Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Well ouch. MySpace turns super fan unfriendlier…

December 30th, 2008

MediaPost is reporting that MySpace has come up with a new way of dealing with infringing fans. Instead of DMCA takedown notices, cease and desist letters, etc., companies can now overlay the content on your MySpace contributions with their own advertisements:

Once a site publisher enables Auditude, every piece of content gets a unique ID. First, a content owner has to supply Auditude with copies of all content it wants “fingerprinted,” and Auditude adds it to a database. Once deployed on MySpace, for example, the technology can scan every digital file queued for uploading to see if there’s a match within the indexed content. It can then take any action the content company prefers, including blocking the upload. MTV Networks is one of the first entertainment companies to sign up for the MySpace service – and it’s going the ad route for content from BET, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

That kind of sucks the big one. It probably helps explain why MySpace has never really caught on big with hardcore fandom who have instead opted for services like LiveJournal, FaceBook, Quizilla, FanFiction.Net, YouTube, etc. Well, that and a number of teen fandom friends I have music wise were put off when they posted their bandfic, bandslash when they were contacted by people that they characterized as pedophiles.

That sort of heavy handed tactic could result in a loss of people tuning in to MySpace because it is hugely intrusive and doesn’t offer any form of recourse. (Of course, considering that MySpace offers some unique things that you can’t get elsewhere and a lot of people won’t ever notice that, and it will help MySpace with their revenue stream, I can’t see any change happening to dissuade media companies from responding this way to alleged copyright violations. )

Here we go again: Copyright law! Yay!

October 14th, 2008

Fandom has copyright issues.  And then it has copyright issues.  Some of the stuff that fans do falls into a legal gray zone.  It could be or it might not be legal.  And really, we don’t want to know because most fans can’t afford the money and the time to fight such a battle.  We just want to be left alone. We’ll keep our suspect copyright material and issues to ourselves if you make things affordable, portable and offer us a platform where we can engage in our activities in a way that makes us happy. For the most part, this system works.

Except when it looks like it doesn’t and the law will come down on us. How do you help the economy? You make copyright violations a criminal offense and give the courts the right to seize property associated with copyright infringement. This doesn’t work well for fandom at all.

How much of an impact will this have on fandom? Probably not much. I don’t think the average fan will think their is much of a consequence to them. I don’t think that they believe that studios will come after them, that sports teams will come after them, that recording companies will come after them. Non-American fans probably won’t care because not their jurisdiction. But if you’re an American fan (or company) who runs a fansite with potentially infringing material, while you might not be worried, I would be because this isn’t just a fine but potential jail time.

Seriously, copyright law in the US needs a major overhaul to protect consumers who aren’t hurting a company’s bottom line with their activities and to encourage business to deal realistically (and creatively) with a changing climate for business plans.

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