EFF’s Misleading Criticism is a Wasted Opportunity to Contribute to the Discussion on How to Reduce Online Piracy — “In its quest to vehemently condemn creative attempts to address piracy, EFF not only makes unfounded and misleading criticisms. EFF also misses the opportunity to make constructive, collaborative suggestions to reduce piracy – a goal we all agree on.”

A Bitcoin for Digital Art — Many dismiss bitcoin and other digital currencies as a sham or a fad. But the technology underlying the currency may have broad applications, including applications for visual and other creators, that are only now being explored. A thought-provoking piece that looks at some of those potential applications.

Refresher Q&A on Oracle v. Google after appellate ruling: this copyright case is NOT about $1 billion — FOSS Patents takes a look at some of the details from last week’s important Federal Circuit decision holding Google liable for infringing Oracle’s Java platform.

Is it really a tech bubble, or is it something else? — “We live in crazy times — that is true — and things have gotten crazier, but it still doesn’t feel like the turn of the century. Last week, another former colleague from Red Herring brought up the topic and wondered how different things are now versus the 1999-2000 madness. And then he answered the question himself: 1999 had a gold rush mentality, a sense of broader mania. This time around you see more of a gross entitlement; and that’s what is different about the Bay Area.”

Mapping The International Availability of Entertainment Services — Cool maps, bro.

The joy of telling people how much money you make — Indie musician Nicole Dieker shares her experience with providing her fans with information about how much she makes through her music career. She observes, for example, that “One of the subtle assumptions of independent musicianry is the idea that once you go full-time, you somehow make a full-time income as a musician.”

Menell on Copyright’s “Making Available” Right — Legal Theory Blog points to Peter Menell’s latest, which responds to recent rebuttals of his earlier work that showed the legislative history of the 1976 Act supported the idea that US Copyright law provides for a general right of “making available.”

Google, don’t be secretive — “Now that these little garage businesses are some of the biggest companies in the world, it’s a whole lot harder for them to exhibit the qualities that once made them the darlings of the culture and counterculture alike. Yes, digital companies are being held to a higher standard than companies of previous generations. But this is largely because we all understand that they are building the infrastructure in which our economics, culture and perhaps even a whole lot of human consciousness will take place.”

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  1. EFF’s Misleading Criticism is a Wasted Opportunity to Contribute to the Discussion on How to Reduce Online Piracy — “In its quest to vehemently condemn creative attempts to address piracy, EFF not only makes unfounded and misleading criticisms. EFF also misses the opportunity to make constructive, collaborative suggestions to reduce piracy – a goal we all agree on.”

    So EFF’s criticism is misleading, rather than merely mistaken in your view, because you believe that the phrase “restraint of trade” should be properly understood to exclude cases where the targets of restraint are alleged (and only alleged) to be bad actors? And anybody who suggests otherwise is not merely mistaken, but deceptive?

    When was the last time the Copyright Alliance made a serious effort to engage EFF to pursue a constructive, collaborative approach to reduce piracy? Physician, heal thyself.

    Reply

    • J.S. Greenfield,

      They are misleading. Just go on air and say “Video DownloadHelper” in Mozilla, and then quote Google/YouTube saying “no downloads” to a US Federal Judge. EFF are misleading because they are F’n cowards. Thanks.

      Reply

    • So EFF’s criticism is misleading, rather than merely mistaken in your view, because you believe that the phrase “restraint of trade” should be properly understood to exclude cases where the targets of restraint are alleged (and only alleged) to be bad actors? And anybody who suggests otherwise is not merely mistaken, but deceptive?

      First, you’ll notice my use of quotation marks. Those generally indicate that a writer is quoting someone else. Second, you need to reread the article, because you completely misunderstood the argument being made, one that clearly does not support your interpretation.

      When was the last time the Copyright Alliance made a serious effort to engage EFF to pursue a constructive, collaborative approach to reduce piracy? Physician, heal thyself.

      Last Thursday.

      In parting, a gentle reminder to all readers: I appreciate lively debate and criticism, it is one of the reasons I allow anonymous comments on my site without requiring registration. However, I do ask that those who make comments refrain from combativeness and other trollish behavior.

      Reply

      • For the life of me, I cannot recall any instance where the EFF has made a constructive suggestion about how to apply Title 17 to assist in the reduction of online piracy. My recollection is that their mantra comprises criticizing rights holders for attempted reliance upon Title 17.

        Reply

        • That’s probably because EFF doesn’t really think filesharing should be illegal. They have made proposals for copyright licensing reform, but generally anything EFF proposes involves the decriminalization of filesharing copyrighted works online. So an organization like Copyright Alliance and the EFF will never see eye to eye here.

          Reply

        • To elaborate, the Electronic Frontier Foundation views copyright as generally an industrial regulation that was designed to effect the behavior of businesses, and even then, specifically printers, broadcasters, and publishers. The novel idea that it applies to ordinary behaviors of individuals online is one that EFF is especially apathetic to at the most basic of levels. But it doesn’t end with individuals. EFF believes that the technology sector is the source of innovation and individual enablement. So they also work to protect tech companies from legal challenges too (especially copyright, but other laws too). They were actually founded for this very reason. So EFF is fundamentally an organization that protects individuals and technology companies from legal challenges (especially copyright related) from the government and the content industry related to activities on the Internet or the limits of technology. This has been true since I can remember.

          Copyright Alliance obviously works in the entire opposite direction. As I understand it, they work to increase the opportunity for legal challenges against individuals and companies related to copyright. Basically, towards the strongest permissible enforcement of copyright against all individuals and all businesses. So a completely opposite agenda. Thus the relationship between Copyright Alliance and EFF is entirely adversarial. Not saying it’s impossible for them to work together, but it seem rather unlikely. There is no common ground.

          Reply

          • Your basis for claiming all this is what?

            I have not followed EFF closely, but I had some tangential involvement with them in the early to mid 90s, shortly after their founding. My recollection is that, at that time, they were focused on online speech and privacy issues, not copyright or other intellectual property issues. Furthermore, the three founders all ultimately made their fortunes from copyright, so it would seem remarkable if their purpose in founding EFF was focused on challenging copyright.

            Now, certainly, much can change in two decades, and EFF obviously does engage on intellectual property policy issues today as a significant aspect of their work. But even so, a quick review of their site hasn’t revealed any indication that they don’t believe copyright laws apply to individuals, as you seem to be suggesting. Rather, what I see suggests that they do believe use of copyrighted works by individuals warrants compensation for copyright holders. They clearly do believe that current approaches to enforcing copyrights and attempting to extract compensation is highly problematic, and has significant social detriments, and so they think other approaches should be pursued. They even have at least one proposal for such (voluntary collective agreements for file sharing) posted.

            I’m not saying that this proposal is good or bad, or that EFF is right or wrong in their views, generally. What I am saying, however, is that I think it is fallacious to suggest that their raison d’etre is to oppose licensing to individuals altogether, and that, therefore, it’s impossible for common ground to be found.

            On the other hand, knowing enough about how people behave, socially, I don’t doubt at all that both the Copyright Alliance and EFF might each have decided that the other has no serious interest in constructive engagement to find common ground. And that’s exactly how we end up with blog posts firing missiles back and forth, and each side criticizing the other for missing opportunities for constructive collaboration, while neither makes any serious effort toward such (even as each has probably convinced themselves that they have made serious efforts, though they’ve really done nothing of the sort).

      • Terry, it’s seems incredibly disingenuous for you to suggest that you are merely quoting, and not endorsing, the articles you cite, given how selective you are in choosing which articles to cite, generally (self-proclaimed devotion to “balance” notwithstanding), and especially in this case, given that this particular article is from the Copyright Alliance, where you are Director of Legal Policy.

        Are you seriously suggesting that you don’t endorse the view of the article?

        There was nothing trollish about my comment. I’m calling out what appears to me to be a pretty obvious case of the pot calling the kettle black — firing off barbs from afar, criticizing another party for not undertaking enough effort to engage constructively. There would seem an obvious absurdity to that.

        As for Copyright Alliance having made a serious effort to engage EFF at the linked event — presenting at a large multi-stakeholder forum isn’t exactly something I would characterize as a serious effort (and certainly not a likely to be successful strategy) to constructively engage EFF particularly (even ignoring the fact that Copyright Alliance fired off critical barbs specifically directed to EFF just 4 days later). And certainly, if that constitutes constructive engagement, EFF appears no less constructive in its presentation to the very same forum.

        Finally, if you’re looking to correct a perceived misunderstanding on my part respecting the article, you’ll have to be more specific as to what you feel I have “completely misunderstood.”

        Reply

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