Code Confidential: The V.i. Labs Blog
Software Licensing in the Cloud, Google & The Pirate Bay, and Filipino Software Piracy – Week in Review 9/17/2010
Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly software piracy and licensing update. This week Google decided no longer to suggest The Pirate Bay, the BSA weighs in on the Tran-Pacific Partnership and the Pilipino Government tackles software piracy. Want to know more? Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS to get the latest news.
Google removes Pirate Bay from Auto suggest
Last week Google removed The Pirate Bay from their Autocomplete algorithm. Put simply, Google’s search box will no longer suggest The Pirate Bay as a search term. While Autocompete is a useful feature and may have sent some users to The Pirate Bay, Google’s actions will most likely have a negligible effect on The Pirate Bay’s traffic. Instead the move appears to be an attempt by Google to placate the media industry, which views Google with suspicion and The Pirate Bay as an existential threat.
The tense relationship between Google and media industry has been strained throughout the last year by Google’s position on the antipiracy acts, SOPA and PIPA. During the SOPA debate Google testified before Congress against the bill, firmly planting a flag on the opposite side of the MPAA and RIAA. Google also publically protested on their homepage by covering up the Google logo with a censorship bar and offering an explanation on their disapproval of the bill. In the end the objection of Google, along with Reddit and Wikipedia, sparked a massive internet protest that forced Congress to table SOPA in the House Judiciary Committee.
Following the showdown over SOPA, Google has been taking steps towards reconciliation with the media industry. According to Amit Singhal, Google SVP of Engineering, Google has significantly stepped up their processing of copyright removal notices saying that, “[Google now] processes more takedown requests in one day than in all of 2009”. In addition Google has begun to negatively consider how many DMCA takedown requests a website receives in its search algorithm.
Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Cloud
According to the The Huffington Post* the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the first regional trade agreement of the “cloud era” and a major focus of the upcoming negotiations will be on the topic of cloud computing. While those discussions will primarily revolve around anticompetitive and protectionist policies, the BSA is quick to point out there are serious intellectual property right considerations specific to cloud technology.
Common wisdom held the cloud would put an end to piracy but that doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact, the cloud might have made it even easier to pirate software. For example, instead of downloading a cracked installer people can simply share their logins with friends or family, easily giving them access to services they didn’t pay for. Alternatively, the cloud has the opportunity to increase business license overuse exponentially. Cloud infrastructure allows for the possibility of license server virtualization, meaning businesses can clone their legal licenses to run on an unlimited number of machines. The cloud in this case acts as a thick fog, distorting an ISV’s view of their customer’s license compliance.
So far the US has pushed for strong protection of intellectual property, in some cases going beyond what is currently established in U.S. case law. The United States’ demand for such strict IP provisions has caused a backlash at home and abroad, with some calling the TPP a “Pacific ACTA”.
*Disclosure: The source article is written by Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance
Pilipino Gov. checking businesses for software piracy
Disheartened by their country’s continuing presence on global piracy watch lists, the Philipino Government is resolved to do something about it. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) will be stopping by business offices in Manila to check on their license compliance and to educate them about software piracy. According to the IPOPHL, piracy rates in the Philippines rose to 70% in 2011, in other words approximately 7 out of 10 of Pilipino computers have pirated software installed.
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