Nov 192012

Some weeks ago, we published a lengthy blog post called Where do Music Collections Come From?  which discussed findings from our Copy Culture survey.

Some of the data demonstrated that P2P file sharers (who own digital music files) buy more music than their non-P2P using peers (who also own digital music files).  Here’s the chart again: Continue reading »


Male Copiers are from Mars. Female Copiers are also from Mars

 Posted by on November 16, 2012  Comments Off on Male Copiers are from Mars. Female Copiers are also from Mars
Nov 162012

Continuing our march through the demographics of Copy Culture in the US and Germany, let’s look at gender.  Would you bet that file sharing is mostly the province of young men?  If you did, you would lose. Using our broadest definitions, we find minimal gender differences in participation in copy culture.  Men and women copy and download for free in very similar numbers.  Similar numbers ‘acquire most or all of a collection this way’  and also ‘most or all of a large collection this way’ (large means >5000 songs).  Charts ahead. Continue reading »


Could Pirate Romney Win/Have Won?

 Posted by on November 2, 2012  Comments Off on Could Pirate Romney Win/Have Won?
Nov 022012

Source: American Assembly

With the election around the corner, polls tied, and a slow news week in the US, it’s time to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind: could Mitt Romney win with some strategic repositioning on copyright policy?  Could the answer be to embrace pirate Romney?  Let’s explore.

What do we know about Romney’s  views on intellectual property?  Really just two things.  We know that he joined the roster of anti-SOPA republicans last year when that seemed like the thing to do (“I’m standing for freedom”).  And we know that he worries about China stealing our IP.  And that’s about it.  But it’s more than it seems. Continue reading »


“Copy Culture” Presentation at the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference

 Posted by on February 17, 2012  Comments Off on “Copy Culture” Presentation at the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference
Feb 172012

With the takedown of (formerly Gigapedia), the major US and UK publishers are joining the war on file sharing. This is a subject we’ll be paying a lot of attention to in the next couple years. Coincidentally, I gave a talk more or less on this issue at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference on Tuesday.

Jan 282012

Now that we’re post SOPA/PIPA (for now), it’s important to develop a larger framework for how intellectual property law can best serve the public ends of maximizing innovation and enriching our common culture.  Last August, we helped organize a Global Congress to do just that.  The result was the “Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest.”

What’s in it?  A lot of it is pretty obvious stuff, such as: policymaking shouldn’t be secret!  And, take evidentiary standards seriously!  Some of it is fairly technical, such as defending the first sale principle across borders to facilitate parallel importation.  Not all of it is completely settled or specified–150 people contributed to  this and we tried to do justice to their disagreements as well as agreements. The point is, it’s a very good place to start a larger conversation about how to make intellectual property law serve public ends–in both national and international law.  If that matters to you, please give it a read and consider signing! Continue reading »


The Link Between Piracy and Organized Crime

 Posted by on December 1, 2011  Comments Off on The Link Between Piracy and Organized Crime
Dec 012011

Well, McGruff the Crime Dog has been dusted off for the fight against piracy, as part of a new  Department of Justice-led campaign that Nate Anderson accurately calls “Reefer Madness for the digital age.”  Our work on organized crime is getting some renewed attention in this context.  Rather than rehash the  argument or send you to the full report, here are some greatest hits:

Does Crime Pay? All the best excerpts on organized crime from the report in 15 pages. Continue reading »

Nov 152011

The U.S. House of Representatives is now debating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—the counterpart to the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act.  If passed, the bill will expand criminal penalties for copyright infringement and give the government (and private parties) new powers to block access to websites accused of facilitating infringement.

The bill is the latest in a series of efforts to strengthen copyright enforcement online. Earlier this year, Internet Service Providers and the film and record industries reached an agreement to expand the private policing of online infringement.  Search engines, social networking platforms, cloud storage providers, universities, and other institutions face growing pressure to monitor and filter Internet activity.

This research note is an effort to bring American public opinion to bear on this vital conversation. The note excerpts a forthcoming survey-based study called Copy Culture in the U.S. and Germany. Drawing on results from the U.S. portion of the survey, it explores what Americans do with digital media, what they want to do, and how they reconcile their attitudes and values with different policies and proposals to enforce copyright online. Continue reading »


Comment on European Audiovisual Policy

 Posted by on September 30, 2011  Comments Off on Comment on European Audiovisual Policy
Sep 302011

I’ve turned The European Strategy Trilogy into something a little more refined and submitted it to the European Commission’s public consultation on ‘Assessing State aid for films and other audiovisual works.’

Download it here.  Here’s the most radical suggestion:

Modernize how public funding agencies conceive their mission, with an emphasis on much wider and cheaper distribution of EU movies. Continue reading »

Sep 272011

When we last left the European Commission, it was continuing its pursuit of  SMUS (Send Money to the US) based IP policies.  We raised some questions about the wisdom of this strategy.  But there is also a different EC conversation underway about revision of the rules governing public film subsidies.  And this one is more genuinely vexed and interesting.

As I noted in the Send Money Pt.2 post a couple weeks ago, Europe produces a lot of movies–over 1100 in 2009–but very few that reach audiences beyond the national markets in which they are produced.  Because movies carry a lot of the burden of representing culture in Europe, this failure generates a lot of anxiety.  Continue reading »

Sep 042011

Most of the time, the international politics of intellectual property law are pretty easy to follow: countries that are large exporters of intellectual property usually favor stronger international IP agreements that help exploit international markets.  Countries that are large importers of IP, in contrast, generally favor lower levels of IP protection that minimize the outflow of royalties, licensing fees, and other payments for foreign-owned products and technologies–whether computers, drugs, movies, or books.  Whatever other rhetorics are in play, from the rights of authors to the right to development, political positions usually line up with those underlying incentives. Continue reading »