Det är förmodligen så man ska se på Spotify; det är ytterligare en livsuppehållande åtgärd för en industri som egentligen borde få somna in för gott. Det kommer heta att det är piratkopierarnas fel, man kommer skylla på ungefär allt som går att skylla på för att försöka skyla de egentliga orsakerna; en trasig och förlegad upphovsrätt och fullständigt föråldrade affärsmodeller inom upphovsrättsindustrin.

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Spotifys affärsmodell är väldigt rätt, en Internetbaserad tjänst som ger dig ett musikbibliotek som är många gånger större än det du själv orkar sortera och indexera på egen hand, men det hjälper inte när de samtidigt tvingas hålla en obsolet och döende dinosaurie vid liv. Utan den dödvikten tror jag att Spotify hade varit markant mer framgångsrik, artisterna hade definitivt fått markant mer betalt och mycket av dagens kritik hade aldrig ens uppstått men med dagens beslut kommer kritikerna knappast bli tystare.

This latest trend to devise and deploy legal strategies against open source seems to me to represent an admission on Microsoft's part that it can no longer compete on technology. Instead, the dinosaurs have decided that it's time to play really dirty – and nothing is dirtier than enforcing bad monopolies using worse laws.

A copyright lasting many decades actually makes all the works with short lived commercial value disappear faster. It also limits the benefits of those very few works which are still profitable many years after their publication to people who were not their creators, be they music company stock holders who didn't create anything, or descendants who weren't even alive when the work was created.

Consequently, the most important action, maybe the only really necessary one to put an end to copyright abuses, the one which would make all the other proposal in this document happen almost automatically, is to reduce copyright duration, worldwide and as soon as possible, to five or ten years from the moment a work is published.

Such a measure would still reward fairly those who deserve it the most, that is the actual creators: in almost all cases there would be no significant financial loss for them. At the same time, reducing copyright duration would cancel all long term dangers.

Making a telephone call to SABAM [the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers] from a public toilet, a Basta [an investigative and satirical TV show in Belgium] team member looked at the manufacturer of a hand dryer and explained that Kimberly Clark would be performing at an upcoming event. That would cost 134 euros minimum said SABAM.

Next the playlist. What if Kimberly Clark sang songs not covered by SABAM? Titles such as ‘Hot Breeze’, ‘Show Me Your Hands’, ‘I Wanna Blow You Dry’, ‘I’m Not a Singer I Am a Machine’ and the ever-timeless, ‘We Fooled You’, for example.

Five days later the answer came from SABAM. All of the songs were “100% protected” and so Basta must pay 127.07 euros.

According to an article in the Guardian:

Illegal downloading of music cost the UK industry nearly £1bn this year, the BPI claimed today, as it produced research showing online piracy is still growing.

It based that calculation on an assumption that every track would have sold for 82p, the average price of a digital single, although it conceded not everyone who downloaded tracks illegally would have paid for them if they had been unable to obtain them illegitimately.

Also, last year thousands of people rode on the same bus as me. This cost me thousands of euros. I base that calculation on an assumption that they would each have paid me €1 to keep them company, though I concede that maybe not all of them would have paid if they could just have gone along anyway. As indeed they did.

Samtidigt tas reklam- och prenumerationsfinansierade tjänster som Spotify emot varmt i den massmediala debatten, då de dels avspeglar en svensk nationell stolthet som industrination, dels målas upp som en sorts universsallösning på "fildelningseländet". Men man bör minnas att Spotify har ett relativt begränsat utbud, som knappast kan sägas gynna mer perifera, okända artister, samt att tjänsten ger väldigt blygsamma inkomster för de medverkande upphovsmännen.

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Vad medielandskapet behöver är tjänster som bättre syftar till att lyfta fram det mindre kända. Sverige behöver en tydligare formulerad kulturpolitik som tar dessa nya förutsättningar i beaktande, och inriktar stödet mot att lyfta fram det som skapas i periferin, snarare än att gynna existerande oligopolliknande formationer såsom Bonniersfären, SF och Spotify.

As 3D scanners and 3D printers plunge in cost, designers and manufacturers are going to get worried. Once they get worried, they go either to courts or to Congress. When this happened in the 1990s with digital media, the result was the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and those on the cutting edge of home three-dimensional fabrication want to make sure that they're ready this time when a similar full-court press tries to convince Congress to increase intellectual property protection in the US.

“Just as with the printing press, the copy machine, and the personal computer before it, some people will see 3D printing as a disruptive threat,” says a new report (PDF) out today from the group Public Knowledge. “Similarly, just as with the printing press, the copy machine, and the personal computer, some people will see 3D printing is a groundbreaking tool to spread creativity and knowledge. It is critical that those who fear not stop those who are inspired.”

Furthermore, it quickly became apparent that [IFPI lawyer Magnus Mårtensson's] evidence consisted only of screenshots. When asked if he had any network equipment logging exactly what was going on ‘behind the scenes’ of any of his sample downloads, he replied that he didn’t.

When asked if he verified in any way during the download process that he had any contact with The Pirate Bay’s tracker, again the answer was negative.

Defendant Gottfrid Svartholm questioned Mårtensson on his evidence gathering techniques. The following questions are particularly interesting as they show that the prosecution has no evidence that the Pirate Bay trackers were actually used.

Michael Geist writes in with the latest news on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the secret, closed-door copyright treaty that will bring US-style copyright rules (and worse) to the whole world. Particularly disturbing is the growing support for "three-strikes" copyright rules that would disconnect whole families from the Internet if one member of the household was accused (without proof) of copyright infringement. The other big US agenda item is cramming pro-Digital Rights Management (DRM) rules down the world's throats that go way beyond the current obligations under the UN's WIPO Copyright Treaty. In the US version, breaking DRM is always illegal, even if you're not committing any copyright violation -- so breaking the DRM on your iPad to install software you bought from someone who hasn't gone through the Apple approval process is illegal, even though the transaction involves no illicit copying.

What's in a name? Not much, when it comes to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. As Luc Devigne, the top EU negotiator on ACTA made clear today, he has no intention of limiting ACTA to, you know, its name.

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