Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google's View On the Whac-a-Mole of Blocking Pirate Sites

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the missing-the-point dept.

Piracy 182

jones_supa writes "During a debate in London last night, the game of whac-a-mole related to blocking pirate sites was discussed by artists, labels, the BPI, and Google. Most interestingly, Google's Theo Bertram brought to the table the idea of going after the sites as a business, which in practice would mean strangling their (often voluminous) advertising budget. A test performed by musician David Lowery confirmed that a search for Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' conjured up a list of unlicensed sites, some of which have an advertising relationship with Google. Geoff Taylor of the BPI said that Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites, but at the same time noted that somewhat oddly iTunes has not arranged itself a prominent position in the results to promote legally-purchased music, which can't be completely Google's fault."

cancel ×

182 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nevermind the blocking (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43851945)

The question is how to circumvent it..

Re:Nevermind the blocking (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43852337)

Darknets. Tor, Freenet, Waste, Retroshare. Something along those lines.

so far, the only solution seems to be Microsoft (2)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#43852857)

everybody else wrings their hands, or chases after users with no evidence but plenty of pistols blazing, but Microsoft actually is making some progress in taking down botnets. perhaps MS could sell their services to the MafIAA and shine a light into the darknet. it would probably cost them $1500 a song, but...

Google has power to render Google worthless (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851953)

Hey guys lets uh turn off porn and uh might as well kill pirated files and anything that might infringe on a copyright.

Let's see..... all that we got left is sports scores and taxidermy blogs.

First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851955)

Whac that nubs!

Re:First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852095)

You missed.

Search engines (5, Insightful)

Endimiao (471532) | about a year ago | (#43851985)

Google should thread lightly on this path. Too much censorship and suddenly some less restrictive search engine could make it go the way of Yahoo..

Re:Search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852099)

How is blocking ad revenue from sites distributing content without the appropriate license "too much censorship"? It's the correct approach. Or would you argue you should be free to profit from the operation of planes, trains, or automobiles ( or truck) without an the appropriate license?

Re:Search engines (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#43852129)

Once the mechanism for blocking is in place, it will be used for other purposes. It will also be used for gray or edge cases as a means of further stomping out innovators that would compete with the status quo. Frankly, the threat to free speech and stifling of technology is orders of magnitude more important, even from a purely financial perspective.

Re:Search engines (1, Insightful)

John Napkintosh (140126) | about a year ago | (#43852153)

So no one should develop technologies for legitimate applications because they could potentially be used for nefarious purposes?

Re:Search engines (2)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43852193)

That's exactly their logic in wanting to destroy these websites, yes.

Re:Search engines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852365)

That's exactly their logic in wanting to destroy these websites, yes.

It also appears to be our logic in wanting to destroy these new technologies. "If it can ever possibly be used to break our subculture, it should be destroyed!" starts to get classified as "hypocrisy" when we're crying foul at "If it can ever possibly be used to break our business model, it should be destroyed!".

Re:Search engines (2)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43852581)

It also appears to be our logic in wanting to destroy these new technologies.

No. History has proven time and time again that people with power will most likely abuse it, so allowing people with power to have unchecked power is just foolish.

Re:Search engines (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43853041)

thats the logic used against guns.

Re:Search engines (4, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#43852311)

Especially because the "financial perspective" is that piracy results in a slight increase in label profits. Unfortunately, folks like David Lowery have "financial" confused with "ideological."

Re:Search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852351)

So a world without rules? Check.

Re:Search engines (1)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43852587)

Straw man? Check.

Re:Search engines (1)

aled (228417) | about a year ago | (#43852839)

Frankly, the threat to free speech and stifling of technology is orders of magnitude more important, even from a purely financial perspective.

Free speech? Mmmh if someone could monetize on that... Just saying...

Re:Search engines (1)

Nikker (749551) | about a year ago | (#43852161)

I guess it's a good thing that Google is the only online advertiser and no other ad company would be willing to pick up the slack.

Re:Search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852345)

Right. Someone somewhere is going to do something bad... it may as well be me!

Re:Search engines (1)

Migraineman (632203) | about a year ago | (#43852495)

While the recording and movie industries are clearly pro-blocking, Google believes the issue can be dealt with by starving pirate sites of advertising revenue, something that should be handled by the advertisers themselves. All they have to do is provide a list of sites where ads shouldn’t appear.

“It’s not Google’s job to go around the web to declare whether sites are legal or illegal, but if Coca-Cola comes to us and says here’s a list of 500 dynamic sites and we don’t want you to place ads on those, that’s a slightly different thing. It’s almost a marketing thing for the brand,” [Mr. Bertram, UK policy manager of Google] said.

Mr. Bertram needs to go review the definitions for "proxy" and "redirect".

Re:Search engines (1)

trum4n (982031) | about a year ago | (#43852563)

Racecars don't need license plates in most events.

Re:Search engines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852623)

How is blocking ad revenue from sites distributing content without the appropriate license "too much censorship"? It's the correct approach. Or would you argue you should be free to profit from the operation of planes, trains, or automobiles ( or truck) without an the appropriate license?

Google is supposed to be a search engine. You search for what's out there. It's not supposed to be a promotional platform for people to advertise on. It's not supposed to be a site where you only get a list of officially approved web locations. It's just supposed to save you the time of hunting shit down for yourself.

If Google wants to start blocking ad revenue from "infringing" sites, then they must first implement some type of audit mechanism to determine if a site contains any content it's not supposed to. Vague statements like "Google has the tech" don't help, what is this undefined "tech" they have? Some kind of magical mind-reading device that can scan people's intentions and cross-reference with copyright and other IP registration services, and perform media checks for any and all infringing permutations of material? If they had that, they'd be taking it to the bank already.

Re:Search engines (4, Insightful)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year ago | (#43852847)

Why should Google have to maintain a list of which site has permission to host content legally? How do they know what content is distributable or not? We certainly know that the RIAA/MPAA have certainly not been perfect in their identification of media.

Also, I'm pretty sure Google would be required to do this at their own expense.

Re:Search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852167)

TFS has the right idea for a change: don't block the pirate sites but make sure the licensed sites show up first in search results. Google needs to setup a separate service for this that shouldn't be too hard to implement: licensed sites send Google a list of all their artist, song, and album names available for purchase, when someone does a related search Google shows the links to the licensed sites first. Of course they'll need to tune the algorithm so e.g., a search on "stairway to heaven lyrics" shows the lyrics sites first and not itunes or amazon.

Re:Search engines (1)

Migraineman (632203) | about a year ago | (#43852425)

How the hell is Google (or anyone else) going to keep up with millions-a-week infringement notices?

“[Google] know very well what sites are illegal, because we send them notices, a million a week, yet coming on to search, very often those sites appear at the top of search results,” he said.

Further, if I were a small indie artist, and I wrote all my own music/songs/stories/whatever, will Google et al pay attention to me as well as the big media cartels? I doubt an infringement notice sent from a gmail account will carry much weight. How would Google distinguish real takedown requests from the joe jobs? It's not like we have a giant library with congressional oversight to act as a central repository ....

Accidental infringement (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43852507)

Further, if I were a small indie artist, and I wrote all my own music/songs/stories/whatever

Then some member of the music publishing cartel could sue you for having accidentally infringed on one of their songs. See Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music.

Re:Search engines (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43852561)

They could call it google +

Re:Search engines (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43853083)

the problem with this approach is it would allow anyone to "buy search placement" not just for good but for bad as well. And frankly, If I do a search on something I want the best possible result, not the "approved by XX" result.

Re:Search engines (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#43852341)

Not enough censorship or campaign dollars will make the feds stomp on google and look the other way at everyone else.

Re:Search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852401)

Google should thread lightly on this path. Too much censorship and suddenly some less restrictive search engine could make it go the way of Yahoo..

And who is going to build this search engine? I mean in terms of paying for it?

Google's result banning is a result of laws that require them to honor those requests (heard of the DMCA? DMCA Takedowns?). The only search engine that would not have to filter it's results is one based outside the west with no actual business presence. Those sorts of countries tend to not value free speech very much so good luck with that.

Re:Search engines (1)

Znork (31774) | about a year ago | (#43852605)

There are many such search engines already. The technology certainly exists to both make them close to free to run through partial or full distribution. And the free copying crowd certainly is vastly beyond large enough to finance a whole ecosystem of services and sites without a large economic input from outside sources. With the expansion of cryptographic currencies it's also certain that applying any pressure through the payment systems will only result in a more rapid expansion of uncontrollable credit systems (which will result in utterly screwing the last 50 years of anti-laundering work which may actually be more serious than the pissant whining copyright industry).

And seriously, as TFA suggested, guilting advertisers out of appearing on piracy sites? A small sampling of such advertisers will most likely indicate that advertising on piracy sites would be the least offensive part of their business.

iTunes? What's that? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851989)

"...Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites, but at the same time noted that somewhat oddly iTunes has not arranged itself a prominent position in the results to promote legally-purchased music...

So, I'm curious. Just exactly how many billions of downloads must the worlds largest legal music store obtain before managing to obtain a decent page rank?

Talk about a load-of-shit excuse, coming from the very company who is doing the indexing.

Re:iTunes? What's that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852029)

Page ranking isn't based on music downloads or sales. Go be dense somewhere else. Please.

Re:iTunes? What's that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852609)

Seems like page rank isn't that accurate then.

Re:iTunes? What's that? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852717)

Please paste a link to the iTunes web page that has this song available for sale.
Oh you can't?
Why not?
Oh.. iTunes isn't a website?
No wonder a WEB search engine doesn't have a WEB result for iTunes.

Re:iTunes? What's that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852909)

Seems like page rank isn't that accurate then.

That's just dumb! Page rank is based on web site visits and number of links. iTunes is an application, not a web site at all! It was Apple's choice to design it that way. If it was a web site, such as, say, Amazon's music site, then it could be ranked like any other page.

Now, if you search for iTunes, I'm sure the #1 ranked page will be the iTunes download site.

Re:iTunes? What's that? (1)

crypticedge (1335931) | about a year ago | (#43852413)

That wasn't a comment by google, but instead by BPI, the British version of RIAA.

It helps if you actually know more than a 20 second glance of the topic before commenting.

iTunes (5, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43851997)

The reason iTunes isn't up there is that the iTunes music shop isn't accessible through a web browser. You can see what is on there but all the links just try to make you download iTunes. Google indexes the web, not iTunes.

Re:iTunes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852047)

For now.

Re:iTunes (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43852185)

The truckload of validation errors in iTunes web pages (to continue down the Call Me Maybe path, I checked the page for the album [w3.org] ) don't help. The page has all the keywords it would need and is fairly well structured, so any search-placement improvements would have to come from valid HTML and fetid SEO.

But yeah, Google and friends can treat that problem by calling up Apple and negotiating to link iTunes directly to the crawler, something like how Google and Adobe got all loveydovey and *wham* now Google can read Flash [searchengineland.com] . (I said treat; the cure would be to make the song files downloadable from the page, if for a fee, and be done with the whole RIAA love and general non-webbyness of iTunes and whatnot.)

Re:iTunes (5, Insightful)

John Napkintosh (140126) | about a year ago | (#43852089)

Sure, downloads happen through iTunes, but it would still behoove Apple to point searches for songs to iTunes in some way, even if through some intermediary that launches iTunes to actually make the download.

Which is probably why Google were surprised that Apple is not already doing so. Not that that has anything at all to do with copyright infringement.

Re:iTunes (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#43852333)

Sure, downloads happen through iTunes, but it would still behoove Apple to point searches for songs to iTunes in some way, even if through some intermediary that launches iTunes to actually make the download.

Which is probably why Google were surprised that Apple is not already doing so. Not that that has anything at all to do with copyright infringement.

I am not sure Apple would gain anything buy paying to push iTunes. They have a pretty good market already with users predisposed to going there for music so as dollars would add no revenue hike raising costs. Since iTunes is device specific to a large extent the chance that someone who doesn't know about it becoming a customer is also small, so advertising makes no sense to draw in customers. So it is not surprising Apple ignores Google searches.

Re:iTunes (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#43852453)

> I am not sure Apple would gain anything buy paying to push iTunes.

Considering that YouTube is already starting to show links for music to iTunes, Amazon, etc. one would assume that they are simply tapping into another market -- the ability to just purchase the dam song(s) used in the video. There have been many videos that have interesting music but I have no clue who the artist is/was.

Re:iTunes (1)

madwheel (1617723) | about a year ago | (#43852335)

Exactly. Apple has the resources to increase their web presence for music exposure. It would certainly suggest for more people to use their music over other possibly illegitimate sources. I don't mind Google's response to the whack a mole situation either. It seems highly logical.

Re:iTunes (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about a year ago | (#43852617)

iTunes is already the largest music retailer in the world by far. Why does Apple need to further "increase their web presence"?

Re:iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852917)

Apple are planning their own google replacement for iStuff and Mac users. Most Apple consumers won't notice the switch, or will jump ship just to stay loyal.

Re:iTunes (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43852447)

Google's aim is to give you what you want as quickly and easily as possible. They can give you an Amazon page where you can click to listen to samples of tracks immediately or simply buy the MP3s/CD in a few clicks. Alternatively they can give you the iTunes store page where you can see an artist and track name with a link to download iTunes next to it.

What I'm saying is that it's no wonder you rarely see iTunes store results on Google because they are rarely what you were looking for when searching. You don't want to download iTunes, you want to listen to or buy the music.

iTunes costs $88 according to Wine AppDB (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43852665)

Alternatively they can give you the iTunes store page where you can see an artist and track name with a link to download iTunes next to it.

Last time I checked a database of how applications behave in a freely licensed reimplementation of the Windows API, iTunes would always fail to launch, complaining that it needed to be reinstalled [winehq.org] . So Google would also have to give a link to buy a copy of genuine Microsoft Windows 8 [saleszones.com] on which to run iTunes in VirtualBox. Otherwise, the Whac-a-Mole game of blocking illicit music downloads would just be replaced with the Whac-a-Mole game of blocking illicit Windows operating system downloads.

Re:iTunes costs $88 according to Wine AppDB (1)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#43852993)

You're assuming that it would behave better when installed on a genuine copy of Windows 8.

Re:iTunes (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43852285)

It never occured to me until now, but forcing downloading through Itunes is INCREDIBLY short sighted. It is this kind of hubris that will allow the competitors to consume Apple eventually.

Re:iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852391)

Re you sure? A quick Google for "itunes call me maybe" turned up https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/call-me-maybe-ep/id514706397 as the first link.

what's the point of itunes in search results? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43852005)

most music for sale is already on itunes. just go in there and search for music, why do it through google first?

or amazon if you don't like itunes.

Re:what's the point of itunes in search results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852087)

Because the people who want Google to do that don't think about the fact that the people who are looking to purchase music are already checking Amazon and/or iTunes first.

Re:what's the point of itunes in search results? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43852297)

Because not everyone has itunes installed or has a iDevice. Dont you think it a little strange they cant figure out how to sell 5MB files through a webpage?

Re:what's the point of itunes in search results? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43852349)

i don't know, i never buy via itunes for my iphone. my wife likes it because you buy and it automatically adds it to your library

i usually buy via Amazon but with spotify there is very little reason to buy music anymore

Re:what's the point of itunes in search results? (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | about a year ago | (#43852387)

Amazon does it just fine.

Re:what's the point of itunes in search results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852585)

The quality of Amazon's music is extremely variable and the way it is encoded is not consistent either. The stuff encoded by lame 0.96 doesn't work reliably on all compliant mp3 decoders.

e.g The first Game of Thrones Soundtrack CD glitches on my sandisk mp3 player or WP7. (But the second one that uses a later version lame seems to work fine on either.)

itunes music is encoded much more consistently in my experience.

Re:what's the point of itunes in search results? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43852683)

Because Apple has made a business decision to decline to port iTunes to X11/Linux, to Android, or to a standards-based web application.

You can't block it now. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852009)

Unless you remove every one of them at the same time. As well as the people.
Good luck. You already lost that battle.
How about you stop with your greed and abusive ways, then people might care.

Radio never killed anyone, the internet won't either.
Adapt or actually just seriously die already.
I'm sick of hearing your whining, BPI.
I don't even buy music associated with you, but shut the fuck up already.

Re:You can't block it now. (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43852291)

Radio never killed anyone, the internet won't either.

Funny you should say that. [poptix.net] (note, flash browser required)

Re:You can't block it now. (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#43853063)

Thanks a bloody lot for getting that song stuck in my head. (Well, getting an awesome old mashup [www.last.fm] of it stuck in my head, anyway. So actually, thanks! It's an excellent mashup.)

itunes fault? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852011)

So, if you don't advertise with us then we can't guarantee that your business will be protected by our ecosystem of scammers?

That's a nice business you got there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it. But for a small retainer, we can guarantee nothing happens to it.

Re:itunes fault? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43852515)

It's more like the phone directory.

If you don't publish your number in the appropriate services section, you can't complain when other plumbers get all the business, can you?

War Profits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852019)

Rather than fight potential customers by creating a new, inherently slimy industry, how about coming up with a way to engage them.

Re:War Profits (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43852053)

I'm a little curious to see how the music industry reacts to the next disruptive (to their business model) technology. You know something new will come down the pike soon.

Re:War Profits (2)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#43852143)

They will try to control it.. Or kill it.. With help from our bought government.
What do you think?

Re:War Profits (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43852213)

Point being- can they reach a point where they just have to give up? I do believe at some point the world will look at the labels and say "SHUT UP", but I wonder if they realize it.

Re:War Profits (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43852661)

No, SuperTechnoNerd is right.
The world is different now. The consumer recording VCR, or DVD "backup" regulations and software are simply something that could never be invented in this society. Corporations are on the lookout for inventions and laws and would take control away from them and they are 100% in a position to stop every single one.

In 20 years not only will there not new a more freeing inventions that invalidate labels or take control away from them, but it is likely that it will be impossible to pirate a song, movie, or game.

Reperformance hole (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43852771)

it is likely that it will be impossible to pirate a song, movie, or game.

I memorize a song and perform it in public. Or I memorize a song, record my performance of the same song, and distribute copies of the recording. Under current law, I have pirated the song. This reperformance hole goes even deeper than the analog reconversion hole. How would technology prevent it without giving absolute control to labels?

Re:Reperformance hole (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43852989)

And what makes you think that they will not have Youtube like (but 100 times more advanced) software that monitors all consumer recording devices?
And what makes you think that the government does not listen to every single word you utter in public, if not also in private?

Really? (5, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year ago | (#43852025)

Geoff Taylor of the BPI said that Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites...

Everything is possible if someone else has to do it and pay for it.

Re: Really? (1)

Therad (2493316) | about a year ago | (#43852149)

and also would take the blame if noninfringing sites are blocked. they want the cookie and eat it.

Re:Really? (-1, Troll)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43852177)

Google's entire business model is built on leveraging someone else's work. No one cares for a search engine qua search engine.

Maybe it's time for Google to be more symbiont and less parasite.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852343)

And how do you know which sites are legitimate or not? Have you read the license which allows iTunes to distribute a particular copyright? Has Google been allowed to view this agreement? The Pirate Bay has even distributed legitimate material according to them and a supposedly artist site. How is one to know what is or what isn't?

Re:Really? (2)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43852701)

Quite often in society people are told that they cannot engage in certain lines of business because the associated externalities cannot be mitigated. The question that should be asked, and may be trivially answered 'yes', is whether what Google provides outweighs the negative impact on third parties. If it turns out that Google can't mitigate the negative externalities then perhaps Google should be shut down. Or perhaps they should just have to pay a portion of their revenue to the people who are harmed by Google's practices. It wouldn't be the first time such things had to happen, for example power plants, oil drilling and refining, farming (fertilizer run-off), etc.

Re:Really? (2)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43852931)

You bring up a good point. To prevent the unauthorized copying of certain information (which results in certain companies not gaining money when they believe they should, which is just horrible and sad), Google and the Internet must be destroyed. Collective punishment is good, and your comparisons are even better. Such genius!

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852853)

Makes sense.. you can't do something without error so you shouldn't do it at all ! Fucking moron....

Heres an idea. People who want to torrent legally should submit the torrent to legaltorrents, clearbits, etc ,etc. Nobody is going to block that.

Re:Really? (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43852353)

+1 Insightful

Maybe they'll finally realize... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852043)

That fighting piracy is a waste of time and effort and that competing with them instead is a more viable alternative? After all, these companies have money.

Re:Maybe they'll finally realize... (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#43852159)

Ya, about as successful as "the war on drugs"

Re:Maybe they'll finally realize... (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#43852445)

The war on drugs was extremely successful. As planned, it created a massive free labor population, funneled drug money directly to law enforcement and created more business for lawyers and gun dealers. Ruining the lives of dissident youth was just a happy coincidence.

Re:Maybe they'll finally realize... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852421)

No price beats free. Anyone who honestly felt that there was a viable business model to fighting online piracy they'd have done it.

Extra-judicial action (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43852393)

Okay, so here we have a group of self-interested parties who suggest banding together so that they can

a) Determine by themselves whether someone is acting illegally, and

b) Take action against them by withholding services

c) Without judicial oversight, and with no discussion of due process whatsoever, including: warnings, appeal, or handling mistakes.

So we now have the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act [wikipedia.org] which allows companies to make virtually anything a federal offense just by putting it in their TOS, they can pick and choose who they do business with at their whim, and are themselves historically immune from prosecution [google.com] .

Of course, they will only use their power for good [theregister.co.uk] .

I think we need to enforce a "customer bill of rights" which states that a company cannot just cut off customers at will. It should be enforced by the government as a condition for being granted a business license. If a service is available and the customer can pay, then the company has an obligation to make the transaction. (Glossing over some details for brevity)

Are you against such a regulation? Under what circumstances can a company refuse to serve a customer? Race? Gender? Marital status? Sexual orientation? Ethnicity? What is the difference between any of these and arbitrary black-listing?

David Lowery, panderer (4, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#43852403)

David Lowery's role in all this is similar (though less evil) to that of women who go into rural Thailand to convince families to give up their daughters, under the false pretenses that they will have comfortable housing and gainful employment in the city.

Do not trust label scouts.

Cheapskates? (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43852405)

So I suppose the music business is too cheap and nasty to just stump up the money to advertise music through AdWords (and pay more for words than two-bit pirate sites), so they'd rather abuse the courts and legal system to legislate to save themselves money?

Classy.

Re:Cheapskates? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#43853079)

Just so you know, the issue isn't AdWords - it's searches that yield pirate sites as top hits, pirate sites that happen to display Google advertising. (Which may, or may not be music ads as the displayed ads are a combination of page related and user specific ads.)
 
That being said, it's ridiculous to expect rights holders to have to pay pirates.

Own site? (2)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#43852459)

How about the Music and Movie Mafia* create their own music sites, which Google can index, and users can buy and download music and albums? *http://mafiaa.org/

They want to know why mp3skull.com comes up first (after Youtube)? Because they offer a useful service.
Without any trouble I can just download the song. Why can't the MAfia do a site like that?

You know, I would be somewhat compassion to the music artists and the Mafia, if they would not be such greedy asshats.
The copyright protected were expanded and expanded; payments for blank media introduced; DRM strengthened;
If the Mafia would actually try and not to be greedy asshats, like not sue private citizens.
Or like the GEMA (the German Mafia). I saw some weeks ego a video on Youtube that was posted here in Slashdot. But instead I get a "Sorry you can't see that song because the GEMA have not licensed any rights to it". I used a proxy to see the video nevertheless and then there was 4 seconds of a song at the beginning and 4 seconds of the same music at the end of a 5 minutes video! So for 4 seconds of a song, which should be well in fair-use rights, I can not see the video because of the GEMA.

So now I have no compassion with the Mafia and associated artists.
Put down copyright protection to about 20 years; remove the levy on blank media and pull down the DRM laws. Then we can talk again.

Re:Own site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852681)

20 years is too long. Copyright terms should be 5 years, at the most.

That said, there should be other, significant changes to copyright term limitations as well or the 5-year term won't work.

First of all, there should be no limit to the number of renewals. So 5 years is a bit short, but you can renew it forever. The first 5 years is automatic and free, but a registration and renewal fee would be required to hold further terms. Transfer of ownership would also be a required registration, but would only incur a per-transfer fee separate from the renewal fee.

Second of all, anything that isn't copyrighted is in the public domain. Once something is in PD, it cannot be taken back. Any derivatives of PD works would only be copyrightable on the parts that were changed (to prevent Disney-fication).

Third, DRM should not be legally enforceable. Ever. The law does not care how a crime or civil violation is committed. The means is irrelevant. The only factors the law cares about are fact and motive. Basically, did it happen and why was it done.

Fourth, innocence until proof of guilt should be extended to every matter, everywhere. It's applicable to criminal proceedings in the USA, but not civil ones. Countries that don't have it should enact it. The one pressing charges must prove their case. And hand-in-hand with this goes a "loser-pays" system. If you have a case, press it. When you win, you are made whole by the offender. If you don't have a case, you'll hopefully lose and have to pay the victim of your legal intimidation for the trouble you caused them.

With these reforms, copyright could be made, not only sane, but effective and popular. It's the winning PR move. It would destroy the MAFIAA, though, so it would suck to be them.

Re:Own site? (1)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43853005)

Better idea: get rid of copyright.

Re:Own site? (1)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#43853033)

Without any trouble I can just download the song. Why can't the MAfia do a site like that?

You may be in the wrong country. These complaints are coming from the British Pornographic Industry, not the Music And Film Industry of America.

the era of people paying gatekeepers is over (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852527)

Right now every single work of "intellectual property" is easily available to anyone who knows a tiny bit about computers. So why would anyone pay for music/books/movies/games ever again?

The answer is because the individual with the money (the public) feels gratitude to the creators is willing to express that gratitude by expending resources. Control of the bits is no longer in the hands of a few.

I feel absolutely no guilt about not supporting those who profit from the creative process but have no hands involved in the creation of the product. If the creator has a way to support them directly then I'll do that. But I'm not going to support the "hangers on" of the creative process at the same time. My money isn't going to parasites like executives, shareholders, advertisers. And none for obsolete middlemen like retailers, publishers, and distributors.

Re:the era of people paying gatekeepers is over (2)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#43853015)

Funnily enough, sites like bandcamp and cdbaby profit from the creative process but have no hands involved in the creation of the product, too. Yet, I have absolutely no issue buying from those sites, nor even occasionally from itunes (which is far less indie). The difference being that they aren't skeezy or anti-consumer, and don't take the vast majority of the cut that should go to the artist.

A certain small amount of middle-manning is often necessary (an artist isn't necessarily good at non-artist-related activities, and in any case should only spend so much of their time doing those things if you want them to continue giving you the art you like.) I am always the happiest when I can contribute 100% of the profit directly to the person or people who created the work, but even if *most* of the profit goes to those people, I'm happy enough. (Which is good, since I usually pay by credit card, and I gather they generally take a couple percent off the top, too...)

Advertising, too, is not always bad. It's just bad when artists are *forced* to pay for advertising, have no say in what kind of advertising is being done where, or the worst, when they're promised advertising (with the money they're being forced to pay to the label they signed to), but never even receive any of note.

Med iPhone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852553)

Thnks Bro ! This is Right

Med iPhone
www.med4design.com

Another Solution (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | about a year ago | (#43852815)

Step 1: Continue to push songs like "Call Me Maybe"
Step 2: People stop downloading the crap you are releasing
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!

Extrajudicial Takedowns by Plutarchs (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#43852879)

the idea of going after the sites as a business, which in practice would mean strangling their (often voluminous) advertising budget.

So this would be another avenue of extrajudicial shutdowns of businesses accused of harming some other, more privileged business, that also has a financial relationship with the largest market-share search engine company, which would be executing the takedown. That doesn't sound like a just and free market to me. That sounds like plutocracy.

And before you say, "But maybe plutocracy would be good, maybe Google loves us and just wants us to be happy," consider this: Most superpower societies in history have bookended their dominance by evolving some close variant of plutocracy or oligarchy.

The REAL game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852933)

Showbiz is glamorous, and provides a constant stream of amusement and sexual favours for mid-level 'important' politicians, but is nothing compared to the real power-wielding industries that control and enrich the high-ranking politicians (you know, the ones that enter office 'penniless' and leave office hundreds of millions of dollars richer, like Al Gore). Showbiz generates the IP that piracy campaigns fret about, so in the scheme of things, the issue of piracy is NEVER that important to politicians in the first place.

Now combine this fact with the fact of the Internet as the greatest intelligence gathering asset imaginable. Google above all monitors in real time the thoughts of the 'mob', and delivers this infinitely precious resource to the masters that rule you. Throughout Human History, those that define themselves as the 'elite' have wrestled with only one real problem- how to control the masses that empowers them.

Disrupt casual piracy and you disrupt the effectiveness with which the Internet monitors and gathers information on the only group of people that really matter, the general population. Disrupt piracy and you please a bunch of corrupt amoral coke-heads that matter to no-one. Ironically, disrupting casual piracy is also seen to negatively affect the businesses producing the IP in the first place (in terms of growth of the market, and creation of new forms of marketing).

Google knows this better than any intelligence gathering organisation, which explains their constant stance on the issue. For instance, Google promotes its Youtube as an opportunity, not a problem- which runs completely counter to mainstream industry thinking on piracy.

People with disposable income like buying things. This is the key psychology of the capitalistic system. Piracy runs alongside this mechanism, not against it.

Anyway, Google is really saying "censor the Internet, and you'll destroy our ability to properly monitor the population of this planet, ruining our ability to give the elites the real-time information they crave to best influence/control the masses." Consider this analogous to past-times when the King's advisers would attempt to explain the problems of over-taxing the populace.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>