My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Daguerre: A permanent solution to Digital Music and Video Piracy in Jamaica

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daguerre: A permanent solution to Digital Music and Video Piracy in Jamaica

As this my first opinion piece, I have much to celebrate, as I usually write with lots of references to other previously printed articles. But after reading the article “BE WARNED! If you buy a pirated DVD, CD you can be arrested”, published Wednesday, August 26, 2009 by Karyl Walker, Crime/Court co-ordinator.

I am back on the straight and narrow of referenced articles, as this issue resonates very strongly with me, as Digital Music and Video Piracy has possible links to Narcotics Trafficking in Jamaica.

As we in Jamaica already have stringent fines under the Property Rights Act which can be enforced against persons who copy or purchase copyright material knowingly as well as for breaches of the Copyright Act.

There also seems to be the need for an IT based solution to the problem as well as a Social Partnership with the Music Industry and the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste, who like it or not must view their works as having greater importance and encourage people to purchase their intellectual property, be it Audio or Video.

It cannot be the case where Reggae and Dancehall Artiste spent so much of their financial capital to produce a body of works for promotional purposes only and intend to depend on touring to make up the bulk of their financial earnings.

This is especially as they are under pressure from Europe and the United States of America to clean up their act, as alluded to in the article “Locked out - Jamaican acts finding it more and more difficult to get into some countries , published Sunday, December 27, 2009, Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner

When you hear about the music industry these days, there are often figures claiming that digital music downloads are up year-over-year by more than 25%, and now account for about 20% of overall music sales. Amazon, Nokia, MySpace and Apple are such initiatives.

But let's get the numbers straight.

Despite some bright spots, the vast majority of digital downloads are unauthorized and cost nothing. In fact, a recent report by IFPI, a body that promotes and “safeguards” digital music, says that in 2008 a whopping 95% of all music downloads were illegal.

Sure, IFPI has an interest in perhaps inflating that stat a bit, but judging from what I've seen out there, I'd say it's still a very high percentage

You've probably heard about how the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA are strongly encouraging ISPs to police Digital Music and Video Piracy and bring pirate Networks to their knees.

There's talk of throttling bandwidth and even more draconian measures, which a lot of consumers aren't too happy about. Now, I'm not saying anything new here. Plenty of pundits have said the Music Industry is broken.

The Music Industry is just trying to eke out the last bit of good revenue from a few star artists in a shattered business model that ultimately needs to be completely blown up. Some still buy it legally and a lot of so-called purists still buy CDs.

I'm not going to get into a full-blown discussion of what will turn dishonest downloaders into honest buyers. As many of you are already aware, moist folks don't think downloading music is stealing.

I've seen plenty of message-board posts from users saying that downloading free tunes isn't thievery, since it's just bits and bytes. Most customers wouldn't have paid for the thing anyway, so exposure to the artiste’s music benefits the Artiste in the long run. Similar sentiments that have been expressed by some of our local dancehall artiste

I have come up with a subscription model called Dageurre for Telecom Provider LIME as a means of marketing Reggae and Dancehall music to the Jamaican populace. It involves paying to download dancehall music (which is not on iTunes) on a monthly subscription basis.

Essentially, it would be a website, designed with software help from Microsoft that would allow only persons with a Telecom Provider LIME 3G modem that has been purchased on a special Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan to access the website and download Reggae and Dancehall Audio and Video that is indigenously Jamaican.

This is provided that the customers will submit to using the modem on ONLY one computer which they will register once visiting the website and all music and Audio downloading from other sites will be blocked.

The website is able to do this by having customer register themselves upon the purchase of a Telecom Provider LIME modem and requesting the Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan, with the modem (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI used to authenticate the customer and thus allow access to the website.

Thus, customers who do not have a Telecom Provider LIME modem or have a Telecom Provider LIME modem but who are not on the Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan would not be able to see the website and thus unable to access the website, as even if they had the IP address, as it would appear blocked on their browser.

This would make it a great secure Platform to be used by Reggae and Dancehall Artiste to sell their music, as only persons with Telecom Provider LIME modems who request the Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan would have access to this service, hence making retail of music cheaper and online.

The files downloaded would be in the WMA (Windows Media Audio) and WMV (Windows Media Video) secured format, with features enabled to prevent digital piracy. In addition, the website would classify customers into two (2) groups: Music Downloader and Retailers Downloader.

Music Downloader would be individuals who have an Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan but can only download a fixed amount of music and Videos per month. Retailers Downloader are merchants who are on a contract with Telecom Provider LIME with an Unlimited Music and Video Download Plans and thus are allowed to download music for resale to customers in the WMA or WMV format.

They would be allowed to burn music to CD for resale only in the protected WMA or WMV format, with their computers being monitored to allow Telecom Provider LIME to remotely audit their computers to see if they have breached this contract.

This would be it the music or Videos are in any other unprotected format or attempting to resell music in any other format than WMA or WMV format, with playback support from Microsoft and it Zune HD player. Thus it makes music Videos a source of revenue for Reggae and Dancehall Artiste.

As an additional plus, Telecom Provider LIME stores can also ink an exclusive deal with Microsoft to sell the Zune HD Music player in conjunction with Watt’s New after convincing the Music Industry to distribute their music only via this Platform and blocking the illegal download of their Digital Video and Audio Content by tracking initiated downloads.

This as a download has to specify source and destination and the contents of the file, thus doing away with the traditional distribution of music via CD (Compact Discs) and making Digital Video and Music Piracy very difficult, it not impossible.

As all Dancehall and Reggae music can only be downloaded via the Telecom Provider LIME 3G Modem on an Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan and played back only on a Zune HD player with software Platform support from Microsoft.

This model is also legal, as currently there are no laws that specifically request that the Music Industry distribute their music in a format that everyone can access, and as such are free to develop their own distribution models on any device or Platform that can guarantee them the ability to maintain their revenue models.

Despite the fact that this model will not prevent current pirated works from being circulated, it will deter the piracy of newly recorded or released works, be it Video or Audio, once this model is combined with a much stricter vigilance of purchase of copyright material under the purview of the Property Rights Act and the unauthorized copying of copyright material, be it Audio or Video under the purview of the Copyright Act.

This is an economically feasible venture as Apple iTunes does not sell dancehall, hence it is an opportunity to sell a wholly indigenous art form on a 3G Platform exclusively for Telecom Provider LIME customers only.

As Telecom Provider LIME already sponsors a lot of artists, hence Daguerre would be the ultimate branding synergy between the dancehall community, Telecom Provider LIME and its many loyal customers using the Telecom Provider LIME3G service. But what is the origin of the name of this suggested anti-piracy move?

The name “Dageurre” is derived from the name of the French inventor Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (November 18, 1787 – July 10, 1851) was a French artist and chemist, recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography. Daguerre was born in Cormeilles-en- Parisis, Val-d'Oise, France.

Daguerre announced the latest perfection of the Daguerreotype, after years of experimentation, in 1839, with the French Academy of Sciences announcing the process on January 7 of that year.

Daguerre's patent was acquired by the French Government, and, on August 19, 1839, the French Government announced the invention was a gift “Free to the World”. Daguerre and Niépce's son obtained a pension from the Government in exchange for freely sharing the details of the process.

Daguerre died in Bry-sur-Marne, 12 km from Paris. A monument marks his grave there. Thus my idea for the web based service called “Daguerre” is symbolic of this Frenchman’s contribution to the world.

Like him, I freely give away my proposal that would help to develop a faster and more efficient way of selling music made by local Reggae and Dancehall Artiste accessible by retailers who have purchased a Telecom Provider LIME modem on the Music and Video Download Plan thus promoting the Telecom Provider LIME branded modem by offering this service that are exclusively for Telecom Provider LIME customers.

No comments: