Dark data experiments?

Untitled - man in the dark
I have a lot of curiosity and one of the things which has consistently got me curious, is the challenges of the hidden. Hidden being the trick, the data, the technique, the place or the knowledge. This is why I’m very interested in Hacker House (it was almost added to my new years resolutions for 2017 even).

Currently data is the hidden which intrugued me the moment, hence my massive interest in data ethics. There’s been 3 experiments which have really got me jumping up and down about this all… thought I’d share while I eat cheese and drink wine on Christmas day

  • Click Click Click
    A perfect and fun demonstration of mouse tracking on websites using just JavaScript. This is the data the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc use to track users dwell time and implicit actions on the website. Found via some folks on our BBC R&D internal slack.
  • I know what you downloaded (…last summer or even last Christmas)
    This site collects IPs from public torrent swarms by parsing torrent sites and listening to the DHT network. They have more than 500.000 torrents which where classified and have data on peers sharing habits. The slightly twisted feature is the ability to share a link and see what people have been sharing. I promise not to do this but highlights the problem with shortern urls and long query strings you can’t be bother to read or don’t understand how they work (knowledge). Found via Torrentfreak
  • Find my phone
    Man’s smartphone is stolen in Amsterdam, so the same man decides to root another phone and deliberately track the phone. Along with the person who stole it! The results are turned into a video which you can watch on youtube.
    Found via Schneier

Don’t forget to seed Doctor Who

https://twitter.com/cubicgarden/status/583676334997659648

It was funny seeing the article on the Guardian… Doctor Who gets official BitTorrent ‘box-set’ from the BBC.

Doctor Who is on BitTorrent. But this time, it’s the BBC that has put it there. The broadcaster’s BBC Worldwide division is releasing an official digital box-set of 10 episodes from its popular sci-fi show’s modern incarnation.

It will be distributed as a free “bundle” through BitTorrent’s file-sharing network, with an introductory video from current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and a 10-minute preview of Rose, the first episode from the modern Doctor Who era.

Fans will be able to download or stream both, but will have to pay $12 to unlock the rest of the bundle, including the 10 episodes – strictly speaking 12, since a couple are two-parters.

Its funny because only 6 years ago, almost to the day (thanks George) BBC Backstage and BBC RAD (all part of BBC R&D) put out our first torrent of R&DTV.

RAD, led by portfolio manager George Wright, looked to various other BBC departments for advice on this, including Vision and with heavy involvement from Ian Forrester at Backstage.

Firstly, the subject of the show – called R&DTV – is about web-based technology. The first episode includes Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop Per Child,Kevin Rose from Digg and some of the BBC team behind the BBC Micro. Though it’s not produced to the high-budget standards of BBC TV, it’s definitely not filmed on Flip cameras with bad audio. It’s well-thought out, web-friendly subject matter and filmed in HD quality by Rain Ashford and Hemmy Cho from Backstage.

 

Your own personal cloud

The personal or private cloud is growing in popularity and I’m starting to see it spring up in the popular tech press more and more. Interestingly I keep starting a blog post then not finishing it because theres not quite enough to talk about. Then I heard Bruce Sterling’s 2012 South by south west talk (recommended to me by Imran)

The bit which really got me was the 5 stacks part.

“[There’s] a new phenomena that I like to call the Stacks [vertically integrated social media]. And we’ve got five of them — Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. The future of the stacks is basically to take over the internet and render it irrelevant. They’re not hostile to the internet — they’re just [looking after] their own situation. And they all think they’ll be the one Stack… and render the others irrelevant. And they’ll all be rendered irrelevant. That’s the future of the Stacks.

People like the Stacks, [because] the internet is scary now — so what’s the problem there? None of them offer any prosperity or security to their human participants, except for their shareholders. The internet has users. Stack people are livestock — ignorant of what’s going on, and moving from on stack to another. The Stacks really, really want to know you’re a dog.

They’re annihilating other media… The Lords of the Stacks. And they’re not bad guys — I’d be happy to buy them a beer. But really, a free people would not be so dependent on a Napoleonic mobile people. What if Mark Zuckerberg trips over a skateboard?

This structure won’t last very long… But you’re really core people for them and their interests. You are them. I’m them.

Bruce is right on the money. The 5 stacks have been trying to outdo each other for many years and see the whole thing as a zero-sum game, death to the end. This is not the way the internet or human society has to work or has to be. On the face of it, they are friendly but like a vicious dog (remember I’m not really a fan of them) they need a certain amount of caution.

Even myself are weary of how much data I hand over to Google. It may seem like I don’ t care but you would be very wrong. If I didn’t care I would sign up for Google Drive storage (I like the idea of being able to search across all my files, something which is tricky with Dropbox), would have moved from Evernote to Google Keep, etc, etc… I tend to keep my data across different stacks and deal with the migration and syncing myself. Its a bit of a pain and boy would it be easier to just dump it in Google’s cloud/stack. But I don’t want that.

I have been experimenting with my own cloud but not found anything yet which works the way I really want it to. The thing about clouds is they should merge and split or in other terms they should seamlessly blend. A personal cloud should consume and work with the other clouds. Now I understand the 5 stacks don’t really want to work with anyone else and will make there clouds/stacks difficult to inter-operate with but it can be done.

Some of you may say “Ian your dreaming…” but I point you at Trovebox which use to be Openphoto. The original idea was that you could store the photos in your own cloud and simply using an a bit of http linking and authentication, build your own decentralised flickr without handing over your actual photos. Another example is the absolute power of ifttt.com.

The lure of having a cloud which is as powerful and ubiquitous as other the other 5 clouds would be amazing. The advantages are all there but unlike the 5 clouds, you wouldn’t have to worry about it snooping on you and selling data to others. Increasingly more and more of us post Edward Snowdon.would like to something which we could exist and support our own ambitions not the shareholders.

Revelations that many governments of the world are able to collect personal data on-demand has called into question our desire and need to keep everything online. While we want to access and share our content, we want privacy and security as well. Whether it is photos on a social network or work documents in an online storage account, we want to know that we have absolute control of our data because it is ours, regardless of what services we use and regardless of how they choose to manage their Terms of Service.

Ok so were all down with Personal clouds? What are the projects I have been keeping an eye on? Cozy.io, Sparkleshare, Owncloud, Tonido and Amahi. Weirdly the last one isn’t really a Cloud but I’ve looked into turning it into a personal cloud platform.

The problem with the personal clouds is they are a long way off that ready state. They require a lot of hand cranking and can be a massive time and money hog. Which means only those knowledgeable and with enough money can afford the privacy…?

Its a shame but whats new?

Well nothing much but its fascinating what else you can do with your own cloud. I have seen a lot of activity around the idea. For example you have things like tent.io and you got to admire what Bit Torrent inc are doing in the labs, if only it was open source. Would love to use Bittorrent sync across the board but I just don’t trust it more than dropbox. In which case I might as well keep using dropbox? At least they have 2 factor authentication now and full support for Linux. Plus the amount of other cloud services which support dropbox is very high.

Ultimately if the personal cloud is going to really make a dent. It needs to be super flexible, work with others and support features which the others wouldn’t dare (bit torrent is one such feature)

UKNova without Torrents

UKNova has always been a interesting place for a clue about the future (specially when they use to share the data of how many people were downloading what, and from which country). Its existed way before bbc iplayer, 4od and all the ondemand services we all use now. It also has a very interesting stance on what content it does allow to be shared. But despite all that, they have always been on the wrong side of the fence for many in the industry.

UKNova is being forced to change. We have been issued with a “cease and desist” order by FACT (The Federation Against Copyright Theft).

Despite our efforts to cooperate with the UK media companies, FACT have stated: “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless it can be proven that explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content has been obtained”.

Whilst we believe that they are wrong both legally and morally on account of the strong ‘no commercial content’ stance that we have always taken, we are not in a position to be able to risk lengthy and costly court battles to prove this. Therefore we have no other option but to close down the trackers. It has not been an easy decision to take, but it is apparently our only option.

The argument by FACT sounds wrong too from what I know about UK copyright law but would I state my flat on it? Not a chance… I expect moving to Magnet links won’t help their dilemma either? Such a shame and a great loss, people will just seek their TV from elsewhere now, somewhere with less rules.

I remember UKnova was once asked to come into the BBC to meet content producers and defend their position as part of a BBC Backstage outreach (one of many engagement with the darknet/undernet, etc). The guys behind UKnova at the time were scared of arrest but they did come in and that discussion was one of the best discussions I’d seen. Thanks to Jem Stone and Ben Metcalfe for setting that up by the way…

Remember what I said about chilling effects?

Torrrentfreak just published about it before I did as I wasnt’ sure if I should, so I left it in the drafts for 12hours… thanks Mark Boas.

The History of File-Sharing

Anonymous DDC_1660_1

The Darknet is something I deep into for research purposes and to get an idea of whats emerging… However I keep having to defend the innovation, expertise and pure genius of the darknet. I use darknet in lei of a better word to describe the underground world of hackers. Crazy because theres so many examples out there.

Torrentfreak recently did a history of file-sharing which has plenty of examples of hackers and developers scratching there own itches.

BitTorrent has catapulted into a mainstream filesharing mechanism which is fast, efficient, and difficult to stop. Early versions of BitTorrent required centralized trackers to operate, but have later become able to utilize trackerless “torrents.” Increasingly BitTorrent users have grown concerned with their privacy. Indexes such as YouHaveDownloaded.com have been able to maintain logs of every file downloaded by IP, which has raised significant awareness to whether it is safe to download files through BitTorrent. In addition, many ISPs have been known to cap speeds when detecting BitTorrent downloads. As a result of these privacy concerns millions of BitTorrent users have signed up with Anonymous VPN services to mask their IP-addresses when downloading…

The meaning of Distruption… Bit Torrent

10 years of Bit Torrent I wrote in a recent twitter post, after reading Torrent freak on my kindle a while back

It feels like so much longer and I wonder if thats a sign of real disruption?

It feels like its been here forever and you almost can’t remember before it. Life is forever changed… Imagine life before the mobile phone? No I can’t really either…

Paramount goes with no DRM bittorrent distribution

I’ve been meaning to blog this for a while but

In a little over two months time, the long-awaited horror movie The Tunnel will receive its world premiere. Rather than a traditional theatrical release, the movie – which is set in abandoned real-life tunnels under Sydney, Australia – will make its debut online for free with BitTorrent. Simultaneously it will be released on physical DVD, to be distributed by Hollywood giant Paramount Pictures.

I almost fell off my chair when I heard the news that Paramount will be releasing the Tunnel for free on bit torrent with no DRM of any kind!

No matter what the film is like, Paramount and the guys behind the tunnel have basically won. A film which would have gone straight to DVD somewhere in a junk bin somewhere could just have been elevated to the most downloaded movie of May (maybe).

Someone in Paramount must have done the maths…

The movie budget was $135000 and to be honest any film will easily eat that for a worldwide publicity. On top of that, its a small risk. The copyright owners (the team who created the film keep the copyright and are licensing it to Paramount) have created something which looks like a cross between Blair witch project and Creep so its got limited mainstream appeal. In actual fact, it would have made more sense of films like FAQ: about time travel would have blown away everything else if they had choose to do release in the same way. I also wonder if the process can be popular enough to get stuff back into the cinemas? Bit like my experience of Donnie Darko.

Paramount gets a Kudos +1 from me…

Peer to peer live streaming the next battlefield

From Torrentfreak

So as we near the 10th anniversary of BitTorrent its inventor Bram Cohen is finalizing a new protocol, this time aimed at P2P-live streaming. Although P2P-live streaming is not something new per se, Cohen thinks that his implementation will set itself apart from competitors with both its efficiency and extremely low latency.

“Doing live properly is a hard problem, and while I could have a working thing relatively quickly, I’m doing everything the ‘right’ way,” Bram Cohen told TorrentFreak last year when he announced his plans. He further explained that the BitTorrent protocol had to be redone to make it compatible with live streams, “including ditching TCP and using congestion control algorithms different from the ones we’ve made for UTP”

In the months that followed Cohen figured out most of this complex puzzle and the technology is now mature enough to show to the public.

The demo he shows is, well…ummm… underwhelming to say the least. But to be fair if 10 years ago someone said look this is BitTorrent watching it go. You’d also be scratching your head thinking is that all?

There’s no doubt streaming is due a massive. A lot of the rights owners think they can beat P2P downloads with the experience of streaming. They might even be right.

Streaming is certainly the next battlefield. Theres already some high profile projects in this area including P2PNext, but anything remotely like Bittorrent for P2P streaming could be huge. Talking to some of the engineers at work in BBC R&D, anything which can even the field between the costs per person of traditional broadcast and ip delivery could be truly paradigm shaping.

Is this it? I don’t think so, at least not yet.

Inception the most pirated movie on Bittorrent for the last month

Inception cover

Inception has been the most pirated movie on Bittorrent for the last month now. 4, 3, 2, 1 week(s) ago. And its had some very strong challengers from Scott Pilgrim, The social network and Wall street: Money never sleeps.

I did notice that when the HD version of Inception did hit the scene, the pirate bay was overloaded for a good few hours.

I’m sure the chief’s hollywood are cursing the scene for being so well organized and getting a hd rip out before they could get the retail DVD out. I’ve personally had my Inception Blu-ray/DVD/itunes (Triple Play) on pre-order for about 2 months now. I’m sure when Amazon do send it out, it will sit on my DVD rack with great prominence (my first blu-ray). Now I need to get myself a inception movie poster because they are great.

Also great to see Inception is still in position 4 of IMDB’s top 250 of all time right behind Godfather part 2.

Is the BBC’s iplayer changes, pushing developers towards the dark net?

XBMC media centre

So to remind everyone, this is my blog and not the view of my employer (the BBC). If you’ve not seen the outbreak about the iplayer stream changes then I can recommend the BBC Backstage post and the internet blog post. You will see they both link to the register piece which highlighted the problems people are having.

Here’s the Register’s summary of the whole thing.

The BBC has quietly updated its hugely popular iPlayer with a verification layer that closes the door on open source implementations of RTMP (real-time messaging protocol) streaming, The Register has learned.

The Beeb applied the update to its online video catch-up service on 18 February, just four days after Adobe Systems penned a corporate blog post about its “content protection offerings”.

The tweak means that free RTMP plugins offered by the likes of the XBMC community – whose code is based on the GNU General Public Licence (sic) v2* – can no longer stream iPlayer content. The latest iteration of XBMC’s plugin was created in May last year and was being used by UK viewers to play TV and radio catch-up content from the BBC’s iPlayer service.

XBMC.org adds to this…

While we understand the BBC’s reasoning for the decision, we surely don’t agree with it. Add to that, a publicly funded media organization has far more obligations than a typical private one.

XBMC could easily be modified in a way that would allow playback of the streams, though it could never be included in the official binaries due to the wretched DMCA.

We hope that news of this change spreads quickly. Feel free to submit this story as well as the one from The Register to your favorite news sites. If anyone from the BBC would like to engage in a public discussion, we would very much welcome it; see our contact page for details. Also, be sure to take their online survey and tell them how you feel. Remember, this change affects far more than an XBMC plugin… all open-source BBC playback implementations are at stake.

*librtmp, the library used to access these streams, uses the lgpl license.

So to be clear, I also understand the reasoning but disagree with the need for this change. This change is easily fixable/hackable/reversed but doing so would break the DMCA or EUCD. So this is a very difficult position to be in because the change is forcing the hand of the developers to do something illegal. Now most of the developers don’t and won’t do it but there are those who don’t give a flying monkey for the law and will easily reverse whatever Adobe creates in the form of DRM. This is why there is such a outrage by most people who understand the situation fully. Verification layer protection is a joke, but a really bad joke which you can’t get rid off by simply shuffling it out the front door. Cory always says…

DRM only affects people who buy media honestly, rather those who nick, borrow or cheat their way to it. In turn that means that the people who ultimately bear the inconvenience, cost and insult of DRM are the paying customers, not the pirates.

And he’s right. The people who are most effected by Verification Layer are those who are the fans watching iplayer streams on their XBMC boxes at home with there friends and family. Worst still they are already license fee payers and early adopters who the BBC really should be spending more time with instead of marking them down as a irrelevant group. This group are very vocal and have the ability to really make the BBC’s future a living hell if its not very careful.

I’ve already seen evidence of a application which strips iplayer of all its content in a slightly questionable way being pushed as a replacement for XBMC’s iplayer script. Its worth noting this application which I won’t link to worked before the change and still works after the change, in actual fact there was no interruption to its service! And if you think thats questionable, I’m sure the usage of BBC content in Bit Torrent, Rapidshare, usenet, etc went flying through the roof as people scrambled back to the dark net to watch there shows. I do wish there was a way to prove this in numbers, just to show how much streaming from the BBC was having an affect on the dark net.

So where do we go from here?

Will the BBC ever turn off Verification layer? Honestly I doubt it and as Adobe creates even more technical hurdles they will also be added. Its a real shame because as we’ve already explored they only effect those who care enough to get there content from the BBC iplayer. Adobe’s measures have no ground in the dark net.

The Trust survey is very important, as that has a massive effect on what the BBC can and cannot do. So its very important that everyone takes part in the survey. Its also worth writing blog entries and telling more people about the issue. This doesn’t only effect xbmc but also all those mobile clients and other media centres. There’s been a lot of comments at the register, iplayer forums, internetblog, backstage forum and backstage blog but not nearly enough posts and twitters.

Finally the BBC needs to talk openly about this stuff, if it was announced this was coming and explained then I honestly I think the BBC wouldn’t get the kickback there getting now. Look at the iplayer forum, who on earth blamed the iplayer RSS terms and conditions for this problem? Yes I’ve been talking to the guys at XBMC and other projects, the BBC needs to build bridges with these communities and at least have a conversation about this stuff. No promises just conversation.

ShareTV just needs a social network and a client

ShareTV.org is my hot tip for the future of TV online.

For a long time I've been wishing that Tioti.com (Tape it off the internet) would get its act together, but it never so I gave up on it about 6 months ago. Since then I've noticed ShareTV and TV nanny move closer into the area which Tioti occupied. TV Nanny I don't kow enough about because I don't really like installing clients on my desktop machine and its only windows based.

ShareTV features

Anyway, back to ShareTV. This bit torrent site focuses on yes you guessed it Television programmes. Its clean cut and lacks a style. This makes it super easy to navigate around its pages and discover new areas without feeling lost. Right from the start they included RSS feeds with direct links to the torrent files. Not only a global one but per programme and the last 30 shows feed. Both of these make it really simple to setup a TVRSS setup using Azureus, UTorrent Democracy or something else. Another key feature of ShareTV is it only selects one torrent of each episode of the programme. Aka you don't have to choose which version of the programme you want to download. This might sound like a disadvantage for those who really like downloading those 1gig 720p HD versions of Heroes but for the rest of us its fine. I'm sure in the near future they will build feeds with all HD episodes which can be used.

ShareTV also indexes currently about 100+ shows including UK shows like Jekyll and Doctor Who (which I'm currently missing due to be in Toronto). They rip the details for each show from TV.com so you can get the full details about a show before downloading it. Recently they have included previews so you can get a idea about a show using a streaming flash player in the page. This is being extended by it would seem them watching links in del.icio.us and Youtube pointing to episodes, so you can actually watch the whole show there in your browser if you choose to. I don't know how successful this will be but thats not the most interesting part.

Recently if you log into ShareTV you can do a whole bunch of new stuff. Voting for a show is new and interesting because you are able to gage per show what people thought of the show. You can vote either a thumbs up or thumbs down. Less interesting is the fact you can add comments to each episode. Tv.com has the same thing, so the duplication isn't  that welcomed. Now its possible to add your favorite shows to a personal list and keep a track of just those. I didn't notice a RSS feed for them yet but I'm sure thats coming soon. Another nice thing ShareTV does is a calendar view of TV shows like a 9 day TV listings, But it looks possible that this can be applied the shows you favorite too. Meaning you get a personalised TV listing guide.

Getting Social

So most of this is exactly what Tioti does but Tioti was a mess.for things like picking torrents. Whats missing from ShareTV is the social aspect. Now I have my personal schedule or TV listing of my shows. I want to share this with other ShareTV friends or buddies. I also want to share my schedule with the world. You know stick it in my blog or even in my facebook profile. Once you ShareTV allows RSS, this will be easier but I still want some simple to share widget too.

Something which bugged me about Tioti was the show tracker, it required you to say I've seen this episode, I've seen that episode. But it was a pain. I suggest ShareTV use that voting feature to assume people have also seen that episode at the same time. Ideally ShareTV would have a public API behind it but personalised RSS would be a start, so the feed would have up to date metadata about if you watched the episode or not. I was at one point thinking about using a iCal feed with the free/busy status switched if you've seen it or not but it seems over kill.

Points system

I forgot to add this to my first post. ShareTV now have a points system for your account. This level of participation is both playful and community building. Some of the core elements I would say for making the site more social.

You get points by participating in the site. The more points you have the higher priority you get when downloading off our tracker or streaming videos.

Action Points Given
Create Account +10 points
Rate Show +1 point per
Place Comment +2 point per
Upload new Torrent +3 points per**
Submit new video clip +4 points per**

** You also get plus/minus points for each vote on the torrent or video you submit, so make sure you submit stuff other members would like

Ideally it would still be great if your bit torrent client or mediaplayer device could say if you've seen the episode – You could imagine something like Last.FM for TV (last broadcast) with plugins for the Xbox Media Centre, Windows Media Centre, Apple TV, Democracy, BBC iPlayer etc. But thats a long way off and seems the demand won't be there till we get over the whole downloading TV shows thing. I actually think shareTV would be a great place to try such a service but even if ShareTV could consume someone elses service that would be great.

I mean it would only take ShareTV a while to add some kind of distributed Digg like system through peoples personal desktop widget engines. Or they could create some simple application using Xul or Air (formally known as Adobe Apollo). Geez if there was a API again, I would try writing the other part myself.

These are the things Tioti promised but never quite delivered (or at least got over complex on). I don't want to be harsh to Tioti and Paul Pod (who I hope to meet in Edinburgh)  but the illustrations of the features of Tioti were amazing and the result has been a big let down. ShareTV is closer to the vision of Tioti that it may actually know and it would be a shame if it went in a different direction now.

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Day Break only available online

Taye Diggs and Victoria Pratt of Daybreak

I write this entry a while ago.

Oh great! What is it with American networks and getting rid of shows before they get a chance to get going? I'm not saying Daybreak was the next Firefly but you know what – its damm ignoying. I mean its only meant to be a mini series between the break in Lost season 3 but come on. Its actually not that bad and I was looking forward to seeing what else would come from the series. Now I have to watch it on ABC.com via a proxy
because I can't see it in the UK, but it even that looks unlikely.

Well I'm glad to say, episodes 7-12 are now out and online. As expected the series was worth watching till the end (not sure if 12 is the last one or not). Go get them while there still online. Its also coming to the UK via Sky/Cable on Bravo. Shame there won't be a second series.

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The Corporation available for free, but is it remixable?

The Corporation poster

From Torrent freak, which I've been meaning to blog for a while…

The award winning Canadian documentary The Corporation has been released on BitTorrent for free. Filmmaker Mark Achbar just released an updated official torrent of it. Everyone is free to download, watch, discuss, and share it. Although the torrent download is free, the filmmakers encourage people to donate a small fee if they like what they see. We asked Mark Achbar how the first round of donations went. He said, since my initial torrent launch of The Corporation at the end of August, there have been $635.00 in contributions. They ranged from $2 to three very generous gifts of $100 each. All are very much appreciated. He added, my only regret is that I didnt put up my own torrent sooner.

Although this is great stuff, I couldn't find the licence anywhere. So I'm assuming its downloadable, sharable but not remixable? Shame because its a great documentary but I would like to see a slightly shorter version which I could lend to some friends without them falling a sleep. You could easily do a 1hour version which gets the core message across and then the 3hour version full of examples and more depth.

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Digital Music is not a loaf of bread which can be stolen

In a long series of things which I've been meaning to blog for a while. I saw this on Torrent Freak.

Singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy is part of the growing group of artists that understands that there’s more to music than selling pieces of plastic, and suing your fans.

In an interview with Wired Magazine (from a while ago), Tweedy said:

A piece of art is not a loaf of bread. When someone steals a loaf of bread from the store, that’s it. The loaf of bread is gone. When someone downloads a piece of music, it’s just data until the listener puts that music back together with their own ears, their mind, their subjective experience. How they perceive your work changes your work.

Jeff Tweedy is the leadsinger of the popular band Wilco, that won two Grammy’s back in 2005. He doesn’t consider copying and remixing as evil, but as a way to facilitate creativity.

On the official website of the band from Chicago we even see a link to the BitTorrent tracker where Wilco fans actively share high quality recordings.

Treating your audience like thieves is absurd. Anyone who chooses to listen to our music becomes a collaborator. People who look at music as commerce don’t understand that. They are talking about pieces of plastic they want to sell, packages of intellectual property. I’m not interested in selling pieces of plastic.

For those who are interested in the copyright debate, here’s a presentation by Larry Lessig titled “Who owns Culture“. The presentation served as an intro to conversation about p2p and free culture by Jeff Tweedy and Larry Lessig (audio link).

This all comes at a time when EMI music CEO and Chairman Alain Levy tells an audience at the London Business School that the CD as we know it is dead. And to top that, the IPPR released a study on why copying of CDs and DVDs for personal use should be legalised.

IPPR Deputy Director Ian Kearns said:

Millions of Britons copy CDs onto their home computers breaking copyright laws everyday. British copyright law is out of date with consumer practices and technological progress.

A recent survey among 2135 British adult consumers shows that most people don’t even know that they are breaking the law. Of all the people that participated in the survey, 55% said that they have ever copied CDs onto other equipment. However, only 19% actually knows that this behavior is illegal.

Well what more can you say? Three interesting stories in the downfall or change of the music industry.

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