@perstrombeck: Having a Bubble Bath or Why the “Buried” Piracy Report Got It All Backwards

[Editor Charlie sez:  Maybe the report was buried because it was an expensive embarrassment, results oriented, left out important data and was policy laundering?  And why was it only just discovered now that the European Commission fined Google $2.7 billion?  Here’s a tip–if something seems like bullshit, it probably is.]

Conventional wisdom says if you pour cold water into a hot bath, the temperature of the bath water will fall. New research, however, challenges this outdated view. That’s right: I was having a nice, hot bubble bath and decided to do a scientific experiment. So I opened the cold water tap and let it run into the tub. After ten minutes, I measured the temperature and again after fifteen minutes. To my surprise, the temperature was the same both times! It felt strange, because I was freezing, but you can’t argue with research. My experiment shows that pouring cold water into a hot tub does not decrease the water temperature. I thought about writing a 300-page report about it, but the government would only bury it.

You guessed it, I’m not really talking about bathing but the supposedly buried report that says piracy does not hurt legal sales. This idea is one of the pirates’ favourite daydreams. The recently leaked report adds to the daydreaming. I read the 307 pages so you wouldn’t have to. The mistake is on page 74. The claims go against established research, empirical evidence and common sense. The reason for the misleading conclusion is method problems (intentional or not, your guess is as good as mine).

Read the post on Netopia

Jack Morse: The secret, illicit [piracy] underside of Google Drive

 

[Editor Charlie sez:  From the “Stop Me Before I Infringe Again” Dept….]

Turns out that Google Drive is a whole lot less buttoned up than you may have thought.

The file-sharing service typically associated with spreadsheets and office life has a dirty little secret, and it’s one that our Mountain View overlords may not be so stoked on. Namely, the service is a haven for illegal file-sharing.

The offending goods reportedly include both your standard video files as well as a unique twist on the file sharing MO: Instead of uploading entire movies or shows to Drive itself, people are dropping in scores of unlisted YouTube links.

 

Essentially, the idea is that unlisted links are less likely to be spotted by automated systems crawling for this sort of thing and are therefore less likely to be pulled. Putting a collection of those links in one Drive and sharing it over social media is like passing around a secret phonebook containing the listings for all your favorite pirated content.

Read the post on Mashable

Search Working As Planned: Google Handles a Billion Piracy Takedown Requests in a Year

Read the fine print: “Of the 1,007,741,143 takedown requests received, 908,237,861 were removed from search results.”  So Google did not remove 99,503,282 infringing links.

I wonder how much traffic Google derives from a billion takedowns?  Or the 99,503,282 they don’t take down?  This is how Google messages their pathetic record on piracy…”but we took down 90%!”  Don’t be deceived by Google duplicity.

As the biggest provider of search results on the Internet, Google receives a constant barrage of requests to remove content from its results. Some of those requests come from governments, but the majority are submitted by copyright owners very keen to stop their work from being pirated.

Read the post on PC Mag.

 

@Aditya Bhat: Is Google about to launch the largest torrent search engine ever seen?

[Editor Charlie sez:  In their hearts, they know they are criminals…Let the RICO games begin!]

After years of catering to copyright holders and their increasing demands, is Google about to go rogue in sheer frustration? According to a report by TorrentFreak, 2017 could well be the year Google throws its toys out of the pram, raises the Jolly Roger and takes to the digital seas in anger by launching its very own mega torrent search engine.

Over the last decade the copyright industry has been baying for pirate blood and have badgered Google for far broader search engine censorship to curb the growing piracy problem. In 2012 alone, Google removed over 50 million pirate search results that were infringing on the copyright holders’ content.

Read the post on International Business Times.

@hypebot: 23% Of CDs Sold On Amazon Are Counterfeit, Say Investigators

Two weeks ago the The Association of Independent Music has issued an strong warning regarding a “serious counterfeit operation selling large numbers of CDs” using Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) system:

“It appears that this product is manufactured in China, but is almost indistinguishable from the genuine article to the extent that even the legitimate manufacturer cannot tell without very close examination.

The RIAA did their own investigation with staggering results. The record label trade group placed orders on Amazon in a range of categories from new releases to greatest hits. Out of the 194 CDs delivered, 44 or 23% were counterfeit – including 18 CDs in orders fulfilled by Amazon itself, not a third-party vendor. If the order was for a “greatest hits” package, the percentage of counterfeits jumped to 78%.

Read the post on Hypebot.

How many Counterfeit CDs Does Amazon Sell?

A provocative question–of course knowing the answer precisely would mean that Amazon actually knew which CDs were counterfeit to begin with.  That means we need to guess, but sometimes guesses are more accurate than we may give them credit for.

Example?  For years we heard that about 20% of songs on streaming services were unlicensed.  Turns out that’s pretty close to true.  When it’s expressed as a percentage rather than a raw number, it may not sound so bad.  20% sounds a lot better than 4 million, right?  This is an old Google trick–telling us that the amount of bad behavior is a low percentage.  They leave out the “of what” step, which in Google’s case is always an astronomical number due to scale.

That same basic theory works with Amazon, too.  While Amazon is busy stiffing songwriters with filing mass NOIs that absolve them from paying songwriter royalties, it turns out that Amazon is also making a tidy profit selling counterfeit CDs.

It’s also hard to extract the exact number of CDs that Amazon sells, but Soundscan reports about 34 million in sales in the “Internet” category.  Let’s be conservative at say that Amazon is about 1/3 of that number.  That would mean that based on recent estimates, Amazon sold about 2 million counterfeit records in 2015 alone.

Two million counterfeits sold by the smartest guys in the room.  A public reporting company that supposed to be at the leading edge of all things great and good.  More like the bleeding edge.

But this raises another question.  At one time, counterfeits were mostly major label releases of hit records that could hide in the cracks.  Based on the mass NOI filings, it now looks like some counterfeits may be stream ripped from YouTube and then sold as CDs.

It’s absurd that Amazon is a counterfeit swap meet, but it’s even more absurd that they didn’t see it coming.

Or maybe they did.

 

Must Watch: @gfhenderson: The Broken Promise of a Golden Age [At the Economic Club of Canada]

[Editor Charlie sez: This is a must-watch speech from Graham Henderson, a long-time supporter of artist rights from his base in Toronto.  

David says: “This is amazing. Graham Henderson is amazing. Canadian musicians have much better advocates than we US musicians have here in DC. In fact what have our advocacy groups in DC ever accomplished? I mean seriously!”]

On November 1, Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, delivered a moving address to the Economic Club of Canada on the erosion of creators’ rights in the digital age, and what can be done to re-establish a fair working environment.

Canada’s cultural industries were well represented with attendees from Sony Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, Universal Music Canada, The Motion Picture Association of Canada, the Writers’ Union of Canada, SOCAN, CIMA, CMPA, The Screen Composers Guild of Canada, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Canada’s Walk of Fame, Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Re:Sound, and TD Music. Guests from Ryerson University, OCAD, Humber College, CGC Education, Colleges Ontario, and York University represented the education sector. MPPs Monte McNaughton, Lisa MacLeod, Rick Nicholls, Lisa Thompson and Steve Clark were also in attendance.

We were happy to have been joined by local musicians as well, including Miranda Mulholland, Amanda Martinez, Caroline Brooks of the Good Lovelies, Murray Foster, Alysha Brilla, Jay Douglas, Sonia Aimy, and Sally Shaar of Ginger Ale & The Monowhales.

The Economic Club of Canada’s President and CEO, Rhiannon Traill, who took on the role five and a half years ago with vision and passion, introduced Graham’s address. Rhiannon thanked Graham for the support he has shown for the Economic Club of Canada and for her as President and CEO, and praised Graham as a champion for Canadian culture.

“You’re about to hear a very important speech, and I am really, really proud to be hosting it,” she said. “Graham is an advocate, he is an innovator, he is a collaborator, a bridge builder, a visionary, and a truly great Canadian dedicated to advancing and protecting our country’s music, arts, and culture.”

Below is the full video of Graham’s speech, titled The Broken Promise of a Golden Age: How creators got squeezed out in the digital era, and what can be done to restore their rights.