Links for 2012-06-26

  • CEO Of Internet Provider Sonic.net: We Delete User Logs After Two Weeks. Your Internet Provider Should, Too. – Forbes : “what we saw was a shift towards customers being made part of a business model that involved–I don’t know if extortion is the right word–but embarassment for gain. An individual would download a movie, using bittorrent, and infringe copyright. And that might be our customer, like Bob Smith who owns a Sonic.net account, or it might be their spouse, or it might be their child. Or it might be one of his three roommates in a loft in San Francisco, who Bob is not responsible for, and who rent out their loft on AirBnB and have couch surfers and buddies from college and so on and open Wifi. When lawyers asked us for these users’ information, some of our customers I spoke with said “Oh yeah, crap, they caught me,” and were willing to admit they engaged in piracy and pay a settlement. But in other cases, it turned out the roommate did it, or no one would admit to doing it. But they would pay the settlement anyway. Because no one wants to be named in the public record in a case from So-And-So Productions vs. 1,600 names including Bob Smith for downloading a film called “Don’t Tell My Wife I B—F—— The Babysitter.” AG: Is that a real title? DJ: Yes. I’ve read about cases where a lawyer was doing this for the movie “The Expendables,” and 5% of people settled. So then he switched to representing someone with an embarassing porn title, and like 30% of people paid. It seemed like half the time, the customer wasn’t the one right one, but they rolled over because it would be very embarassing. And I think that’s an abuse of process. I was unwilling to become part of that business model. In many cases the lawyers never pursued the case, and it was all bluster. But under that threat, you pay.”
    (tags: interview isps freedom copyright internet shakedown lawyers sonic.net data-retention via:oisin)

  • an ex-RBSG engineer on the NatWest/RBS/UlsterBank IT fiasco : ‘Turning over your systems support staff in a wave of redundancies is not the best way to manage the transfer of knowledge. Not everyone who worked the batch at [Royal Bank of Scotland Group] even knew what it is they knew; how, then, could they explain it to people who didn’t know there was knowledge to acquire? Outsourcing the work from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and sacking the staff would have exposed them to the same risks. […] I Y2K tested one of the batch feeder systems at RBS from 1997 – 1998, and managed acceptance testing in payments processing systems from 1999 – 2001. I was one of the people who watched over the first batch of the millennium instead of going to a party. I was part of the project that moved the National Westminster batch onto the RBS software without a single failure. I haven’t worked for the bank for five years, and I am surprised at how personally affronted I am that they let that batch fail. But I shouldn’t be. Protectiveness of the batch was the defining characteristic of our community. We were proud of how well that complex structure of disparate components hummed along. It was a thing of beauty, of art and craft, and they dropped it all over the floor.’
    (tags: systems ops support maintainance legacy ca-7 banking rbs natwest ulster-bank fail outsourcing)

  • Some Facts & Insights Into The Whole Discussion Of ‘Ethics’ And Music Business Models | Techdirt : David “Camper Van Beethoven” Lowery’s blogpost about music sales, ethics, piracy etc. looks like it was pretty much riddled with errors regarding the viability of the music business, then and now. Empirical figures from Jeff Price from Tunecore, and others, to debunk it: “‘Well here’s some truth about the old industry that David somehow misses. Previously, artists were not rolling in money. Most were not allowed into the system by the gatekeepers. Of those that were allowed on the major labels, over 98% of them failed. Yes, 98%?. Of the 2% that succeeded, less than a half percent of those ever got paid a band royalty from the sale of recorded music. How in the world is an artist making at least something, no matter how small, worse than 99% of the world’s unsigned artists making nothing and of the 1% signed, less than a half a percent of them ever making a single band royalty ever?'” […] “Another example of Lowery being wrong that Price responds to is the claim that recorded music revenue to artists has been going down. Price has data: ‘This is empirically false. Revenue to labels has collapsed. Revenue to artists has gone up with more artists making more money now than at any time in history, off of the sale of pre-recorded music. Taken a step further, a $17.98 list price CD earned a band $1.40 as a band royalty that they only got if they were recouped (over 99% of bands never recouped). If an artist sells just two songs for $0.99 on iTunes via TuneCore, they gross $1.40. If they sell an album for $9.99 on iTunes via TuneCore, they gross $7.00. This is an INCREASE of over 700% in revenue to artists for recorded music sales.'”
    (tags: music mp3 music-business piracy techdirt david-lowery tunecore)

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