Google’s latest con job

3 weeks ago, Google tooted it’s own horn and patted itself on the back for this development:

Google said the changes in its search algorithms would “help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily — whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.”

How did Google plan to achieve this?

Google Aug. 10 announced that it soon will change how search results for content is prioritized, with websites receiving a high number of copyright removal notices appearing lower in search results.

The question begging to be asked is why does Google allow the websites to appear at all? Why not remove premeditated repeat infringers altogether? What plausible lawful rationale can be provided for a website that receives “a high number of copyright removal notices”?

Anticipating the obvious question, Google offered this flimsy excuse:

“Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law,” Amit Singhal, SVP of engineering for Google, wrote in a blog post. “So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won’t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner.”

Hey Google. We see through you. Shuffling search results is just three card monte. Grow a pair and stop facilitating piracy by pointing thieves to infringing websites.

Read more from HOME MEDIA MAGAZINE here

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Better late than never

It is refreshing to see broadcasters vigilantly defending their intellectual property.

The red herrings of “better educating consumers” and “adopting new business models” have long been exposed and litigation is way overdue.

Shamefully blatant content thieves will continue to proliferate without strong and deliberate action by content owners.

Fox, in its suit, said copyright law does not allow or other services to retransmit its TV programming over the Internet without license.

“No amount of technical gimmickry … changes the fundamental principle of copyright law that those who wish to retransmit [Fox’s] broadcasts may do so only with [Fox’s] authority,” said Fox in the complaint.

“Defendants are willfully, wantonly and unfairly exploiting [Fox’s] programming and broadcasts for their own commercial benefit,” the complaint reads.

Read more from HOME MEDIA MAGAZINE here

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The unspoken truth – streaming is trash and we all know it

Trying to steer movie watching consumers toward streaming is STUPID. Better you direct them back to buying VHS. At least then their experience would be FAR more consistent than streaming.

This is precisely the reason why streaming, after all the pomp & circumstance, is merely an ancillary revenue stream and not a replacement for physical media.

While consumers seem to be interested in catching up on episodes of TV shows on Netflix, they are more interested in watching longer movies in higher quality on disc, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

The majority (80%) of Netflix streaming views are of TV shows. Meanwhile, DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals from kiosks, brick-and-mortar retailers and Netflix accounted for 62% of movie rental orders during the first half of this year.

It seems to me that consumers are opting to watch TV shows — which are shorter and often not as picture- or sound-quality sensitive — via streaming, while opting to see movies — which are better enhanced by sound and video quality and require a longer time commitment — on physical disc. For movies, quality really counts, while for TV shows, it’s not as important.

Read the entire editorial here

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Renting discs & physical media still dominating streaming

We’re still laughing at how streaming still can’t even match (let alone overtake) physical media in the rental market.

Rentals of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs from kiosks, brick-and-mortar retailers and Netflix accounted for 62% of movie rental orders during the first half of this year, compared with 38% for digital movie rentals such subscription video-on-demand streaming and transactional VOD on premium TV channels and the Internet, according to new data from The NPD Group.

Read the entire article here

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The UK got it right – Why can’t the US?

It’s good to see that thieving scumbags are finally being recognized for what they really are: low life criminals.

Vickerman, from Gateshead, set up the website in 2007 as an index of online videos – both legal and illegal – hosted elsewhere on the internet. Prosecutors said Vickerman made £250,000 in profit through adverts on the site in 2008, the year in which he tried to sell it for £400,000.

He was not charged on copyright offences, but was convicted on two counts of conspiracy to facilitate copyright infringement following a private prosecution pursued by the anti-piracy lobby group Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). He faced a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Read the entire article here

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Jimmy Wales removes all doubt that he is ignorant

Jimmy Wales proved to be no more informed than the people who waste their time using the useless online wastebasket he co-founded: Wikipedia.

Wales suggested that making content more accessible to purchase would reduce piracy. The gaping hole in that flawed reasoning is, of course, that thieves have no intent on purchasing content.

MPAA fires back at Wikipedia’s Wales over online piracy
By Jennifer Martinez

The Motion Picture Association of America fired back at comments made by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales on Thursday about the entertainment industry needing to adjust its business model — signaling the battle over online copyright policy is far from over.

Following a keynote speech at the Wikimania conference in Washington, Wales told reporters that the problem of online piracy could be reduced in large part by media companies making TV shows and other entertainment content more accessible for people to purchase. But a spokeswoman for the motion picture trade group pushed back against Wales’s comments, arguing there is a range of options available for people to watch movies and TV shows online and that studios continue to seek to expand that number of offerings.

“Our studios are constantly partnering and innovating new ways for audiences to watch the movies and TV shows they love: Hulu, HBO Go, Vudu, Crackle, UltraViolet, Epix, MUBI – and that just barely scratches the surface,” said Kate Bedingfield, a spokeswoman at the MPAA. “There are more legitimate avenues available today to watch movies and TV shows online than ever before, and our studios are continuing to innovate every day to bring audiences even more options.”

“At the end of the day, stealing shows and movies out of convenience still harms the people who work hard to make them,” Bedingfield added.

MPAA was a major backer of a pair of anti-piracy bills that were defeated earlier this year, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The trade association has argued that websites offering illegal copies of movies are harming the film industry’s bottom lines and putting the jobs of people who work behind the camera at risk.

When responding to a question about how online piracy can be addressed, Wales told reporters Thursday that he had trouble accessing the latest season of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” at home in London even though he was willing to pay for it.

“I think that the media industry needs to say, ‘Look, why don’t we sell people what they want to buy,’ and I think that will take care a huge proportion of the problem,” he said.

The anti-piracy bills fiercely divided the entertainment and tech industries. Wikipedia joined other sites in blacking out for a day to protest SOPA and PIPA, arguing the measures would encourage censorship on the Web.

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Game Piracy discussed at LA Games Conference

excerpted from Media & Entertainment Services Alliance 4/25:

“The piracy threat is evolving. Pirates are going to follow the money, and digital piracy is thriving,” Kornblum said.

Microsoft has taken proactive steps to protect its hardware and software. By utilizing its Xbox Live service as a tool to connect device and content, the company is able to identify if a console has been altered to play pirated content. According to Kornblum, if such a console is detected, it is then restricted from utilizing Xbox Live services.

Stanbury also commented that in an effort to further dissuade physical piracy, game publishers are increasingly using online connectivity to activate content features within a title (i.e., not placing the content on the disc itself).

full article can be read here

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US Trade Representative publishes Special 301 Report 2012

The internet has enabled the transfer and sharing of useful information, but it has also become a favored medium of piracy.

The increased availability of broadband Internet connections around the world is generating many benefits, from increased economic activity and new online business models to greater access to and exchange of information.  However, this phenomenon has also made the Internet an extremely efficient vehicle for disseminating copyright-infringing products, replacing legitimate markets for rights holders.

In addition to piracy of music and films using these new technologies, piracy of ring tones, apps, games, and scanned books also occurs. Recent developments include the creation of “hybrid” websites that offer counterfeit goods in addition to pirated copyrighted works, in an effort to create a “one-stop-shop” for users looking for cheap or free content or goods.

read the entire report here

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Maria Pallante explains false criticisms of SOPA

Ms Pallante is the director of the US Copyright Office and appeared before Congress to address some of the noxious bullshit criticisms of SOPA.

Read her well reasoned comments here:

Watch the legislative hearing discussion here:

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The Copy Culture

A generation of digital miscreants have spread their thieving behavior across the nation, reducing copyright protections into scofflaw.

The preliminary conclusions from a study published by Columbia University reveal how entrenched (and acceptable) the theft of intellectual property has become.  No small wonder, then, how ignorant individuals and groups can be easily persuaded into opposing legislation that would curb their own participation in such illegal enterprises.

What better way to assuage the guilty conscience of a thief than to hide behind arguments of “chilling effects” and other such nonsense?

You can read the research notes from the survey here:

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