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Piracy

A need for piracy?
July 13, 2014 | 11:39 am

piracyGerman expatriate film director (and former World Karate and Kickboxing Champion) Lexi Alexander has posted a very interesting - and already much commented-on - entry on her blog, entitled "Will the Real Pirates Please Stand Up?" As well as a selfie calling on Sweden to "Free Peter Sunde Now," she posts a detailed, passionate, and well-argued statement of the realities of piracy, which while falling well short of a blanket endorsement, makes plenty of room for its positive aspects. And while this is more about Hollywood and films than the Big Five and ebooks, the comparisons should be obvious. Alexander juxtaposes piracy...

Worried about ebook theft? Here’s the whole story – in pictures
July 3, 2014 | 2:25 pm

whos-stealing-ebooksThe issue of ebook piracy, whether a serious concern or just an obsession with media owners, simply won't go away. And web hosting blog Who Is Hosting This? has just released a handy infographic on the subject, commissioned from UK design studio NeoMam Studios, that lays it all out for you in black and white – plus blue and a little pink. Naturally, there's considerable argument about the actual data and information on this topic. For instance, the $8.19 billion forecast in the infographic for projected revenue from U.S. ebook sales by 2017 hardly looks significantly impacted by the paltry $10...

What to pay for e-books: a formula
June 5, 2014 | 3:23 pm

I’ve seen people make estimates of what they thought was the right amount to pay for an e-book, but I can’t say I’ve seen one actually put it into an equation before. But Ramzi Amri, an MD/PhD candidate in Surgical Oncology, has. He wrote up an answer on Quora including the following mathematical formula for determining how much he was willing to pay for an e-book: If an ebook has a price, in dollars, below the value of Beta, I'd consider buying it. t= time (in minutes) it would...

Enjoying OverDrive e-books from the Indianapolis Public Library
May 18, 2014 | 2:12 pm

PANO_20140422_152236One of the great things about being in Indianapolis is having the Indianapolis Public Library’s main branch just a few blocks away. It’s a gorgeous place, with plenty of books and excellent facilities. One of those facilities I like the most is an extensive OverDrive e-book collection. The library back in Springfield only had a few thousand titles, and not many I actually wanted. But the Indianapolis library has almost 35,000 fiction titles alone, including all three Hugo nominees Orbit decided not to provide to the Hugo voter packet. This morning I’ve been checking out and downloading a number...

Dropbox uses file hashes to comply with DMCA requests. So what?
April 2, 2014 | 2:50 am

Surprise! Dropbox has anti-piracy measures in place. You’ve probably seen the stories by now. When you right-click that file on your drive and ask for a public link that you can share so your friend can download it, Dropbox runs a hash on the file—it basically takes the file’s fingerprint by assigning a specific character to particular bits. If it finds that hash matches a list of hashes that have been declared verboten by DMCA request, it tells you that you can’t share it. (Likewise, it hashes files so that it can save space by only storing one copy of...

Interesting article on how piracy is devaluing digital goods
March 10, 2014 | 11:15 am

piracy is devaluing digital goodsAlthough it's an older post, it only came across my feed recently, and I thought Baekdal had some interesting points worth sharing. He says the real problem with piracy is the devaluation of digital goods. Here's how he presents this: Imagine that you have $200 left to spend, and you want to buy a new pair of shoes, a new iPad bag (because you feel your old one is looking a bit out-of-date), a couple of books, a movie, an XBOX game, a magazine subscription, and Will.I.am's latest album. Clearly, you can't do that because the total sum is more than the $200 you have....

Dutch intellectual property regime looks like becoming a no-BREINer
February 20, 2014 | 10:25 am

After a series of high-profile instances of both overreach and incapability, Dutch intellectual property lobby group BREIN appears to have been handed a major defeat by Dutch courts. As reported by Slashdot, BREIN appears on track to lose the right to compel Netherlands ISPs to block access to the Pirate Bay, with UPC Netherlands announcing that it will be lifting the blockade even prior to a pending court appeal on the case, with BREIN's acquiescence. The original UPC announcement, in Dutch, is here. BREIN had originally won a court case to compel the blockade, which ISPs promptly challenged. The appeal court...

Tarantino suit of Gawker over link to leaked script may be capitalizing on Streisand Effect
February 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm

tarantinoQuentin Tarantino got so upset that someone leaked a copy of the script for his next movie, The Hateful Eight, online that he announced he would not be making that movie after all. He got further upset when he found out that celebrity/tech news site Gawker’s “Defamer” blog actually linked to file locker sites where the script could be downloaded. So, he is now suing Gawker. Tarantino’s suit claims that Gawker itself posted the leaked script to those sites, which Gawker editor John Cook insists is false. In the end, the suit comes down to “contributory copyright infringement”—the same...

Why I pirated a book last night
January 31, 2014 | 12:25 pm

piratedI pirated a book last night. I didn't mean to, per se, and I know I have been upfront in the past about respecting author's work and paying for the media I consume. So, how did I wind up downloading an illicit copy of something? And why should author Kathy Hester not be at all concerned? Here is what happened. I was on my way home and waiting for a text from the Beloved in reply to my 'do you need anything at the grocery store while I am at the plaza' message, so I thought I would kill some time...

French ‘Three Strikes’ law fails to cut piracy
January 23, 2014 | 7:32 pm

Remember that French “three strikes” law, Hadopi? Ars Technica reports that a recent study has shown that it has had no significant effect in getting people to stop downloading content illicitly.  In the survey of 2,000 French Internet users, 37.6% admitted to illicit downloading. Those who knew about the Hadopi monitoring were no less likely to download illicitly, though there was a slight (but “insignificant”) decrease in the intensity of their downloading. (And the people who knew it was monitoring thought it was monitoring more than it really was!) There was a slight bump in sales, but that was considered...

Wearing Google Glass to a movie theater leads to interrogation by federal agents
January 21, 2014 | 2:23 pm

google-glass-prescription-lenses-900-80Here’s an article that points out a problem that will only become more common as wearables do. A member of the Google Glass program had prescription lenses on his Glass, and wore them everywhere as his regular glasses. He didn’t have any other prescription glasses, so he wore them to a movie, with the Google Glass part turned off. He’d been to an AMC theater with the Glass three times, but this particular time (watching the new Jack Ryan movie, no less) a federal agent came in, plucked the glasses off his head, and proceeded to accuse him of...

NetNames wants you to believe its textbook piracy figures, buy its services
October 18, 2013 | 10:35 am

NetNames Statements by "domain management, online brand protection and online security" company NetNames about the size of the problem of textbook piracy in the UK are being picked up by the BBC and The Bookseller magazine. According to the BBC report quoted, 76 percent of a sample of 50 popular textbook titles were available for download on one file sharing site alone. The reports do focus on the issue of textbook pricing and availability as much as on piracy per se. NetNames' director of piracy analysis, David Price is quoted at length on the issue of textbook pricing, emphasizing that publishers need...