Online Piracy Finally In the Crosshairs | William Buckley Jr. HuffPo

Written in 1998, with the intent of protecting both copyright holders and website owners, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, quickly became a devastating problem for copyright holders. Not coincidentally, barely a year later, in 1999, Shawn Fanning launched Napster, marking the beginning of online piracy and over a decade of artist abuse.

Now, fifteen years later, most pirate sites are still operating under the protection provided by the DMCA’s Safe Harbor; a loop-hole that has enabled pirate sites to thrive in a quasi-legal gray area. A safe harbor from which online pirates claim compliance by engaging in what is commonly referred to as whack-a-mole, a process where infringing sites comply with take down notices by taking down the infringing content only to have the same content reposted almost immediately from another source.

The proposed change referred to as Stay Down strives to eliminate the safe harbor loop-hole. Copyright holders and administrators, while still responsible for policing their work, are only responsible for notifying a website operator one time. Once that is accomplished, the hosting site is now responsible for blocking the infringing content. A process that can be managed by software programs. If a service provider fails to comply they are in violation of the law.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HUFFPO:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-buckley-jr/online-piracy-finally-in-_b_5086820.html

Everyone hates the DMCA | VOX INDIE

Unfortunately, rather than manage copyright, it’s provided a huge loophole through which a number of online pirate entrepreneurs sail blissfully through. Known as the “safe harbor” provision, this oft-abused language has served to shelter digital thieves at the expense of rights holders. ”Safe Harbor” has enabled the growth of a criminal cancer and it’s a cancer–that as of now–cannot be beaten, only kept (marginally) at bay. As Wikipedia notes, “The DMCA’s principal innovation in the field of copyright is the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service providers and other intermediaries.” As I’ve suggested previously, any update to the law should include a requirement that in order to qualify for the limitations to liability that safe-harbor offers, certain user-generated content sites must implement reasonable technology to mitigate content theft.

READ THE FULL POST AT VOX INDIE:
http://voxindie.org/everyone-hates-the-dmca

London Police Attempt to cut off illegal websites’ advertising revenue | BBC

What we find so interesting about this is that the digital music services that report to be friends of musicians are not taking a strong public position against Ad funded Piracy and supporting these measures.

Spotify, Pandora and the like are affected by the downward economic pressure created by Ad Funded Piracy that diminishes both the amount consumers are willing to spend on subscription fees and the amount that can be charged for legitimate advertising on legitimate services.

Why aren’t Spotify and Pandora more publicly engaged in the fight against Ad Funded Piracy as it certainly is a large contributing factor as to why these businesses remain unprofitable.

Websites offering illegal copyrighted material could see their advertising revenue cut under a new initiative.

Police have created an online database of websites “verified” as being illegal.

It is hoped that firms that handle advertising will use the resource to make sure they do not serve advertising on those sites, cutting off revenue.

Top piracy sites generate millions of pounds thanks to advertising.

One estimate, from the Digital Citizens Alliance – a group backed by rights holders – suggested that piracy websites worldwide generated $227m (£137m) from advertising revenue each year.

Even smaller sites commanded revenues into the hundreds of thousands, the group said.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE BBC:
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26788800

Nobody should be surprised that Spotify is already planning its IPO| Musically

Watch stories about Spotify planning a stock market flotation this Autumn spread across the web in the coming hours, triggered by a report on tech/business site Quartz.

“The popular music-streaming company has participated in informal chats with some of the investment banks likely to fight for a role in a potential IPO, sources familiar with the process said,” claims the article.

“The six-year-old service may start holding formal meetings as early as next month in anticipation of an offering in autumn. (Though the timeline for a possible IPO could change for a number of reasons, including unfavorable market conditions.)”

READ THE FULL POST AT MUSICALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/03/27/spotify-ipo-planning/

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Slate’s Anti Copyright rant sounds like a letter from your psycho ex. | AdLand.Tv

The rationale by Silicon Valley that we already have the DMCA and it’s working just fine– seems positively Right Wing in its rabid belief system of law. Conservatives say much the same thing about guns. “We don’t need new laws, we need to enforce the existing ones.” It amusing to me that this backward sentiment is the same. Really though, it’s neither left nor right wing. It’s just pure cynicism by people who think we’re stupid.

To blame Hollywood copyright lobbyists for trying to influence law when google does the exact same thing is either ignorant or hypocritical. And to ignore the fact it isn’t just “Hollywood Copyright Lobbyists” but entire countries that are reacting to what they see is Big Tech run rampant, suggests once again the narrative is being controlled in Big Tech’s favor.

No surprise, really. The blog post was written by Marvin Ammori. He is a lawyer and Future Tense Fellow at New America. New America Foundation is a nonprofit and (ha-ha) nonpartisan public policy institute. Wanna guess who chairs the board of directors? Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of google.

READ THE FULL STORY:
http://adland.tv/adnews/slates-anti-copyright-rant-sounds-letter-your-psycho-ex/256965859#KdyGl5zIdACdgSvs.99

Victims of IP theft need better protection By Reps. Judy Chu and Tom Marino | The Hill

Stopping IP theft should not be this difficult, or so costly, to the individual artist, who is ultimately the victim.

In the first six months of 2013, the largest search engine received more than 100 million DMCA takedown notices. The numbers are staggering, but don’t reflect the reality that most indie and small creators struggle to keep up with issuing notices and have simply given up trying to prevent illegal profiting from their work. Independent artists cannot afford employing an entire legal department to monitor the unauthorized use of their content on a daily basis.

And the profits are staggering — a recent study by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimates that the top 596 pirate sites raked in $227 million in advertising revenues last year. These sites had a profit margin of between 80 and 94 percent. Content thieves rely on stealing the rights-protected work of others and distributing on low-cost sites. It’s a low-risk, high-reward business.

This week, the House Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property will examine the “Notice and Takedown” process, and to us, it is clear that a very hard look is necessary.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE HILL:
http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/200630-victims-of-ip-theft-need-better-protection

Homegrown Music: The Challenges Of Running A Record Label in D.C. | DC Music Download

“I don’t think people understand the idea that music is someone else’s property because it’s just in digital bits,” Feigenbaum says. “It’s intangible. People who feel music has no value and want to steal from you will steal from you. It’s so ubiquitous—it’s so easy”.

“I have people come up to me and tell me how much they love what I do, and I’ll be like, ‘That’s great, where do you buy it?’” notes Feigenbaum. “And you can see they weren’t expecting that and they start to stammer. It’s like, ‘You’re not helping me. You’re not a fan-you’re a leech.’”

“I could go on and on about the things I don’t like about iTunes,” he says, “But they do pay. It’s not my favorite business model, but I get paid from them.” Spotify, however, is another matter.

“They don’t pay shit,” he says. “The only people who make money off of Spotify is Spotify. We were getting thousands of listens on Spotify, which added up to literally one and a quarter pennies. So we opted out.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT DC MUSIC DOWNLOAD:
http://dcmusicdownload.com/2014/02/12/homegrown-music-the-challenges-of-running-a-record-label-in-d-c/

GEMA wins against YouTube In Germany on “Blocking Screens” | Media Biz

A German court found that YouTube has to stop misleading the public by blocking certain content and publicly shaming GEMA for it (the German association of composers, lyricists and music publishers.) A first step in the right direction.

Heker referred to the decision as “an important and positive signal to the music authors,” because: “It is not the GEMA, which prevents music on the internet you only want to license YouTube, like all other music portals..” Heker sweeps out: “Our concern is that the authors participate in the economic exploitation of their works and can earn their livelihood in the future.”

READ THE FULL POST MEDIA BIZ (GERMAN):
http://www.mediabiz.de/musik/news/gema-feiert-im-streit-um-sperrtafeln-erfolg-gegen-youtube/344107?Nnr=344107&NL=MWBlitz&uid=8514

IN ENGLISH VIA GOOGLE TRANSLATE:
http://bit.ly/1gzOCkT

New Report Says How Much Advertising Is Going to Piracy Sites | ADWEEK

Piracy is not only a threat to the content creators whose material is being stolen but the reputations of the advertisers whose brands appear on the sites and the credibility of the digital advertising ecosystem, says the report, titled “Good Money Gone Bad: Digital Thieves and the Hijacking of the Online Ad Business.

The report lists the sites it studied as well as the dozens of blue-chip advertisers whose ads were seen on the offending sites, including AT&T, Lego and Toyota.

“The reality of it is, this is a big business,” said Wenda Harris Millard, president and COO of MediaLink. “I think people thought it was a cottage industry.

READ THE FULL STORY AT ADWEEK:
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/new-report-says-how-much-advertising-going-piracy-sites-155770

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Report links Google, Yahoo to Internet piracy sites | LA Times