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December 1, 2008
Volume XXIV, Issue 6

Lime with Lisa Loeb Enlivens LimeWire

On December 9th, LimeWire Store will exclusively release "Live at Lime with Lisa Loeb," an acoustic, digital-only EP comprised of Loeb's pop hits and recent children's songs.

LimeWire will donate proceeds to the Camp Lisa Foundation, which raises funds to send underprivileged children to summer camp. Loeb recently launched the non-profit foundation in partnership with Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge (S.C.O.P.E.).

Recorded live as an acoustic three-piece, the EP contains fresh interpretations of Loeb favorites. Included is Loeb's hit "Stay (I Missed You)," which was the number-one song on American charts for three weeks in 1994, earning her the distinction of being the first artist to top Billboard's Hot 100 without being signed to any record label.

The song was featured in the 1994 film "Reality Bites" starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Ben Stiller. Hawke discovered Loeb and the song "Stay" when he was living in an apartment across the street from her in NYC. He brought the song to Stiller who agreed to feature it in the movie. Hawke went on to direct the music video for the song.

Also on the EP are "You Don't Know Me," written with former boyfriend Dweezil Zappa, "Truthfully," and "Falling in Love." Three songs from Loeb's recent children's CD (June 2008), "Camp Lisa," are also included: "Best Friends," "Going Away," and "It's Not Goodbye."

The "Camp Lisa" album and The Camp Lisa Foundation grew out of Loeb's love of summer camp and the camp songs that helped shape her childhood. She began her foray into children's music in 2004 with the release of "Catch the Moon," which included a companion board book, earned the prestigious Parent's Choice Award, and led to a series of hugely popular videos for Noggin Network.

"Working with Lisa to help raise awareness and funds for her Camp Lisa Foundation has been great. Her enthusiasm about the foundation's mission is infectious, so we're committed to making this a successful partnership. We've got a great new EP, Lisa has a large and loyal fan base, and sales benefit a good cause - that's a powerful combination," said Tom Monday, Director, Partner Relations, LimeWire Store.

"I'm super excited to start the holiday season with LimeWire Store," said Loeb. "They have been incredibly generous and great creative partners on this project, and I look forward to changing the summer for a few more children through The Camp Lisa Foundation."

Vuze 4.0 Releases Third Beta

Excerpted from Softpedia Report

Vuze is currently at its third beta release for version 4.0, which brings several user interface (UI) tweaks, as well as core changes. Highlights are outlined below, along with a download link for the freeware app. 

UI changes include the ability to change List modes in View menu; a 'mark all results unread' menu item; specification of data save directory to config wizard; 'deleting via toolbar' to let you apply an action to all selected entries; search bar shrinking when there's not enough width to display all toolbar buttons; and date column auto-sizer that shows day-of-month (mm/dd) instead of year (yy/mm) when the column is small. 

Core feature changes include subscription support to customizations; an 'azplug' URL protocol to allow plug-ins to handle URLs; permitting subscriptions to handle azplug protocols, thus letting plug-ins be the source of subscription content; and allowing magnet links in search results. 

Vuze is a powerful BitTorrent client that greatly extends the original python client's feature set. It can manage multiple downloads at once from a single window, or offer detailed real-time download statistics with export to XML, advanced download and seeding management rules, configuration and torrent creation wizards, embedded tracker for easy and automated hosting of your own files, PeerGuardian IP address filtering, and web browser and console UIs. 

The multi-platform client makes transferring files via the BitTorrent protocol a breeze. The developers recently included a new split-window MyTorrents view with support for categories, and advanced downloading / seeding / queuing rules for powerful and automated torrent management, as well as a customizable UI, seeding from read-only media, and significant reductions in resource usage. Vuze also supports a total of 27 available languages. 

Click here to download the Vuze 4.0 Beta 3.

IETF Wants to Improve Routing of P2P Traffic

Excerpted from Heise Online Report by Monika Ermert

A new Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group has recently started to look into improving the routing of peer-to-peer (P2P) data traffic. At the first official meeting of Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) group in Minneapolis, MN last week, several developer groups proposed ways of locating the nearest P2P host. 

Internet service providers (ISPs) want to avoid unnecessary and expensive P2P data traffic diversions across network boundaries. This would save money for providers and downloading time for users.

"The drafts mainly differ in where they provide the routing information", explained Anja Feldmann, Professor of the T-Lab institute at Berlin University of Technology. Feldmann and her group have developed a draft which recommends providing information about the P2P topology at the ISP.

"Every ISP would operate an 'oracle' or ALTO server", explained Feldmann. This could be used to request information about P2P hosts in the vicinity. One advantage of having the providers present the server information is that the servers can also be used to support a provider's potential traffic management measures, she said. However, Feldmann believes that many providers may be reluctant to pass on information about their network topologies to third parties.

By contrast, a group organized by US provider Comcast proposes to pass the peering information on to the application providers. In a joint draft by Comcast and BitTorrent, the former rivals also explain how ISPs are to export the information to the application providers. Feldmann said that Comcast's proposal - which aims at providing more information at the host - is also an effort to compensate for the former policy of blocking P2P traffic.

A draft by Qualcomm supports a co-operative strategy. It proposes to supply the information for optimizing P2P routing both at the network providers and the application providers. The draft said that unilateral routing recommendations - that is, either purely network related information that benefits ISPs, or purely application related information that disregards the network's topology - are unattractive to the respective other party. The potential savings make a future ALTO standard attractive to providers.

In Minneapolis, Comcast's Rich Woundy presented the results of a P4P trial run between the 2nd and 17th July. During this time, Pando Networks shared a file of 21MB in size among its users, and the distribution of this file across four different networks was subsequently measured.

This first-ever test for a cable network resulted in the inbound inter-domain data traffic at Comcast being reduced by 34%, the outbound traffic by 80% using the P4P model.

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Photo of CEO Marty LaffertyThe DCIA cordially invites you to join us for two upcoming events: the Digital Family Reunion (DFR) on Thursday December 11th and the P2P MEDIA SUMMIT Las Vegas Conference within CES on Wednesday January 7th.

DFR is bringing the technology and business communities together for the holidays at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. In affiliation with top trade associations and social networking groups, the DFR promises to be the holiday party of the millennium. 

Meanwhile, the second-annual P2P MEDIA SUMMIT Las Vegas is coming together as the most comprehensive and in-depth exploration of important industry issues to date. 

The SUMMIT's focus will be on the commercial development possibilities of P2P and related technologies, including cloud computing, for rich media content distribution.

The DFR will reignite old relationships, spark new ones, and set the stage to kick off 2009 with a bright new start. Inviting early adopters and legacy participants of the Internet 1.0 and today's digitally adept Internet 2.0 tube dwellers, the DFR will create the optimum conditions for these generations to synergize with one another and inspire opportunities that will serve our industry and society at large. 

DFR attendees will include leaders from all the major industry sectors such as media, entertainment, finance, publishing, venture funding, software, commerce, and education. The DFR is helping to set an engagement platform to advance the conversation between these like-minded, yet diverse communities by asking the question, "If we knew how connected we all are, how would that change everything?" 

Please join us for this unique business networking event, which includes a leadership panel forecasting 2009, a conversation with the recipient of the DFR "Outstanding Achievement Honor," promotion of an important non-profit initiative, showcase tables from over 25 technology associations and networking groups, entertainment and much more.

Later, on Wednesday January 7th, at the P2P MEDIA SUMMIT Las Vegas, delegates will hear keynotes from top P2P, peer-assisted CDN, and social networking software distributors, attend panel discussions with industry leaders, participate in valuable workshops, and much more.

A continental breakfast and conference luncheon will be served at the SUMMIT; and the day will end with a VIP networking cocktail reception.

P2P MEDIA SUMMIT Las Vegas KEYNOTE speakers will include Robert Levitan, CEO, Pando Networks; Mark Stuart, Technical Director, P2P Next; George Searle, CEO, LimeWire; Travis Kalanick, Founder, RedSwoosh; Kumar Subramanian, CEO, MediaMelon; Alex Mashinsky, CEO, DigiMeld; Phill Robinson, CEO, Velocix; Eitan Efron, VP of Marketing, Oversi; and David Rice, VP of Marketing, Move Networks.

SUMMIT conference luncheon presentations will feature important NEW P2P RESEARCH from Joe Porus and Milt Ellis, both Vice Presidents at Harris Interactive; and an update on the P4P WORKING GROUP from Doug Pasko, Senior Technologist at Verizon, and Laird Popkin, CTO at Pando Networks, and both Co-Chairs of the P4P Working Group (P4PWG).

POLICY TRACK panelists will include Jim Burger, Partner, Dow Lohnes; Gary Greenstein, Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Lawrence Hadley, Partner, Hennigan Bennett & Dorman; Louis Lehrman, Vice President, Dutko Worldwide; Steven Masur, Managing Partner, MasurLaw; and NS Nappinai, Principal, NSN Associates.

TECHNOLOGY TRACK panelists will include Nathan Good, Research Scientist, PARC; Avi Greengart, Research Director, Current Analysis; Mark Ishikawa, CEO, BayTSP; Peder Jungck, CTO, CloudShield; Jeffrey Payne, CTO, GridNetworks; and Ron Van Herk, CEO, AHT International.

MARKETING TRACK panelists will include Simon Applebaum, Producer/Host, Tomorrow Will Be Televised; Chris Gillis, Director of Sales, MediaDefender; Dana Jones, CEO, Ultramercial; Rob Manoff, CEO, Jambo Media; Thomas Reemer, CEO, CUGate; and Paul Wright, SVP, Strategic Alliances & Marketing, MediaGuide.

CONTENT DISTRIBUTION panelists will include Daniel Harris, CEO, MediaPass Gigantic; Steve Oedekerk, CEO, O! Entertainment; Keyvan Peymani, COO, Nettwerk Music Group; Patrick Ross, Executive Director, Copyright Alliance; Iain Scholnick, CEO & President, ImageSpan; and Laura Tunberg, CEO, EM Syndication.

SOLUTIONS DEVELOPMENT panelists will include Vance Ikezoye, CEO, Audible Magic; Michael King, CEO, Abacast; JD Lasica, President, Social Media Group; Jonathan Lee, SVP, PiCast; Neerav Shah, VP, Business Development & Strategy, Verimatrix; and David Ulmer, Sr. Director, MultiMedia & Entertainment Products, Motorola.

The SUMMIT will end with a SPECIAL SESSION featuring Memo Rhein, CEO, Unlimited Media; John Waclawsky, Software Architect, Motorola; and See-Mong Tan, Director of P2P, Microsoft.

Early-bird registration rates end December 6th and can save delegates $300 over on-site rates.

To register, visit www.cesweb.org/sessions/search/trackDetail.asp?ID_track=P2P_CES09.

For sponsor packages, please contact Karen Kaplowitz, DCIA Member Services, at 888-890-4240 or karen@dcia.info. Share wisely, and take care.

Virgin Media Weighs CDN Options

Excerpted from Light Reading Report by Ray Le Maistre

British cable operator Virgin Media has turned to content delivery network (CDN) specialists and IP router vendor Cisco Systems in an effort to deal with the fast-growing volumes of multimedia traffic on its network.

Virgin has more than 3.6 million cable broadband and 3.4 million digital TV users who are putting increasing demands on the operator's network. The company noted during its recent analyst day that its broadband customers' average monthly data consumption is up by 81% during the past 18 months, to 8.6 Gbytes from 4.7 Gbytes, driven largely by the consumption of streaming video services.

In addition, its digital TV customers are also ramping up their use of video on demand (VoD) services, particularly the BBC's iPlayer catch-up TV service that Virgin Media customers, under an exclusive arrangement, can access through their set-top boxes (STBs).

Including the iPlayer accesses, Virgin media says its volume of VoD views increased by 96% between the third quarter of 2007 and the same quarter this year.

And broadband usage is likely to increase even further once the cable operator introduces its Docsis 3.0-based services in the coming months that will enable downstream speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s, from the 20 Mbit/s maximum available currently.

While some of the VoD and on-demand TV content is stored close to the edge of Virgin's network, the operator is exploring a number of different ways to deal with the growing volume of traffic feeding into its network from the various external CDNs that deliver Internet video and iPlayer traffic.

"The volume of this content could grow by 10 times during the next few years," Virgin Media's Director of Technical Strategy and Development, Kevin Baughan, said.

That level of growth would impact the quality of content services, so Virgin has initiated three trials to facilitate the "high quality delivery of content that matches Digital Video Broadcasting - Cable (DVB-C)," the method used to deliver Virgin's linear, real-time TV channels.

One trial, noted Baughan, is with Velocix (formerly CacheLogic), the CDN that uses regional caching infrastructure for content distribution. Baughan said his company has installed a Velocix node within its network, and that the trial has, to date, been "successful."

uTorrent Releases Long-Awaited Mac Version

Excerpted from TorrentFreak Report

Until now, uTorrent - the client of choice for most BitTorrent users - was only available on Windows PCs. Now, after years of waiting, Mac users finally have the chance to try uTorrent, to see for themselves how it fares against the competition.

uTorrent for Windows saw its first public release in September 2005, and soon became the most widely used BitTorrent application. In 2006, uTorrent was acquired by BitTorrent, which continued to develop the application, and promised a Mac version.

The uTorrent-for-Mac project started roughly two years ago. Initially it was based on libtorrent. A few months ago, an early Alpha release of the Mac version leaked to the public. The official release, however, has some significant improvements and is much more mature. The Mac release runs on Leopard/Intel Macs at the moment, and is still in Beta.

Simon Morris, BitTorrent's VP of Product Management, told TorrentFreak that they are working on getting the bugs in PowerPC fixed as well as back-porting to Tiger. "We're obviously really psyched that we finally got this beta out there. This is indeed a port of the uTorrent source on top of OSX," Simon said.

"On Windows, uTorrent is by far the best BitTorrent client out there on a power-to-performance basis. Following on from uTorrent's roots, we have continued to focus on features that users really want, and we have avoided bloating up on lots of clutter. We're now looking forward to bringing that specialness to the world of Mac-lovers," Simon added.

uTorrent for Mac can be downloaded here. Since it is still in Beta, the uTorrent team encourages early adopters to post bugs and annoyances in the uTorrent forums.

Joost Releases Application for iPhone

Excerpted from TechBlorge Report by Michael Jones

Joost seemed to have a chance to joust with marketplace leaders as recently as a year ago, but fell on hard times. The video start-up, the brain child of Niklas Zennstrom (founder of Skype) and Janus Friis (founder of Kazaa) seemed to lose traction before it ever got out of the box. Now things are looking up again. Joost has announced an application that will allow customers to stream all Joost content onto the iPhone for free.

Joost has over 45,000 videos available, many of them premium content such as full-length films and television shows from a wide variety of sources. Its content includes films like "Starship Troopers" and "Sleepless in Seattle," and television episodes like "The Daily Show" and "Friends," plus a large number of specialty videos. The Joost library of videos has great breadth.

Even though YouTube has an iPhone app, it cannot yet compete with Joost's content on that very important platform. Given the popularity and high profile of the iPhone, the new Joost iPhone app could put the newer, smaller video service back on the map.

The Joost application was built within a P2PTV framework. Originally it required users to be running Windows or OS X on an Intel platform. However, in October of this year it changed to a Flash-based interface which runs directly inside the user's browser. This makes Joost services available to all platforms and browsers which support Flash 9, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The combination of content and a good iPhone application should put Joost back into the spotlight. Handled properly, this could be the opportunity that Joost needs to claim additional market share in the crowded and ultra-competitive video arena. It would appear that Joost has taken the lead from Hulu and Netflix on the high-profile iPhone. It remains to be seen if it can parlay that into a role as an online video market leader.

TorrentAds to Sell Advertising on BitTorrent Sites

Excerpted from Music Ally Report

Record labels may be trying to find new business models in the digital age, but so are P2P applications and BitTorrent tracker sites.

TorrentAds is a UK-based start-up looking to serve advertising on BitTorrent sites, promising "some of the highest CPMs in the industry", and claiming to be "the world's first torrent-tracker-related advertising network."

News of its launch comes just weeks after US firm Brand Asset Digital unveiled its P2Pwords service, which aims to provide search-related advertising within P2P file-sharing networks like LimeWire.

Octoshape Premieres Live Superleague Formula

During recent months, Superleague Formula (SF) and Octoshape have with great success live-streamed the entire racing season in high quality (700 Kbps), for the enjoyment of motorsport enthusiasts all over the world.

SF is a brand new, global championship that connects two of the most popular sports in the world: soccer and motor racing. In SF, a number of high profile soccer teams - including AC Milan, Liverpool FC, and Sevilla FC - each sponsor a car in the formula races.

In the beginning of 2008, SF was looking for a streaming provider capable of offering the complete service of pulling down a satellite signal, encoding it, and streaming it out to thousands of people worldwide.

As motorsports is always fast moving action, high quality and reliability were of utmost importance to the management of SF.

"We chose Octoshape because of its demonstrated experience with large events in high quality and with incomparable stability. Quality is the keyword for everything we do at Superleague Formula and that is exactly what we get using Octoshape," Said Federico Mera, Marketing & Communication VP at Superleague Formula.

With information from SF, Octoshape could obtain the broadcast signal from satellite, mix commentary and audio tracks, encode it, and push it out to the Octoshape network. From there it was distributed to viewers all over the world at 700 Kbps during the races all weekend.

Mera added, "We had really positive feedback from the online viewers. They were very impressed by the high quality!"

In the future, SF will gradually expand with up-to-seventeen races, taking the championship closer to all fans around the world at venues in Europe, South America, and Asia.

Octoshape and SF are excited about the past and future opportunities, and are looking forward to providing this concept to fans all over the world.

Where Venture Capital Is Flowing Now

Excerpted from Forbes Report by Maureen Farrell

Venture capitalists have put only slightly fewer dollars at stake as they did this same time last year, before the financial crisis had gained any traction. In the three quarters ending September 30th, venture-capital investment was down just 4%, to $22.3 billion, versus the same period in 2007, according to VentureOne, an industry tracker.

Some VCs say the difficult market has made it easier to find promising companies. "There are fewer tourists right now who are just pitching," said Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director at Garage Technology Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund. "That yields a better entrepreneur."

So what is the smart money betting on?

Entertainment is an enticing area, maybe now more than ever. "In bad times, people stay home," said Bernee Strom, Managing Partner at Revitalization Partners, which provides hands-on executive advisory services for technology firms.

That trend may mean more opportunity for entertainment-focused start-ups that make everything from new set-top boxes (STBs) that allow viewers to broadcast movies over the web, to nifty software that helps online publishers place ads targeted to specific viewers.

Keep an eye on Ensequence in Portland, OR, which develops technology underpinning for what one day may become interactive television. (Want to buy that slick new vacuum cleaner? Just click on the TV ad in real-time and enter your credit card number.) The company has bagged about $77 million in total financing - over half of it last year.

As for the realm of information technology (IT), cloud computing promises lofty returns. Traditional computing involves paying for, operating, and storing programs in a centralized location (e.g., a desktop computer). In cloud computing, all of that crunching power is distributed among myriad servers and databases that sit atop no central architecture.

Start-ups will lead this paradigm shift, including makers of on-demand software (also called software-as-a-service or SaaS) that consumers rent from the cloud as they need it, rather than shelling out large, one-time fees for entire programs. 

"In this economy, this sector is even more attractive because of the possibilities for large cost cuts," said Laura Sachar, partner at StarVest Ventures in New York, NY.

Attractive, indeed. Cupertino, CA-based Parascale, which raised $11.4 million in June, provides cloud-based storage for media-rich web applications.

Distributed Computing and Virtualization

Excerpted from SYS-CON Media Report by Mike Workman 

Most cloud providers let you run apps of any kind on their compute, store, and connectivity resources. SalesForce.com, which up until now limited itself to its own apps for SFA and CRM, has declared itself a cloud computing company. In this case, it really is a cloud computing company, but I am going to try to outline this whole phenomenon and discussion in terms that I can relate to. Perhaps you can too.

My friend Tom Mornini of Engine Yard provided an analogy. Talk to anyone who owns a boat. Four-out-of-five will tell you that it might be a lot less work and more bang for the buck to ride around in one than to have the headaches of owning one. By the way, Tom wrote a great article on Cloud Computing.

Of course to some, owning anything and staffing it is an advantage, especially if it includes proprietary "secret sauce." So, the beauty of the cloud is in the eye of the beholder. My mother-in-law uses GMail - and if she could get rid of her computer, she would. We've been through this before. Remember WebTV? Your computer was a set-top box (STB). Or your STB was your computer.

For lots of IT infrastructure companies, it doesn't really matter. If Pillar sells storage to end-users or to people who sell the storage as a service, all is well. People still need to store stuff. We have many customers who do just that.

Pillar sells an enterprise-class product - the Axiom. This matters because data centers that offer cloud computing must be highly reliable, fault tolerant, performance resilient (under fault), serviceable, and virtualized. Pillar's QoS offers cloud providers far more than just storage; it gives them the ability to gain the huge efficiencies they need from their capital assets that classical storage solutions don't allow.

It seems to me that the story around the cloud is about the efficiencies that can be gained using distributed computing and virtualization. 

If a customer is big enough to have an efficient IT infrastructure, outsourcing brings no more efficiency than the standard "this isn't a core competency" argument. For small organizations, the efficiency of sharing the cloud with lots of other small customers can be significant.

So, bring on the cloud! 

What Is Cloud Computing?

Excerpted from State of the Emerging CIO Report by Steven Robert

I get asked that question a lot. Like Web 2.0, cloud computing means different things to different people. The vanilla answer is "software delivered over the Net." According to Google, consumer cloud computing is the web, but when people talk of the brewing cloud battle among Amazon, Microsoft, and Google; it takes a slightly different form.

The first is operating Internet-based services in the cloud, everything from web-based programs such as GMail and Hotmail to the model used by enterprise software such as SalesForce.com, which hosts and runs high-end business applications for corporations. The other is the idea of offering an Internet-based platform to developers who want to create services but don't have their own cloud in which to run them. So they rent storage, computation, and maintenance from someone else, currently Amazon and Google, but soon Microsoft (enter Azure).

Cloud companies assume that consumers will embrace the idea that much of what was once crunched on their PCs and stored on their hard drives will now live in some vague, faraway place, trusting that it will always be there when they need it.

Needless to say, it's a controversial subject that is getting a lot of attention. It plays nicely with the virtualization movement and helps to bring the promise of the "web desktop" a little closer to reality. It's still early to predict how the cloud will ultimately impact markets, but it's surely something to watch.

If I were to make a bold prediction, borrowing heavily from my understanding of Ray Ozzie's vision (Microsoft's Chief Software Architect), we'll see a whole new marketplace created for consumption by businesses and consumers alike.

I personally credit SalesForce.com and software-as-a-service (SaaS) for pioneering the notion (or arguably others prior, such as application service providers [ASP] models), which together have been pushing the boundaries ever so slowly away from the desktop and making the "platforms" themselves more ubiquitous, enabling developers to target platforms where marketplaces already exist, versus trying to create it themselves.

Imagine Facebook Dev Platform + OpenSocial + Apple iPhone Apps, Amazon Services, Google App Engine, and now Azure - each of which offer unique capabilities and distribution channels, yet they all share one tenet: empowering developers to create value-added applications for their respective platform(s).

Think Slide for the enterprise, or the realization of Mark Zuckerberg's vision for a whole new computer marketplace, trumping that of the "OS" itself - which could spur the next round of technology giants! Pretty cool stuff.

Five Years of The Pirate Bay: Most Memorable Moments

Excerpted from NewTeeVee Report by Janko Roettgers

The Pirate Bay (TPB) is celebrating its fifth birthday this week, complete with a special anniversary logo and a blog post claiming that even George Bush knows the founder's names. Humility was never really one of their virtues, I guess.

In fact, if one thing helped TPB become the BitTorrent power-house that it is, it's that distinctive mixture of populist rhetoric, the always-deferred promise of huge announcements, and continuous nose-thumbing at Hollywood. Here are five of the most memorable moments of the TPB's glamorous history.

1. The raid. A shock wave shattered the file-sharing world when the Swedish police raided TPB's data center in May 2006. Investigators took a number of servers hosting more than 100 websites. However, the raid, captured live on a security camera, didn't affect the Bay for long: The site was back up after just three days, with a whole bunch of new users due to the world-wide media echo; and it has been operating without any major interruption ever since. The court case against TPB's founders is still pending.

2. Pirates in search of an island. It was one of those stories that's just too good for any journalist to pass up: TPB's founders announced in early 2007 that they were raising funds to buy the rusty former UK naval fort Sealand to establish a safe harbor out of the reach of police and politicians. The site started to collect donations, promising any donor instant citizenship, and it raised about $13,000 in the process, but the self-declared government of Sealand rebuffed the offer. Plans to buy another island also failed to materialize, but the Bay nevertheless got a ton of publicity for its efforts.

3. To whom it may concern. Most torrent sites at least try to cooperate with rights holders by responding to takedown requests. The folks behind TPB respond as well, but not not by taking anything down. Instead, they ridicule their opponents and post these exchanges on the web. Some of those letters are pretty obnoxious, but others - like the one directed at font maker Linotype, which used tons of different fonts - are genuinely funny. Unless you're the recipient, of course.

4. The flatbread Nazi. The pirates got quite a bit of bad press when a clip from a Swedish TV talk show that connected them to a local right wing extremist surfaced in early 2007. Carl Lundstrom, heir of the Wasabrod empire and prominent supporter of Swedish neo-fascists, had been the employer of one of the Bay's founders and initially sponsored the site with discounted bandwidth and server space. The connection resurfaced in the pending lawsuit against the site, but its founders have always contended that Lundstrom never had any stake in or influence on the site.

5. November 2008: 25 million users. TPB reached another record in November, connecting 25 million active users at the same time through its trackers, just after reaching 22 million a week earlier, which was preceded by reaching 20 million in later October. Part of that explosive growth has to do with the fall TV season kicking into high gear and with "Batman: The Dark Knight" being released on DVD. But the recession has also been very good news for TPB. Expect a 1920s depression doodle featuring soup kitchens in Hollywood on the Bay's front page any day now.

Copyright War Hurts Local ISPs

Excerpted from Australian IT News by Fran Foo

The local Internet industry has cried foul over "unfair targeting" by a coalition of film and TV behemoths over copyright infringement claims.

Last week, the group lodged a lawsuit against Perth-based broadband provider iiNet seeking damages that could run into millions of dollars. The group includes Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Disney, the Seven Network, and Twentieth Century Fox. There are a total of 34 applicants suing iiNet. 

The action is meant to stop Internet users with high-speed connections from swapping unlicensed digital versions of Hollywood films. Working under the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) banner, the group carried out a five-month probe of popular file-swapping sites. 

IiNet is the nation's third-largest ISP after Telstra and Optus, and there is concern the minnows of the industry are being targeted by AFACT. 

John Linton, a Director of the ISP Exetel, said it was clear from AFACT's actions that the small end of town was being targeted. "In June, AFACT began sending extremely aggressive letters of demand to a number of ISPs, requiring them to cease aiding and abetting copyright breaches," he wrote. 

"It was clear from the letters that AFACT was following a strategy designed by its legal advisors to take one or more smaller ISPs to court to test the provisions of the current newer clauses in the Copyright Act," Mr. Linton wrote in response to the court action against iiNet. 

Simon Hackett, who runs Adelaide-based ISP Internode, said he had received similar letters but was not party to any legal action. 

"The industry remains of the view that ISPs aren't policemen. The content industry should take legal action against end users if it believes they have broken the law. ISPs are like the Australia Postal Service: we just deliver it," he said. 

A Telstra spokesman said the telco had not received any letters from AFACT since June 2008. 

AFACT claimed iiNet refused to address the infringing behavior of its customers who were downloading copyright material.

Atlantic Records Digital Sales Trump Physical CDs

Excerpted from The Lefsetz Letter Report by Bob Lefsetz

What blows my mind is that the NY Times can write this tripe with no analysis.

Atlantic Records is in the recorded music business. And sales at the iTunes Store are not making up for the fall-off in CDs. To make it appear that way, however, Atlantic is factoring in ring-tones, satellite radio, all kinds of revenue. The question is: When are they going to come up with a reasonable way to monetize music?

They didn't license P2P. They sued their customers!

The labels destroyed their business, and now they're asking us to forget that as they move into a new business. It would be like GM saying car sales are down, but more people visited our website and our advertising revenue is up! Huh?

iTunes is a poor replacement for CDs because you get to pick a song instead of the whole album. The key here is not to try and get Apple to only sell albums. That would be like getting Trojan to stop selling condoms to prevent teenage pregnancy. The key is to come up with a better solution!

And that's very clear. Make everybody a music customer for a very low price. Worked for the mobile phone companies, why can't it work for the record labels?

Cell-phones used to be a grand and calls cost a-buck-a-minute. Now phones are free and so are nights and weekends, and what talk-time you are paying for is cheap. We're never going back to $13.99 for ten songs. Not even $9.99. When are the labels going to give up this fiction? It's like the oil companies lobbying for the return of land yachts like the Cadillac Eldorado!

MySpace Music certainly ain't getting traction. Not because they didn't have a CEO, but because of the lack of usability. Can you figure the site out? What's there, what's not? There's no uniformity on the pages. It's a total mess. It looks exactly like what it is, a site designed by committee.

If you make music accessible enough, all of it for a very low price, easily played, people will pay for it. That's immutable. Work from that point backward, not from the premise of getting the public to have collective amnesia and go back to the pre-Napster days.

Start there. Innovate. Try selling a bucket of tunes for a low cost. Emphasize eMusic more than MySpace. Take a calculated risk, so we don't have to be exposed to any more double-talk like this moronic Atlantic announcement.

Atari Halts P2P File-Sharing Lawsuits

Excerpted from CD Freaks Report by Michael Hatamoto

Videogame maker Atari has temporarily stopped targeting alleged videogame file sharers in the United Kingdom, because its working relationship with a London law firm has ended.

Atari chose London-based Davenport Lyons to help sue P2P file sharers who allegedly were sharing "Race07" and other Atari video games through BitTorrent.

Each person who received a letter from Davenport Lyons was requested to pay 500 pounds in compensation or legal action would be taken.

"In relation to file sharing, our position is that we always retain and reserve the right to protect our intellectual property (IP) from unauthorized copying," Atari told The Register. "While we are no longer working with Davenport Lyons, we continue to work with legal advisors to protect our rights."

Atari and Davenport Lyons used Logistep technology to unveil a user's ISP address, which would be turned over to Davenport Lyons, who would then subpoena the ISP to obtain names and addresses of users based on IP addresses.

Atari recently mistakenly accused a Scottish couple who never played a PC game and didn't know about P2P technology of infringing the videogame. The lawsuit against the couple was quickly dropped.

Even though it's likely Atari and other game studios will target people sharing their copyrighted games, it's important for the companies to tread lightly and do it the right way. 

Atari has gotten nothing but bad press after it began suing file sharers, which reached an even higher level after the Scottish couple were wrongly accused of unauthorized file sharing.

RIAA Prosecution of Copyright Law Unconstitutional

Excerpted from Mass High Tech Report by Charles Nesson

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is in the process of bringing to bear the fruit of its lobbying influence and the full brunt of its litigating power upon a defendant, Joel Tenenbaum, whom I - along with some of my students at Harvard Law School - have decided to represent pro bono. 

Joel Tenenbaum, who was a teenager at the time of the alleged copyright infringements, is being sued for downloading seven songs seven years ago from Kazaa, a file-sharing network composed of millions of his peers doing likewise.

The RIAA will seek to prove that Joel downloaded those songs "willfully" and must therefore pay up to $1,050,000. 

Joel has already been interrogated by the RIAA for nine hours in a forced deposition; been made to endure the depositions of his mother, father, sister, and friends; and may be compelled to submit his current computer, which is not even the machine on which the original copyright infringement was alleged to occur, to a RIAA-retained third party for complete imaging and forensic analysis. 

All this for the alleged download of seven songs. We believe, and are asserting legally by counterclaim, that the RIAA litigation campaign against Joel and the millions of his generation like him is an unconstitutional abuse of law.

Imagine a statute which, in the name of deterrence, provides for a $750 fine for each mile-per-hour that a driver exceeds the speed limit, with the fine escalating to $150,000 per mile over the limit if the driver knew he or she was speeding. Imagine that the fines are not publicized, and most drivers do not know they exist.

Imagine that enforcement of the fines is put in the hands of a private, self-interested police force, that has no political accountability, that can pursue any defendant it chooses at its own whim, that can accept or reject payoffs on the order of $3,000 to $7,000 in exchange for not prosecuting the tickets, and that pockets for itself all payoffs and fines.

Imagine that a significant percentage of these fines were never contested, regardless of whether they had merit, because the individuals being fined have limited financial resources and little idea of whether they can prevail in front of a federal court. 

The intersection between technological norms and law that governs social norms is one of the most academically interesting and practically frustrating issues professionals have grappled with in a long time.

Tenenbaum is, in every way, representative of his born-digital generation. The tension remains that our antiquated legal system has not caught up to the social reality of digital natives, a term my colleague John Palfrey coined to describe the generation that grew up immersed in digital technologies and for whom a life fully integrated with digital devices that are, by design, free and open, is the norm.

Surely, just because the laws of copyright have not yet fully addressed the ubiquity by which protected information is readily - and freely - available on the Internet, it does not make good law moot.

But this case illustrates a civil sea change rooted in the transformative nature of technology, of code as law. Better understanding of how today's generations interact with digital media will help us shape our regulatory and educational frameworks in a way that advances the public interest.

Justice demands, however, that one man not be pilloried without the process due him as a civil right, without good counsel, and without the most rigorous proof that he has committed the wrongs alleged.

Coming Events of Interest

Agency Summit - December 7th in La Quinta, CA. A premier event for interactive advertisers, the iMedia Agency Summit is designed to challenge interactive thought leaders to break down the barriers of convention and role, and encourage them to come to grips with what it means to build creative, impactful programs for marketers in an ever-evolving environment.

Digital Family Reunion - December 11th from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, DFR is bringing the technology and business communities together for the holidays at the Skirball Cultural Center. In affiliation with top trade associations and social networking groups, the DFR is throwing the holiday party of the millennium.  

Intelligent Selling of Internet Advertising - December 15th in New York, NY. This is a must-do course to gain comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of interactive media delivery, measurement, and creative elements. If you're new to the industry, or need to improve your knowledge and skills, this is an essential course.

P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LV - January 7th in Las Vegas, NV. This is the DCIA's must-attend event for everyone interested in monetizing content using P2P and related technologies. Keynotes, panels, and workshops on the latest breakthroughs. This DCIA flagship event is a Conference within CES - the International Consumer Electronics Show. 

International CES - January 8th-11th in Las Vegas, NV. With more than four decades of success, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) reaches across global markets, connects the industry and enables CE innovations to grow and thrive. CES is produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry. 

MIDEM & MidemNet Forum - January 17th-21st in Cannes, France. MIDEM is the international music market from all genres for all professionals providing five days of business and and a global networking marketplace. MidemNet Forum focuses on digital distribution of music.

Digital Music Forum East - February 25th-26th in New York, NY. Participants include top label execs, artists and reps, association heads, attorneys, investors, consumer electronics, plus technology leaders from social networks, payments companies, online retailers, mobile companies, technology start-ups and more.

East Coast Music Awards - February 26th - March 1st in Corner Brook, NL, Canada. Live, original music during a four-day festival. Terry McBride, Co-Founder & CEO of Nettwerk Music Group, will be the keynote speaker for the conference component of the ECMA weekend.

P2P MARKET CONFERENCE - March 17th in New York, NY. Strategies to fulfill the multi-billion dollar revenue potential of the P2P and social network channel for the distribution of entertainment content. Case studies of sponsorships, cross-promotion, interactive advertising, and exciting new hybrid business models.

Media Summit New York - March 18th-19th in New York, NY. Sponsored by McGraw-Hill and Digital Hollywood, the 2009 MSNY is the premier international conference on media, broadband, advertising, television, cable & satellite, mobile, publishing, radio, magazines, news & print media, and marketing.

Copyright 2008 Distributed Computing Industry Association
This page last updated December 7, 2008
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