“Internet users who illegally download music, movies and e-books will be sent warning letters in a crackdown that could lead to court action for copyright theft,” say the Daily Mail. “A new regime to tackle online piracy will in effect treat individuals as ‘guilty until proven innocent’.” Those wrongly accused of pirating download musicwill have to pay a £20 fee to appeal in a move that has angered consumer groups but given hope to the music community.
“The controls on internet piracy, due to come into effect in early 2014, were outlined yesterday by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom under the Digital Economy Act 2010,” explains the Daily Mail article. “The same Act includes punishments that could, in future, see accused families having their internet service slowed down, capped or even cut off. A music distribution industry code will require large internet service providers (ISPs) such as BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk to send warning letters to families suspected by entertainment firms of illegal download music activity or uploading copyright material.If a customer gets three letters or more within a year, copyright holders such as movie and music companies will have a right to ask for details of the material involved. These companies will then be able to apply for a court order requiring the ISP to reveal the customer’s name and address. The information would be used to pursue the person involved through the civil courts for damages. However, there are concerns that innocent internet users, for example those whose wireless connections are hijacked by a neighbour or criminal, will be caught up in the new regime.Those sent a warning letter will be assumed guilty unless they can prove their innocence after paying a £20 fee to appeal to an Ofcom body.”
Mike O’Connor, of the customer body Consumer Focus, said: ‘Copyright infringement is not to be condoned, but people who are innocent should not have to pay a fee to challenge accusations. It could deter those living on low incomes from challenging unfair allegations.’ If the new system does not stop piracy, ministers will be able to go back to Parliament to enact rules in the Digital Economy Act that could see households having their internet service cut off. ‘The ability to appeal is therefore critical to ensure consumers who have done nothing wrong are not deprived of internet access further down the line,’ said Mr O’Connor. Creative industries minister Ed Vaizey said entertainment firms had to be able to ‘protect their investment’, adding: ‘The Digital Economy Act is an important part of protecting our creative industries against unlawful activity.’ Ofcom’s Claudio Pollack said: ‘Ofcom will oversee a fair appeals process, and also ensure that rights holders’ investigations under the code are rigorous and transparent.’
I understand the consumer groups’ concern but piracy is just not something the music community, and the wider community should accept anymore. We all love to listen to music, discover new bands and share new music. But we as a music community need to be wary of the danger to the new bands and new music if we download music illegally. Music distribution is an industry like all the others. Why do we think it’s different for musicians? They want to sell music online so that they can make money to live. It’s important that the music community take responsibility for music distribution. We need to take charge. We need to buy and sell music online so there can even be a music distribution industry. How can musicians eat if they aren’t paid for their work? Even when they sell music online it gets plagiarized.
We as the music community should understand that new bands cannot be made if we continue to download music illegally. The new music will simply not be made if the artists can’t sell music online. The music distribution industry will be killed along with the creativity. The time is now, music community, to stand up and do something about it so that new bands will be able to have a future. They will also need to learn how to promote a band in the age of audio samples, though! It’s not just about sticking with the status quo. To sell music online in this day and age is the only way to make any money. People are not buying CDs anymore. But how do we stop people from stealing download music? Music websites like Songeist.com are doing their part to win the war on illegal audio samples. Now, music community, what are you going to do?
Image by Perrenque
By: Kevin Roberts, CEO Saatchi & Saatchi
Anyone in the creative industry has to feel for music and movie businesses as they battle piracy and file sharing. The desire for FREE on the Internet is a huge challenge to anyone who produces digital entertainment. I think that emerging from the torrent of files containing movies, TV shows, and music tracks that are being forwarded from computer to computer, is a word that will have a terrific impact on our future. That word is share.
In a world where the environment is under threat and credit is harder to find than a CEO on a lunch break, the ability to share – and come up with products that encourage sharing – is a new frontier for innovation. We’re already familiar with some prescient examples, like Zipcar. They set out to help people without cars to share one for a limited time but are inspired by a larger purpose: to enable simple and responsible urban living. You want to pick your mother up from the airport? Zipcar is a great solution to do what you need to do.
The Internet is a virtual machine for sharing – YouTube to share your creativity; Facebook to share your life; Second Life to share your dreams; Wikipedia to share your knowledge and eBay to share your belongings! This is sharing as a way to get more value – and who doesn’t have that near the top of their agenda? It’s not about less but about better. One efficient lawn mower for the street. A full set of home handy tools for an apartment building. Where it gets interesting is the emotional adjustments people are prepared to make. However hard we try to encourage our kids to share, anyone with a two-year-old knows that it doesn’t come naturally! Sharing is a skill born of empathy. We learn it as we learn how to work and play together and to make compromises that benefit us all. Sharing can inspire a renewed sense of community and belonging. Who doesn’t want to have that as part of their life? I believe that making things to share will become a trillion dollar industry as we work together to make the world a better place for us all to live in.
Please note my acknowledgements, sources and creative commons licence was cut off at end of video for some reason when I uploaded it. See below for full information:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To view a copy of this license, visit
Acknowledgements and Sources:
Bruns, A. (2010). Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage. In S. Sonvilla-Weiss (Ed.), Mashup Cultures. Vienna: Springer.
Burgess, J, & Green, J. (2009). The Entrepreneurial Vlogger: Participatory Culture Beyond the Professional-Amateur Divide. In P. Vonderau & P. Snickars (Eds.), The YouTube Reader (pp. 89-107): National Library of Sweden.
Jenkins, Henry. (2004). The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(1), 33-43. doi: 10.1177/1367877904040603
Jenkins, Henry. (2009a, 18/02/2009). If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part Four): Thinking Through the Gift Economy Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2009/02/if_it_doesnt_spread_its_dead_p_3.html
Jenkins, Henry. (2009b, 16/02/2009). If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part Three): The Gift Economy and Commodity Culture. Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2009/02/if_it_doesnt_spread_its_dead_p_2.html
Kalina, Paul. (2014, 26/06/2014). Australia a world leader in TV piracy. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22/08/2014, from http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/australia-a-world-leader-in-tv-piracy-20140623-zsfto.html
Klein, Jacob. (2013, 07/02/2014). How Much Does an HBO Subscription Cost These Days? Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://hbowatch.com/how-much-does-an-hbo-subscription-cost-these-days/
Leaver, T. (2008). Watching Battlestar Galactica in Australia and the Tyranny of Digital Distance. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, 126, 145-154.
Leaver, T. (2010, 09/01/2010). FlashForward or FlashBack: Television Distribution in 2010. Flow TV. 9(10). Retrieved 22/08/2014, from http://flowtv.org/2010/01/flashforward-or-flashback-television-distribution-in-2010-tama-leaver-curtin-university-of-technology/
LeMay, Renai. (2013, 03/04/2013). Despite quick, cheap, legal option, Australia still top Games of Thrones pirating nation. Delimiter. Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/03/despite-quick-cheap-legal-option-australia-still-top-games-of-thrones-pirating-nation/
LeMay, Renai. (2014, 03/02/2014). Screw you, Australia: Game of Thrones goes Foxtel-only. Delminiter. Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://delimiter.com.au/2014/02/03/screw-australia-game-thrones-goes-foxtel/
Manovich, L. (2009). The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production? Critical Inquiry, 35(2), 319-331. doi: 10.1086/596645
mezclaconfusa. (2012, 11/02/2012). Games of Thrones. Retrieved 10/08/2014, from https://http://www.flickr.com/photos/59087292@N07/6855051531/
Newman, Michael Z. (2009, 03/04/2009). P2P TV: Ethical Considerations. Flow TV. 9(10). from http://flowtv.org/2009/04/p2p-tv-ethical-considerationsmichael-z-newman-university-of-wisconsin-milwaukee/
Reynolds, Megan. (2014, 08/04/2014). Piracy: Australians lead the world for illegal downloads of Game of Thrones. MumBRELLA.
Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://mumbrella.com.au/australia-leads-way-illegal-downloads-game-thrones-219249
Wikstrom, P. (2010). The Social and Creative Music Fan The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud (pp. 147-169): Polity. Video Rating: / 5
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
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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
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"…to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." – Theodore Roosevelt
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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.