Social Passivity Resulting in Current Invasive/Spying Technology | Jon Taplin @ USC

Social Passivity Resulting in Current Invasive/Spying Technology

Read The Blog Post Here:
https://medium.com/@jonathantaplin/sleeping-through-a-revolution-8c4b147463e5

Watch the Full Lecture Here:

Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class | Salon

Jaron Lanier was the first to identify and speak about this issue. We’re glad to see others catching up to him. Here’s a refresher…

“Here’s a current example of the challenge we face,” he writes in the book’s prelude: “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people. Where did all those jobs disappear? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created?”

“Future” also looks at the way the creative class – especially musicians, journalists and photographers — has borne the brunt of disruptive technology.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SALON:
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the_internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/

UK police are waging war on piracy sites’ funding — and it’s working | Business Insider

Ad Funded Piracy. Follow The Money. It’s not about sharing, it’s about profits.

Most big piracy sites don’t charge their users a fee, but are still able to profit off of copyright infringement. Why? Because the operators plaster their pages in advertising.

But British police now say they are making major headway in tackling this: On Wednesday, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) announced that Operation Creative, launched in 2013, has led to a 73% decline in advertising “from the UK’s top ad spending companies on copyright infringing websites.”

READ THE FULL POST AT BUSINESS INSIDER:
http://www.businessinsider.com/operation-creative-piracy-73-percent-decrease-pipcu-2015-8

Marketers: Stop Advertising on Pirate Sites | Advertising Age

The first three things to know about online piracy; Follow the money. Follow the money. Follow the money.

My own show, “Hannibal,” was the fifth most-stolen TV show during its first season on the air, despite being available for legal digital streaming the very next day. While I appreciate the enthusiasm of our fans, as executive producer I am responsible for all production costs for the show. Piracy directly affects my bottom line, including the wages for hundreds of cast and crewmembers.

I have been blessed with a successful, 30-plus-year career in entertainment. During that time, I have seen how the growth of online piracy directly impacts the economics of creativity. Piracy jeopardizes the rights of creatives to be compensated for their work — making it even harder to build a career in a creative field. It forces companies to either shrink their production budgets or commit to fewer, less risky projects. And ultimately, it harms audiences by limiting the types of stories that creatives can tell.

It’s a real lose-lose, unless you are the operator of a pirate site.

READ THE FULL STORY AT ADVERTISING AGE:
http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/advertisers-profit-piracy/299924/

The Crowdsourcing Scam | The Baffler

It’s all the same Silicon Valley scam. Whether you are a musician or a cab driver, this about labor, and you could be next…

Silicon Valley calls this arrangement “crowdsourcing,” a label that’s been extended to include contests, online volunteerism, fundraising, and more. Crowdsourced work is supposed to be a new, more casual, and more liberating form of work, but it is anything but. When companies use the word “crowdsourcing”—a coinage that suggests voluntary democratic participation—they are performing a neat ideological inversion.

The kind of tentative employment that we might have scoffed at a decade or two ago, in which individuals provide intellectual labor to a corporation for free or for sub-market wages, has been gussied up with the trappings of technological sophistication, populist appeal, and, in rare cases, the possibility of viral fame.

But in reality, this labor regime is just another variation on the age-old practice of exploiting ordinary workers and restructuring industrial relations to benefit large corporations and owners of the platforms serving them. The lies and rhetorical obfuscations of crowdsourcing have helped tech companies devalue work, and a long-term, reasonably secure, decently paying job has increasingly become a MacGuffin—something we ardently chase after but will likely never capture, since it’s there only to distract us from the main action of the script.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE BAFFLER:
http://thebaffler.com/salvos/crowdsourcing-scam

Stop calling it the “Sharing Economy.” That isn’t what it is. | Olivier Blanchard

What it is, is the Exploitation Economy…

“Disruption rocks though!”

No, it doesn’t. The right kind of disruption rocks. The kind that has value, that solves a problem, that improves an imperfect system. But disruption for the sake of disruption is just noise. It can even be destructive, and that doesn’t rock. It doesn’t rock at all.

Because Apple was “disruptive,” anything deemed disruptive now somehow borrows from Apple’s cachet. “Disruption” has become another meaningless buzzword appropriated by overzealous cheerleaders of the entrepreneurial clique they aspire to someday belong to. And look… every once in a while, someone does come up with a really cool and radical game-changing idea: Vaccines, the motorcar, radio, television, HBO, the internet, laptops, smart phones, Netflix, carbon fiber bicycles, drought-resistant corn, overpriced laptops that don’t burn your thighs in crowded coffee shops… Most of the time though, “disruption” isn’t that. It’s a mirage. It’s a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes, episode twenty-seven thousand, and the same army of early first-adopter fanboys that also claimed that Google Plus and Quora and Jelly were going to revolutionize everything have now jumped on the next desperate bandwagon. What will it be next week? Your guess is as good as mine.”

READ THE FULL POST AT OLIVIER BLANCHARD:
http://olivierblanchard.net/stop-calling-it-the-sharing-economy-that-isnt-what-it-is/

Uber and the Lawlessness of ‘Sharing Economy’ Corporates | The Guardian

It’s not only about musicians and creators, we are just the first to be effected.  The same Silicon Valley scam is going to exploit more and more people. Read on…

“Nullification is a wilful flouting of regulation, based on some nebulous idea of a higher good only scofflaws can deliver. It can be an invitation to escalate a conflict, of course, as Arkansas governor Orville Faubus did in 1957 when he refused to desegregate public schools and president Eisenhower sent federal troops to enforce the law. But when companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Google engage in a nullification effort, it’s a libertarian-inspired attempt to establish their services as popular well before regulators can get around to confronting them. Then, when officials push back, they can appeal to their consumer-following to push regulators to surrender.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/28/uber-lawlessness-sharing-economy-corporates-airbnb-google

The Copyright Policy Reality Gap

We hear a lot from the free culture movement and the CopyTheft advocates about where they think Copyright and IP Protection should be headed, but it’s important to note what the actual values are for Copyright protection on Capital Hill. Perhaps there’s no place better to start than with the White House itself…
“”What’s more, we’re going to aggressively protect our intellectual property.  Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people.  It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century.  But it’s only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can’t just steal that idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor. ” – President Barack Obama
“…piracy is theft. Clean and simple. It’s smash and grab. It ain’t no different than smashing a window at Tiffany’s and grabbing [merchandise].” – Vice President Joe Biden
Also, let’s be clear (as is noted below) that at this point there is nothing the least bit controversial about acknowledging the degree of the seriousness that online piracy presents to American jobs and the US economy.
“Let us be clear—online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs.  It harms everyone from struggling artists to production crews, and from startup social media companies to large movie studios. While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders. ” – whitehouse.gov

Artists and creators live a different lifestyle with many trade offs from conventional employment often working long odd hours for lower than minimum wage and without benefits. For artists and creators this is balanced out in the rights and protections granted in copyright that allow the artist a sustainable living. As a society we have granted these rights to creators as an incentive to produce a meaningful cultural economy. So effective have these protections been that America has the most profitable and most exported popular culture throughout the world.

“Recently, I’ve had a chance to read letters from award winning writers and artists whose livelihoods have been destroyed by music piracy. One letter that stuck out for me was a guy who said the songwriting royalties he had depended on to ‘be a golden parachute to fund his retirement had turned out to be a lead balloon.’ This just isn’t right.” – US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

Now is the time to have a serious and meaningful conversation about the future of a fair and ethical internet that does not punish the innovative artists and creators who enrich our lives. Technology may change but principles do not. The internet and digital technology have opened up many new opportunities for artists, but it has also opened up new opportunities for those who wish to exploit those artists for personal or corporate gain.

We call upon the administration and both parties to protect the fundamental rights of artists and creators by adopting a fair and ethical set of principles for internet policy.

PayPal to Pirates “No Cash For You” Score Another One for an Ethical Internet!

PayPal should be celebrated as a company who supports artists rights and an ethical internet. We were pleased to find this report on TorrentFreak this week stating that the online payment processing company has banned “Major File Hosting Services Over Piracy Concerns.”

In reviewing the User Agreement for PayPal™ Service we see what appears to be the operative language:

4. Prohibited Transactions. You agree that you will not use PayPal to accept payment for illegal products or services, including but not limited to materials that infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties. You will not use the Service, the PayPal website or any of the services offered therein for any unlawful or fraudulent activity. If PayPal (or Wells Fargo, in connection with processing credit card transactions) has reason to believe that you may be engaging in or have engaged in fraudulent, unlawful, or improper activity, including without limitation any violation of any terms and conditions of this Agreement, your access to the Service may be suspended or terminated. Further, if such behavior involved a MasterCard or VISA credit card transaction, it may result in you/your business being prevented from registering for payment acceptance through any payment provider or directly with any bank acquirer operating under license to either the MasterCard or VISA card associations. You will cooperate fully with PayPal Wells Fargo, MasterCard or VISA to investigate any suspected unlawful, fraudulent or improper activity, including but not limited to granting authorized PayPal representatives “guest” or “member” access to any password-protected portions of your website.

It seems to us that such a provision should be standard policy and best practices for many more companies operating online to ensure legal operations. We hope many more will adopt PayPal’s ethical standards.

It appears the message being sent by PayPal is resonating in the file hosting and cyber locker communities as Torrent Freak reports:

“This has a paralyzing effect on the file-hosting industry where 90% of the users of some sites pay using PayPal,” he added.

Previously most file-hosting sites relied heavily on PayPal, but they will now have to switch to alternatives. The next question is whether PayPal’s example will be followed by others such as Visa and Mastercard.

Well done PayPal. For those about to rock, we salute you!

Roll Call : Musicians For An Ethical Internet

The conversation is now clearly about the unethical practices of corporations and companies profiting from the illegal exploitation of artists work without consent or compensation. As the 13 year war against Artists Rights has waged on, more and more artists are recognizing this fundamental truth, and speaking up.

Many artists are expressing the need for an Ethical Internet that should preserve all the rights and freedoms enjoyed in the physical world. Anyone who proposes that one set of rights (privacy, labor & fair compensation) must be sacrificed to protect another set of rights (freedom of speech), should be seriously questioned. Internet and tech companies need to innovate beyond the old model of illegally exploiting artists work as the basis for their unimaginative models and work to create new fair and ethical businesses.

Bono, Elton John, Eminem, Prince and others don’t need anything that Piracy is said to offer such as promotion, which is laughable at best. The Pirate Bay has made, and continues to make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS annually from artists via advertising (from Google) while providing no compensation to the artists what-so-ever. This is truly immoral and unethical, as well as being unacceptable as a legitimate business.

We hope that more artists will continue to speak up in favor of artists rights online in the pursuit of an ethical internet. What follows is a list of previous artists comments, compiled and attributed to their respective sources on the subject.

BONO
“…somebody should fight for fellow artists, because this is madness. Music has become tap water, a utility, where for me it’s a sacred thing, so I’m a little offended. The Internet has emasculated rather than liberated artists…”

LL COOL J
“My first question is this: Do people in the entertainment industry have the same rights as other Americans to fair pay for fair work?”

PATRICK CARNEY  / THE BLACK KEYS
“The guy [Sean Parker] has $2.5 billion he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that’s the bottom line.”

ELTON JOHN
“I am of the view that the unchecked proliferation of illegal downloading (even on a “non-commercial” basis) will have a seriously detrimental effect on musicians, and particularly young musicians and those composers who are not performing artists.”

EMINEM
“I think that shit is fucking bullshit. Whoever put my shit on the Internet, I want to meet that motherf***er and beat the shit out of him, because I picture this scrawny little dickhead going ‘I got Eminem’s new CD! I got Eminem’s new CD! I’m going to put it on the Internet.’ I think that anybody who tries to make excuses for that shit is a fucking bitch.”

JOHN MCCREA / CAKE
“The idea of making a living from selling musical recordings is sort of a quaint idea and is no longer really feasible… But I do think that if music is going to be free, then sandwiches should also be free. There should be some consistency and we should learn to cooperate better.”

ZACK HEMSEY
“…piracy is primarily motivated by greed – it’s a business, and apparently a very good one. There’s nothing wrong with someone making money, but if they are making money by commandeering and exploiting my work, and not even sharing any of those earnings with me to boot, then it shouldn’t be controversial to suggest their actions are less than admirable.”

DON HENLEY
“Theft of American products and ideas is no longer the hobby of teenagers with laptops; it’s big business, as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative warns in a recent report on the world’s most notorious illicit markets. And they’re not just stealing movies and music; they are stealing America’s jobs and  future.”

PRINCE
“Nobody’s making money now except phone companies, Apple and Google…It’s like the gold rush out there. Or a carjacking. There’s no boundaries.”

DAVID LOWERY
“I feel that what we artists were promised has not really panned out.  Yes in many ways we have more freedom.  Artistically this is certainly true.  But the music business never transformed into the vibrant marketplace where small stakeholders could compete with multinational conglomerates on an even playing field.”

TRENT REZNOR
“Just because technology exists where you can duplicate something, that doesn’t give you the right to do it. There’s nothing wrong with giving some tracks away or bits of stuff that’s fine. But it’s not everybody’s right. Once I record something, it’s not public domain to give it away freely. And that’s not trying to be the outdated musician who is trying to ‘stop technology. I love technology.”

DAVID DRAIMAN / DISTURBED
“Make no mistake, however, that the culture that has been bred over the course of the last 10+ years of simply thinking that all music should be available for free is wrong, and immoral; plain and simple.This mentality has created an environment where it is more and more difficult for artists, particularly up-and-coming ones, to survive and sustain themselves. We, as artists, love and appreciate our fans more than you know. We know that we could not exist without you, but we don’t steal from you, not in any way, not ever. Wrong is wrong, no matter what color you paint it, or how you try to spin it.”

THE GRATEFUL DEAD
“No commercial gain may be sought by websites offering digital files of our music, whether through advertising, exploiting databases compiled from their traffic, or any other means.”

LOGAN LYNN
“What pisses me off is having over 91 percent of my personal intellectual property stolen, often before it even has the chance to be finished and released to the world. As a professional musician, a lot of time, hard work, and money goes into making a record. As an independent musician, that money comes directly out of my own pocket. ”

RANDY BACHMAN
“Digital online piracy is making it nearly impossible for Canada’s emerging artists to make it”

LUPE FIASCO
“People are trapped in the culture where music needs to be free and you don’t need to pay for it… who are you to have the right to tell me that I shouldn’t demand payment or feel a certain way for seeing people put my music out there like that? If I chose to do that, that’s one thing. But I didn’t choose to do that. That music was stolen.”

LILY ALLEN
“The world over, people are stealing music in its millions in the form of illegal file-sharing. It’s easy to do, and has become accepted by many, but we need people to know that it is destroying people’s livelihoods and suffocating emerging new British artists.”

TAIO CRUZ
“I could have been dropped from my record deal because so much was spent and so much of my album was leaked and not paid for. But luckily my label had great belief in me. File-sharing has had a very, very negative effect on my career, as it has on many others.”

In closing, perhaps this quote from Hemingway is also appropriate as food for thought:
“The individual, the great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.” – Death in the Afternoon

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