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Two bits of news today in the world of online piracy.
On the unsurprising note, our friends at the Trichordist point out over 50 major big brands are supporting movie and music piracy.
What we find frustrating is that the major content companies and corporations must have existing relationships with these brands as the content and media distribution companies own the television networks (at the very least) that these brands are dependent upon for the mass scale and mainstream promotion of their products and services.
The major content companies as well as their well respected institutions such as The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscar’s), The National Association Of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy’s) and The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (The Golden Globes) all host annual award shows where many of these brands are also advertising. Why isn’t it possible to use that opportunity to educate these brands about the damage they are doing to the creative community? In other words, where are the adults?
This is the list of nasty blogs that host legitimate ads on their sites. And the Trichordist link sports a handy dandy cheat sheet of which brands are on one site, corresponding with which music or movie being ripped. Ad agency types, are any of your clients on this list? Probably. AT&T, Audi, BMWm the apparently not so honest Boy Scouts of America, the apparently not so caring about legal, Legal Zoom and many more top the list. How do we sleep at night indeed. Oh that's right, by pointing the blame at Someone Else.
Since Google isn't doing much about it, perhaps you could do as The Trichordist suggests and take it up with the brands, via their twitter handles. Pay the artists or you I won't buy your stuff.
And now for number two news: Because it isn't bad enough big brands are enabling privacy comes this story out of the Antigua Chronicle, via a haptip from a twitter mate: "he Government of Antigua is planning to launch a website selling movies, music and software, without paying U.S. copyright holders. Antigua is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade “blockade” preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in its favor."
Let's back up. The Government of Antigua had a robust online gambling industry. Until The U.S. prevented them from entering the U.S. market. It filed a complains with the WTO and it won. Now check this out:
In 2005 the WTO ruled that the US refusal to let Antiguan gambling companies access their market violated free-trade, as domestic companies were allowed to operate freely. In 2007 the WTO went a step further and granted Antigua the right to suspend U.S. copyrights up to $21 million annually.
The WTO was the decider when it came to U.S. Copyright.
Antigua's attorney Mark Mendel told TorrentFreak that he can’t reveal any details on the plans. However, he emphasized that the term “piracy” doesn’t apply here as the WTO has granted Antigua the right to suspend U.S. copyrights.
“There is no body in the world that can stop us from doing this, as we already have approval from the international governing body WTO,” Mendel told us.
Will the U.S. stand for it? Judging from this letter accusing Antigua and Barbuda of intellectual property theft, probably not.
But either way this sets a disturbing precedent. I'm sensing a Boycott Antigua initiative in the near future...