Archivio dei testi con tag 'peer-to-peer'

Megaupload, la grande truffa dei cyberlocker?

Un giro enorme di utenti e di file, moltissime violazioni di copyright reali o potenziali, un solo beneficiario: il suo pittoresco proprietario. L’avventura (a rischio) di Megaupload e dei suoi “fratelli”

Che Megaupload fosse un sito in cui la gran parte dei materiali circolanti è formata da file pirata di ogni genere (film, musica, programmi per computer e via dicendo) è cosa nota, come pure che negli ultimi anni i titolari di copyright e i loro legali abbiano tenuto d’occhio il fenomeno e abbiano cominciato ad intentare le prime azioni legali nei confronti di questo sito.

Per esempio Perfect 10, una casa produttrice di materiale per adulti, lo scorso febbraio, accusava Megaupload di ripetute violazioni della normativa statunitense. Peraltro, Megaupload non solo non aveva rimosso una serie di file dopo aver ricevuto lo scorso anno regolari notifiche dai rispettivi titolari; ma neppure sembra rispettare le minime formalità previste dal DMCA, omettendo ad esempio di pubblicare nominativi e contatti del personale incaricato di far rispettare le regole. Continua…

LimeWire, dal giudice no alle esose richieste delle major

Sorpresa: nel caso LimeWire il giudice rigetta le astronomiche richieste dei discografici; per le major è ora di cambiare strategia?


Mulve, too good to be true?

Reading early comments and reviews about it will make you think: this seems too good to be true. promises free, super-fast and great quality mp3 files, without the often lenghty waiting times of p2p systems like eMule or BitTorrent.

With the advantage of not being forced to share anything, not being based on peer-to-peer technology and (so it seems) not involving any responsibility for users (which remain anonymous and – not re-sharing the downloaded files from their side – do not become “liable” in any filesharing activity as it happens in other systems).

It seems the typical “Columbus egg”… the “celestial jukebox” dreamed by many users (okay, there’s already Spotify but not for everyone; plus Mulve is free) and also the ultimate nemesis for old school record labels; that, and the death of copyright.

Are we sure it is really like that?

Mulve states to have 10 million tracks available, and maybe this is true. it looks like heaven for users: just a small-sized download, no dubious spyware (even if some commercial banners are displayed), no kind of registration is required. Apart from the small program, the .zip file contains only a text file suggesting to make a donation. Right now Mulve needs 500 dollars to go on. As we type, they have already quickly secured about half of that.

You get the Beatles and the Stones but also exotic recordings like Italian pornstar Cicciolina performing a cover of “Russians” by Sting, half in English and half in Italian. But you may not find “everything”. There are relatively known names that might still be absent.

There’s the bonus of being able to read the bitrate and on average getting less junk (and no trojans or viruses) than most p2p systems. But there are also moments in which the sotware will be acting up and displaying “No results” even for most popular names. Luckily, you just need to shut down and restart the program, and results will be back.

In Mulve, which self-defines as a “music discovery program” you will not find movies, images, or software but just music. Provided that you can download the client. Because yes, has some issues. It will be probably too much success and too quickly. Oh well. There’s also an inevitable Facebook page.

The service states it will remain free and will be ad-supported; it even has some advertisers, already. Speed? Super-fast. In the range of hundreds of Kb per second, so in half a minute you will get any music track. Such a speed in normal p2p systems is unthinkable for many things.. In eMule it is maybe valid for the most popular recent music. In BitTorrent & co., maybe, for the most successful porn movies. Not having seeds or filesharing, the system is democratic: everything will be downloaded at the same, high speed (in p2p a rare track will probably only exist in one or two copies).

Will it be real glory? We have some doubts. No Mac or Linux versions at the moment. The legality remains uncertain, and some actions could still be taken. Mulve cannot be easily tracked: the domain name has been registered through a proxy (Protected Domain Service in Denver, Colorado; their site seems anyway dead). So we cannot know with a simple “whois” search who could be the site owner and his location. But authorities with a special mandate could verify the above and block the .com site and client distribution.

But the problem is that by then, the client will be already elsewhere. Duplicated on sites and traditional peer-to-peer systems (it is already happening). Renamed, modified, redistributed. And if servers are really in Russia as some suggest (and as the cyrillic characters in some of the filenames displayed in search results seem to confirm) things get more complicated. In In that country, record labels lost the batlle with sites such as years ago. “Loopholes” in the Russian law allow a sort of legalized piracy, with collective licenses released by a couple of entities that should in turn pay artists and producers (but in the end don’t). Mulve might reply on them, thus entering a vicious circle.

To record labels now well over their given deadline we can only advice to take all their back catalogue out of their drawers and put it online at accessible prices, not over the typical 99 US cents per track (but also not to exaggerate in the other direction: users will think they are being ripped off and they will stop paying at all: we are referring particularly to certain special offers seen in iTunes, which honestly seem an offence to those who previously paid full price for those albums…). if nothing goes wrong, Mulve will be another passing fad. After all, for example, file names are manipulated and not always exact, sometimes the nasty cyrillic characters appear; file quality is not always the same. In other words, if the US market – which is where the real match is being played – had a Spotify at hand, many people wouldn’t have areason to go onto Mulve for unauthorized copies.

A little bet: in a while, at Mulve‘s place they will run out of money and advertisers and the system will not be able to stay up. If it will survive, it will just mean that on the other side someone is not doing enough to let people understand that there are decent, legal and affordable alternatives.

Peer-to-Peer, Pirates, Public Domain… and chic Porn. aka: Debbie Does Dallas? It’s in the Public Domain.

Copyright and the Porn Industry: a match made in hell.
It seems the adult-oriented industry (whether it was Playboy Magazine vs. Italian 1970s not-exactly-a-clone Playmen, which had a second match about online sites in 1996, or adult majors vs. pirating internet websites) has always had great interest in the copyright debate.
In the past decades, an XXX movie studio or adult mag publisher has often had a better vision of things evolving in the copyright field, than their counterparts in “legitimate” and more “respectable” businesses like the music industry or mainstream moviemaking and book publishing. Or so it seemed.

One of the new p2p lawsuits hitting “John Does” (unknown users) allegedly sharing unauthorized material on peer-to-peer networks is about a classic porn movie. And a particularly important one: “Debbie Does Dallas”, distributed by VCX, which is responsible for the lawsuit.
“Debbie” is not only a porn classic; the movie, and things that surround it – including the myth of “disappeared” actress Bambi Woods – seems to be a piece of pop culture, which even resulted in an Off-Broadway musical, in recent years.
So, what apparently is happening is that VCX is finally enforcing their copyright on one of the most important adult movies ever made.
Nothing new or exciting, in that.

But this recent event (the news about the lawsuit are dated September 1, 2010) brings to memory another lawsuit from last year.
Between two adult “majors”: Arrow and VCX.

Basically, VCX was distributing DVD copies of another porn classic: “Deep Throat”. Arrow stated they owned the trademark and other trademarks connected (note: the lawsuit is about trademark, not copyrights…).
Arrow, on the other side, distributes “Debbie” and “The Devil in Miss Jones”. VCX seems to have claims on both.
Before anyone says, “ok, but this is crap that was produced more than 30 years ago, who has still interest in these?” it has to be said that all of these titles still generate nice profits for their distributors.

Now the horrible, horrible truth.
Speaking about the Arrow/VCX case, the Las Vegas Sun, in 2009, also quoting trademark attorney Ryan Gile, suggested that maybe these movies are in the public domain, and that the above mentioned companies despite the fight aren’t willing to have a judge rule that any of these is entirely non-copyrighted.

We did a quick check.
Debbie Does Dallas”? Seems to have been released without proper copyright notice. Pre-1989. It’s Public Domain. It has shortly appeared on on September 6, 2010. Removed after a few hours because porn is not allowed there, not because of the copyright status, apparently. So much for the VCX/John Does case; a judge will have a lot of fun very soon.

“Deep Throat”?
1972 release. Like “The Devil in Miss Jones” (1973) it was never properly registered with the Copyright Office until 1978. A search in the records at shows that both titles were registered June 27, 1978 together with a third – and more obscure – film from 1974, “Wet Rainbow”.
This should already be enough for it to fall in the Public Domain: before 1976, registration was mandatory, and you could not register the work at a later time.

It was only in 1976 that US law changed and did not consider anymore Copyright Office registration as a mandatory element for copyright to exist.
As for copyright notices for “Deep Throat”: at least for the copy we were able to see, the 1972 version – whether publicly screened or not (because some argue about this point, since initial screenings of the movie were controlled by the mob-linked family that financed it…) – apparently never had a proper copyright notice. One was added later for home video release (and seemed unreadable in a copy we watched, but it is probably “1981”) but the movie had already been out for ages at that point.

Funnily, VCX added a black screen with copyright information at the end of the DVD version; they must have a perculiar view of Roman numerals, because whatever they intended to type, that reads as “1907”.
Now, as we know, in 1907 Linda Lovelace (and full colour cinema) wasn’t even born, and the movie was made decades later.
But, if someone decided to use this 1907 date as a way to cover the copyright, that would be a very bad idea.
Anything pre-1923 is Public Domain anyway, according to the crazy, complicated, many times manipulated US Copyright Law.

This last bit should be enough to clear the Arrow/VCX case too. Am I wrong?