by Mike Masnick
Tue, Dec 18th 2012 7:10am
by Glyn Moody
Fri, Nov 30th 2012 5:38am
from the trapped-in-the-past dept
The body which represents the UK's biggest record labels says it "doesn't make sense" for Google not to tackle piracy when it's launching a new, legal music service.We know that when music streaming services became available in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, illegal downloads were halved. The BPI's obsession with punishing illegal download sites blinds it to the fact that Google plans to launch a far better way of dealing with them: not through extrajudicial censorship in the form of doctored search results, but simply by offering something that people are happy to pay for. The UK recording industry should be embracing new ventures like Google Play Music wholeheartedly, not using them as bargaining chips in its pointless fight over search results.
Google says it wants its new music service, Google Play Music, to wipe out piracy on Android devices.
But the BPI claims the firm is not keeping its promise to make it harder to find illegal download sites.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Sep 7th 2012 5:29pm
from the dmca-failures dept
If you look, you can see a bunch of takedown requests for Megaupload links in the past month.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 15th 2012 9:50am
from the free-speech? dept
Drake - 'Take Care'Not particularly positive, but not particularly scathing either. He also posted another post on About.com that merely pointed to that review, but included no additional content other than that he wrote a 50-word review.
A briefly entertaining, occasionally ponderous, sometimes lazy, sometimes brilliant, slow-rolling, rap-singy, bulls-eye missing, kitten-friendly, runway-ready, mega corny, lip-smacking, self-conscious, self-correcting, self-indulging, finely tuned, Houston infatuated, crowd pleasing, delightfully weird, emotionally raw, limp, wet, innocuous, cute, plush, brooding, musical, whimsical, exotic, pensive, V-necked, quasi-American, strutting, doting, cloying, safe alternative to sleeping pills.
Best Song: "Lord Knows"
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Either way, both of those links are gone from Google's search. Why? Because just as someone filed a bogus DMCA to take down one of our key SOPA posts, Universal Music, via the BPI (British RIAA) filed a DMCA notice with Google claiming that both of those pages were infringing. That's clearly a false takedown, and pretty clearly designed to stifle a negative review.
But, no, there's no free speech concerns around the DMCA, right?
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 24th 2012 12:03pm
from the data-data-data dept
The new transparency platform lets you dig in and see quite a few details about exactly who is issuing takedowns and what they're removing from search. It's using data since last July (when Google set up an organized web-form, so the data is consistent). It may be a bit surprising, but at the top of the list? Microsoft, who has apparently taken down over 2.5 million URLs from Google's search results. Most of the the others in the top 10 aren't too surprising. There's NBC Universal at number two. The RIAA at number three (representing all its member companies). BPI at number five. Universal Music at number seven. Sony Music at number eight. Warner Music doesn't clock in until number 12.
It's also interesting to hear that these reviews catch some pretty flagrant bogus takedown requests:
At the same time, we try to catch erroneous or abusive removal requests. For example, we recently rejected two requests from an organization representing a major entertainment company, asking us to remove a search result that linked to a major newspaper’s review of a TV show. The requests mistakenly claimed copyright violations of the show, even though there was no infringing content. We’ve also seen baseless copyright removal requests being used for anticompetitive purposes, or to remove content unfavorable to a particular person or company from our search results.It's good to see Google catch these, as plenty of other sites would automatically take such content down, just to avoid any question of liability. Of course, it doesn't catch them all. Some get through -- as we ourselves discovered a few months ago. That led us to wonder if this tool could drill down and find the details about takedowns targeting Techdirt,
Either way, this is really fascinating data and an interesting platform, shedding some significant light on just how often copyright holders are trying to take links out of Google, who's doing it and who they're targeting.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 7th 2012 5:06am
UK ISPs Lose Their Challenge To The Digital Economy Act; Entertainment Industry Responds Condescendingly
from the ok,-start-your-censors dept
What's somewhat ridiculous, however, is to then watch the entertainment industry practically gloat about this result. Geoff Taylor from the BPI responded by claiming that:
"The ISPs' failed legal challenge has meant yet another year of harm to British musicians and creators from illegal filesharing."That's ridiculous on multiple levels. First of all, prove the harm. We'll wait. And wait. Because BPI can't do it. But, second, that assumes that kicking people off the internet will actually solve "the problem." It won't. The problem is with the fact that the companies represented by BPI refuse to adapt in a significant way, and thus users move towards more convenient, more efficient and better priced offerings.
PACT -- a UK trade group representing "independent creative content producers," the kind of folks who rely on an open internet and who should be terrified about the impact of something like the DEA, again, was extremely condescending to the legitimate concerns of ISPs:
John McVay, CEO of Pact, said: "Rather than needlessly spending more time and money on further legal challenges, BT and TalkTalk now need to focus on working with rights holders and the Government in implementing the Digital Economy Act with immediate effect."Immediate effect to raise costs and decrease access -- none of which will do a damn thing to get people to pay more for content. Others were equally condescending and obnoxious. There was Equity general secretary Christine Payne:
“Once again a judge has made it extremely clear that the Digital Economy Act is a fair, focused, proportionate and efficient system for consumers and the creative industry,” she added. “Rather than individuals being hauled into court, the DEA makes it possible to conduct a mass consumer education programme. BT and TalkTalk need to stop fighting and start obeying the law.”Hint to Christine: no "education programme" involves legislation requiring one industry to police users to stop them from doing what they want because a different industry is too lazy or clueless to adapt.
The Film Distributors’ Association president Lord Puttnam CBE hoped the court decision would put an end to “a long chapter of uncertainty, and the DEA can now help in implementing a mass consumer education programme so that people, especially young people, can come to appreciate the damage piracy inflicts on the whole of the creative community”.Kicking people offline and making ISPs copyright cops is not an education program, and the "problem" the industry faces is not an education problem. People know that copyright infringement is illegal. It's not because of ignorance that they're doing what they do. It's because the industry refuses to offer what they want in a convenient manner at a reasonable price.
The British Video Association’s director general Lavinia Carey added: “Several other countries are adopting this measure and it would be bad for Britain’s creative industries to be left behind more forward thinking nations who are supporting their creative economies at this difficult time of transition towards increased digital consumption during this period of recession.”Not that many countries, actually, and there's widespread opposition where it's happening, as well as significant concerns about the collateral damage. Over in France, of course, there are efforts under way by opposition parties to dump Hadopi as soon as possible. Pretending that this is some sort of widespread, agreed upon strategy that other countries are adopting widely is simply false.
But, in the end, this reaction shows how the industry continues to have its collective head in the sand on this particular issue. They think that users just need "education." That's wrong. It's the industry that needs education. It needs innovation on how to adapt, on how to meet consumers needs and on how to actually embrace what the technology allows. Until it does that, no "education program" is going to help... and the collateral damage of the DEA's program is only going to make things worse, and make sure that another generation of young people have no respect at all for the entertainment industry.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Mar 5th 2012 5:24am
from the tpb-v-bpi dept
Oh yeah. It's also worth noting that Dan's got a new album coming out, which (of course) you can download for free. You can also buy it to show that you support the artists you like.
* Bonus points if you can spot our own Leigh Beadon in the video somewhere.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 3rd 2011 4:07am
from the did-anyone-not-see-that-coming? dept
The first likely step, which could be just days away, will be to ask ISPs to block some of the biggest illegal websites. It is not known yet which sites – and, therefore, which ISPs will be targeted. If ISPs do not block these sites voluntarily, the BPI will ratchet up the pressure and will seek court orders – citing 97A and the MPA case – requiring them to do so.And this is what censorship begets: more censorship. It's especially troubling when it comes from the entertainment industry -- an industry who has a history of declaring all sorts of useful tools and services -- the player piano, the radio, cable tv, the photocopier, the vcr, the dvr, the mp3 player, online video, etc. -- as infringing, because of their own unwillingness to adapt.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Dec 17th 2010 1:19am
from the reading-between-the-lines dept
This past year was a banner year for BPI. The UK market has bucked the trend in pretty much every other part of the world and has seen recorded music sales growing, while its overall music industry (if you count how much money musicians actually make -- beyond just recorded music sales) has been growing for quite some time. Even with all of that, BPI was able to push through the incredibly draconian Digital Economy Act in the UK via questionable means.
So BPI should be thrilled, right? In the midst of a recession, and a massive decline in recorded music sales everywhere else in the world, it was able to buck that trend even before it got this new law passed.
But no, to BPI, absolutely everything is about "piracy." It's put out a new report whining that "piracy" is still increasing and saying it's all Google's fault. Of course, this isn't a surprise as BPI has been trying to set Google up for a lawsuit.
Of course, by my reading of this new study, BPI is effectively admitting that the Digital Economy Act was useless. The industry was already growing before it, so the main reason behind it was to help slow down the dreaded "piracy." And it failed in doing that. So, shouldn't BPI now support a repeal of the Digital Economy Act?
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 8th 2010 10:14pm
from the lies-the-recording-industry-tells dept
Has any UK court ever treated an IP address as being sufficient by itself to identify a defendant as a copyright infringer in a contested copyright infringement claim decided after a trial of an action?This is because -- in typical recording industry misleading fashion -- BPI uses weasel words in its claims, saying
It is the same quality of evidence that was provided in more than one hundred cases to the High Court in litigation against end users and which was accepted by the court in each case. Most of these cases resulted in settlements, and all of those on which judgment was given found in the BPI's favourHmm, citing settlements is useless because a "settlement" is not a ruling on the merits, and therefore does not prove that an IP address is quality evidence. And while judgments are made on the merits, saying that such evidence was used in successful cases is not the same thing as saying an IP address, in and of itself, is sufficient to prove infringement. Apparently, ORG asked BPI to clarify this well over a month ago, and still has not received an answer. Shocking.