Among the facets of modern life that the Internet has revolutionized, the ease of instant access to entertainment is perhaps the most significant. Online TV, movies, literature and music are always available in ever-changing titles and formats. Because of the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the Internet, the industries producing online content (or traditional content that seems to magically appear online) are generating huge new legal issues regarding intellectual property rights. For artists and producers alike, trying to make sense of this relatively new area of law without an intellectual property lawyer or some other legal specialist is pure folly. There is simply too much information – much of which is not set in stone – to go it alone. People or firms that create or handle intellectual property in the entertainment arena find themselves in a more advantageous position when they have an entertainment lawyer on their side.
Complications and Challenges
A copyright lawyer faces numerous challenges, from the complex legal structure that governs intellectual property to the complications that can arise when international borders are crossed. This is especially problematic when litigation becomes necessary, as language barriers – both written and spoken – can make detecting infringement and pursuing some kind of redress very difficult. However, intellectual property is, by nature, borderless, so legal specialists in the field must also have expertise in international law.
Other challenges faced by entertainment lawyers have to do with the copyright infringement that occurs each time an Internet user illegally downloads an MP3 song or streams a pirated movie file. Millions of people do it, many of whom assume they’re doing nothing wrong, but that is certainly not the case. Illegal file sharing and downloading unauthorized and copyrighted material are some of the most widespread forms of infringement. And making CD-R copies of music downloaded legally and then distributing them is an equally egregious offense.
Combating infringement in this arena requires a specialist devoted to this area of law. Only by adhering to the rules and regulations that have sprung up since the onset of the digital age – and enforcing them when necessary – can the future of intellectual property be protected.
Types of Talent
Any individual or entity that writes, creates, produces, underwrites or licenses intellectual property stands to gain from the services of a legal specialist such as a trademark attorney. Virtually any type of artistic creation constitutes intellectual property, from a scored, hand-written symphony to the master tapes of a band’s new album. Books, television programs, movies, photographs – even online blogs, essays and articles are considered property of an intellectual sort.
Merchandisers, licensers and any other person or entity that wishes to use a jingle, an image, a clip or anything that belongs to someone else requires a skilled legal player in the field to ensure that all legal measures are taken prior to use. Use of intellectual property without proper prior authorization is basically stealing, so the ramifications for failure to obtain that authorization can be very costly.
Legal Services: Transaction vs. Litigation Attorney
There are a number of reasons an artist or other type of intellectual property holder might need an attorney. Typically it involves one of two things: transaction or litigation. In essence, it may be said that whereas the former has to do with agreements, the latter has to do with disputes. A transaction attorney negotiates and drafts all kinds of contractual agreements, from recording contracts to licensing contracts. Merchandising, syndication and applying for a trademark, for example, all fall into this category.
By contrast, a litigation attorney is trained in handling disputes. In the entertainment industry, especially since the rise of the Internet, these disputes, otherwise known as infringement litigation, occur all the time. Given the sheer number of producers, artists and intermediaries in the entertainment industry, the possibilities for litigation are almost endless. For this reason, lawyers specializing in litigation are in demand. The challenge for these professionals is keeping up with the ever changing dynamics of the Internet in order to best protect their clients.
With the internet, the distribution of virtually all forms of entertainment has become incredibly easy, but it’s also led to a culture of copyright abuse. Many consider the internet as the supreme leveler of what once was an uneven playing field. Movie, television and music file-sharing websites are hugely popular, leading to the belief that if they’re out there and haven’t been shut down, the pilfering of copyrighted material must be okay. Many users don’t realize, however, that these websites have passed the liability onto the user. They might have created a platform from which to access these illegal files, but any individual accessing file sharing platforms are usually held to account.
Consequences include lawsuits and fines levied upon individuals who download material illegally. In rare cases, criminal charges can result. The claim by many individuals who have already been prosecuted that they didn’t know the material wasn’t free is disregarded in most courtrooms. Common sense is supposed to prevail, and almost everyone knows that there is very little in life that is truly free. Many universities, too, are cracking down on students who violate copyrights using the school’s .edu server, with disciplinary action becoming the norm.
So how are perpetrators of this theft found? Again, the nature of the Internet has made it easy. File sharing creates an open portal to one’s hard drive, which not only exposes the computer to viruses, and can lead to data theft, but also helps anyone wishing to prosecute, identifying information about the user. Why Do Artists and Producers Need Lawyers?
In the music industry alone, over the last decade or so, a third of the revenue formerly generated by the industry has been lost due to ease of piracy on the world-wide web. No one wants to work for less than what they consider their fair value, and entertainers are no exception. Security features are becoming more sophisticated in an attempt to stop the online thefts, but intellectual property attorneys, both those involved in transactions as well as the litigators know that they are secure in the need for their services, now and in the foreseeable future. They will continue to crack down on violators with every legal means necessary in order to protect their clients.
Author Stephen Daniels highly recommends Baker & Rannells for those seeking professional copyright lawyers in New York. Their legal team has more than 63 years experience in both the U.S. and around the world. Their team will work on your behalf and can assist with research, registration and infringement litigation when appropriate.
piracy vs iTunes
Image by Will Lion
"It is piracy, not overt online music stores,
which is our main competitor." Steve Jobs
Top 10 Interesting and Surprising Facts about Online Piracy
Piracy is one of those subjects that completely divides people. On the one hand, it’s blatant thievery. On the other hand, free episodes of Breaking Bad, yo. The internet is chock full of horror stories about digital piracy ruining people’s lives when the RIAA knocks on their door, so we wanted to share some stories about piracy that everyone should be able to agree are awesome.
Text version: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-interesting-surprising-facts-online-piracy.php
10. The People Behind Game of Thrones Think Piracy is Pretty Damn Neat
9. Netflix Use Piracy Figures to Decide Which Shows to Buy Next
8. Trent Reznor Hates His Record Company So Much, He Tells Fans to Steal His Music
7. System of a Down Were So Annoyed at Songs Being Pirated, They Released Better Versions on Principle
6. Piracy will Likely Save All Your Favorite TV Shows
5. Microsoft Doesn’t Mind if You Steal Software, as Long as You Steal Their Software
4. Radiohead’s Songs were Bootlegged So Fast, Fans Could Sing Along to Their New Album
3. My Morning Jacket Happily Rip Their Own CDs and Send Them to Fans
2. A Number of Bands Offer People Blank CDs so They Could Burn Their Own Albums
1. Lars Ulrich Pirated His Own Album Simply Because He Could
What would you say if you were told that you were losing thousands upon thousands of dollars on a piece of software that you have created and are trying to make a profit off of? Well, it is the truth. Software piracy is a problem that has brought the software industry to a near standstill, costing the industry billions of dollars each and every year in lost revenue, not to mention thousands upon thousands of software and IT jobs in the United States.
Something must be done about the issue of software piracy but what? Copyright infringement is a faceless crime; the victim is often the hard working programmer but the assailant could be anybody; you could look them in the face and not know who they are. For this reason, it is important to protect your digital media as much as you possibly can because of all intellectual property is it at the most risk of infringement by others, and those who can take advantage of a weak security process or a hole in programming certainly will.
The world is full of those who want to profit from something that they had no part in. It has been going on since the beginning of time and the only difference now is that technology has allowed people to take advantage of the work of others like never before, as well as giving them an even more efficient means of distributing and even profiting from the work of others. It seems you don’t have to have a software programming degree or experience to make money selling computer programs or similar digital media; all you have to do is be the proud owner of a CD or DVD burner and maybe even a few good hacking skills.
Good digital rights management techniques are necessary now more than ever before. Unfortunately it is another investment in its own but there are services out there that are making good digital rights management services more and more affordable, just to offset the enormous killing that software piracy is causing to the industry.
If you have created a software program, take the necessary steps to prevent it form being copied or utilized by others to make a profit. A computer program or video game, picture or e-book is just as important as a painting or novel and it is just as wrong to sell and distribute one as the other. Without having appropriate digital rights management procedures in place you are leaving yourself open to an unnamed amount of money in profits. Do the right thing and protect your digital property somehow or another.
Think of all of the digital media that flows through the internet, such as e-books, copyrighted images, articles, software, and other things. The internet is not as secure as it could and probably should be, and if you are one of those people who are using the computer and Internet to your advantage to gain a skill and gain something monetary from it, you are more at risk than ever before.
Just why is that, you ask? It is rather simple. As technology advances and gives you the tools and capabilities necessary to create innovative products it also gives other people out there license to take it and that can fast defeat the purpose of creating software to sell for profit in the first place.
If you were creating something for fair use and share with other people, digital rights management would not be important but in the case that you are creating something to make available to customers for a price, digital rights management is an important thing to take into consideration. For every person that takes your software or product and comes by it illegally or immorally, they are bound to share it with at least one person. That not only takes out of your pocket what you are due by their having possession of your product but it also doubles that due to their likelihood to share it with another person.
Luckily, there are services out there for people who do not have their own method of digital rights management in place. Service like Lock It Now! And Software Defender provides photographers, e-book creators and software entrepreneurs the opportunity to protect their product with an automated registration verification system, protecting you against repeat ‘refunders’ (those who order your product just to copy it and request a refund of their money, thereby having obtained your product for free).
Copyright infringement and software piracy are as real as any computer program, e-book or digital image out there so it is important to make sure that you take the necessary steps to protect your intellectual property from people who care not to pay for the things in life that they want.
Rod Beckwith is a successful software and services publisher that has created “Lock It Now!,” which protects digital products from piracy, refunds and chargebacks. For more info click on the link. Lock It Now!
A Bitcoin You Can Flip
Image by jurvetson
My son has become fascinated with bitcoins, and so I had to get him a tangible one for Xmas (thanks Sim1!). The public key is imprinted visibly on the tamper-evident holographic film, and the private key lies underneath.
I too was fascinated by digital cash back in college, and more specifically by the asymmetric mathematical transforms underlying public-key crypto and digital blind signatures.
I remembered a technical paper I wrote, but could not find it. A desktop search revealed an essay that I completely forgot, something that I had recovered from my archives of floppy discs (while I still could).
It is an article I wrote for the school newspaper in 1994. Ironically, Microsoft Word could not open this ancient Microsoft Word file format, but the free text editors could.
What a fun time capsule, below, with some choice naivetés…
I am trying to reconstruct what I was thinking, and wondering if it makes any sense. I think I was arguing that a bulletproof framework for digital cash (and what better testing ground) could be used to secure a digital container for executable code on a rental basis. So the expression of an idea — the specific code, or runtime service — is locked in a secure container. The idea would be to prevent copying instead of punishing after the fact. Micro-currency and micro-code seem like similar exercises in regulating the single use of an issued number.
Now that the Bitcoin experiment is underway, do you know of anyone writing about it as an alternative framework for intellectual property?
IP and Digital Cash
@NORMAL: Digital Cash and the “Intellectual Property” Oxymoron
By Steve Jurvetson
Many of us will soon be working in the information services or technology industries which are currently tangled in a bramble patch of intellectual property law. As the law struggles to find coherency and an internally-consistent logic for intellectual property (IP) protection, digital encryption technologies may provide a better solution — from the perspective of reducing litigation, exploiting the inherent benefits of an information-based business model, and preserving a free economy of ideas.
Bullet-proof digital cash technology, which is now emerging, can provide a protected “cryptographic container” for intellectual expressions, thereby preserving traditional notions of intellectual property that protect specific instantiations of an idea rather than the idea itself. For example, it seems reasonable that Intuit should be able to protect against the widespread duplication of their Quicken software (the expression of an idea), but they should not be able to patent the underlying idea of single-entry bookkeeping. There are strong economic incentives for digital cash to develop and for those techniques to be adapted for IP protection — to create a protected container or expression of an idea. The rapid march of information technology has strained the evolution of IP law, but rather than patching the law, information technology itself may provide a more coherent solution.
Information Wants To Be Free
Currently, IP law is enigmatic because it is expanding to a domain for which it was not initially intended. In developing the U.S. Constitution, Thomas Jefferson argued that ideas should freely transverse the globe, and that ideas were fundamentally different from material goods. He concluded that “Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.” The issues surrounding IP come into sharp focus as we shift to being more of an information-based economy.
The use of e-mail and local TV footage helps disseminate information around the globe and can be a force for democracy — as seen in the TV footage from Chechen, the use of modems in Prague during the Velvet Revolution, and the e-mail and TV from Tianammen Square. Even Gorbachev used a video camera to show what was happening after he was kidnapped. What appears to be an inherent force for democracy runs into problems when it becomes the subject of property.
As higher-level programming languages become more like natural languages, it will become increasingly difficult to distinguish the idea from the code. Language precedes thought, as Jean-Louis Gassée is fond of saying, and our language is the framework for the formulation and expression of our ideas. Restricting software will increasingly be indistinguishable from restricting freedom of speech.
An economy of ideas and human attention depends on the continuous and free exchange of ideas. Because of the associative nature of memory processes, no idea is detached from others. This begs the question, is intellectual property an oxymoron?
Intellectual Property Law is a Patch
John Perry Barlow, former Grateful Dead lyricist and co-founder (with Mitch Kapor) of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argues that “Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted or expanded to contain digitized expression… Faith in law will not be an effective strategy for high-tech companies. Law adapts by continuous increments and at a pace second only to geology. Technology advances in lunging jerks. Real-world conditions will continue to change at a blinding pace, and the law will lag further behind, more profoundly confused. This mismatch may prove impossible to overcome.”
From its origins in the Industrial Revolution where the invention of tools took on a new importance, patent and copyright law has protected the physical conveyance of an idea, and not the idea itself. The physical expression is like a container for an idea. But with the emerging information superhighway, the “container” is becoming more ethereal, and it is disappearing altogether. Whether it’s e-mail today, or the future goods of the Information Age, the “expressions” of ideas will be voltage conditions darting around the net, very much like thoughts. The fleeting copy of an image in RAM is not very different that the fleeting image on the retina.
The digitization of all forms of information — from books to songs to images to multimedia — detaches information from the physical plane where IP law has always found definition and precedent. Patents cannot be granted for abstract ideas or algorithms, yet courts have recently upheld the patentability of software as long as it is operating a physical machine or causing a physical result. Copyright law is even more of a patch. The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 requires that works be fixed in a durable medium, and where an idea and its expression are inseparable, the merger doctrine dictates that the expression cannot be copyrighted. E-mail is not currently copyrightable because it is not a reduction to tangible form. So of course, there is a proposal to amend these copyright provisions. In recent rulings, Lotus won its case that Borland’s Quattro Pro spreadsheet copied elements of Lotus 123’s look and feel, yet Apple lost a similar case versus Microsoft and HP. As Professor Bagley points out in her new text, “It is difficult to reconcile under the total concept and feel test the results in the Apple and Lotus cases.” Given the inconsistencies and economic significance of these issues, it is no surprise that swarms of lawyers are studying to practice in the IP arena.
Back in the early days of Microsoft, Bill Gates wrote an inflammatory “Open Letter to Hobbyists” in which he alleged that “most of you steal your software … and should be kicked out of any club meeting you show up at.” He presented the economic argument that piracy prevents proper profit streams and “prevents good software from being written.” Now we have Windows.
But seriously, if we continue to believe that the value of information is based on scarcity, as it is with physical objects, we will continue to patch laws that are contrary to the nature of information, which in many cases increases in value with distribution. Small, fast moving companies (like Netscape and Id) protect their ideas by getting to the marketplace quicker than their larger competitors who base their protection on fear and litigation.
The patent office is woefully understaffed and unable to judge the nuances of software. Comptons was initially granted a patent that covered virtually all multimedia technology. When they tried to collect royalties, Microsoft pushed the Patent Office to overturn the patent. In 1992, Software Advertising Corp received a patent for “displaying and integrating commercial advertisements with computer software.” That’s like patenting the concept of a radio commercial. In 1993, a DEC engineer received a patent on just two lines of machine code commonly used in object-oriented programming. CompuServe announced this month that they plan to collect royalties on the widely used GIF file format for images.
The Patent Office has issued well over 12,000 software patents, and a programmer can unknowingly be in violation of any them. Microsoft had to pay 0MM to STAC in February 1994 for violating their patent on data compression. The penalties can be costly, but so can a patent search. Many of the software patents don’t have the words “computer,” “software,” “program,” or “algorithm” in their abstracts. “Software patents turn every decision you make while writing a program into a legal risk,” says Richard Stallman, founder of the League for Programming Freedom. “They make writing a large program like crossing a minefield. Each step has a small chance of stepping on a patent and blowing you up.” The very notion of seventeen years of patent protection in the fast moving software industry seems absurd. MS-DOS did not exist seventeen years ago.
IP law faces the additional wrinkle of jurisdictional issues. Where has an Internet crime taken place? In the country or state in which the computer server resides? Many nations do not have the same intellectual property laws as the U.S. Even within the U.S., the law can be tough to enforce; for example, a group of music publishers sued CompuServe for the digital distribution of copyrighted music. A complication is that CompuServe has no knowledge of the activity since it occurs in the flood of bits transferring between its subscribers
The tension seen in making digital copies revolves around the issue of property. But unlike the theft of material goods, copying does not deprive the owner of their possessions. With digital piracy, it is less a clear ethical issue of theft, and more an abstract notion that you are undermining the business model of an artist or software developer. The distinction between ethics and laws often revolves around their enforceability. Before copy machines, it was hard to make a book, and so it was obvious and visible if someone was copying your work. In the digital age, copying is lightning fast and difficult to detect. Given ethical ambiguity, convenience, and anonymity, it is no wonder we see a cultural shift with regard to digital ethics.
Piracy, Plagiarism and Pilfering
We copy music. We are seldom diligent with our footnotes. We wonder where we’ve seen Strat-man’s PIE and the four slices before. We forward e-mail that may contain text from a copyrighted news publication. The SCBA estimates that 51% of satellite dishes have illegal descramblers. John Perry Barlow estimates that 90% of personal hard drives have some pirated software on them.
Or as last month’s Red Herring editorial points out, “this atmosphere of electronic piracy seems to have in turn spawned a freer attitude than ever toward good old-fashioned plagiarism.” Articles from major publications and WSJ columns appear and circulate widely on the Internet. Computer Pictures magazine replicated a complete article on multimedia databases from New Media magazine, and then publicly apologized.
Music and voice samples are an increasingly common art form, from 2 Live Crew to Negativland to local bands like Voice Farm and Consolidated. Peter Gabriel embraces the shift to repositioned content; “Traditionally, the artist has been the final arbiter of his work. He delivered it and it stood on its own. In the interactive world, artists will also be the suppliers of information and collage material, which people can either accept as is, or manipulate to create their own art. It’s part of the shift from skill-based work to decision-making and editing work.”
But many traditionalists resist the change. Museums are hesitant to embrace digital art because it is impossible to distinguish the original from a copy; according to a curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, “The art world is scared to death of this stuff.” The Digital Audio Tape debate also illustrated the paranoia; the music industry first insisted that these DAT recorders had to purposely introduce static into the digital copies they made, and then they settled for an embedded code that limited the number of successive copies that could be made from the a master source.
For a healthier reaction, look at the phenomenally successful business models of Mosaic/Netscape and Id Software, the twisted creator of Doom. Just as McAfee built a business on shareware, Netscape and Id encourage widespread free distribution of their product. But once you want support from Netscape, or the higher levels of the Doom game, then you have to pay. For industries with strong demand-side economies of scale, such as Netscape web browsers or Safe-TCL intelligent agents, the creators have exploited the economies of information distribution. Software products are especially susceptible to increasing returns with scale, as are networking products and most of the information technology industries.
Yet, the Software Publishers Association reports that 1993 worldwide losses to piracy of business application software totaled .45 billion. They also estimated that 89% of software units in Korea were counterfeit. And China has 29 factories, some state-owned, that press 75 million pirated CDs per year, largely for export. GATT will impose the U.S. notions of intellectual property on a world that sees the issue very differently.
Clearly there are strong economic incentives to protect intellectual property, and reasonable arguments can be made for software patents and digital copyright, but the complexities of legal enforcement will be outrun and potentially obviated by the relatively rapid developments of another technology, digital cash and cryptography.
Digital Cash and the IP Lock
Digital cash is in some ways an extreme example of digital “property” — since it cannot be copied, it is possessed by one entity at a time, and it is static and non-perishable. If the techniques for protecting against pilferage and piracy work in the domain of cash, then they can be used to “protect” other properties by being embedded in them. If I wanted to copy-protect an “original” work of digital art, digital cash techniques be used as the “container” to protect intellectual property in the old style. A bullet-proof digital cash scheme would inevitably be adapted by those who stand to gain from the current system. Such as Bill Gates.
Several companies are developing technologies for electronic commerce. On January 12, several High-Tech Club members attended the Cybermania conference on electronic commerce with the CEOs of Intuit, CyberCash, Enter TV and The Lightspan Partnership. According to Scott Cook, CEO of Intuit, the motivations for digital cash are anonymity and efficient small-transaction Internet commerce. Anonymity preserves our privacy in the age of increasingly intrusive “database marketing” based on credit card purchase patterns and other personal information. Of course, it also has tax-evasion implications. For Internet commerce, cash is more efficient and easier to use than a credit card for small transactions.
“A lot of people will spend nickels on the Internet,” says Dan Lynch of CyberCash. Banks will soon exchange your current cash for cyber-tokens, or a “bag of bits” which you can spend freely on the Internet. A competitor based in the Netherlands called DigiCash has a Web page with numerous articles on electronic money and fully functional demo of their technology. You can get some free cash from them and spend it at some of their allied vendors.
Digital cash is a compelling technology. Wired magazine calls it the “killer application for electronic networks which will change the global economy.” Handling and fraud costs for the paper money system are growing as digital color copiers and ATMs proliferate. Donald Gleason, President of the Smart Card Enterprise unit of Electronic Payment Services argues that “Cash is a nightmare. It costs money handlers in the U.S. alone approximately billion a year to move the stuff… Bills and coinage will increasingly be replaced by some sort of electronic equivalent.” Even a Citibank VP, Sholom Rosen, agrees that “There are going to be winners and losers, but everybody is going to play.”
The digital cash schemes use a blind digital signature and a central repository to protect against piracy and privacy violations. On the privacy issue, the techniques used have been mathematically proven to be protected against privacy violations. The bank cannot trace how the cash is being used or who is using it. Embedded in these schemes are powerful digital cryptography techniques which have recently been spread in the commercial domain (RSA Data Security is a leader in this field and will be speaking to the High Tech Club on January 19).
To protect against piracy requires some extra work. As soon as I have a digital bill on my Mac hard drive, I will want to make a copy, and I can. (Many companies have busted their picks trying to copy protect files from hackers. It will never work.). The difference is that I can only spend the bill once. The copy is worthless. This is possible because every bill has a unique encrypted identifier. In spending the bill, my computer checks with the centralized repository which verifies that my particular bill is still unspent. Once I spend it, it cannot be spent again. As with many electronic transactions today, the safety of the system depends on the integrity of a centralized computer, or what Dan Lynch calls “the big database in the sky.”
One of the most important limitations of the digital cash techniques is that they are tethered to a transaction between at least three parties — a buyer, seller and central repository. So, to use such a scheme to protect intellectual property, would require networked computers and “live” files that have to dial up and check in with the repository to be operational. There are many compelling applications for this, including voter registration, voting tabulation, and the registration of digital artwork originals.
When I asked Dan Lynch about the use of his technology for intellectual property protection, he agreed that the bits that now represent a bill could be used for any number of things, from medical records to photographs. A digital photograph could hide a digital signature in its low-order bits, and it would be imperceptible to the user. But those bits could be used with a registry of proper image owners, and could be used to prove misappropriation or sampling of the image by others.
Technology author Steven Levy has been researching cryptography for Wired magazine, and he responded to my e-mail questions with the reply “You are on the right track in thinking that crypto can preserve IP. I know of several attempts to forward plans to do so.” Digital cash may provide a “crypto-container” to preserve traditional notions of intellectual property.
The transaction tether limits the short-term applicability of these schemes for software copy protection. They won’t work on an isolated computer. This certainly would slow its adoption for mobile computers since the wireless networking infrastructure is so nascent. But with Windows ’95 bundling network connectivity, soon most computers will be network-ready — at least for the Microsoft network. And now that Bill Gates is acquiring Intuit, instead of dollar bills, we will have Bill dollars.
The transaction tether is also a logistical headache with current slow networks, which may hinder its adoption for mass-market applications. For example, if someone forwards a copyrighted e-mail, the recipient may have to have their computer do the repository check before they could see the text of the e-mail. E-mail is slow enough today, but in the near future, these techniques of verifying IP permissions and paying appropriate royalties in digital cash could be background processes on a preemptive multitasking computer (Windows ’95 or Mac OS System 8). The digital cash schemes are consistent with other trends in software distribution and development — specifically software rental and object-oriented “applets” with nested royalty payments. They are also consistent with the document-centric vision of Open Doc and OLE.
The user of the future would start working on their stationary. When it’s clear they are doing some text entry, the word processor would be downloaded and rented for its current usage. Digital pennies would trickle back to the people who wrote or inspired the various portions of the core program. As you use other software applets, such as a spell-checker, it would be downloaded as needed. By renting applets, or potentially finer-grained software objects, the licensing royalties would be automatically tabulated and exchanged, and software piracy would require heroic efforts. Intellectual property would become precisely that — property in a market economy, under lock by its “creator,” and Bill Gates’ 1975 lament over software piracy may now be addressed 20 years later.
——–end of paper———–
On further reflection, I must have been thinking of executable code (where the runtime requires a cloud connect to authenticate) and not passive media. Verification has been a pain, but perhaps it’s seamless in a web-services future. Cloud apps and digital cash depend on it, so why not the code itself.
I don’t see it as particularly useful for still images (but it could verify the official owner of any unique bundle of pixels, in the sense that you can "own" a sufficiently large number, but not the essence of a work of art or derivative works). Frankly, I’m not sure about non-interactive content in general, like pure video playback. "Fixing" software IP alone would be a big enough accomplishment.
As the Internet is evolving, it’s becoming easier and easier to download and stream movies and music illegally. How badly is this hurting the entertainment industry? Laci discusses a shocking new study saying that a good amount of people that pirate content also purchase a lot of music and movies!
Go to http://www.audiblepodcast.com/dnews to get a FREE Audiobook of your choice when you sign up today.
File-Sharers Buy 30% More Music Than Non-P2P Peers
“One of the most comprehensive studies into media sharing and consumption habits in the United States and Germany reveals that file-sharers buy 30% more music than their non-sharing counterparts.”
Study Finds Pirates 10 Times More Likely To Buy Music
“Piracy may be the bane of the music industry but according to a new study, it may also be its engine. A report from the BI Norwegian School of Management has found that those who download music illegally are also 10 times more likely to pay for songs than those who don’t.”
Portsmouth University Study Show Movie Pirates’ Motives
“People who illegally download billions of pounds worth of movies also love going to the cinema and do not mind paying to watch movies, according to researchers at the University of Portsmouth.”
No Stopping Illegal Downloads
TestTube Wild Card
Will Internet Kill Religion?
DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won’t find anywhere else! New videos twice daily.
Watch More DNews on TestTube http://testtube.com/dnews
Almost from the first computer software commercially sold, software pirates have flourished. The international trade in pirated software mirrors criminal activities of other kinds such as drug trafficking – it has its own subculture, jargon, and connections.
It is important to distinguish between stolen software and free or open source software. In fact, the vast majority of software available even today is:
* open source – the source code is available and the software is released under public use for learning, modification, and even redistribution. * freeware – written by students and hobbyists and given away for free without source code. * free software – free as in “freedom”, open source under the GNU public license. * shareware – given away as a sample with the option to pay a small fee to get the full version. * demoware – given away as a free sample of a commercial product. * charityware – like freeware or shareware, but the user is urged to donate to a charity as “payment” if they feel motivated to.
“Pirated software”, as opposed to the above categories, is software produced by a commercial company and sold to the public under a restrictive proprietary license, which has then had its copy-protection cracked and is now being illegally resold or traded.
Originally, there was no such thing as software piracy, because programs to run on computers were simply seen as a non-income commodity. All software was free and open, with computer labs, government contractors, and college students all freely writing and sharing software. then the idea that software could be sold for money took hold, as computers matured and showed up on the home market. Many in the computing community took offense to this notion, and so there is an undercurrent of resentment and justification felt even today, along with the pure profit motive.
The original software pirates were the “Warez Kids”. These were hobbyist home computer owners who put up bulletin board systems, abbreviated to “BBS”s, for the purpose of posting free copies of cracked software titles online. The “free” part actually means that you have to upload some of your own cracked software before downloading the BBS-hosted supply, and thus this was termed a ‘ratio’ site, where typically you’d have to upload two programs for every one you downloaded.
The “Warez” name comes from a deliberate misspelling of “wares”, for software, and the “cute” misspelling of words is a distinct marker of the culture. Thus, at the same site where you obtain “warez”, you might also get “filez” (illicit copies of private documents, manuals, and such), “codez” (cheat codes for cracking software), “serialz” (serial numbers which unlock software for paid use), “numberz” (stolen credit card numbers on the side), “Pr0n” (for pornographic media) and so on. The creative typing gets much more elaborate, with permutations such as “DO0d” for dude, “1337” for elite, etc. Much of this slang is now tracked by online references such as the famous Jargon File. Note that not everybody who types like this online is a software pirate; general Internet users have quickly adopted warez terms as a humorous irony.
Today’s permutation of the BBS culture is now the World Wide Web-hosted piracy websites, which have changed little but for the medium in which they are deployed. There is little distinction between pirated software and pirated media (such as ripped DVD movies, MP3 music files, and the like). The piracy market has moved out of basements of teenagers and become an international and mainstream business, quite possibly the world’s largest profitable business. The various laws and tolerance of different countries have ensured that the faceless software pirates online can anonymously hop their servers from one site to another, with very little hampering by authorities. For every site which gets busted, another one pops up.
In many countries outside the United States, software and especially media piracy is seen as no big deal and possibly even encouraged by their government. The prices for software in some countries are so high relative to their economy that stealing it is the only way they’d ever have it! Not to single out one country in a global problem, but a recent conference in Romania revealed that 80% of their software was cracked copies – this at a table where none less than Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft Incorporated, himself was attending! Along with Microsoft, Adobe systems media software is the other owner of the two most frequently cracked and redistributed software brands.
The drive to halt piracy is a continuing struggle. It is an arms race, in which the companies come up with increasingly more elaborate means of locking down their software and pirates come up with better and better electronic “lockpicks”. The wide variety of “zero-day” exploits, in which software is cracked and posted online on the very same day it hits the market (accompanied by much bragging by the pirate) indicates the scope of the problem.
You can work to discourage this practice by:
* bringing these pirates to justice, using international cooperation between law enforcement agencies. Much of the Internet will thank you, even if it isn’t their software that is stolen, because pirates also clog the Internet with spam and viruses. * protect your network from linking to or visiting these sites. Amongst many, Google and other search engines remove these sites whenever they’re discovered, and various agencies online blacklist these sites as well. * encourage the use of free and open source software and copyright-free media such as work released under the creative commons license.
The music industry has gone through a lot of changes, in the past 15 years. With the revolution that the Internet has created, the music industry has changed forever. Owing to the Internet, music has changed in terms of how music is bought, how artists gain market exposure and how music is shared. Not only have there been massive changes in the music industry but also the pace at which these changes are happening, have increased as a result of the Internet. With new technologies being developed every time, the Internet grows stronger and becomes more and more convenient, every year. Whether you like it or not, the Internet is here to stay and so the changes made to the music industry are here to stay as well.
Here are some things in the music industry that have been changed as a result of the Internet:
Purchasing Music Online Today, the use of CDs and cassettes are becoming obsolete. Some people don’t want to buy an entire CD but only a song or two. With the Internet, songs can now be sold separately. It has been more convenient to sell music, through the Internet. With the capability for a certain music artist to sell his or her songs through the Internet, a wider audience can be reached but owing to the widespread use of the internet for buying music CD’s, a lot of music companies have lost significant amount of revenue. Although their songs are reaching more people, mostly individual songs are being sold and not whole albums.
Getting Exposure Online One very powerful feature of the Internet is the power of promoting people. It is mostly free and these promotions can spread quite quickly. An artist can ultimately gain a lot of exposure with the help of the online world. With the Internet, artists are able to post videos, sending out a message to their fans and easily have it available to anyone who wants to view them online. Through various social networking sites, the music artists can keep in touch with their fans, from all around the world. Setting and posting dates online for gigs and concerts is also a lot easier because of the Internet.
Online Piracy Although the music industry with the help of online technologies has helped in boosting an artist’s or band’s exposure and has made purchasing songs a lot more convenient, one big problem that the music industry continues to face is online music piracy. With all the technologies that we have today, it is extremely easy to steal songs off the internet. People can get free mp3 downloads as easily as they can purchase songs from legitimate websites. Online piracy resulted in the music industry losing millions of dollars in revenues, every year.
To combat piracy, many music companies now offer free downloads of their songs in low quality. Legitimate free downloads are provided and there are no legal issues involved in downloading the freely available songs. Once music fans all over the world download them and listen to them, if they like they can purchase the high quality ones. Also, a lot of new technologies are being developed so that the copy protection on the downloaded songs cannot be easily broken. Many legal bodies are being formed to find out places where piracy is happening. Many national governments have made their laws against piracy very strict. If you are caught doing or supporting piracy directly or indirectly, it can lead to severe liabilities.
There are many websites these days. Websites are getting better and better owing to quality web hosting services. Quality service providers like Hostgator help make websites more user friendly and accessible to the music fans around the world. Hostgator coupons and hostgator coupon code for you.
Listen to Teddy – Stop SOPA and PIPA
Image by DonkeyHotey
"…to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." – Theodore Roosevelt
Do you want to share a relevant quote? Please do so in comments below.
More complete quote:
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
Internet Security: Your Lack of internet security and internet safety are increasingly becoming issues of concern. There are innumerable dangers that can pose a serious threat to not only data but also to our assets and even our life. In the recent times, hackers, identity thefts, piracy, and cybersex-crimes have increased greatly in frequency and everyone has to take effective measures to ensure that they and their data are relatively free from harm. Easy access to information, easy to use attributes of the Internet and the fact that there is no immediate, in-your-face harm done, can lead to anyone letting their guard down. In addition, there is no guarantee which predator is lurking behind which button click! Some of the common internet security issues that you canface are –
1. Hacking -One of the main threats troubling the Cyber-crime police, all over the world is, hacking. A hacker can get unauthorized access and complete control of your various accounts (social, banking, etc.,) data on your computer, or even whole networks! Just imagine what can happen to all your hard earned money if a hacker gets access to your banking passwords?
2.Phishing,Spam and email frauds – Spamming, though harmless, can be quite irritating for a user to see an inbox full of unwanted mail. However, Email frauds and phishing are scams where your personal sensitive information is acquired by posing as a trustworthy entity and used for illegal purposes. These can get you in serious trouble with the law.
3.Pornography- Pornography, pedophiles, sexual addicts are an increasing threat to children who can be lured and abused. Photographs posted on social websites can be misused and put up on pornographic websites.
It is then essential to keep abreast about the latest internet security dangers, internet frauds, ways and means to identify and prevent such security threat issues and most importantly remain updated about the latest technology and software that is available to avoid internet security mishaps. The best way to arm yourself against these is by reading news and gathering information on a regular basis about the happenings in the cyber-world. There are many search engines that can give a million search listing of related articles. However, it is easier to have all relevant information under one roof!
http://www.securitycheatsheet.com/ is one such website that has all the required data and information available. The website is a complete internet security guide. You can also find many useful internet security reviews, articles that give a clear insight into what the latest in internet security. All your questions regarding windows security essentials will be answered here. If you keep asking yourself, “Do I need antivirus software?” or “Should I buy Antivirus Software?” you will find the right answers on www.securitycheatsheet.com!
http://www.securitycheatsheet.com/ is one such website that has all the required data and information available.
Most people own some forms of personal property such as jewelry, furniture, and some even own and real estate. If you’re in business, you also have intellectual property. This field of law includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, even your web site name and its content. While intellectual property (IP) law used to be fairly straight forward, the Internet has opened up a whole new world of challenges. You need to know how to protect those IP assets, and you can, but you’ll need to do some due diligence on your own, and it is highly advised to hire a good intellectual property lawyer.
This specialist in protecting intangible assets such as music, artistic works, discoveries, words, phrases, symbols, industrial design, and the like can guide you through the critically important process of donning your legal armor before you expose any of your intellectual property on the world-wide web.
The first recorded use of the term intellectual property was in the 19th century. In today’s global economy, copyright lawyers, legislators, business people and consumers have all been challenged to craft and learn about what trademark or copyright infringement really means when online content can be readily copied by anyone with Internet access. First and foremost, registering and protecting your Internet domain name, which is the foundation for your website, is a critical element in protecting your online intellectual property.
Registration is accomplished by paying an annual fee for the exclusive use of your domain name to a certified registrar (a company that is accredited by the ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to perform this function). Your IP lawyer will guide you through this process, which will include a search to make sure your intended name is not already in use. As well, your registrar may work with you on suggestions for names, based on the keywords you give them. This would be especially helpful if you discover that your first choice has already been taken. Rest assured, even with the rapid expansion of the Internet, there is a litigation process for domain name disputes.
Since your name is a significant portion of your online branding, advertising and in making sure search engines pull your website right up when a potential customer is looking for your product, it is vital to keep that registration current.
It is also important to nail down the ownership of your domain name. Although it may seem easier to let your webmaster handle registration and hosting your site, domain name law is a tricky business as well, so get your your IP lawyer engaged to guide you through this process as well. All too often, unsuspecting business owners find out, too late, that the webmaster has control over their domain, and it’s important to know what can happen if you decide to make a change in who hosts or maintains your website, or if your webmaster retires.
Protecting web site content is a two way street. You may want to use product descriptions if you sell goods manufactured by another commercial concern. This is where the doctrine of “Fair Use” comes into play. Although acknowledging where the original content came from is accepted, it is safer to obtain explicit permission to use their product descriptions, photos, etc.
Conversely, it is wise for every business owner, musician, writer or artist to protect their content with software designed to monitor the Internet for violations, as well as copyright protection, which is provided to authors of original literary, dramatic or artistic works. The software is designed to notify you of infringements, but it is up to you to pursue legal channels, if you feel your business is being damaged by an offender.
Software programs are especially vulnerable to Internet pirates who can reverse engineer your product to create a very close approximation. In this arena, a patent is your protection. A patent, which is the granting of a property right to the inventor, is issued by the Patent & Trademark Office. It confers the right to exclude others from making, selling, using or importing your product. This, combined with your due diligence and pursuit of violators, is essential. Filing for a patent is a complicated process, so it is best to consult your attorney early in your project, even before the software is completed and ready for testing.
Another aspect of intellectual property control is the trademark or service mark. Its purpose is to mark a word, name, symbol, device or service to let the market place know where this protected element comes from and also to distinguish it from other similar offerings. Your trademark registration lawyer will advise you that a trademark acts somewhat like a “no trespassing” sign.
To complicate your task even further, the familiar alphabet soup filled with “Latinized” (that’s what our ABCs are called) domain names such as .com, .org, .gov, .edu and so forth, has been spiced up with non-Latin characters from other cultures. This means surfers whose native language uses alphabet characters quite different from ours have joined the party.
Of course, this not only makes your protection challenge steeper, it opens up a whole new world of technical challenges. Your best bet is to engage a really good intellectual property lawyer well versed in international law to help you meet all challenges successfully.
These days, any business owner who does not have a competent intellectual property attorney on speed dial is vulnerable to piracy on the world-wide web from sources that didn’t even exist a few years ago. It’s always better to spend a little for protection than to potentially lose it all when you least expect it.
Author Stephen Daniels highly recommends Baker & Rannells for those seeking professional intellectual property lawyers in New York. Their legal team has more than 63 years experience in both the U.S. and around the world. Their team will work on your behalf and can assist with research, registration and infringement litigation when appropriate.
The internet is gearing up for a fight, several sites have pledged to go dark on January 18 in protest of SOPA and PIPA, the internet blacklist legislation currently making their way through Congress. Below is a list of confirmed sites joining in :
3.The entire Cheezburger Network
5.Hacktivist group, Anonymous
6.Red 5 Studios, developer of the Firefall MMO
7.Mojang.com and Popular MMO, Minecraft
9.Webmaster community Admin Forums
10.Web design company, Skytemple.com
11.Gaming site Video Game Generation
12.Right Angle Recording
13.All sites in Major League Gaming’s network
17.Gaming site, GOG.com
18.Hey It’s Free!
19.Harder Blogger Faster
23.Working It Out
27.Through the Eyes of a Pirate
35.A Much Better Way
36.[H]ard OCP Gaming Community
40.The Weekly Gripe
42.WordPress for Business Websites
43.Simply Fixed s
55.Purpose of Christmas
57.Emerald Angel Comics
58.Fairy Tail Episode
62.This is Xbox
67.Olivero Broadcasting Group
69.Red Dawn Movie News
73.Talking About Games
78.Doxie Lovers Club
79.Twitpic versions of their site.
80.Age of Coins
81.A Softer World
82.This Is Why Im Broke
84.Dance Top 40
87.The Ikids Blog
88.MMO Melting Pot
91.Geek Culture and the Joy of Tech comic
I will not be posting tomorrow. This is global, this is now.