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Pirates of the Digital Millennium: How the Intellectual Property Wars Damage Our Personal Freedoms, Our Jobs, and the World Economy Hardcover – September 30, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Digital piracy. It's a global war -- and it's just begun. Pirates of the Digital Millennium chronicles that war. All of it: media conglomerates vs. teenagers, tech companies vs. content providers, artists battling artists, nations vs. nations, law enforcement vs. organized crime. John Gantz and Jack Rochester cover every side and all the implications. Economics. Law. Ethics. Culture. The players. And above all, the realities -- including the exclusive new findings of a 57-country digital piracy research project. The media universe is shaking to its very foundations. This book helps you make sense of what's happening -- and what's next.

About the Author

About the Authors

John Gantz is Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President of International Data Corporation. He manages worldwide demand-side research, global market models, Internet, ebusiness and IT forecasts, and research quality control and standards. He led its recent study, The Economic Impact of Software Piracy.

Prior to assuming his current role, he led IDC's worldwide research and consulting in personal systems, consumer devices, workgroup and collaborative computing, and services. As one of IDC's chief spokespersons on technology and market issues, he has been published or quoted in media ranging from Fortune to CNN. He has served as contributing editor and columnist for Computerworld and InfoWorld.

Jack B. Rochester heads Joshua Tree Interactive, a leading provider of technology-related content and information management services for interactive media, including enterprise computing, ethics, e-learning, and e-commerce. He has written 300 articles and nine books on the impact of technology on business and society. His work has appeared in media ranging from Harvard Business Review to USA Today. He is on the faculty of the New England Institute of Art.

Gantz and Rochester co-authored the best seller The Naked Computer.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131463152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131463158
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Luther R on April 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In Pirates of the Digital Millennium, co-authors Rochester and Gantz tackle a subject with many far-reaching facets, and artfully illuminate the players, their motives, and their means.

The book starts with an excellent primer on intellectual property and copyright laws, which is vital for helping the lay reader understand the chapters ahead, and spells out some key underlying points (e.g. copyright laws have always been there to protect the publisher fat cats, not the artists, and most of the world's population lives without intellectual property laws!).

As the chapters go on we're taught about how companies lose money to pirating, who is doing the pirating (organized pirating rings, mostly in developing countries, are doing most of the damage), and what's being done to minimize it. The authors intelligently criticize the methods the music industry has used, like suing 12-year-olds, as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They offer alternative strategies such as being one step ahead of the downloaders and creating pay-downloading sites that are better than the ones currently available for free.

The case is made that pirating really is ethically wrong, but it's also acknowledged that most people don't think it's wrong enough to keep them from doing it.

Since the data on digital piracy are sparse, the authors have commissioned some studies of their own, and used interviews with students, friends, and relatives to fill in the rest.

My one criticism of the book is that the authors seem to have a reverence for the software industry that they don't feel for its movie and music counterparts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The digital rights management problem is complex. Consumers have a right to own what they buy, and fairly use it. And commercial companies and artists have a right to make money on products that consumers are willing to pay for. Finding the right balance is complex, and that's what this book sets out to do.

It's a relatively quick read at about three hundred pages. If you read just the first portion of the book you would believe that the author is firmly in league with the companies. He lays out in grim detail the cost of piracy at an economic level. In the later chapters he does a good job representing the consumer perspective and advocating for our rights.

He finishes up with a well reasoned proposal for striking a balance between these two warring factions. Companies want to make money. People want to own stuff. Cant' we all just get a long?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KHY on December 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While most of us have probably engaged in some form of digital piracy - be it mp3 downloading or CD burning/sharing - I think few of us actually understand the legal or moral ramifications surrounding these activities. In 'Pirates of the Digital Millenium', Gantz and Rochester offer a balanced and revealing perspective on all of these issues and encourage a rethinking of the problems surrounding digital piracy and copyright.

'Pirates of the Digital Millenium' starts off by discussing the history of piracy (of written media) and copyright law. It then proceeds to analyze the recent explosion of digital piracy from the multiple perspectives, including those of the music industry, the artists, and the consumers themselves. I was surprised to learn about the striking similarities between instances of piracy in the 1800s and in the current day - how divides exist between artists/authors, publishers and consumers, and how copyright laws cater only to the economic needs of the industry.

While highlighting historical similarities, Gantz and Rochester emphasize that digital piracy is a new phenomenon that will require radically new mechanisms of control; as demonstrated by the recent actions of the RIAA against music downloaders, existing methods of law-enforcement do not work against digital piracy. At the same time, Gantz and Rochester calls on the digital media industry to stop demonizing consumers - college students in particular - and start finding new ways to distribute their media in a way that addresses people's needs.

This book is a great read. It is well written, rich with interesting information and persuasive in its arguments for better solutions to the problems at hand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on May 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a description of controlling a barrel of monkeys. The authors tackle the complex and almost untamable world of intellectual property piracy. To their credit this is a very accessible book, they left the detailed legal opinions on the cutting room floor. They also cover the subject in a rather even handed way. At first they were falling onto the side I fall onto, that any of this downloading etc is stealing plain and simple. They end up with a far more mellowed view and they almost convinced me along the way.

They give the reader a nice overview of what constitutes the new world of digital piracy. They cover everything from a teenager downloading a new song to Asian mafia types counterfeiting Microsoft code. It is very enlightening to say the least. They go on to cover topics such as how is software created, the current laws, and who and where is the major counterfeiting taking place. I really liked the chapter on the current ineffective and almost nonexistent law enforcement efforts. Arresting ten high school kids for downloading songs while millions of versions of counterfeit software packages come into the country each year highlights the joke of the law enforcement effort.

While I might not have come to completely agree with the authors suggested middle road approach, I did find the book very enjoyable. The book is easy to read and moves along at a nice pace. You learn a good deal from it also. If you are interested in the topic then this is a book that is well worth your time. Just make sure you get an authentic copy.
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