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First off today, Peter Sayer at PCWorld reports that both the U.S. and New Zealand governments have released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, making available in whole the controversial trade agreement, including the copyright portions.
The TPP is a trade agreement between a dozen different nations located on the Pacific rim including the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Japan. The agreement is wide-ranging and includes portions on copyright as well as other trade issues. However, the agreement has been roundly criticized because of its secrecy, which meant that, until today, the full treaty had not been available despite it being signed a month ago.
The main copyright provision under the treaty will require Internet service providers (ISPs) to either forward notices of copyright infringement to their users or, if possible, remove infringing material after receiving notification. While the law won’t make major changes to U.S. or Australian law, it will have a larger impact on Mexico and Brunei, who have three additional years to implement the changes due to legislative action they will have to take.
Next up today, Andrew Colley at The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a report from German startup JustWatch claims that Google’s efforts to demote or remove pirate results from its search index are falling short, especially when it comes to pirate streaming sites.
In October of last year Google announced its “pirate update”, which promised to demote or devalue links on pirate sites in search results. However, JustWatch claims that, while the results have been promising with regards to BitTorrent sites, which have seen the search traffic drop significantly, similar gains were not made with illegal streaming sites, which continue to flourish in Google.
According to the report, streaming sites are 15 times more visible than BitTorrent sites in search results and Google accounts for some 35% of the traffic to these sites. The report goes on to claim that this is because Google is using a simple algorithm rather than a more nuanced one to detect pirate sites for demotion, letting streaming sites escape.
Finally today, Peter Kafka at Re/Code reports that Warner Brothers CEO, Jeff Bewkes, announced that his company will begin evaluating whether to withhold their TV programs from digital streaming services for a longer period of time, likely meaning it will be multiple years before old episodes will appear on services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.
The move has been long rumored but Bewkes’ comments during an earnings call made it seem more probable. According to Bewkes, the company wants to push back the digital streaming window from one year to a multi-year window, which would make it more consistent with syndication and give the company more time to monetize the programming on its own networks.
The announcement comes as another earnings report from Time Warner sent shares in the company plummeting 8 percent and it reported a decrease in pay TV subscribers.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.