March 18, 2012
Browsing On A Sunday: Who's Your ISPy, Google Scan Art, and Libraries As Publishers
Get ready for your ISP to turn into the copyright police. The RIAA and MPAA are celebrating the fact that most ISPs are “voluntarily” adopting a six strike plan to monitor their customer’s downloading habits. The system should be in place by July 12 for most major carriers. There is little announcement of the techniques to be used. That’s not surprising. Why give notice on how the system will catch people. Will it be deep packet inspection? P2P traffic? Will it be directed at a list of blacklisted sites? Both? Either way, the general public will be in for some shock when the emails start to come in notifying of copyright violations.
There are even more questions about the accuracy of the system. It’s not as if major content owners haven’t sent false DMCA notices. Why do I get the feeling that the presumptions on the system will favor content owners? Maybe it’s because of the $35 filing fee to appeal. I suppose that is to discourage casual appeals. Ars Technica reported some while back on the process to challenge a piracy notification.
How will this be affected by public Wi-Fi hotspots. Will Starbucks become a haven for pirates? We’ll just have to wait for the major providers to send out that unilateral take it or leave it notice of a change in terms of service. More details are on Digital Trends. If some people are upset with Google and other companies for monitoring their search habits, ISPs seem to push that envelope a bit further. What Google does seems quaint in comparison. Expect lawsuits. It’s America, after all. This will be one big entertaining mess.
Speaking of Google, the scanning project apparently has outtakes. This happens when a hand or finger or other item winds up in the scan. These are turned into works of art by Andrew Norman Wilson. Details are at The Next Web. The images are fairly striking.
One suggestion for libraries to get around publisher policies on e-books comes from Publisher’s Weekly, of all places. That would be for major libraries to start their own electronic imprint. Larger libraries such as the New York Public Library could probably pull this off with their brand recognition. It’s not so outrageous for a library to break into a publisher’s territory when publishers try to cut the libraries out of e-book distribution. I wonder what publishers would think about this possible competition. [MG]