“Fifteen years of utter bollocks”: how a generation’s freeloading has starved creativity | New Statesman

Arguments for digital piracy are drivel – it’s high time we steered away from this cultural cliff, argues author Chris Ruen.

Piracy may feel like victimless “free culture” to the user, but they are in fact participating in a digital black market. It’s not about information wanting to be free, but rather it’s about exploitative black marketeers and willfully blind tech companies wanting to get rich. They are simply capitalising on loopholes in the regulatory framework. In this sense, mass digital piracy is a symptom of underdevelopment. It’s the Internet Third World, with outdoor markets hawking counterfeit goods and purveyors bribing the local cops to look the other way.

Tech companies will go on skimming profits off the top of this black market until enlightened governments cooperate to squeeze out these illicit profiteers in an effective and transparent manner. As Google’s own Chief Economist Hal Varian has written, “all that is required is the political will to enforce intellectual property rights”.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW STATESMAN:
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/fifteen-years-utter-bollocks-how-generation-s-freeloading-has-starved-creativity

Here’s How Piracy Hurts Indie Film | IndieWire

The fact is: pirate sites don’t discriminate based on a movie’s budget. As long as they can generate revenue from advertising and credit card payments—while giving away your stolen content for free—pirate site operators have little reason to care if a film starts with an investment of $10,000 or $200 million. Whether you’re employed by a major studio or a do-it-yourself creator, if you’re involved in the making of TV or film, it’s safe to assume that piracy takes a big cut out of your business.

We know piracy won’t go away altogether, and we won’t always agree on the best way to go about disrupting it. But we can agree on a vision for a digital future that better serves audiences and artists alike, and that future depends on reducing piracy.

READ THE FULL POST AT INDIEWIRE:
http://www.indiewire.com/article/guest-post-heres-how-piracy-hurts-indie-film-20140711

Weatherley: ‘Cutting off ad revenue to illegal sites is key to piracy battle’ | Music Week

“Following the money is the key to shutting down the vast majority of websites that host illegal material,” said Weatherley. “This report explores a number of issues surrounding the piracy debate and I hope that it will spur further discussion both in the UK and, given the international nature of this problem, in other countries across the world.

“As the Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, I feel that it is my role to highlight just how damaging piracy is to the UK economy. It is paramount that we curb advertising revenue that is going to pirates who are, in turn, seriously damaging our creative industries.”

Commander Steve Head, head of economic crime at City of London Police, said: “Disrupting revenue to pirate websites is vital to combating online intellectual property piracy and I therefore welcome the recommendations in Mike Weatherley’s report. We must take the profit out of this type of criminality and where legitimate companies, such as payment providers, are facilitating that profit they must be held to account if they fail to act.

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC WEEK:
http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/weatherley-cutting-off-ad-revenue-to-illegal-sites-is-key-to-piracy-battle/058830

The Pirate Bay must be fought for the sake of exploited musicians | The Sydney Morning Herald

In Australia, there is very little that a musician can do to stop illegal streaming and downloading sites from using their work. These illegal sites make massive amounts of money from ads and nothing goes back to the artists who provide the content. Not one cent.

Sites such as the Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents exploit artists in the worst sense of the word. These illegal sites do not support musicians’ careers. They deprive musicians of the right to have their work valued in a free and open market.

The success of these sites is predicated on taking without paying on a massive scale. In fact, that is their business model. They don’t create anything. I feel infuriated when I see my work and my friends’ work being used in this way by people who don’t give a damn.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-pirate-bay-must-be-fought-for-the-sake-of-exploited-musicians-20140623-zsiqo.html

Artists Take To The Streets to Protest Google/YouTube in NYC | NY Times

Last week, the dispute spilled out into the streets of New York. On Saturday afternoon, a few dozen supporters of the Content Creators Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group, picketed Google’s office in Chelsea, playing New Orleans-style marches on horns and carrying signs like “Economic justice in the digital domain” and “What YouTube pays? Nothing.”

Marc Ribot, a guitarist who has played with stars like Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, summarized how the larger conflict over streaming revenue affected artists’ careers.

“If we can’t make enough from digital media to pay for the record that we’ve just made,” Mr. Ribot said, “then we can’t make another one.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/business/media/small-music-labels-see-youtube-battle-as-part-of-war-for-revenue.html

CCC-NYC : International Fete de la Musique day

We’re looking forward to seeing coverage from the event in NYC yesterday.

Google-owned YouTube’s new streaming service has rates so low it will put many indie labels and hardworking artists out of business.   According to the CEO of Merlin (rights licensing organization), “the service that pays the least is the service that’s the most well funded and run by the biggest company in the world: their figures are by far the worst, whether you measure them on a per-stream basis or a per-user basis.”

Support Artists’ Rights by demanding that Google and others:

1.Stop using the copyright reform process to attack artists rights.

2.Cease brokering ads to the corporate black market.

3.Support sustainable pay models for the cultural creators on whom its profits depend.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE CCC-NYC:
http://ccc-nyc.org/2014/06/support-artists-rights-this-saturday-june-21st/

Privacy Trumps Piracy: Google’s Double Standard | Creativity Tech

Google’s Poor Track Record on Piracy

We reported on the 100 million takedown request milestone that Google sheepishly pushed past earlier this year. Compared with the rapid action the company has taken on European privacy rights, the earlier figure and the lack of action that it represents is even more astonishing.

And it’s not only privacy where Google flexes its significant muscle to disrupt illicit operations.

Since becoming the world’s most popular search engine, accounting for roughly 70% of North American searches and as much as 90% of those in Europe, the company has worked tirelessly to upgrade its algorithm to destroy low quality sites that aim to game Google’s system.

Those sites, it says, devalue its search product and leave users frustrated from a sub par experience. Sounds a lot like poor quality piracy sites that are riddled with malware, doesn’t it? So those sites should really receive similar punishment in the form of demotion or even being stripped from Google’s results. Instead, the company maintains a double standard that now stretches back more than a decade.

READ THE FULL STORY AT CREATIVITY TECH:
http://creativitytech.com/google-privacy-piracy-double-standard/

Musicians fear they’ll take a beating | Winnipeg Free Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Recording artist Zoe Keating only needs to look at her earnings to zero in on why she has misgivings about Apple Inc. buying Beats Electronics.

The cellist made $38,196 selling downloads on Apple’s iTunes last year, along with about $34,000 from three other download services. By contrast, five streaming outlets, from Spotify to Pandora Media, netted her just $6,381.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE WINNIPEG FREE PRESS:
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/music/musicians-fear-theyll-take-a-beating-261411471.html

YouTube’s Ultimatum and The Economic Survival Of Musicians | Hypebot

By copyright and intellectual property attorney Wallace E. J. Collins III, Esq..

The most serious problem facing the artist community is that, at some point, it becomes economically unfeasible to pursue a career as an artist, songwriter or musician. Of course, as has been the case for many decades, most musicians barely survived without the dreaded day job. However, this extreme downward pressure on the creators of original audio and audio/visual content may force matters to a breaking point the likes of which the creative community has never seen.

No kidding.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HYPEBOT:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/06/youtubes-ultimatum-and-the-economic-survival-of-musicians.html

Will YouTube really block indie labels if they snub its new music service? | The Guardian UK

Ugly dispute with indie labels is provoking anger online, so what are the facts – and rumours – about YouTube’s streaming plans?

The accusation from WIN, representing its independent label members, is clear: if labels don’t sign up for YouTube’s new paid music service at the (non-negotiable) terms, their entire catalogues will be blocked on YouTube – all of YouTube, not just the new premium bit.

Note too the “significantly inferior” terms reference in Wenham’s letter. At WIN’s press conference, songwriter (and Guardian journalist) Helienne Lindvall said that “We’re hearing that a billion dollars has been paid by YouTube to the major labels” in advances for its new service.

Some of the anger in this dispute is the perception by indie labels that their major rivals have inked lucrative deals with YouTube while leaving them with the crumbs.

That billion-dollar figure is hearsay, of course. But note that YouTube said in February that it had paid $1bn out to music rightsholders in royalties so far, and then consider Kyncl’s quote in the FT interview: “That number is going to double soon.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/18/youtube-indie-labels-music-service