Category Archives: Digital Distribution

[REPORT] The Google books settlement: a private contract in the absence of adequate copyright law
Date Created: January 10, 2013  Date Modified: January 10, 2013

I missed work yesturday so I had a lot of catching up to do today, this piked my interest because it references Lessig in the first sentence (and we all love Law professors who can internet like a pro). I will give it a more indepth read tonight when I have a bit more time…

The Google Books settlement has been hailed as an audacious and brilliant move by proponents and critics alike (Lessig, 2010; Samuelson, 2009a). Google’s goal of digitizing up to 20 million books drawn from participating libraries has been recast to cut authors and publishers in on the deal. With one comprehensive and complex legal document, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers have crafted a deal that could transform the digital marketplace for books and could give Google a legal—and exclusive—method to clear rights for some copyrighted works neither it nor anyone else could acquire any other way, excepting changes to U.S. copyright legislation. The following discussion considers the circumstances that led to this settlement and explores its primary components, focusing on the amended class action settlement agreement of November 13, 2009, which in many respects remains similar to the original agreement of October 28, 2008. The settlement makes positive steps in the tricky areas of public access and digital rights, but it remains open to serious legal, economic, and cultural criticisms.
http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/viewFile/29/44

Game Design Doc
Date Created: September 21, 2012  Date Modified: October 7, 2012

I was on Scribd earlier for an unrelated reason and thought I would have a look at the stats on my acount; the document that recived the most hits winning its own post:

Game Design Document iCricket

This rant was posted in Assignment, Digital Distribution on by .

Lawyers hate HTML
Date Created: August 1, 2012  Date Modified: December 27, 2012

I had my first Law lecture this morning, prior I was in the Murdoch Bookshop stacking up on some tomes I will be needing on this endeavour (and a couple more I just wanted to get). I got home enthused to start reading this new type of littérateur that I will be battling over the next few years, and heeding the advice of my lecturer: That it takes a little bit of a learning curve to get use to legal writing, I decided to start on one of the law books that wasnt part of my required reading material, but was something that I felt more palatable for someone with my background in web–Internet and E-Commerce Law, Business and Policy.

Imediatly I scanned the contents for a topic that I could relate to; Chapter 6 – Domain names and trade marks. Reading the section on WHOIS was where I started. Everyone who works web knows WHOIS, so reading this very legal run-down of something that we as webbys take for granted is… refreshing in a sense. Then I got all academic on the shit and I saw the real problem–well from my pedantic web paradigm anyway. I went to look up one of the references in the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Art 17.3.2 and clicking on that link you see why Im pissed off. Numbered paragraphs that should be ordered lists!, no text anchors!, emphasis where it should be italic!. These things matter if this were a published print document; all hell would break loose if this were printed like this. But on the web, do the document custodians care? Are they even aware that HTML markup can be used to present the information in a more accessible manner?.

I am yet to look into W3C giudelines for web content; due however to the differing nature of legal style requirements in jurisdictions arount the world, I doubt an international standard could be reached specifically relating to Acts. Surely tho, the same W3C guidelines for ordered lists on other web content would apply to the layout of a legal document?. Emphasis and Italic however I see it as a breach, an Act must be written in italics by legal style convention (law?), not emphasised when read or interpreted by a text reader. What this neglect in the article of the USAFTA linked is a clear neglect the legal community have for the web community, or at least HTML.

UPDATE: When going over some online sesources provided for the unit, I came accross the below image. Please feel free to comment.

Image to point out the Short Title of an Act

There was no Alt text , title, or description of this image on the LMS.

An image to outline the correct citing of cases

This image was much worse not only did it not contain any attributes in the HTML to assist, it could have been built as a simple interactive app that would be able to meet an accessable standard

[VIDEO] How could have I missed this on rights-free?
Date Created: June 2, 2012  Date Modified: July 5, 2012

Hindsight helps a lot; I would have really liked to have embeded this in the original Digital Distribution essay post…

But thats the thing with hindsight and deadlines.

This rant was posted in Creative Commons, Digital Distribution, Music, Video on by .

Essay: Digital Distribution
Date Created: September 16, 2011  Date Modified: September 21, 2012

READERS NOTE: This is my original work was originally posted on my no-longer active Murdoch blog on April 14th, 2010.

I have decided to post my MCC124 essay here on the blog so you may comment and critisize it. Its fairly short of the required 1500 words so I dont expect to be given a high mark for it. Before I paste it into here I would like to share a quote from the song “Evolution” by 311:

Evolution has expontential timing it’ll be
Half as long til the next breakthrough that
blows are mind
It’s up to the people to brave on with
experimentation
Move forth the species by using our
imagination

But can we handle it
Could we dismantle it
Or should we fear the void and just be
para-paranoid
If it’s understood it could be used for good
and would
If you will believe in all we can conceive

Describe the impact of piracy, p2p and/or file sharing on the digital distribution of media.

In 2007 Radiohead, a popular musical act released their seventh studio album, In Rainbows in a way not seen before from such a well known musical, act: They made their album available to download, at a cost decided by the consumer, from the bands website—as well as making a hard copy available to be purchased by fans in conventional music stores1. It was big music conceding defeat in the digital distribution war.

The distribution of media through piracy, even p2p is not a new phenomenon. Video piracy was widespread with the consumer availability of VHS recorders, software piracy plagued developers since programming shifted from hard-coded chips to the floppy disk, and music piracy was no different2. With technological advances come new methods of breaking the law, it must follow then that legislation needs to keep up-to-date with emerging technological trends.

Digital distribution of music was not a new concept for the music industry3 in 2007, the time this white surrender flag was waved. By 2007 the case of Napster was long in the past and Apple’s iTunes store was now five years old. The music listening public had made their choice and it was up to the artists and record labels to catch up—people were not going to stop downloading music, (no matter what the cost?).

Not so much that’s it was the musicians themselves, as most of them shared their voice with the people in the battle cry for digital distribution, Acts as diverse as pop music’s Moby4 and Prince; New Metal band Slipknot; and the anti-establishment political rap group Public Enemy5 had been long advocates of digital distribution; In the case of Public Enemy, this stance put them up against their own label: Def Jam6. The record label, the face of the enemy.

Recording companies were the biggest opponents of digital distribution, primarily because it was seen to undermine their position in the music industry heavyweights, the generals and brigadiers leading their elite squads of musical acts in the pursuit of money and fame. The record companies saw digital distribution as synonymous with piracy and responded with legal actions against its proponents—both those end users downloading music, but also those that put in place the infrastructure to accomplish this.

Sony was one recording company that had tried, and failed horribly to counter digital distribution in 2005 with their DRM software7. People who had brought compact disks legitimately, were the casualties, a root-kit installed on a users computer once the CD was inserted into the optical drive, making the users computer vulnerable to malicious code. It was the wrong approach, for the kids of generation Y, downloading music was seen as a rebellion against an over-zealous corporate establishment8. Punishment for rebellion would only prove counter productive.

Apple, makers of designer electronics, had taken a different tact. Unlike Sony, Apple did not see digital distribution as a threat to their existing business model. Apple may not have had the massive back catalogue of music it owned rights to, but it did have dominance over the MP3 player market, so the choice to embrace digital distribution with its iTunes store could be seen as less of a risk. By October 2007, Apple had secured rights to distribute “digital” boxed sets from 1970’s super group Led Zeppelin9, people would still download music, even if they did have to pay for it.

Legislation was seen as something that needed to be brought into line with the emerging technologies, legislation that was fair to both user, creator and publisher. After the Napster case hit US courts, a “Digital Recording Act” was proposed10. Without a legal framework corporate interests would still look at digital distribution with an eye of mistrust, they needed a guarantee of return-of-investment on their stockpile of music11.

What the success of the Apple model of distribution, over Sony’s DRM failure taught musicians was that the old paradigm of selling music was becoming obsolete, and it followed that the record companies themselves were obsolete. Artists could do away with the corporate drill, and take on their own means of getting their music to their audience. Bands had taken on this endeavor before, as militant anti-government rap group Public Enemy had done. But popular music had yet to free itself from the corporate hierarchy—that was until an internationally known pop band Radiohead released “In Rainbows”, in its first month online over a million copies were downloaded taking US$3 million, from 40% of those users choosing to pay. At an average of $6(US)12, proving digital distribution can still be lucrative for the artist.

What the significance of In Rainbows had to the digital distribution of media was not a technological one, but a larger cultural paradigm shift. Indy bands, and militant rappers had embraced the technology before, but this was confined to smaller sub-cultures. The mass adoption of digital distribution had been proven effective, and it wasn’t until In Rainbows was this acknowledged by anyone from within the corporate music mainstream. This act meant not that the battle lines had been redrawn, but that the war was finally over.


References

  1. Wikipedia, “In Rainbows” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows
  2. Kembrew McLeod, 2005, “MP3s Are Killing Home Taping: The Rise of Internet Distribution and Its Challenge to the Major Label Music Monopoly”
  3. Sean Ebare, 2004, “Digital music and subculture: Sharing files sharing styles”
  4. Moby, “Napster” 2001 www.moby.com/journal/2001-01-29/napster.html
  5. John Borland, 2000, “Rapper Chuck-D throws his weight behind Napster” news.cnet.com/2100-1023-239917.html
  6. MTV News, 2000 “Public Enemy Leaves Def Jam, Will Distribute Next Album Online” www.mtv.com/news/articles/1427080/19990114/chuck_d.jhtml
  7. Molly Wood, 2005, Cnet News, “DRM This!” www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-6376177-1.html
  8. Carrie James, 2009 “Young People, Ethics and Digital Media”, Page 53, MIT Press
  9. Apple Co, (Press Release) 28th October 2007, “Led Zeppelin Digital Box Set…” http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/10/23itunes.html
  10. Raymond Shih Ray Ku, 2001, “The Creative Destruction of Copyright: Napster and the New Economics od Digital Technology”, University of Chicago Law Review.
  11. Jeevan Jaisingh, 2004, “Piracy on file sharing networks: Stratergies for recording companies”, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
  12. Wired Magazine, 12.18.2007, “David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music”, http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_yorke?currentPage=all#ixzz0jlXr4Ley

By the Time I Get to Arizona – FREE Mp3
Date Created: May 5, 2010  Date Modified: May 5, 2010

As mentioned prior, Chuck-D is no stranger to Digital Distribution, Mash-ups and getting political. On Public Enemy’s 1991 album “Apocalypse 91 – The Enemy Strikes Back” was a song titled: “By the time I get to Arizona”, it was comment on Senator John McCain’s opposition to recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a public holiday in the State of Arizona.

Recently Arizona’s come under fire for its border control, and the unprovoked beatings that citizens receive. I havnt followed the story closely, but in response DJ Spooky (who has worked with Chuck on projcets before) remixed the 19 year old (OMG Im old) PE classic and made it available for free (and totally LEGAL) download.

UPDATE

As all are well aware; the ABC radio station, tripple J, offer free mp3′s at their website. This week Sage Francis has a song avalible to download. Free music doesnt have to be illegal of unheard of. If you dig experimental hiphop I reccomend you give it a download.

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