A tale or two about piracy

Speeding car

I really wanted to work with Musicmetric to do something like they have now done. Gain some real insight into what media habits people really are and highlight the very interesting innovation happening on the dark/undernet.

Interestingly Manchester was named the biggest UK city for piracy.

The research said there were more illegal downloads per person in the city than any other in the country, followed by Nottingham and Southampton. The statistics, from monitoring service Musicmetric, conclude that in the first half of 2012, UK users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles.

Well I never… Whats that quote again?

Manchester does today what the rest of the world does tomorrow?

Looking at actual downloads is also interesting. Even Armin Van Buuren gets a high rating… of course I wouldn’t know anything about this…

Outside of this massive amount of music piracy data, it would be great to do the same for TV and Films.

In related news… I saw this in a few places (BBC) and (torrentfreak)… How the pirate bay got started.

By the end of 2004, a year after the site launched, the tracker was tracking a million peers and over 60,000 torrent files. Around the same time the founders also noticed that it was not only Scandinavians developing interested in their site.

In fact, by now 80% of their users came from other parts of the world. Because of increasing worldwide popularity The Pirate Bay team completely redesigned the site, which became available in several languages in July 2005.

For me personally I remember going to Sweden to visit Anna, a friend of Sarah’s. Anna’s boyfriend and me got talking about computers and he showed me the crazy speed available to them in 2004. I remember plugging into his network switch and be shocked to find a real IP (non-Nat). Then he showed me a site with a pirate ship. It didn’t say Piratebay but something like it in Swedish (maybe PiratbyrĂĄn). At the time SuperNova was all the rage and I did scoff at the idea. He then showed me how fast he could download a ISO of Debian. The speeds were not only shocking but earth shattering to me on my 512k ADSL line. 10meg/sec download in 2004 was unreal.

If only I had understood what a force this site would become… Specially when I came back in 2010 to find my flatmate (tim) and a bunch of people (loz and others) surrounded by boxes and boxes of 50k of pirate party flyers!

Media ahead of the curve: Welcometothescene

Welcome to the scene series 2 ep 19

Does anyone remember welcometothescene by Jun Group?

I wrote about it a while back here and here.

For me this was way too early for a lot of reasons but in a world where hackers are dominating the headlines and endless war against piracy this series could actually work very well now. The style is also being duplicated by the likes of some recorded google hangouts I’ve seen recently.

The drama slowly unfolds and although I’ve not seen series 2, I expect the risky move to do very slow drama has been reconsidered. It wasn’t gripping but intriguing enough…

The method of distribution at the time was very radical, creative commons licensed and freely shared on bit torrent (and even e-donkey, geez do you remember that?). Even created in sharing friendly formats like Divx, Xvid, etc… Although quite a obvious move now… back in the day this was pretty amazing and people lapped it up as soon as they could get there hands on it.

Yes Welcome to the scene deserves a place in my ahead of the curve series.

Piracy is the future of television

Piracy is the future of TV by Abigail DeKosnik

Nice little paper written by Abigail DeKosnik of the University of California, Berkeley. Its also formed a part of my talk at BarCampMediaCity.

One of the headings is the Advantages of Pirating TV and the subpoints are…

  • Single Search
  • Simple Indexing
  • Uniform Software and Interface
  • File Portability
  • Access to Global TV
  • Freedom from Preempting in the U.S
  • Personal Archives
  • Low-Cost and Commercial-Free

Lastly theres a section on Recommendations to Legal Services under which theres…

  • Standardise
  • Offer Downloading and Streaming
  • Strategize for Global Audiences
  • Offer a Premium Services for Personal Archivists
  • Eliminate the TV Set
  • Charge Subscription Fees Based on Volume of Usage

In the Appendix, theres recommended reading

The paper is a good one and for most of the people reading it, its maybe really good but it spells out quite a few things which you would already know if you were an avid read of torrentfreak, darknet, etc…

Piracy sounds too sexy, say copyright holders

Pirate child

From ArsTechnica

For years, we’ve heard complaints about using the term “piracy” to describe the online copyright infringement—but most have come from Big Content’s critics.

As noted copyright scholar William Patry argued in his most recent book, “To say that X is a pirate is a metaphoric heuristic, intended to persuade a policymaker that the in-depth analysis can be skipped and the desired result immediately attained… Claims of piracy are rhetorical nonsense.”

That may well be true, but copyright holders have long preferred the term, with its suggestions of theft, destruction, and violence. The “pirates” have now co-opted the term, adopting it with gusto and hoisting the Jolly Roger across the Internet (The Pirate Bay being the most famous example).

Some of those concerned about online copyright infringement now realize that they may have created a monster by using the term “piracy.” This week, at the unveiling of a new study for the International Chamber of Commerce which argued that 1.2 million jobs could be lost in Europe as a result of copyright infringement by 2015, the head of the International Actors’ Federation lamented the term.

“We should change the word piracy,” she said at a press conference. “To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we’re talking about a criminal act. We’re talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do.”

Translation: we should have chosen a less-sexy term.

Gutted, they built up this stupid image of pirates and its totally back fired on them. Another win for remix culture I would say. Heaven knows what they will come up with instead.

Geek and Geekhag podcast number eleven – The Experience

Me and Sarah discuss a few things in this 1 hour podcast. Some things I've talked about in previous blog entries and others are quite new.

  • Xbox 360 hacked?
  • Sanyo HD Camcorder
  • Movie Piracy
  • Its the experience that counts
  • Snakes on the plane
  • Don't copy that floppy
  • Geekdinner
  • Rocketboom
  • Police with guns
  • Sarahs now British

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