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Piracy The Internet

Copyright Common Sense From Telecom Ericsson 183

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from a story at Torrentfreak: "Entertainment industry lobby groups often describe file-sharers as thieves who refuse to pay for any type of digital content. But not everyone agrees with this view. Swedish telecom giant Ericsson sees copyright abuse as the underlying cause of the piracy problem. In a brilliant article, Rene Summer, Director of Government and Industry Relations at Ericsson, explains how copyright holders themselves actually breed pirates by clinging to outdated business methods. The most vocal rightsholder groups would ideally turn the Internet into a virtual police state, and at the other end of the spectrum there are groups that want to abolish copyright entirely.'"
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Copyright Common Sense From Telecom Ericsson

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  • easy to judge others (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cheeks5965 ( 1682996 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:09PM (#36636544)
    It seems that whenever someone has the solution for copyright problems, it always involves somebody else making sacrifices. no surprise, hmm?
    • One man's "solution" resulting in someone else's "sacrifice" is hardly unique to copyright problems.
      • its not even unique to 'solutions' in general.
        • by jhoegl ( 638955 )
          Dont make me go upside your head!
          See... the solution, to not make me go upside your head... involves no sacrifices.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Grave ( 8234 )

            Nonsense. You're sacrificing the pleasure that children would derive from you smacking him upside the head. Won't someone please think of the children?

        • I have a solution.

          And it doesn't involve any real sacrifice - just a willingness for Media companies to operate like other companies. "Satisfaction guaranteed or 100% money back." That way we consumers would not be stuck buying shit like Transformers 2 and no way to return it.

          Until that happens, I'll just keep downloading the DVDs illegally and screening-out the shit. I am sick and tired of throwing away my money on inferior crap, and the media companies laughing all the way to the bank.

      • A good compromise is when both parties are dissatisfied - Larry David speaking on Henry Clay
    • It's called both parties meeting half-way, a common mediation tactic.
      • by iksbob ( 947407 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:39PM (#36636798)

        Which sound reasonable, but assumes that both parties' demands are equally extreme. If one party's demands embody a fair and ideal solution, while the other's are off-the-deep-end bat-shit-crazy, meeting mid-way is going to result in a less than ideal solution, skewed in favor of the extremist party. Simply meeting in the middle would result in an arms race of making the most absurd and extreme demands.

      • by bieber ( 998013 )
        Considering that we've got hundreds of years of copyright extensions on the books pushed through by the media industries, no, a "meet half way" compromise is not acceptable. The original term of copyright in the US was less than 30 years, during which time an artist should be able to make enough off of their government-granted monopoly to make it worthwhile to invest their time and effort in the creation of their work. This was in the 1700s. In 2011, you can potentially turn a profit on your work in less
    • Sacrifices?

      RIAA and friends are calling downloader thieves. I'm going to say something that might not be very popular with the holier-than-thou types: pirating music from labels are members of RIAA, MPAA and their equivalents is an ethical obligation. Here is why.

      If I was born about 200 years ago, I could be reasonably certain that I could share art that I enjoyed as a teen with my own children, not to mention my grandchildren. My generation would have enjoyed this "privilege" as well. This has been stolen from us. They stole our public domain. Thanks to the lobbying of the movie and music industries and corrupt politicians, now we have a copyright extend beyond our own children's lifetime. Generations lost access to culture. And these people have the guts to call downloaders pirates?!

      I want RIAA, MPAA and friends to die. As soon as possible. I'm refusing to buy any music or movies published under their label. I'm more than willing to pay for entertainment by the way. I will buy Mass Effect 3 as soon as it's out. I'd support musicians who are experimenting with self publishing or services like Jamendo. But I would never pay for music when I know that about 70% of my money goes to thieves. Thieves that did the public HUGE harm - depriving generations from access to culture, be it music, literature or whatever.

      • No! Don't buy, don't pirate!

        If you download the media you're still endorsing the RIAA and MPAA. You're demonstrating that they're the ones creating the content that people want and you're still legitimising what they produce.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jnpcl ( 1929302 )

          If you download the media you're still endorsing the RIAA and MPAA. You're demonstrating that they're the ones creating the content that people want and you're still legitimising what they produce.


          The MAFIAA are simply Promoters, Publicists, and Producers. They do not Create.

          • The MAFIAA are simply Promoters, Publicists, and Producers. They do not Create.

            Er. What is it you think producers do exactly? How many producers have you actually met, let alone seen work?

            Let us also not set aside the fact that all artist royalties are collected by and pass through RIAA and MPAA members...

            • False, most artist royalties are collectid by and pass through RAA and MPAA members for those artists who signed with them in the first place
        • Not necessarily. That would only happen if you tell others about it.

        • No! Don't buy, don't pirate! If you download the media you're still endorsing the RIAA and MPAA. You're demonstrating that they're the ones creating the content that people want and you're still legitimising what they produce.

          I see your point, but most of the music I listen to are indies. Lounge music, nu-jazz, jazz, etc. I pay for that stuff whenever I can. Occasionally, I stumble upon something that's actually good and I want, but comes from a RIAA label. Look, RIAA is a fishing company. For every good artist they find they create nine crap ones - assembly-line celebrities, basically. And when you pay for that one good artist you are also supporting nine crap ones. That's a rotten business model - and choosing to pirate is still the more ethical choice.

      • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

        Yea, I know. You can't boycott a patent provider when you are infringing on their patents either. Buying music from a different vendor is easier though, and would be better IMO.

      • . I will buy Mass Effect 3 as soon as it's out.

        EA Games abuse their employees so seriously that I consider buying an EA title even stupider than paying for RIAA product. In fact, many game publishers treat their employees much worse than any RIAA label treats their artists. There are numerous articles and open letters from former EA employees out there documenting the fact that the pay sucks and that working the developers seven days and 90 hours per week are standard practice in the later stages of producing a game. The crunch time that often happens

    • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:37PM (#36636790)

      it always involves somebody else making sacrifices

      Not really. People who hold copyrights are not entitled to them, they are granted them by an Act of Congress. Resolving these problems in a way that is most beneficial for people (not the corporations pushing these laws) is only proper.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:38PM (#36636796)

      It's no surprise that such a statement doesn't come from one of the big copyright holders, it would be self defeating. I'm also not really so sure that they don't know themselves that the whole copycrippling is at the very least part of the copying problem. I'm also not so convinced that the goal is money. The goal is control.

      Having a resource that is abundant and easy to multiply is useless. Because the abundance and ease of multiplication makes the resource worthless. Supply and demand at work. Someone selling simple air (not something fancy like pure Oxygen or "clean" air, just the stuff that's all around us) won't make a big deal. And that's basically what the content industry has without artificial shortening of the supply: Thin air. With content protection and keeping it in artificial short supply (i.e. monopolizing the seller's position), they create value.

      Now, this makes inherently very little sense. If the whole ordeal only serves the purpose of driving people away from legally buying and only drives them towards copying, where's the gain? Where's the profit? Fewer people buy their stuff if they keep up this scheme. And I am fairly sure they even know that but have no choice.

      The reason is the shareholder value of their stocks. What's their "assets"? Basically, thin air. They have nothing. Nothing but content. Nothing but a commodity that is easily multiplied and hence worthless. If they now don't at least TRY to limit the supply, analysts might catch up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by westlake ( 615356 )

      It seems that whenever someone has the solution for copyright problems, it always involves somebody else making sacrifices

      Or, to put it another way, the "outdated business method" is to expect payment for something which cost $200 million to produce.

      Sacrifice takes many forms.

      Pixar can go producing amiable kid-safe titles like "Cars 2" with very little financial risk.

      It is the animated film with an adult intelligence and impeccable geek cred like "The Incredibles" and "Wall-E" that is in danger.

      • by hjf ( 703092 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @04:28PM (#36637228) Homepage

        Or, to put it another way, the "outdated business method" is to expect payment for something which cost $200 million to produce.

        It only costs $200 million to produce when it involves Big Hollywood Stars. Hollywood is to blame for creating a system that puts a handful of "cool" people that *need* to be in a movie to make it attractive to the people. People demand Megan Fox. Megan Fox charges you a few million to appear in the movie, the price skyrockets. Fuck that, Megan Fox is just a hot girl among the other 3.something billion women out there in the world.

        The RIAA method is the same. Just create a handful of Big Pop Idols and make shitloads out of their image, merchandise, endorsements, and maybe some of their music too. Pay a few million to shakira is less risky that pay a few hundred thousands to Nobodies, because promoting 1 shakira is easier than promoting 100 Nobodies.

        Do I care? No, I don't live in a big city. I never went to a big concert in a stadium. I don't care how big U2's show is this year cause I won't see it. And those huge, ridiculous shows are what the music industry is about. Does it matter to me if RIAA dies along with Shakira, U2, Madonna or whoever is at the top today? No. It doesn't change MY life. The death of RIAA would mean more music variety in radios (no RIAAman forcing you to play specific songs N times a day), and some expensive sound engineers (I think the term is "producer" in the music industry) "downgraded" to... sound engineers that get paid the same as any other working class guy. House prices in Beverly Hills dropping and thrift stores in Rodeo Drive. Oh noes! The losses!

        • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

          Personally, I always have considered movies and music as different. I mean, music is just sound, so there is no excuse for the cost of creating music to be that ridiculous. Movies are more complex though.

          • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

            But even in movies, having to pay stars etc. ridiculous amounts is still bad.

          • by hjf ( 703092 )

            Music is expensive not only because "big" artists have to be paid millions. It's expensive also because smaller artists become dicks pretty soon, and need to trave all over the world and record every different song in an album in a different studio. Now that they're a little famous, they need more expensive "inspiration".

            Movies are complex, but might find this [] a very interesting reading.

            Also: you don't need hundreds of millions of dollars to make a crazy blockbuster. The Blair Witch Project (if anyone even

      • Flag on the statement. ...the "outdated business method" is to expect payment for something which cost $200 million to produce... is not what the argument is.

        Most people will pay for media, legitimately, if they have reasonable access to it.

        In a global environment, there is a problem when the US gets Drama episode Season 1 Episode 7 June 1, and the EU gets it Sept 17. People would acquire it legally if they had a legal channel to it. Take me for example. I'd love to purchase DVD sets of Whose Line Is It

        • In a global environment, there is a problem when the US gets Drama episode Season 1 Episode 7 June 1, and the EU gets it Sept 17, 5 years later, with a shitty dubbing.


    • by paulsnx2 ( 453081 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @04:04PM (#36637038)

      Every solution to every problem forces sacrifices. Funny though how nobody wants a solution that makes THEM sacrifice.

      Every efficiency gain in technology sacrifices the products without that efficiency. Tech has seen it so much they take it for granted. Had the recording industry had to deal with the rise in value and the fall in revenue that technology companies have lived with, we would be buying whole libraries of music for use any way we would like to use it for a dollar and a quarter.

      Yes, tech HAS seen orders of value for price paid go up by a factor of 1,000,000 or more. I bought a computer for 1000 dollars in the 80's with 4K of memory, and I use a laptop today I bought for 600 dollars with 6 Gig of memory.

      Content just HAS to price its product to compete with reality, and the reality is that it doesn't cost as much to produce content, package content, and distribute content.

      It costs orders of magnitude less (how many, I don't know) to make their product and sell their product. Yet we haven't seen orders of magnitude cut from the price of content.

      It seems the only one allowed to sacrifice in the content game is the consumer.

      • Reminds me of a plot point from The Stainless Steel Rat for President ; one of the characters has the hobby of collecting universities [] - it's noted that the expensive part is travelling to other worlds, because the university itself costs a pittance and fits into a small data storage device.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Had the recording industry had to deal with the rise in value and the fall in revenue that technology companies have lived with, we would be buying whole libraries of music for use any way we would like to use it for a dollar and a quarter. (...) Content just HAS to price its product to compete with reality, and the reality is that it doesn't cost as much to produce content, package content, and distribute content. It costs orders of magnitude less (how many, I don't know) to make their product and sell their product. Yet we haven't seen orders of magnitude cut from the price of content.

        By that logic, books should be the price of paper and ink. That somebody spent a few years writing that book doesn't matter. That somebody took the risk and fronted the cost so the author got published and carried the cost of the flops doesn't matter. If you want libraries of music for a dollar and a quarter, what does that leave the artists? Fractions of fractions of a cent, a guitarist couldn't even afford strings. True, a few things have gotten cheaper but the total cost of releasing an album is still no

    • by Dan667 ( 564390 )
      Valve's Steam show what happens when you update your business model. Everyone knows there are almost no distribution costs so you can periodically deeply discount your products and you actually make a lot more money than keeping them priced high all the time. In fact, after the sale after products return to regular pricing Valve says they see a sales increase then too. So if by copyright holders sacrificing by missing out on huge boat loads of cash for clinging to outdated business models and trying to g
  • Let's hope that if enough of those with different interests to RIAA-like scum, and with full wallets to actually persuade the important folks up there will hold opinions like this, the situation will begin to change
    Telecoms are quite the profitable enterprise and copyrightists are slowly beginning to step on more and more toes in their mad race for more profits.
  • yup (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Far too often the pirated product is the superior product.

    • Re:yup (Score:4, Informative)

      by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:41PM (#36636826)

      It is sad, but there are a lot of cases where this is the truth:

      DVDs -- disabling the PUO crap, so one doesn't have to sit through 45 minutes of previews for movies that flopped.

      Games -- playing games that will not activate because the activation servers have been taken offline, or continuing to play a game after a video card was changed out, and the game will not activate.

      Applications -- being able to continue use of a program even after hardware has been changed (RAM upgrade).

      The best DRM for games is the simplest -- have a serial number to access multiplayer servers. This worked for almost a decade for NWN1. It keeps the freeloaders at bay, while ensuring that legit users have as good a gaming experience as possible.

    • It always is in the presence of copy protection. Content is the only product where a "stolen" good is more valuable to its user than a purchased one.

      When I buy a car, a TV, a computer, I get first of all warranty, something I will not have when it "fell off a truck". I will also have access to some kind of support if I have a question, I might even get someone to set it up for me for free from the store (or deliver it at least), I might be eligible for some additional goodies that come as part of the deal,

    • Indeed. There's a Blue Ray disc out there. It's got a movie on it I want to see and it comes with a bunch of features I don't care about and it's in a format (on this funky disc) that I find troublesome. So someone rips that movie off of that disc and turns it into an mkv file. Now I can watch that anywhere I can make an mkv file play. I can feed it to XBMC because it's only a few gigabytes in size (but still looks great to me) or I can feed it to Handbrake and turn it into an mp4 that my iPod likes. Blue R
  • by willoughby ( 1367773 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:35PM (#36636772)

    I'm eager to see if Sony (as in Sony/Ericsson) might have a response to this.

  • by bmuon ( 1814306 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:36PM (#36636776)

    This week the online community managed to get the attention of the lawmakers in Argentina and paused the approval of a law that would instate a private copy levy on MP3 players, CDs, DVDs and even hard drives. This law would be similar to the ones already in place in Europe and that are being contested by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

    Those of us who got informed in time were able to watch the session of the Congress during which the proposed law was presented and different groups that represent copyright holders (record labels, filmmaking producers, etc) expressed their views about it. Many representatives of these groups were over 70 years old. By repeating phrases such as "artists have a right to make a living" they were continuously showing that they have no grasp of the current market. It was clear that most of them were there to be shown in camera and to be certain that their groups got included as recipients for the levy. There were no dissident voices, not one member of Congress or representative of technology groups that expressed arguments against the approval of the law. In fact, the only congressmen present were "ready to approve the law tomorrow" as one said.

    Lobbying at its finest.

  • Physics.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paulsnx2 ( 453081 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @03:52PM (#36636930)

    ...As capacity on networks and hard drives increase exponentially , sharing is going to expand.... exponentially.

    Once upon a time, it would have been idiotic to claim that anyone that might hear a song as they walk down the street should pay a fee to do so. Content is increasingly moving through the population much faster/easier/pervasively than the sound of a performance. How the heck can anyone expect every transfer of content to result in a payment to multiple parties?

    Oh, you would like EVERY SONG EVER RECORDED in the 1900's? Indexed? With reviews? Here, make a copy of this [ some future tech memory flavor ] card. You don't think that will be possible? You are not paying attention.

    Copyright NEEDS to go away. It only exists to promote the production of content, and there isn't a shred of evidence that content is promoted by copyright today. There is every evidence that content is HINDERED by copyright.

    I would like to podcast my Church's services. Can't, Copyright
    I would like to listen to any radio station in the world over the Internet. Can't, Copyright, Broadcast right
    I would like to toss my cable subscription in favor of streaming shows. Can't, Copyright and License restrictions.
    I would like to record the occasional HD broadcast (given I have to have cable). Can't, Copyright and License restrictions and broken DVR by AT&T
    I would like to listen to a book read to me while I drive from my Kindle. Can't Copyright

    And even as I say I can't have all these things, really I can by just downloading what I want into the appropriate application. Today. Without any permission to do so from anyone.

    And it is just going to get easier.

    Content will be produced even without copyright, because content drives attention, and attention drives sells. Sells of what? Anything. Everything.

    And people will ALWAYS pay modest amounts for packaged content. Because they are buying "ease of use", and "time". Why spend hours collecting and organizing pirated content when I can buy content already collected and organized? But mostly we CAN'T get our content packaged the way we want because of copyright. Because Big Content wants the past to continue. We pirate because we can't buy content at prices we can afford, and can't get it in the form we want to consume it in.

    Big content wants to swallow the reductions in cost provided by the Internet (Little distribution costs, no manufacturing costs, no retail costs) but collect the same level of revenue on every sell. They want NOBODY else to make a dime. They want it all, mailed to them with a kiss, without providing any value to the consumer. Sorry, but that isn't the way it works.

    Big content wants to make us all criminals by making content effectively illegal in the ways we want to consume content, unless we pay, and pay big. Higher prices even as the magnitude of available content explodes? How does that work with Supply and Demand? Oh wait! Copyright ISN'T about Supply and Demand, but how much Government Granted Monopolies can make the population pay for their content!

    If you dig conspiracies, then Government wants the consumption of content illegal so they can be bigger, and can selectively put people in jail they don't like, and to suppress free speech, and as an excuse to exert more and more control over the population as a whole. If you don't care for conspiracies, then our politicians just want the contributions from Hollywood. Either way is bad for the common man.

    We need to vastly cut back copyright, or accept that any of our children will have their future selectively demolished over copyright should they cross someone that doesn't like them. We need to cut back copyright unless we accept a desert of legal content in an ocean of available content. We need to cut back on copyright unless it is okay to censor the Internet and censor free speech and silence the citizens because some copyright might be infringed upon.

    This is a rant. Yes, but it is also the truth.

  • Sony Ericsson launches a boot loader unlocking program for their Android phones (and launches the pretty sweet xperia line). And now Ericsson takes a non facist stance on copyrights.
    I don't know who kicked some sense into those companies, but whoever it was; thanks!
  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @04:14PM (#36637126)
    I don't respect copyright any more than I worry about sodomy laws when I sleep with my wife or think of the sabbath when I buy alcohol on Sunday. At the very beginning of this "era" of copyright holders versus consumers I started with a simple idea. I want files. I don't want to buy anymore tapes, records, discs, mini-discs, or anything else the content owners can think of. I want files.I want to buy things once and be able to use that one purchased piece of music, television show, movie, e-book, whatever on any device I please. To me that's the whole point of this excercise. I can certainly see how the content owners don't want to give up their model of selling you the same shit every few years when your copy wears out or the technology changes but once we get to "files" that shit comes to a screeching halt. The way the content owners have fought to control what people do with the content has in my opinion created the environment we live in today. Now consumers resent that control to the point where they'll ignore the law without reservation to get out from under them. Appeal to us on the basis of "but you're stealing this artists work" and we don't care. The people accusing us if stealing from the content creators are themselves epically famous for fucking those creators out of every penny they could. I think the record labels, movie studios, game companys, and publishing houses have made things the way they are and I think that it all must eventually change if anyone is to continue to make money in these businesses. You can copyright something if you like. That doesn't mean you're assured of being able to profit from it. You need a market for it and you have to find a price point that market will accept. The $5 games you see in the iTunes store, the $1.29-.99 songs that are no longer tied to an album of material, and the $1.00 movie rentals of today could have probably headed off a lot of this if they'd appeared on the scene back when this all seemed to start with (roughly) the arrival of napster. I guess the tipping point was on them before they knew it but even today they fight to hold on to the kinds of profits they've come to expect. I'm sorry, they just aren't going to be there anymore.
  • Slashdot posts a lot of these articles legitimizing the pirate way. Be careful of getting into the echo chamber, because a lot of sites won't give you the story from the other side. First of all, I can't even figure out what the article's author is talking about. There's plenty of places to get stuff off the internet via legal means. You'd think that this article was written 10 years ago - before channels started streaming their programs on the internet, before iTunes, before internet radio, before Amaz
    • by jools33 ( 252092 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:30PM (#36637728)

      The article is written from a European perspective. I live in Sweden - if I want to watch a televised game of rugby from the UK - the only way that I can do this is to connect to an "illegal" p2p stream. There is no rugby at all on Swedish TV - not even 5 minutes a month. The reason is that the rights holders refuse to allow the distribution of the games outside of the traditional catchment pool that they know they can sell to. They are not interested in selling to a small expat audience in a foreign country. Its artificial border like restrictions like these that he's writing about. Ask why is the BBC restricted solely to the UK? - and everyone in the UK will answer - because we have to pay the licence. Why not allow a licence across Europe though? Why artificially control the audience without providing any legal means to view the content to those you chose to leave out? The result is that the BBC content is widely pirated.

  • It's a brain-dead suggestion, but why can't YouTube have a "buy this track" button, and sell the music shown for say 50p or so. I'd buy tons of stuff, stuff I'd never have a chance of buying through any other means. I want convenience though. One or two clicks, and be able to save it as non-DRM mp3.

  • In the late 90s, when Napster first burst on the scene I sided with the rights holders. Now I'm mostly on the other side. Why? Because of the disproportionate punishments meted out, and the larger problem of corporations buying laws (e.g, Sonny Bono extension act).

  • who think every rusty scrap they have is worth 1000x what it is actually worth and get angry that no one wants to buy it.
  • If you want to consume media, then media has value.

    And if that media has value, you should pay.

    Stop being so hypocrite. Please.

  • I enjoyed the eloquent phrase "Digital Iron Curtain" in TFA. So right.
  • []
    "It may prove difficult in the short term to reduce the term of copyrights which have already been extended. Also, the forces pushing perpetual copyright are strong. However, there is another route, which may be easier, employing the concepts of Aikido -- moving with the strong force and redirecting it in a better way. Rather than fight to reduce the maximum term of copyrights, consider that existing and future copyrights could be taxed annua

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel