Friday, July 06, 2012

Copyrights of the worst kind

Software patents aside, some of the copyright laws and enforcements make me cringe. In this age, lawyers, litigators and corporates (read RIAA, MPAA etc) are the dinosaurs. Slow, challenged and unresponsive to the changes brought about by the digital age, they try to push through draconian legislations (SOPA, ACTA, PIPA and what not) to save their fiefdom and try to continue milking the cow as much as they can while the cows are too dumb to vote with their wallet. [Tweet: Mega will be back - by @KimDotcom].

While I shall gladly pay for my movies, I am not willing to go to a theatre to watch it. Even if it is 3D. Get Netflix (or other streaming service) in India (I'm not even here for long. Going to a place with netflix :P) and release it on the internet, where I can watch it from the comfort of my home. I am not the only one to share this opinion. Why?

[I pulled up this old article (even back from 2005):
While the theatre revenues decline, MPAA is itching to correlate this to piracy.] (a google search for cinema attendance throws numerous relevant, recent results which one can peruse)

  1. Social factors eroding theater environment (talking, cell phones, babies crying, etc.);  
  2. Sacrificing long term relationships with theater-goers for the increase in short term profitability (commercials, no ushers, etc.); 
  3. Higher quality experience elsewhere (Home theater);
  4. Declining quality of mainstream movies;
  5. Easily available Long Tail content alternatives (Netflix, Amazon);
  6. Price;
  7. Demographics: Aging babyboomers simply go out to movies less.
I can easily add to that. I watch movies without planning much in advance- when I take a break from work. And sometimes, I don't watch it at a stretch. I like to recline on a bean bag and get whatever I want to eat.

The hassle of going to the theatres is simply not worth the experience! At the same time, I do not want to wait for the DVD or streaming release.

What happened when the Dinosaurs tried to block thePirateBay in Europe? Torrent usage stayed the same or increased!
While it is well known that any kind of publicity is good, they must understand the users who power and use torrents. They are probably smarter than any of the IT admins that work for them, and I quote the article. Internet denizens are a lot more savvy (proxies, VPNs, etc.) than the MPAA and co give them credit for.

 It is awfully easy to circumvent the blockade.

Whereas online  music comes out in a more digestible format quite early, only now the issues with porting music across devices is being worked out, where throwing a device away doesn't necessarily mean getting rid of music as well.

I can also see that the music industry easily makes revenues out of people who download illegally! I know a lot of people who download illegally, become fans and then go to every concert when the band plays nearby. All this wouldn't have been possible if not for file sharing, especially in developing countries. 200 for an album or 3000 for a concert? You prefer MPAA! (I know I am making a skewed comparison, but I am sure loss of revenue due to file sharing is easily compensated by increased concert revenues due to file sharing. I am unable to get data on this, but would love to study this).

I so wish I could just get into the industry and make revolutionary changes (Easier said than done, I know).

How far can the lawyers protect the dinosaurs? Change is coming, and you do not want to be in the situation of RIM/Nokia/Big 4 Automakers where you need to reinvent to survive.

The voyager is about to reach interstellar space soon, and lawyers (most of whom have questionable intelligence) extend copyrights to deep space. What ever happened to bringing about enforceable and non-moronic legislations for the public good of mankind.

Of course, we expect copyrights to still be in place light years ahead don't we (*internally forming an opinion that lawyers and legislators not only know tech, but basic physics/astronomy*).

Here are some of the ripe slashdot comments (incidentally, /. commenters have higher IQ than lawyers):

  •  This was a brilliant plan to spur on space innovation in the private sector by encouraging the copyright cartels to sue any alien civilization that dared play the record in public. No matter how many light years away the alien race may be, we can be assured that the copyrights will still be in force by the time voyager reaches them.
  • Absolutely. Everyone would stop writing music, filming movies without the certain knowledge that alien civilizations with have to pay full retail for 'Star Trek: First Contact' for the next 100 or so years.
  • The brilliance of the plan is that by the time the Earth lawyers find out that the Klingons have been listening to our music, a couple of centuries will have past (with the speed of light and the size of our galaxy and all). Imagine the calculations for the lost revenues. :-)
  • Aliens to us after we send them a copyright infringement notice:
    Thank you for your information. Our clients hold the universal copyright on RNA and DNA replication technology. This letter is official notification under Section A484615(d) of the Universal Millennium Copyright Act (”UMCA”), and we seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your planet. I request that you immediately notify the infringers of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further replication of DNA or RNA on your planet in the future.
    An enforcement detail will arrive in your system in one week to ensure compliance.
    Thank you.
And we still wonder why lawyers are the butt of innumerable jokes.

Afterthought: If Steve jobs was CEO of Ford, he would be suing other car makers for copying his steering wheel (*cough slide to unlock cough*). And some sane judges would then deny such "obvious" patents. Apple would then say "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours", While their entire foundation is built upon stealing right from the start. (Want Hints? Here is Apple research website: ;) ).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Who you gonna vote for?

The hiatus of 2 years is too long. But there was never a blog post as important as this one.

I'm sure you know TN elections are going to happen, so let me get straight to the point.

Why you must vote(or must vote right):
1) If you think no party is worth it, hold that thought.
2) If you think they all are the same and corrupt, hold that thought.
3) If you think they all are uneducated, hold that thought.
4) If you think voting for a relatively less known party is a waste of a vote, hold that thought.
5) If you think voting for a party that may not win is a waste of vote, hold that thought

Clearly, you haven't heard of lok satta (makkal sakthi katchi in TN - check this for english), or, dont know why you have to vote right.

Lok Satta:
A party of the educated, started to root out corruption. Makkal Sakthi Katchi is the Tamil Nadu wing of the party. The core ideology is the 5th pillar.

What is the 5th pillar?
As you know, our democracy functions on 3 fundamental pillars - Legislature, Judiciary and Executive. The 4th pillar is the media, which keeps check on the 3 fundamental pillars. But they only have a voice. The people, the masses, the commons, the you and the I are the 5th pillar - the strongest of all. The 5th pillar movement aims to root out corruption. They have brought out zero rupee notes We are lucky to have democracy. We get our voices to be heard. I can only hope that the situation doesn't go so bad that we have to revolt violently like the middle east. In case corrupt authorities ask you for a bribe at any point of time, you can show them the zero rupee note - be it land patta or phone connection. You WILL get the job done without corruption. If they continue to demand bribe, just inform the 5th pillar organization! (anecdotes in Vijay Anand's TEDx talk) - don't fear retaliation!

A note to skeptics:
No one answers it better than Dr. JP Narayan in this video (goes straight to that section - speech in Mumbai University). There is no substitute for politics. The only solution to bad politics is better and more politics. There is no use to hold candle light vigils, curse politicians, sit and brood over the scams for hours. Be an active part of the change.

Voting for a party that you think has a low chance: 
A vote is sacred. You need to be proud of who you vote for. Tomorrow, do you want to look back in shame? It does not matter if the party you vote for is not going to win. It only matters what ideals you support, and faith in what you believe in. Don't sell yourself to people who buy voters with money. Don't sell your vote for short term gain. If you do, the same mentality will exist in all future elections too!  Why vote for those you despise? Every vote counts. If you like none of the parties, opt for "no vote" - form 49-O. However, if you still decide "not to vote" for Lok Satta, and go with one of the regular parties, here is an important tidbit that may help you decide (Of course, the source of all the money for that is from scams and bribes. And giving them away would empty our state coffers):

No power cut? Seriously? Thats something money can't control bro!

Some links:

Some of the most interesting Videos(all english): (Some of these videos are only part 1. Follow through if you like !)
1) Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan's speech in Mumbai University ( 3rd part is good)
2) Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan's speech in the Parliament of India
3) Vijay Anand's TEDx talk
4) Launch of Makkal Aatchi(which later became Makkal Sakthi Katchi)

I have attended their meet in Coimbatore. I am an optimist. If the party did not exist I would have opted for Form 49-O, no vote. Or gone with jago party (but they arent in TN AFAIK). I hope MSK wins, but I wouldn't consider writing this blog a waste of time if it didn't, and similarly, don't consider your vote for MSK a waste even if they don't win.

By the way:
If you are in Coimbatore south, Vijay Anand is contesting here! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The disaster - what is now expected

(originally meant for the DIYA(dawned indian youth army) forums): (for more info about this, see the previous post down).

We are no more children.. unless we take responsibility in our own hands, India is going nowhere. Politicians with no qualifications whatsoever rule us and time and again, under perform. i am not going to start blaming them. That is not the solution as I see it...

We need a whole change... We need someone with charisma, one who can change the Indian mentality and the laws of Indian politics. We need youth with intelligence in the system.. someone who knows what they are doing... India 2020 cannot be achieved without the involvement of our country's greatest resource- the youth.

India has achieved a whole lot in the past. But we cannot stand on the past alone.. We need to adapt, something we have been resisting. The times have changed. Today, took place, in Mumbai, one of the largest terrorist attacks in the world, and the worst one India has seen ever.

The youth need to infiltrate politics and governance. There is no other solution. Our armed forces are some of the best in the world, yet this has happened. We still follow outdated laws and vote-bank politics.

While the terrorists grow in power and intelligence and resources, we have not been growing so. In here, everything works the same old way, and we need to go through several levels of administration and bureaucracy to get things done.

When will we ever learn? When will we ever change?

I call upon everyone with the determination and will to take a minimum of an active interest in politics. If not join it, be a watchdog. Claim your rights, and what is yours. WE do not have to live administered by corrupt goondas. With the support of educated youth, then and ONLY then will there be a hope for the future, leave alone development...

Anirudh R

P.S: It was indeed heartening to see parties staying away from blaming each other at least during today's disaster..

I feel it is credible of advani and manmohan to travel together to mumbai.. Let there be more signs of such wisdom. India is learning. It will be a better place no doubt.