Tuesday, November 28, 2006

U.S. Official Presses China to Punish Piracy - New York Times

U.S. Official Presses China to Punish Piracy - New York Times: "“These are criminal organizations and one of the things they do is run a supply chain for illicit goods, pirated goods,” Mr. Gutierrez said during an interview on the second day of a four-day visit to China at the head of an American business delegation. “This is organized crime. One day it could be T-shirts, the next day it could be watches and the next day it could be medicines.”"

Hmmm...who are the bad guys again?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

flamingos: real, fake, real fakes, fake fakes, copied no more

Follow the pink flamingos cultural trajectory...

From The New York Times
November 17, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
In the Pink No More

Los Angeles

ON Nov. 1, just two months shy of its 50th birthday, the plastic pink flamingo went extinct. Or more accurately, it stopped reproducing, when its manufacturer, Union Products, shut down the factory in Leominster, Mass.

That’s sad news, but hardly surprising. The flamingo’s glory days were behind it. Union Products cited the rising cost of plastic resins and of electricity, along with financing woes. Yet while the bird reigned as an icon in the late 20th century, it was bound to succumb to the very different tastes — or the absence thereof — in the 21st.

In 1957, the flamingo that would become lawn-art king was invented by a young Union Products designer with the fitting name of Don Featherstone. Sears sold the bird for $2.76 a pair: “Place in garden, lawn, to beautify landscape,” the 1957 catalog read. Working-class homeowners readily planted it on their modest lawns — a nod to the marble or bronze sculpture on vaster properties — and art critics promptly pegged it as a prime example of the despicable spread of kitsch. In the 1960s, the suburban lawn flamingo — cheap, mass-produced, artificial and unusually neon pink — was widely reviled as the dregs of bad taste.

Which is exactly what John Waters loved about it. He made his breakout film, “Pink Flamingos,” in 1972, and to his delight the critics were outraged: “It’s like getting a standing ovation,” he said, “if someone vomits watching one of my films.”

In the 1970s, my rebel generation of middle-class baby boomers adopted the plastic bird to challenge the boundaries of high art and good taste. The gay male subculture made it a mascot, and in 1979 the student government at University of Wisconsin planted a thousand flamingos on the lawn outside the dean’s office. The bird had become a signpost for the transgression of social and cultural convention. And Union Products was reaping the rewards.

By the 1980s, flamingo-themed installations were appearing in avant-garde galleries. But the baby boomers were also carrying the flamingo in backpacks across Europe, and kayaking with it through the wilderness. The bird became the ultimate marker for crossing boundaries of every conceivable kind. By the 1990s, it had become a popular housewarming gift. In 1994, the “pink flamingo relay” at the Gay Games in New York featured a swim race and costume pageant. By 1996, you could mark a birthday by hiring the company Flamingo Surprise to plant 30 or 40 flamingos on the celebrant’s lawn the night before. And as Don Featherstone — by this point the president of Union Products — remarked proudly, “I’ve never seen a wedding cake with a duck on it.”

Which is why I’d peg the beginning of the end to the moment in the late 1990s when the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles began selling the Union Products flamingo in its gift shop. Or perhaps to the Sundance Film Festival’s 1997 celebration of the 25th anniversary of “Pink Flamingos.” Or — maybe — to the day in 1987 when Mr. Featherstone inscribed his signature in the original plastic mold, to distinguish the authentic fake flamingo from the knockoffs.

After 30 years of assaults on the cultural barricades, kitsch had become high art, and bad taste had become thoroughly acceptable.

An object that marks the crossing of borders works effectively only when the object transgresses boundaries a majority of people believe should exist. And in 2006, art is pretty much whatever you call art. The boundary of bad taste can be hard to find: decades ago, Variety called “Pink Flamingos” “one of the most vile, stupid and repulsive films ever made,” but film critics now hail the Farrelly brothers as auteurs and find “Jackass” merely annoying. And anyway, who actually knows what’s fake anymore?

The boomers’ children and grandchildren cannot possibly see a plastic flamingo lawn sculpture as outrageously funny or transgressive. My 15-year-old nephew calls it “lame.” My 16-year-old cousin says, “I don’t really think about it one way or the other.” The members of this YouTube generation will find their own conventions to challenge, but they will also have to find their own objects with which to do it.

My generation is beginning to retire, and our plastic flamingo has met its demise — officially the victim of oil prices, but really the inevitable victim of its own legitimacy.

Rest in peace, my pink plastic friend. It was fun while it lasted.

Jenny Price is the author of “Flight Maps: Adventures With Nature in Modern America.”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mixi, Japan’s Biggest Social Network - Mashable!

Mixi, Japan’s Biggest Social Network - Mashable!

Mashable discusses some of the differences between the Japanese social networking site Mixi and US-based sites.

One of the mmost interesting aspects of Mixi is the "social commerce" element

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tim Wu-How the Bell lobby helped midwife YouTube. - By Tim Wu - Slate Magazine

You Tube and the benefits of "Tolerated-Use"

How the Bell lobby helped midwife YouTube. - By Tim Wu - Slate Magazine

Does YouTube Really Have Legal Problems?
How the Bell lobby helped midwife YouTube.
By Tim Wu
Posted Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006, at 4:28 PM ET

When Google bought YouTube, the conventional wisdom—expressed in op-eds, newspaper articles, and scary editorial cartoons—was that they'd also bought themselves a whole heap of copyright trouble. The New York Times used the phrase "litigation-laden landmine." Part-time copyright theorist Mark Cuban warned that YouTube would face the same copyright fate as Napster.

There's only one problem with these theories: the copyright law itself. Under the copyright code, YouTube is in much better legal shape than anyone seems to want to accept. The site enjoys a strong legal "safe harbor," a law largely respected by the television and film industries for the choices it gives them.

But the most interesting thing is where all this legal armor protecting YouTube—and most of the Web 2.0 (user-generated content) industry—comes from. It's the product of the Bell lobby—Google's bitter opponent in the ongoing Net Neutrality debates. So, while YouTube may be the creative child of Silicon Valley, it is also, as much, the offspring of Bell lobbying power.

Back in the early 1990s, when the "information highway" was the talk of the town, Hollywood and the recording industry worked hard to make Internet companies responsible for any and all copyright infringement that happened via the Internet. Jack Valenti, Hollywood's chief lobbyist, warned that without congressional action, "the information superhighway … will collapse the great wonder of intellectual property." The recording industry, for its part, dispatched Johnny Cash to rhetorically link Internet piracy and, yes, a "ring of fire."

This summer, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, earned the bemused contempt of geeks everywhere when he described the Internet as "a series of tubes." But back in 1995, Hollywood was insisting that the Internet be characterized as "a bookstore." And a bookstore, unlike a series of tubes, breaks the law if it "carries" pirated novels. So too, Hollywood urged, Internet companies should be liable if they carry any illegal materials, whether the companies know it or not.

Had that view prevailed, there would probably be no YouTube today, and also no free blog sites, and maybe not even Google or Web 2.0. What venture capitalist would invest in a company already on the hook for everything its users might do? But, in one of the lesser-known turning points in Internet history, Hollywood never got its law. Its unstoppable lobbyists ran into an unmovable object: the Bell companies, who own those "tubes" over which the Internet runs. In the mid-1990s, fearing a future of liability, the Bells ordered their lobbyists to fight Hollywood's reforms, leading to one of the greatest political struggles in copyright history. (This paper provides a history of this and other struggles.)

Hollywood employs legendary lobbyists, like Jack Valenti, but when they ran into the Bells, it was like Frazier meeting Foreman. The Bells quickly put holds on all the legislation the content industries wanted. Telecom lobbyists like Roy Neel, a close friend of Al Gore (and later Howard Dean's campaign manager), went to Congress and began saying things like, the "copyright law threatens to put a damper on the expression of ideas on the Internet."

Facing stalemate, in 1997 the industries settled on a compromise: something called the Online Copyright Liability Limitation Act, which became Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (§512 of the Copyright Code). It is this law that makes YouTube worth paying more than what you pay for its videos. And its long-term effects have been enormous—you might call §512 the Magna Carta for Web 2.0.

Why? Section 512(c) of the law applies to "Information Residing on Systems or Networks At Direction of Users." In 1998, that meant Geocities and AOL user pages. But in 2006, that means Blogger, Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, and, yes, YouTube—all the companies whose shtick is "user-generated content."

Thanks to the Bells, all these companies are now protected by a "notice and take down" system when they host user content. That means that if Jon Stewart notices an infringing copy of The Daily Show on YouTube, Comedy Central can write a letter to YouTube and demand it be taken down. Then, so long as YouTube acts "expeditiously" and so long as YouTube wasn't already aware that the material was there, YouTube is in the clear. In legal jargon, YouTube is in a "safe harbor." Earlier this week, when YouTube took down 30,000 files after requests from a Japanese authors' group, that was §512(c) in action.

Of course, as with any law, YouTube's legal status might not be 100-percent airtight. The law suggests (in §512(c)(1)(A)(ii)) that YouTube might be liable if, in the absence of notice, it is "aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent." Also, YouTube provides a search, and maybe it could be liable for that. There might be enough to make trouble in the hands of a judge who really hates "that whole Web 2.0 thing."

But we may never find out. What's really interesting is that the content industry actually likes §512 more than anyone will admit. The notice-and-takedown system gives content owners the twin advantages of exposure and control. When stuff is on YouTube, the owners have an option. They can leave it posted there, if they want people to see it, and build buzz. But they can also snap their fingers and bring it all down. And for someone who is juggling her desire for publicity against her need for control, that's ultimately a nice arrangement.

Stated otherwise, much of the copyrighted material on YouTube is in a legal category that is new to our age. It's not "fair use," the famous right to use works despite technical infringement, for reasons of public policy. Instead, it's in the growing category of "tolerated use"—use that is technically illegal, but tolerated by the owner because he wants the publicity. If that sounds as weird as "don't ask, don't tell," you're getting the idea. The industry is deeply conflicted about mild forms of piracy—trapped somewhere between its pathological hatred of "pirates" and its lust for the buzz piracy can build.

But what about Mark Cuban's copyright argument? Why isn't YouTube in trouble in the same way Napster and Grokster were? The first difference, as indicated, is that Napster simply wasn't covered by the §512 safe-harbor law, and YouTube is. Napster wasn't "hosting" information at the direction of its users, but rather providing a tool for users to find and download predominantly infringing content. It may sound odd that Napster gets in more trouble for helping you find illegal stuff than YouTube does for actually hosting it. But that's the law and why YouTube should really, really thank its friends at Bell.

There may also be deeper differences. If the Internet were not a bookstore, or tubes, but rather a red-light district, YouTube would best be imagined as the hotel, and Napster, well, the pimp. YouTube, like a hotel, provides space for people to do things, legal or not. It's not doing anything illegal itself, but its visitors may be. But Napster, everyone more or less now admits, was cast as the pimp: It was mainly a means of getting illegal stuff. Right or wrong, we seem to accept the benign vision of YouTube as an entity which, unlike Napster, was basically born as a place to showcase stupid human tricks.

The upshot is, as YouTube goes mainstream, copyright's etiquette rules are becoming clearer. Yes, these sites can make it easier to infringe copyright. But so long as that's not the principal aim of your company, you have more breathing room today than you once did. And under the emerging regime, if you do cause infringement, you have to be nice about it and make determined efforts to stop it. Apple has learned that dance well, even as its iPods make swapping music all the more part of being American. And YouTube has, in turn, learned from Apple the early lessons of Napster: You can act out in cyberspace. Just don't be a copyright pimp.
Tim Wu is a professor at Columbia Law School and co-author of Who Controls the Internet?

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2152264/

Copyright 2006 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

Inside Google: YouTube Deals To Obtain Copyrights For Its Users � InsideGoogle � part of the Blog News Channel

Another perspective on the You Tube deals with media companies.

Makes argument that we're seeing a new copyright model emerging, one in which the owners of the copyright obtain rights for users. Communities build up around the owners of the copyright.

� YouTube Deals To Obtain Copyrights For Its Users � InsideGoogle � part of the Blog News Channel

The Mike Abundo Effect � Blog Archive � Comedy Central Back on YouTube

New Biz practices? Media companies sue then sign deals with YouTube.

The Mike Abundo Effect � Blog Archive � Comedy Central Back on YouTube

Automatic Meaning Discovery Using Google

[cs/0412098] Automatic Meaning Discovery Using Google

Automatic Meaning Discovery Using Google
Authors: Rudi Cilibrasi (CWI), Paul M. B. Vitanyi (CWI, University of Amsterdam, National ICT of Australia)
Comments: 31 pages, 10 figures; eliminated some typos etc. On pages 1-3 corrected Eq (1) and handcrafted horse-rider and by-with examples using now 10 decimal precision
Subj-class: Computation and Language; Artificial Intelligence; Databases; Information Retrieval; Learning
ACM-class: I.2.4; I.2.7

We have found a method to automatically extract the meaning of words and phrases from the world-wide-web using Google page counts. The approach is novel in its unrestricted problem domain, simplicity of implementation, and manifestly ontological underpinnings. The world-wide-web is the largest database on earth, and the latent semantic context information entered by millions of independent users averages out to provide automatic meaning of useful quality. We demonstrate positive correlations, evidencing an underlying semantic structure, in both numerical symbol notations and number-name words in a variety of natural languages and contexts. Next, we demonstrate the ability to distinguish between colors and numbers, and to distinguish between 17th century Dutch painters; the ability to understand electrical terms, religious terms, and emergency incidents; we conduct a massive experiment in understanding WordNet categories; and finally we demonstrate the ability to do a simple automatic English-Spanish translation.

Lost Moon landing tapes discovered | COSMOS magazine

Tapes found in Western Australia

Lost Moon landing tapes discovered | COSMOS magazine

Techdirt: If You're Going To Sue For Copyright Infringement, First Make Sure You Own The Copyright

Techdirt: If You're Going To Sue For Copyright Infringement, First Make Sure You Own The Copyright

Sean Hogan Vrs MPAA

Good Morning Silicon Valley: iTunes saves "The Office" from NBC-series-in-jello gag

Digital copies 'save' a show from cancelation.

Is iTunes a better indication than Neilson ratings? Could "My So called Life" have been saved?

Good Morning Silicon Valley: iTunes saves "The Office" from NBC-series-in-jello gag

Gathering to Celebrate Food Made the Old, Slow Way - New York Times

Seed saving at slow food festival, as reported in the New York Times

Gathering to Celebrate Food Made the Old, Slow Way - New York Times: "Seed diversity was another a rallying cry. “Every seed saved is a seed of freedom for the farmer,” said Vandana Shiva, a physicist and author from New Delhi and a leader of the anti-globalization movement. Her seed manifesto was in the hands of many people at Terra Madre.

Workshops explored the disappearing stock of seed varieties and the growth of seeds engineered to produce only one crop, which sends the farmer back to the large corporations to buy more each year."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Lost in Light � 8mm film to video project

Lost in Light � About: "This is a project about the 8mm film format. But 8mm is dead, you say? On the contrary! Not only is the format alive with innovation by filmmakers around the world, but hours and hours of Super 8 and regular 8mm film exist in attics and basements the world over—as home movies, educational films, works of art—that is slowly fading from the historical record.

We’re here to preserve that record before these films are lost, and to make those films available for viewing by the public and for use by artists seeking new, compelling footage. Lost in Light is a project devoted to preserving, showcasing, and celebrating films created on the small-gauge 8mm film format.

To that end, we provide free Super 8 and 8mm to video transfers to anyone who asks, in exchange for posting their video to the Lost in Light site and on the Internet Archive with their choice of Creative Commons licenses. In addition, Lost in Light includes articles and features by members of the filmmaking and film preservation communities, video tutorials for making 8mm films, as well as creative work, all with the goal of preserving and championing this important film format.

Lost in Light is a labor of love by Aaron Valdez and Jennifer Proctor. We are filmmakers who love small-gauge filmmaking, and we maintain this project at no profit to ourselves. "

Apple's iPod code 'cracked' - Digital Music - Gadgets - Technology - smh.com.au

Apple's iPod code 'cracked' - Digital Music - Gadgets - Technology - smh.com.au
From Asher Moses in the Sydney Morning Herald
Apple's iPod code 'cracked

Asher Moses
October 24, 2006
Cracked the code ... Jon Lech Johansen.

Cracked the code ... Jon Lech Johansen.
Photo: AP

The iPod has just had its fifth birthday, but Apple's celebrations may be cut short thanks to a 22-year-old Norwegian who claims he's cracked Apple's proprietary iPod-iTunes ecosystem.

Jon Lech Johansen, affectionately known as DVD Jon, garnered worldwide fame and notoriety when, at the age of 15, he cracked the encryption scheme used by DVD. This allowed for DVDs to be copied and played back on any device.

Now Johansen claims he's mastered the inner workings of the iPod and its FairPlay encryption technology, allowing him to remove many of the restrictions Apple places on its users.

Today, songs purchased from Apple's iTunes store can't be played on non-iPod devices, and, if you've bought songs from other music stores, the chances are you won't be able to play them on the iPod either since they use a form of copy protection that Apple doesn't support.

Johansen's latest company, DoubleTwist, has developed programs to get around these restrictions, and plans to license them to digital music stores that are looking to sell copy-protected songs capable of being played on the iPod.

Johansen's driving force is his belief that users have the right to listen to songs they have bought legally on any device they own.

"Today's reality is that there's this iTunes-iPod ecosystem that excludes everyone else from the market," he told Fortune magazine.

"I don't like closed systems," he added.

Specific details on how his programs work are as yet unknown, but it's understood that they trick an iPod into thinking it's playing an iTunes-purchased song by emulating Apple's own FairPlay encryption technology.

Unlocking the iPod-iTunes ecosystem is seen by many as a good thing for consumers, as it will most likely result in increased competition to the iTunes Store, possibly resulting in lower prices and a higher quality service.

DoubleTwist has already signed its first client, which it refuses to name. It remains to be seen whether or not other companies will license the technology, as it's possible they could be sued by Apple.

Johansen says that his new business is operating well within the law, because, rather than removing protection, his programs are technically adding copy protection.

"The law protects copyrights, but it doesn't keep you locked into the iPod," Johansen told Fortune.

Whether or not US law agrees with him remains to be seen, and may only be determinable in court since there are few previous cases that can be used as precedents.

A spokesman for Apple Australia refused to comment on this story, and would not confirm or deny whether or not Apple would be taking legal action against DoubleTwist.

Either way, Johansen doesn't appear to be concerned, as indicated by the title of his personal blog: So Sue Me.

Recording industry targets Aussie downloaders - Digital Music - Gadgets

My understanding is that the individuals who have been targeted by the music industry in the US were those who made files available for download rather than those who downloaded. Article is ambiguous about this.

It would seem an invasion of privacy and undue burdon if ISPs were asked to moniter and police the online activity of their customers.

Recording industry targets Aussie downloaders - Digital Music - Gadgets

Recording industry targets Aussie downloaders

Asher Moses
October 31, 2006
Chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, John Kennedy.

Chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, John Kennedy.

The peak body representing the interests of the world's music companies has issued a stern warning to Australians: obtain your music illegally and we'll get your internet provider to terminate your service.

John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), will be meeting members of the local music industry today to formulate a strategy around clamping down on people who download pirated music.

Mr Kennedy, who is based in London, arrived in Sydney on Sunday for the ARIA Awards.

He plans to first approach internet service providers (ISPs), urging them to terminate the contracts of those who obtain their music through illegal means.

"What we hope is our next step is to engage ISPs in performing a role in dealing with piracy online," he said.

Mr Kennedy added that the terms and conditions of most ISPs state that "if you infringe copyright they will disconnect you", but he said these provisions were "hidden further down".

If ISPs refuse to co-operate, Mr Kennedy said he would take his requests up to Australian politicians.

"We're saying to governments: 'If the ISPs aren't willing to do this on a voluntary basis, isn't this something you're prepared to regulate?' " he said.

To date, targeting individuals for music piracy has occurred mainly in the US and Europe.

Earlier this month, the IFPI launched 8000 lawsuits against alleged file-sharers in 17 countries.

The industry has up until now filed approximately 18,000 lawsuits in the United States and 13,000 in the rest of the world.

Mr Kennedy admits that the measures he has taking are "draconian", but said it was the only way to convince users to obtain their music legally.

"It's very hard to shift those who have got into the habit of taking their music illegally," he said.

"Free is very difficult to compete with.

"It would be wonderful to think that human nature is such that if you point out online piracy isn't a victimless crime ... this would be an awakening ... [for] consumers and they would suddenly go to consume their music legally. Life isn't like that, unfortunately."

In a recent report, the IFPI said global digital music sales climbed 106 per cent during the first six months of 2006, to $US945 million ($1.2 billion). This represents 11 per cent of worldwide recorded music sales.

But in total, music sales are down 4 per cent during the same six-month period, a result of lagging compact disc sales.

While his campaign in Australia "hasn't really started" yet, Mr Kennedy said that global support had been "close to zero".

But political support was beginning to ramp up, he said.

"When we first started the fight against online piracy, we were in a very hostile market. Media and politicians seem to be concerned about taking a draconian approach," he said.

"And then when we sat down and discussed it ... there was a sea change and they realised that if we didn't take action, then this industry, which provided employment and nurtured talent and helped local culture and delivered wonderful entertainment to consumers was going to fall to its knees."

Taking action at the ISP level is seen as the next step up from flagging the illegal use of copyrighted music on services such as MySpace and YouTube.

Today MySpace announced that it would use "audio fingerprinting" technology to block its users from uploading copyright music.

The company said users who repeatedly attempted to upload copyright music files would be barred permanently from the site.

remixes and current copyright law

Report on Legal Scholars Damien O'Brien and Brian Fitzgerald ponder the question of remixes and mash-ups under current Australian copyright law. Story refers to this paper: O'Brien, Damien and Fitzgerald, Brian (2006) Mashups, remixes and copyright law. Internet Law Bulletin 9(2):pp. 17-19.

YouTubers cut and paste at their peril - Technology - smh.com.au

From the Sydney Morning Herald
YouTubers cut and paste at their peril

Asher Moses
October 30, 2006 - 11:32AM

The days of anything goes on YouTube are over. If you're planning on using copyrighted content as part of your own creative masterpiece, you're more or less inviting legal action, says a new research paper.

The paper, authored by Damien O'Brien and Brian Fitzgerald of Queensland University of Technology, identifies "remixes" and "mash-ups" of copyrighted content as a critical factor that's been overlooked by the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, in his new copyright reforms, announced on May 14.

"We now inhabit a 'remix culture', a culture which is dominated by amateur creators - creators who are no longer willing to be merely passive receptors of content," the paper reads.

"The challenge for creativity and the economy of digital content production is the extent to which mash-up and remix artists should be allowed to borrow."

YouTube serves more than 100 million short video clips per day, which includes many from amateur film producers who use copyrighted material in conjunction with their own creativity to develop something new. Permission from the original copyright owners is rarely sought.

One example cited in the paper is a video remix from December last year, where a Perth group called Dean Gray uploaded a remixed version of Green Day's album American Idiot - dubbed American Edit - to the internet.

"Within days they received a cease and desist letter on behalf of Warner Bros and Green Day," the paper reads.

"Dean Gray is like many of a new generation of amateur creators. They can sit at home in the bedroom and produce the most wonderful things. Most often they do not want money. Merely, they wish to share the finished product with the world."

The paper poses the question: should Dean Gray (and authors of other remixes) pay for a licence, even if their clip is non-commercial and doesn't necessarily rob Green Day of album sales?

Under current copyright laws, unless permission has been given in advance through an open content licence, such as Creative Commons, according to the law the answer is "yes".

"The exclusive rights of the copyright owner over acts such as reproduction/copying, communication, adaptation and performance - unless licensed openly - by their very nature reduce the ability to negotiate copyright material without permission," says the paper.

The copyright reforms announced by Mr Ruddock do little to remedy the issue, which means legal action could be taken against Australian mash-up and remix artists, says the paper.

"There appears to be no provision for any fair dealing exception for mash-ups or remixes which are highly transformative, non-commercial derivatives that do not compete with the primary market of the copyright owner."

The legal implications of this could be felt sooner rather than later, having already surfaced in the US. It appears copyright owners are far more confident in taking legal action against YouTube now it has the weight of Google's substantive cash reserves behind it.

On October 20, YouTube removed no less than 29,549 videos that used material from Japanese copyright holders without permission. Six days later the site removed 1000 sports videos (including Australian Open Tennis footage), while on Friday YouTube removed all clips taken from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park, at the request of Comedy Central.

About the Author

Brian Fitzgerald
Law School, Queensland University of Technology

Professor Brian Fitzgerald
BA (Griff) LLB (Hons) (QUT) BCL (Oxon.) LLM (Harv.) PhD (Griff)
Head of Law School, QUT Brisbane Australia

Brian is a well-known intellectual property and information technology lawyer. He has published articles on Law and the Internet in Australia, the United States, Europe, Nepal, India, Canada and Japan and his latest (co-authored) books are Cyberlaw: Cases and Materials on the Internet, Digital Intellectual Property and E Commerce (2002); Jurisdiction and the Internet (2004); Intellectual Property in Principle (2004). Brian is also Project Leader for the DEST funded Open Access to Knowledge Law Project OAK Law Project, looking at legal protocols for open access to the Australian research sector. His current projects include work on intellectual property issues across the areas of Copyright and the Creative Industries in China, Open Content Licensing and the Creative Commons, Free and Open Source Software, Research Use of Patents, Science Commons, e-Research, Licensing of Digital Entertainment and Anti-Circumvention Law. Brian is a Project Leader for Creative Commons in Australia. From 1998-2002 Brian was Head of the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia and in January 2002 was appointed as Head of the School of Law at QUT in Brisbane, Australia.

Damien O'Brien
Law School, Queensland University of Technology

Damien is a research assistant with the law school’s Intellectual Property: Knowledge, Culture and Economy research program at Queensland University of Technology. Damien holds a bachelor of laws and a graduate certificate in international studies (international relations). His research interests include copyright law, internet law and other associated technology law issues.

The You Tube Comedy Central Purge

you tube purge reporting in mediabistro.com: FishBowlNY

mediabistro.com: FishBowlNY
This morning's New York Times reported that YouTube is "purging" copyrighted clips — from some of YouTube stalwarts like the Daily Show, Colbert Report and South Park — in preparation for the finalizing of its $1.65 billion sale to Google.

The Times, however, was relying on "'third-party notification by Comedy Central' according to one such e-mail message sent to a YouTube user, Jeff Reifman, who broke the news on the Web site NewsCloud." YouTube did not respond to the Times.

FishbowlNY spent about 25 minutes on YouTube this afternoon, and the news of an all-out purge seems to have been a bit premature. For instance, a user named "SouthParkSeason10" reports he "just recently got suspended," yet his "Director's Channel" page continues to play clips of the show.

A simple search for "south park" turned up 6,714 results — and not one of the handful of clips we checked [including the one above] had been pulled.

According to some users, it appears that clips under 5 minutes in were not removed. Those over 5 minutes were.

YouTube has yet to respond to FishbowlNY's e-mails seeking comment.

Posted by Dylan | 03:15 PM | TV

MySpace takes steps against copyright infringement - Los Angeles Times

Word of Mouth is every marketers dream. Yet My Space is taking steps against it in their attempt to prevent users from uploading copyrighted songs to their My Space pages.
Not only does this make their product less powerful for both users and marketers, but it also gives an advantage to their independent competitors who allow people to pass on the message their trying to convey and (hopefully) sell.

Reuters story as published in the LA Times
MySpace takes steps against copyright infringement
From Reuters
October 31, 2006

News Corp.'s MySpace.com said Monday that it had licensed a technology to stop users from posting unauthorized copyrighted music on the social networking website and oust frequent violators of its policy.

The move comes amid pressure from major studios and record labels against popular online sites such as MySpace and YouTube, which they accuse of infringing the copyrights of their artists' music and videos.

Santa Monica-based MySpace, one of the most popular sites on the Internet, licensed technology from privately held Gracenote Inc. enabling it to review music recordings uploaded by community members to their profiles.

The technology compares those filed with Gracenote's database of copyrighted material and can block uploads without proper rights. Terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Popular sites such as MySpace and YouTube are littered with copyrighted music and video posted by legions of users, who hope to share them with friends and strangers alike.

Both sites say they remove unauthorized copyrighted material when notified.

But MySpace, increasingly seen as a destination to see and hear music and video, will soon begin selling songs from nearly 3 million unsigned bands. It aims to eventually offer copyright-protected songs from major record companies.

Once Emeryville, Calif.-based Gracenote's technology is integrated into its service, users who repeatedly try to upload unauthorized music will have their accounts deleted, MySpace said.

YouTube, which recently agreed to be acquired by Google Inc., has similar aspirations to cash in on Web video use and protect itself from legal challenges.

EMI Group, Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment own about 75% of mainstream popular music. Most of this music is available on MySpace only for live streaming as a promotional tool.

MySpace was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for $580 million less than a year ago. It boasts more than 90 million active users.