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Archive for January 18th, 2009

Music Piracy Not That Bad, Industry Says

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Post from: TorrentFreak

Music Piracy Not That Bad, Industry Says: “

Every year, RIAA’s global partner IFPI publishes a digital music report, which can be best described as a one sided view of the state of digital music consumption. For several years in a row the report has shown that the sales figures of digital music have gone up, but still, the industry continues to blame piracy for a loss in overall revenue.

One of the key statistics that is hyped every year, is the piracy ratio of downloaded music. Just as last year, IFPI estimates that 95% of all downloads are illegal, without giving a proper source for this figure. Interestingly, those who take a closer look at the full report (pdf), will see that only 10% of the claimed illegal downloads are seen as a loss in sales.

Contrary to the RIAA’s arguments in court, the BPI and IFPI don’t believe in the ‘every pirated download is a lost sale’ myth. Matt Phillips, BPI’s Director of Communications wrote in an email to TorrentFreak: ‘No, we don’t think every illegal download is a lost sale (and never, ever, have, if my memory serves me correctly). The estimates for lost sales revenue is [sic] not calculated on this basis.’

To come up with a ‘best guess’ of the real losses for the UK market, the music industry have commissioned Jupiter Research. For two years in a row, Jupiter estimated the losses are to be about equal to the revenue that comes from digital sales. If we combine this with the ‘only one in 20 downloads is paid for’ guesstimate, only one in 10 illegal downloads is seen as a loss in sales.

Of course we will be very reluctant to draw conclusions from research that is commissioned by the music industry itself, however, it would interesting to know what the effect is of those downloads that are not seen as a loss. Could they perhaps used by consumers to discover new music, and generate revenue in the long run?

What is clear from the report is that ‘pirates’ have shown the music industry what consumers really want. The music industry is slowly starting to recognize that they have to compete with piracy, by offering high quality products. In the 2009 report, for example, IFPI proudly reports that many services now sell DRM-free music, while they themselves are the reason why these restrictions were implemented in the first place.

In the report IFPI writes: ‘An important development in 2008 was the licensing of more online stores to sell downloads without digital rights management (DRM), meaning consumers can play the music they acquire on any portable device. In January 2009, Apple announced it had signed deals with leading record companies to offer eight million DRMfree tracks at flexible price points. The move is expected to significantly boost download sales.’

Besides the usual anti-piracy ramblings on how ISPs should help to disconnect pirates from the Internet, the report documents another interesting trend. The music industry clearly recognizes that they’ve done something wrong in the past, and is now promoting unlimited download services, either ad supported or for a low monthly fee. If done right, this ‘piracy inspired’ model might just be the future of music consumption, or at least a worthy competitor to piracy. But then again, they will find something else to complain about sooner or later.

Coroners And Justice Bill

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Here we go again…. More nonsense criminal provisions introduced based on previous nonsense provisions. The below provisions were introduced within the Coroners and Justice Bill on 14 January, 2009. Note clauses 48-56.

The following text has been taken from the Explanatory Note for the Coroners And Justice Bill.

For the progress of the Bill see the Parliament pages.

The Bill itself can be accessed here.

Note also the Ministry of Justice pages on the Coroners and Justice Bill.

Clause 48 and Schedule 10: Encouraging or assisting suicide: providers of information society services

332. Clause 48 and Schedule 10 ensure that the provisions outlined in clauses 46 and 47 above are consistent with the UK’s obligations under the E-Commerce Directive.

333. Schedule 10 ensures that providers of information society services who are established in England, Wales or Northern Ireland are covered by the offence of encouraging or assisting suicide even when they are operating in other European Economic Area states. Paragraphs 4 to 6 of the Schedule provide exemptions for internet service providers from the offence in limited circumstances, such as where they are acting as mere conduits for information that is capable, and provided with the intention, of encouraging or assisting suicide or are storing it as caches or hosts.

Clause 49: Prohibited images

334. Subsection (1) creates a new offence in England and Wales and Northern Ireland of possession of a prohibited image of a child.

335. Subsections (2) to (8) set out the definition of a “prohibited image of a child”. Under subsection (2) in order to be a prohibited image, an image must be pornographic, fall within subsection (6) and be grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character. The definition of “pornographic” is set out in subsection (3). An image must be of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or mainly for the purpose of sexual arousal. Whether this threshold has been met will be an issue for a jury to determine. Subsection (4) makes it clear that where (as found in a person’s possession) an individual image forms part of a series of images, the question of whether it is pornographic must be determined by reference both to the image itself and the context in which it appears in the series of images.

336. Subsection (5) expands on subsection (4). It provides that, where an image is integral to a narrative (for example a mainstream or documentary film) which when it is taken as a whole could not reasonably be assumed to be pornographic, the image itself may be not be pornographic, even though if considered in isolation the contrary conclusion would have been reached.

337. Subsection (6) and (7) provide that a prohibited image for the purposes of the offence is one which focuses solely or principally on a child’s genitals or anal region or portrays any of a list of acts set out in subsection (7).

338. Subsection (8) provides that for the purposes of subsection (7) penetration is a continuing act from entry to withdrawal.

339. Subsection (9) requires proceedings to be instituted by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Government data sharing plan could extend to private sector

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Government data sharing plan could extend to private sector: “A Government plan to allow more extensive sharing of personal data is not restricted to the public sector and could result in Government-collected information being shared with private companies, a privacy expert has said.”

(Via OUT-LAW News.)

British data protection standard is published

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

British data protection standard is published: “A set of instructions on how organisations can stay within the Data Protection Act (DPA) while storing personal information has been published by British Standards (BSI).”

(Via OUT-LAW News.)