is to make him damn near a laughingstock.

      No, Mr. Gannon is the guy who said it’s courteous to ask for permission, something any 5 year old already knows (note that “courtesy” is entirely separate from “legal requirement”).

      And as for his view on how economics works, yes, Mike Masnick thinks he’s wrong. That’s Mike’s opinion, not the truth.

      • ” That’s Mike’s opinion, not the truth.”

        Mike is an economist, is he not? He would probably know more in regards to economics than someone whose job seems to define the black and white of the rule of law.

        Looking at the article, the entire current HADOPI situation seems to have missed his notice. I’m surprised he continues to go on as if Hadopi was truly effective in curbing infringements in any way, shape or form. Now that the French government has cut ties with the business overseeing this enforcement, I would wonder what would happen with infringements from now on.

        • Actually, Mr. Masnick received an MBA from Cornell. It is apparent, however, that he has devoted a very large amount of time examining the field of economics, and then relating it to business scenarios.

          Where he falters, however, in the opinion of many who practice law, is his proclivity for expounding on substantive law, and then criticizing those who may attempt to correct clearly incorrect statements.

          • “Where he falters, however, in the opinion of many who practice law, is his proclivity for expounding on substantive law, and then criticizing those who may attempt to correct clearly incorrect statements.”

            Such as…?

            Certainly, the law has an effect on economic progress (or lack thereof). It’s not a stretch to see where the laws may falter for one reason or another.

          • I wonder if Ernesto at TorrentFreak is bitter about not making the same amount of coin from piracy apologism as MM has.

            Ripping off the rip-off people. awesome.

  3. Good article by Gannon. It’s worth pointing out that the report described by Techdirt and others as a ‘UN Report’ – as if it somehow had the status of a UN Resolution – is really nothing of the kind. It is a report to a committee of the UN by a ‘special rapporteur’. It essentially represents the views of one individual, albeit one who is supposedly an expert on ‘human rights’. But on Googling his name, he appears to be out on a limb in his views: for example, he believes Julian Assange would be a ‘martyr’ if the US seeks his extradition for offences related to Wikileaks. I think the chances of his views being accepted as official UN policy are close to zero.

  4. That’s Mike’s opinion, not the truth.

    Sadly, there is almost always an inverse relationship between Mike’s opinions and the truth.

    • Seconded. I would hardly call TechDirt a bastion of legal journalism. And whatever legal opinion Mike espouses, I can guarantee myself that the exact opposite is going to be the truth.

      • Exactly. I sometimes wonder whether it’s ignorance or willful blindness on his part. I suspect it’s a combination of the two.

  5. While on the subject of the United Nations, I remembered Article 27(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the UN in 1948, which declares:

    “Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.”

    But on looking at the Declaration again I also noticed the following:

    “Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. ”

    Thus it would seem that anyone who acts contrary to Article 27(2) – for example by promoting large scale copyright infringement – would be unable to appeal to the Declaration to defend their actions, for example on grounds of ‘free speech’.