Posts Tagged ‘piracy’

The State of Three Strikes

It’s spring training season, and that’s as far as I really feel like taking this metaphor at the moment.  Recently, a number of nations have considered implementing a “three strikes and you’re out” rule for illegal downloaders, wherein ISPs would disconnect the infringing user after they were caught pirating copyrighted material a third time.  France introduced the law in September 2009 and while it has yet to go into effect, early studies question its potency. New Zeland put a similar system in place, but had to retinker the law and soften the blow, completely removing the disconnect provision after significant protest. Dynamo agent Ari Emmanuel, inspiration for the Ari Gold character on HBO’s “Entourage” and little brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel, has been using his juice to push the President for a simliar system in the United States.

The Obama Administration has remained relatively tight-lipped about its plans for their overall plans, but has insisted that they plan to aggressively protect the nation’s intellectual property.  One of the weapons in their arsenal is the soon-to-be-released Anti-Counterfeiting  Trade Agreement (“ACTA”).    The drafters of the agreement are notoriously silent, but have recently come under fire due to leaked rumors that there will be a “three strikes” provision in the trade agreement.  In response, the European Union has demanded that the US release a draft version of the ACTA in order to show that it does not, in fact, contain the provision.  The EU has taken a hardline stance that it will refuse to accept any sort of provision.  There’s a lot of he-said she-said going on here, and this will be tricky to implement across multiple nations.  With sentiment growing that internet access may be a basic human right, along with a vastly varying stance on piracy by country, agreement to a full disconnect for users seems somewhat unlikely.  Look for the ACTA to address this issue but in a somewhat lighter manner once the bill is released.

 

Briefs – 3/23

Big stories this past week included Lady Gaga getting sued by all kinds of people, and Vicaom hiring companies to upload their copyrighted content to youtube while embroiled in the lawsuit.  Here are a few more articles that are worth a look.

Bob Donnelly from Lommen Abdo warns against the 360 deal

Roger Miller’s widow owns the rights to “King of the Road”.  Sony owes $~1M in royalties

Canadian Company Clams NBC Stole Hulu Concept/Trademark from Them

Pirated Japanese Pr0n Game installer uploads your personal info

Top 3 Internet Scams Targeting Bands and Musicians

 

File Under: “Duh”

I’ve been purposely holding off on posting anything about Apple’s new iPad. First, because there’s been a deluge of coverage across the net and I didn’t want to add to the noise. Secondly, because the various IP issues involved, frankly, aren’t that interesting yet. Sure, a trademark dispute was inevitable, but Apple will throw tons of money at Fujitsu and this will go away quietly.

One little nugget of news that I couldn’t let slide, however, was the announcement that the admin of Installous, the popular iPhone program that lets you install cracked apps on a jailbroken phone, was shutting the project down for legal reasons. The admin claims that he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong until he was able to track down the ever elusive and always expensive breed of strange mammal known as the copyright lawyer. [ed note: we're not that hard to find, look for a post soon outlining some resources].

Installous’s modus operandi was that they were in the clear since they were not the ones cracking the applications that were available in the app. Just like Napster, though, a site’s admin can be held vicariously liable for assisting its users in infringing the copyrights of others. The news of the shutdown is a small victory to iPhone app developers, who have lost an estimated 75% of sales, or $450 million, to piracy.