Archive | August 2011

Video Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Reform

As part of my job, I have been scouring the Internet looking for illegal uploads of movies produced and released by my company. It seems that here in Vietnam at least, there is a dominant video streaming model done by these illegal movie sites:
– register a Vietnamese-market oriented domain on an overseas registrar and hosting;
– upload the movies to YouTube, 4shared, Dailymotion and many other similar sites, sometimes using private accounts with private links;
– make a landing page for the movie with all the links to the clips uploaded to the various video/storage services, sometimes using a proprietary Flash player based on JWPlayer;
– place a disclaimer on every page that the site does not host the content, thus the site is fully legal;
– sell ads on the page.

This is just wrong.

I’m all for the reform of copyright enforcement, but I still support the basic concept that the copyright holder should have some say on any exploitation of their content, and receive a share of any money made from it. A more flexible, liberal concept of copyright and copyright enforcement, should still benefit the creator.

How do we reform copyright law? I don’t have any details yet, but perhaps more flexible controls for use, reuse and derivatives; positive enforcement i.e. making it attractive for people/businesses to support copyright… But this is something that needs a lot of thought and discussion, and perhaps needs an enormous reworking of the copyright concept. Perhaps abolishing copyright ownership altogether? Who knows. The shorter-term solution is innovating the business models and the customer experiences, but still, in my opinion, these kinds of websites need to go. File-sharing is one thing, but making money of somebody else’s work – without permission and any revenue share – is downright wrong.