The internet giveth and the internet taketh away (piracy edition)

Turns out that theverge does music reporting of sorts. their recent history of dubstep music (‘beyond lies the wub‘) contains two short passages that highlight the impact of digital technology on art (in this case dubstep music). The first passage highlights how digital piracy killed the music industry might have actually driven the quality of music production in the past dececade or so: “They cost nothing if you know how to get them for free, which most people did,” says Martin Clark. “The VSTs…

NRC writes about piracy, plagiarizes statistics in doing so

Had a bit of a deja-vu this morning when browsing through the economics section of friday’s NRC Handelsblad: Page two of that section contains a full page article (‘free jukeboxes against piracy’) on music streaming services such as spotify.com (click to enlarge, no online version available): As you can see from the photo above, the article does come with a nifty info-graphic that illustrates how little artists earn from their music being available on services such as spotify (the number 4.882.7…

Strange things are happening...

Not sure why this is happening, but it appears that commons sense is slowly starting to make a comeback in the discussion about copyright. Yesterday we had the British Prime Minster announce that his government is undertaking a review of the parts of the intellectual property laws in order to enable more flexible use of copyright protected works along the lines of the the US fair-use doctrine: The second new announcement I can make today is to do with intellectual property. The founders of Googl…

You are in napster

Just came across this brilliant foto while reorganizing my photo folder (i am locked away in a museum basement without any form of internet access: no wireless & no mobile phone reception): I took this at a stall selling bootleg CDs at the Kwakoe Festival in Amsterdam southeast in the summer of 2006. To me it perfectly captures the essence of the revolution caused by napster when it launched 10 years ago (give or take a couple of weeks): If your work is not available on napster is is probabl…

Taking the copy out of copyright

Last Wednesday I attended the launch of ‘Adieu auteursrecht, vaarwel culturele conglomeraten‘ the new book by Joost Smiers. In this book he argues that (a) copyright is harmful, because it has led to large conglomerates dominating the production of culture and that (b) the world would be better off without copyright because it would be better of without these conglomerates and therefore (c) copyright needs to be abolished and the conglomerates must be broken apart. According to Smiers and his co…

Pirates vs ship-owners

Last friday’s edition (‘three baby camels‘) of the NPR planet money podcast contains a wonderful nugget about the economical aspects of how to determine the amount of ransom money that is to be paid to somalian pirates in order to get a hijacked ship back. The story is based on the negotiations a Danish shipping executive (Per Gullestrup) conducted with someone representing a gang of Somalian pirates (Mr. Ali). The problem both parties are facing is that there are no other buyers or sellers for…

Dark fibre

In march we spend a week in bangalore with jamie and the darkfibre crew. we had flown there to take pictures of them while they were shooting for dark fibre (more pictures will become available later). Dark fibre crew at work on the rooftop terrace of a IT office building in South Bangalore It was fun and extremely interesting to watch the production from behind the scenes and i am really looking forward to the film (jamie has promised that there will be a trailer on the 13th of may). i…

Ups and Downs in english

The English translation of the Ups and Downs report on the Economic and cultural effects of file sharing on music, film and games is out [thanks Natali!]. You can download the 130 page report written by a research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR on the IVIR website [pdf]. I have mentioned the report (commissioned by the ministry of Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry of Education Culture and Science here before [first thoughts, popular science edition] and as far a…

The socio-economic impact of file sharing [popular science edition]

I just finished reading ‘Ups and Downs – the economic and cultural impact of file sharing for music, film and games’ (see my earlier post for context). All in all the full version does not contain a lot of surprises when compared to the executive summary (which my first post was based on): It is a well written report that, although it makes a lot of sense to someone familiar with the subject, does not really come up with much new insights either. The strength of the report is that it places file…

Why trying to become a guitar hero is bad for the music industry but good for the economy

Early last year the Dutch government (the ministry for Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry for Education Culture and Science to be precise) commissioned a research report on the socio economical aspects of (peer 2 peer) file sharing. Last week the research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR published the final version of the report titled ‘Ups and Downs – the economic and cultural impact of file sharing for music, film and games’. This 141 page report looks into the e…