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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

Big Copyright hinders innovation, part blah blah blah
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:21 am EDT, Apr  7, 2011

So, very likely at the behest of lawyers threatening to sue Google (because suing people because you want their money is The New Work), the music streaming app GrooveShark has been yanked from the Android store... where it's been for a year and a half without incident.

The likely reason? GrooveShark dared to not cut deals with every record label to pay them money every time someone listens to their own goddamn mp3s.

In yet another round of "instead of doing something new and innovative, we'll simply demand money from the people who are already doing something new and innovative" music record labels feel comfortable "selling" people mp3s, but since they can't get people to buy mp3s that pay them every time they're listened to, they'll demand anyone who makes something you use to listen to them pay the label every time a user listens to the mp3 they "bought".


Big Copyright hinders innovation, part blah blah blah

"Big Content" is strangling American innovation
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:39 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2011

Okay, so the Harvard Business Review is finally taking notice that big content providers are doing their best to prevent any new technology from entering the marketplace.

I think that's short-sighted of them to say. I'll say it more accurately.

Big content is doing their best to prevent any new technology from entering the marketplace unless and until they get a cut, preferably the lion's share of profits, and in some cases, even more than that. Nevermind that in all cases they've done nothing to invent or promote the technology, they just feel like they should be the ones to profit from it first and foremost, above all else.

One really shining example is the massive fees associated with "broadcasting" music online. Transmitter fees included, it's now cheaper to run a terrestrial radio station than it is to run an online streaming site by far, simply because the fees that online sites have to pay are massive in comparison to what a terrestrial radio station pays, and massive in comparison to almost any other market. That change spelled the end for a great many "web radio" stations, and is slowly strangling the life out of the rest of them.

Another great example is the recent s**tstorm Time-Warner incurred by merely attempting to facilitate streaming of a few channels that, let's face it, not that many people care about (I'm looking at you, HGTV.) to the iPads of customers of Time-Warner cable. The only thing this amounted to was Time-Warner attempting to provide a value-add to their customers by letting them watch some channels on their iPads in addition to their televisions, but HGTV (among others) threw a complete fit about it because basically... they weren't getting paid for that value-add.

Nevermind that they weren't being asked to lift a finger, promote it, or otherwise invest one single penny in it, nor did they have anything to do with developing the iPad app that would make it happen, or pay for the hardware or maintenance that Time-Warner was eating... They refused to allow it because they weren't getting paid more for something someone else was doing to make their existing viewers happier.

They didn't invent it, they didn't help make it, they didn't even concieve of it. Why should they be paid for it at all?

"Big Content" is strangling American innovation

Engaget on the CableCard debacle
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:22 am EST, Feb 11, 2008

Sure, the article is from 2005, but precious little (if any) progress has been made since then.

The cable industry seems to be hell bent on having a lock on viewer equipment in much the same way the DVD industry has a lock on DVD playback equipment. We could write letters about this to the FCC, but it's unlikely cable companies will do anything other than shriek "PIRATES!" on behalf of their corporate masters. On top of this, there doesn't even seem to have been a lessening on the bullshit provisions that would appear to require the third party appliances at the cable company's bidding do something as onerous as say, put more f**king ads on the screen when you're just trying to see what's on.

Me, I just want to be able to either get (and pay for) digital cable to use with my homebrew PVR, or have Comcast STFU about it every time I talk to them. So long as I have to suffer the insanity of using a firewire cable to change channels (and they're begrudging about even that around here) but not actually get the video through that medium, I'm not going to be using digital cable. It's really that simple. F**k your extra advertisements--I'm already paying a monthly bill. While we're at it, f**k the onerous restrictions they're trying to place on the system under the guise of preventing video retransmission and piracy--the actual cable and media thieves really haven't had much of a problem breaking encryption systems, so it's not like this is going to pose more than a miniscule slowdown for them. The real question people should be asking is why these measures are so clearly aimed at preventing people at home from recording a TV show and then burning it to watch again later, just like they've always been able to do with VHS tapes.

There really should not be a problem doing this.

Engaget on the CableCard debacle

The Corruptibles!
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:23 pm EST, Feb 10, 2007

This is a short video from the EFF about the music rights management industry's attempts to control everything.

This is cute!

The Corruptibles!

BPL Licence
Topic: Intellectual Property 6:07 am EST, Dec 12, 2005

Now *here* is a software licence I can get behind.

BPL Licence

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