Entertainment Industry Embraces New Business Model: Suing Google For Third-Party Android Apps That 'Promote Piracy'

from the piracy:-keeping-lawyers-employed-since-1999 dept

Who says the entertainment industry can't embrace new business models? From their ham-fisted attempts to make digital movie distribution less convenient than driving to the store and purchasing a DVD to their recent "collateral revamping" of various cloud services, the entertainment industry has never been more flexible.

Plagiarism Today points us to the bold new direction the entertainment industry will be heading in the future. More specifically, a bold new direction the entertainment industry's lawyers will be headed.
[A]t a charity luncheon for the Entertainment Law Initiative, which was raising money for the Grammy Foundation, there was a thunderous applause from the audience, mostly comprised of attorneys, over a paper regarding Android applications the promote piracy wondering why no lawsuits had been filed against Google for secondary liability. Though most of the other papers admitted only received scattered applause, that one seemed to whip the crowd into a frenzy, indicating the possibility that industry lawyers are considering such a tactic in the near future.
It's not an entirely new direction. Google is still the entertainment industry's favorite punching bag. But, hey, billable hours! New billable hours! Surely that's reason for a standing ovation! And a platform switch! Exciting!

A few more details emerged at the Wall Street Journal:
[T]he room went nuts during videotaped remarks by Ryanne E. Perio, a student at Columbia Law School, who wrote about Android smartphone apps that facilitate piracy.

During remarks describing her paper, Perio wondered aloud why offering those apps hadn't generated lawsuits against Android parent Google, for "secondary copyright infringement" - i.e. facilitating piracy.

There seems to be no link to Perio's actual paper, entitled, "Policing The Android Market: Why The Expanding DMCA May Harbor Google From Liability For Illegal File-Sharing Apps Available On Android," so it's unclear whether Perio is referencing the official Android app store or simply broadbrushing (+4 troll points) Google as co-conspirators on any piece of software compatible with the Android platform.

If it's the App Store angle, it's a bit like claiming Walmart is responsible for secondary infringement because they sell copies of Nero (not to mention computers, blank discs, cable modems and other tools of the pirate trade). If it's just because it's Google's platform, then it's about as meritous as suing Microsoft because Limewire Frostwire runs on Windows.

Of course, a lack of merit has never stopped a lawsuit. And it certainly has never stopped lawyers from racking up expensive hours constructing a variety of legal Spruce Gooses. Sadder still, it has never stopped a court from rendering a ridiculous decision in favor of the even more ridiculous plaintiffs.

Filed Under: android, apps, secondary liability
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2012 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: an industry is not a model.

    ooohh big word !!!!! I dont know what your name is, it might be Bob !

    perhaps you can recomboblulate the issue for us?

    it appears, you nor the author (if not you) do not understand very much about how an economy works, or what a business is, or what the difference between an industry and a company.

    Would you consider a service station selling petrol in the "entertainment industry", or a golf club ? or a restaurant ?

    Do you know what "disposable income" means ?
    or
    Do you know what 'entertainment' is ?

    do you understand that people use their disposable income to often to provide them with some form of entertainment.

    Companies compete for customers disposable income by providing products or services that the consumers are willing to pay for out of their disposable income.

    that income, is what you have left from your pay after you pay your bills, buy your food, pay your rent ect. It is what you have left to spend on things YOU want to spend your money on.

    you might decide to put that money in the bank and save it, or spend it on a tank of gas for your car, so you can entertain yourself with a long sunday drive in the country.

    You might go out to dinner, or buy a book, or buy a CD, or go rollerskating !

    If you choose to use your disposable income on entertainment, it does not mean you are going to buy a CD or buy a movie, or go to the flicks. You might equally buy a camera, learn how to use it and entertain yourself in that way.

    It is simply stupid, and shows ignorance that you would try to convince any thinking person that the entertainment industry is a limited model industry. and there is a fixed amount of ways for consumers to purchase 'entertainment'.

    How can your local video-ezy rental stall possibly operate with the same 'model' as a musician, or an actor, or a servo station ? or a golf course ?

    They are all in the business of 'entertainment', If those dollars are not spent on buying a movie, it does not mean it is not spent on entertainment.

    So as usual, this article starts with a flawed premise, and it just goes downhill from that point.

    A part of the process of the development of a business plan (a model for a business), is to define your competition. You would fail (your business management course) if you did not consider all your competition, that is, every other vendor that is trying to acquire your disposable income.

    So as an electronics engineer, I compete with the local restaurant, the local golf club, the local video store, the petrol station, the government.

    Not just other electronics engineering companies, but I also compete directly with them. Articles such as this one very clealy demonstrate an almost total lack of understanding of even the most basic of economics...

    Therefore there is really little point in engaging with your guys in a discussion on these matters, as for that to occur, you would need at the least a basic understanding of markets and economics, which you clearly do not at present posses. or care to learn...

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