Real cost of ‘free’ downloads — Ken Paulson, president and CEO of the First Amendment Center, pens this must read op-ed on copyright and free speech, just in time for the 225th annivesary of the drafting of the US Copyright Clause (September 5th). “In the end, this is not about business models or emerging technology. It’s about living up to the promise we made to Webster and the first generation of Americans who believed that art should be free, but not necessarily free of charge.”
“Legitimate” piracy — John Degen takes a trip down the “freecult logical vortex for legitimizing piracy.” “If you, the professional content creator, are stupid enough to actually create valuable content and even think about putting it near the Internet, you are inviting piracy. And if you think technological protection measures (TPMs) will protect the value of your valuable content, you’re even more stupid. If you think the law should address your problem, you’re some kind of freedom-hating corporate monster. Also, stupid.”
Pro-Music’s Global Guide To Music Services — Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm presents a list of legitimate music services, categorized by country, from Pro-Music.org. The list is long, but certainly not exhaustive — music listeners have tons of other ways to legally enjoy music online, more than any other time in history.
Survey on Digital Content Usage 2012: Sanctions and warnings regarding copyright infringements are gaining acceptance among the public — The IFPI presents a report that showcases the attitudes and behaviors of German consumers regarding online media. Some of the key findings, according to the IFPI: “Three of every four Germans believe it is appropriate to fine people who offer copyrighted media content online without permission. More than half the population (53 percent) endorses the imposition of fines on people who illegally download media content. Consumers feel that warnings would have a preventive effect: 57 percent of Germans believe that up- and downloaders would discontinue their copyright-infringing activities upon receiving a warning from the provider.”
Piracy and Internet Search – The Debate — Along the same lines, researcher Brett Danaher wonders what the effect of Google’s recent move to downgrade search ranking based on takedown notices will have. Danaher notes that his previous research has shown that “laws aimed at deterring consumers from filesharing can increase music sales” and “shutting down a major cyberlocker increased movie sales,” but the effect of Google’s new policy remains to be seen.
The Andersen P2P file sharing study on the purchase of music CDs in Canada — One of the few studies that concluded that filesharing helps, rather than hurts, recorded music sales again faces fundamental questions. As Barry Sookman reports, the 2007 paper’s key conclusion that filesharing leads to higher music sales had previously been revised by the author, dropping the claim. This week, a new paper, re-examining the same data as the original paper, reports the exact opposite conclusion, and notes the original and revised papers are “fundamentally flawed.” The new paper, by Australian economist Prof. George Barker “consistently [found] a negative and statistically significant partial correlation between CD purchases and P2P downloads.”
RapidShare: We’ll help Hollywood, but ‘not at all costs’ (Q&A) — Declan McCullagh of CNet interviews RapidShare general counsel Daniel Raimer. Though there is still a ton of infringing content available on the service, it is encouraging to see the company express interest in mitigating that. Says Raimer, “We believe it’s a much more interesting market to have the legitimate customers upload important files that they want to have for long periods of time — a reliable cloud computing service that they can trust. These are the types of customers we want. Legitimate customers don’t really want to argue whether your service costs $4.99 a month or $50 a year. Copyright pirates are different. They really want everything for free. They’re definitely not the long-time customers.”
A Commendable Response from Zedo — On Tuesday, Chris Castle discovered that ad platform Zedo was serving ads on several notable torrent sites. By Wednesday, the company responded with a promise to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. Kudos to Zedo. But as Castle notes, “This exchange highlights the most important aspect of the collision of legitimate companies with the seedy underbelly of the Internet–it’s not enough to sit back and wait for someone to formally notify you when things are going wrong.”
David Lowery to host SXSW panel on music piracy? — Adland reports that David Lowery has submitted a proposal for a panel on an “Innovative, Open, Ethical & Sustainable Internet” for this year’s SXSW. If this sounds interesting, follow the link in the article to the panel picker to vote it up — voting ends August 31.