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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Is the New Copyright-Law just the start of even more things to come?

Is the New Copyright-Law 
just the start 
of even more things to come?

Nirupam Banerjee, India

The NEW copyright-legislation in Norway is now spreading like a viral fever throughout the planet. Irish Government takes steps. UK-situation improves. Finland perhaps also proceeds. Guatemala too, on the way to legislation change/ control of the E-piracy.

And in Russia, a semi-final new law just needs a signature by Putin to go live right from tomorrow (1 August 2013+).

Are the E-pirates sidelined?

According to a person/attorney in the Norwegian Legislative Assembly: the final draft prepared is OK for the present tense; but tense situation can arise again in the future in the light of the increased availability of the broadband throughout the world and the ever faster Internet as time passes on.

The new legislation claims that it bypasses the proxy techniques of the Pirates (which according to my web designer is just a matter of 2 minutes, the same contents being shifted to just a different URL and a relocation link indicated). A major INNOVATION in the world of law, from Norway, is that the site-blocking would not only take place at the ISP level but it also won't be the one that can be circumvented.

But the emerging new technologies of the FUTURE, like the cloud, may be a safe haven for the E-pirates, in the years to come—the legislator warns.        

Who knows, that it's not a DIPLOMACY on the part of the Legislators? By indirectly encouraging the Pirates (with this delicate statement uploaded in the Internet publicly) the law-makers might just want to trap the still-enthusiastic pirates finally in the cloud concept of the Internet. Where their new Intellect could be newly tackled in even the 'future to come'. 

The tech-savvy AND possibly diplomatic legislators, may have one more weapon in the offing.♦

Main Reference:

Satellite references:

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Can Vernacular Publishers stop the Amazon flowing in India?

Can Vernacular Publishers 
the Amazon flowing in India?

© 2013 Nirupam Banerjee, India

Amazon is now the largest STORE (& maybe even 24 x 365 hrs/yr FAIR) in the planetary Book-industry. This now, is considered definitely a rival of the Traditional Publishers, and that too, supposedly throughout the planet.

But I knew or intuited sometime ago, that the Bengali publishers would definitely resist the Amazon 'river' flooding their rain forest of the local bookstores. The local trade publishers' anxiety could be partly due to the very different business model that Amazon uses comparing to the physical bookstores. 

The local "Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd." however follows Penguin, as they are currently linked up. But Penguin has had also not (as far as I believe) a 'much' good relation or viewpoint, about Amazon. In fact there's a tussle already going on between the Western publishers & this giant Tech-savvy company. Which can be compared to the Google & Apple.

Ewan Morrison of Scotland forecasted in 2011, that the 'Publishers' of the FUTURE will be:
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • etc
instead of Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Bloomsburry et al.

The point is—in my opinion—not necessarily that the Technology triumphs over the Arts, but that Technology is just a filter that now nakedly scans out the essential roles the publishers can still claim as THEIR work.

If the work load of rather the E-bookstores are now proved commercially larger, then these new Retailers would dominate the Publishers like never before in the planet's entire history of the bookstores.

Amazon was well poised. They even quite recently launched in India their e-Reading device KINDLE @ about 6,000 rupees! In the hope to conquer the local languages.

But Amazon's gambit with the Kindle, backfires! This USA-based North American 'Amazon river' didn't see that the people in the Indian rain forests are mostly poor ones. They can rather read the books directly online and not in an e-reader. 

Amazon can't perhaps secure market for Bengali publication in India. Audience is not equipped. Moreover $ is now often running above Rs.60. This would make the living even harder for the mass public here, in the near future.

And the Bengali Publishers? They might even try to boycott Amazon. So, Amazon may get only the self-published authors. Who however, can hope to circulate their books only within the 'rich' & the NRI-style Bengalees.

Amazon's inherent opening policy is that, their books can be downloaded only in the Kindle which Amazon itself manufactures! So in order to buy a single book from Amazon (even if it costs $0.99/- i.e. about Rs.60 only) you have to buy a Kindle beforehand

Thus Amazon forces the transaction of Rs. 6000 + 60 = 6,060/- for the 1st book.

I believe Amazon should change their opening preparation. If they want to really penetrate India. 

The US company needs to not only track the economics here, but also study the mindset of the Local/Bengali publishers. That Ananda Publishers is linked with Penguin, doesn't necessarily mean that what Penguin does will be soon followed here.

Maybe, some local Startup business (that I might support/advise on) can make the breakthrough if Amazon can't convince the Bengali Publishers to send e-books, or the mass Buyers to buy Kindles.  


For Kindle Paperwhite model with Wi-Fi, the cost is about Rs. 11,000/-. And for Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi + 3G, it's about Rs. 14,000/-.

And the lowest model of Kindle was Rs. 7,000/- @ last year. 
Amazon has reduced it by 1000 rupees just very recently this year.  

But even Rs. 6,000 extra (for seeing e-books) would be too much for an average Bengalee who perhaps just doesn't read the 'book-length' works in English while, on the other hand, the Bengali e-books are still not practically available at Amazon. So what would NOW justify their purchase of the Kindle?♦ 

Norway Legislation goes LIVE: 1st July 2013

Norway Legislation goes LIVE: 

1st July 2013

It’s been years in the making but a few hours ago a new anti-piracy law went live in Norway. File-sharers are now expected to have less of an easy ride than they enjoyed in the past and entire websites are expected to become blocked at the ISP level.
Monitoring the activities of Internet users has become an extremely hot topic in recent weeks, largely thanks to the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
While it’s now evident that large-scale U.S. Government monitoring is widespread, other countries are increasingly allowing monitoring for commercial purposes.
Following its signing into law earlier this year, today new legislation opens up Norway’s citizens to monitoring by rights holders looking to clamp down on online file-sharing.
Just a few hours ago it became possible for copyright holders to apply to the government for permission to scan file-sharing networks for infringements. Other changes to the law means that harvested IP addresses can be converted to real-life identities with the help of the courts and ISPs.
Additionally, the new law allows for sites to be blocked at the ISP level following a successful legal application. It is widely expected that the music industry will go after ISP Telenor first in an attempt to have it block The Pirate Bay.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Semi-Final Norway Legislation

The Semi-Final 

Norway Legislation

SOPA reincarnated? 

Norway readying draconian anti-piracy internet law

Published: May 04, 2013 


Norway is taking steps to tackle websites like The Pirate Bay to eliminate online copyright infringement by amending the Copyright Act. The revisions are popular in parliament and if passed will grant authorities the right to block sites at the ISP level.

The proposed amendments make it easier to locate both website owners and end-users of unauthorized material online.

Thus, the new legislation would allow rights-holders to take to court site owners involved in illegal content sharing and order the internet service providers (ISPs) to “prevent or impede access” to sites that have extensively made available material that clearly violates copyrights”Torrentfreak quotes the amendments. 

And if the website owner is unknown or cannot be located the case can be decided without the person concerned being given an opportunity to comment.” This would make it very easy to block off sites whose owners wish to remain anonymous.

Also, the introduced amendments exempt pursued individuals in question from the protection of Electronic Communications Act when a legal claim is underway.

“If it is likely that copyright or other rights under this law have been violated, the court may, notwithstanding the confidentiality provided by the Electronic Communications Act, at the request of the licenseerequire a provider of electronic communications to disclose information that identifies the owner of the subscription used for the violation, according to the amendments.

In order to waive confidentiality the court “must find that the arguments in favor of disclosure outweigh the interest of confidentiality.” 

Experts are saying that the bill will most certainly be passed.

A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo (Reuters / Erlend Aas / Scanpix)
A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo (Reuters / Erlend Aas / Scanpix)

Even though the amendments need to go through a second parliamentary hearing before being formally adopted, it is unlikely that the outcome would be any different from the first hearing, Jens Christian Koller of the Parliamentary Information Service told Teknofil.no.

“In practice therefore these amendments to the Copyright Act have been adopted, but it is still not correct to say that it has already been formally adopted by the parliament. What you can say is that it is now very difficult to stop this law,” he stated.

This issue of piracy versus privacy is not new in Norway and has partly been trigged by The Pirate Bay website case, according to Torrentfreak.

Case Study:

In March 2009, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and other local movie studios asked Norway’s largest ISP Telenor to block subscribers’ access to The Pirate Bay, the world’s largest file-sharing site. Telonor refused to proceed with the request, citing no legal precedent.

Telenor was taken to courtwhere a ruling confirmed that ISP is not obligated to block access to sites such as The Pirate Bay.


Then the Ministry of Culture in May 2011 announced new proposals to amend the existing Copyright Act. In January the amendments were presented and on this past Monday the parliament voted on them for the first time. The ruling parties were in favor of the bill, while only the opposition voted against it.

The Pirate Bay website, which was the force behind the new amendments, was created in Sweden in 2003.

In 2009 the website’s founders were charged with facilitating illegal downloading of copyrighted material and sentenced to a year in a prison and a US$3.5 million fine. Since then in order to stay online the site’s domain keeps moving to different countries, with the latest relocation to Iceland.

Truly Draconian?

Internet users are equating the Norwegian amendments to the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was introduced in October 2011 and proposed to broaden law enforcement’s rights to fight online copyright infringement and trade of counterfeit good. Proposal includedintroduction of court orders to ban advertising networks and payment facilities from doing business with infringing websites, prohibiting search engines from linking to the websites, and requesting ISPs to block access to the websites.

Many internet users and organizations heavily criticized the plan. On January 18, 2012, the internetblackout was used by more than 7,000 websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit and Google, marking the WWW-wide protest against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), which was then shelved indefinitely just days after the action.♦

Note:- THIS is the link my annotations are based on...  

Sunday, 14 July 2013

E-book vs. the LOCAL publishers

© Nirupam Banerjee, India 

Indian Bengali Publishers' oblivion about the E-book, was explained earlier by a Neighbour living in the immediate eastern house of mine (Sumit) as the reflection of their Anti-technology BIAS.

But now it seems: there is another aspect to their seeming ignorance (or lack of drive) about the E-book. This is COMMERCIAL.

The Western publishers, who are relatively Tech-savvy, (in fact much tech-savvy than the India-based Bengalee publishers) now sense the HEAT.

This is also systematically reported in the Internet. The Bengali publishers may or may not have been reading them. They might have intuitively sensed the DANGER—a danger arising out of even Ethical E-commerce. 

This is perhaps more dangerous than even the Piracy. The E-piracy is also an E-commerce. But such commerce can be prevented (or significantly threatened) by the Legislation. 

But what will happen with the e-Bookstore e-Commerce? 

Can Publishers ever take LEGAL action against the E-bookstore concept??—The conceptual/philosophical answer is a Big NO.—Because they are all Ethical;-)

In the West, companies like 
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • etc
have started transmitting BOOKS on the E-book-E-commerce basis. And this 2E together is the THREAT.

In history (maybe I'm using the word a little advance)—each typical publisher had connection to B nos of bookstores & each of these physical stores had, say on average, N nos of physical book copies for sale (by the given publisher). Thus the publisher had BxN nos of book copies floated in the market.

Now the e-Stores provide N^ copies where N^ is practically/virtually INFINITE. 

Thus even if a publisher uses Amazon as the only e-Bookstore to connect (i.e. B=1) the availability of books becomes BxN = 1 x N^ = 1 x infinity = INFINITY.

This is exciting apparently.

But paradoxically, here lies the source of a radical NEW problem. Which seemingly threatens the Publishers. As the e-Bookstores become independent of the Publishers (for future supply of the same book) & enormously powerful.♦

Sumit's X-ray Insight

Sumit's X-ray Insight

Sumit, the guy to my next door in the east, forecasts/evaluates the future of the Bengali Publishers.

A great thing I earlier noticed about this eastern neighbour (especially since 2008) is that, he has a certain Intellectual Prowess to X-ray the SOCIAL problems. When I asked him: How do you reach the conclusions?—he replied: 'It requires Intellectual Insight.'

Let us now see how his INTELLECT scans the Bengali Publishers. He even forecasts.

Sumit opines that the Local publishing industry is actually dying out

On elaboration, he continued: 

These local publishers don't really update themselves. And they will never do so

Sumit even warned me:

"Be professional."

What do you mean?—I uttered.

If you ever write a book, do it in the ENGLISH.—Sumit explained.  

His main points about the Local/Bengali publishers:
  • They are not Arts-based; they are Arts-BIASED
  • They have specific topics, outside which they will never publish on their OWN
  • They are far away from the modern world of the Internet
  • They like to avoid Science & Technology 
  • They have a parochial mindset—unlike the Western publishers
  • They are frogs in the well; they don't even track where the global publishing is going  
To tell the empiric evidence of Sumit's INSIGHT, it may be well mentioned that when I asked in phone (February 2013) a simple compact question to, more than one, top publishers (Ananda & Deys) viz: 

"Do you sell E-books?"

the reply from the receptionist came in both cases, of the same type:

"What book? What did you say??"


"What E-book is???"

I was astonished to see the 'coincidence' of the exact style of answer from the two Publishing Houses, which people consider as belonging to the TOP publishers.♦

Does E-concept threaten the Publishers?


Nirupam Banerjee, India

The less cost @ E-concept of Book means...; what does it mean?

It means the Printing presses & the Binding shops & the physical Bookstores & the Dealers & the Distributors would be ELIMINATED from the landscape of the new Publishing Industry.

But the Publishers? (Who are at the centre of the Industry?) Do they still believe they will do survive this THREAT??

Publishers can survive only if their last resource—their PUBLICITY expertise—the most intangible skill in their profession—can't be ever overtaken by the Internet.

Almost anyone in the Industry now senses that the Internet essentially threatens ANY middleman between the Writer & the Reader!

But some are still hopeful that since the Publishers do possess an 'intangible' quality called the PUBLICITY skill, the technical Internet can never override this subtle role of their profession.

But the Internet also evolves just as the E-book evolves. For example, Google & Social-networking sites (together) are systematically starting to RIVAL even this much coveted historic skill of the Publishers. I'm not saying that Google or Facebook or Twitter (alone or in combination) has already won. But they can favour certain types of authors in this new landscape of Publishing. Look, many blogs are popular. They don't earn money. (Because they are not as synthetic as a book.) But they drive significant traffic even with their scattered performance! Had any publishers or celebrities endorsed/approved them? Often the answer is: No.

And yet they have picked up in the publicity skill.

This is perhaps because this is 21st century. And, and still, the Internet still evolves.♦ 

How E-piracy can dominate the Bengali Publishers both LEGALLY & ETHICALLY

How E-piracy can dominate 
the Bengali Publishers

© Nirupam Banerjee, India

Many people still WONDER how the E-piracy of the Bengali books still escapes the Law & Order situation?

Very interesting Question! And I appreciate even if they still wonder!!  

 There are various models of Piracy. Maybe they have evolved. From one to another. And one of the latest models is quite  subtle. (Which is now being perhaps simulated by more than one Start-ups: just in the Non-piracy direction i.e. 'in the direction of taking permission' instead.)


The most remarkable feature of this INNOVATIVE model by the Pirates is that, the cost of any Book is reduced to the status of that infinitesimal concept in Calculus!!!

Once you pay a fee per unit time (e.g. in Month)—then you need not think about any money any more. Per book money? Forget about it! The Price of a Book? Forget about it!—You can enjoy a given password i.e. use it to read a LIBRARY in the Internet (as floated by the Pirates by simply 'ripping' the Tree-books page by page & uploading them online in the comfortable file-formats). The E-pirates call it: 

We rip Tree-books.

To tell further, in Australia (2007) the LEGISLATION is changed to allow this 'ripping' as Legal!!! The NEW law calls it 'format-shifting'. And the Law of the Land there is applied not only to Music, TV programs, Movies, etc but even to Books. [Reference: Adrian Hon's ARTICLE on "Death of Publishers"]  

This means, if a book is ever published as Tree-book (paper book) in West Bengal, and someone buys it here, but then flies to Australia, and rip it (scan it page by page) and upload it all into the Internet from a Computer located in the land of the Kangaroos—THEN IT'S ABSOLUTELY LEGAL.

Why the Australia is the 1st in the planet to make the format-shifting (e.g. ripping a Music CD or a Radio program into the mp3) a very LEGAL thing, is another interesting question indeed. One reason I know, at this moment, is that—the Australians believe—

The Technology had gone so far ahead (by 2007) that it is just IMPOSSIBLE to carry out 'Policing' on such file-change (or format-shifting) activities.  

The philosophy of new legislation might be that, it is the Publisher or the Writer who should rather be the PIONEER (the 1st one) to launch their works online, leaving the Pirates without the option of using an Advocate who could in turn use the defence: 

"Look, Honourable Justice! It is my client—the E-pirates—who have rather HELPED much more people to read this book. What the hell the Publishers or the Authors were otherwise doing? In fully reaching people??" 

There seems to be an implicit message—in the Australian Legislation—that every Writer & Publisher should go for at least the E-book version. Or otherwise: risk the Piracy of seeing their Tree-book getting 'ripped' in the Internet.


It is clear that the E-pirates have had some logic. You can't overdrive them in the Court. The case may well linger. Some Pirate websites have, as far as I also know, in-house lawyers.

Back to the Business Model :

Suppose you are a member of an E-piracy website (costing Rs. 20/month). Once you pay it, before the beginning of every month, you get a Password. Which may however change from member to member, and even from month to month (based on say a computer-generated random number; thus no manual labour on the part of the Pirates). And the password is just like a key to open the Main Room of this Online Library. You there finish say 5 books per month. In fact you are allowed to read at your own pace.   

So what's the cost coming up per book—if we need to so evaluate?

The answer is curious!! It is = 20÷5 = Rs. 4 only!!

Now that the E-pirates have an increasingly huge collection and that your pace also increases, just imagine where can the cost/book parameter potentially drop to.  

But unlike the physical library, the capacity of collection can be much more & also the arrival of members within a given time can be much more too. Say within a month every potential reader at the Bengali language arrives in. Say this population is B lakhs. Also let the no. of Pirate members in this website (including their Lawyer & other Speciality Experts) be P.

Then just imagine: how much monthly average can each in the Group earn, POTENTIALLY?

The Answer is: 20B÷P.

Now, just further imagine: if the no. of Pirates behind the site (including their professional Advocate etc) is made equal to the Integer representing the monthly subscription in the Rupees?? That is, WHAT IF P = 20??

Then each Pirate's income (if the share is equal among them) = B lakhs Rupees/ month.


Note:- If your pace of reading is N no. of books finished per month and the monthly subscription you pay the Pirate site is R rupees, then the cost (say C)of a book with respect to you—as we have already seen in 20÷5=4 rupees—is:

C = R÷N. 

Now, as R→0 (the Pirates' offer of only Rs. 20/month to pay them—equalling just two cold drinks here in West Bengal—makes me simply recall the high school calculus class of Limit) or N→∞ (if people's reading speed is considered 'limitless' e.g. of the Yogis) we get:

Lt C = Lt (R/N) = 0 
R→0         R→0 


Lt C = Lt (R/N) = 0 
N→∞       N→∞

In practice, the Pirates convert the above two theoretical ideas (as not all readers are Yogis, thus N has a finite limit) (& also as the Pirates can't work for FREE, thus R has a non-zero limit)...into the following brilliant synthesis:    

The cost of book = R↓/N↑ = C↓↓

i.e. R is very small & N is very high so much so that C is too much small. Like practically the differential amount in Calculus (dC)!
Thus the E-pirates distribute each book PRACTICALLY for free!!
And yet they can make huge money, potentially!!!♦ 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Towards Norway Legislation

Towards Norway Legislation  

© Nirupam Banerjee, India

Neither the TORRENT group can be touched by the contemporary legislation, nor the 'Fair Use' policy of the Copyright Law can be withdrawn.

It's a tough situation indeed. Brought about by Technology of the Internet coupled with Innovation (on the part of the E-pirates). There's a trend of DRM protection for e-Books. For examples: Amazon & the Traditional Publishers in the West, still use it. It's called Digital Rights Management.

Unlike the paper books which can be simply scanned & uploaded page by page by the Torrential Pirates (the path requiring a routine job)—the eBook piracy requires ongoing technical knowledge. This is where the Western Publishers as well as the Amazon etc, rely. Although there's a widespread propaganda in the Internet that ANY e-Book can be cracked by the Pirates. In other words, these bloggers & commentators etc continuously opine that DRM is meaningless.  

Quite recently I heard even my website designer saying:

 <<Long Live e-Piracy! They are invincible, etc, etc.>> 

I asked back: 

<<What if someone launches the eBook in the Cloud concept of the Internet?>> 

He instantly answered: 

<<Even cloud is not safe either. It may be hard for the amateur pirates. But any top tech-savvy person (like me) can crack it.>>

I continued: 

The reply came:

<<I can take screenshot (& then print it out or copy-paste, operations that are just not allowed in the cloud).>>

I don't believe that the cloud-screenshots would be a comfortable substitute for an eBook (it could be perhaps biologically straining for the human EYE, also leading to headaches in the long run). The cloud is, in fact, one of the best technical defences in the modern world against the modern book-piracy. For example, an E-book Startup in Spain is floating the eBooks in a cloud-based website, and that too, in turn, subscription-based.

Justo Hidalgo, a founder of the Startup, opines:

Everytime the Publishers set the so-called DRM (a software to lock the eBook from print, copy-paste, email, etc, etc, etc) and then allow it to be downloaded only to the persons paying them—the Pirates take this up both as an Intellectual Challenge and also as a Duel against "Their Enemy" (the Publishers). 

He also opines that E-pirates are actually Book-lovers. 
And he suggests it is better to engage them in a positive way.

But a person supposedly from Australia (as indicated in the comments section, under an Article by Justo Hidalgo translated in English) went on counter-opining:

<<The Pirates actually want to break the system.>> 

Justo Hidalgo & his Madrid-based Startup's approach (to E-piracy) is rather TECHNICAL-based & COMMERCIAL-based. He is hiding things in the Cloud and perhaps encourages the Pirates to become good people through joining his site as members or simulating his new commercial model, to earn money.  

But there's a 3RD dimension missing! Why not the Innovation to happen also in the...


This would also satisfy that seeming Australian, who couldn't just fully agree with this Spaniard.

So let's next move to Oslo, the place of the Norwegian Legislative Assembly, where further NEW ideas—transcending the Technology as well as Commerce—are now already Semi-finalized (May, 2013). And the experts forecast it is most certainly to be Finalized in the next meeting of the Parliament...♦