Beanstalk on Google+ Beanstalk on Facebook Beanstalk on Twitter Beanstalk on LinkedIn Beanstalk on Pinterest
Translate:
Published On:
SEO articles and blog published on ...
Hear Us On:
Webmaster Radio
Blog Partner Of:
WebProNews Blog Partner
Helping Out:
Carbon balanced.
Archives
RSS

XMLRSS

USA Up to Bat for Copyright Alert System

On Wednesday, the New Zealand government convicted its first offender to fall under the "Three Strikes Law." The RIANZ http://www.rianz.org.nz/rianz/rianz_homepage.asp An unnamed offender was fined a total of $616.57 for the illegally downloaded material.
Silly judges
The amount required to prosecute the offender totaled $250,000; which leads to the question of whether or not it is really worth the expenditure to prosecute an individual for copyright infringement?

Similar problems were occurred in France when HADOPI, when the socialist party spent 16 million Euros for 60 agents to dispatch 1 million email notifications to copyright infringers. RIANZ is not happy with the resulting figures and feels that the infringement fees should be dropped to $2 per notice, but this was rejected by the Government. RIANZ argues that if the fees were set at $2 per violation, it would be able to process 5000 notices per month. "We believe this level of notices would have more fully realized the aim of the law."

This will be an important consideration as the Copyright Alert System will begin processing strikes notices in the United States very soon.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:18 am on February 4, 2013

Categories:copyright,Internet Law

 

Six Strikes and Yer Out!

Things seem to have been quiet on the copyright-infringement front for the last few months, but things are about to heat up again. After more than a year of delays, US ISP Verizon, has released a document showing how they plan on implementing their "six strikes policy" to combat copyright infringements.

untouchables pic

Strike 1 & 2:
• Verizon will email you and leave a voice mail message informing you that your account in involved with copyright infringement.

Strike 3 & 4:
• Verizon will automatically redirect your browser to a webpage that will require you to acknowledge that you have received the alerts regarding copyright infringements.
• You will also be required to watch a video detailing the dangers of infringement.

Strike 5 & 6: At this point you are given three options:
• Verizon will greatly throttle your bandwidth for several days
• Wait two weeks, and then throttle your connection
• Or, file an appeal with an arbitration service for $35

IF there are more than six infringements, "nothing" will happen. Subscribers can continue to use their internet connection at regular, full speed. What is not mentioned by Verizon is that the MPAA and the RIAA have been authorized to obtain the connection details via a subpoena for repeat offenders in order to take legal action against them.

The potential for copyright holders to use the alert system as solid evidence gathering for lawsuits remains one of the most problematic aspects of the six-strike scheme.

On the other side of the globe, tribunals will begin next month in New Zealand for those infringers that have received three strikes under the “Three Strikes Law.” Currently, eleven individuals will have their cases heard. One of the individuals being investigated, states that her internet connection was used without her knowledge. It has also been noted that there has been a long history of controversy over this law; from the internet blackout protests of 2008, to the CableGate leak which revealed that the US financed and pushed the law through.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:04 am on January 16, 2013


 

Complying With the Law, or Running for Cover?

While a lot changes day to day in the SEO world, most of it is of far too little interest or substance to report on, so occasionally we’ll allow ourselves the flexibility to get off topic.

In Canada we have some insanely bad internet service. I’m talking about all things considered, performance, price, and options.

In my province some communities have been noted as having the highest density (per-capita) of internet connected households in the world, yet we have some of the worst internet providers imaginable.

The two biggest names, Shaw and Telus, are well known for imposing caps and disconnecting repeated offenders of copyright violations.

A smaller brand of ISP, TekSavvy, has been making inroads for years, and offers two unique perks:
- Unlimited internet plans (no data caps)
- Data use between 2am -> 8am is ignored

Both those perks are HUGE selling points for folks that love to fill their drives with movies, music, and other wonders of the internet.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise then that Voltage Pictures is specifically chasing after TekSavvy customers for violations of copyright on several movies.

TekSavvy is in a legal Hurt Locker

Initially TekSavvy refused legal action to hand over client information requested by Voltage Pictures, stating that the privacy of it’s clients came first.

This drew TekSavvy into court with Voltage Pictures for the purposes of forcing them to relinquish information on their subscribers.

Today we’re now hearing that Voltage Pictures successfully intimidated TekSavvy into agreeing with the ‘motion for discovery’ after it became clear that the legal indemnity of the ISP was coming into question due to the assistance TekSavvy is providing it’s clients, who are potentially criminals that owe reparations.

For you see, this year, on June 29th, Canada implemented the Copyright Modernization Act which essentially separates the actions of the clientele from the interests of the ISP.

To put that into Hollywood Logic:

Just because your users download cars, it does not mean that the ISP is a used car dealership..

If TekSavvy had continued to block access to their private client records, they felt it would make them liable for the crimes of it’s clients.

And yet in 2004 when BMG music went after Canada’s largest ISPs, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Telus, and Shaw, with an almost identical request for client information to proceed with legal action, they lost in court, and in appeals.

Thus many people are questioning if TekSavvy really should have backed down.

It’s not all over yet however!

The ‘Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic’ or CIPPIC filed a letter with the court explaining that more time was needed for both the potential defendants, and for preparation of an application intervene in the motion.

The court agreed, after much protest from Voltage Pictures’ prosecutors, and will grant the adjournment until Jan 14th 2013.

TekSavvy still has the option to change it’s mind, and at least 2000 of it’s customers are motivated into pressuring them to do so.

Currently the TekSavvy forum (private/members only) has a single thread on the issue, and it’s pretty quiet, almost too quiet?

I’m no lawyer but I doubt we want any precedent in terms of ISPs divulging private details of it’s clients to companies wishing to prosecute.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:05 pm on December 18, 2012


 

Thinking of making an ‘App’ for the Apple Store?

You may want to re-think that decision, perhaps even focus on a ‘mobile’ provider for your site, or an Android app instead of one for Apple’s store.

Rotten Apple with bite mark

Why? Well lets list the reasons:

- Android OS is shipping on more phones currently than any other mobile OS
- 2013 should be the year that Android overtakes iPhone in subscriber #s
- A mobile ‘face lift’ should load on any phone/browser
- Apple is cracking down on all ‘Apps’ that generate revenue outside their store..

The last one is a real kicker, especially for Microsoft who is currently unable to update their SkyDrive app after Apple realized it was handling in-app purchases without going through the Apple Store.

Essentially Apple is rejecting all Microsoft app updates and 3rd party apps that communicate with SkyDrive until Microsoft has a solution to Apple’s need for a 30% cut of all transactions done through it’s App Store.

So if you made an Apple Store ‘App’ for your site, all you can do with the ‘App’ is browse information and provide free resources, since any attempt to engage in a financial transaction would require the Apple App Store to participate, at a 30% margin.

That’s just.. wait for it.. rotten.

Making Easy Money by Ignoring Copyright Infringement

A North Korean Won with Park Jae-sang's face.

On the surface, it may seem counter-intuitive to your profit margin, but not letting people steal your content could be what’s stopping you from getting rich.

PSY, the chubby Korean behind the most popular YouTube video to-date, is raking in the profits from his ‘Gangnam Style’ video, and it’s all because he didn’t censor his own work by chasing copyright violations.

If you look at TV commercials, ad revenue, product endorsements, and other direct revenue from his popularity, PSY is making over $8 Million in 2012 alone.

Clearly there’s a trade off between copyrights and profits that doesn’t favor always locking down your content.

I’m wondering though, once fame has taken hold, if next year we’ll have a story about PSY suing people for copyright infringements?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:59 pm on December 11, 2012


 

Dogpile on Apple Day!

Dogpile on Apple

Clearly someone neglected to remind me that November 6th is the international Dog Pile on Apple Day!?

Lets take a look at a popular technology subreddit..

Not r/applesucks, just r/technology:

Those are just the current headlines!

Last week we had a great story about internal politics in Apple, and the firing of Scott Forstall, a 15 year vet managing the Apps team.

Some folks felt that the departure was due to a change of attitude at Apple, from Jobs to Cook, where people unwilling to apologize aren’t welcome.

Others look at how Scott handled himself inside the company, acting out much like Jobs did, but without Jobs around he was making enemies instead of friends. Indeed Bob Mansfield cancelled retirement plans with Apple and agreed to 2 more years upon news of Scott’s firing.

It can’t be all that bad really, since Apple sold over 3 million iPads last weekend alone?

Plus, now that Apple lost the legal challenge over money owed to Motorola over patent licences it can just give up all intention of paying.

In fact many observers agree it was Apple’s lack of interest in following the law that cost them the case.

To paraphrase a really good reply to the decision:

Why this was dismissed with prejudice:
Apple wanted the judge to set license fees, but said that they would not agree to the ruling of the judge unless she set it at less than $1 per device.

The judge essentially said, fine, since Apple won’t adhere to legal judgements, Apple’s case is pointless.
The last ditch attempt to say Apple might adhere to legal judgements hasn’t swayed me, I dismiss the case, and Apple can’t bring it to trial further.

Why even bother with a trial when the plaintiff has made it clear they do not respect the law or the potential decision?

If I knew this judge I’d be pleading her to let me take her out for a free meal as a thank you.

So folks, if you see an Apple laying in the gutter, taking a power nap, just know that it’s hard being green.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:07 pm on November 6, 2012


 

Dying Online, Facebook and the Digital Afterlife

From time immemorial, countless people have looked at the stars and contemplated their existence and life’s greatest questions; What happens to us after we die? What will our legacy be? What will become of my Facebook account?

dying online

In an ever increasing digital world, this is a question that has been posed more than a few times between around the water cooler here at Beanstalk. With an ever increasing amount of users employing cloud based digital assets, and engaging in social media, many people are concerned not only for the protection of these valuable assets and intellectual property, but in preserving memories for friends and family for posterity.

A paper published law professor Jason Mazzone from the University of Illinois calls for federal government to interevene and to regulate what happens to digital accounts after an account holder’s demise.

Along with an ever increasing amount of people, Mazzone argues that social platforms and other online services have policies that do not adequately protect an individual’s intellectual property or privacy after their death.

"Virtually no law regulates what happens to a person’s online existence after his or her death," he said. "This is true even though individuals have privacy and copyright interests in materials they post to social networking sites."

In an absence of any legal regulations, social sites are unlikely to adopt any policies of their own accord that will do little to protect a users account or intellectual property. Presently there are very few regulations in place, and most sites are left developing policies on-the-fl, with little regard for the user’s data.

"It’s becoming increasingly common for people to have digital assets, and some of them do actually have value," he said. "Not only are such sites repositories of intellectual property, they also are important to family members and friends. Historians of the future will likely depend upon digital archives to reconstruct the past, which creates a real problem, particularly in an age when we don’t leave diaries, and, increasingly, people don’t write books."

Facebook’s policy is to "memorialize" the deceased’s account. All content that has been uploaded (status updates, photos & videos) are removed. The user’s wall remains intact so that individuals can express their condolences to the departed. However, the user data is not deleted by Facebook. Currently, the data is archived with the speculation that it will be held for posterity by Facebook until a such time where it can be re-purposed for historical records.

There is no system in place to state your wishes for your account after your demise (similar to a living will) and no regulations in place to appoint an executor of your estate. As the population of Facebook users begin to age, Mazzone is at the forefront of a growing movement to instill federally mandated regulations to protect the billions of Facebook and social networking users worldwide.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm on October 1, 2012


 

Dublin the Airports: iOS 6 Maps is Rotten


Apple’s extra Airport..

Was anyone expecting Apple to replace Google’s Maps application with something superior? Apparently, the iPhone user base and Apple actually expected this to happen.

If you look at the most extremely biased sites reviewing the new ‘Apple’ Maps app for iOS 6 you will see guarded optimism and lots of ‘reasoning’ clash with angry rants from amazed and disappointed users.

One thing I don’t see is anyone calling it the ‘Maps app that Apple bought from TomTom’ the best I’ve seen is a mention that they relied heavily on TomTom and OpenStreetMap for data alone.

Instead I see a very consistent collection of sympathetic remarks like: ‘this is beta, it can only get better’, ‘for a first attempt this is outstanding’, ‘people will question anyone who takes their own path..’

But Apple isn’t taking their own path, they are merely attempting (badly) to replace something that wasn’t really broken.

Sure, Google wasn’t toiling endlessly to include all the updates it was adding to the Android version of Google Maps.

I’m guessing Apple really expected Google to beta test ideas on the Android and then polish them up and finalize them on the iPhone?

So sure, Google put Android development first, and there were things that Google Maps did better on the Android, but that still doesn’t mean it ‘had to go’.

Apple could have offered both solutions in a ‘use what you like’ approach to pleasing it’s user base, but this is a company making headlines for outrageous profits and the working conditions of it’s manufacturing partners.

Removing the choice to pick another company’s solution would clearly explain why Apple didn’t take a settlement from Samsung and wanted to ban their phones. Apple want’s profits, and if Apple wants really happy customers they could lower prices and focus on better apps vs. removing the best ones for inferior versions.

And in other News

Google has blessed a new meta tag!
meta name=”news_keywords”

content=”Apple Maps, iOS 6, Google Maps, Android, TomTom, Google news meta tag”

Do you publish content that you would call ‘news’?
Would you like Google to better understand the topic of your posts?
Would you like the freedom to ignore keyword use in a topic for style reasons?

Then brothers and sisters, this new meta-tag is what you’ve been waiting for!

The format is very simple, and it belongs near the top of your page content, usually in the <head> … </head> section.

Here’s an example:

<meta name=”news_keywords” content=”10 keywords, separated, by commas, just like, meta keywords, etc..”>

That’s some ‘easy breezy’ SEO optimization, and it’s great if you are indeed publishing ‘news’; Not just ranting about Apple. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:51 am on September 20, 2012


 

Litigation vs. Innovation – The Apple Way

I’m really ashamed of my days of being an Apple loyalist, encouraging people to consider Apple solutions, and fighting for the ‘little guy’ computer company.

That ‘little guy‘ I once championed, has since grown up to be a thug making immoral decisions that I no longer agree with.

Apple is causing me deep personal embarrassment as they strut about the digital playground smashing things that compete with their creations.

A scene from the movie The Dictator where he wins by shooting his competition

You know something’s wrong with a company’s decisions when you’re watching a Sacha Baron Cohen movie (The Dictator) and the opening scenes of winning a race by shooting the competition reminds you of Apple’s choices to force litigation/product bans vs. accepting a financial settlement with Samsung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcu5sYxcEuo

Samsung will fight the decision and have already announced that they will counter-sue Apple.

Since Samsung successfully defended themselves in many countries (Germany, Korea, Netherlands, and United Kingdom), winning court battles which ruled that they did not copy Apple’s designs, a counter suit and appeal are likely to change the situation drastically.

On top of everything else, jurors in this recent court case are already making headlines stating that they were unable to properly review all the evidence, and ignored the prior art evidence that proved Apple clearly copied others in it’s iPhone design.

The jury actually took a defensive role, putting themselves in the mindset of innovators defending their patents. Velvin Hogan, the 67 year old jury foreman, stated that the jury :

“wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung.”

With any luck, the same feelings will hold true as Motorola (Google-rola?) continues it’s legal action against Apple’s unpaid patent uses.

Since the patents in the current lawsuit are non-essential, one would assume that Google-rola has the opportunity to give Apple a taste of how it feels to block a company’s products via legal nonsense.

However, the likely result will be that even after (2?) years of trying to get Apple to pay the licensing fees, Google-rola won’t turn-down an offer of fair payment, just to block all product sales, unlike Apple.

Speaking of a ban on products, Samsung is already talking about releasing updated products that are completely free of Apple’s patent bans.

Zero Day Java Vulnerability

According to a few reputable sources online, there’s a new browser-based exploit for Java that is ‘in the wild’ and a patch won’t be coming very soon.

When someone says ‘in the wild’ it means that there’s reports of the exploit being used publicly, which means that there’s a high risk of contact.

In this case the exploit has been used to remote-control Windows based PCs that visit websites with hidden code on certain pages. The hacker in this case picked a Chinese proxy/IP and the ‘control network’ is also believed to be located in Singapore.

Since ‘wise’ hackers usually pick a point of origin outside their own country, this info actually points to someone non-Chinese as the source of the hack.

While that exploit only works on Windows computers, the payload is totally independent of the hack, so the same strategy will work on any computer and any browser.

To avoid getting hit, you may want to disable JavaScript:

In Chrome:
- type “chrome://plugins/” into your address bar
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Javascript and disable it.

In Opera:
- go to “opera:plugins”
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Java(TM) Platform
- click on Disable
- also scroll down to Java Deployment Toolkit
- click on Disable

In Firefox:
- press the Firefox button
- go to Add-ons
- go to Plugins
- click the “Disable” button next to anything named “Java”

Finally if you are using Internet Explorer, you probably don’t care, but here’s some recent instructions stolen from the help desk over at Indiana University:

To enable or disable Java in Internet Explorer:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), select Internet options.

  • Click the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  • Highlight Java Plug-in.
  • Click Disable or Enable (located under “Settings” in version 7), as applicable.
  • Click OK twice.

To enable or disable JavaScript:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), choose Internet options.

  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Custom Level…
  • Scroll to the “Scripting” section of the list.
  • For “Active Scripting”, click Disable or Enable.
  • Click OK, and confirm if prompted.
  • Close and restart your browser.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am on August 28, 2012


 

You don’t want the next Penguin update…

Scary Matt Cutts

Is Matt Cutts just goofing around or is he really trying to scare us?

The statement in the title of this article, from Matt Cutts, has the SEO world looking for further information as to just how bad the next Penguin update will be.

During the SES in San Francisco this week Matt Cutts got a chance to speak about updates and how they will effect SEOs. One of the things he was quoted as saying really caught my eye:

You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard…

Mr.Cutts has recently eaten some words, retracting his statement that too much SEO is a bad thing, and explaining that good SEO is still good.

Even with attendees saying that he spoke the words with no signs of ominous intent, how do you expect the SEO world to take follow up statements like:

The updates are going the be jarring and julting for a while.

That’s just not positive sounding at all and it almost has the tone of admission that the next updates are perhaps going to be ‘too much’ even in Matt’s opinion, and he’s one of Google’s top engineers!

My take is that if you are doing anything even slightly shady, you’re about to see some massive ranking spanking.

Reciprocal links, excessive directories, participating in back-link cliques/neighborhoods, pointless press releases, redundant article syndication, duplicate content without authorship markup, poorly configured CMS parameters, etc.. These are all likely to be things, in my opinion, that will burn overly SEO’d sites in the next update.

The discussion also made it’s way to the issues with Twitter data feeds. Essentially since Google and Twitter no longer have an agreement, Google is effectively ‘blocked’ from crawling Twitter.

Dead twitter bird

On the topic of Twitter crawling Matt Cutts was quoted as saying:

..we can do it relatively well, but if we could crawl Twitter in the full way we can, their infastructure[sic] wouldn’t be able to handle it

 

Which to me seems odd, since I don’t see any other sites complaining about how much load Google is placing on their infrastructure?

Clearly the issue is still political/strategic and neither side is looking to point fingers.

With Twitter’s social media relevance diminished you’d think +1′s would be a focus point but Matt Cutts also commented on the situation stating that we shouldn’t place much value on +1 stats for now.

A final point was made about Knowledge Graph, the new information panel that’s appearing on certain search terms.

Since the Google Search Quality team is now the Google Knowledge Graph team Matt Cutts had some great answers on the topic of Knowledge Graph, including the data sources and harm to Wikipedia.

There had been a lot of cursing about Google simply abusing Wikipedia’s bandwidth/resources but it was made clear during the session that Wikipedia is not traffic dependent because they don’t use ads for revenue.

Essentially, if Wikipedia’s data is getting better utilized, and they haven’t had to do anything to make it happen, they are happy.

If you wanted to get more details there’s lots of #SESSF hashed posts on Twitter and plenty of articles coming from the attendees.

I’m personally going to go start working on a moat for this Penguin problem..

SEO news blog post by @ 11:56 am on August 16, 2012


 

SOPA and PIPA Failures & the Sneaker Net Resurgence

Why RIAA Supported SOPA and PIPA & the Sneaker Net Resurgence
We have written extensively about the move by the RIAA to curb the illegal downloading though SOPA and PIPA bills introduced last year. A leaked report shows that the RIAA never really had much faith in the SOPA/PIPA bills and even stated that it thought it was an "ineffective tool" against combating online privacy.

riaa chart illegal music sharing

In a leaked presentation given by RIAA Deputy General Counsel Vicky Sheckler last April, she states that they "never actually believed that either piece of legislation would have put a dent in music piracy." Sheckler goes on to state that the intention of the SOPA and PIPA bills were "intended to defer [copyright] infringements [by] foreign sites by obligating/encouraging intermediaries to take action," and they were "not likely to have been an effective tool for music."

The report also shows that shipments from the US music industry declined from $12.3 billion in 2005 t approximately $7 billion in 2011. What is most interesting about the report is that is shows that only 1 in 6 music files are shared over a peer to peer network and that most pirating occurs over a physical sneaker-net; via ripped music CDs or transfer from a physical hard drive to others. File sharing networks only account for barely 4% of the total downloads.

Speculation is that this increase in "sneaker-net" pirating can be attributed to the low cost and availability or large storage mediums rather than a botched attempt by the RIAA to regulate or reduce piracy. Although one can speculate that the actions by the RIAA may have encouraged rekindling of the antiquated sneaker net in the first place.

Previous SOPA/PIPA Blog Posts

SEO news blog post by @ 9:00 am on August 2, 2012


 

Older Posts »
Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Copyright© 2004-2014
Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc.
All rights reserved.