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Posts tagged ‘internet’

The Piracy Battle – Two VERY different approaches

missed-the-boat

I found it interesting that on the same day that American producers were again renewing the call to battle piracy (although, unsurprisingly not mentioning the latest US legal judgement that a pirated download does not constitute a “lost sale” for calculation of damages… something I’ve long argued the MPAA and RIAA are using to cloak far more systemic problems with their respective business models) I was having a conversation with a couple of Canadian producers on Network Neutrality touching on similar issues (most of the Canadian ISP’s now looking to “shape” all that congesting BitTorrent traffic).

I’ll have much more to say on this as the Net Neutrality hearings at the CRTC heat up – but I wanted to share one of the key points that came out of my discussion that I’m not sure I had heard expressed with such crystal clarity before (and my apologies I can’t recall who actually made the point):

Without absolute network neutrality, content producers will never be able to provide legal content alternatives as effective as illegal ones.

Like the Napster/iTunes evolution, until a legitimate alternative exists which offers most of the benefits of the illegitimate one, you will never win the fight. And without true network neutrality, the capability to implement such a system would be limited entirely to those who own the infrastructure, essentially creating a new caste of “super broadcasters” to gatekeep access to audience.

One of the above discussions struck me as horrifically quaint, while one seemed refreshingly forward-thinking. Can you guess which one’s which?

(illustration via Education Week)

A few links on music blanket licensing

It’s been a busy week so forgive me if I lean on other sites for content:

Ars has an interesting article about Jim Griffin, a consultant for Warner, talking up “blanket” licensing for digital music. While this would seem to be a huge step in the right direction for a major label – like so many things – the devil’s in the details. Read more

Pssst… want to buy some unfiltered Chinese Olympic internet access?

In all the recent hooplah about China (gasp) reneging on it’s commitment to provide unfiltered Internet access for Olympic journalists, I’m quite surprised that more media outlets aren’t coming to the plate to publicaly announce that they’ll be circumventing any attempts made at censorship.

I suspect that it will come as a shock to absolutely no one that filtering the internet is almost impossible, and there are a wide range of public and private options to circumvent filtering. As well I know many (I suspect most) major media outlets use VPNs, or other secured on-line platforms to submit their stories… obtaining web content through this “protected corridor” would be trivial.

More interesting to me than the global hand-wringing going on (which gives the impression that the Chinese government has all the power in this equation) would be if more organizations would publicly come out and state that filtering web access based on URL or even content keywords would have absolutely no impact whatsoever on their operations, or their ability to access whatever information they want while in Beijing.

Heck, why isn’t a major news outlet vowing to take a stand and provide their own encrypted internet corridor for any accredited journalist who wants to use it while in Beijing? Then we’d have a story.

Perhaps, as Chris Matyszczyk posited at CNet the real censorship issue doesn’t start with the Chinese government, but with Western press reluctance to rock the boat.

[Edit 07/30/08 - Only hours later it looks like The IOC knew China had no intention of honouring their commitment - and even did a deal with them allowing this. While making the IOC seem unusually feckless, even by IOC standards, it doesn't change my underlying position. If the media is truly outraged, let's see them stand up and resolve the situation publically (instead of privately). I have no doubt they'd start getting tossed out of the country left and right, but it would be a lot more interesting to see the IOC try to worm it's way out of that situation with a "well we're only concerned about the sports themselves".]

What’s The Deal with Rogers DNS Hijacking?

It was discovered today that Rogers Internet has started a new practise (often called “DNS Hijacking”) that redirects you to a Rogers-branded pages full of advertising instead of a “Page Not Found” page when you mis-type a web address (or type a non existent web address).

Click on for a patented “What’s the Deal?” Breaking down what this is about, why it sucks, and why you should care. Read more