Tag Archives: piracy

Implications of Kim Dotcom’s possible trial

From How Kim Dotcom, Aaron Swartz and Barbra Streisand shape the future of the IP debate:

So whether you’re a fan of Babs, or the whack-a-mole, the principle seems clear. Regardless of the outcome of a Dotcom trial, the act of trying to stop file-sharing only makes things worse. Content creators weary of lost revenue due to file sharing look like they’re on the brink of having to rethink their entire model for generating revenue.

Maybe the hacker credo,

Information wants to be free

is truer than we thought.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Kim Dotcom creates mega.co.nz

A kind of comic relief in the intellectual property arena was provided today by the introduction by Kim Dotcom of his new cloud storage website, mega.co.nz. Mr. Dotcom’s previous website, megaupload.com, was taken down one year ago by the American federal government, who claimed that it was a repository for pirated copyrighted content, such as movies.

Follow Mr. Dotcom’s Twitter activity: KimDotcom.

I almost forgot to mention — our federal government is attempting to extradite him from New Zealand.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

UK citizen may avoid extradition for US copyright infringement.

The U.S. federal court system has been trying to extradite 24-year-old Richard O’Dwyer, a UK citizen who has never been to the U.S., so that they can put him on trial for copyright infringement. tv shack logo The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (“ICE”) claims that his TVShack website violated US copyrights. In 2010 they seized his TVShack.net domain name and charged him with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years. The federal court has sought his extradition since 2011.

Last week Mr. O’Dwyer’s lawyers reached an agreement with the federal court which settles the matter without jeopardizing his freedom.

Mr. O’Dwyer hasn’t been convicted of any crime in either the U.S. or the U.K., nor is it clear that his website violated U.K. law, since it didn’t store content. It merely contained links to content. The site was not hosted in the U.S.; the domain was apparently registered with U.S.-based Verisign.

Wikipedia has an excellent article on Richard O’Dwyer. Its Legal objections section is worth reading:


Iain Connor from Pinsent Masons  said,

It appears that U.S. copyright owners are seeking to rely on the Extradition Act and the U.S. case law to secure a prosecution for the authorisation of copyright infringement by the provision of links to infringing content.

U.S. companies are likely to try and secure a conviction in the U.S. where they know that they could succeed on the basis of an offence of authorising copyright infringement . . . the only [U.K.] case where this was looked at was the ‘TV Links ‘ case” where it had proved unsuccessful.

The “U.S. companies” alluded to above are principally the RIAA and MPAA. Their business models are threatened by easy duplication of digital media. Can their business models endure? Read Both sides of the IP war gird for battle.

Mr. O’Dwyer’s mother writes a blog about her son’s extradition battle. It appears that his lawyers have asked that she say nothing more until the extradition order is withdrawn.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Both sides of the IP war gird for battle.

graphic: Editor at Large
But who will win the war?


he conflict over SOPA and PIPA is heating up. This is a symptom of the sea change that’s underway. I sympathize with both sides of the argument.

At one time, the reproduction of content (or “IP” – intellectual property) was very labor-intensive. Before Guttenberg’s invention of moveable type, to publish just one book required months of skilled labor. Apparently the aristocracy liked it that way.

As recently as the 1970s, to reproduce an audio recording was expensive and the result was imperfect. The Beatles took advantage of this fact when they decided to stop performing for live audiences c 1966. A couple generations of musicians have made fortunes by following that model. It’s not bad work, if you can find it: produce a single song once and collect royalties for the rest of your life.

The growth of cheap computing power and of the Internet has changed that. Now perfect digital copies of everything are fast, cheap, and easy to produce and distribute. This fact isn’t going to go away, regardless of the wishes of artists and their publishers.

I think that, in the long run, this will prove to be a good thing. But it is a sea change. After the invention of movable type and the production of affordable printed books, I’m sure that scribes and manuscript illustrators weren’t happy. Today, a similar obsolescence of irrelevant functions seems inevitable.

On the other hand, if cheap copies of movies will proliferate, who will invest in their production?

Maybe we’ll abandon recorded movies and music and revert to live theater productions.

What’s your opinion?

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Microsoft ramps up anti-piracy on Windows 7.

After this Tuesday’s update, your Windows 7 PC will periodically tell Microsoft whether it thinks it’s pirated or not.

This Tuesday, February 16, Microsoft will roll out an update to Windows 7 that will "phone home" periodically to report the validity of each Windows 7 installation.
Microsoft discussed this update last week. The update is numbered KB971033. This is part of Microsoft’s "Genuine Advantage" program, which has attempted to stop piracy of its popular Windows operating system. (I’ve read that Microsoft Windows’ largest competitor is pirated copies of Microsoft Windows.)

Microsoft calls this newest anti-piracy measure Windows Activation Technologies (WAT). If WAT determines that your Windows 7 installation is pirated, it will report this to Microsoft and, while not reducing functionality, will annoy you in several ways.

Here’s an informed discussion of this update: http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000681.html

I’ll bet that WAT will "catch" the poor shlub who purchases a locally-assembled PC from "a friend" who installs pirated copies of Microsoft Windows on his PCs. A large number of innocent customers fall victims to these unscrupulous PC assemblers simply because they don’t know that every Windows PC should have a Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) affixed to it.

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