The emperor of “disruption theory” is wearing no clothes — A lot of reaction this week to a New Yorker piece by Jill Lepore criticizing some of the core principles guiding Silicon Valley, this is one of the latest. “It’s possible to be critical of the way Silicon Valley is agitating for regulatory reform that is designed to nurture Silicon Valley business models without being ‘anti-technology.’ It’s possible to explore the question of how the current pace of technological innovation is affecting jobs and inequality without being anti-technology. It is possible to be critical of how, in the current moment, technology appears to be serving the interest of the owners of capital at the expense of workers without being anti-technology. It’s even possible to love one’s smartphone and the Internet while at the same time critiquing run-amok ‘change the world’ hype.”

The Walking Dead producer criticises Game of Thrones executive over piracy — “‘When consumers do go [onto pirate websites] they look legitimate,’ she said. ‘They have advertising from well-known brands, and they take credit cards. How would the consumer know the difference between legitimate sites and illegitimate sites? There is a lot the advertising industry, credit card industry and search industry can do to help protect legit content.'”

Congress moves against ad-supported piracy — Writer and director Alec Berg (Seinfeld”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Silicon Valley.”) applauds recent efforts in Congress to draw more attention to the fact that major brands advertising on sites offering unauthorized creative works. “These major brands can avoid funding illegal activity. They can. The question is: Will they?”

Copyright exhaustion does not apply to digital goods other than software, Hamm Court of Appeal says — Good news for creators, as a court in Germany declined to extend the 2012 UsedSoft decision, which held that the distribution right for software can be exhausted by digital transmission under certain circumstances, to subject matter beyond software — here, audiobooks.

Google ordered by BC court to block websites selling pirated goods: Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack — Another positive decision, this one from Canada. As attorney Barry Sookman explains, plaintiffs won a default judgment against a website that was selling counterfeit goods and asked Google to help. “When Google refused to de-index the offending websites from its search results, the plaintiffs brought a motion against Google for interim relief requiring Google to de-index the websites. Over Google’s objections, in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack 2014 BCSC 1063, Madam Justice Fenlon of the British Columbia Supreme Court granted the injunction.”

AJ Rafael Announces Hiatus from Performing [Exclusive Letter] — That didn’t take long. This week, a YouTube artists announced he is retiring, citing the difficulties for creators to sustain a career distributing and promoting their work through the free online video site.

11 Comments

  1. In response to article “The Walking Dead producer criticizes Game of Thrones executive over piracy…”, the producer said: ‘[Pirate sites] have advertising from well-known brands, and they take credit cards.” (re: The Guardian).

    Indeed, they take credit cards! Much like HotFile, MegaUpload, Fung/IsoHunt, Oron.net, etc. did plus a list of current operators that can reach toward the moon, (including the board of Ebay/PayPal) as well. And the credit cards companies specifically by mouse-click and transaction approval financially facilitate catastrophic copyright theft, counterfeiting of goods and services, money laundering (see the statuses @ 18 USC), and collect billions of dollars and foreign currencies from the fees. They have no intention to remove their trademark logos and halt the accounts when “found out”, they will collect that cash-flow unyielding no matter who is destroyed, hurt, or starves—-what does another human (or machine) care when they’re collecting in an instant.

    Follow the money, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, PayPal, et al are criminally liable, class-actionable; worse, have no defense, none whatsoever. For starters (and I mean just a start), see US Supreme Court’s petition briefs, both for and against, in Perfect 10 v. Visa International et. al.,

    Now how are the credit card companies going to return all that cash + punitive in treble?

    It’s worse that Watergate. ObamaWorld is lawless.

    Thanks.

  2. Earth waiting for Terry and Devlin on Aereo. Surprisingly Scalia, Alito and Thomas dissented.

    • Coming soon!

    • I am really interested to see someone explain how the decision doesn’t apply to YouTube.

      Bonus points if you can do it without “well, the court says it doesn’t”.

      • I’m not sure I understand. There’s no question that YouTube publicly performs works when a video is played. It licenses (and has licensed for years) for the ability to do so from a large array of copyright owners. In addition, it is protected by DMCA safe harbors for user-uploaded files (see Viacom v. YouTube (“The plaintiffs alleged direct and secondary copyright infringement based on the public performance, display, and reproduction of approximately 79,000 audiovisual “clips” that appeared on the YouTube website between 2005 and 2008.”).)

        • It gets interesting in the context of YT’s recent decision to block rights holders who refuse to license their new music service “from the platform” (whatever that means).
          There are two interpretations being proposed: the hard option is that videos licensed by these rights holders will be blocked outright; the soft option is that the only thing that will be blocked is monetisation through ContentID.
          Both have interesting implications, because whichever option YT takes, they will have to admit knowledge that the songs/videos in question are not being licensed – as a result of YT’s unilateral decision. Since it is YT that refuses to buy a license that covers only the YouTube video platform, it follows that it acknowledges that any instance of the material in question that appears after they institute the block will be unlicensed – unless the license was given by a well-known third party (I’m thinking mainly Vevo here). The question of “red-flag” knowlege gains an additional twist here, because YT knows – and has said – it would not accept a video-platform only license, therefore any instance must automatically be unlicensed (previously, YT could hide behind the fact that, for all they knew, a video may have been uploaded by a legitimate rights holder and thus subject to the general license).
          ContentID makes matters even more interesting, because YouTube will have actual knowledge of all works that have previously been successfully identified. Even if the dissenting indies were to be blocked from monetisation via ContentID, we could argue that YT must automatically block all instances of works identifed by ContentID in order to maintain safe-harbour protection (they will know that all such material is unlicensed).
          I’m waiting to see how it all pans out.

        • As for YouTube, they (Google/YouTube) were caught in perjury in the Viacom case which is why it was settled before it reached Round II of the second circuit. YouTube’s argument of “no downloads” wasn’t true based on the on-going MegaUpload criminal trial where YouTube claims to testify that everything was downloaded (i.e.: dual oaths are present and on-the-record in separate federal cases). Despite that Mozilla and PayPal fund Video DownloadHelper in Firefox for every YouTube file to be downloaded (from 2007 to this second), YouTube’s own Terms of Service in 2007, 2010, and current assert/ed downloading was/is allowed by an agreement of the anonymous user’s signature. Add to that CBS Interactive (owned by National Amusements, Viacom and CBS’ parent) had YouTube downloading software available on CNET. Finally, the settlement was to avoid “Willful Blindness” as it was, and still is, clear that Google/YouTube are willfully blind to steal, and they still steal this very second. This really occurs with US government protection due to a lack of conceiving the knowledge of simple computer science.

          As for Aereo’s application for YouTube, Cloud Computing, etc., it appears to be quite clear with all the justices—being that all uploads, including “storage” is always a copy, a counterfeit of a material object, inclusive of an individual “already having paid for the use of the copyright” (the case-law in Capital v. ReDigi (see Page 5) makes confirms that it is). As well as the fact that machines are somehow ruling decision making powers (without a statute that grants them a human right) as to what is and what is not a copyright. And then there is the a definition of a URL and a subdirectory of the same URL (the latter Google doesn’t want everyone to think 5 lights when there are 4). Hence, someday in the future it will accurately become an issue with another plaintiff that gets upset (or is forced to defend from lawless intrusion by theives), and too has the funds to go against a Google unless copyright law is either strengthened, or what I wrote in paragraph 1 makes noise—currently a peep that the US Media purposely avoids on both political sides. Like a news-station used Twitter and asked “Do you think Google is becoming big brother”, and they were told to go on the air and show Google’s specific line of perjury in the Viacom case, from which it was ignored.

          But you never know, all that Fed money printing could just fall into everyone’s hands all of a sudden with Wall Street crying foul, and no one will care. Thanks.

        • “There’s no question that YouTube publicly performs works when a video is played.”

          Congratulations, you’ve made YouTube illegal. As soon as a user plays one copyrighted file for which YouTube doesn’t have a license, YouTube is acting exactly like Aereo did, i.e. copying copyrighted content without a license to do so.

          “In addition, it is protected by DMCA safe harbors for user-uploaded files…”

          Then how does that not protect Aereo? Aereo specifically set up their operation to be “broadcast signals are captured by individual equipment installations dedicated to a user, and only reproduced to that specific user when they requested it”. It’s not like Aereo just recorded everything and made copies of the source files. If anything they’re *less* de facto infringing than YouTube, because Aereo at least takes steps to ensure that it’s one-user-one-record, whereas once something is on YouTube then everyone in the world can view that single file!

    • Earth waiting for Terry and Devlin on Aereo. Surprisingly Scalia, Alito and Thomas dissented.

      Ha! I have one post on the opinion over at my blog: http://lawtheories.com/?p=1353

      I’m working on another one now, applying the Court’s holding in Aereo to the Fox v. Dish appeal that the Ninth Circuit will hear on July 7th. I hope to have it done for Monday, And I have several more posts planned after, don’t worry!

  3. No idea where this attempt at dragging the cloud into Aereo’s idiocy came from. Aereo is CATV. Obviously. Good night.