The powers that be in the copyright world continually push for ever-stricter copyright with longer terms. They seek to externalise the cost of enforcement onto society at large. Society at large, on the other hand, wants easier, quicker access to content with fewer restrictions. Regular businesses can easily be caught in the …
That is actually a really good article...
It just sort of skims the almost bottomless ocean of fucking bullshit masquerading as the cold mollassas of copyright / DRM management.
I don't agree with this bit:
"The business driver for adblock adoption is the desire to eliminate lag. Your sexy fibre optic internet connection is worth little if the 30 or so analytics/advertising servers embedded in websites each need to time out in turn before your staff can get at the content they need.
We need to work out an open, fast, stable, reliable advertisement and analytics system for the web. It must be a system that multiple advertisers – and brokers – can use; one which doesn't impact website load times, and prevents the distribution of malware through advertising networks."
There are many sites that are run by complete and utter fuckwits.... that just shove a shit load of badly placed adds in your face and over the screen and they flash and follow you as you scroll down the pages....... fuck you know.
And then add on all the fucking trackers and profiling and all this shit.....
These fucking people....
The advertisers and tracking companies and the arseholes that work in them and run these campaigns AGAINST the consumer... for instance, IF I wanted a car, I would go LOOKING for a car, and if I was to buy a car, I would usually get a good second hand one, and then sell it after 5 or 6 years... or when it broke down badly or got smashed....
But fuck it, these idiots in the advertsing agencies, are so stupid they think that shoving 500 adds a day in my face for new cars that I don't want or need or have no intention of ever purchasing is their god given fucking right.
And all these idiots play the "shove the all adds in your face we can to the max" routine.....
Free to air TV in Australia is one example - it seems like there are like 10 minutes of adds, for every 3 minutes of movie, and the "just so excited family" scream at you, as your warming the oven, chopping the vegetables, cooking the whole meal for 5 people, in one add break, just as your about to make and pour the REAL gravey.... "Oh Oh the Add Show is almost over, time for the movie break.!!!"
I tend to have stable systems that run for a LONG time and It's ONLY when I rebuild them and set up the browser and then blunder through a few favourite websites, that I go, "Fuck!" at all the adds and bullshit being shoved down the line.....
Then I just throw in all the add blockers, the java script blockers, and now the tracking software blockers...
My opinion is, if the site can't deliver content and SOME advertising on it's OWN fucking merrits, then they do not deserve the business.
As a case in point, now that Google has taken over YouTube, without add blocking (add block plus and element hider) that site is completely fucked.... It's just ADD SATURATED bullshit.
It's just OVER RUN with the satanic hordes, all screaming "Buy, Buy, Buy - Sell, Sell, Sell" adds....
It's social engineering going into the perverse.............
As far as the copyright / licensing / DRM bullshit - fuck them all.... I have just given up....
My major gripe against advertsisers really started with some Canadian internet advertiser that stuck a file into your system that put up an add on your computer screen every so often, with NO agreement to take it, and NO way to get rid of it - unless you trolled some obscure forum somewhere for info on how to get rid of it and these fucking arseholes, if I could have gone to their offices and dragged them across their desks and punched their faces in, I would have done it..
Nothing has changed, these fucking idiots in the advertising industry think that the free range unrestricted raping of your internet arse at every opportunity, through every means possible is their god given right.
My answer to that is "NO it's not and NO you don't".
Microsoft, they are getting the OS onto laptops without a system CD or DVD.... so when the Laptop breaks, your OS goes with it.... fucking arseholes.....
Buy another OS and then go through the BS of registering it? Not likely.
Kodak was another bunch of mongrels - register your ownership of a new camera and they then share your stuff with something like 80 or 800 other "affiliates" for targetted marketing campigns....
I threw out my TV... and have not regretted it since.
AND if I really want to see a MOVIE, I get a weekly rental for $2 and then invite all my friends over to see it and I make a point of lending it to all my neighbours as well - just to spite the movie companies and their DRM bullshit.
Advertisers are near the top of my hate list of stupid and unethical people and companies to deal with.
The people who think they ought to be employed run a close second.....
Re: That is actually a really good article...
Well done... I think you need that beer now...
Re: That is actually a really good article...
I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.
We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be!
We all know things are bad, worse than bad; they're crazy.
It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone."
Well, I'm not going to leave you alone.
I want you to get mad!
I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.
All I know is that first, you've got to get mad.
You've gotta say, "I'm a human being, goddammit! My life has value!"
So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!!"
Jayzus, Orlowski must hate you.
Anyway, just a minor point:
"You may not be allowed to take that copy of an application or operating system you bought and simply move it to another machine."
In the UK at least, yes you bloody well are and the EULA can go blow goats. In the case of Windows (which I assume you mean by 'operating system'), a quick BIOS hack means WGA is rendered more impotent than a 25 stone castrata waving a jelly around in the middle of a battlefield. Just as it should be.
Re: Jayzus, Orlowski must hate you.
In Canada I certainly can't move an OEM copy of Windows! Can I put OSX on a non-Mac anywhere? It's hard enough to write a globally applicable article on copyright. Give country-by-country detail and it moves from "article" into "novel."
As to A.O...he has his patch of sand to preach from. The beauty of El Reg is that it isn't Fox news. We can all call it like we see it. If A.O. felt so inclined, he has the wherewithal to write a truly epic rebuttal. He is a capable and accomplished writer after all; with an order of magnitude more experience than I.
OSX on a non-Mac
You most certainly can install OS X on a non-Mac. Apple are not obliged to support you, but it's not illegal.
Well, unless you're in DMCA-land.
Microsoft can try to enforce that OEM thing, but I doubt they will have much luck outside of, again, not supporting you in your efforts.
As I've personally never phoned Microsoft support except for when their stupid DRM screws up because a friend thought upgrading their graphics card would be nice, I don't see the disadvantage here. Admittedly, I'm sure they could find interesting ways to screw you if you're a large business. Small businesses and home users though? Yeah, good luck with that.
Re: OSX on a non-Mac
Canada is not subject to the DMCA, however we can neither run OSX on a non-Apple PC nor can we transfer OEM licenses. In fact, this holds true for most of the commonwealth, most of Europe (even those countries outside the EU,) and a significant chunk of Asia.
The technical ability to do something does not confer the legal right to do something. More to the point, there is in fact established case law in most jurisdictions supporting the right of software companies to impose and enforce such copyright restrictions.
ACTA isn’t needed for Microsoft, Apple, the RIAA, MPAA or your local whomever-you-are-photocopying to take the majority of the world’s internet-connected businesses to the cleaners.
Copyright law in most countries is pretty restrictive already, and its only going to get worse.
Not at all
Far from it.
Trevor doesn't share the same view, of copyright as an individual property right.
Mine just happens to be the correct one, as it's recognised in international treaty and convention, local law, and supported by almost all democratic governments.
Re: Not at all
Just for the record; my beliefs are slightly more nuanced than that. I believe that intellectual property is a form of property.
What I don't believe is that Intellectual Property is Property in the same sense as a tangible good. The biggest reason for this is the implicit assumption that comes with tangible property of perpetuity.
When you deprive me of tangible property you deprive me of its use, forever. When you infringe copyright, you aren’t depriving me of use of that good. You are merely depriving me of potential revenues.
I believe that intellectual property is a separate and distinct form of property from tangible property. I believe that intellectual property belongs to society as a whole, but that we grant creators a temporary monopoly on the economic uses of that property so that they may see economic benefit from their works.
I believe that this arrangement is necessary for the continued creation of various types of works, and for the continued growth of western economies. I also believe – quite fiercely – that this arrangement absolutely must come with a strict limitation to copyright length for this system to work.
In this manner I both believe that copyright is a form of property – one that requires enforcement and the efforts of society to protect – and that it is not at all like tangible property; “ownership” should not be perpetual, as part of the bargain all sides make to ensure the economic viability of creative endeavours.
And I also believe I am correct in my take on this; this is the basis of social acceptance of copyright, as well as something that most countries maintain to be true in current laws and enforcement implementations. (Indeed, it forms the basis of a few of the aforementioned treaties.)
Intellectual copyright is quite simply treated as something different than tangible property, even in international treaties. Less so in the past few years…but it still holds true today. It is property…but different. Therein lies the basis of a great deal of disagreement, strife, angst and uncertainty.
I believe strongly in enforcement of intellectual property rights. But I do not support the attachment of these rights to the lengthening of copyright terms or the increasing restriction (or elimination!) of fair use.
I believe that for copyright to be accepted – for the general public and the businesses they run to choose voluntarily to put effort into complying with copyright a sense of balance and fairness must exist.
The needs of society to be able to use works without burden, the need of creators to be compensated, the need of creators to be able to extend the works of their predecessors…all has to find a balance.
I do not believe that balance will be achieved by extending copyright to perpetuity, eliminating fair use nor by increasing complexity and uncertainty. I do believe that if we can find the right balance of complexity, fair use and term length then society will support far more extensive enforcement, and even participate actively and willingly in ensuring that enforcement occurs.
In my opinion, that balance has yet to be achieved.
"It hurts anyone who relies on advertising revenue to survive, The Register included."
As I'm sure a few people here have pointed out: If the adverts didn't pop up, pop under, move around and animate everywhere, then I wouldn't be adblocking The Reg.
The obvious solution
Most of these people in government are overlooking the most simple yet effective way of dealing with this problem, make not-for-profit filesharing legal. Only go after people who are obviously counterfeiting them or making a profit from putting the files online, jobs a good un.
Tis either funny or sad
The government supposed to be, "of the people and for the people". Somewhere that's gotten lost amongst extending copyright terms towards infinity and allowing 'big media' to write IP law. (Would anyone care to argue that 'the people' DO benefit from eternal copyright on say, Mickey Mouse?)
It's ok though because the only logical endgame is that the people making the laws will eventually tax themselves into oblivion to pay for keeping *everyone* else in jail. And big media will starve because the only free people left spend all their income on jails for the naughty, copyright infringers.
@anyone care to argue that the people do benefit from eternal copyright on Mickey Mouse
As is always said: follow the money.
At the moment we have Big Media attempting to enhance creators rights, and Even Bigger Advertising attempting to destroy them. Forget the stuff about individual freedoms and stuff, that's just to confuse the issue. Just follow the money.
If Big Media win then at least some of the money will filter down to creators, and we'll get more content, because what a Big media Exec really wants to do (apart from get rich) is to build and empire with more and more creative stuff, making him look better and better compared to other Big Media Execs
If Even Bigger Advertising wins, then we can look forward to a future in which creators hardly get paid at all, and we drown in endless mediocre home made junk plastered with endless advertising, because even bigger advertising Execs just want to get rich and build an empire by flogging more and more advertising on cheaper and cheaper content.
Neither view looks especially wonderful, but for Big Advertising to win looks a damn sight worse to me. I was never remotely in favour of so called big media companies who pay creators as little as they can get away with until it became clear that the alternative seems to be even bigger advertising, who want to pay them nothing at all.
Re: @anyone care to argue that the people do benefit from eternal copyright on Mickey Mouse
Well, that’s two bullshit-o-meters that need replacing thanks to this thread alone. You guys are making this article unprofitable. Do you know how much science I have to read to reset that thing?
Okay, listen, let me break this all down for you. Let’s have an honest discussion here: man to piranha.
I consider myself to be “a creator.” I have reached the point in my life where I am now reliant upon income from the articles I write, the advertising copy I edit and so forth to make ends meet. I am in the process of writing a science fiction trilogy; one I intend to self-publish on Kobo and I am sincerely hoping will sell enough copies at some low amount ($3.99 a book?) to pay for the creation of the next one.
I have planned a significant % of my future around being a creative, reliant upon copyright as an exit from the world of systems administration. (The stress is literally killing me.) So I believe that I have a right to weigh in on this topic from the standpoint of someone other than “just an observer.”
At the end of the day, Big Content is bad – terrible – for people like me. They are quite frankly the enemy. They are not a vehicle for support, they are not a vehicle for reimbursement. They are a massive cabal of extremely well resources business dedicated to ensuring that I see as little money from my own efforts as possible.
I am not talking here about simply taking the lion’s share of any works they publish whilst passing a bent pittance on to the actual creators. I am talking about their attempts to have all orphaned works slurped up and assigned to their incestuous little publishing cartels. I am talking about actively raising barriers to entry for creatives who are unaffiliated with them.
I am talking about the outright economic warfare they perpetuate on the anyone who doesn’t work for them combined with the blatant treatment of those who do work for them as little more than indentured chattle.
The extant copyright cartels – the copyright holders – are businesses I consider to be unbelievably damaging to the livelihoods of any creators. They lobby to restrict and remove rights from creators in order to assign it to “copyright holders.” They then lobby to have the bulk of those rights assigned to “collection societies” and other tentacles of the cartel, instead of individuals.
They are a pestilence; a pox on society, the ruination of any and all (except the chosen few, ordained by the cartels themselves) who seek to create content at all. A pox on all their houses.
But it makes perfect sense for Big Content to act this way.
You see, Big Content is winning the war of perpetual copyright. That means they don’t need an injection of new material anymore. They have enough content in their grubby mitts to last the next two centuries. And new content will perpetually be assigned to them as “orphaned works” are brought within their grasp…not that of society at large.
Now, consider Google. (Yes, I looked through the viel and saw who you were referring to.) Google wants to murder the copyright cartels in the face with a bag of angry, rocket-powered weasles. Hurray! I support this on general principle.
Do they want to completely strip content creators of rights? No.
But…but…Big Content tells us that they do! Well, bullshit. Google has no interest in stripping creators of their rights. They do have designs on that very same pool of “orphaned works” though. They want orphaned works released to society at large. (So that anyone, anywhere can benefit from it. But especially Google.)
I am actually okay with this. Morally, ethically…pragmatically. If some of my works go missing, and they cannot find me or my heirs…I want those works available to the rest of society. I create not for the profit, but because I want my works to be consumed by people; that they may find some part of me in them and I may perhaps be remembered.
What’s more; I continually find Google promoting rights for creators to the detriment of rights for copyright holding corporations. Google seems to like the idea of lots and lots of individual creators all creating new things and competing against eachother.
This is likely because it reduces the ability of creators to collectively bargain, but again, I’m okay with that. We have 250 years of learning to deal with that problem; we can go it alone without having to surrender our works – indeed our futures – to the likes of Big Content.
Big Content needs as little competition as possible. They must control all new works, or prevent them from being created. If they can’t prevent creation, they need to acquire control or at the very least prevent those new works from becoming popular. This is fundamental to their business model.
Google doesn’t need to control content at all. Google needs to eliminate powerful copyright cartels that can drive up the cost of licensing to levels which it – and by extension consumers – cannot afford. What Google does need is as much new content – from as many diverse creators as possible – to advertise against.
It needs new content because this is what the people demand. It needs content from diverse creators so it can keep prices low. And it needs to ensure that creators get paid so they keep churning out the new content.
So neither side is really going to maximize the profits I receive from my creative endeavors if they win. But Google will ensure that I have a much better chance at retaining control of my own works while I am alive and getting paid for them than Big Content can provide me.
More to the point; what I do get paid will probably be more under daddy Google than it will be under Big Content. Unless I am stupid enough to still believe in the fairy tale that Big Content will pick me to be the next superstar. (Bullshit.)
Google needs me. Big Content doesn’t. Google wants my works to be made available for the benefit of society if at any point I cannot be found to assert my claims over my works. Big Content wants my works locked away from the world unless they control those works.
Google is the future for creatives. They aren’t the greatest. They aren’t “in it for us.” But their vision of the world is far more closely aligned with mine than that of Big Content. And with Google at the helm, at least I stand a chance of getting paid.
Now, I'm off to watch some Geek and Sundry; an Internet TV channel made possible by Google; check it out here: Geek and Sundry.
"...Even if you manage to do that, someone probably owns the patent on how it was done."
No. One cannot patent a process. Only products or inventions can be patented.
In certain countries <ahem>, business methods and even math (software) can indeed be patented.
"No. One cannot patent a process. Only products or inventions can be patented."
Back to the old Apple pantent "Slide to unlock"
Anything can be patented, no matter how simple or obvious. Thats the whole problem
Speaking of unicorn fairy land...
On the whole, this is a thoughtful, informed, and interesting piece (and I'm largely sympathetic to it). But this bit:
We need to work out an open, fast, stable, reliable advertisement and analytics system for the web. It must be a system that multiple advertisers – and brokers – can use; one which doesn't impact website load times, and prevents the distribution of malware through advertising networks.
is pure fantasy. You can't exchange more information with more parties free of cost ("doesn't impact website load times"). The only ways anyone's come up with to "prevent the distribution of malware" are walled gardens and code signing; many people want no part of the former, and the latter is mired in PKI problems we're not even close to solving, and often other issues (eg restricting what users can do with their own equipment) which aren't inevitable but are too tempting to implementers.
Then there are all the political difficulties of designing, implementing, and administering such an "open" system. Who's allowed to use it - anyone? Then how do we restrict the analytics to purposes that users agree to, for example? What does "open" mean in this context?
A standard, "open" (in some unspecified sense) advertising-and-analytics system strikes me as a great way for sites to disclaim responsibility for violations of policy and law that stem from those ads and analytics. Oh, did we show an ad that was misleading, or that violated someone's trademark? Well, it was that darn open system. It's standard - we don't own it, so we can't be responsible for it. Did we participate in massive user tracking and profiling? That naughty open system again!
Some of these issues might be technically solvable - but they're security problems, and attacks only ever get better. There's economic incentive to exploit such a system. Right now we have some (though not a lot of) legal and social pressures on entities that deploy web advertising and analytics, that can provide some mild sanctioning for bad behavior. Standardizing would be a great way to remove those.
Re: Speaking of unicorn fairy land...
You only assume this isn't possible. I honestly believe it is. It would require a formal standards process - probably a formal standards body - that described everything from the PKI to the interaction APIs to minimum performance limits for analytics/advertising CDNs.
We live in a cloudy world. There are CDNs and public clouds and all such madness everywhere. This is an issue of standards and enforcement. Establish the standard. Get signatories from the main advertisement organisations and most of the big tech players. Then build your browsers to reject anything that isn't standards compliant.
We need to accept that advertising underpins and drives the internet economy, and build these standards into our technology and infrastructure in the same manner as we do HTML. It needs to go in at the browser level, even the operating system level. It needs to have a know PKI infrastructure that is constantly under review, and a standards process that allows for change and adaptation to new threats.
But it is doable. Big Tech does this sort of thing all the time. At issue is the fact that Big Content can’t organise their way out of a paper box, and so would probably refuse to take part in any advertising revenue security scheme they didn’t absolutely control from end to end.
Why I turned off ads
It wasn't primarily the lag (although with NZ providers back then, every byte of bandwidth was absolutely precious), wasn't the risk of tracking. It was simply the annoying animations.
I'd happily allow El Reg to show me ads if you have a way to stop the animations on them.
Tracking etc I can take care of myself.
Re: Why I turned off ads
It's odd...I find an age-related gap on the animation thing. Younger folks (younger than 30, usually younger than 25) have no problem "tuning out" animations. They just don't see them.
Us older folks though...when adblock gets turned off it is a "yikes! That's what the internet actually looks like?" I think people dislike IE not because it's a terrible browser...but because it rarely has adblock on it.
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