I have been wondering how the statutory return of copyright to the artists is going to play out with online services. Even if an artist decides to stay with a label it will provide an opportunity to renegotiate rates for digital distribution.
I regret the decline in the quality of the TD trolls. We used to have some people who actually made a good point that would stimulate discussion and make the community stronger. Now we have the obvious trolls who aren't even good at covering their obviousness.
What is the world coming to? I blame the patent system, but I pretty much blame the patent system for everything.
The problem with taxing drugs is that most politicians want to treat it as a gravy train and tax at high amounts. $100 for an oz of cannabis, for example.
High taxes just create a black market, so you still have all the problems with dealers, violence and the costs of jailing people.
People would be willing to pay a modest, reasonable tax for the convenience and safety of the regular marketplace. But there isn't a legislature anywhere that will be able to limit themselves to reasonable taxes on pot or any other drug. So the problem will continue, but maybe at a lesser scale.
And, of course, we already have alternatives to the Silk Road popping up. The Sheep Marketplace got Bloomberg's attention (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-04/goodbye-silk-road-hello-sheep-marketplace.html) but there are a bunch of others.
My guess is that the new markets will be a lot harder to crack than the Silk Road. I am guessing that they will also be more fragmented with lots of smaller, specialized, and regional markets. The .onion domain makes it fairly easy to have a distributed marketplace. There are already several sites serving as directories to other sites.
You raise another point that none of the studies cover. The totals do not consider how much music is given away for free. That has value to society (although some of it has very, very little value).
It also does not seem to count things like the sale of musical instruments, lessons, and other indirect economic contributions. Even musicians who give away their music for free are contributing to the economy in those indirect ways.
I'm not advocating that these studies should include the indirect costs because that is the sort of mentality that leads to grocery store clerks being counted as part of the IP industry. But it is important to realize that even "free" music makes money for someone.
Of course one of the three did not show up. So far the tactic seems to be to have two of the three show up and say the missing one is the only person who has the piece of information that is needed at that hearing. If Mark Lutz, John Steele and Paul Hansmeier ever showed up in the same room at the same time one of them would have to answer awkward questions like whether Cooper authorized signatures and which of them knows Salt Marsh.
Judges are getting smarter about handling these guys. They used to try to assign blame, but it was easy for Steele et.al. to blame everything on Brett Gibbs. Now they are asking questions that someone at the Prenda law firm was legally obligated to know the answers to.
Dealers cannot lose in this complaint. One possible outcome is that they win and Telsa gets hit with fines and has to change its website. If they do not win they get an endorsement of their own deceptive practices.
Next time I go overseas I plan on going to a pawn shop and getting the cheapest laptop I can find. I am also saving my old cell phone to carry on the trip. I am just assuming that those things will be gone when I get to customs. I will probably wipe both on my flight back.
One other story I read said that when the US broke the encryption one of their discoveries was that the Chinese were already there. I wonder how many other countries are cracked the system but were not clumsy enough to get caught.
To me the amazing thing is that anyone is surprised that countries are trying to spy on UN communications. This is like Captain Renault being shocked to learn that there was gambling going on in the casino.
I agree that it is troubling to know that they could break the encryption. I would like to know the method they used. It could be that the encryption was based on codes burned into the hardware. In that case it is logical that the Chinese got in because the chips were manufactured in China and there are rumors that the Chinese have been getting copies of encryption keys at the time of manufacture. I suspect that the US used methods more similar to the methods used to crack the DVD encryption key.
I wonder what encryption system will fall next, or perhaps has already fallen and we don't know about it yet. I think it is reasonable to suspect any proprietary system that relies on a single master key is already compromised. The NSA seems to have been able to put pressure on most companies to compromise their secrets and then shut them up about it with gag orders. Any system based on data burned into a chip is probably already open to the Chinese. This would include TPM chips in Windows 8 systems and Chromebooks.
I wonder if the NSA got the keys to just about every DRM system ever created and the Obama administration is worried that Snowden got that information. That would explain why the US and UK administrations are so insanely over the top on their responses to Snowden.
The cable folks should be most concerned by the poor performance in new households. That means young households. The cable industry lost an entire generation of viewers and they are not likely to get them back using the old formulas.
Big league sports may be collateral damage. Cable and sports are locked in a deadly embrace. As cable has lost young viewers so have major league sports.
Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...
It's no wonder that the copyright lobby has been working to make sure the Megaupload servers get wiped. There is too much evidence that "nearly every file of PETABYTES on Megaupload was infringing" is flat out false. We routinely used megaupload to move around large files we were using on various projects, and not one bit of it was infringing. We were not alone. Even the DOJ was using it.
Also, this DCMA takedown is hardly an isolated incident. In fact they are pretty standard. Corporations like Roto Light aren't even embarrassed to admit that they are breaking the law.
If Rotolight filled out a regular DCMA form then they have committed perjury and quite likely broke another law or two along the way. But US law does not apply to corporations or the wealthy, so no one is going to get penalized except for the victim who had his review pulled.
You highlighted some real problems, but my concern is mission creep. What comes after they have the filters in place under the guise of "Protect the Children!" Terrorism is probably up next, and that part of the filter won't be optional because "only terrorist sympathizers could be against blocking terrorism sites." After the mandatory filters are in place the next public enemy will almost certainly be PIRACY. I suspect this is the actual driving force behind the current movement since simply blocking torrent sites has not worked. After that they have some wonky defamation laws in England, so sites that make celebrities look bad are a likely candidate, especially if they can be extended just a bit to cover politicians. And that opens the door to blocking any type of "subversive" sites, especially those that criticize the filtering system itself.