Chris Israel, the Copyright Czar of the Bush Administration is hailing the guilty verdict of a music pirate as a major victory in the fight against piracy.
Surely he’s referring to a conviction of a ringleader of a major international piracy ring that prints CDs in China and hauls them over the Pacific to the United States to make millions of dollars in profit? Naah, Mr. Israel is referring to a guilty verdict and $222K fine of Jammie Thomas, a single mom with two kids. She was convicted of sharing 24 songs on p2p network Kazaa.
That’s kinda like celebrating busting a teenager with one roll of pot in his mouth as a major victory in the war on drugs, and then fining him $100K for it.
ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency in charge of, among other things, keeping illegal immigrants out of the country raided 32 mod chipping “operators” earlier this week in 16 states. The operation was a cooperative effort with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESA, unsurprisingly, applauded the raids wholeheartedly.
The rest of the country, however, aren’t seeing things quite in the same light ICE and ESA are. Especially gamers. The reaction to the raids has been overwhelming and 100% negative. Even the venerable John Dvorak felt compelled to speak out against the raids.
One of the best written counterpoints to ICE’s and ESA’s black-and-white view of the world is a forum post on Xbox Scene by twistedsymphony titled The Legality Of Modding, and how everyone is a criminal according to the DMCA. It raises several questions about ESA’s motivations, the PR spin put on the raids and modding video game consoles in general.
Technically speaking the people raided might all be guilty of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The raids are, however, yet another sign of how utterly ridiculous the DMCA is.
Kieron Gillen has written an excellent article in the latest issue of The Escapist about the early childhood computer game piracy he and his buddies experienced.
His story about his childhood is as if he had written a story about my childhood. I remember the copy parties with friends after school and on weekends. We shamelessly copied every computer game on the Commodore64 we could get our hands on. And we had fun doing it. Almost all of these childhood friends of mine now work with computers. That would have not happened without our rampant piracy during our early teenage years.
Popular gadget blog Gizmodo has declared March 2007 as the Boycott RIAA month.
Their article titled Gizmodo’s Anti-RIAA Manifesto explaining the reasons for the boycott is an excellent summary of all things wrong with the RIAA.
I can hardly wait till RIAA sues George Bush.
Pitting George Bush against the RIAA Settlement Support Center folks would be very entertaining.
I just found a very interesting blog about the RIAA lawsuits. It’s run by two lawyers, who apparently think RIAA is abusing the law.
The blog documents and comments on active cases RIAA is litigating in the courts as well as other background information into the RIAA’s war on P2P downloads.
Apparently Sony’s rootkit DRM software contains a statically linked version of the lame mp3 decoder. Lame is licensed under the LGPL license, which would typically only allow this sort of reuse if the application using lame would also be released under LGPL, or Sony bought a non-LGPL license from the authors of lame.
It’s highly unlikely Sony did either.
So here we have a company trying to protect their products from being pirated using pirated software. Oh the irony!
Chris Anderson posts an interesting article where he argues some piracy is actually good for business.
A digital music research firm The Leading Question has released a study that concludes people who download pirated music online actually spend 4 times as much money buying legal downloads as people who do not download pirated music.
This comes as no surprise to anyone, who has been following RIAA’s war on music downloading.
So, allofmp3.com, a Russian music download site, claims they’re legit and are paying royalties to what they say is the Russian authority that collects royalty payments for musicians.
Well, looks like Russian IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) thought otherwise and asked the Moscow City Police Computer Crimes Division to investigate allofmp3.com. The police concluded their investigation earlier this month and are recommending the prosecutors charge allofmp3.com for criminal copyright infringement.
Let’s see what happens next. Will the operators pack their bags and skip town, will they just shut it down and play quiet or will they fight it.
It’s also interesting to see what the copyright stormtroopers in other countries will want to do with the customer list. I’m 100% sure the Russian IFPI will politely ask the Moscow City Police to confiscate the customer list and forget it at IFPI’s mailbox.