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Why Google, Bing, Yahoo Should Fear ACTA 290

littlekorea writes "US intellectual property law expert Jonathan Band has warned that Silicon Valley's search engines, hosting companies, and e-commerce giants have much to fear from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, negotiations for which continued in Switzerland today. The fear for search engines in particular is the erosion of 'fair use' protections and introduction of statutory damages, both of which could lead to more copyright claims from rights holders." The article links a marked-up ACTA draft (PDF) that Band and a coalition of library organizations and rights groups believe is more balanced. Quoting Band: "Our high-level concern is that ACTA does not reflect the balance in US IP law, [which] contains strong protections and strong exceptions. ACTA exports only the strong protections, but not the strong exceptions."
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Why Google, Bing, Yahoo Should Fear ACTA

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  • by easterberry ( 1826250 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:02PM (#32734000)
    the problem with this sentiment is that I have (many) friends who, because they can, allot 0 dollars for entertainment and download every movie, song and game they want from the torrents. They then use that 100-200 dollars that would otherwise have been entertainment funds to buy more pot, better brands of cigarettes or a better brand of beer/beer at a more expensive bar depending on their preferred method of intoxication.
  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:06PM (#32734068)
    You make a very good case, but you miss one very important point. As the record and movie companies have increased their emphasis that downloading unauthorized copies of their products is illegal I have decreased the amount that I do it to the point that I no longer do so at all. At the same time, I have also decreased the amount of their product that I buy, which has also reached zero.
    My failure to buy is not because I cannot afford to. It is not because I don't want to give my money to such jerks. It is because I just can't be bothered to find out whether the product they are selling is good enough to spend my money on.
  • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:31PM (#32734414)

    ACTA highlights the fundamental problem with politics (in the U.S.) today.

    Implying that only the US is the driving force behind ACTA. This would be false. The Japanese and their conglomerates are just as much pushing for ACTA as any corporation in the US.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:45PM (#32734616) Homepage

    Nope. The problem is that they spend the $200 on their iPhones or DVDs.

    DVD sales are up, cinema attendence is continually breaking records, Apple is selling millions of iPhones ... something has to give, and that 'something' is the thing which is easiest to copy/get for free, ie. music.

    I do agree 100% with the sentiment that even if the RIAA gets every law and every copy protection it can possibly dream up it won't make any more money than it's making now. People aren't going to put down their iPods and stop going to the cinema with their friends just so they can have another CD on their shelf.

    OTOH ... the world will be a far worse place to live in if we let them do it.

  • by Andrewkov ( 140579 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:48PM (#32734672)

    As you get older you care less and less about the latest movies and music.. That might explain your change of behavior more than anything else.

  • Re:Fuck Them All (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:12PM (#32735014)

    1. Copying a file is not theft. I do not deprive the original owner of the property which I am taking, therefore nothing is lost, therefore there is no crime. If somehow downloading a file made it disappear from the host machine, I could see theft being a valid argument.

    Actually, it is theft. The fact that you made the copy is irrelevant, because that copy belongs to the rightsholder (in a nutshell, this is all copyright really is). By not rendering it up to them, you have stolen it.

    2. Prices are going far beyond the worth of the materials they are asking me to pay for. Value should be computed based on what people are willing to pay for a particular item. By this logic, if trends are any indication, digital music and video files should be free or nearly free.

    With significant numbers of people still being more than willing to pay reasonable prices for physical copies and downloads from legitimate services, there's a lot of evidence that the prices do indeed reflect the value of this stuff, and that you are simply being cheap. Theft is not a valid alternative.

    3. The proceeds from sales of these items does NOT go to the people who produce it. Instead, there is a cartel of corporations with no real product to speak of who collect a majority of the money paid for these items, just to police and enforce future payments on the items. This sounds ludicrous to me and I don't understand why it's allowed to continue.

    Here you have a point, and this is indeed a problem. It is not, however, indicative of fundamental flaws in the system.

    4. It is often easier to get and use products illegally for free than it would be to purchase them legally, even if I was inclined to pay for them. The Pirate Bay is much easier to use than the Adobe store. It's easier to use than iTunes as well, and I don't risk the exposure of my personal information either.

    Convenience is not a valid reason to steal. Also, I strongly question your ridiculous assertion that TPB is actually easier to use than iTunes: it sounds like a thin rationalization that is far too easily debunked.

    5. The supposed value of these items is far beyond what I am capable of paying for them. I do not have $700 to spend on the CS4 Master Collection, nor $7000 to spend on Maya 2010. I am a poor college student, and suing me for downloading music isn't going to help me afford paying for it in the future.

    This is your problem, not theirs. You are not entitled to their products for free. If you can't pay now, save up or go elsewhere.

    6. The tactics used to police copyright are nothing less than bullying. The corporations with executives making tens of millions of dollars a year suing housewives and college students does not sit well with me, and therefore I will do everything in my power to defy these people and cause them problems.

    While I agree with you that they are using bullying tactics and need to be smacked down for that, your petty rationalizations using class warfare have no basis in any form of reality, and deserve no respect. Come up with a more valid argument, and then we'll talk.

  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:31PM (#32735288)
    I'm not sure if I buy that logic. When I was a younger man (I'm 29 now) I used to go out to bars with my buddies and try to work up the guts to talk to girls. We'd hit the casinos, bars, clubs, basically any place that stayed open past nine. After the alcohol fueled haze that I like to call grad school I've found myself staying in more often. Hell, this past weekend the only thing I did was take a nature hike with my girlfriend before we made dinner and had a DS9 marathon. My movie and TV consumption has generally gone up as a function of age, although I'm happy to say it still isn't a fraction of the time most Americans spend in front of the TV.
  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:34PM (#32735350) Homepage

    I feel that if they managed to get the torrent sites shut down...

    I'm not sure they can. They've been trying for the last ten years and the site just went offshore.

    If they sue enough users and/or get enough Internet connections disconnected, another, more encrypted, less trackable system will spring up to replace the torrents. It already happened three or four times - Napster, eDonkey, Gnutella, etc. were all replaced by newer, less lawyerable protocols.

  • by ParanoiaBOTS ( 903635 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:42PM (#32735470) Homepage
    This study actually correlates purchases and piracy:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/apr/21/study-finds-pirates-buy-more-music [guardian.co.uk]

    The rest of these articles link back to the studies they quote. They are basically information that states how piracy has actually helped industries to make money.
    Piracy is good:
    http://www.mindjack.com/feature/piracy051305.html [mindjack.com]
    http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/internet-piracy-is-good-for-films-1 [moreintelligentlife.com]
    http://torrentfreak.com/why-most-artists-profit-from-piracy/ [torrentfreak.com]
    http://www.thebookseller.com/news/99958-toc-piracy-may-boost-sales-research-suggests.html [thebookseller.com]
  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:52PM (#32736540) Homepage

    They probably cost them about as much as the home cassette recorder cost them in the 1980s. WHen I was a student twin tape decks were the norm and most people had shelves stacked high with copied tapes in their dorm rooms.

    They weathered that one by ... offering consumers something much nicer, shinier, and more convenient, ie. CDs. CDs were expensive but people bought them anyway because they were desirable.

    So...it's not just about money and getting things for free, it's about convenience and desirability.

    Right now the pirates are offering a service which is both more convenient *and* more desirable then what the RIAA is offering, ie. no DRM to prevent you playing it wherever you want to, you don't have to have a full album, just the song you heard on the radio, you can edit your current 'mixtape' in seconds, etc.

    Apple is listening to what consumers really want (ie. iPods and immediate access to *everything* with listen-before-you-buy ability) and they're doing Ok.

    The stick-in-the-mud RIAA with its shops full of 1990's-era, mostly-filler CDs? Not so much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:14PM (#32736878)

    Here's an excuse: if you're young and don't control the credit card yet.

    Remember the Humble Indie Bundle? I could buy a bunch of nice games for.. one friggin' cent, if I wanted. But I was thinking of giving five bucks, perhaps ten.

    So I asked mom for the credit card.

    "Do you think money grows on trees? Just pirate it."

    Fucked up, eh? And that from someone who often gives to charity!

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @06:14PM (#32737756) Journal

    Actually - only the sucky games drop below $5 (new). Greatest Hits games usually hang-around $20. Look at Final Fantasy 7 - been out for fifteen years and yet still sells for $19.99 new.

    I avoid downloadable games. Why? You can't resell them and recover your money, after you finish playing them.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp