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Old 04-19-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
Barcey
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The future through the eyes of the MPAA/RIAA

When Amazon deleted ebooks from Kindles it appears that the entertainment industry thought, "What a great idea."

The EFF has published an article about their submission to the "Joint Strategic Plan" of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04...ystopia-future

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We're not easily shocked by entertainment industry overreaching; unfortunately, it's par for the course. But we were taken aback by the wish list the industry submitted in response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's request for comments on the forthcoming "Joint Strategic Plan" for intellectual property enforcement. The comments submitted by various organizations provide a kind of window into how these organizations view both intellectual property and the public interest.
Also from Tom's Guide

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/RIAA-MPA...news-6496.html

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Big Brother is watching you. Actually, it's the RIAA and the MPAA, especially if you're parked on a BitTorrent client. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that both organizations--along with a few others--want to take the file-monitoring process a huge step further by infiltrating consumer PCs and deleting the infringing content off their hard drives. How? Through "anti-infringement" spyware developed and enforced by the government.
I have an alternative solution. Why don't we just get rid of copyright? That will remove all the potential copyright infringing content from my computer too.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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I'm endlessly amused by the entertainment industry's notion that you can identify "infringing content" with a program. (And a bit worried, maybe, because the people making the ultimate decisions about this are possibly less technologically aware than my teenager.)

They can't tell the difference between "a copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard downloaded from the darknet" and "a copy of the same book that I scanned & OCR'd myself." And of course, they'd have trouble identifying the book in txt form, titled tobtb_jkr.txt, instead of a traditional ebook format. (They might have a scanner that looks inside the text document. *MY* that's a lot of wasted processing time. It takes quite a long while to view the contents of every text file on a hard drive--comparing them against an outside database would be an incredible drain on resources.

I have no idea how they think they could identify DRM-cracked content; the filename may not be the same; the filesize won't be the same; the metadata may-or-may-not be the same (and there's no crime or even infringement in having metadata that matches something else). I suspect what they want to do is visit the torrents, grab something popular, and scan people's computers for copies of that exact file; p2p networking requires identical copies to be most effective. (Filesharing services like Rapidshare & Megaupload don't, so people would start renaming & otherwise tweaking those files in order to prevent an exact match in case of digital search.)

Of course, they're only talking about "infringing" content that relates to professionally published, mainstream books/songs/movies; they're not interested in preventing infringement against small indie publishers or individuals.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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I have no idea how they think they could identify DRM-cracked content; the filename may not be the same; the filesize won't be the same; the metadata may-or-may-not be the same (and there's no crime or even infringement in having metadata that matches something else). I suspect what they want to do is visit the torrents, grab something popular, and scan people's computers for copies of that exact file; p2p networking requires identical copies to be most effective. (Filesharing services like Rapidshare & Megaupload don't, so people would start renaming & otherwise tweaking those files in order to prevent an exact match in case of digital search.)
I imagine hash functions would be a reasonable efficient way to look for infringing content and wouldn't pick up false positives like you mentioned. They could also have some form of digital watermark to look for.

Sure it would be possible to get around these systems by changing metadata or removing the watermarks but the point isn't to catch every infringer. I suspect a large proportion of people don't modify the files they illegally download. If you can detect some percentage of these people you might be able to scare them and others away from piracy.

The goal isn't to make piracy impossible (that'll never happen); the goal is to raise the cost of piracy relative to legal channels.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:08 AM   #4
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I am constantly amazed at why industry groups like the RIAA and MPAA (include the Agency Five as well) persist on antiquated distribution models. It seems they are either afraid of losing control or losing money (perhaps both)

For the last thirty years, movies for consumer purchase have carried anti-piracy warnings of some form on them. With video tape you could fast forward them, DVD's you are forced to sit through entertainment industry propaganda. Nothing new really.

If they bring themselves into the digital age and thus offer consumers more incentives not to download (such as cheaper DVD's/Blu-ray, streaming downloads and movie downloads), then perhaps things will change. But I fear not.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:08 AM   #5
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I would have to think accessing your computer would be illegal. First of all, I keep some banking and medical info on my computer and I am not sure I want Big Corporate being able to troll through it looking for Harry Potter ebooks. Second of all, I think the non-digital analogue action would be completely illegal (police randomly coming in and searching through people's homes without cause looking for stolen goods) so I don't see how the digital equivalent would be allowed. Think about it, if the police knocked on your door and said 'excuse me, but some people steal books and keep them in their homes, do you mind if we just come in and have a look for anything like that' you'd be on the phone to a lawyer ASAP.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:51 AM   #6
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Plus, of course, it would take about 10 minutes for the cyber-criminals who are way smarter than they are to get all that data...
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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It seems they are either afraid of losing control or losing money (perhaps both)
I suspect what they are really afraid of is that established creators will realise that they no longer need them, and can easily reach their audience by themselves the same way that a lot of new and upcoming creators are doing.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #8
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I would have to think accessing your computer would be illegal.
Of course. Hence the need to change laws.

They won't want to be searching every computer at random--they want the right to insist that upload/doc storage sites hand over their usage records so they can search the computer of anyone who uploaded or downloaded any file they find objectionable, and that any computer involved in P2P sharing is searchable.

No idea if they'd want, for example, Mobileread to hand over its usage records of who downloaded what books, to find out if US residents were downloading books that are public domain in Canada but not the US. (So far, it seems it's mostly the music/movies people getting into the laws; ebooks aren't directly on the radar right now.)
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:05 PM   #9
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No idea if they'd want, for example, Mobileread to hand over its usage records of who downloaded what books, to find out if US residents were downloading books that are public domain in Canada but not the US.
But even that is not something really fair to access a computer for. For example, if my American sister comes to visit me, stays in my house and uses my wifi to download an ebook onto her own laptop pr phone, then she could take the computer home with her, have the file in there, still be allowed to use it since she legally downloaded it here (the same way I could go to an American store in America, buy a physical object and bring it home with me to Canada). Just saying she has it on her computer does not mean she acquired it illegally.

Last edited by ficbot; 04-20-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:16 PM   #10
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But even that is not something really fair to access a computer for. ... Just saying she has it on her computer does not mean she acquired it illegally.
Noticed that, have you? That's what the EFF and copyfight activists are upset about.

The RIAA & MPAA don't want to "enforce copyright;" they want to monitor your every online action, and remove any content from your computer they don't like. They're certainly not asking for the right to monitor those computers *in order to file lawsuits* against copyright infringers; they want to take action without the hassle of going to court.

Of *course* they'd never go after your sister for downloading some ebooks while visiting a different country! They're not OGRES, you know! They only want to go after criminals!

Which they will identify by using software that accurately identifies unauthorized copyrighted material.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #11
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Which brings to mind a certain phrase about the road to hell and what it is paved with
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:06 PM   #12
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I think the "dream" future of publishers, record labels, movie studies etc. is one where super high speed internet is available to all and they can just sell access to all their content in streaming versions and not have many (or any) physical copies for sale.

Pirates would still capture streams etc., but they'd be happy to at least kill off the second hand market, loaning/borrowing etc.

It's seems all bad--but the older I get the more I'd go for it as I look at my shelves of DVDs/blu rays, CDs, books etc. that seldom every get touched as I just watch the latest movie I have from Netflix or listen to streaming music online or ripped MP3 versions of my CDs etc.

If we had super high speed and reliable internet, and Netflix has their entire collection available in streaming, I'd gladly sell/donate my 300+ movies so I could stream them in time I wanted for a monthly subscription fee. Same with my CDs if the internet was global wireless and I could listen to anything, anytime, anywhere.

And same for books since I seldom re-read anything. On that front I wish come company would come up with an e-book rental scheme so I don't have to buy e-books I'll read once etc.

In any case, back on topic, that type of digital streaming world is what I think publishers really salivate over as it gives them what they want--as much control over their content as possible.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:17 PM   #13
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If they do this I am installing True Crypt on my machine. They have no right to search my machine and decide what they think is in violation.

That said, I am pretty sure doing this would violate several of the bill of rights. (in the US).

BOb
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #14
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If they do this I am installing True Crypt on my machine. They have no right to search my machine and decide what they think is in violation.
Not to be a nitpicker, but I believe Truecrypt would be useless once you get what is essentially a trojan onto your computer. Mind you, you'd have to access your Truecrypt archive sometime to get the data...

This sounds like a debate we had not too long ago here in Germany. Google for "Bundestrojaner" if you're interested. (Basically, it amounted to searches done via the internet or such would be in violation of the constitution, IIRC.)
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:09 AM   #15
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Motion
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Recording
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Against
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Seriously though, I doubt that they would be able to get away with this. They can't search anyone's personal property without a warrant.
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