Tuesday, 7 September 2010

We are now entering the Live Age: P2P and the music industry

Matthew David of Brunel University takes an erudite look at Peer to Peer and the Music Industry - the history of the distribution monopoly and the legal, technical, cultural and economic options going forward - both for artists and the recording industry.
From March 2010

Piratpartiet & The Pirate Party -  Working for copyright reform

Monday, 6 September 2010

ACTA: Treaty without a cause?

The latest leaks on the ACTA treaty show that negotiations have gone a long way to resolving outstanding issues with some ground given by the US.. but some of the worst of the treaty still stubbornly in place. ACTA watchers are not impressed that three strikes still seems to be on the agenda, and that US led pro-DRM measures are included that go beyond the WIPO treaty and even existing US law. 
(More details from Michael Geist and Boing Boing.)

But do we really need an anti-counterfeiting treaty at all?  

Well perhaps not.  The Telegraph reports on a study that shows that the impact of counterfeiting on luxury brands isn't the disaster that it's made out to be... most consumers buying counterfeits aren't being ripped off- they know it's a fake, and they would never have bought an original.... meaning that fashion houses are not losing those sales to counterfeiting.  Counterfeiting is big business -but if it's not done to defraud who is it hurting?

The article is cited in many places... but the original report seems to be more elusive.  You can find it though at the British Journal of Criminology - with the pithy title of:
Jailhouse Frocks: Locating the Public Interest in Policing Counterfeit Luxury Fashion Goods
by David Wall & Joanna Large

Amongst other things it looks at the links between counterfeiting and organised crime ...and has an interesting section on the 'aspirational hierarchy' that binds together both the fashion houses and the counterfeiters.

Read it..  and see if you can find the public interest in ACTA....

PiratpartietBuilding the information society.  Vote Pirate!

Putting principles first. Why a 44-year old who has never downloaded music will vote for the pirates.

It is two weeks to the election here in Sweden.. and social democrat Henrik Brändén and centerist Markus Berglund have writtin an article in the national press to explain why they are leaving their parties and will vote Piratpartiet  instead.  Henrik writes in length on his blog about why after 29 years as a socialdemocrat activist he is placing integrity first and going Pirate.  His article is very good..  and reflects a a great deal of the thinking that led me to see the political importance of the pirate movement in opposing the threat to our privacy and integrity.  Here is just a short translated extract... (the highlight is mine)

How can a 44-year old who has never downloaded music to vote for the pirates?
 When I meet young people today, I see that they, just as we did in my youth, love to talk to each other: about life and love, about politics, philosophy and existential issues. Like when I was young that many make music, poetry, short stories and diaries. But the way is different. My discussions in cafes and on the telephone takes place today with Skype and various instant messaging functions. Where I wrote a letter on paper to send young people today send an e-mail. Where I and my contemporaries had notebooks and loose-leaf with personal notes and literary experiments many of today's young people's have materials in a data space on an external server, so that wherever they find themselves they are be able to access it over the net.

The combination of IPRED-law, the FRA-law and data retention directive does for young people today exactly what it would have meant for me and my friends if there sat microphones under the tables in all Uppsala cafes, our phone calls were tapped and letters ripped up, and also book and music publishers agents always had the right to rummage through our bags. What has happened in recent years is simply that we have taken great strides straight into a surveillance society. Things are a reality today in Sweden and many other Western countries,  that in my youth led us to distance itself from East Germany and other Communist states"

Henrik also explains how he squares his choice with his principles.. and not least how as an author he can support a party seeking copyright reform. 

Which just remains for me to add my belated welcome to Henrik.. 

Arrrrrr!!  Welcome on board

Piratpartiet :  Vote Pirate -  Make your voice heard.