Archive for 2012/06/28
A judge in the U.S. has approved the use of “predictive coding” – software which can sift through millions of documents and spit out only those the lawyer might need – for use in a casePosted: 2012/06/28 in Education / Awareness, Jurisprudence, Litigation, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
Given their importance to global networks and the world economy, there must be an appropriate legal framework based upon global cooperation and the rule of law to protect submarine cablesPosted: 2012/06/28 in Education / Awareness, Legislation, Public Policy, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
Dutch Government Sides With Authors, Artists And Creators Rather Than Rights Owners And DistributorsPosted: 2012/06/28 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Besides new rules on contract law and dispute resolution, the most important amendments mentioned in the legislative proposal are:
- Creators and performing artists are allowed to dissolve the agreement with the operator of their rights prematurely. For example, when the production is not expoited: a non-use clause. Now, most of the times only the operator is allowed to prematurely dissolve an agreement. Furthermore, contract terms that prove to be unreasonable towards creative staff can be voidable under the new law.
- Individual creators are entitled to a fair compensation for the transfer of their rights or when they grant a license. This principle is also expressly introduced for people that have significantly contributed to film productions. Rights are no longer automatically concentrated around producers.
- The creator can claim a higher compensation for unexpected bestsellers. That is the case when, for example, the pay agreed with authors and or performing artists is disproportionately low in comparison to the revenue generated by successful exploitation of a work.
The new framework is designed to strengthen the position of authors, performing artists and other creative staff vis-a-vis the party that exploits their work. The Dutch government is of the opinion that their interests and contributions are often poorly protected and underpaid. This problem has to be legally recognized, according to the department of Justice.
From an international perspective, an important observation is that the current legal developments in the Netherlands could deviate from the law in other EU member states, were copyrights and related right to audiovisual works are mostly centered around the producer and were bestseller or non-use provisions may not be common. This may require multinational companies to assess whether their contracts for the Dutch market are still compliant with the law, once it is revised.
Pirate Party UK Commenting On Surfthechannel Case: This was not a case brought using copyright law. The interest groups instead decided to press for the use of the common law offence of “conspiracy to defraud”Posted: 2012/06/28 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Illegal File Sharing, Jurisprudence, Legislation, Litigation, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Loz Kaye commenting on reports that the owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Newcastle Crown Court for “facilitating” copyright infringement said:
“This was not a case brought using copyright law. The interest groups involved couldn’t present a case of copyright infringement and instead decided to press for the use of the common law offence of “conspiracy to defraud”. This is one of the most controversial crimes in English law, it criminalises conduct by two or more people that would not be criminal when performed by an individual.”
“The offence was notoriously used in the 1970s to prevent people sharing film cassettes as the TV and film industry believed video was a threat to their existence. That is until Hollywood realised they were better off embracing the new technology and producing their own cassettes.”
“In addition to flying in the face of recent findings in similar cases, this prosecution was driven by private interests, it is well known that the very groups representing the victim helped with the investigation, were present at the arrest, given access to the evidence and were present at police interviews. This is deeply concerning. Add to that the unorthodox and intrusive measures reported to have been used during the investigation and the pressure put on overseas witnesses and it becomes deeply worrying.”
Pirate Party UK
Rather than holding a library of films Vickerman’s website Surfthechannel was simply an index which allowed users to clink on a link to the movie they wantedPosted: 2012/06/28 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Illegal File Sharing, Jurisprudence, Litigation, Public Policy, Stats / reports
A website owner who ran one of the world’s largest pirate movie sites from a house on Tyneside has been told he is going to jail.
Anton Vickerman set up surfthechannel, attracting more than 400,000 visitors per day and generating advertising revenues of at least £35,000 per month. At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday the 38-year-old, from Walkergate in Newcastle, was found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to defraud.
His conviction is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom for a website owner who held an index which linked users to illegal movies on another site, rather than holding the movies itself.
Judge John Evans adjourned sentence until next month, but ordered Vickerman to hand over his passport before he was allowed conditional bail. The judge warned him: “As a result of the jury’s finding, you are now in a serious position and a custodial sentence, having regard to the nature of these offences, is, I am afraid, inevitable.”
His website allowed users to search for blockbuster movies that were not yet on general release along with thousands of other films.
Rather than holding a library of films Vickerman’s website was simply an index which allowed users to clink on a link to the movie they wanted. They were then directed to a database in China where the illegally recorded movies were stored.
BREIN Threat Of Criminal Prosecution Meaningless Because Dutch Government Issued Guideline Never To Criminally Prosecute Online PiracyPosted: 2012/06/28 in Blocking, Copyright, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Filtering, Illegal File Sharing, Legislation, Litigation, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Dutch anti-piracy organization BREIN is sending legal notices to those facilitating proxies to circumvent the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade. One of those parties defying BREIN is the Dutch hosting provider Greenhost.
BREIN answered by threatening to file a criminal complaint with Dutch authorities but Dutch legal expert Arnoud Engelfriet argues that that will be a futile effort because the Public Prosecutor’s Office in The Netherlands is acting in accordance with a guideline issued in 2006 which instructs enforcement authorities not to criminally prosecute acts of online piracy. The guideline would expire in 2011 but has now been extended to 2016.
When studying case history in The Netherlands there was only 1 effort to prosecute content pirates and that involved the Shareconnector case. The suspects in that case were acquitted in 2007. Events surrounding that case started in 2004 with the trial having commenced in 2006.
Dutch language news article:
Piracy and Privateering in the Golden Age – Netherlands
How can it be that the same society which crafted such exacting and specific legislation concerning piracy and its punishment could, at the same time, turn a blind eye to egregious examples of the very conduct it denounced?
Downloading from an illegal source in the Netherlands
The effects of open-eyed tolerance and the price of governmental non-involvement
Australian parliamentary Treaties Committee recommending that ratification of ACTA be deferred – partly because of its near-collapse in EuropePosted: 2012/06/28 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Legislation, Public Policy, Stats / reports
The Australian Federal Police said that Ceil “acted with an extreme and unusual level of malice and with no regard to the damage caused, indiscriminately targeting both individuals and companies.”
The AFP, which ran a six month investigation into his hacking antics, also alleged that his hacking was motivated by ego attempting to prove his kills after complaining he could not get work in the IT sector.
Microparticles that can be injected directly into the bloodstream to quickly oxygenate your body, even if you can’t breathe anymorePosted: 2012/06/28 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
A group of hackers has posted to the Web today data that appears to include Comcast employee names, ages and salaries, as well as e-mails and passwords associated with AT&T VoIP service accounts.
MegaUpload And Kim Dotcom Too Big To Fail? Search warrants used were illegal, a New Zealand court ruledPosted: 2012/06/28 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Illegal File Sharing, Litigation, Public Policy, Stats / reports
German national Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, was one of four men arrested in January as part of an investigation of his Megaupload.com website led by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Prosecutors say Dotcom was the ringleader of a group that had netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorization. Dotcom’s lawyers say the company simply offered online storage.
On Thursday, High Court Judge Justice Helen Winkelmann found the warrants used in the seizure of property from Dotcom’s mansion near Auckland were illegal and that moves by the FBI to copy data from Dotcom’s computer and take offshore were also unlawful.
“The warrants did not adequately describe the offences to which they related,” Winkelmann said in her ruling. “Indeed they fell well short of that. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.”
If you could somehow peek inside the pipes of your typical corporate network, you’d see a whole heck of a lot of streaming video and P2P filesharingPosted: 2012/06/28 in Bandwidth Management, Education / Awareness, File Sharing, Illegal File Sharing, Stats / reports
That’s what network scanning company Palo Alto Networks discovered when it took a look at more than 2,000 corporate networks between November 2011 and May of this year.
In the past six months, the amount of bandwidth used by streaming video software has quadrupled, according to Chris King, the company’s director of product marketing. And P2P filesharing traffic is up seven-fold, he says. It’s not that more companies are allowing P2P or video streaming. It’s just that the people doing it are using a lot more bandwidth. “It’s a massive increase within the companies that are using them,” he says. “There’s just more comfort with getting busted using streaming at work.”
Another factor: More people are sharing and watching high-definition video. A typical compressed DVD image is about one or two gigabytes. But convert that film to Blu-ray and it’s close to three times that size.
You plug your stereo and/or TV into it, and it streams your music and video from Google’s cloud. Its built-in amplifier allows it to also operate as a self-contained unit with speakers plugged directed into the back. You control it mostly with an Android phone, but you can also operate it manually. The top half of the device doubles as a giant volume knob. It is the first device Google has both designed and built itself. So that it could closely supervise construction, it used a contract manufacturer in the United States, not in Asia. (For the full hardware story, see “It’s a Sphere! The Inside Story of Nexus Q, Google’s Music Hardware Gamble.”)
Think of it as Google’s answer to Apple’s Airplay and Apple TV rolled into one spherical device, but with a key difference. Because Google keeps all of your music and video in its cloud – instead of on various devices – you can visit a friend who owns a Nexus Q, and temporarily comingle your entertainment. If you don’t like what your friend is playing, you can use your Android phone to cut it off and play what you want to hear. It is a social-ready, consumer-oriented, beautiful hunk of electronics.
The EU Media Futures Forum analyzes the future of the media in Europe against the background of the current economic crisis and the Internet revolutionPosted: 2012/06/28 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, File Sharing, Illegal File Sharing, Legislation, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
After 20 years of single market, it is still much easier to move boxes than digital goods across borders. We deny ourselves one of our greatest assets. We can’t succeed in this competitive environment with one arm tied behind our back.
Solution 1: Turn Europe into a Digital Single Market by 2015
The Internet world offers vast new business opportunities generating growth and jobs. Many of them rely on the possibility of using personal data. In Europe, we care deeply about the protection of personal data. But we believe there are ways to protect personal data and promote consumer benefits, whilst enabling Europe’s Internet sector to grow.
Solution 2: Promote new business models
We believe strongly in innovation and new business models. But business can only continue to produce content if the reward is fairly shared between the players of the value chain (e.g. artists, media companies, and searched and aggregated digital services). This is the necessary condition for a healthy business for all and more particularly to support quality journalism. We believe the best response to illegal downloading is legal offers, and making payment for content easier, notably through the use of the latest technological means.
Solution 3: Reward creators and creation of content
In Europe, public support for film and broadcasters plays an important role in fuelling the creation of quality content. Global competition is fierce while Europe is still hampered by cultural and linguistic specificities and diverging public support policies in the Member States. We need to pool our resources to create critical mass and stand a better chance of exporting European content.
Solution 4: Adapt financial support for audiovisual creation
Different rules apply for off‐line and on‐line; to broadcasters, telecom or information service providers; or between EU‐based and third‐country based companies operating in the same marketplace. This is not fair competition.
Solution 5: Treat like as like
Competition drives innovation; abiding by competition rules will create more growth for each and every actor in the value chain. But competition rules also need to adjust to the fast changing world of Internet.
Solution 6: Avoid new barriers to entry
Europe’s citizens can often not access on‐line content or services because of ‘geo‐blocking’ (e.g access to a website is blocked because you are situated in a certain country). Equally, citizens who have acquired content online in one EU country are not always allowed to use it in all others. This can create friction with the advent of cloud services. Similarly high costs of data access on mobile networks are a major barrier to users roaming across the EU.
Solution 7: Increase access to and use of legal content and services from anywhere in the EU on any device for all citizens in the EU
Without superfast Internet access, the media sector cannot distribute efficiently its content and European consumers cannot fully enjoy it, as many services and applications (e.g. HDTV and cloud) need much higher speeds. As a principle, all European citizens should have fixed and mobile access to high‐speed Internet in line with the Digital Agenda for Europe targets.
Solution 8: Quickly roll out the infrastructure of the future
Too many reports have been issued by similar forums which too often are quickly forgotten. In this Forum we do not want this to happen. We see it as our role to issue a wake‐up call and provide solutions to political and economic leaders. But we see it as our role to commit ourselves, too, to pushing for these changes.
Therefore we, as Forum members and through our Chairman, take a highly operational, threefold commitment that:
We will address, actively promulgate, explain and communicate the above recommendations to policy makers at all levels, EU and national, but also to other players in the sector, and to other sectors with whom we could make new partnerships.
We invite all industry players to support the 8 solutions, and put them into practice where they fall within their scope of action and we will support them within our companies or organisations.
We will continue monitoring how all these solutions are being implemented. By the end of the year, we will meet again, assess progress, and (where appropriate) undertake new action or confront decision‐makers with the lack of action.
Pathé Cinemas To Expand VOD Offering “Pathé At Home” To Apple’s And Samsung’s Tablets, Panasonic Smart-TV And Xbox 360Posted: 2012/06/28 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
Dutch language news article:
The group has launched its low orbit ION cannons at the web sites of various institutions it blames for passing the new law, including the Japanese Ministry of Finance, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Supreme Court of Japan.
At the time of writing only the Supreme Court had its site back up and running but Anonymous tweeted this morning that there will be more DDoS-ing today.