Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NY Times: 'Digital Pirates Winning Battle With Studios'

The NY Times has a rather depressing report on film and TV piracy, focusing on the rise of rogue YouTube wannabes like SuperNova Tube ("We work WITH uploaders, not against them.") and the "link farms" (aka "leeching" or "linking" sites) that provide easy access to the content stored there. Nothing much new here for those who have toiled in the anti-piracy fields for the last few years, but the article is interesting and informative, and has some good color.

The article also provides some much-needed perspective to the web-video debate, where nearly all the attention (yes, including some from me) seems to be focused on the relatively small number of questionable or downright bogus DMCA notices that copyright owners issue from time to time. Don't get me wrong: the problem of bad takedowns is real (I've been on the receiving end myself), and I'm all in favor of exploring ways to avoid them. But I still believe that the problem of web video piracy dwarfs the problems related to overzealous efforts to fight web video piracy. Any "solution" to the bogus takedown problem must acknowledge the vast infringement problem, and not unduly interfere with copyright owners' efforts to combat it.

1 comment:

  1. Dang, you beat me to the post of this article.
    I agree that there's not a lot new, except for the explicit recognition that the movie and TV industries have actually tried to adapt to the formats viewers want through quick streaming technologies and legitimate channels (like Hulu, Netflix Watch Instantly, and the TV networks' streaming recent episodes of their shows), compared to the record companies' years of resistance to any modifications. I have much more sympathy when media companies do, in fact, attempt to provide content in a format demanded by consumers.


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