elz: (booty)
The RIAA? Amateurs. Here's how you sue 14,000+ P2P users

The big music labels and movie studios have stepped back from the lawsuit business. The MPAA's abortive campaign against individual file-swappers ended years ago, while the RIAA's more widely publicized (and criticized) years-long campaign against P2P swappers ended over a year ago.

So why have P2P lawsuits against individuals spiked dramatically in 2010? It's all thanks to the US Copyright Group, a set of lawyers who have turned P2P prosecution into revenue generation in order to "SAVE CINEMA." The model couldn't be simpler: find an indie filmmaker; convince the production company to let you sue individual "John Does" for no charge; send out subpoenas to reveal each Doe's identity; demand that each person pay $1,500 to $2,500 to make the lawsuit go away; set up a website to accept checks and credit cards; split the revenue with the filmmaker.

The graph of copyright lawsuits by year is pretty amazing. What's also striking is that this seems much less like an attempt to stamp out piracy and much more like a scheme to profit off it: sue very large numbers of people, ask for an amount of money that most people can afford to pay, and take home a nice cut of $20 million dollars for your firm in under six months. And they didn't even generate much publicity until they started suing over The Hurt Locker.

The moral of the story: ...don't download indie movies that you wouldn't pay to see in the first place?
elz: (otw)
So, last week, the Second Circuit reversed the injunction against 60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye, which is a sequel of sorts to The Catcher in the Rye, in which, from what I can tell, a 76-year-old man named "Mr. C" becomes aware that he's a fictional character and eventually meets up with his creator, a thinly-veiled version of Salinger, who regrets having created him and is thinking of killing him off. I gather that's as far as the author goes in filing off the serial numbers, so to speak, and it was marketed as a sequel to Catcher in the Rye.

The OTW had filed an amicus brief in the case, so I was kind of curious to see what the court had said.

in which I read the whole ruling, and it was not as tough slogging as I'd have expected )

(Warning: layperson's interpretations.)
elz: (Default)
Ars Technica has a new article about the proposed ACTA provisions that prompted some impassioned posts last week at BoingBoing and the EFF. It's short, but a little more informative and an interesting read. Excerpt:

In fact, for US Internet users, the document sounds a whole lot like existing law—specifically, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), rather than a big new power grab.That's not a coincidence; the EU document actually says that the section on "safe harbors" for ISPs is "based on Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), including a preamble about the balance between the interests of Internet service providers (ISPs) and rights-holders."

The DMCA has big problems—most notably, no anticircumvention of DRM even for fair use purposes—but Section 512 actually made sites like Flickr and YouTube possible by shielding them from most lawsuits.

So, not good, but probably not the end of the world as we know it. The people who should be up in arms about this, though, are Canadians, since from what I understand, Canadian law is much more geared towards protecting the rights of consumers and ISPs than US or European law, and this would basically force them to change that to suit the desires of American corporations.


Ars also has an article up that is not entitled "The Cloud": what the fuck does that actually mean? but could be. Which is handy, because it's become one of those trendy tech terms that people try to attach to everything, whether it's appropriate or not.


elz: (Default)

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