CyberLaw Blog

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Archive for April 28th, 2008

Book Authors See BitTorrent As a Promotional Tool

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Book Authors See BitTorrent As a Promotional Tool: More and more authors seem to recognize the power of BitTorrent as a means to generate more sales, and actually upload free copies onto BitTorrent themselves.

Best selling author Paulo Coelho posted several of his books on BitTorrent, which boosted his sales significantly. The success of Coelho later inspired Leander Kahney, the author of ‘The Cult of Mac’ and ‘The Cult of iPod’, to do the same.

A recent discussion on the positives and negatives of piracy confirms changing attitudes towards it. The ‘behind the scenes’ thread on O’Reilly Radar was started by Eric Freeman, who wrote:

‘Any thoughts on the rise of Head First titles (mostly HFDP and HTML) on Pirate Bay? I’m trying to just take it as a sign there is strong interest in the books still.’

The consensus among the authors who replied seems to be that having one’s book listed on BitTorrent sites is a good thing, and might actually generate more sales.

Nat Torkington wrote in a reply:

‘So long as the royalty checks are strong, take BitTorrent as a sign of success rather than a problem. A wise dog doesn’t let his fleas bother him.’

Phil Torrone of Make magazine added:

‘Yup – seeing your books / magazines on Pirate Bay is always a good thing.’

Piracy is less of a threat to book publishers than it is to the music industry though. As Nat Torkington notes, most people still prefer printed copies: ‘The HF books work really well as books, so at best the torrents act as advertisements for the superior print product.’

For music it’s different, as most people now prefer MP3s. The music that is offered on filesharing networks is superior to the DRMed alternatives that are available through music stores such as iTunes. The only option for the music industry is to adapt to the needs of their customers and start competing with pirates.

In related news, our very own Matt Mason just got his book ‘The Pirate’s Dilemmaleaked on BitTorrent. Matt announced that an official ‘free’ version will be available for download later, but I’m sure that he doesn’t mind people sharing this pirated copy.

(Via O’Reilly TOC)

This is an article from: TorrentFreak

Book Authors See BitTorrent As a Promotional Tool

(Via TorrentFreak.)

US Record Companies Sue Project Playlist on Copyright

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Record Companies Sue Project Playlist on Copyright: “Nine major record labels filed suit against an online music provider, accusing Project Playlist of a ‘massive infringement’ of their copyrights to the songs of artists such as U2 and Gwen Stefani.”

(Via NYT > Technology.)

Bits: Should Anti-Spyware Programs Fight Snooping I.S.P.’s?

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Bits: Should Anti-Spyware Programs Fight Snooping I.S.P.’s?: “An industry group is going to help figure out whether anti-spyware software should try to block Internet service providers from monitoring where their customers surf in order to show them ads.”

(Via NYT > Technology.)

Cartoons of a Racist Past Lurk on YouTube

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Cartoons of a Racist Past Lurk on YouTube – New York Times: “”

Published: April 28, 2008

Among the millions of clips on the video-sharing Web site YouTube are 11 racially offensive Warner Brothers cartoons that have not been shown in an authorized release since 1968. Some of the cartoons were removed on April 16. A message saying the cartoons were no longer available because of a copyright claim by Warner appeared in their place. By evening the messages disappeared, and some of the cartoons were back. Representatives for YouTube and Warner would not confirm whether the companies had tried to remove the cartoons.

Cracking the ‘Great Firewall’ of China’s Web censorship

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Cracking the ‘Great Firewall’ of China’s Web censorship – “”

Worth reading this detailed article on Internet censorship in China.

UK News: Ex-police chief admits child pornography charges

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Ex-police chief admits child porn: “A former police superintendent admits 17 child pornography charges but pleads not guilty to rape.”

(Via BBC News.)

Russian prosecutors eye Internet censorship

Monday, April 28th, 2008


MOSCOW (AFP) — The Russian prosecutor’s office wants tough anti-extremism laws to be extended to the Internet, state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Wednesday, prompting fears of growing media censorship.

The prosecutors office has proposed a legal amendment to bring the Internet under the same rules as printed media, Vyacheslav Sizov, a top official at the prosecutor general’s office told the daily.

Newspapers deemed in court to have published extremist material can be shut down under current laws.

The new proposal is for any website deemed to have hosted extremist material to be blocked by providers in Russia “within a month,” Sizov said.

The Internet is the freest area of the media in Russia, where almost all television and many newspapers are under formal or unofficial government control.

The extremism law has already come under fire from human rights activists, who say its sweeping nature is open to abuse by officials wanting to outlaw legitimate criticism.

“It is a worry whenever the government tries to change any law,” Oleg Panfilov, director of the Centre of Journalism in Extreme Situations, told AFP.

“It is difficult to find anyone who is not against extremism but it depends on how the law is used. The government uses (it) selectively.”

News website was warned for extremism last year after it wrote about cartoons that satirised the prophet Mohammed.

Backlash encourages citizens to write to the Lords

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Backlash continues to encourage citizens to write to the Lords with regards to the controversial provisions (criminalizing the possession of extreme violent pornography) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.

There is only until 30th April left to fight this Bill and we’re urging everyone to write to a Lord.

Lords who support amendments are listed under “Contents” in Hansard here. More of them are needed to turn up on the 30th.

Lords whipped into supporting the present Bill are listed under “non contents”, whose minds might yet be changed by sensible arguments.

The Tories abstained. Persuading them to exercise their vote and preserve freedom of expression would also make a difference. Do it now.

One concession so far

The Government promised one change when the Lords debated amendments to the Bill on 21 April.

The Minister conceded “I recognise that it would be anomalous for a person to be committing an offence by possessing an image of an act which he undertook perfectly lawfully. We intend to introduce at Third Reading a defence” for this.

Baroness Miller warned “the Minister is in danger of leading his Government into becoming the thought police”

The Minister had admitted “We are targeting that material not on account of offences which may or may not have been committed in the production of the material, but because the material itself, which depicts extreme violence and often appears to be non-consensual, is to be deplored.”

Baroness Miller made the point “If someone viewed over the internet a third party having sexual intercourse with a sheep, would that carry a greater penalty than someone actually having sexual intercourse with a sheep?”

She went on “The Minister has not really answered any of the issues that have been worrying your Lordships this evening. In light of the fact that the Minister has made absolutely no concessions at all” she withdrew her amendments in order that she could bring them back on Third Reading.

Only one Peer who appears to have taken up the Minister’s invitation to visit Charing Cross police station to view examples.

Lord Faulkner (a Labour appointment) said “I was left with the question whether their possession is so threatening to society that it is worth turning people into criminals and sending them to jail”.

He decided “I really cannot imagine that any useful purpose is served by creating criminals out of the people who possess them.”

The saga continues. The Government have let it be known they will ensure the Bill receives royal assent by May 8.

backlash: “”