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The "speeding ticket" approach to piracy put into practice
Old 23rd September 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

The "speeding ticket" approach to piracy put into practice

I know several members here have bounced around the idea of a "speeding ticket" approach to piracy -- lower fines but easier enforcement.

Looks like one company has put this approach into practice:

$10 Settlement Offers: The Entertainment Industry’s New Copyright Tactic | paidContent

Quote:
In an interview with paidContent, Rightscorp executives explained that the company, acting as an agent for copyright holders, monitors peer-to-peer file sharing sites like BitTorrent. It collects the IP addresses—which identify individual internet subscribers—of alleged copyright violators and then instructs Internet service providers (ISPs) to send settlement offers on to subscribers. Rightscorp then takes a cut from anyone who pays the settlement.

Robert Steele, the firm’s COO, said that 75% of people who settle do so through the firm’s website while the rest do so over the telephone or by mail. The rate that Rightscorp uses for its settlement offers is $10 per infraction.
Quote:
Rightscorp says its tactic is highly effective not just at extracting settlements but also in reducing piracy. It claims that unauthorized sharing of one client’s song decreased from 20,000 to 4,000 in the month after its settlement offers were issued. If these figures are true, other sectors of the content industry will no doubt want to give it a try.
Old 23rd September 2011
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by terryhart View Post
I know several members here have bounced around the idea of a "speeding ticket" approach to piracy -- lower fines but easier enforcement.

Looks like one company has put this approach into practice:

$10 Settlement Offers: The Entertainment Industry’s New Copyright Tactic | paidContent
I don't like it - it encourages piracy. And the fine for a speeding ticket is a hell of a lot more than 10 bucks.

They say that the company "takes a cut". How much is this "cut"? Where does the rest of the money go? To the artist? To the songwriter/publisher? To the record label? To the ISP that transmits the notice?

They also say that the company does not sue people. That means that the threatened legal penalty is an empty threat.

I also noticed that the author of the article is quoting pro-piracy propaganda, specifically the lie that Joel Tenenbaum was fined $675k for downloading 30 songs.

Something smells funny, and I don't mean in a comical sense.
Old 24th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Well this may seem absurd... but if they could do something like this why couldn't they implement a system that bills downloaders the amount per song that it would cost to buy the song through an official avenue. So if you can get a song from iTunes for $1, and someone downloads it illegally, they are billed for $1. That way it doesn't matter how many times you share it, because everyone who downloaded it would still be billed $1, the same price you are selling it for. Essentially no one is pirating, because everyone pays for the music they consume. If the labels could implement this while cutting out the 3rd party, they could keep all the revenue. Everyone wins, no?
Old 24th September 2011
  #4
The labels don't control the web.
Some entity like ISP's would have to administer the kind of scheme you suggest......... and they just aren't interested.
Old 24th September 2011
  #5
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hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 

That sounds almost as lame as broken-english-responses to craigslist ads.
Old 24th September 2011
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The labels don't control the web.
Some entity like ISP's would have to administer the kind of scheme you suggest......... and they just aren't interested.
I understand the implementation of it would be difficult, but perhaps give the ISP's the same cut that iTunes would get? I don't know, just a thought. Basically what I am suggesting is an effort to turn all illegal outlets into legal ones, similar to how BBC dealt with the issue of pirate radio in the 60's: by ultimately hiring the pirate dj's in their case and branching out into more outlet avenues.
Old 24th September 2011
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I understand the implementation of it would be difficult, but perhaps give the ISP's the same cut that iTunes would get? I don't know, just a thought. Basically what I am suggesting is an effort to turn all illegal outlets into legal ones, similar to how BBC dealt with the issue of pirate radio in the 60's: by ultimately hiring the pirate dj's in their case and branching out into more outlet avenues.
It's a horrible idea. It would remove any possibility of quality control by the artist. It would enable pirates to profit with impunity.

For ISPs to administer this they would demand the entire $1. In fact they would demand MORE than $1. You can ask Don Hills what the ISPs would think about this.

The is absolutely no upside to this idea whatsoever except for pirates.

Why do you love pirates so much?


Quote:
an effort to turn all illegal outlets into legal ones
I put a considerable amount of effort into a scheme to do just this over a year ago.

My proposal for a Bittorrent based dowload service to compete with piracy and revolut

No interest from the industry. Zero. Zilch.

Nobody is interested in turning illegal outlets into legal ones. And these days there are enough legal outlets that the need to do so is past.

And frankly, not even the pirates are interested. Except in evading penalties for their actions, of course.
Old 24th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I didn't think I did love pirates... but then again they don't harrass me and insult me for having an opinion so they've got that going for them.

I'm sorry I was unaware of your previous proposal, but if you had a similar idea how and/or why does that equate to me loving pirates? I'm sure if we sat down and had a beer and discussed this we would get along much better and perhaps give each other a little more credit and maybe even add some humor. No disrespect to anyone is intended by me.
Old 24th September 2011
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I didn't think I did love pirates... but then again they don't harrass me and insult me for having an opinion so they've got that going for them.
In other circumstances your "opinion" might be classified as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. It's disturbing that you don't appear to understand this.

Quote:
I'm sorry I was unaware of your previous proposal, but if you had a similar idea how and/or why does that equate to me loving pirates? I'm sure if we sat down and had a beer and discussed this we would get along much better and perhaps give each other a little more credit and maybe even add some humor. No disrespect to anyone is intended by me.
Well, my idea was to allow pirates a way in from the cold. It wasn't the same as yours though. Mine would have required licensed distribution and hence would have been legal. Yours, OTOH, seeks to legitimize criminal behavior.

Yeah, if we could meet in person over a beer we'd most likely get along just fine. There are a few miles in the way, unfortunately.
Old 24th September 2011
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
Well this may seem absurd... but if they could do something like this why couldn't they implement a system that bills downloaders the amount per song that it would cost to buy the song through an official avenue. So if you can get a song from iTunes for $1, and someone downloads it illegally, they are billed for $1. That way it doesn't matter how many times you share it, because everyone who downloaded it would still be billed $1, the same price you are selling it for. Essentially no one is pirating, because everyone pays for the music they consume. If the labels could implement this while cutting out the 3rd party, they could keep all the revenue. Everyone wins, no?
variations on this idea have been floated, and I like your spin on it. most of the time when this particular idea comes up it's in the context of some kind of internet "flat tax" that never seems to have a solution for tracking, or consumption.

so I agree with you, if every illegal download could be charged to the downloader at ISP level, I think you'd not only see revenue that dawfs the previous peak of the industry, but more importantly you would actually see the kind of democratization of the music industry that musicians have always dreamed of, because EVERYONE would get paid fairly.

A system like was actually envisioned for the Internet at it's inception by a guy named Ted Nelson who created Xanadu. Ted is the godfather of the internet and why you still type "http"...

Anyway, if you have a genuine and sincere interest in how we got here, what went wrong, and who's responsible you should read (or listen to) "You Are Not A Gadget" by Jaron Lanier.

Amazon.com: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (9780307269645): Jaron Lanier: Books

Connecting to the iTunes Store.

iTunes - Books - You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier
Old 24th September 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
variations on this idea have been floated, and I like your spin on it. most of the time when this particular idea comes up it's in the context of some kind of internet "flat tax" that never seems to have a solution for tracking, or consumption.

so I agree with you, if every illegal download could be charged to the downloader at ISP level, I think you'd not only see revenue that dawfs the previous peak of the industry, but more importantly you would actually see the kind of democratization of the music industry that musicians have always dreamed of, because EVERYONE would get paid fairly.

A system like was actually envisioned for the Internet at it's inception by a guy named Ted Nelson who created Xanadu. Ted is the godfather of the internet and why you still type "http"...

Anyway, if you have a genuine and sincere interest in how we got here, what went wrong, and who's responsible you should read (or listen to) "You Are Not A Gadget" by Jaron Lanier.

Amazon.com: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (9780307269645): Jaron Lanier: Books

Connecting to the iTunes Store.

iTunes - Books - You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier
There are problems that make this approach impractical though.

First, the ISPs would want a lot of money to transmit the infringement notices on that scale. In NZ they're getting $25/notice. They'd also have a great deal of difficulty handling the traffic. It would essentially require each ISP to initiate an entirely new clerical department just to handle notices.

Second, the cost of detection. As it is at present the cost of detection is born by the artist or the label. For ISPs to do it they would need to cover their expenses and turn a profit on the service because let's face it, ISPs expect to turn a profit on everything they do.

Third, the distribution of funds - every artist would need to be registered with every ISP. It's not workable. What would probably happen is that the ISPs would strike deals with the majors and indies and single artists would get totally screwed, as usual.

Fourth, because of the distributed nature of Bittorrent it is essentially impossible to determine at an ISP level what any given file is, since pieces of files come in from many different sources and are only assembled into the actual file in the downloader's computer. You'd either need to access the transfer logs on the bittorrent trackers (my idea) or you'd need to have spyware installed on every downloader's computer. You could identify files from cyberlockers and FTP sites that do a 1 to 1 file transfer but it would absolutely not work on distributed networks.*

As always, the devil is in the details. This is another one of those "wouldn't it be nice IF......." ideas, like audio DRM and some new super format.

Great stuff for science fiction novels. (I love science fiction novels!) Not so great in reality. Kinda like the idea of flying cars........



* - this is a typical example of ideas conceived by people who have no actual knowledge of the technologies involved in implementing their idea - or the technologies that make an idea unworkable.
Old 24th September 2011
  #12
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Kestral's Avatar
 

I don't know if it's like this in other cities/countries but here where I live, our libraries are well-stocked with CD's.

I go to my library web site and it's literally like Amazon.com. Type in an artist/album and it's usually there, place a hold on it online and when it's available I get an automated phone call to the library (it's just down the street) and pick up the CD's.

This system is being heavily used (there are some CD's that have >100 people waiting in the queue), and somehow I get the feeling that users aren't just putting the CD into their CD player to listen for a week or two before returning it, they're probably "loading" it onto their iPod/iTunes/computer/etc...

So how would this even be addressed, let alone controlled?
Old 24th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
Anyway, if you have a genuine and sincere interest in how we got here, what went wrong, and who's responsible you should read (or listen to) "You Are Not A Gadget" by Jaron Lanier.

Amazon.com: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (9780307269645): Jaron Lanier: Books

Connecting to the iTunes Store.

iTunes - Books - You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier
Thanks, I have not read his book yet, but I've watched his video presentation of it, which I understand only scratches the surface; I've watched many other presentations by him too and read some of his reports. I like Jaron Lanier, he's a smart guy. I actually have a gift card for Borders Books which was only good for a few more days because they're going out of business, so I just ordered "You Are Not A Gadget" from there. I hope it's good, it was between that or "Here There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick and a biography on Beethoven.
Old 24th September 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
There are problems that make this approach impractical though.
probably, and I'll take your word for it as I know you are far more knowledgeable in this area than I am. Honestly, it was just nice to have someone float the idea without the "flat tax" spin we almost always see whenever the idea comes up - which is equally, if not more impossible to implement.

really, I think only a few things need to happen:

1) DMCA White List :
- if I flag something for a takedown, then that content is whitelisted and it is then the host responsibility from there to ensure it does not get uploaded again, and again, and again, and again...end whack o mole...

2) IP Blocking of Non-DMCA Compliant Sites :
- If you don't have a mechanism to comply with the DMCA then you don't get access to American consumers and ad revenues

3) Bit Torrent & Other P2P Protocals
- no idea... I've never used bit torrent, but I'm sure someone has a reasonable and practical solution for how to monitor or block copyrighted content on torrents - I think this is an ISP Level issue, but I know there are others who know more about this than I do.
Old 24th September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
Thanks, I have not read his book yet, but I've watched his video presentation of it, which I understand only scratches the surface; I've watched many other presentations by him too and read some of his reports. I like Jaron Lanier, he's a smart guy. I actually have a gift card for Borders Books which was only good for a few more days because they're going out of business, so I just ordered "You Are Not A Gadget" from there. I hope it's good, it was between that or "Here There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick and a biography on Beethoven.
the emerick book is a fun read for beatles fans, but Gadget is a game changer.
Old 24th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
probably, and I'll take your word for it as I know you are far more knowledgeable in this area than I am. Honestly, it was just nice to have someone float the idea without the "flat tax" spin we almost always see whenever the idea comes up - which is equally, if not more impossible to implement.

really, I think only a few things need to happen:

1) DMCA White List :
- if I flag something for a takedown, then that content is whitelisted and it is then the host responsibility from there to ensure it does not get uploaded again, and again, and again, and again...end whack o mole...

2) IP Blocking of Non-DMCA Compliant Sites :
- If you don't have a mechanism to comply with the DMCA then you don't get access to American consumers and ad revenues

3) Bit Torrent & Other P2P Protocols
- no idea... I've never used bit torrent, but I'm sure someone has a reasonable and practical solution for how to monitor or block copyrighted content on torrents - I think this is an ISP Level issue, but I know there are others who know more about this than I do.
Bittorrent's weak link is the trackers. While there is a "trackerless" variant in general users require a tracker to find content and regulate connections. Trackerless only works if you're already in a swarm. So you block access to the trackers. You handle them like any other site. Interestingly enough, some pirate BT sites do actually respond to DMCA notices.

You can't block the Bittorrent protocol on an ISP level because it's also used by many totally legitemate businesses and organizations. Facebook uses it, online gaming companies use it to distribute software and updates, and many software developers use it to distribute code among coders working remotely at home.
Old 24th September 2011
  #17
The Emerick book is fantastic.
Old 24th September 2011
  #18
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post

They say that the company "takes a cut". How much is this "cut"? Where does the rest of the money go? To the artist? To the songwriter/publisher? To the record label? To the ISP that transmits the notice?.
I would care not at all. If the action truly reduces piracy of my song from 20,000 downloads to 4,000 downloads, they can keep my share of the fines.
Old 24th September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The Emerick book is fantastic.
I've heard it was good, I'll have to pick that up too. I'm kinda ashamed I don't already own it...
Old 25th September 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I would care not at all. If the action truly reduces piracy of my song from 20,000 downloads to 4,000 downloads, they can keep my share of the fines.
Then you're essentially giving your earnings away to tech companies. What gives therm the right to 75% of your earnings?

Nothing, that's what.

This scheme is bullsh*t, as are all schemes that do not actually REDUCE the amount of piracy taking place.

Note that this scheme does not actually reduce the amount of piracy - it just allows the thieves to buy their way out of trouble for essentially nothing.

Massive fail.
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