short copy - this week on the internet

Top links on the Internet this week: Breaking Bad creator talks about illegal downloading, Isohunt tracker gets shut down, study proves that Girl Talk boosts sales, and the anti-NSA spying movement gets a new video.

  • Copyright

innovation-vs-immitation-wealth-of-ideas A new book titled The Wealth of Ideas was released this month and is available for free download HERE. The book “looks with a very critical eye [on] intellectual property rights, which proclaim to promote innovation and creativity.” It asks if it’s fair and if it really works in practice. Joren De Wachter is an experienced IP strategist, with a focus on ICT technology businesses. Watch him talk about his work, substantiated in this book, at TEDxLeuven.

Vox Indie’s piece on Copyright Infringement as a Growth Industry was written from the anti-piracy perspective. In it, Gordon Platt from the pro-copyright organization Copyright Alliance, discusses a allday_girl-talk_covernew paper written by Andrew Keen for Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace.

On a brighter note, an extensive study suggests that “unauthorized” use actually boosts sales. The author analyzed more than 350 tracks sampled on Girl Talk’s album All Day (available HERE for download with a free license). The article titled Fair Use, Girl Talk, and Digital Sampling presents “an empirical study on the effect that digital sampling has on sales of copyrighted songs and how this effect should influence the fair use analysis.”

  • Surveillance

Whistleblower Edward Snowden continues to make headlines after several months from his first leak. This week he breaks the silence to insist he hasn’t helped foreign agents. Here are 5 things we learned about the NSA thanks to him. And as interest in the NSA wiretapping grows…

  • Le Monde publishes a piece showing tangible proof that France is targeted on a daily basis;
  • TechCrunch writes about how the NSA hacked former mexican President Felipe Calderon’s email while he was in office;
  • Angela Merkel the Chancellor of Germany, spoke to Barack Obama on Wednesday evening to demand explanations over reports suggesting that the NSA has been monitoring her mobile phone;
  • On Monday, a panel of European Union lawmakers backed a measure that could require American companies like Google and Yahoo to seek clearance from European officials before complying with United States warrants seeking private data – a story covered by The New York Times and RT News

…and Electronic Frontier Foundation launched a video featuring celebrities, whistleblowers, activists and other prominent figures about the danger of mass surveillance and about he upcoming rally in Washington. Watch the video below:

While concerns about internet surveillance are growing, it seems that we can take refuge on the Darknet. Until we learn how to use it, we can  take a look at the „embarrassing and sad” US Army Cybersecurity Training videos.

  • Illegal downloading

breaking-bad-logoThree weeks after one of the most waited for season finale of the year, Breaking Bad’s creator Vince Gilligan declared: “In some ways the illegal downloading has helped us, certainly, in terms of brand awareness. The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal.” Continue by reading about how Hollywood is to blame for piracy and  how it can capitalize on piracy.

The six strikes anti-piracy system which has been implemented in the US since March 2013 doesn’t have a very transparent policy when it comes to the costs it entails. But TorentFreak sheds some light on the matter, after receiving documents from IRS that lifted the financial veil. However, in spite of the system’s high costs, it seems that piracy is still growing in the US.

isohunt_logoAfter Demonoid got closed down for good in 2012, another file sharing site, Isohunt, has now agreed to shut down its servers after a long court battle as part of a $110 million settlement with the MPAA. But file sharers vow to continue their fight for copyright reform and a group of rogue archivists have taken it upon themselves to backup all isoHunt data before the site vanishes.

Meanwhile in Sweden, Gottfrid Svartholm, one of the Pirate Bay founders, wrote an open letter seeking to stop his extradition from Sweden. Later on Tuesday he decided to appeal his case at the Supreme Court in Sweden. This means that the extradition is not going through next week.

And because we all know it’s frustrating to have hard disk failures, researchers just developed a million-year data storage disk. Using a wafer consisting of tungsten encapsulated by silicon nitrite, scientists have advanced an optical information carrier that can store information for extremely long periods of time, with each bit being written using etching techniques.

Illustration by: Alex Lungu (derived from: Doug Cavendish)