Discussion group for IP practitioners
The DMCA is such a mixed bag. I think they got it right here, for example, in that the copyright holder should be the one doing the legwork to protect their work. This way, you have one entity monitoring one set of work. There's no way that the ISPs or torrent trackers could monitor their entire library for infringing works; i.e., one entity monitoring ALL sets of work.
However, at the same time they very much botched the digital encryption section, particularly as it relates to DVDs. It just makes no sense that I can legally back up my CDs, but not my DVD collection. Which, by now, is significantly larger. And the courts did not help us much either: www.wired.com/.../judge-copying-dvds-is-illegal
Ah well. Until this generation of digital media-ignorant congressmen are replaced, I don't see this getting fixed.
Hola! I had meant to comment earlier but it was a late night in the office.
Chris, you hit the nail on the head when you wrote, "copyright owners may want to carefully weigh the costs associated with" pursing claims.
There's a certain gratification to just win at any cost. But the Pyrrhic victory is little better than none at all. A balance has to be struck between protecting valuable copyright and bankrupting oneself and stirring up bad publicity to do so.
Steve Jobs deserves his millions because he leverages technology to make a profit, rather than use the law to try and stop it.
The one that does find a way to legally utilize torrents to make an honest dollar will do quite well for himself.
Logan, you might be interested to learn that there is a company doing just that. If you are familiar with the popular online game World Of Warcraft, you know that they have a user-base that numbers in the millions. A few years ago, the producing company, Blizzard Ent., designed a system by which the updates and bug patches released for their game are distributed by a peer to peer network. They did this because the costs to the company to run the update-distributing servers was becoming prohibitive. By integrating a P2P system into their game client software, they only need to make a few copies available online, and instead of having millions and millions of connections to their servers (costly and risky in terms of product stability and efficiency), the game client simply connects to the P2P network. This allows the update to propagate through those users faster and at a fraction of the cost to Blizzard.
I can see this being used for similar situations where a company needs to make a given file or set of files available to a large number of users within a short time period. Netflix, for example, would benefit from this sort of system with new releases to their video-streaming service.
Sorry to jump in late to this thread - great example of an innovative (and legal) use of P2P networks Fred. Are there other examples that people know about where companies are using P2P to defray costs? It takes trust in your user base to make a move like this but the obvious benefit can be huge. World of Warcraft is still the number one game on PCs for 5 years running and rakes in millions each year for Blizzard Entertainment. In fact the move to P2P distribution of patches actually INCREASED sales. Has any other company or media type done this successfully?
Apparently both facebook and twitter use bit-torrent technology internally to move data among their many servers: