News roundup 22/11/09

File sharers gone Gaga?

Its being reported on Torrentfreak that after a million plays on Spotify, Lady Gaga received just $167.  Of course many file sharers seem to believe that in some way this justifies file sharing and one of the common arguments in the justification of file sharing is that it gives artists/companies publicity.  So how much did Lady Gaga make from being distributed via P2P?  If the argument is that all the sharing is good for publicity and brand recognition and the file sharer has this is mind when they try to “help”[1] why don’t they simply leave sites like Spotify to create the publicity instead?

I think we know the answer to that one and yet again, in my opinion is a weak argument for justifying file sharing (if indeed that one is to be cited by them)

I am still waiting for a file sharer of the “data should be free” ilk who would like to comment on if the T-Mobile story is ok in their books, afterall its only data…..

Of course there are those who believe in some sort of music revolution/uprising, although how the money required to pay all the people involved is to be raised is anyones guess.  Here’s what one user had to say:

It’s only a matter of time before the underground record labels free your hostage musicians and take back the music. There’s no way back; bide your time.

but before we all get too excited by this brave new world….he then goes on to say:

Also, I’m drunk, so you know I speak the truth.

This is the sort of level we are talking about.  There is no argument in my opinion for justifying file sharing.  The flaming, vulgarity and libelous remarks of some of those that support it prove that in my opinion.

Massive lawsuit for Microsoft?

It was recently reported that Microsoft conducted a switch off of around 600,000 Xbox 360’s which were modified/chipped.  Now whilst that on the surface may seem like a blow against piracy, there are others with different ideas and offer a more sinister reason for Microsoft’s switch-off.

Abington IP, a firm who specialises in “intellectual property law & consumer class actions” have said (on their site):

If you are an Xbox Live subscriber, had your modified Xbox console banned from Xbox Live, were not refunded a prorated sum for the time left on your subscription or have experienced other problems as a result of being banned, and would like to participate in a class action against Microsoft, please submit your information…..

they also say:

Microsoft has chosen to use one of the most indiscriminate “weapons” in its arsenal in an effort to combat piracy — as a result, use of this “weapon” has resulted in a great deal of collateral damage — many people were affected who had nothing to do with piracy. Furthermore, Xbox console functions that have nothing to do with piracy were also affected or disabled. Details aside, Microsoft’s bans could (and should) have been more measured.

So this news may come as another concern for Microsoft, who saw the Xbox360 slammed on the net for the “three rings of death” and the amount of returns that resulted in faulty units.

There may be a more sinister reason for the Microsoft switch off that I would like you to consider.  Picture the scene, you have the release of one of the biggest titles of the day, Call of Duty Modern Warfare  (apparently smashing all records in Hollywood) and you have the Xbox 360 and its users who have modded the console…now what would happen if you turn their facility off to play the aforementioned blockbuster title?  Could it be suggested that users would go out and buy another 360?  I’ll let you decide, but it could be argued that “every little helps” when the next set of quarterly figures from Microsoft get released.

If Microsoft are claiming that this switch-off is some strike against piracy, let me remind you of what Bill Gates said about that subject:

As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

So in my opinion Microsoft are the last ones to talk about piracy.  I wonder if this switch-off is an attempt at “collecting”?

Microsoft scared by Google?

I touched on this in a previous article here, however it does seem that Andre Da Costa [2] echo’s Microsoft fears.  It is being reported that Microsoft has made the following statement in respect of GoogleOS:

From our perspective, however, our customers are already voicing their approval of the way Windows 7 just works  across the Web and on the desktop, and on all sizes and types of PCs purchasing twice as many units of Windows as we’ve sold of any other operating system over a comparable time.

Of which I would suggest, that when XP was sold there were fewer users than there are today (social media and the net has been responsible for the massive interest in computing by many, which was not at the levels then as it is now)  I would also say that people read the reports of Vista being a pig and were put off buying it.  I don’t think its surprising information that more copies of Windows 7 would be sold.  Of course, Microsoft use the words “from our perspective” – and we all remember where Microsoft perspective leads don’t we?  Wasnt it Steve Ballmer who said they got the wrong impression from early feedback of Vista?

I think Microsoft needs to be very careful of their perspective.  You can read all about Mr Ballmer [3] “getting the wrong end of the stick” over at Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=axIIsgv3cQIc

The original Openbytes article is found here and I wonder if Microsoft comments were what Andre was referring to.

Notes

[1] – Helping often involves the file sharer downloading material that under normal circumstances would cost them money.  God bless, them they are really modern day martyrs!?!?!

[2] Andre Da Costa has admitted to nymshifting on CNET with the name Mr DEE.  Both him and “Mr DEE” promote Microsoft technologies.  Whilst its not believed (by me) that he is directly employed by Microsoft, a visiting Wintroll here (Richard) implied he was in his last comment.

[3] Of course Mr Ballmer has no similarity with Lord Vader.  Mr Ballmer has to throw chairs, Lord Vader can lift them with the power of the force. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/05/chair_chucking/

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Vincent says:

    It’s not a question of pro or against (illegal) file-sharing. The measures that have to be taken to go after the people who file-share are way too invasive and go against our free and democratic world. Further more, you would have to go against your own customers. Recent studies show that (illegal) file-sharers of music buy 10 times more music online than others.

    Open Source is the way of the future imho.

  2. openbytes says:

    Hi!

    Measures? Lets remind ourselves that filesharers are effectively broadcasting their IP’s on public trackers. If I wished I could harvest 1000’s of them myself in a matter of minutes.

    It seems people are happy to do this until it backfires on them. Thats why they try to use PG2 and similar to prevent being caught.

    Deep packet inspection? If that was an issue with file-sharers at an ISP level, then I would suggest they change providers.

    Quote “Further more, you would have to go against your own customers.”

    That I suppose is true, but then certainly in the UK it can be done by proxy anyway (FACT). The x10 fact I beleive you are refering to was a survey that asked the question. I would doubt the honesty of someone who downloads copyrighted material without permission and also has an interest in seeing file-sharers left alone.

    Completely agree about FOSS being the way of the future, although I don’t think that would spell the end of proprietary either.

    1. Vincent says:

      That is exactly what I mean with invasive ‘measures’. File-sharing is not illegal, the content shared may be under copyright law. The fact you say you can harvest 1000’s of IP addresses is what I mean with invasive, no prove of illegal file-sharing at all. Copyright owners (almost non of them are the creators!!!) want to be law makers, as well as policemen and judges and want ISP’s to do the dirty work. This is my big concern talking about freedom!
      The 10x fact is something I can see around me. I know a lot of music lovers who want to buy the really good stuff as well as going to live gigs. They share illegal as well (me too), but it has made many people around me (myself included), bigger music nutters who spend much more money on music and music related products than a couple of years ago.
      To conclude, Open Source and Creative Commons will be the future and the big labels and studio’s will have to change to have a future of their own. Alienating your customers is not the way to go…

      (Hope my English makes enough sense, I am not a native speaker!)

  3. openbytes says:

    Quote “File-sharing is not illegal, the content shared may be under copyright law.”

    mm, not really. In the UK there is legislation under “Theft of Copyright”.

    Its fair to say file sharing in itself is not illegal…I download and share Linux, theres no problem there.

    Quote “The fact you say you can harvest 1000’s of IP addresses is what I mean with invasive, no prove of illegal file-sharing at all. ”

    Thats not invasive. Im not sure what OS or client you use, but I can monitor all the IP address in a swarm and the amount they are sharing, without the need of any specialist software…its not invasive its a default feature of most clients.

    Quote “Copyright owners (almost non of them are the creators!!!) ”

    Er we are talking about ownership. Just like if you bought the Mona Lisa…you didn’t paint it, but you would own it.

    Quote ” and want ISP’s to do the dirty work.”

    Im not sure I follow. The ISP’s can only start to enforce laws if its legislated by Government.

    Quote “They share illegal as well (me too), but it has made many people around me (myself included), bigger music nutters who spend much more money on music and music related products than a couple of years ago.”

    So why don’t you just use Spotify, We7 and the plethora of other streamed online music platforms. If filesharing was responsible for more purchases then we would see a correlation between the amount of buys and the amount of shares on a BT tracker. Fact is we don’t.

    Quote “and the big labels and studio’s will have to change to have a future of their own”

    Sorry thats wishful thinking at best in my opinion. Lets put music to one side for a minute and look at say COD or GTA. Where on earth would they get the required revenue from a FOSS project? The same would go for the movie industry et al.

    Great discussion by the way and theres nothing wrong with your English.

  4. Vincent says:

    ISP’s don’t want to enforce laws made up by the copyright industry, and they are right IMO. They will have to when the copyright lobby convinces enough politicians to change the law. They are winning ground as far as I can see.

    Maybe the big difference between our views is that I have a problem with copyright laws of today, even more with the copyrights laws of tomorrow. Copyrights on photo’s and the written word for more than 70 years after the death of the creator is ludicrous to say the least. The lobby is trying to make that even longer.

    Of course you are right saying people need to be paid fairly for their works, but for many years fairness had nothing to do with some of the copyrights owners and the big bugs they made, sometimes even by stabbing the creators in the back.

    I think we have to go back to the drawing board with the copyright laws.

  5. openbytes says:

    Quote “ISP’s don’t want to enforce laws made up by the copyright industry, and they are right IMO”

    Of course they don’t. In my opinion they are making money out of offering faster connections to customers and since its not their data thats being distributed, that, in my opinion is why we are starting to see some ISP’s starting to offer incredible speeds….

    Quote “Maybe the big difference between our views is that I have a problem with copyright laws of today, even more with the copyrights laws of tomorrow. Copyrights on photo’s and the written word for more than 70 years after the death of the creator is ludicrous to say the least. The lobby is trying to make that even longer.”

    Ok, so if you believe data is data (please correct me if Im wrong) whats your take on T-mobiles customer data being copied and distributed to other parties?

    Quote “Of course you are right saying people need to be paid fairly for their works, but for many years fairness had nothing to do with some of the copyrights owners and the big bugs they made, sometimes even by stabbing the creators in the back.”

    Probably very true, but its not up to the file sharer to fight their battles and certainly loosing the labels money by distributing material is not going to help anyone.

    Quote “I think we have to go back to the drawing board with the copyright laws.”

    I don’t think so. I think the answer to this is to license the ISP’s themselves. Make them responsible for the data that passes through their servers. Any civil actions from IP holders could be directed at the ISP instead of the user and that in turn would force the ISP’s to better regulate themselves and take the onus off the government.

    I am not for criminalizing the file sharer and I think the ISP’s need to start taking responsibility rather than offering faster and faster speeds (IMO) in the full knowledge of what they will be used for.

  6. Vincent says:

    You have a valid point regarding the ISP’s, but I don’t believe that will resolve enough for me.

    It’s more philosophy, but of course data = data. It’s all about how that data is used. I am all for privacy protection, so sharing the customer data of T-mobile is not something I applaud. I understand your point, the data = data argument works both ways. I don’t have a clear answer on that one.

    Fighting against injustice is up to us all, file-sharers included😉. I think file-sharing has helped to put the issue on the table, something that was long needed IMO.

  7. openbytes says:

    Quote “I think file-sharing has helped to put the issue on the table, something that was long needed IMO.”

    I think the music industry let the P2P tech slip them by and thats why they are now playing catchup. I don’t suppose we can blame them though since the BT protocol would not be something foremost in the minds of the music industry when it was first deployed.

    I think the problem is now that whilst p2p has grown in such a massive way, people are considering paying for material even more unacceptable and expensive, most people know how easy it is to get material for free and therefore see the price of the CD as even more expensive.

    ISP’s could wipeout mainstream filesharing overnight for the average user. Simply block the trackers. The average filesharer would not know how to get around that issue and maybe the reason BT is so popular is that its so simple to use (even for those with no IT interest/experience)

    Its been very interesting debating with you Vincent. I really do hope you return on other articles…

    Regards
    Goblin.

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