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!

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Jul 15th

Grab the coffee!

This past (two) weeks posts on The Trichordist:
* Declaration Of Free Milk and Cookies
* CopyLike.Org – It’s Not Stealing, Are You Sure?
* Musician’s POV: Five Things Spotify (and others) Could Do Today to Level the Playing Field for Independent Artists
* Second Nyan Cat Award Goes To The Fake Thomas Jefferson And His Copyleft Creators
* PETm : People For The Ethical Treatment Of Musicians
* The Return of Orphan Works: A Review of the 2008 Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act Part 1

The attempt for another land grab of creators rights is brewing again, this time in the UK. The video below is an introduction and explanation to get you up to speed. More in depth reporting from Music Tech Policy at the link below: http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/history-of-orphan-works-legislation-corporate-theft-video/

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS : Wednesday July 25 @ 5PM EST
Artists, Musicians, Creators – U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel is asking for you to “Help Us Shape Our Strategy for Intellectual Property Enforcement.” You can comment directly at this link:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=OMB-2012-0004-0002

We’re very encouraged to see ethical practices by some corporate citizens. PayPal puts on the white hat in support of artist and creators right, denies payments to “File Hosting” site operators, Torrent Freak Reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/paypal-bans-major-file-hosting-services-over-piracy-concerns-120710/
Related from Torrent Freak:
http://torrentfreak.com/paypal-bans-bittorrent-friendly-vpn-provider-120622/
Could these policy changes be the result of one man? Torrent Freak Reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/one-man-army-on-a-mission-to-destroy-the-cyberlocker-market-120705/

Uh Oh… CNET Is Now Facing Hundreds of Millions In Piracy Infringement Penalties… Digital Music News Reports:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120714cnet

Why copyright matters. Beginning in 2013 individual artists become illegible to regain ownership of their masters via termination of transfer of copyrights. This issue alone illustrates the value of copyright to all musicians.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbusch/2012/06/12/the-battle-over-copyright-termination-and-the-first-round-goes-to/

Forbes reports on Google’s Piracy Liability. Essential Reading:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottcleland/2011/11/09/googles-piracy-liability/

Google misled consumers about their privacy, the FTC’s investigation shows. Google may have to pay $22m fine, Ars Technica Reports:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/07/google-may-pay-22-5-million-penalty-for-ignoring-safari-do-not-track/

Fascinating post from 1709 Blog challenges the ISP “Dumb Pipe” and DMCA qualification as such. Contextual Advertising is based on informed knowledge of user behavior, hardly “dumb pipe.” Read more at 1709 Blog (which should be on your blogroll as well!):
http://the1709blog.blogspot.com/2012/07/mere-conduits-dumb-pipes-think-again.html

David Lowery interviewed by Andrew Orlowski in the UK’s Register, “Lowery: The blue-collar musician at the eye of the copyright storm.”
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/08/david_lowery_interview/

Copyright Alliance reports on the artists appearing and supporting the Trans Pacific Partnership which protects IP and Artists Rights:
http://blog.copyrightalliance.org/2012/07/no-two-artists-are-alike-2/

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Jul 1

Grab the coffee!

This past weeks posts on The Trichordist:
* Making Music You Like by Maia Davies
* Breaking News!! Band Embraces New Technology and Business model.
* A Brief History of Artists’ Control of Their Product by Jonathan Segel
* CopyLike.Org – Music is Free!
*Recording Tips for the Loudness Wars: An Interview with Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering
*CopyLike.Org – If You Like Open Source and Creative Commons

Highly recommended reading from The Cynical Musician on how internet and tech companies have conflated arguments about technology to justify the for profit illegal exploitation of creators work;
http://thecynicalmusician.com/2012/06/rage-against-the-wrong-rage/

U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel published a post on HuffPo to “Help Us Shape Our Strategy for Intellectual Property Enforcement.” July 25 is the deadline for your input;
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victoria-espinel/intellectual-property-enforcement_b_1629140.html

Ya know… it’s really telling when an heir to big oil recognizes that the practices of big oil and big tech appear to look pretty much the same, The Hill reports;
http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/235379-rockefeller-says-big-tech-companies-acting-like-standard-oil

“The New Busking” illustrates the challenge for musicians to spend more time fundraising than making music. Essential reading on the downside to “Crowdfunding” and it’s practical application for most artists;
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/opinion/sunday/music-takes-a-back-seat-to-fund-raising.html?_r=3

Billboard responds to several reports of claims by Spotify on its payments to labels as being second to Itunes in revenue…
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/business-matters-is-spotify-labels-2-source-1007443752.story

The Spotify hype machine is in full effect promoting mix and match stats that don’t seem to correlate into any better cohesive reporting on actual transparency for payments, Digital Music News reports;
http://digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120630spotify

Speaking of Spotify, Hypebot also reports more numbers from the company, but again seem to fall short on review. Reader comments are particularly insightful as many readers express frustration over the lack of transparency in reporting;
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/06/more-evidence-that-streaming-can-pay-label-earns-nearly-80-percent-of-revenue-from-spotify.html

Paypal said to cut off payment processing to VPN provider as it does to other torrent sites. It’s nice to see a company with ethical practices. Brands and Ad Networks should take note,  Torrent Freak reports;
http://torrentfreak.com/paypal-bans-bittorrent-friendly-vpn-provider-120622/

Hypebot reports on a decline in unique Facebook visitors;
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/06/facebook-experiences-48-decline-in-unique-visitors.html#more

Also according to Hypebot Amanda Palmer will distribute her new album in the US via Alliance Entertainment who also distributed the Social Network soundtrack for Trent Reznor;
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/06/amanda-palmer-to-distribute-fan-funded-album-through-alliance-entertainment.html

This editorial from Torrent Freak illustrates the complete disconnect between artists and those who exploit them. No, you are not pro-artist because you say you are, you are pro-artist when you respect the artists choices whether you agree with them or not…
http://torrentfreak.com/music-piracy-is-not-a-problem-its-an-excuse-120630/