Saturday, October 07, 2006

Copyright Infringement, You Say?

I recently watched Birth of a Nation on Google Videos, and it was great. I could've rented it or purchased it, but instead of doing all that, I simply typed in the title and voila, 3 hours of history right within my grasp. (Google even entertains as well). While such a phenomen probably deserves a plethora of articles from a communications, information science, sociology, economics, business, and just about any disipline's view point, what is most pressing to me is its place in Web 2.0.

Doesn't it feel like something this good probably crosses some legal ramifications? According to GigaOM's post, yes. In fact, a number of Bollywood hits can be seen online right after its theatre release -- and it's a matter of time that it's going to get out of hand. But in the meantime, isn't it ironically strange that open access is challenging both studios and DVD piracy? I wonder how much Kung Fu Hustle costs out in the black market these days...


Dean Giustini said...


Is the answer monetization, do you think? Would that assuage the copyright police?

Did you notice that Google bought YouTube?


Allan said...


Funny that you bring that up, and interesting that it happened right around the time of the posting. Yes, I did notice it in the news. Google reminds me of the Microsoft's halcyon days when it was buying up other services left and right.

Rob said...

Allan: It would seem that the cat (or the latest movie hit) is already out of the bag. I remember reading an interesting article about ten years ago that espoused the premise that "information wants to be free." (I just wish I could remember where I read it!). Of course there is much more motivation to torrent the latest episode of CSI or X-Men, but is it just a matter of time before some of this frontier-style justice comes to the hallowed halls of academic publishing? I am sure there have been discussions along these lines at companies such as Elsevier. Just as with the Indian pharmaceutical owner who said "f-you" to the Western drug companies and starting making generic drugs for African countries at cost maybe we will see some of the same behaviour in the not-to-distant future vis-a-vis publishing.