Obama Inauguration and White House IP Policy via IPEC, Victoria Espinel

As we’ve written before much of the big internet, anti-copyright blogosphere seems to live in a persistent state of denial regarding The Copyright Policy Reality Gap. We applaud not only President Obama’s support for better protection of Copyright and IP, but also Vice President Biden and we look forward to the next four years of progress for creators rights.

“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

In his first term President Obama appointed Victoria Espinel to the position of US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, which was created during the Bush administration in 2008. Intellectual Property Enforcement is a bi-partisan issue that reaches across all sectors of the United States economic interest.

Intellectual property are the ideas behind inventions, the artistry that goes into books and music, and the logos of companies whose brands we have come to trust.   My job is to help protect the ideas and creativity of the American public.  One of the reasons that I care about this is because I believe it is enormously important that the United States remain a global leader in these forms of innovation – and part of how we do that is by appropriately protecting our intellectual property.  Our intellectual property represents the hard work, creativity, resourcefulness, investment and ingenuity of the American public.  Infringement of intellectual property can hurt our economy and can undermine U.S. jobs.

To learn more about the work being done, you can go here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/intellectualproperty/spotlight

Artists, photographers, authors, illustrators, filmmakers and creators of all types who rely upon the protection of their copyrights and intellectual property are encouraged to also express their gratitude and appreciation to one of our best and dedicated champions on Capital Hill.

We encourage and suggest that all creators email their support of the great work done by Victoria Espinel and the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at:

intellectualproperty@omb.eop.gov

Artists : Be The Change, Send A Letter! July 25th Deadline

Here is something every artist, musician and creator can easily contribute to.

Our U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel has asked for your assistance to, “Help Us Shape Our Strategy for Intellectual Property Enforcement.”

DEADLINE For Comments : Wed July 25, 2012 @ 5Pm EDT 

Here is the Direct Link to Post Your Comment:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=OMB-2012-0004-0002

Read more here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/jsp_2013_frn_final.pdf
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/25/help-us-shape-our-strategy-intellectual-property-enforcement

Example Comment as Submitted by East Bay Ray:

Stop Easy Money to Unethical Businesses

I am an independent musician, my band Dead Kennedys earned a Gold Record while being independent our whole career. But those days are gone, the reality is that internet businessmen now make more money off of our music than we do. And they do it because of a loophole in the current copyright law, a law that is supposed to protect artists from greedy businessmen. It’s analogous to a pawn shop allowing stolen merchandise to be sold and then using the excuse “I didn’t know it was stolen.” (They make money by selling advertising on the internet pawn shop walls.)

The current internet business model:
1. Gather music, video, art, etc files from around the internet
2. Host them on a website
3. Slather them in advertising
4. If someone claims copyright infringement, throw your hands up in
the air and exclaim “It was our users who uploaded your music! We had nothing to do with it! We’re innocent!”
5. Cash six figure advertising checks from other artist’s stolen creations

The reality is that the current DMCA take down notice system does not work.

A solution is that the same technology that websites like Google and Facebook use to track and sell people’s information to advertisers could be used to track and stop payments to sites that make money from distributing illegal files; and to stop search engines from generating advertising income from the search traffic to those illegal sites. Not anything more than what a pawnshop is required to do.

And business websites should be required to show their agreements that they have the right to post and distribute other people’s files for profit to credit systems like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc before they are allowed an account.

The distinction needs to be clear that there is a profound moral and legal difference between sharing something with a friend and distributing, without permission, other people’s files for commercial gain.

Please make liberal use of the buttons below to share.

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/