In an earlier post, I had spoken about how ‘Free Flow of Text information’ via various pipes in the Internet, through API based Authentication was extremely beneficial to all players in the Ecosystem. Most of the information in that example was Text, and although a large portion of the Text was Copyrighted ( others were licensed under Creative Commons), Piracy related abuse of Copyrighted Text published over the Internet from websites ( not from Published Books), are far too few. If at all there is piracy of text sourced from a website, it could be more of a case of Plaigiarism rather than Piracy.
Now, let us extend that logic further, and see how the benefits of Free flow of Information, even if it copyrightable (Music in this case) and has a larger potential of Piracy, yet by allowing the same information to flow freely via sharing, can create a contradicting Positivity in the Ecosystem. I have localized the context here to a simple example of Tamil cinema, since it is an underlying motif of this blog.
I have consciously written this post here for several reasons.
The understanding of the ‘Free and Share’ culture via API, or otherwise, forms an important portion in the yet to be released book – “Kill The Pirate – The Quest for John Doe”, which will soon be released under a Creative Commons license via this blog, that deals with the challenges that Tamil cinema faces as a Microcosm of overall Global Internet Piracy.
This blog allows me the freedom to share media under a ‘Fair Usage Policy’, even if it is copyrighted, so, readers who read and understand this simple video example will easily understand the context at the relevant portion in the book, and that i may not have the same freedom to publish the media file along with the book, as I have here.
Another important reason is that the Internet has been strongly accused of increasing the quantum and scale of Piracy, compared to the earlier days of Disc Based Piracy. This is very much true, but represents only one side of the picture. But what is seldom spoken about is, that the Internet has also opened up both localized and International markets, which were not accessible in the older Analog and Nascent Digital years, and that possibly explains why some of the 100, 200 crore+ movies made in India, are economically viable, today.
A short understanding of this video helps understand that while Technology over the Internet can also spread piracy, at the same time, it can also bring lots of positivity, and boost sales of the legitimate ecosystem, via sharing of Information Flow.
[ Apologies for the low quality Video File, as I had to downsize the larger HQ video and upload a low Quality File as i did not have enough Bandwidth].
In this video, You can initially see that the FM radio App is turned on and a live Broadcast of a Tamil song is playing from somewhere in the middle. A user who hears this song for the first time, and who likes it and wants to listen to again, may not find it possible, in the old era. This can also be true of users who are listening to music of other cultures and languages for the first time.
The FM radio App has already a built-in API integration with
SoundCloud SoundHound. So, as the song plays, I press the App button, which diverts the live feed into a parallel pipe ( while the original pipe continues playing the song), which takes the feed into SoundCloud’s servers which process the information, this parallel sound is converted into a digital fingerprint which is transmitted into SoundHound’s servers. On processing the information, SoundHound matches the information with its reference files and returns to the user the Meta Data details of the playing song. In this case, it was a song sung by Janaki, composed by Ilaiyaraja and starred KamalHassan. SoundCloud SoundHound also provides links to YouTube and other places, where the song can be purchased legitimately. The Copyright holder still continues to own the copyright, but the Free Flow of (Copyrighted) information has in this case, made the possibility of converting an unknown user into a fan, and a possibility of diverting him towards purchasing legitimate consumption of Music.
You can also see YouTube’s automated Content ID system in action here –