Paying Attention to the Echo Chamber at CES Copyright Panel Discussion — David Newhoff dissects the incredibly one-sided copyright panel held this past week during CES, paying particular attention to EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow’s remark that “The Pirate Bay is speech.”

Guess who’ll grab Facebook Sponsored Stories payout? (Hint: Not the victims) — Andrew Orlowski looks at the latest example of the current trend of tech companies paying out class-action settlement awards to the organizations that they fund anyway. This time, it’s Facebook, in connection with litigation over its “Sponsored Stories”, and the beneficiaries include the usual suspects, as well as, says Orlowski, “WiredSafety.org (whose founder serves on Facebook’s Cybersafety Advisory Board).”

Youtube Allows Pirate “Partners” to Profit From Illegal Movie Uploads — Since YouTube lifted its 20 minute limit on videos that could be uploaded, it has been easier to find full-length films on the site… and, as Ellen Seidler notes here, easier for people without rights to full-length films to upload and monetize them. Seidler floats the suggestion of some sort of verification process for videos over 20 minutes in length.

RapidShare: Traffic and Piracy Dipped After New Business Model Kicked In — Last year, filelocker RapidShare unveiled a set of changes to reduce copyright infringement through its service, along with an “anti-piracy manifesto” calling on similar services to join it. Fastforward to today and, according to Torrentfreak, the service has experienced both a drop in traffic and infringement. I found the following remark from the article particularly interesting: “The flipside in the short-term is that RapidShare could lose a bit more traffic, at least until it manages it balance the loss of traditional file-sharing traffic with its new image as an antipiracy-motivated Dropbox-style cloud-hosting business.” Kudos to Torrentfreak for admitting there is a distinction between legitimate cloud storage providers like Dropbox and those cyberlockers that are set up primarily to profit off infringement.

Levi’s Was First. Now, Several Major Brands Want to Pull Their Pirate Site Advertising… — Digital Music News reports that since the USC Annenberg Innovation Labs released its report on ad-funded piracy, “numerous brands” have contacted the report’s authors seeking advice on preventing their brands from showing up on sites with widescale infringement.

Reading Between The Lines Google Tells The Truth On Ad Supported Piracy, Now Let Markets Do Their Work — Speaking of the USC ad report, the Trichordist does an excellent job dissecting Google’s “elegant non-denial” made in response to the report’s conclusion that Google ads provide a major source of revenue for online piracy.

Hotfile, Megaupload, and the Future of Copyright on the Internet: What can Cyberlockers Tell Us About DMCA Reform? — Finally, have a look at third-year law student Ross Drath’s recent paper on secondary liability and cyberlockers. Drath examines issues that are currently facing courts in two major cyberlocker cases and then offers some recommendations for increasing both certainty and effectiveness in protecting copyrighted works online. Says Drath, “It would be naïve to expect that Internet piracy could somehow be completely eradicated. Like alcohol and drug abuse, these practices will surely continue regardless of the level at which they are regulated. But we can still do better than we are doing right now.”

2 Comments

  1. Re RapidShare, kudos to it for starting down a road of changing its business model to one that will hopefully result in its becoming a true cloud storage site, and not a site that merely mouths “cloud storage” when the accurate term would be “illusion of cloud storage to collect money by facilitating the transfer of illegal files”.

    I read the article and noted that any number of other groups are stepping up to fill the void. Out of curiosity I went to the site mentioned in the article and noted that its webpage addresses only uploads. I then did a quick search using Google that used the term “rapidgator” and the name of the most current version of popular software. Of course the search results were quite lengthy. Interestingly, I could not find a single piece of popular software hosted on that site that could be freely downloaded. All such software required a paid subscription. The hypocrisy of sites such as this is astounding.

  2. I have to admit it’s pretty funny to see all the hand wringing on the pirate blogs like Techdirt and Torrent Freak in regard to the ISPs 6 strikes plan. Those people are as desperate as junkies about to miss their fix.