INTERNATIONAL ANTI-PIRACY CAUCUS UNVEILS “2012 INTERNATIONAL PIRACY WATCH LIST”
Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:00 AM
Washington, DC – Today, the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, which is chaired by Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), unveiled the “2012 International Piracy Watch List.” In an effort to fight copyright piracy and call attention to countries where it has reached alarming levels, the Caucus highlighted the high levels of piracy and the lack of legal protections for copyright in the following five countries: China, Russia, Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine. The report also highlights Canada and Spain as countries in transition following the enactment of stronger legal frameworks for the protection of copyright in both nations. full report
Copyright dependent industries – film, home video and television programming, music, books, video games, and software – play an enormous role in the American economy. According to a report from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, core copyright industries employed 5.1 million Americans in 2010 in jobs that paid 27 percent more than the average wage. These industries remain some of our most internationally competitive, collectively ranking as the second largest exporting sector in the U.S. However, as the Anti-Piracy Caucus Watch List highlights, they frequently do not compete on a level playing field due to the rampant levels of piracy in many major international markets.
The 2012 Watch List also highlights progress made in engaging cooperative private sector efforts to reduce piracy. In 2011, the Caucus noted the frequent appearance of advertising for legitimate brands on rogue websites dedicated to providing access to pirated material. These advertisements lend a false air of legitimacy to rogue sites while helping to subsidize their operations. The Caucus called on players in the online advertising ecosystem to take steps to prevent legitimate ads from appearing on rogue sites. In the 2012 Watch List, the co-chairs welcomed the recent release of a “best practices” document by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies urging their members to take affirmative steps to avoid the placement of advertising on pirate sites.
“Whether it is movie makers, music producers and app makers to entrepreneurs creating the newest must-have gadget, our economy is based upon the principle that property should be respected — not stolen –and this right does not end at the water’s edge. This is not only fair, but it is good economics,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). “That’s why we started the Watch List – to alert those pirates and the countries helping them that we are paying attention and we expect our trading partners to protect the intellectual property rights of creators. Our creative industries employ millions of Americans and are some of our most competitive exports. All we want is a level playing field where all nations live up to their obligations to protect intellectual property and enforce existing laws.”
“The recognition of an author’s ownership in an original creative work is one of our legal system’s core principles,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). “If we allow people to take that work without paying for it, artists will no longer have any financial incentive to create new movies, software, video games, books and music. The end result is the loss of billions of dollars in revenue for the U.S. each year and even greater losses to our economy in terms of reduced job growth and exports. While the U.S. is the world’s leader in intellectual property protections, the problem does not stop at our borders. The only way to ensure the full protection of Americans’ creative works is to actively encourage other countries around the globe to enact and enforce strong intellectual property laws.”
“Innovation, hard work, and creativity long have fueled the American dream and are the reason for the continued worldwide demand for American movies, music, books, and software,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “Theft of our intellectual property undercuts the hard work of Americans in these industries and the U.S. economy as a whole. Our trading partners must ensure that American intellectual property is appropriately protected.”
“I wish it could be said that the 2012 International Anti-Piracy Watch List contained some promising news,” said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “Unfortunately, this year’s Watch List confirms that copyright piracy continues to spread at an alarming pace. Our copyright laws are designed to encourage the creation of new works that inspire and delight us. Conversely, IP piracy takes something for nothing – representing the largest transfer of wealth in history. Over time our artists may simply choose not to share their talents and creations with us. And who can blame them, especially if we cannot protect their intellectual property rights? This is a global cause worthy of our best efforts.”
The Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, which was originally formed in 2003, is made up of over 65 members of Congress. The goal of the Caucus is to provide briefings for Congressional delegations traveling to countries with significant piracy problems, staff and member briefings and forums on international intellectual property protection and piracy, demonstrations of new technologies and products designed to improve consumers’ entertainment experiences and to reduce piracy and to work closely with the committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate on related hearings and legislation.
RIAA Hammers Google With DMCA Takedowns In Six Strikes Prelude
• November 20, 2012
Very soon the six strikes anti-piracy program will kick off in the United States but the RIAA isn’t just sitting back and presuming that it will be an anti-piracy cure-all. Since early November the recording industry group has massively upped the number of DMCA notices it issues to make content harder to find. From an average of between 200,000 and 240,000 URL requests sent every week to Google, the RIAA has just posted 463,000 and 666,000 in successive weeks.
The well-publicized six-strikes anti-piracy scheme is just around the corner.
The MPAA, RIAA and several large Internet service providers in the United States will work together to monitor file-sharers and send them warnings in the hope that they will start spending small fortunes on CDs, DVDs and digital downloads.
While the monitoring and warning-sending while be fairly widespread, there are limitations as to who can be reached. There is a distinct possibility that once they receive a warning, file-sharers will either take steps to hide their online identities through the use of anonymity technologies like VPNs, or will shift to cyberlocker type services that cannot be monitored.
So, to make things as difficult as possible for both sets of users, rightsholders have been sending ever-increasing volumes of DMCA takedown notices, not just to torrent, cyberlocker and other linking sites, but also to Google. They hope that when Internet users can’t find what they want through a Google search they will grow increasingly tired of looking and turn to official outlets instead.
Google has been receiving huge numbers of these takedowns. To date, anti-piracy company Degban has sent the most – a staggering 8.2 million in total. Microsoft has sent 5.5 million followed by Froytal who deal with the porn industry. Listed twice (once as copyright holders and once as reporting organizations) bed-fellows the BPI and RIAA have also been sending huge numbers of takedowns, but this month have broken all records.
To give an idea of the scale, back in June this year the RIAA was sending takedown requests to Google at the rate of around 100,000 per week, with the BPI sending around 70,000. At the end of the July the BPI suddenly started sending around 150,000, with the RIAA reaching a steady 200,000 per week.
As can be seen from the diagram above, early September the BPI boosted their volumes significantly, to around 244,000 takedowns a week, increasing to between 300,000 and 330,000 in the weeks that followed.
The RIAA maintained 200,000 to 230,000 steadily until the first week of November and then, pretty much out of nowhere, they massively turned up the heat.
In the week commencing November 5, the RIAA sent 463,000 URL takedown requests to Google, doubling their busiest week ever. Then the following week (last week), the recording industry group sent a mind-boggling 666,000 takedown requests to Google in just 7 days.
So who are they targeting with all these takedowns? Of course, the usual suspects are all there including the major torrent sites, but perhaps what is most surprising is that the most-targeted sites aren’t the ones the RIAA chooses to report to the USTR in its ‘notorious markets‘ review.
In the “non-P2P linking sites” section of the review, only the FileTube.com search engine is given a mention by the RIAA. However, although it is heavily targeted by rightsholders (and RIAA members individually), the site doesn’t appear in the RIAA’s top five most-targeted domains on Google.
The most DMCA’d sites are Downloads.nl (396,094), MP3s.pl (275,035), MP3Searchy.com (253,942), WebLagu.com (225,471) and Audiko.net (189,224).
Will the RIAA break one million URL takedowns a week by the end of the year? There’s only six weeks left to find out.