BitTorrent 99% Infringing, 100% Disinformation… now with Ads.


yes. torrenting is dirty word, and for good reason.

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

We’ve reported before on BitTorrent’s claim that they are “not designed for piracy” despite multiple studies and research finding over 99% infringing content being distributed using it.

The latest comes to us from who are offering commentary on BitTorrent’s recent move into outdoor advertising that first appeared in Gizmodo.

The opening of Gizmodo’s article reads thusly:

“Torrenting” is kind of a dirty word. It makes you think piracy, doesn’t it? Well it shouldn’t. Torrenting isn’t illegal. It’s not even morally ambiguous. It’s just a way to send data, and it’s awesome.

Yes. That’s right. Keep telling yourself that. Guns don’t kill people. People do. It’s not the syringe, it’s the heroin. It’s not the file sharing platform enabling copyright infringement; its the millions of users using the site to infringe.

Baa, baa, baa, Sheeple.

As usual the folks at AdLand have a wonderful way of exploring the…

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Just a Word About Thom Yorke and Bit-Torrent…

We’ve been here before. We know how this story ends as it did previously for both NIN and Radiohead. We remember those experiments too and we remember what was said after that fact.

Let’s be clear:  Bit Torrent Bundles is taking advantage of an installed base of 170 million plus users that they obtained for one reason and one reason only–they have a product that they have perfected into the best tool for piracy in history.  And understand, this is not just some kid in a dorm room who came up with some software.  This is a commercial company that improves and perfects its product and has done so for 13 years.  There’s nothing spontaneous about this company that suddenly are shocked, shocked that there is piracy going on with their application.  Check out Andrew Keen’s interview with Bit Torrent founder Bram Cohen and Cohen’s unconvincing regurgitation of the Lessig excuses for stealing from artists.

Bit Torrent has been struggling for years to commercialize that installed base whether it’s through selling over 5 billion ads a month in the uTorrent browser or now by a supremely innovative business model–selling downloads.  Selling downloads was perfected by iTunes over 10 years ago and selling ads to profit from piracy is as old as Google Adsense.  So what’s innovative about Bit Torrent Bundles?

What’s innovative is that having stolen the audience from a vast number of creators, be they artists, film makers, authors, photographers, illustrators, free lancers and others, and from investors in creators, be they record companies, music publishers, book publishers and others, Bit Torrent now wants to sell the distribution channel it stole back to those who are solely responsible for creating it.

This is a form of blackmail, pure and simple.  This is why there are unfair business practice laws to protect the public from people like Bit Torrent.

If the artists participating in the Bit Torrent Bundles program are able to overlook Bit Torrent’s history, that is their decision.  If they can sleep at night knowing they are profiting from the massive theft of other peoples creations, then bully for them.  If they think it’s good logic to compromise themselves for the opportunity to sell to a mailing list of shoplifters, then we’re also looking forward to their solution for 2 plus 2 equals -5.  Please show the work.

And most importantly:  If these artists think that it’s a good idea to legitimize Bit Torrent without requiring the company to do something about the massive theft they support, then so be it.  We get it.

These type of “experiments” generally only work if the artist is someone who has had the benefit of more than a decade of marketing and promotion paid for by a multinational corporation spending millions and millions of dollars.  Which is why these artists are also the top tracks being stolen using the Bit Torrent application.  If there is logic to this, please let us know.  It just looks like the typical Big Tech shakedown.

Why?  How much money has Bit-Torrent invested in Radiohead’s career? Zero. But hey, they have distributed hundreds of millions of copies of the bands catalog to consumers without compensating the band a penny. Not one cent. Ev-er.  And now they have the brass to charge artists a distribution fee for Bit Torrent Bundles?  If Bit Torrent gave the artists the service for free, that would at least make some kind of sense.  But as usual, Big Tech just heaps insult on injury on insult.

When BitTorrent takes care of the 99.7% of infringing material they distribute, that will be cause for celebration.


BitTorrent, “Not Designed For Piracy”… Really? Seriously? 99% Infringing…

BitTorrent 99% Infringing, 100% Disinformation… now with Ads.

BitTorrent’s Dictator Problem. Belarus is Worse than Russia, Why Does Bittorrent Operate Development Center in Minsk?

BitTorrent, “Not Designed For Piracy”… Really? Seriously? 99% Infringing…

Trichordist Editor:

Despite whatever PR stunts BitTorrent may do, or what artists it may convince to try an experiment, the truth about Bittorrent is pretty simple.

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

Bit Torrent creator Bram Cohen is either one of the most misinformed people on earth, or one of the most intellectually dishonest… and here’s why… Remember this one?

BitTorrent: Bram Cohen Says ‘I commit digital piracy’?

I build systems to disseminate information, commit digital piracy, synthesize drugs, maintain untrusted contacts, purchase anonymously, and secure machines and homes. I release my code and writings freely, and publish all of my ideas early to make them unpatentable.

Uhmmmm…. So why this is surprising?

Only 0.3% of files on BitTorrent confirmed to be legal | Ars Technica

This report echoes similar results out of Princeton that were published earlier this year. Though the top categories were slightly different—Princeton found that movies and TV were the most popular, while music fell behind games/software, pornography, and unclassifiable files—that study found that all of the movie, TV, and music content being shared was indeed infringing.


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Rene Summer gets it Wrong about Piracy and Payment… The Internet Time Machine Strikes Again.

Trichordist Editor:

Trichordist Rewind, from One Year Ago…

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

Rene Summer posted the article “Stop treating symptoms and start curing diseases” on The Networked Society Blog where he re-hashed the same incorrect talking points that the internet industry “Merchants Of Doubt” have been trying to pedal for a while. As much as it may have been fair to make these arguments in 2003, it’s a more than a bit silly to propose the same talking points a decade later.

Rene writes:

This reliance on enforcement to protect old technologies (read physical distribution) and old business models is the root cause of the market-supply failure problem. It results in insufficient access to lawful digital content and its symptoms are illegal access. The causation works even the other way around increasing availability of lawful digital content also leads to decreased frequency in accessing illegal content.

The idea that there is a lack of new business models and…

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#irespectmusic and Fasten Your Seatbelts: Where Do We Go From Here on Pre-72?



Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

This has been a good week for artist rights–the Turtles struck a major blow in the struggle against the new boss in their case against Sirius to protect the rights of artists who recorded prior to 1972.  What should we expect now from new boss companies like Pandora, Sirius, YouTube and Clear Channel?  When we remember that the new boss is far, far worse than the old boss, there are certain events we can anticipate.  No money, bigger alliances against us and crony capitalism on steroids.  I’d love to be wrong, but don’t be surprised if I’m right.

1.  No Payments and Scortched Earth Litigation:  While it would be the right thing to do, my prediction is that it will be a frosty day in Hell before the new boss will ever pay a penny to pre-72 artists, musicians or background vocalists without a final nonappealable judgement following absolute…

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DMCA “Takedown” Notices: Why “Takedown” Should Become “Take Down and Stay Down” and Why It’s Good for Everyone | Nova Edu

We reported on this earlier this year and it’s great to see other voices stepping up!

by Stephen Carlisle

In other words, Google’s not going to do anything unless Google gets a slice of the profit. When asked, shouldn’t search engines have an affirmative duty to prevent the reposting of materials, she responded that it would be “impractical to enforce and it would chill online speech.” 19 This answer begs the question: since when is the repeated posting of “blatantly infringing” material online protected speech? To quote the Supreme Court of the United States, the First Amendment “securely protects the freedom to make—or decline to make—one’s own speech; it bears less heavily when speakers assert the right to make other people’s speeches.” 20 According to the RIAA, they have sent more than two million takedown requests to Google about the website mp3skull. Despite this, mp3skull continues to top Google’s search results for “artist+songname+download.” 21 Whose speech is being chilled here?



DMCA “Take Down and Stay Down” Is The Logical Solution to a Flawed Loophole [VIDEO]


You See What Happens When You Find a Stranger in the Alps? Sirius Screws It Up For All Broadcasters.

“You see what happens when you find a stranger in the alps”-Television censored version of Walter’s magnificent rant in The Big Lebowski.

We told you so.  Sirius, Pandora and other digital broadcasters in refusing to pay royalties on pre-1972 masters have created total chaos for digital broadcasters and enormous liabilities for their shareholders.  A federal judge has ruled that Sirius has no license to play these songs.  This is not a just a devastating setback for Sirius.  It has wide ranging repercussions for the entire broadcasting industry.  Does any service have a license to play any pre-1972 recording? That is now an open question.

We’ve always maintained that the position that Sirius and Pandora have taken in regards to pre-1972 recordings was extremely dangerous,  for it could result in a judge ruling that  no digital broadcasters have compulsory licenses to play these songs.   And now that’s what has happened.  If this ruling stands every digital broadcaster may have to obtain a license to play pre-1972 recordings from every single master recording owner.  That is what I would call a clusterjam™ of epic proportions.

In the equity trading business there is a little adage:  “Any idiot can lose money in the stock market, you have to be really smart to lose a lot of money.”   So here is the corollary:  “Any idiot lawyer can make a bad legal argument that leads to copyright infringement liabilities,  It takes a really smart lawyer to make an entire industry liable.”

The thing for Pandora and Sirius to do now is to immediately start paying royalties under the 1995 DPRA act (and subsequent acts).  Why? Because they’d at least have a fig leaf of a claim to a license for these recordings. With all due respect to our lawyer friends and law professors who have insisted that we are wrong about this,  the federal 1995 DPRA act DOES cover pre-1972 recordings (and a careful reading of the latest ruling does not contradict our position). To claim otherwise is as plausible as a belief in unicorns.  Just look at the text* of the 1995 DPRA.  Nowhere does the text make any distinction between pre-72 or post 72 masters. Further you would have to believe an extraordinary claim that congress intended to exclude an entire class of recordings, without testimony or debate.    The act also goes out of it’s way to specifically exempt terrestrial radio, if congress had intended to exempt pre-1972 recordings wouldn’t they have specifically exempted it? After all they declared themselves to be in the business of handing out exemptions!   Further the law says “copyrighted work”,  but does not specify federal copyright as the unicorn wranglers claim.  And lets be consistent here, by inductive logic why aren’t the unicorn caballeros claiming that  the DMCA safe harbor doesn’t apply to pre-1972 recordings?  I just hear crickets on that one.

[DOCID: f:publ39.104]

[[Page 109 STAT. 336]]

Public Law 104-39
104th Congress

                                 An Act

To amend title 17, United States Code, to provide an exclusive right to 
perform sound recordings publicly by means of digital transmissions, and 
         for other purposes. <<NOTE: Nov. 1, 1995 -  [S. 227]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Digital 
Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 
1995. Copyrights. Communications.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 17 USC 101 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Digital Performance Right in Sound 
Recordings Act of 1995''.


    Section 106 of title 17, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (4) by striking ``and'' after the 
            (2) in paragraph (5) by striking the period and inserting 
        ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the 
        copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio 


    Section 114 of title 17, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a) by striking ``and (3)'' and inserting 
        ``(3) and (6)'';
            (2) in subsection (b) in the first sentence by striking 
        ``phonorecords, or of copies of motion pictures and other 
        audiovisual works,'' and inserting ``phonorecords or copies'';
            (3) by striking subsection (d) and inserting:

    ``(d) Limitations on Exclusive Right.--Notwithstanding the 
provisions of section 106(6)--
            ``(1) Exempt transmissions and retransmissions.--The 
        performance of a sound recording publicly by means of a digital 
        audio transmission, other than as a part of an interactive 
        service, is not an infringement of section 106(6) if the 
        performance is part of--
                    ``(A)(i) a nonsubscription transmission other than a 
                    ``(ii) an initial nonsubscription retransmission 
                made for direct reception by members of the public of a 
                prior or simultaneous incidental transmission that is 
                not made for direct reception by members of the public; 
                    ``(iii) a nonsubscription broadcast transmission;
                    ``(B) a retransmission of a nonsubscription 
                broadcast transmission: Provided, That, in the case of a 
                retransmission of a radio station's broadcast 
[[Page 109 STAT. 337]]

#IRespectMusic: California Court Rules for The Turtles, Deals Crushing Blow to Sirius in Victory for Artist Rights on pre-72


A big victory for artists and songwriters!

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Score Round One for the Duke, the Count and Satchmo–Flo & Eddie pka The Turtles have won a crushing victory over Sirius XM requiring Sirius to license and pay royalties for Flo & Eddie’s recordings published before 1972.  Sirius had taken the position that because the Congress did not expressly include pre-1972 recordings when it established the performance right for sound recordings in 1995, Sirius did not have to pay royalties on pre-72 recordings it used on its service.  This is a position held by Pandora and the Digital Media Association which includes Google among its membership.  More about that later.

The case was brilliantly argued for Flo & Eddie by Henry Gradstein and Harvey Geller, two long time artist advocates (the firm is also representing Aimee Mann in her lawsuit against MediaNet).  The theory is actually very simple, even biblical–thou shalt not steal.  But then I’m an Old…

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A Teachable Moment: Google’s Insulting Reply to News Corp Tells the New Regime in Brussels What It Needs to Know

Trichordist Editor:

“It also doesn’t really care much about governments, either. And when it comes to individual creators struggling against a gigantic American multinational media empire–like Google–we all need the government to do its part to protect creators and consumers from these rogue companies profiting from outright theft in the biggest income transfer of all time.” Any Questions?

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

As MTP readers will recall, Google is locked in the proverbial death struggle with the European Commission over antitrust complaints of Google’s anticompetitive behavior.  Those complaints resulted in an antitrust investigation going back several years.  For Google, winning that investigation would look like palming off as real change some ice in winter changes to their business practices as part of a bureaucratic charm offensive.  That charm offensive resulted in the embarrassing image of Eric “Uncle Sugar” Schmidt cozying up to his new BFF the Competition Commissioner of the European Commission, Joaquín Almunia.

Commissioner Almunia gave Google not one, not two, but an unprecedented three opportunities to negotiate a settlement on Google’s own terms–and Google is desperately trying for a fourth before Mr. Almunia’s term expires in October, and yes I do expect an October surprise from Mr. Almunia.  Every time Google got a chance to renegotiate rather than getting fined or…

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Andrew Keen on the false idealism of the internet [video]

Trichordist Editor:

Insightful Observations from Andrew Keen.

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

In this interview with the BBC for the show “The Digital Revolution,” Andrew Keen describes how artists have been exploited by the tech and internet industries.

“What would I say to the people that are sitting in front of their computers–believing in revolution–I would tell them that they are subjects or victims of false consciousness, that they’re wrong— that they’re believing in something that doesn’t really exist–that they’re dupes–they’re exploited, particularly those that give away their labor for free so that young men in Silicone Valley can become infinitely rich.” – Andrew Keen

If you enjoyed this video, you may also like to read:
Loser Generated Content : From Participation to Exploitation by Mork Petersen



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