Friday, February 08, 2008

RIAA wants content filters and proposes spyware too [VIDEO] | Public Knowledge

RIAA wants content filters and proposes spyware too [VIDEO] | Public Knowledge

Neat video extract of the U.S.'s RIAA's Cary Sherman on content filtering, encryption, fair use, ISP filtering in law, and last but not least a tightly stated "how to" that in law there are problems with format shifting and private copying but the music industry won't use it against people, in certain circumstances.

That is my conclusion from his 'dance' of saying in a long 'yeah but' that also exclaims the virtue of the music industry v. other copyright industries like movies and software, in this matter. The question though is what happens if they change their mind in the future on this issue? The 'I am not going to do this but in law I can do this' sounds like a public easement but frankly I don't think that works in copyright law. I do not know: its a negative right at the election of the owner of the rights to attempt to enforce or not. I would suspect choosing not to enforce a right here, would not make it go away.

Note, they seem to need the linkage legally of an unauthorized copy (said with jowls shaking), in a shared folder (said with jowls shaking), to get juries to convict. Without that connection, can they get a guilty verdict? That is beyond me: I would look to William Patry on the issue in the future.

Note the YouTube video of the excerpts here anyway, appear struggling. The source author at Public Knowledge may be in a struggle of sorts, or YouTube is becoming too popular. Probably sucks 98% of the Internet bandwidth ...

So if that feed does not work, you can watch or listen (VLC Media Player) to the full panel here Internet Copyright Filters: Finding the Balance [Real Video] January 30, 2008. From the State of the Net Conference 2008 in Washington, DC.

My conclusion on this matter is more of what I have said before: if "they" can get others to do the enforcement work, they like that very much. Copyright though is mainly a private right conferred on a monopoly holder of a copyright protected work, who if they have the means, should take care of their enforcement business, you would think. They make the money.

All this meandering with the governments in all lands, appears to be just a dance to get other people to pay for their enforcement costs, letting them keep more of their money, as if they could not do the job themselves. Is that fairly stated?

"They" seem well able to do what they wish here, particularly in Canada, where the Federal Court of Appeals gave them the roadmap to follow, that they do not wish to pay for, and pick on some of our kids, grandma's and dead people. I think that is one of the good decisions of the CRIA to at least find out what they can and cannot do. If they don't do this in this sphere, why should we do it for them? Where is "our" cut? All I can see is hiring more police or taking them away from other good things that the police do, for an economic crime that appears to be victimless in the try-before-you-buy P2P world.

For perfect accuracy the digital world is still different from that physical world. This here is not the counterfeit goods world in physical distribution. For that counterfeit, physical world: Go CBSA go! Go RCMP go! As much as this could spoil the MSM messages, that Canada does not do this kind of thing just as the Mounties announced December 19, 2007, I ask any reader to honestly say they saw this *bust* in their MSM? Near the obits?

In the interest of public service:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police encourages consumers to be cautious. Counterfeit DVDs are usually of inferior quality. The RCMP invites every person believing to have been misled into purchasing a counterfeit DVD instead of an original copy to report it to the RCMP at 514-939-8307, or to contact the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association at 1 800 363-9166 to verify the legitimacy of Web sites.

That is "goods." Bad goods. Very bad in fact in the linkage to some bad stuff going on around the world, that I can believe in terms of money laundering, tax evasion and corruption of public officials somewhere, plus the screwing of manufacturers with licenses for legit copies, and the rightsholders out of legit money. For this type of thing, personally, no mercy will ever be found on my bloggin space. Its a crime, do the time!

But in the digital world, I ask this question: do you really want to watch a camcorded video of a film with a wonky soundtrack? Even a screener cut or a Region 5 version? I like the big screen myself. The popcorn is a little expensive but my local theatre is doing fine I believe. And if the DVD version has added value, and I buy one of those, from trying a P2P variant, I think its going to be the same answer as in the music biz: for every 17 films downloaded, people go to the theatre 3 times (once more than otherwise), buy the DVD 3 times (once more than otherwise), and vow never to watch or record 5 of them on TV *ever.* The other 6? They would have never known of, never have been interested in, to part their real cash for or time, and very likely sit in a digital format on a hard drive, never to be seen (have you ever downloaded something you never used or opened? Storage is real cheap these days).

That P2P movie 'result' is what my gut would say and future credit card bills would say if I engaged in P2P movie stuff: I am not sure if I can afford that 'sport' or waste the time! Industry Canada can pay for a study to confirm it. Talk about a Redux. (PS I like "old movie musicals").

And yes, in the small record of my thoughts developing on this blog, content filtering has to be the dumbest answer I could think of to their problem. Cap on downloads? Monthly charge for extra Gigs? Split it with the affected collectives for the 'advertising' on some reasonable basis? Maybe. But I note, rather tersely, you do not need the Copyright Act or any other legal statute changed to negotiate that deal on your own, to get the permisions not to enforce on that basis. Listen to Cary Sherman.

Frankly I would like to see proof of the economic loss (IDG studies don't cut it) and the bandwidth use issue, Chretien style: when you prove the proof is a proof, the proof is a proof. Got it! (miss the fella big time: have to read his book for the laughs and joy of life)

The public though will never consciously buy into "Big Brother" content filtering in Canada in my opinion. Its not "fair" copyright law. Its not "sufficient adherence." Its "absurd" law in a free country. No way.

Now maybe in the USA it could fly ... Lawrence Lessig though will be studying it for sure. From bidding adieu to Copyright issues, for Corruption issues, that man is ahead of the curve. Will Michael Geist follow? Hard to say he has not been there and done that, and is doing that too right now, at least informally through some of the thoughts throughout his blogging "voice" that I read.

My own voice picks up a corruption issue, or three dozen, of a partial disclosure or full use of unscientific information disclosure techniques in speech and in writing, that is very selective on the information chosen to make a point, rather than straight rhetoric abounding in truth. Cary Sherman in the video is actually straight goods on his version of the truth, good or bad, and actually somewhat refreshingly forward. Perrin Beaty, President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, OTOH clings to a $22 Billion piracy figure in the cost to the economy that strikes me as one of these claims that just does not add up ("Hold wahder" My Cousin Viny ...). What freaking $22 billion? What was the economic multiplier of the real opportunity lost? Lost sales or lost profits (big difference). Lost jobs (in (c) branch plant Canada)? Was MS going to double its staff from 900 workers and didn't because of what? Arguable for what that firm takes from this country, it should have a research outfit here +++, and maybe something proportional to IBM Canada and IBM. Lets not go there. Bill prefers Washington State (remember this, that or the other buyout of Canadian outfits, whose principals then needed Green Cards? This was cool though as those people who stayed behind found no shortage of good jobs or started new companies to repeat the cycle with more cash in their pockets, and presumable are still making a decent living).

At our current unemployment rate, talk of missing jobs and activity can get a little humourous, minus the current troubles of the manufacturing sector. Of course that sector is hurt by IP Piracy ...

I somehow do not diminish my actual message to clearly state that some small tweaks of IP protection would not hurt the innovative opportunities facing Canadian businesses, but sometimes rolling out a service without any risk to any investment is just too "Canadian." Like the Telus argument of what it would like to do but can't because we cannot use a PVR in Canada legally, that we could get sued for format shifting cause, in analysis, the Canadian Copyright Act does not explicitly state we have this right or permission. Yes we do not have the famous US Sony Betamax case in our courts yet but so what? If it was here, would the result be different?

Telus I got a few more things for you: Go see Rogers or Bell for PVR services. Maybe you can subcontract any contributory infringement/liability issue you are scared of? For the rest of us, I side with the lawyers on the flexibility of even the current Copyright Act (last changed in 2004 with a slight tweak) and our courts ability to find fair results within it at present.

But really, lets sit down for a second: your January 8, 2008 MSM statements. Is it really too big a legal risk, or plainly stated, what is really going on here? Are you afraid of risk? Has what you wanted in Copyright Reform from here in 2001, changed? Maybe you would agree you should have input again, publicly? Or have you had input privately, and now you are assisting to set someone else's "plate"?

This issue area is one mess of private interests working behind the scenes in my opinion, and now laying down the PR side of doubt for what is to come, to build a palatable MSM momentum of doubt over what the academics (the scientists, in law) figure out. Its smells not unlike what the other Lawrence has going on now in his new line of work (see the Corruption "Alpha" Video) where in one clear case of a scientific research consensus of "0" disagreeing with global climate change, 54% of MSM articles in an overlapping time period, indicate doubts over the scientific research on Climate Change (the UN report is an amazing read BTW). Can this whole area brought up "Copyright" and "Corruption" make citizens more ornery here? For me, I somehow doubt it. I am without doubt, downright ornery at the moment and I don't like it a bit. Have you joined the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group? That is one of the few positive channels I can think of outside of getting your own blog and raising your own opinions to the issues that bug you, to get rid of the doubts you see in your "background" of what it is you are living through and seeing.

For MSM regulars, hard copy types, read the old James Fallows' book "Breaking the News" and look what that book started in the all the derivatives and resurfacing of the same thoughts since ... see you can use someone else's ideas. Not their expression of it. James Fallows a hero of mine, would not mind the sale or the use of his ideas BTW. His exact prose? Frightening the line you cross in integrity, a very old fashioned word in some corners. I got to get me some popcorn, and a DVD!

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