A Heretical View of File Sharing
"The music industry says it repeatedly, with passion and conviction:
downloading hurts sales. That statement is at the heart of the war on
file sharing, both of music and movies, and underpins lawsuits against
thousands of music fans, as well as legislation approved last week by a
House Judiciary subcommittee that would create federal penalties for
using what is known as peer-to-peer technology to download copyrighted
works. It is also part of the reason that the Justice Department
introduced an intellectual-property task force last week that plans to
step up criminal prosecutions of copyright infringers... But what if
the industry is wrong, and file sharing is not hurting record sales?
It might seem counterintuitive, but that is the conclusion reached by
two economists who released a draft last week of the first study that
makes a rigorous economic comparison of directly observed activity on
file-sharing networks and music buying..."
New tool designed to block song swaps
"Created by software firm Audible Magic, the song-filtering software is
backed strongly by the (RIAA). The software has also triggered interest
in Washington, D.C., and skepticism in the peer-to-peer world and among
some students and universities... Palisade's new tool is the fruit of a
cross-licensing deal struck earlier this year, which also gives Audible
Magic the rights to use Palisade's network-monitoring technology to
offer a similar product. Palisade executives say their university
customers in particular are interested in the song-blocking
Record Labels seek end to 0.99c/song download
"Remember how online music stores were going to route around the music
industry? The pigopolists have barely got their feet under the table
and already demanding more. The Wall Street Journal reports that the
major five labels think that 99 cents per song is too cheap, and are
discussing a price hike that would increase the tariff to $1.25 up to
$2.99 per song... The current tariff is too much for most people, as
saggy sales indicate. "99 cents a song is a pricing model designed to
protect CD sales, and not one designed to move people into a new
digital music marketplace," senior staff attorney at the Electronic
Frontier Foundation Fred Lohmann told us recently. "If an iPod has room
for 4,000, does Apple think people are getting to spend $4,000 filling
it with music?..."
RIAA's Enforcer Speaks Up
"Bradley Buckles, the new head of anti-piracy for the Recording
Industry Association of America, hasn't been to a concert since
attending a Who show more than twenty years ago. The former director of
the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a
lifetime law-enforcement officer with a reputation for steely
toughness. But despite his "just the facts" demeanor, Buckles may not
be the enforcer that music fans have feared..."
Apple DMCA sends iTunes DRM decryptor offshore
"The PlayFair project, which removes fair-use restrictions from music
purchased through Apple's online store, has become the latest victim of
offshoring. Actually, that's not quite true: only the hosting provider
has moved to India. Not surprisingly, Apple has used the Digital
Millenium Copyright Act to ask SourceForge to remove the project...
PlayFair uses Jon Johansen's iTunes circumvention to remove fair-use
restrictions from iTunes Music Store files..."
File-sharing to bypass censorship
"By the year 2010, file-sharers could be swapping news rather than
music, eliminating censorship of any kind. This is the view of the man
who helped kickstart the concept of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing,
Cambridge University's Professor Ross Anderson. In his vision, people
around the world would post stories via anonymous P2P services like
those used to swap songs..."
Napster investors to face music in court
"Napster has been reborn as a legal online music service, but the ghost
of its former renegade song-swap self is trailing about $17 billion of
legal baggage... Music labels and publishers will face off against
Bertelsmann AG in federal court in San Francisco on April 27 over
claims the German media company's 2000 investment in Napster kept the
file-swapping service operating eight months longer than it would have
done otherwise... The lawsuits claim the extra lease on life promoted
wide-scale piracy and cost the music industry $17 billion..."
Night Vision Goggles Used to Spot Video Pirates
"Los Angeles police have made the first arrests under a new law
targeting pirates who use camcorders in cinemas... Ruben Centero
Moreno, 34, was arrested after the projectionist used night vision
goggles to spot video cameras... And Min Jae Joun, 28, was arrested on
suspicion of recording a screening of The Passion of the Christ..."
Steganos Security Announces Secure File Sharing Program
"Steganos GmbH, a leading provider of security and privacy software for
consumers and small to medium-sized businesses, today announced the
debut of Steganos Secure FileSharing 6 in the U.S. market. Designed for
users of popular file-sharing programs like Kazaa and iMesh, the
software enables users to directly download and encrypt in real-time up
to 32 GB of music, film and images into a password-protected Media
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