Larry Lessig’s Video About Copyright Abuse is Abused using DMCA

April 29, 2009 · Posted in copyright · Comment

If there were anyone out there to whom you would not want to send a random takedown notice for an online video, it would probably be Larry Lessig. Given that Lessig has become the public face for those who feel that copyright has been stretched too far, as well as being a founder of Stanford’s Fair Use Project, and who’s written multiple books on these issues, you would think (just maybe) that any copyright holder would at least think twice before sending a DMCA takedown on a Larry Lessig presentation.

If you watch the video it is clearly within the legal limits of Fair Use. Each clip is less than 10 seconds and is used as a quote. Aside from stupidity of Warner Brother activating the The Streisand Effect causing this to go viral, by trying to ban the video they are proving the point the video makes. DMCA is insane!

Lessig makes it clear that the concept of copyrights needs to change. Copyrights are a government granted monopoly. They do not protect artists, and never really have. The big businesses use this government granted monopoly to secure their failing business models while the government wages war on individuals. The same problems that occur in other wars such as innocent victims, wasted money, and corruption occur with the war on sharing. Even though Obama claimed he would protect peoples freedom he lied and appointed an RIAA lawyer to the 2nd most powerful post in the Justice Department.

The problem faced with copyrights stems from the idea of scarcity. Rather than innovate and better serve customers, big business gets the government to use force to protect their monopoly. This is happening with Big Banks, Big Pharma, and Government schools. Any place there is a government granted and enforced monopoly the quality goes down, the cost goes up and innocent people get hurt while a war is waged to protect the profits of the entrenched power group.

There are at least 4 types of business models with countless varieties of each. Two of the types actually benefit from sharing. So this war on sharing is only holding back the bright future that is possible. It won’t stop sharing, it will only drive it underground. Look at how well that approached worked on everything else.

Infinite Supply, the Problem with Copyrights & Patents

January 2, 2007 · Posted in abundance, copyright, economics, patent · 2 Comments 

In a comment to Economics Of Abundance Getting Some Well Deserved Attention a reader complained that there isn’t an infinite supply of good books, good music, and movies. This is flatly false, there’s an infinite supply of any intellectual property and it can be mathematically proven. How is that for being emphatic?

Don’t fear I’m going to back up that statement and do the following:

  1. Prove there is an infinite supply of information.
  2. Show some reasons why Copyrights & Patents are logically flawed.
  3. List one form of intellectual property that is real and very valuable.

Digital media makes my point very clear. When you digitize a song, book or movie you convert it into numbers. And how many numbers are there? Infinite, you can keep counting forever. Computers store everything as a series of electrical impulses. We think of those as 1’s and 0’s. So inside a computer the music, videos, books and everything else is just a big number.

If you converted the phrase “infinite supply” into a stream of ones and zeros the way the computer sees it this is what it looks like:

01101001 01101110 01100110 01101001 01101110 01101001 01110100 01100101 00100000 01110011 01110101 01110000 01110000 01101100 01111001

As you look at that I’m sure it looks like a meaningless number. And that is the point. That phrase, “infinite supply” is just a meaningless number to a computer. Now look at this article. Up to this point it is 1,462 letters. When I save it on my computer it’s converted to a stream of 1’s and 0’s, it’s just a number. And like every number you could start at 1 and count up to the number equivalent of this article.

To count to the number that represents “infinite supply” you would pass “infinite supplx” and “infinite supplw”. You would also pass “supply”, “infinite”, “finite”, “in” and “a” and every possible combination of letters up to the 15 letter combination that make “infinite supply”. That is 2,954,312,706,550,833,698,643 combinations if we only include the letters “a” through “z” and blank space.
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What’s Your Market Share? Yes!

December 19, 2006 · Posted in abundance, advertising, competition, copyright, mindset, sharing · 1 Comment 

When I was trying to raise money for my last business venture, Viral Video Solutions, the one question that always came up regarding the business plan was “What’s your market share?” And when they asked that question I knew they didn’t get it and that there was no point talking any further. We didn’t care about market share. Viral media is all about sharing. We had videos on Google Video, iFilm, Yahoo, YouTube, BitTorrent sites, iTunes, everywhere and anywhere. So our answer to what’s your market share was yes.

Old scarcity based thinking looks at getting the biggest slice of pie. In an abundance based model we make the pie bigger. We don’t compete with people we work together to make more for everyone.

Worrying about doing better than someone else is short sighted. Being king of a garbage heap still stinks. The path to exponential growth is setting your goals on doing better than ever before.

Fighting over a limited market or resource ends up causing diminishing returns. It’s really paying twice for something. If your competitor has created a market and built value then you spend time and energy taking it all you have done is paid for something that your competitor already bought. It might be cheaper for you than making it yourself but nothing new is being created. It’s a downward spiral that ends with you and your competitor loosing.

As Steve Rubel says, “Bloggers Should Think Co-op-etition, Not Competition.”

I’ve personally seen the benefits of co-op-etition. A website took one of my videos and posted it to Google Videos along with a link to their web site. They promoted it very well and that copy of my video received hundreds of thousands of views. I’m sure they got a lot of visitors to their site from doing that.

Was I upset at them using my content? No. I posted the same video two years earlier and now, no one was watching the copy I posted. This new copy sparked new interest and I received 20,000 extra visitors to my web site. It cost me nothing. The other site benefited, I benefited and a whole lot of viewers benefited.

Another example of co-op-etition is how I participate in Our videos have a short commercial play at the end. Revver splits the revenue with me. But if I share another Revver producers video I get 20% affiliate commission. There is a web video series that is a knock off of my show. I had been upset but when I discovered their videos were on I immediately posted their videos to my site.

If they copied my show then my viewers would enjoy their show. By offering my viewers more videos they might like I was increasing the value of my web site. Plus I get the 20% affiliate commission and I don’t have to produce the video. The competitor still gets their 50% commission. Everyone wins.

So, I look for ways to help everyone in everything I do. I much rather swim in an endless ocean than own a stagnating puddle. How about you?

Action Items

  • Find one thing a competitor does a whole lot better than you and tell others about it.
  • Identify ways to increase value or create new value for consumers