LA Times Editor Jon Healey’s Ode to Bittorrent: Did he Coordinate Earlier Editorial with Bittorrent?

We’re just asking questions here.  Questions that should be answered. Were these two pieces coordinated with Bittorrent?

Today Jon Healey published this ode to P2P filesharing company Bittorrent.

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-bittorrent-browser-project-maelstrom-20141211-story.html#page=1

Healy a serial piracy apologist,  makes the following highly misleading statement about BitTorrent use in Hollywood’s hometown paper:

“It’s true that BitTorrent is favored by the illegal-downloading crowd; what’s less well known is how widely the protocol is used for legitimate purposes.”

Sure if by “widely used for legitimate purposes” he means “less than 1%” of bittorrent traffic. Well then yes Bittorrent is then “widely used” for legitimate purposes.  Never mind that Bittorrent has a history of monetizing all this illegal traffic with advertising in it’s client software.  That is, directly profiting from from the misery of artists. Healey seems to think this ethically and morally challenged Belorussian/San Francisco company  deserves an advertorial in one of the nation’s largest papers.

But it goes beyond that.  Healey is not a serious and responsible journalist and probably should not be in a position that relies on objectivity and facts. Further there appears to be some sort of coziness between the editor and Bittorrent.   Why do I say this?  Two reasons:  Cox Media (the cable company) and North Korea.

1) Healey as the LA Times editorial board pushed out a very misleading piece about the BMG vs Cox suit, alleging in a mind-bending logical contortion that the suit was trying to create “new law.”  Whereas any impartial reading of the facts would conclude that  BMG is pursuing it’s remedies as proscribed by US law, and Cox has possibly failed to follow the law.  How on earth an attempt to get a large cable company to follow US law could be characterized as creating new law is positively Orwellian. Further the fact that  Healy as the LA Times Editorial board immediately pushed out an editorial on a relatively obscure lawsuit in Maryland brought by a German company is eyebrow-raising to say the least.  I won’t speculate on the appearance of coordination with p2p file-sharing interests, but the follow up puff piece on Bittorrent (the company)  should prompt an internal review by the LA Times.  At least to assure no co-ordination took place.  BTW the Op Ed board at the LA Times rejected my proposal to write an piece corrected their previous misstatements.  So much for objective journalism right?

2) Healey has been quick to spread the laughable and unsubstantiated rumor that North Korea is behind the Sony Hack.  Is this the type of thing the an editor of the LA Times should be doing?  It seems completely irresponsible to me to publicly state that North Korea is behind the hack when there is no evidence (see my twitter conversation with Healey) My suspicion is that his clear sympathies for those who profit from piracy at the expense of creators (Bittorrent and Google) makes him hope that this act of economic sabotage has not been committed by one of his fellow travelers.

Below are my conversations with Healey as well as my letter to the LA times.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

 

davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
@jcahealey how but a different viewpoint on the BMG vs Cox from me?

Jon Healey ‏@jcahealey  Dec 8
@davidclowery You mean a letter to the editor, or do you want more space? We have Blowbacks, but those are online only.
davidcloweryVerified account‏@davidclowery
@jcahealey more space. I think that the LA times Hollywoods hometown paper comes out against Legal action on P2P infringers deserves print.

11:39 AM – 8 Dec 2014

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davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
@jcahealey especially after the Sony hack

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Jon Healey ‏@jcahealey  Dec 8
@davidclowery You’ll have to make that case with the op-ed folks, then. But op-ed doesn’t exist to rebut editorials. Separate mission.

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Jon Healey ‏@jcahealey  Dec 8
@davidclowery Because the North Korean regime and Cox have something in common?

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davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
@jcahealey nice snark. How do you think the real economic damage occurs?

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davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
@jcahealey lets not play semantics. you’re smarter than that. You know what I mean. and you know it’s right that you print different view.

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davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
Breaking news LA TIMES editor claims to have established that NORTH KOREA behind Sony Hack. @jcahealey

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davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
@jcahealey I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

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Jon Healey ‏@jcahealey  Dec 8
@davidclowery Send your pitch to oped@latimes.com. The op-ed folks are wholly separate from us, and I’ll keep my nose out of this one.

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Jon Healey ‏@jcahealey  Dec 8
@davidclowery The standard length is 800 words, but they’ve published longer and shorter pieces.

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davidclowery ‏@davidclowery  Dec 8
@jcahealey much appreciated. thanks

 

to oped
I would like to propose an op-ed.  My view on Cox and it’s obligations under the DMCA act.

I am a musician, academic, researcher, entrepreneur and artists rights advocate.

I noticed that LA Times ran this editorial piece.  Aside from the fact that it’s shocking to see Hollywoods hometown paper  implicitly defend p2p file sharing, the opinion piece really mischaracterizes what rights holders like myself  are trying to do when they send notices to ISPs like Cox communications.
The mischaracterization is that  this a as “attempt to turn ISPs into bare-knuckled enforcers.”
Fact: the notices are part of a process proscribed by US LAW!  Read the DMCA act if you think otherwise.  BMG, Digital Rightscorp and individual artists like myself are following the letter of the law.
It is my experience (objectively demonstrable), Cox does not fulfill it’s obligations under the law.  They do not cut off repeat infringers as the DMCA act requires and thus this BMG  lawsuit is necessary.
Further the Copyright Alert System that the LA Times endorses is not a law passed by our democratically elected representatives.  It is an extra-legal agreement between a few corporations. Aside from it being a failure,   it has no legal standing, it doesn’t cut off repeat infringers as required by law.  Yet ISPs (and now LA Times) wants to force rights holders (like music publishers and myself) to treat this extra-legal agreement as a sort of law.
Isn’t this creating new law?  Something to which the LA times is opposed?
Finally it’s amusing to see your paper trot out the old Google generated slogan “Don’t Break the Internet”
 How bout we don’t break the democratic legislative process by allowing corporations to ignore the law and substitute an extra-legal private agreement in it’s place.

One thought on “LA Times Editor Jon Healey’s Ode to Bittorrent: Did he Coordinate Earlier Editorial with Bittorrent?

  1. The Digital Content Exchange in Seven Steps:

    1. The key to making bit torrent irrelevant is to make the counterfeits that they “mint” less-useful.
    2. Unlike a counterfeit dollar bill, which is a physical thing, with a digital item you can NEVER tell which is counterfeit and which is real. They are identical. This is why DRM never works … at least not for long.
    3. There is no need to interfere with Bit Torrent, which does in fact have legitimate uses. Stopping people through legal action is messy anyway. What we should do with a problem like Bit Torrent is what we’ve always done: obviate the problem through innovation and cooperation among those negatively affected.
    4. What is needed, then, is an invention of some kind that deals with the digital file on the redemption end of the business: i.e. when you go to use it for its intended purpose (i.e. watch, listen, read, play).
    5. This type of invention is not likely to come from the tech industry, or from the entertainment industry. This type of invention is likely to come from people who already have experience dealing with fungible digital commodities and the problems they cause.
    6. The people who have experience dealing with fungible digital commodities and the problems they cause, are mostly found in the securities industry, which has the most at stake (dollar-wise) from allowing counterfeits to be redeemed.
    7. The Digital Content Exchange is an invention created, prototyped and implemented (Beta: thedce.com) by former securities industry experts in the Design of Exchanges.

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