Challenge to streaming TV — Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog reports on the cert petition filed by TV broadcasters asking the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s decision in WNET v. Aereo. A good background of the issues is provided, as well as some thoughts on how likely the Court is to agree to hear the case.
Real Censorship — This week in the U.S. was National Free Speech Week. Author Chris Ruen had these thoughts to share: “Giant tech companies are happy to avoid the pains of regulation and reduced profits that would come with rules-of-the-road that treat creators with more decency. It’s much easier and more effective to say they believe in ‘free expression’ or are ‘against censorship’ than to admit that artists, once again in history, have little negotiating power and can therefore be rolled over by the powers that be.”
How the Creative Industries Defend Free Speech — Also marking the week, the Copyright Alliance has a white paper, written by Evan Sheres and myself, looking at some of the many cases over past decades where members of the creative community have done the actual legwork of defending free speech and fair use in courts.
Randolph May & Seth Cooper: The Constitution’s Approach to Copyright — The Originalism Blog features May and Cooper’s article exploring the property rights approach to copyright and patent enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. “Copyright and patent are rooted in an individual’s basic right to the fruits of his or her own labor. Intellectual property (IP) protections are extensions of that basic right. Such protections secure to authors and inventors the financial rewards of their creative works and innovations for limited times, thereby promoting the public good.”
Making Money from Movie Streaming Sites, an Insider’s Story — Torrentfreak interviews “John”, a successful uploader. “John was soon adding more than a thousand links a day to several streaming websites. He now has 30,000 different movies and TV shows stored online, across 12 different file-hosting sites, each carrying between 10,000 and 30,000 items from John’s collection. ‘Amongst the different streaming websites I have added over 200,000 links. And yes, I am making a nice living at it,’ John concludes.”
Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary — Google’s adoption of an open source mobile OS wasn’t an embrace of a new paradigm, or a endorsement of “open” as morally and fiscally superior to “closed.” It was, as Ars Technica reports, a shrewd business move to quickly gain marketshare against Apple in the mobile space, followed by a slow enclosure that would lock in users to Google properties.
Mercatus’s Unhelpful Business Advice to the Creative Industries — The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property’s Mark Schultz thoroughly debunks the results of the piracydata.org project released last week. Very much worth reading in full. Schultz concludes with these parting thoughts: “If you love the free market, then perhaps it’s time to respect the people with the best information about their property and the greatest motivation to engage in mutually beneficial voluntary exchanges. Or you can just contribute to the mountain of lame excuses for piracy that have piled up over the last decade.”
Dubious news hook lets me confirm and blog my pre-existing views — How bad is anti-copyright research getting? So bad that even copyright skeptics are quick to point out the flaws. Here, the Volokh Conspiracy’s Stewart Baker notes some questionable methodology in a study that purports that Girl Talk’s 2010 album All Day — created primarily using hundreds of samples of existing sound recordings without permission — led to a massive increase in sales of the songs that were sampled. Says Baker, “Schuster says he’s just correcting for noise in the data, and it isn’t appropriate to charge Girl Talk with the natural rhythm of pop music sales. Maybe so, but once you start making big after-the-fact adjustments to a sample of 200, you can prove pretty much anything.”