Friday, February 24, 2006

Burnoff: Part 2 - The Good Guys Win

Tarmle described another scenario when "No one has to pay for numbers anymore."
Copyright is your right to copy... anything. You are permitted to duplicate, to alter, to republish any piece of information, any text, sound, image or source code, even any object, anything that does not impinge on the privacy of another individual. It even protects your right to make money out of such duplication, if you can.

Increasingly companies rely on getting information about their products integrated into the media, making them inseparable. You won't find a new album online that doesn't contain at least two tracks named after brands of sneakers or snack foods. The rewards for a rapper willing to name a financial services company somewhere in their lyrics are awe-inspiring - a once-off commercial concession like that can fund a popular artist for long time. Your favourite comedy sketch vlog regularly uses humour based on commercial products and services - a few years ago such a thing might have appalled you, yet you still see collections of old TV ads in the media libraries prominently tagged as humour. The Grand Theft Auto MMOG doesn't charge it's players for software or access, instead it sells in-game billboard space for fifty times the price of billboards in the real world, and the virtual cars the players are boosting will often be the latest models, performance and polygon counts boosted by higher paying sponsors, of course. Armed with suitable Creative Commons Contracts, protecting them from restrictive and exploitative deals, artists have little to fear from their sponsors.

Once upon a time, on a sunny evening with a distant rainbow in the east, sitting on the wet green lawn near the roses, Albert and Trebla went into an argument AGAIN...

Albert: In the spirit of copycat, here is Treble again, describing yet another scenario based on Tarmle's Burnoff: Part 2 - The Good Guys Win

Trebla: Here it goes:

The world is now overloaded with informercial (a blend of information, entertainment and commercial). People is now crying for legislation to put tags around the commercial segments of the informercial so that their personal entertaining device can filter out the commericals. There are several legal cases in the court at the moment between CFM (Commerical Free Movement) and AAAA (American Advertising Agencies Associations).

Side bar here
The fundamental technical issues is:
The interpretation of any bit stream depends on the header to indicate the boundary of meaningful blocks of bits and the header will indicate to the software how to play the blcok of bits in a meaningful sense.

Previously, the commercial segment is in a block and hence it is quite easy for the personal intelligent player agent to filter off the unwanted commercials. AAAA is now pushing a coding scheme so that the media data is distributed over several blocks. In today's terminology, the commercial is like the static frames in a movie on which the real information is based. Several highly commercially successful artists have adopted such coding scheme.

Side bar End

CFM, formerly EFF, argues that it is the right of anyone to remix any segment of a string of numbers (digitalised media). Those artists, who insisted that commercial part embedded their work should not be removed from any remix is illegal.

AAAA wants to protect the integrity of the embedded commercial segments in the informercial and argues that it is the right of the artists to ensure the work is presented as a whole - as originally intended, otherwise the interpretation of the work may be misled. Any remix is a violation of the creative right of the artists. People who worked for AIAA previously are now working for AAAA. Anyone can still use, duplicated or distribute the work, except it must be as a complete whole.

There are also several cases in the court involving the improper or lack of attribution to the original work. One of the case is like this.

John Duo Smith Junior IV has written a software which generated all the combination of notes in all scales and all tempos for a four-beat bar of music. He released the result as a library with a license requiring attribution to him. It was initially a great welcome by most hobbyist musician and millions of songs were created based on John Duo Smith Junior IV's library of 4-beat music bars. Later he also released libraries for all other number of beats. As his citation index sky-rocketed, he has many high value endorsement from the advertising agencies.

These days, the music creation software automatically manage the attribution. The creator of a piece of music owns the aggregation attribution. Although the some bars are attributed to John Duo Smith Junior IV, the sequencing of the bars is attributed to the creator. As the remix continues, the attribution list becomes longer and longer every iteration and is a nightmare to maintain. A 30-second sound track may have an attribution list 10 times longer than the actual media. Although the bandwidth and storage is cheap, they have never kept up with the demand. People started to separate out the attribution list from the media. As a result, many users who are just consumer of the media and have no intention to remix or reuse, opted to download the media without the attribution. Recently, John Duo Smith Junior IV found out that his citation index has dropped. As a result of his investigation, he is now suing several major peer to peer networks for violation of attribution requirements by separating the attribution from the distribution.

John Duo Smith Junior IV is backed by MSLIA (Musical Segment Libraries Industry Associations).

People who worked for Music Industry Associations in the early 2000 found themselves have more job than ever. The law department is the most difficult department to get in for any university.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Trebla's two predictions of the future becoming true


TimesOnline has an article Rumours mount over Google's internet plan which makes Trebla look like working for Google.

Once upon a time, on a sunny evening with a distant rainbow in the east, sitting on the wet green lawn near the roses, Albert and Trebla went into an argument AGAIN...

Albert: Hi, since when did you start working for Google?

Trebla: What?

Albert: All your predictions about an alternate Internet and personal storage being distributed online at location other than your own hard disk is now being worked at at Google. They must be buying dark fibre in bulk otherwise they don't need to advertisements for hiring negotiators.
Google placed job advertisements in America and the British national press for "Strategic Negotiator candidates with experience in...identification, selection, and negotiation of dark fibre contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as part of development of a global backbone network".

Trebla: Well, I heard about this long time ago from Robert Cringely.

Albert: Google has been offering large storage capacity for their gmail users (up to 2.6G).
Google has long been rumoured to be planning to launch a PC to retail for less than $100. The Google computers are likely to be low-grade machines that require a connection to Google to be able to perform functions such as word processing and spreadsheet manipulations.

So, the next step will be storing users' personal data, which Google would be quite comfortable.

Trebla: Luck guess, I suppose.

Albert: Are you working for Google?

Trebla: No comment!

Albert: The news paper article asks
Should Google successfully launch an alternative network, it is is theoretically possible for them to block out competitor websites and only allow users to access websites that have paid Google to be shown to their users.

Trebla: Google is smart enough not to do that. Network effect!

Albert: You really sound like you are working for Google.

Trebla: Nope!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The End of the Internet?


USA big telcos are planning to change the public Internet into their private Gold mine. [via]

Once upon a time, on a sunny evening with a distant rainbow in the east, sitting on the wet green lawn near the roses, Albert and Trebla went into an argument AGAIN...

Trebla: In my fictionalised view when the USA network value falls (such as through restrictive copyright laws, see Burnoff: Part 1 - The Bad Guys Win), I predicted two technology changes: 1. an alternet Internet and 2. distributed encrypted storage for personal data. I think their telcos are helping to make this happens.

Albert: OK, I can agree that adding restrictive copyright laws will decrease the usefulness of the Internet. The current size of the Net will mean building a new network very difficult in order to compete with the value already stored in the current Internet.

Trebla: No. Do you remember how fast the Internet was growing just 10 years ago? We are currently at the beginning of the Information Era. You have not seen the real network yet. The tipping point needs two things to occur: 1. dirt cheap network infrastructure, such as those dark fibre after a techs bubble burst; 2. a common perceived loss in faith in the current network.

Albert: How do you suggest the lock-in effect can be overcome?

Trebla: What lock-in? Never really work! You think VHS has a lock-in to the video recording media, right? Look, we are using DVD-R for the media! VHS is a lock-in when you compare two products in the same category. As new features are added, the network needs to reconfigure itself. The current IP address is already running out of stream. IPv6 has not been picked up significantly in USA. But look outside, Europe and Japan are the big players. I can see the possibility of an alternate network with bridges to the old Internet. In fact, like the IP-network replacing the voice telephone network, the new alternate network can happen without the current ISP noticing.

Albert: OK, why you say USA Telcos' plan helps make your fiction true?

Trebla: Look, while the rest of the world, e.g. Korean is lowering the cost of telecommunication, USA will result in higher fees if their Telcos get their way. This effectively will create incompatible business models between the USA connections to the rest of the world. So, the natural outcome is the split of the network especially when the rest of the world recognise that they already have sufficient value in their separated value.

Albert: I don't think the Telcos' plan will succeed. The current generation of communication technology is based on the "last mile" connection to the telephone exchange. So, just like Australia, the monopoly which controls the last mile has the best run at the moment. But, there is not the only way people can connect. The other wire which connects all homes is the power. Technology is already developing to allow communication connection via power line. Other obvious connection is the cable. More importantly, wireless connection is getting faster and faster. See Lamp-posts that let you surf net. Such a stupid plan to protect their old business model and greediness is not likely to succeed.

Trebla: You bet. US government spent $450 Billion dollars in war of terror to satisfy the greedy military industries. Their citizens have to constantly fight against law proposals sponsored by the content industries for all sort of restriction to enjoy their rightfully purchased goods, both content and the players.

Albert: That would be the beginning of the collapse of this great country.

Trebla: Unfortunately, Australia's current government follows without giving a second thought!

Albert: OK, I will leave your second technology change for the next occasion.

Trebla: Fine with me.