We can conclude from this overview that the studies published so far contain no empirical evidence in support of the substitution hypothesis and thus no evidence that online aggregators have a negative impact on original newspaper publishers’ revenue. On the contrary, the evidence shows that aggregators may actually be complements to newspaper websites and may help consumer discover more news and boost the number of visits.
The Norwegian Pirate Party has made a big statement by launching a free DNS service which allows Internet users to bypass the local Pirate Bay blockade. The party advocates a free and open Internet for everyone and believes that the recent website blockades set a dangerous precedent.
Last week, a Turkish court ordered an access ban on a single post in the vast sea of more than 60 million individual blogs on WordPress. But for many users, that meant their Internet service providers blocked WordPress entirely.
A lawyer and Turkish Pirate Party member tracked down the root of the sudden ban on all of WordPress: a court order seeking to block a single blog post written by a professor accusing another professor of plagiarism. This post apparently led to several defamation lawsuits and the lawsuits led to a court order basically saying that if blocking the single post proved too difficult, fuck it, block the entire domain.
It is the second sentence in the order, however, that caused the complete ban of WordPress in the country. “If the access to the single page cannot be possible due to technical reasons,” it reads, “block access to wordpress.com.”
Last week there was a story on TorrentFreak about a copyright monopolist who had gone absolutely insane and sent so-called “takedown notices” to everybody and their brother, from EFF to TOR – basically anybody with a download page.
It’s a complete mystery why this isn’t a criminal behavior. The fact that it isn’t is why it continues and harms innovation, creativity, free speech, and the Internet.
The Swedish Pirate Party had a very clear policy on crimes like this: if you lied about holding an exclusive right to something, the same penalty that would have applied to an infringer of that exclusive right would instead apply to you. This is only fair, after all: you are infringing on the distribution of a creative work by dishonest means.
For repeat offenders, or organizations that committed this crime on a commercial basis or commercial gain, like that idiot record label in the TorrentFreak story – they would be declared criminal organizations and have all their assets seized. The individuals doing so for commercial gain would go to jail for a couple of years.
The thing is, this should not even be contentious. This is how we deal with this kind of criminal act in every – every – other aspect of society. If you lie as part of commercial operations and hurt somebody else’s rights or business, you are a criminal. If you do so repeatedly or for commercial gain, direct or indirect, you’re having your ill-gotten gains seized. This isn’t rocket science. This is standard bloody operating procedure.
The copyright industry goes ballistic at this proposal, of course, and try to portray themselves as rightsless victims – when the reality is that they have been victimizing everybody else after making the entire planet rightsless before their intellectual deforestation.