Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leashing the Clouds

The legislative Big News this week, apart from the approaching budget deadline, is the beginning of the congressional discussions around the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and IP Protection acts, which attempt to hold disseminators of unlicensed copyrighted material liable for that material, with, for the first time in a non-peer-to-peer setting, the assumption that ignorance is not an excuse. The high-profile target of this attention is YouTube, whose self-policing has apparently been inadequate relative to the perception of content distributors like, for instance, the media giant Viacom. A central question: can entertainment be profitable in the information era? And the subquestions: is it possible to reduce the accessibility to unlicensed distribution on the internet? or is it possible to monetize it more effectively, effectively enough to make it worth a content producer's while?

One blogger weighed in on the debate with this question in distilled form: How will you gauge SOPA's success (if it passes)?  The thread of responses is fascinating, and kind of a triumph of discourse in the flame-heavy webisphere:

When the internet is ... controlled entirely by the companies which can afford to pay for laws, then the success of SOPA will have been fully realized

With SOPA, there is great potential that [it may become] harder to find stuff, harder to obtain it, and more effort and risk comes into trying to get it, [and] the soft middle will start to lean back to legal sources.

Why can't I give money directly to every musician I like, instead of paying the labels and leaving virtually nothing in the pockets of the artists?

They learned a lesson from Napster. Going to court won the battle, but they still lost the war. ... This bill is about shutting things down faster, before people's perspectives can change.

Right now, The Pirate Bay, Rapidshare, Filesonic, and dozens of others operate in PLAIN SIGHT, and ONLY that wacky legal loophole of separate links and hosting keeps them all from being shut down.

You'll ... get a lot more sharing of physical media, and make better hackers and hacking programs, since people will have to hack their own software.

Youtube appears thus far to be operating on its seed capital.  Great example, guys.

if you are not vary tech savvy, the cost of infringement scares you because you do not know how to get around it and avoid it. Those people tend to take the easier, safer, convenient route, which is to pay for everything

US Movie revenue:
1995 = $5.29bn
2011 = $9.98bn
Worldwide Live Music / Concert Revenues:
2006 = $16.6bn
2011 = $23.5 bn
Worldwide Music Industry Revenues:
2006 =$60.7 bn
2011 =$67.6 bn
Worldwide Music Publishing Revenues:
2006 =$8.0 bn 
2011 =$9.4 bn

so i am guessing these figures will continue to go up as they have done (surprisingly, without SOPA), or maybe go down after SOPA??

I also see you don't voice any concerns regarding collateral damage. This bill is taking a "nuke the ant hill" approach to pest control. Your going to be taking out quite a few friendlies with this one, I think the pirate culture is going to build on that one and although you will see a short term gain, your going to get hammered in the end.

.I will now look into what Ron Paul is about.I will vote for any who does not fit in with the Big Money Political Marriage.I will also try and do a lawsuit against this SOPA as I am a musician who gives away my ART FOR FREE !

If Services like Netflix, and I would add Hulu, Spotify, Pandora etc to that, have already started the process of turning the soft middle from piracy, why do we need SOPA? Why not just create more services that are "easy, work, easy to find stuff, easy to download it, all automated and simple"

Unfortunately I think their only measure of success is simply passing the bill. Whether it actually changes anything seems irrelevant. It's all a big show of power at the public's expense.

Ironically the tech community bought these over reaching measures on themselves by rejecting ANY copyright based potential business models for the future. That left the old school copyright based industries no choice but to fight for its survival. You guys should have compromised and used your "intellect" to incorporate the new with the old - instead you said "screw copyrights"

In most cases, the entertainment industry has gone back a second time to the negotiating table after the business achieves some level of success and either:

a) jack up licensing rates to where neither the distributors go out of business and nobody makes money, or 
b) demands that the usefulness of the technology be curtailed (features removed [e.g. hulu], or more release windows)

Almost every instance makes it look like the entertainment industry has less interest in making money, and more interest in controlling everything.

 Instead of spending billions trying to hold back the flood the money should be investing in embracing new technology and finding new ways to generate revenue while providing customers what they want...

I went to google and entered cars 2, all of the links on the front page were to legitimate content, but none of them led me to a site or location where I could pay for and download the movie.

If the MPAA or the RIAA were to spend even 1/10 of the money they have spent on lobbying, litigating, "re-educating", etc. building a quality, useful, legal service then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

With entertainment like this, who needs Pirate's Bay?

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