In the debate about the American “Stop Online Piracy Act”, some have hailed the decade-old American DMCA as a law that was somehow beneficial for the development of new services on the net. This is not only a complete misconception, but a very dangerous one at that. The DMCA was basically a wet dream come true for the copyright industry, and the “safe harbor” provisions have gradually shifted the environment to suppress free speech and expression in favor of the suppressing industries: the copyright industries.

GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be.

The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.

“Child pornography is great,” the man said enthusiastically. “Politicians do not understand file sharing, but they understand child pornography, and they want to filter that to score points with the public. Once we get them to filter child pornography, we can get them to extend the block to file sharing.” The date was May 27, 2007, and the man was Johan Schlüter, head of the Danish Anti-Piracy Group (Antipiratgruppen). He was speaking in front of an audience from which the press had been banned; it was assumed to be copyright industry insiders only. It wasn’t. Christian Engström, who’s now a Member of the European Parliament, Oscar Swartz, and I [Rick Falkvinge] were also there.

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.


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.

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.

What WikiLeaks is really exposing is the extent to which the western democratic system has been hollowed out. In the last decade its political elites have been shown to be incompetent (Ireland, the US and UK in not regulating banks); corrupt (all governments in relation to the arms trade); or recklessly militaristic (the US and UK in Iraq). And yet nowhere have they been called to account in any effective way. Instead they have obfuscated, lied or blustered their way through. And when, finally, the veil of secrecy is lifted, their reflex reaction is to kill the messenger.


Our rulers have a choice to make: either they learn to live in a WikiLeakable world, with all that implies in terms of their future behaviour; or they shut down the internet. Over to them.

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.


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.”

|< First   < Previous   11–20 (55)   Next >   Last >|