Pirates are competitors

Out-law radio have an interview with Dr David Price of piracy intelligence firm Envisional.

He talks about the user experience of P2P networks often being better than the paid-for version, how some companies have adopted P2P for distribution and who content owners should prosecute.

Read here and download or subscribe through iTunes.

Out-law radio and the out-law website are services from UK law firm Pinsent Masons.


Thomas case: ‘damages unprecedented and oppressive’ – Judge

District Judge sets aside previous $222,000 award in favour of the RIAA  against single parent Jammie Thomas as disproportionate and orders a new trial.

Extracts from the judgement:

“The Court would be remiss if it did not take this opportunity to implore Congress to amend the Copyright Act to address liability and damages in peer to peer network cases such as the one currently before this Court … The defendant is an individual, a consumer. She is not a business. She sought no profit from her acts.

The statutory damages awarded against Thomas are not a deterrent against those who pirate music in order to profit. Thomas’s conduct was motivated by her desire to obtain the copyrighted music for her own use. The Court does not condone Thomas’s actions, but it would be a farce to say that a single mother’s acts of using Kazaa are the equivalent, for example, to the acts of global financial firms illegally infringing on copyrights in order to profit in the securities market.

Unfortunately, by using Kazaa, Thomas acted like countless other Internet users. Her alleged acts were illegal, but common. Her status as a consumer who was not seeking to harm her competitors or make a profit does not excuse her behavior. But it does make the award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages unprecedented and oppressive.”

Full coverage and link to the judgement recording industry vs people

Coventry University Events

Coventry Conversations

A series of 12 lectures by visiting speakers from the contemporary media world.

Foreign correspondent, sports writer, drama writer, editor, investigative journalist, games developer, screen writer, film director … leading figures share their experience.

Starting on 25th September talks take place on Thursday lunchtimes. Talks are free and open to the public. Read the full programme.

Professorial Lecture – Pirate Philosophy

Monday 29 Sept/6.00pm/AB107 – Goldstein Lecture Theatre

Gary Hall, Professor of Media and Performing Arts, CSAD

“This lecture presents a series of performative media projects or ‘media gifts’. This project investigates some of the implications of internet piracy for the arts and humanities. ‘Pirate Philosophy’ explores such ideas both philosophically and legally through the creation of an actual ‘pirate’ text.”

Light refreshments will be available after the Lecture at approximately 7pm

To reserve your place contact Suky Sanghera on 5294 or email s.sanghera(at)coventry.ac.uk

Google G1

Google G1 mobile phone launches.

Piece by the Guardian’s Richard Wray gives the background. Open Handset Alliance vs Apple iPhone and Nokia’s newly-free Symbian.


“For many people in the developing world, the only way they are likely to get on the web, for the foreseeable future, is through a mobile device.

A quarter of a century on from the arrival of the personal computer there are roughly 1bn in use worldwide but that many mobile phones are sold every year. And growth in mobile usage is increasingly in the developing world, where fixed-line infrastructure is often patchy at best.”

The Guardian

Financial Times article based on preview of G1. Reports developers distinctly underwhelmed by the first showing.

“When the first of Google’s long-anticipated Android mobile phones hit the stores in a matter of weeks, they will land with a fizzle rather than a bang.

That is the overwhelming verdict of internet developers and mobile industry executives who have closely followed Google’s progress and, in some cases, worked with early versions.”


Jean-Louis Gassée at Monday Note speculates thus:

“ … imagine this: Google makes a deal with Amazon and all the Kindle content becomes available on Android phones.  Or, not at first but in a future iteration, the video downloads Amazon sells become available on Android.  And why not start sooner with the music (MP3) files Amazon sells.”


Filesharing prosecutions

“Cleveland police have charged Alan Ellis, the former administrator of the defunct BitTorrent tracker site OiNK.cd, with conspiracy to defraud the record industry.
Ellis, a 25-year-old IT worker, will face magistrates at a committal hearing on 24 September, a police spokeswoman said today. Five individuals who were arrested in June for uploading music torrents to OiNK will also appear to answer charges of criminal copyright infringement.

All the alleged offences could carry prison sentences.”
Continues at The Register

“A British woman who put a game on a file-sharing network has been ordered to pay damages to the game’s creator. Topware Interactive has won more than £16,000 following legal action against Isabella Barwinska of London, who shared a copy of Dream Pinball 3D. Three other suspected sharers of the game are awaiting damages hearings.

The test case could open the floodgates for litigation against thousands of other Britons suspected of sharing the game. In the case heard at London’s Patents County Court the game maker won damages of £6,086.56 plus costs of £10,000.”
BBC technology news

Continue reading Filesharing prosecutions

Openness in Higher Education

Presentation on Openness, Localization, and the Future of Learning Objects

David Wiley, Director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University.

This  36 minute presentation discusses how tags, blogs, RSS and Google have usurped much of the earlier work  done with repositories.

Much of the case he makes about the challenges and opportunities higher education faces in an increasingly digital, mobile, connected world is contained in  a statement to the US Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Available as a 7 page pdf

“How, specifically, is higher education to respond to its changing environment and the changing nature of its core areas (content, research, expertise, and credentialing)? “E-learning” (at least as commonly conceived) is not the answer. The university experience must align more closely with its societal context and participant base. Higher education must continue its efforts to become digital and mobile, while working to become significantly more open, connected, personal, and participatory.”

He argues that the move to greater openness, exemplified by initiatives like OpenCourseWare at MIT rather than closed, proprietary systems, shows the way forward.

“In order to realign itself with changes in society and in its student base higher education must find the will to innovate in the areas of openness, connectedness, personalization, and participation. I believe that openness is the key to enabling other innovations and catalyzing improvements in the quality, accountability, affordability, and accessibility of higher education.”