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Movie Studios Compete with Free, Even in the Hardest of Times

March 2, 2009 Filtering , Piracy

The New York Times reports today that despite the hard times we're all experiencing, box office ticket sales are up 17.5% this year. That's great, it's clear that people need some entertainment right now and there's a lot of engaging and escapist films out right now. But how does this jive with the lobbying efforts by the MPAA to combat online file trading, like the recent push for copyright filtering as part of the stimulus package or last years PRO-IP enforcement bill? The studios' arguments just don't add up, while studio revenues clearly do.

Maybe we don't say it enough: "There's nothing wrong with making money from creativity!" That's arguably what at least part of copyright is about. But the studios keep arguing to law and policy makers that their lost control over their content equals lost revenue. Thus, they need

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UPDATE II: Copyright Filtering in Stimulus Bill

February 11, 2009 Fair Use , Filtering

As Alex discussed yesterday, the battle over a Hollywood-backed amendment to the stimulus bill that would allow Internet Service Providers to filter their networks for copyright violations is not yet over. The conference committee for the bill is meeting as I write this, and for that reason, we have launched a new action alert to ensure that the House and Senate conferees understand why this amendment is bad as both a substantive and a procedural matter, and should not be included in the final stimulus package.

Again, the conference is happening now and is expected to conclude by day's end. So please, act NOW. We'll keep you updated. And thank you!

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George Ou: Protocol Agnostic doesn’t mean Protocol Agnostic

July 17, 2008 Broadband , FCC , Filtering , Network Neutrality , P2P

George Ou, the former Technical Director of ZDNet, has found a new job where he continues to lead the technology sector by publishing innovative thoughts and ideas – sometimes not necessarily his own.

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Myth of the Bandwidth Hog

July 14, 2008 Broadband , Filtering , Internet Protocol , Network Neutrality

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been quick to blame problems with service quality on so-called “bandwidth hogs.” According to AT&T, the top 5% of their Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) subscribers use 46% of the consumed bandwidth, and the top 1% of subscribers use 21%. But it is unclear what these figures mean, and if congestion problems could even be caused by those who use the network the most. These figures would seem to be describing the bandwidth consumption totals at the end of some designated time period (day, week, month). If this is the case, then 5% of subscribers using 46% of bandwidth consumed is not necessarily cause for alarm.

Excessive bandwidth usage is only a problem when it degrades the quality of service for other users of the network.

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G8 Endorses ACTA: Great, so what’s in it?

July 9, 2008 DRM , Filtering , Piracy

In its "Declaration on the World Economy", the G-8 included an endorsement of ACTA and ongoing efforts to "standardize" IP enforcement through customs organizations. "We encourage the acceleration of negotiations to establish a new international legal framework, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and seek to complete the negotiation by the end of this year," the statement says.

So we have a major endorsement of ACTA from the leadership of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And pressure to have this international legal agreement ready to roll at the end of the year. So what's going to be in this critically important, possibly binding international agreement, to be completed in less than six months?

We have no idea.

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