Internet stays free from control, at least for now

Internet stays free from control, at least for now

Los Angeles : CA : USA | Dec 16, 2012 at 9:10 AM PST
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Samsung shows how easy file sharing can be

The US, Britain, Canada, France and other Western powers walked out of an international meeting meant to set up a treaty on Internet use.

They said there was no need for a treaty, and ultimately any would lead to would lead to control of “content.”

EWeek reports on the treaty walkout.

Does that mean we are safe from the Chinas, Irans and Russias of the world preventing us from doing our heart’s content online? Absolutely not. The treaty was rejected in Dubai, but head south to see another threat, this one is what is called a “false flag.”

The war is being waged in New Zealand, where a curious fellow who took the name “Kim Dotcom,” was treated like an al-Qaida terrorist with heavily armed SWAT teams raiding his house at the request of the US Justice Department.

His crime. He ran Megaupload, a file-serving system that the entertainment industry said was being used by copyright thieves. It was shut down, and its 180 million users, many of whom had stored non-controversial files with it, are still denied access to their data nearly a year later.

Out of jail, he set up a new, encrypted, site called Mega.

“Content” is at stake here. The entertainment industry says Dotcom and Pirate Bay and others are stealing copyrighted movies, music and books. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is the culprit.

"In what is by far the greatest DMCA mess we’ve ever witnessed, several major movie studios have seemingly asked Google to take down legitimate copies of their own films. Through an agent the studios further requested the search engine to remove their official Facebook pages and Wikipedia entries, as well as movie reviews in prominent newspapers. Has the world gone mad or…?” writes the Website Torrent Freak.

The textbook publisher Pearson issued a takedown order for 38-year-old material that was posted five years ago. It shut down nearly 1.5 million teacher and student blogs.

Major providers have begun fighting orders from the entertainment industry to shut down service to their clients. They say it is too much trouble, and there is rarely any proof that the user was the one who illegally downloaded content.

Google has begun publicizing false take down requests, in other words requests that were based on false information, just as it has been doing for government requests that it take material down.

These false requests are made by “copyright trolls.” Verizon has asked a Texas court to allow it to examine how these outfits work.

Many artists who are unsigned by the industry, or feel they are not being paid fairly, have made their work available online for free.


The industry is to blame for much of the problem. It was too slow to recognize the growing ability of Net denizens to get access to movies.

It started crudely with video camera copies of films that were made by people sitting in seats, or theater personnel themselves. Downloaders often had to tolerate watching people walk in front of the camera operator.

A Norwegian teen and two anonymous helpers figured out how to copy movie DVDS and made the software freely available on the Web. The industry was temporarily stuck because if it changed the software then existing movies would not be readable.

The answer was to make movies and music downloadable, at a reasonable cost, and it wasn’t the industry that it did. Thank Amazon, Apple and others.

When it did start, the industry made movie and music lovers wait too long to buy new movies or songs.

It never has been a simple case of people downloading movies, and not going to the theater. Many do both. Who wouldn’t want to go see “The Dark Knight Rises” in a theater after seeing it on a home screen, even a large one.

Books are a different issue if only because in many cases people prefer to read books on a Kindle or some other gadget, than hold a weighty book in their hands and deal with various fonts of varying readability. But book publishers also fought against the spread of electronic readers.

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In this commercial two Samsung phone owners are able to share playlists or other data.
Robert Weller is based in Denver, Colorado, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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