Visit ArabTopics.com

The six worst hypocrisies of the copyright industry in the last decade

Swearing an oath with fingers crossed behind back - dishonesty, fraud, hypocrisy, etc.

Copyright Monopoly: The copyright industry keeps pounding a simplistic message to legislators – that copyright law is simple and that nobody honest could ever break it, and that it’s easy to “tell right from wrong”. But when you look at the deeds of the copyright industry instead of their words, they don’t seem very eager to follow their own rules themselves – if nothing else, demonstrating in deed that those rules are outdated, silly, or both.

The copyright industry has been pushing for tougher penalties since at least 1905, and against access for the public to culture and knowledge since at least 1849, when they opposed public libraries in the UK. The message from this industry has been remarkably consistent. However, the actions of this industry are as consistently hypocritical as that lobbying message. Here are some of the worst recent examples:

Number six: The movie studios themselves are torrenting at a large scale all the time.

The news site TorrentFreak used a service that matched torrent swarms to the public IP addresses of the big movie studios, and found that basically every movie studio – not to mention every company in the copyright industry – is engaging in large scale piracy themselves. While this is presumably individual employees using company resources, and not official actions of the company, it’s still impossible for the IT sysadmins of these companies to not notice.

 TorrentFreak.Here’s what TorrentFreak found Paramount Studios sharing. Credit: TorrentFreak.

Yes, this is the very behavior they argued that people should have their Internet access revoked for, that they engage in themselves on a large scale from their very headquarter offices.

Number five: Voddler, an early competitor to today’s Netflix, used a video player client that itself violated copyright.

Voddler, called Spotify-for-video at its heyday and frequently mentioned as a poster child in political debates about the copyright distribution monopolies, always pounded on the table saying how copyright was extremely important for blah, blah, and blah. Apparently, that importance only concerned Hollywood’s copyright, and not that of people who couldn’t defend themselves in a court of law.

(This was before Netflix had really shifted to what it is today, and video-on-demand over the Internet was not associated with the company Netflix at all.)

When Voddler put together its video player client, it did so by assembling code from the XBox Media Center – XBMC – and other free-software video repositories like ffmpeg and mplayer. However, these repositories were licensed under the free-software GNU Public License (GPL), which meant that anybody may use and reuse the code – but only under certain conditions. Specifically, any reuse must provide the same freedom-to-reuse in their turn, the freedom that they were offered to get there.

Voddler did not do this. They published something resembling a piece of source code for their client (equivalent to a Netflix player), but nobody was ever able to compile it, which makes whatever-it-was clearly not meet the licensing terms of the GPL.

The free-software community was outraged, Voddler got hacked and took its offerings down “for maintenance”, and tried to relaunch but never recovered from doing one thing and saying another entirely.

Number four: The lobbyist material to push the European Parliament to vote for ACTA, a draconian copyright-and-more treaty, was itself pirated.

ACTA was a global treaty designed to give the copyright industry a lot more power, pretty much like SOPA/PIPA was in the United States. It had been ratified across the globe, with only one major body still needed to approve it: the European Parliament. Predictably, the copyright industry went into overdrive in every committee meeting to have the Members of European Parliament give them stronger protectionist measures. This poster was used:

The pro-ACTA poster used in the European Parliament, itself a pirate copy.The pro-ACTA poster used in the European Parliament, itself a pirate copy.

The problem with this is that the poster contains artwork which wasn’t licensed, making the high-profile pro-copyright campaign in the very European Parliament a blatant copyright violation. Multiple people traced the origins of that photo; Jéremie Zimmermann of LQDN found it to be a publicity photo which was permitted to use only under certain conditions which were not met, and an unnamed Danish reporter even tracked down the shipping line, their image repository, and the individual photographer to find out if it had been licensed. It hadn’t.

Number three: Pirating the music for a famous anti-piracy video ad.

One of the most famous, and also most parodied, anti-piracy ads of all time used its music without permission to do so. In other words, it was a widely distributed pirate copy of that music, all while trying to push the message that downloading is “stealing” (which is itself a blatant lie, at least according to the US Supreme Court, which can be said to have some authority on that particular matter).

You would if you could.You would if you could.

The music for this ad was created in 2006 by the Dutch composer Melchior Rietveldt, and it was to be used exclusively at a local film festival. To his surprise, he discovered it was also used on an anti-piracy ad on a Harry Potter DVD the following year – and in thousands, if not millions, of other places, which went completely against the licensed rights.

In another twist on this story, when Rietveldt demanded royalties for the illegal use of his composition, the local copyright industry (represented by Jochem Gerrits) demanded that the composer signed up under Gerrits’ own label if he wanted to see a single cent, and Gerrits would also personally take one-third of the already-owed fees and fines in exchange for allowing Rietveldt to receive anything at all. The “offer” appeared to be business-as-usual in the copyright industry; anywhere else, we’d call it corruption and racketeering, if not outright fraud.

Number two: The logo of the French official anti-piracy authority was pirated.

Around 2008, the copyright industry was heavily pushing the concept of “three strikes” – that your entire household should be cut off from the Internet, sending you into exile from modern society, on three accusations – accusations – of sharing music and movies outside the monopolized channels. From collective punishment to presumption of innocence, this violated a whole truckload of principles of due process. Nevertheless, the copyright industry pushed ahead and managed to get it installed in one European country – France – before the European Parliament outlawed the practice completely as part of the so-called Telecoms Package.

The French authority responsible for cutting off citizens from the Internet when they had violated the monopolized distribution channels was called Hadopi, which in French tradition is an acronym for something like High Authority for Pretending We Are Very Important. When the authority for protecting copyright and standing tall for these monopolies was unveiled, amid pomp and trumpets, it turned out that their very logo was a pirate copy.

hadopi_official-logo

Specifically, they had used a font which had been exclusively licensed only to France Telecom, and which nobody else therefore had the right to use. This included the French Government and their authorities, such as the caught-with-the-hand-in-the-cookie-jar Hadopi.

So according to this very authority, its act of overt piracy should lead to the French Government having its Internet access revoked. You get one guess on whether that happened, or whether the copyright industry considers copyright law only to apply to the low common plebs and not to themselves.

Number one: Sony willfully planting pirated remote-control malware on millions of computers to “protect the concept of property rights”.

In 2005, computers had this thing called “autoplay” for CDs inserted into them: in order to be user-friendly, they would automatically run any code named Autoplay. Windows computers would also always run with Administrator privileges when any random user was logged in. This was not a very good combination.

Sony used this to distribute music CDs that were actually mixed-mode CDs — they contained both a small data track and the music they claimed to hold. And the small data track, when inserted into any Windows CD, immediately installed remote-control malware that let Sony control how the computer was used, from there on out. Specifically, it would refuse to do certain things with the Sony music that was inserted in the drive, for no obvious reason. It would also steal data from the computer and send that data to Sony.

This was the first time a major copyright studio willfully distributed a rootkit — a malicious remote-control program running invisibly with root privileges — with the objective to willfully infect its customers. It infected millions of computers. Sony distributed over 20 million CDs with the deliberate malware.

When they were held to answer for this, they first denied any wrongdoing whatsoever, claiming “we are doing this to protect the legitimacy of property rights” (!!), and later feigned ignorance: “The customers probably don’t know what a rootkit is anyway, so why should they care about it?”. Under immense public pressure, they published a removal program, which only made the problem worse.

At the end of this story, Sony was sentenced in a class-action lawsuit to distribute promotional material for its upcoming catalog as remedy for having willfully infected millions of computers, sending themselves data from those computers, and giving themselves administrative access to them.

Bruce Schneier has one of the best writeups on Sony’s malicious behavior, and also notes that Sony pirated GPL-licensed code when writing their malicious rootkit, as the icing on the cake of this story.

In summary, the copyright industry has been consistent experts at one single thing in the past decade: demonstrating in action that copyright law either shouldn’t be followed at all, or that the law only applies selectively to those who can’t afford to have protectionist law written on request to serve their interests.

Syndicated Article
This article was previously published at Private Internet Access.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Source: 
Rick Falkvinge

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Grayzone Project 11
Pass Blue 55
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 409
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 27
Need To Know News 1678
FEE 3226
Marine Le Pen 230
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 540
Mohamed Omar 241
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 17
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 70
Vetenskapsradion Historia 116
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 177
Les Crises 1869
Richard Falk 115
Ian Sinclair 79
SpinWatch 50
Counter Currents 6293
Kafila 355
Gail Malone 33
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 93
The Duran 6541
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4803
Paul Craig Roberts 1148
News Junkie Post 44
Nomi Prins 24
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 3449
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 66
Liberty Blitzkrieg 794
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2149
21 Century Wire 2902
Burning Blogger 279
Stephen Gowans 67
David D. Friedman 128
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1464
Tom Dispatch 408
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3422
The Barnes Review 470
John Friend 364
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3100
School Sucks Project 1735
Giza Death Star 1562
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 567
GMWatch 1798
Robert Faurisson 148
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 739
Le 4ème singe 87
Jacob Cohen 197
Agora Vox 10715
Cercle Des Volontaires 417
Panamza 1637
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 720
Spy Culture 366
Conspiracy Archive 66
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 487
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 546
Independent Science News 66
The Anti Media 5565
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 259
The Mind renewed 210
Natural Society 2461
Yanis Varoufakis 813
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 63
Web of Debt 125
Porkins Policy Review 347
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 563
Libyan War Truth 280
DeadLine Live 1905
Kevin Ryan 61
BSNEWS 1964
Aaron Franz 186
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 111
Peter B Collins 1334
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9538
Climate Audit 220
Donna Laframboise 355
Judith Curry 1051
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1991
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 10101
Laura Wells Solutions 27
Video Rebel's Blog 411
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 17818
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2653
Northerntruthseeker 2039
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4615
AntiWar.com Blog 2687
AntiWar.com Original Content 6105
Corbett Report 2085
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1105
Webster Tarpley Website 938

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public