|By David Weinberger||
|February 2, 2010 01:58 PM EST||
Joe Karaganis, of the Social Science Research Council, is giving a talk at the Berkman Center on a six-country study on media (music, film and software) piracy. The study began in 2004 and should be available in March.
NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.“The elephant in the room” they thought was piracy. Previous studies on access to media tended to avoid the issue of piracy. “The media ecology is still an ecology of piracy.” “We saw a role for a broader social-scientific approach to these issues.” The point of diminishing returns had passed for increasing the strength of IP laws, he says, so countries have been focusing on enforcement. “We began to frame a project that would ask a different set of questions.” It wanted to look not only the costs of piracy, but also at the benefits especially in developing countries. At first, they were more interested in skeptically examining industry reports, but many others started doing this, so it became less of a focus. They’ve tried to separate piracy and counterfeiting, which are usually considered together, because “they have less and less to do with each other in actual practice.”
Three areas of research:
Pricing: The persistence of high and relatively uniform media prices in the developing world; the industry wants to protect the value of their goods in Western markets rather than worrying about making it available in the developing world. Uniform and high prices plus poverty is pretty much the recipe for piracy.
The structure of policymaking: The primary role of the RIAA is to filter info about piracy into the US Trade Representatives and other policy-making organizations, through the IIPA. The IIPA has stimulated many studies on piracy globally and ahs set the terms of the debate.
The organization of enforcement.
Joe shows a table of prices of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida in six countries. The legal price ranges from $8.50 in India to $20.50 in S. Africa (US dollars), but compared to the local incomes, the price is $760 in India and a “mere” $75 in Mexico. But the pirate price in India is $0.40-$1.2, with a corresponding drop in the price compared to local income. The prices are much lower for legal copies of domestically-produced CDs. Same is true for movie DVDs. Where a local company owns its distribution, the prices tend to compete with pirates. Joe says that over the past 10 years, the price of pirated copies has dropped to very close to marginal prices. We’re at a transitional moment, he says, to purely digital media.
He shows a chart of the structure of policy-making organizations, with industry associations feeding into the IIPA, which hands them off to the USTR, which then passes them through 85% of the time. Joe says the study has spent a lot of time unpacking the IIPA’s annual table of losses due to piracy in multiple countries; the data is opaque, although it’s becoming less so. (The IIPA does not compile info about the US.) The table shows “levels,” i.e., what percentage of media in a country are pirated. In Argentina, it’s 75% of business sw. In Brunei, it’s 100% of music.
A questioner points out that not every pirated work would have been purchased if it could not be pirated. Joe says the report goes into the methodological terrain pretty deeply. But, he says, “the default is secrecy” in these reports. “All of this is a black box, and very deliberately so.” He says that their credibility has so eroded that they’d do better to become more transparent.
The USTR can put you on a watch list, priority watch list, and a priority foreign country list “which is a fast track to sanctions.” The acceptance of the WTO, however, meant that sanctions could not be applied to WTO members (because it requires multilateral processes), so the sanctioned countries graph flatlined. The number of warnings, however, went up.
There are few prosecutions in most countries, but lots of raids to confiscate goods. The raids become the punishment. “The industry groups have successfully enlisted the police” but have run into obstacles on the judicial end. In the few cases that can be prosecuted, there are “spectacular punishments.” There has been competition for enforcement resources among companies that have access to them. The industry is so woven into the enforcement process, they can direct and even fund the raids. “There’s just no boundary between public and private power.” Film companies are the best at deploying state resources. The demand for enforcement gives rise to business models, starting with bribing the police, to blackmailing people who have been detected with infringing materials.
Q: Is it understood by the populace that they’re doing something illegal?
A: Yes, but it’s an everyday activity.
Q: Are people worried about being caught?
A: Other countries than the US don’t focus on consumer-level enforcement.
Q: In my country people don’t know it’s illegal.
A: In our research, there’s usually no ambiguity. The lower price is the figure.
A: There are loose correlations between GDP and piracy, but they vary according to media type. The content business model is to keep prices high and just wait it out for incomes to go up. Of course, the price of tech is dropping faster than income is growing.
Piracy is de-formalizing, he says. It’s no longer the small storefront. It’s the street vendor and others less vulnerable to raids. Enforcement against retail optical disk sales has worked. But that just pushed it out into the street.
Q: Do the charts include works that are distributed as unlicensed as intended?
A: It’s a black box.
Q: Do people have a reason to buy legal works for anything except fear of enforcement?
A: There’s no fear of enforcement. People buy legal works only for other reasons. In several of the countries, there are home-grown enforcement campaigns that come from domestic artists.
Q: What will be the take-away of the report?
A: It won’t be liked by industry lobbyists because it departs from the theft narrative that has defined the debate. It’s written from the perspective of the developing economies, where the reasons and conditions for piracy are just not part of the piracy of debate. You never hear about problems of pricing, for example. Our goal is to encourage developing cvountries to ssert more control over their IP policies and enforcement in order to enrich their own culture.
Q: Is there anything a developing country can do about pricing?
A: Depends on the sector. E.g., the biz sw strategy is to allow rampant priacy to ensure universal adoption, and then they begin to enforce against the most vulnerable institutions: municipal gov’ts, etc. What’s the source of open source platforms here? Most govts have no demonstrated any consistent open source adoption strategy. A lot of half-baked strategies, but few fully implemented ones. But that seems to be an adequate outcome. They want a ubiquitous platform of supported sw, which they get with pirated copies of Windows and MS Office. The OS advocates are often being gamed by MSFT’s high-level strategy. “This is an optimal strategy for the software companies. Microsoft wouldn’t have it any other way.” The enforcement rhetoric doesn’t match the sw companies’ strategies. MSFT could enforce Windows 7 piracy in China, but if they did, Linux would be the standard overnight. They’re still growing 30%. If you’re an open sw advocate, piracy is a real problem [because it lets countries use Microsoft for free]. The President of Romania in 2007 at a press conf with Bill Gates in 2007 said that piracy is part of their relationship with MSFT. [It's a national freemimum policy - dw]
By the way, Joe says, they’ve found no connections between piracy and drug trafficking, prostitution, organized crime, or terrorism. There are little overlaps but nothing systematic. This is despite industry claims that piracy funds organized crime and terrorism.
Joe points to the famous Jack Valenti quote that the VCR is to the US film industry what the Boston strangler is to a woman at home alone. [God bless Valenti! We miss you, Jack! - dw] On the other hand, Robert Bauer of the MPA has said (Joe says) that we should treat piracy as a signal of unmet demand and that the task is then to “find a way to meet that demand.”
Q: To what are things like Blu Ray an attempt to stay a step ahead of pirates?
A: It recreates scare production, and thus the conditions for smuggling-based pirate economies. There are always opportunities for that to re-emerge. Blu Ray at the moment has no impact on the markets we looked at.
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small, but are focused on specific tasks. The ability for developers to deploy multiple containers – thous...
Sep. 5, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 235
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
Sep. 5, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 195
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Sep. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 164
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the data to create additional revenue streams, such as improved warranties or premium features. Or slash...
Sep. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 132
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 5, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 248
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 5, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 304
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Sep. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 776
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 326
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
Sep. 5, 2015 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,656
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Sep. 5, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 525
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
Sep. 5, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 459
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Sep. 5, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,734
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
Sep. 5, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 166
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Sep. 5, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 305
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 5, 2015 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,012
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.
Sep. 5, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 274
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Sep. 5, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 428
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Sep. 4, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 464
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Sep. 4, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 542
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Sep. 4, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 158