Posts tagged "Internet service provider"

Pirate Bay’s Anti-Censorship Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads

The Pirate Bay’s PirateBrowser, a tool that allows people to bypass ISP filtering and access blocked websites, is a great success. The Firefox and Tor-based software eliminates the need to use a proxy site and has already been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times, TorrentFreak has learned. Currently around 0.5% of all Pirate Bay visitors use PirateBrowser to access the infamous torrent site

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Posted by plates55 - October 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

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“Six Strikes”Copyright Alert System Costs Millions

New tax records reveal that the Center for Copyright Information, the outfit overseeing the “six strikes” copyright alert system in the U.S., costs $2 million a year to run. This previously undisclosed  sum is shared between the RIAA, MPAA and the five participating Internet providers. The true cost of the copyright alert system is expected to be millions more, as the copyright holders and ISPs pay separately for tracking the alleged pirates and processing the warnings.

copyright alertTwo years ago the MPAA and RIAA teamed up with five major Internet providers to announce their “six strikes” anti-piracy plan.

The parties founded the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) which is incorporated as a non-profit company of the same name in Delaware.

While the CCI has been very clear about its goals, information on its finances has been scarce. In the memorandum of understanding the copyright holders and ISPs agreed to split the costs of the company 50/50, but the exact figures remained unknown.

When we previously asked about total operating costs CCI declined to answer. Luckily the IRS was more helpful, so after two years we can now finally lift the financial veil.

TorrentFreak obtained the most recent tax filing of the six-strikes outfit which covered the first eight months of the company’s operations to June 30, 2012.

During this time the ISPs and copyright holders paid a total of $1,377,633 in membership dues, which means that it costs around $2 million per year to keep the company afloat.

The $2 million figure makes sense since the RIAA previously mentioned in its tax filing that it spent $250,000 in CCI membership dues up until March 2012. This would cover half of the $500,000 it would owe per year.

The CCI tax filing further shows that Executive Director Jill Lesser is the only key employee, and that she earned a very modest $43,750 during the first eight months. Looking more closely, we see that Lesser indirectly earns a bit more as $193,750 was paid to her consulting firm JAL Consulting.

The filing further shows that the six-strikes outfit paid $144,093 to their PR firm Glover Park Group, $125,691 for Resource Global’s consulting services, as well as $102,928 in legal fees.

All in all there aren’t too many surprises in the tax filing, although it’s worth knowing how much the six-strikes copyright alert system costs.

It’s not known whether the $2 million in membership dues for the first year is a fixed amount, so it may fluctuate from year to year. Also, it’s worth noting that the costs above only apply to the CCI organization. The copyright holders and ISPs incur extra costs when they track down infringers and process the notices.

In other words, copyright holders and ISPs are likely to spend double or triple the previously mentioned $2 million on the entire six-strikes system.

Now that the first accounts are in we encourage the CCI to also share some data on how many people have received a copyright alert to date. But whatever that number is, for now the copyright alerts have failed to make a dent in traffic to file-sharing sites.

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Posted by plates55 - October 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Categories: Piracy   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Piracy Isn’t Killing The Entertainment Industry, Scholars Show

The London School of Economics and Political Science has released a new policy brief urging the UK Government to look beyond the lobbying efforts of the entertainment industry when it comes to future copyright policy. According to the report there is ample evidence that file-sharing is helping, rather than hurting the creative industries. The scholars call on the Government to look at more objective data when deciding on future copyright enforcement policies.

lbeOver the past years there have been ample research reports showing that file-sharing can have positive effects on the entertainment industries.

Industry lobbyists are often quick to dismiss these findings as incidents or weak research, and counter them with expensive studies they have commissioned themselves.

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) jumps into the discussion this week with a media policy brief urging the UK Government to look beyond the reports lobbyists hand to them. Their report concludes that the entertainment industry isn’t devastated by piracy, and that sharing of culture has several benefits.

“Contrary to the industry claims, the music industry is not in terminal decline, but still holding ground and showing healthy profits. Revenues from digital sales, subscription services, streaming and live performances compensate for the decline in revenues from the sale of CDs or records,” says Bart Cammaerts, LSE Senior Lecturer and one of the report’s authors.

The report shows that the entertainment industries are actually doing quite well. The digital gaming industry is thriving, the publishing sector is stable, and the U.S. film industry is breaking record after record.

“Despite the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) claim that online piracy is devastating the movie industry, Hollywood achieved record-breaking global box office revenues of $35 billion in 2012, a 6% increase over 2011,” the report reads.

Even the music industry is doing relatively well. Revenue from concerts, publishing and digital sales has increased significantly since the early 2000s and while recorded music revenues show a decline, there is little evidence that piracy is the lead cause.

“The music industry may be stagnating, but the drastic decline in revenues warned of by the lobby associations of record labels is not in evidence,” the report concludes.

Music industry revenue

musicgraph

 

The authors further argue that file-sharing can actually benefit the creative industries in various ways.

The report mentions the success of the SoundCloud service where artists can share their work for free through Creative Commons licenses, the promotional effect of YouTube where copyrighted songs are shared to promote sales, and the fact that research shows that file-sharers actually spend more money on entertainment than those who don’t share.

“Within the creative industries there is a variety of views on the best way to benefit from online sharing practices, and how to innovate to generate revenue streams in ways that do not fit within the existing copyright enforcement regime,” the authors write.

Finally, the report shows that punitive enforcement strategies such as the three strikes law in France are not as effective as the entertainment industries claim.

The researchers hope that the U.K. Government will review the Digital Economy Act in this light, and make sure that it will take into account the interests of both the public and copyright holders.

This means expanding fair use and private copying exceptions for citizens, while targeting enforcement on businesses rather than individuals.

“We recommend a review of the DEA and related legislation that strikes a healthy balance among the interests of a range of stakeholders including those in the creative industries, Internet Service Providers and internet users.”

“When both [the creative industries and citizens] can exploit the full potential of the internet, this will maximize innovative content creation for the benefit of all stakeholders,” the authors write.

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Posted by plates55 - October 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

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Anti-Piracy Group Blackmails ISPs to Censor The Pirate Bay

After a court ordered two of the largest Belgian Internet service providers to prevent their users accessing The Pirate Bay, the local anti-piracy outfit is now urging other ISPs to do the same. Internet providers who refuse to give in to this request within 10 days will be taken to court, a threatening letter explains. The blackmailing tactic seems to have worked, as one of the smaller ISPs has already disabled access to The Pirate Bay.

the pirate bayLate September the Antwerp Court of Appeal ordered Belgian ISPs Belgacom and Telenet to initiate DNS blockades of 11 domains connected to The Pirate Bay.

The Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (BAF) applauded the verdict, which they see as a landmark decision opening the door to further censorship attempts. And indeed, without hesitation the group is putting the verdict to work in their favor.

NURPA, a Belgian advocacy group which promotes and protects the digital rights of citizens, has learned that BAF has sent a threatening letter to various Belgian ISPs. The group has managed to obtain a copy which they published on their site today.

In the letter, BAF mentions the recent verdict against the two Belgian Internet providers, which they say confirms The Pirate Bay is responsible for copyright infringement on a massive scale. To extend the ruling, the anti-piracy group is demanding that other ISPs also begin banning the site’s domains.

“To ensure an optimal effect, this measure should be implemented by all Internet service providers, not just by Belgacom and Telenet,” the anti-piracy group writes.

The ISPs have ten days to comply, BAF adds, or else the group will take them to court.

“Failing a satisfactory response from you within the time limit, the BAF will begin legal proceedings against you,” BAF threatens.

The letter from BAF was supposedly sent last week, and already appears to have had some effect. The Belgian ISP BASE – which ironically has a “freedom of speech” banner prominently listed on its site – has quietly started blocking subscriber access to The Pirate Bay.

BAF’s letter and BASE’s response are criticized by NURPA, who fear that BAF will continue to push for more censorship measures based on false claims.

“These practices of censorship, which are justified by imaginary losses and imposed by blackmail, show the urgent need for legislation on Net Neutrality in order to establish a legal framework for fair protection of fundamental rights on the Internet,” NURPA spokesman André Loconte told TorrentFreak.

Even if  BAF manages to convince all Belgian ISPs to block the 11 Pirate Bay domains, it is doubtful that it will have much of an effect.  Previously, a Pirate Bay spokesperson told TorrentFreak that these measures only yield the opposite results.

“This will just give us more traffic, as always. Thanks for the free advertising,” we were told.

And he appears to be right.

A few days after the verdict was announced The Pirate Bay registered depiraatbaai.be, a new domain not covered by the court order. Today, just a few weeks later, this domain is already the 124th most-visited in Belgium, on its way to enter the top 100.

Indeed, the years of legal procedures and subsequent blackmailing are easily circumvented by registering a $15 domain.

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Posted by plates55 - December 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm

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