“Physical” music sales are down. Forever. And they’re not alone. The question now isn’t if people will download music, but how. Will they steal it? Will they know they’re even breaking the law? Will they pay for it? Lot’s of record companies and big retailers seem confident they will. If they buy it, what can they do with it? Will it be “theirs” or will it be theirs only if they have iTunes?
Is DRM it, or are there obvious solutions right under our noses?
If your favorite band offered you their new album for FREE, would you still pay for it? Conversely, if you just took it for free without asking, would your favorite band be pissed at you? Still, is free web-distribution the little guy’s best chance for recognition (and future sales)?
Seems also like the music industry just doesn’t get the dynamic of evolution inherent in new media. Sure, they’ll win some battles. But they’ll lose the war.
The rapid growth of online videos, music and games has created a new Internet sin: using it too much. Comcast has punished some transgressors by cutting off their Internet service, arguing that excessive downloaders hog Internet capacity and slow down the network for other customers….As Internet service providers try to keep up with the demand for increasingly sophisticated online entertainment such as high-definition movies, streaming TV shows and interactive games, such caps could become more common, some analysts said.
from the Washington Post aricle Shutting Down Big Downloaders
Peer-to-peer is under the gun again. Faced with a surge in network usage, internet service providers are grumbling about rising traffic levels. The increase is driven so far mostly by internet video from YouTube and similar services, which don’t actually employ P2P technologies. But ISPs say the looming growth of true peer-to-peer applications threatens to overwhelm them. Some ISPs have even started sniffing out P2P traffic on their networks and curbing it, either slowing file sharing to a trickle or bringing it to a halt.
Responding to this adversarial relationship, some P2P companies are adopting a posture of engagement with ISPs, and have formed a new industry working group to help broker relationships that, they say, will enable ISPs to better manage and distribute traffic loads on their networks….P4P’s plan: Get ISPs and P2P-technology providers working together, to ensure that P2P traffic continues to flow and that users of P2P technologies don’t overload ISPs’ networks with too much sharing.
from the WIRED article P2P-2-ISP Peace Pipe Could Ease Bandwidth Crunch
Researchers have found a way to enforce good manners on file-sharing networks by treating bandwidth as a currency. The team has created a peer-to-peer system called Tribler in which selfless sharers earn faster upload and download speeds but leechers are penalised.
from the BBC article File-sharers forced to play fair
P2P traffic is dominating the Internet these days, according to a new survey from ipoque, a German traffic management and analysis firm. ipoque’s “preliminary results” show that P2P applications account from anywhere between 50 percent and 90 percent of all Internet traffic.
from Ars Technica
Hi-tech criminals have found novel ways to carry out web-based attacks that are much harder to spot and stop, warn security experts. Some cyber criminals have exploited file-sharing networks and popular webpages to attack targets. The malicious hackers have turned to these methods instead of going to the trouble of hijacking home PCs. Using these methods the hi-tech criminals have staged some of the biggest attacks security experts have ever seen.
Read this item from the BBC
The music industry has long blamed illegal file sharing for the slump in music sales. But now, a key part of the industry is trying to harness file sharing to boost its own bottom line. Earlier this year, Clear Channel Communications Inc.’s Premiere Radio Networks unit began marketing data on the most popular downloads from illegal file-sharing networks to help radio stations shape their playlists. The theory is that the songs attracting the most downloads online will also win the most listeners on the radio, helping stations sell more advertising. In turn, the service may even help the record labels, because radio airplay is still the biggest factor influencing record sales.
Read this item from the Wall Street Journal
A grandmother targeted by the RIAA for file-sharing is striking back at the controversial music industry association, arguing that it has knowingly engaged in “one or more overt acts of unlawful private investigation” to further its case….At the heart of the issue is a Texas law which says that investigations companies must be licensed in order to collect evidence that can be used in a court. According to court documents, Ms. Crain says that MediaSentry—the company carrying out the investigations for the RIAA—was aware of this requirement, both in Texas and in several other states, and ignored it. The counterclaims even suggest that the RIAA encouraged this arrangement….MediaSentry, the investigative company at the center of the allegations, is used by the RIAA, MPAA, and a handful of other groups to track and identify P2P users believed to be infringing copyrights.
Read this item from Ars Technica
The news for the motion picture and television industries is not so good. BitTorrent has become far more popular: “We’ve seen real, dramatic growth in BitTorrent usage,” notes Garland. That has resulted in a greater average population of seeders and leechers per torrent. In May 2006, the average torrent had 817,588 people participating. 12 months later, that figure had jumped to 1,357,318 seeders and leechers: a 66 percent year-over-year growth rate.
Read this item from Ars Technica
Two weeks ago, a judge ruled that BitTorrent search engine Torrentspy was required to enable server logs and turn the information over to the MPAA as part of the discovery process (the MPAA is suing Torrentspy for contributing to copyright infringement). That ruling was based on the theory that the information in question is already stored in RAM and therefore already exists; Torrentspy would not actually need to log any new data, just record what was already passing through its servers. The legal implications of this argument are staggering, and two technology groups have just pointed them out to the court in a new amicus brief.
Read this item from Ars Technica with commentary from C|Net and Alternet.
Filed under A democratic medium?, Aggregate, Digital Commons, Fair Use, Networks, P2P (Peer to Peer), Privacy, Regulation, Same as it ever Was, Technology, our Mirror, The Politics of New Media