August 17, 2012 · · Comments Off

Understanding the New Google “Pirate Penalty” — Last Friday, in welcome news, the search behemoth announced it would be incorporating legitimate DMCA takedown notices into its search ranking. PlagiarismToday’s Jonathan Bailey has an in-depth look at what the change means, followed up with 10 Questions Answered about Google’s New “Pirate Penalty.” Interestingly, Bailey notes that the change will mostly fall “on the shoulders of various file sharing sites”: the first non-filesharing site on Google’s transparency report is ranked all the way at number 170 in terms of takedown notices received.

Business Matters: Teens Listen to Music Most on YouTube, Pay for Music More Than Other Age Groups, Nielsen Study Says — Billboard notes that a newly released Nielsen study shows that “the average teen has more normal listening and discovery characteristics than one might expect given the hyperbole easily found in today’s media.” Half of all teens surveyed still listen to CDs, compared to 64% who listen on YouTube: a difference, but not as much as one might think.

BMW slams ad machine in reverse, screeches out of pirate den — Andrew Orlowski at The Register reports on BMW’s response to its ads showing up on filesharing sites after it was brought to the company’s attention by the Trichordist blog. “The car maker, which posted revenues of €68bn in 2011 – making it more than twice the size of Google – has promised to review how it promotes itself on the internet after the Trichordist blog noticed the German giant was touting its flash motors on pirate music sites.”

Dear American Express: Stop advertising on sites that illegally exploit my music — And speaking of the Trichordist, this week David Lowery calls attention to the financial services company for the same issue. “This isn’t abstract to me–this page is a link to an illegal download of one of my songs. You should also note some of the other ‘suggested’ searches on this same site are for some pretty nasty stuff.  I don’t like having my brand seen in these places and I’m sure you don’t either.”

Does the DMCA’s Safe Harbor Apply to Pre-1972 Sound Recordings? — Natalie Nichol of the Citizen Media Law Project examines the thorny issue, the subject of two recent court cases. Both courts resolved that it does, though both were lower court decisions. The US Copyright Office disagrees with the reasoning of the decisions (and as a matter of statutory interpretation, I believe the Copyright Office makes the stronger case) and an appeal of one of the decisions is possible, so for now the application of the DMCA to pre-1972 sound recordings remains unresolved.

Collins’ Crypt: How JAWS Spawned TWO Sub-Genres — Finally, I hope everyone enjoyed a blessed and prosperous Shark Week. In honor of the holiday, here is an interesting look at how the 1975 film inspired entire subgenres to follow in its footsteps.

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