Former RIAA Lobbyist Firm Hired as Independent Technical Expert to Review ‘Six Strikes’ System | GamePolitics

CCI???s choice of a former RIAA lobbying firm makes it clear that the copyright owner parties to the Memorandum of Understanding were more interested in appointing someone they trust than in appointing someone the public can trust,

Lobbyist firm, “independent and impartial technical expert.”

How copyright enforcement robots killed the Hugo Awards

Last night, robots shut down the live broadcast of one of science fiction’s most prestigious award ceremonies. No, you’re not reading a science fiction story. In the middle of the annual Hugo Awards event at Worldcon, which thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service UStream, the feed cut off – just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, “The Doctor’s Wife.” Where Gaiman’s face had been were the words, “Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement.” What the hell?

How apt.

Dotcom search warrants ruled illegal

Justice Winkelmann ordered that no more items taken in the raids could be removed from New Zealand, and instructed the attorney-general to return clones of the hard drives held by New Zealand police.

She said the search warrants were invalid because they were general warrants which lacked specificity about the offence and the scope of the items to be searched for.

Without a valid warrant, police were trespassing and exceeded what they were lawfully authorised to do.

Justice Winkelmann said no one had addressed whether police conduct also amounted to unreasonable search and seizure, but her preliminary view was that it did.

Wolf in sheep???s clothing: MPAA???s Dodd pushes ???more subtle??? approach to anti-piracy

???We???re in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that???s going to need content,??? Dodd, a former U.S. Senator, told Variety at an industry event this weekend. He added: ???We???re going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented. We???re on the wrong track if we describe this as thievery.???

That “technology that???s going to need content??? is true, but the content it needs, and has proved the most successful in engaging the “consumer” is the product of other “consumers,” not commercial peddlers of lowest common denominator entertainment.

Sure Hollywood gets the headlines, Hollywood has always got the headlines, but connection between people is much more important, and has been known to be so since 2001. Andrew Odlyzko’s “Content is not King” showed this:

“The Internet is widely regarded as primarily a content delivery system. Yet historically, connectivity has mattered much more than content. Even on the Internet, content is not as important as is often claimed”

His example of email as the killer app, is dated, but social networks aren’t. And if you follow the money, you’ll find how insignificant content is relative to connection.

Megaupload Trial May Never Happen, Judge Says

Megaupload???s lawyer adds that he doesn???t understand why the US authorities weren???t aware of this problem before. As a result Judge O???Grady noted that Megaupload is ???kind of hanging out there.???

If this issue indeed prevents Megaupload from being tried in the US, it would be a blunder of epic proportions. And it is not the first ???procedural??? mistake either.

Well, “hanging” was the goal. Mission accomplished.

Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited

Firstly, in the law of authorisation, there is a distinction to be drawn between the provision of the ‘means’ of infringement compared to the provision of a precondition to infringement occurring. The decisions in Moorhouse, Jain, Metro, Cooper and Kazaa are each examples of cases in which the authorisers provided the ‘means’ of infringement. But, unlike those decisions, I find that the mere provision of access to the internet is not the ‘means’ of infringement. There does not appear to be any way to infringe the applicants’ copyright from the mere use of the internet. Rather, the ‘means’ by which the applicants’ copyright is infringed is an iiNet user’s use of the constituent parts of the BitTorrent system. iiNet has no control over the BitTorrent system and is not responsible for the operation of the BitTorrent system.

Quote from the initial case (appeal having just been “dismissed with costs.”)  Structural separation of the access and the application seems to have been part of the first decision.

It emphasises the importance to ISPs of *not* controlling (as common carriers should not) the activities of their users, to avoid the threat of “authorisation” and in Canada, the liability for broadcast regulations including associated levies (…

How’s that three strikes thing working out, anyway?

So not one notice about TV or movies but also not a single notice has been sent relating to copying of New Zealand content. Not one.

The rights holders in New Zealand put together an ad campaign based on the destruction of value of New Zealand content, yet it hasn???t defended a single New Zealand artist. I find that very interesting ??? from a PR point of view it???s a massive cock-up because at the very least they could have found one to point to. Either they don???t care enough to pay $25 or there simply isn???t any piracy of New Zealand artists going on in New Zealand. Isn???t that an interesting thought?

The MED review allows for public submissions on its discussion document but comments must be received by 30 April. Have a look at the document and send any thoughts you may have to the MED here.  Because despite its obvious flaws, as far as I can tell the Copyright Act is working ??? it???s the US-based rights holders that aren???t.

It appears the US industry is very willing to fund lobbying of NZ legislators, but not put much into making legitimate channels available to customers. At least we now know who the legislation serves, and it ain’t us, the ones paying for the enforcement.

Herald on Sunday Editorial: The disquieting Dotcom case

Depicting Dotcom as a sweating Dr Evil was clearly in line with the police’s PR needs, but as Judge David McNaughton remarked, no evidence has been presented that Dotcom has done anything wrong, and there “appears to be an arguable defence at least in respect of the breach of copyright charges”. The public is asked to be content with allegations by the FBI, which include conspiracy to commit racketeering and money-laundering. We would not be the first to note that copyright infringement, the central charge against Dotcom, does not carry a heavy enough maximum penalty to trigger the provisions of an extradition treaty.

Very pleased to see some push-back on the narrative, I was beginning to think the NZ media, no doubt as overjoyed as the Police to have something so exciting to be involved with, had swallowed the story whole.