Entries Matching: Piracy
On today's podcast we discuss crafting a positive post SOPA/PIPA agenda on InterentBlueprint.org, updates for Verizon/SpectrumCo., Universal buying EMI, and the new "disc to digital" program from the movie studios.
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As part of its sales pitch to antitrust regulators, Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the world, is now claiming that it absolutely must buy the record label EMI in order to fight piracy. Yes, Universal is seriously claiming that the pressures of online copyright infringement are forcing it to buy one of its largest competitors in an already very consolidated market. On this point, Universal is wrong. Universal is not trying to buy EMI because it wants to fight piracy, and even if it was, this deal would likely have the exact opposite effect. The best way to fight piracy is to offer fans a quick, easy, reasonably priced legal alternative to infringement. Those consumer-friendly alternatives are much more likely to thrive when no single record label has a large enough market share to effectively veto any new service it doesn’t like.
In an announcement that was either an inspired piece of Yes Men-esque performance art or a stunning example of corporate myopia, last week Warner Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara discussed a new DVD digitization service called “disc-to-digital.” The program, which would have merely been ill-advised had it been announced ten years ago, today stands as a testament to the ability of movie studios to blind themselves to reality.
The White House recently released a response to two petitions protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The statement agreed with the petition signers that anti-piracy laws must not increase censorship or risk security flaws by tampering with the domain name system (DNS), key parts of both SOPA and the Senate's proposed PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). This is a fantastic sign that shows that the objections of ordinary, clued-in Internet users can make a difference in stopping misguided legislation.
The statement, co-authored by Victoria Espinel, the IP Enforcement Coordinator, Aneesh Chopra, the Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, the Cybersecurity Coordinator, affirms the message that legislation tampering with the DNS poses real risks to the security and stability of the Internet.
My original plan had been to write up a quick summary of today's markup, but at this writing, the House Judiciary Committee has discussed less than half of over 50 pending proposed amendments to SOPA. However, there's a clear trend in the committee regarding amendments—nearly every one voted on so far has been defeated.
I'd been live-tweeting a blow-by-blow of the proceedings so far, but the main takeaways from the markup are probably best recounted thematically, rather than chronologically, since a lot of themes get repeated with each amendment 's introduction and debate.
There's various levels of debate being engaged in during this markup. First, there's the discussion of the bill text. Then there's the discussion of the bill's effects. Third is the discussion of proponents' and opponents' motives.