CIOs should fear the IP police ... have your get-out-of-jail files ready
Let's hope nobody wins this, it's disaster either way
Creative Commons? IT means nothing to me
Would we respect copyright more if more copyright holders
were the actual content creators rather than
massive media conglomerates? Image via Shutterstock
In a similar vein, the Creative Commons licences aren't a magic wand allowing free photocopying, elevator music and PowerPoint pictures for all. Since its inception, the number of Creative Commons licences has ballooned. They can range from free for any purpose to free only for non-commercial use, attribution required – or not – and every jurisdiction has a slightly different local flavour.
"Creative Commons licensed" means absolutely nothing. What matters is the specific details of the licence variant chosen. As with any other copywritten work, the licence the current copyright holder chooses to apply determines how much trouble you're in if you use it, who you have to pay, and under what circumstances you can use the work.
Adblock and the World Wide Wait
I am fearful of the very real business costs of intellectual property compliance. Every company – no matter how small – needs an accountant in order to be compliant with innumerable tax laws. We are on the cusp of requiring IP officers with a similar distribution. Larger companies need one of their own; smaller companies probably need one on retainer.
Increased adoption of advertisement blocking techniques in the corporate landscape may fuel this trend. As the copyright behemoths flail around looking for a new business model, advertising is a critical revenue source they are unwilling (and unable) to do without. They will defend it.
Not only can you advertise on the internet, but you can stalk people on an industrial scale. (Install collusion to see for yourself.) Behavioural advertising is big money, and everyone is trying to get in on the game.
While I have been patiently waiting for Orwell's bemused corpse to crawl up out of the ground and give us a good finger-wagging, slowly but surely I am seeing adblockers pop up all over the place. Adblockers are finally going mainstream.
Unfortunately, the result of this is once more attacking the revenue of copyright holders. We've seen how they react to this; it isn't pretty. What's more, it doesn't just hurt the traditional bullies of the copyright scene who have been making all our lives miserable; it hurts anyone who relies on advertising revenue to survive, The Register included.
The business driver for adblock adoption is the desire to eliminate lag. Your sexy fibre optic internet connection is worth little if the 30 or so analytics/advertising servers embedded in websites each need to time out in turn before your staff can get at the content they need. A minor irritation in 2005, this lag costs research-heavy jobs noticeable amounts of time, and the companies that employ them very real money.
The end game
The solution to this must be something we can all live with. We can't afford another 20 or 30 years of litigation that ultimately drives the cost of doing business – let alone enjoying content – through the roof. We already have a major lawsuit against DISH networks that bridges the gap between the old copyright infringement wars and the forthcoming adblock wars.
We need to work out an open, fast, stable, reliable advertisement and analytics system for the web. It must be a system that multiple advertisers – and brokers – can use; one which doesn't impact website load times, and prevents the distribution of malware through advertising networks.
We need to work with carriers to ensure that advertisements and analytics don't count against data caps. We need to get regulators, advertisers, brokers and civil liberties organisations in a room and hammer out privacy regulations that are sane and workable for the next century. We need to harmonise these across the western world so that we don't place our small businesses at a global disadvantage by burdening them with requirements for yet more warm bodies to ensure yet another layer of compliance and install yet more bureaucracy between staff and actual productivity.
If the extant copyright cartels succeed in their current endeavours, the licensing landscape will move from legal minefield to a sadistic version of Portal created by a creatively medicated zombie M C Escher. Big Content has proven completely incapable of adapting to change. The people in charge of these companies are not capable of bringing together the kinds of diverse political and business interests with the necessary group of skilled individuals.
If the anti-copyright crowd win, then a huge chunk of the economies that underpin the western world evaporate overnight. The answer is always somewhere in the fuzzy middle. Unfortunately, increasing radicalisation from both camps combined with decades of bitter feuding means that a workable compromise in unlikely in our lifetimes.
For businesses – as well as individuals – this means prolonged uncertainty. With no hope of regulatory rationalisation in sight, companies must take a proactive stance on copyright compliance. In reality it is impossible to be certain of compliance, no matter how many bodies you hire to police it. But if you end up in front of a judge, you need to be able to point to your ongoing efforts and say "we're trying". If nothing else, demonstrating an attempt at compliance may reduce damages below the level of 2,000 times the US national debt (PDF). There's really nothing more that any of us can do. Make your best efforts, cross your fingers ... and hope you never get audited. ®
If you want to see some real noncompliance, try a school.
Students and teachers alike make extensive use of google image search. Search, copy, paste into powerpoint. Instant flare. Do they check copyright? Hell, no! They don't even bother to note where the image came from. Remember that teachers are ridiculously overworked - they don't have time to sort out compliance with the materials they make for their lessons.
Teachers copy, all the time, for simple convenience. This is a school - discs get lost, or scratched, or broken. On many occasions we've caught teachers (English dept being by far the worst) using films clearly taken from torrent. They have the DVDs, but it's just so much easier to use a file than to keep track of which department member was the last to borrow that Holes movie and where they might have left it.
The legal side is an absolute nightmare of complexity. Yes, we do have some blanket licences... but just working out if they apply would need an expert lawyer. Some of them apply only to some copyright holders, or to content produced in the UK. I have on one occasion had to confiscate a teacher's video of MLK's 'I have a dream' speech because, in so far as I could determine, we had no license to even view it, much less to publicly play it for a class. In Performing Arts, they have licenses that cover playing music, but not photocopying it in sheet form - and in at least one case, they can copy it exactly once. In theory that would mean everyone clustering around their single sheet, in practice it means they defy the law and just run it through the photocopier anyway.
Practically every day I have to delete another big collection of pirate music that has appeared in some student area. We don't punish them any more - we'd run out of detention space. I delete (I have a program I wrote for just this purpose, checks for music/games/porn nightly based on a hash-list of forbidden files), and they put it back on the next day.
Then there is the copying-because-they-must issue. Science is running into this one right now: They have a big library of old VHS tapes and DVDs they use in lessons. But we have no more VHS players, and the DVDs have the same issue of loss/damage as English. From a technical perspective, a simple solution: We have a shiny new network media library system going in soon that is supposed to hold it all. And yet all that catalog of media, aquired over the years, is copyrighted - and in the case of the DVDs, largely copy-protected too. So our shiny new media library is useless, and Science is probably going to have to spend a few thousand pounds over the course of the next ten years replacing all of its educational media.
And, for the final touch: We're moving to application virtualisation soon too. Is that compatible with all our licenses, including the obscure stuff like the datalogger interface software? We've got hundreds of EULAs that we should be going through to figure this out, but realisticaly... no matter how closely we look, the IT team are not lawyers.
The more complicated and cumbersome the requirements, the less likely people are to adhere to them.
I am so drowning in paperwork that it has crossed my mind to just buy a cheap banger and not tax/insure it. I wouldn't do that, but it has crossed my mind just to avoid a small mountain of paperwork - and that's just for cars!
Make it simpler and people will honor it. Make it complicated and people will just get fatigued and finally say 'fuck that for a game of soldiers - I'm off down the pub'
So true, in my youth I was involved with a group not disimilar to Irving Welsh's train spotters. Always a good upstanding kid, my eyes were opened wide to a world where the law and social norms were ignored and jesus when I actually saw how thin our veneer of lawfulness was, it was scary. And worse still, there's not really a path back into legality once you punch through.
Criminalising routine activity without the active support of the citizens and pro-actively acting against their interests will not end well for our legal and political representatives.
Maybe one simple solution is to never have copyright transfer into the hands of a "rights holder"... the original creator is the only one who can determine what happens with their creation. Preserves the rights of the creator but disempowers the shambolic media monoliths.
Re: Oh what sensationalist nonsense...
No company needs an IP lawyer in house: all they have to do is to create all their own content. Need a photo of people in the street - send someone out to take one. Need a sketch - find someone who can draw.
Need MLK's speech - fetch him from the grave and ask him to speak at your school.
Its not hard.
That is actually a really good article...
It just sort of skims the almost bottomless ocean of fucking bullshit masquerading as the cold mollassas of copyright / DRM management.
I don't agree with this bit:
"The business driver for adblock adoption is the desire to eliminate lag. Your sexy fibre optic internet connection is worth little if the 30 or so analytics/advertising servers embedded in websites each need to time out in turn before your staff can get at the content they need.
We need to work out an open, fast, stable, reliable advertisement and analytics system for the web. It must be a system that multiple advertisers – and brokers – can use; one which doesn't impact website load times, and prevents the distribution of malware through advertising networks."
There are many sites that are run by complete and utter fuckwits.... that just shove a shit load of badly placed adds in your face and over the screen and they flash and follow you as you scroll down the pages....... fuck you know.
And then add on all the fucking trackers and profiling and all this shit.....
These fucking people....
The advertisers and tracking companies and the arseholes that work in them and run these campaigns AGAINST the consumer... for instance, IF I wanted a car, I would go LOOKING for a car, and if I was to buy a car, I would usually get a good second hand one, and then sell it after 5 or 6 years... or when it broke down badly or got smashed....
But fuck it, these idiots in the advertsing agencies, are so stupid they think that shoving 500 adds a day in my face for new cars that I don't want or need or have no intention of ever purchasing is their god given fucking right.
And all these idiots play the "shove the all adds in your face we can to the max" routine.....
Free to air TV in Australia is one example - it seems like there are like 10 minutes of adds, for every 3 minutes of movie, and the "just so excited family" scream at you, as your warming the oven, chopping the vegetables, cooking the whole meal for 5 people, in one add break, just as your about to make and pour the REAL gravey.... "Oh Oh the Add Show is almost over, time for the movie break.!!!"
I tend to have stable systems that run for a LONG time and It's ONLY when I rebuild them and set up the browser and then blunder through a few favourite websites, that I go, "Fuck!" at all the adds and bullshit being shoved down the line.....
Then I just throw in all the add blockers, the java script blockers, and now the tracking software blockers...
My opinion is, if the site can't deliver content and SOME advertising on it's OWN fucking merrits, then they do not deserve the business.
As a case in point, now that Google has taken over YouTube, without add blocking (add block plus and element hider) that site is completely fucked.... It's just ADD SATURATED bullshit.
It's just OVER RUN with the satanic hordes, all screaming "Buy, Buy, Buy - Sell, Sell, Sell" adds....
It's social engineering going into the perverse.............
As far as the copyright / licensing / DRM bullshit - fuck them all.... I have just given up....
My major gripe against advertsisers really started with some Canadian internet advertiser that stuck a file into your system that put up an add on your computer screen every so often, with NO agreement to take it, and NO way to get rid of it - unless you trolled some obscure forum somewhere for info on how to get rid of it and these fucking arseholes, if I could have gone to their offices and dragged them across their desks and punched their faces in, I would have done it..
Nothing has changed, these fucking idiots in the advertising industry think that the free range unrestricted raping of your internet arse at every opportunity, through every means possible is their god given right.
My answer to that is "NO it's not and NO you don't".
Microsoft, they are getting the OS onto laptops without a system CD or DVD.... so when the Laptop breaks, your OS goes with it.... fucking arseholes.....
Buy another OS and then go through the BS of registering it? Not likely.
Kodak was another bunch of mongrels - register your ownership of a new camera and they then share your stuff with something like 80 or 800 other "affiliates" for targetted marketing campigns....
I threw out my TV... and have not regretted it since.
AND if I really want to see a MOVIE, I get a weekly rental for $2 and then invite all my friends over to see it and I make a point of lending it to all my neighbours as well - just to spite the movie companies and their DRM bullshit.
Advertisers are near the top of my hate list of stupid and unethical people and companies to deal with.
The people who think they ought to be employed run a close second.....