Tag Archives: VODO

Google: BitTorrent is an illegal word (kind of)

Google has an instant/autocomplete service that, when you type something, gives you suggestions on what to search for. Nowadays, however, this search is crippled due to fear of modern technology.

The RIAA/MPAA MAFIAA has now persuaded Google into censoring its suggestions to remove “piracy related” words. Such as “BitTorrent” apparently. I’m not going to lay out much more on this, TorrentFreak does that well enough. However I’d like to sum up the misfires caused by this action:

  • BitTorrent Inc. is the name of the private company which originally developed the BitTorrent standard. They are entirely legal and in no way affiliated with any piracy practices of any kind. This news shows however that they are deliberately censored by Google as a result of this, just because they have developed an efficient algorithm for transferring data and released the technology to the general public.
  • Rapidshare, a company to whose site you upload files at a slow rate – allowing people to later download them at a faster rate, were recently freed in court in a case of piracy related issues. Despite that, they are deemed unfit for Google’s search terms, which of course results in a heavy discrediting.
  • Would it be ok to censor other companies like, say, “Universal”? Removing words for the global dictionary may have unexpected consequences. There’s nothing illegal in a word and thus it should not be considered harmful. Any other behaviour may have unwanted sideeffects.
  • The BitTorrent protocol is a very efficient method of distributing files and widely adopted. Thus searching for various clients for comparison is of utter importance to avoid malware or trojans. One example is the uncensored client name “BitLord” which is a heap of crap and ads compared to BitTorrent Inc’s official client “µTorrent”, which is otherwise the first hit on the search for an autocompleted “bit[…]” search term.
  • The BitTorrent protocol is used legally in distributing not only patches for legally purchased games, but also for the ever-increasing content on free culture video sites.

Noted should be, of course, that Google has not censored these search terms in its actual search engine. Only the automated suggestions when beginning to type a search term. However, as mentioned with the suggestion of BitLord instead of “BitTorrent client”, this may definitely result in a very skewed usage of Google’s search. This doesn’t affect me personally as I never use the autocomplete function and I find Google’s “instant search” incredibly annoying. The thought has crossed my mind to entirely disable Javascript, at least for google.com, permanently.

It seems however that if you know the term (and spell it correctly), you are still given the related additional terms. Such as “Rapidshare premium” or if you’ve successfully spelled “bittorrent”.

Piratkopiering förstör för fri kultur

Do it your fucking self. Picture: CC:by-sa @ Wikimedia

Det är en tvist på ett gammalt slagord: “Piratkopiering förstör för fritt licensierat material”, t.ex. film, musik och fri mjukvara.

Tanken är att om vanligt folk, varav de flesta piratkopierar, faktiskt hade behövt konkret betala för t.ex. Microsoft Windows skulle ingen använda skiten och gå över direkt till t.ex. en fri Linux-distribution. Hade folk faktiskt behövt betala för film och musik skulle ingen av dagens “kändisar” idag vara lika stor som de är – för de fria alternativen hade styrt konsumtionen (free speech, not free beer).

Jag skrev nyligen ett inlägg om detta på UmeTVs hemsida gällande en artikel i Västerbottens Kuriren om att en bioaktuell film har visats på lokal-tv i Umeå.

Min konkreta åsikt är att den film som VK-artikeln nämner (en generisk coola-effekter-hollywood-tönt-manus om superhjältetonåringar) aldrig någonsin bör ha producerats i den aktuella regin. Om något så verkar den mest vara en B-film med hög budget.

Jag har inte ens tänkt bemöda mig med att ladda hem och titta på den. Den förtjänar inte den uppmärksamheten och ej heller att nämnas med namn på min blogg.

Sådana filmer får gärna produceras, kultur kan ju inte jag hävda vara globalt sett dålig. Men när man använder sig av ett multimediamonopol som den svenska biografens värld faktiskt är, som resultat av Hollywoodrövslickeri… Då tycker jag det är rent ut sagt moraliskt apkasst. Producera gärna filmen, men gör det utanför upphovsrättskartellernas järnhänder. Och inte med pengar som ändå bars spenderas på s.k. “frukt och blommor” i slutänden. Dvs knark och horor för kändisarna.

Men var är då “utanför upphovsrättsindustrins järnhänder”? Jo, kika på t.ex. VODO.net som är en lovande tjänst för Creative Commons-film av diverse slag. Därigenom kan du enkelt ladda hem film gratis som du får sprida till vänner – samtidigt som du kan stödja producenterna. Det finns såväl långfilmer som kortfilmer och serie-avsnitt där – allt under en fri licensiering

För ni vet väl att det är olagligt att visa en DVD eller lyssna på musik i annat sällskap än din absolut, närmsta umgängeskrets. Om du inte betalar extra förstås. Utöver skivan.

Det enda sättet att ha en socialt acceptabel miljö för upplevelsekultur är fria licenser. Dagens upphovsrättsindustri, må den leva en kort tid och aldrig få visa filmer på UmeTV, är långt ifrån en önskvärd förebild för kulturälskaren.

Att sedan piratkopiering är ett sätt att bibehålla en demokratisk anda i samhället när rättsväsende, regeringar och övriga myndigheter försämras nästan dagligen, det är en helt annan story. Men då snackar vi inte piratkopiering av hjärnbedövande, överbekostad B-film, det är ett som är säkert.

Who profits from online piracy?

“Who profits from online piracy?” (permalinked “Hello world”), this question is asked by Ellen Seidler, a young filmmaker who has co-produced the film And then came Lola. She also produced this film showing ad-filled pages being used to make profit from illegally sharing pirated films – people making money from her and others’ hard work:

[youtube xgh0wWHxF4k]
Please note that Ellen never downloads the film per se. She only looks at the pictures. She’s offered a download but does not verify it. It might as well be a fraud.

This is of course bad. Unfortunately I found no way whatsoever of contacting her through the blog. Neither comments nor a contact field. This is however common with antipiracy spokespeople, considering how everytime they say something the internet sets out to prove them wrong.

Had I been able to contact Ellen Seidler in any way (heck even YouTube comments are disabled), I would have told her about the benefits of sharing culture. That money cannot be made from “protecting” media and that the world is changing. And that this is a good thing. People who speak this issue much better than me are Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow, to name only two of the world’s plentitude of free culture promoters.

There are quick solutions to stop ad-infested websites from making money. This includes just-about-any-newspaper and film-distributing, as Ellen calls them, “cyberlocker sites”:

  • Solution #1: Adblock Plus for Firefox (or similar adblocking software). It’ll remove just about all annoying, invasive and illegal funding activity.
  • Solution #2: Distribute the film without “cyberlocker sites” – use The Pirate Bay (or any other BitTorrent tracker). This way you can distribute a torrent any way you like – and use the free, decentralised peer-to-peer backend.

Using either (or both) of these methods will distribute the film at the same time as making it harder for sites to make money from illegal downloads. Better yet, it also (given we have a free, neutral internet) makes it harder for illegal markets to sell pirate DVDs. This because fan-subbed material for those who want subtitling in “other” languages usually (as with anyone) prefer the internet rather than pieces of plastic (DVD/Blu-ray).

Sharing content makes sure only the original, credited film distributor has the rights, and chance, to make money from the produced film. While at the same time building a world-wide fanbase who gladly support future film-making! Might just be me, but this seems a lot better than suing and threatening fans…

By the way, here’s an ad-free, totally uncommercial BitTorrent file linking you to a huge swarm of dedicated fans who give up their broadband connections to distribute Ellen Seidler’s movie “And Then Came Lola”: And.Then.Came.Lola.2009.DVDRip.XviD-VoMiT.torrent