Items tagged with Copyright

There will always be people who pirate content, that's just the way it is. We don't condone illegally downloading movies and TV shows, nor are we being pessimistic, but unlike big media companies, we're willing to look at the situation realistically. Perhaps so is Comcast, which is said to be developing a new method to fight piracy that doesn't involve lawsuits. According to Variety, Comcast is in early talks with film and TV studios, as well as other leading Internet service providers (ISPs), about a technology that would give would-be pirates an opportunity to access legal versions of illegal... Read more...
Go home, HBO, you're drunk. That's the message we hope Google sends HBO in response to the media company including a link to a copy of the popular VLC media player as part of a DMCA takedown request. Judging by the other links in the request, HBO is primarily trying to remove illegal copies of Game of Thrones from the web, and in all likelihood, the inclusion of VLC was a lazy error. Sorry, but HBO doesn't get a free pass for its simple mistake. In just the past month, companies like HBO and other copyright holders have asked Google to remove nearly 15 million URLs from its search results. It's... Read more...
On any given day in the United States you will find a number of really, really terrible ideas being floated as smart decisions. Flying to Hawaii to give birth in the ocean surrounded by dolphins. A drunk man repeatedly directing traffic in midtown Manhattan. And, today, from the USA Intellectual Property Theft Commission, a 90 page report on the state of IP around the world, the dangers posed to American IP by the Internet, and one remarkable suggestion on how to fix the problem. Additionally, software can be written that will allow only authorized users to open files containing valuable information.... Read more...
From the "About Time" files comes a new bill that's aimed at protecting companies from one of their biggest fears: patent trolls. Called the "SHIELD Act of 2013" (no, not this SHIELD, but rather "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes"), this bill would require those accusing of patent infringement to handle the legal fees of the defendants should they lose the court battle. Inside the bill is the definition of a "non-practicing entity", which could be applied to the accuser if they are A) not the original inventor of the patent and B) have not made any real contribution to make... Read more...
While the country's biggest music labels all seek out a passing of a "six strikes" scheme - one that would result in your Internet being cut off after your sixth offense - BMG has found another way to both increase its revenue and instill fear in music downloaders. Typically, if a copyright holder detects an infringement on your IP address, your ISP is legally-required to forward you a letter. Usually this letter is nothing more than a warning, and can usually be brushed off. But BMG has just gotten creative. Instead of sending a simple warning letter, BMG's creatively-written letter asks for $20... Read more...
It may have taken Ubisoft a hundred million years to figure out that honest-to-goodness consumers really, really despise always-on Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes, but bless the publisher's heart for finally caving. Actually, Ubisoft did away with always-on DRM over a year ago, but is just now making it official. "We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline," Ubisoft's Worldwide Director for Online Games, Stephanie Perotti,... Read more...
Everyone has heard of patent trolls or copyright trolls like Righthaven, but the rapid evolution of the new porn troll has scientists puzzled. This new species of lawyer has emerged in the past two years as an intriguing example of how natural selection can quickly influence the trajectory of a species. Like its brethren, the porn troll issues a flood of letters to alleged infringers. What's unique about many of these lawyers, however, is the scope and nature of the actions. Think of it as a class-action lawsuit in reverse. Porn trolls gather several hundred anonymous users who are identified only... Read more...
Peter Sunde, one of the oft-outspoken co-founders of torrrent site The Pirate Bay (TPB), has always held an air of confidence, sometimes to the point of arrogance. Back in 2009, for example, Mr. Sunde told his Twitter followers to "Stay calm," reassuring them that nothing will happen to TPB and its founders, and that all the legal posturing was nothing more than "just a theater for the media." Fast forward to today and the would-be jailbird is singing a slightly different tune, though not by much. Faced with serving an eight month jail sentence, Mr. Sunde and his legal representation are hoping... Read more...
A lawsuit that could have prevented Apple from selling its popular iPad tablet in China has been settled for $60 million, the amount the Cupertino company paid Shenzhen Proview Technology. The dispute revolved around the iPad name, which Apple claims it purchased outright in 2009. However, Proview argued it still held iPad rights in China, hence the lawsuit. Proview reportedly sought as much as $400 million to settle the suit, but swamped in debt, it agreed to accept the $60 million and move on. For Apple, the most valuable company in the world in terms of market capitalization, it was an amount... Read more...
Digital pirates in search of free reading material are turning to illicit download sites where they can obtain copyrighted eBooks free of charge. The obvious allure for eBook pirates is just like anything else -- free treasure -- but in addition to not having to fork over pieces of eight, pirates are attracted to getting their hands on copies of unreleased books. One of those books is "77 Shadow Street" by Dean Koontz, which is available to order in the U.S. but won't be released in the U.K. until January 19, 2012. According to a report in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, up to 20 percent of all eBook downloads... Read more...
When an advance copy of Crysis 2 leaked to the Internet a full month before the game's scheduled release, Crytek and Electronic Arts (EA) were understandably miffed and, as it turns out, justified in their fears of mass piracy. As 2011 comes to a close, Crysis 2 holds rank as the most pirated game of the year on any platform, according to data released by TorrentFreak. Crysis 2 was illegally download on the PC platform 3,920,000 times, 'beating out' Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with 3,650,000 illegal downloads. Numbers like these don't bode well for PC gamers and will only serve to encourage... Read more...
As long as it's for fair use, people living in Switzerland have what amounts to a green light to download copyrighted music and movies without any repercussions. And as far as the Swiss government is concerned, copyright holders might as well go pound sand if they're not willing to adapt to the changing landscape. Piracy is, and will remain legal. The Swiss government isn't being crass, but responding to a study it sponsored to determine the real impact of piracy and whether or not additional laws should be written up. Entertainment industries have long complained that piracy is a real problem... Read more...
Game publishers are in love with DRM, even the Draconian kind that every once in awhile causes an uproar in the gaming community. Remember Spore? It initially shipped with a three-activation limit, and like baseball, three strikes and you're out. This limit was later relaxed by Electronic Arts, who upped it to five activations and made it possible to de-authorize machines, but only after it became a huge controversy. Anti-DRM advocates even went so far as to trash Spore's rating on Amazon with negative reviews and 1-star votes without having purchased the game, and to this day, Spore is only rated... Read more...
Take a look at your coworker sitting in the cubicle next to you. Is he a software pirate? Would you classify him as a nincompoop? If neither of those apply, then statistically speaking, it's you that fits into one or both of those categories. Don't go shooting the messenger, we're just paraphrasing the Business Software Alliance's annual Global Software Piracy Study. According to the BSA's study, the commercial value of PC software piracy jumped up 14 percent around the globe in 2010 to a whopping $59 billion. That's a big figure, and so the BSA wanted to find out what was going through the minds... Read more...
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