Items tagged with Copyright

Just like nearly every other site on the web, piracy portals survive on advertising revenue -- the people running these sites have bills to pay too. With that in mind, entertainment conglomerates have figured out it might be easier to cut so-called "rogue" sites off at the knees rather than chase after individual file sharers, and one way to do that is by attacking their revenue stream. Interestingly enough, there are some big names with conflicting interests doling out doubloons to pirate sites through ad impressions, including Sony.Yes, Sony -- the same company that was recently hacked for the gazillionth time over "The Interview," a comedy that went straight to streaming and saw only a limited... Read more...
Ever since the Sony hack was unveiled, it's been clear that the movie studios haven't given up on SOPA, but an analysis of the MPAA's collective actions on the anti-piracy issue have unveiled plans that go far beyond simply sponsoring legislation or advocating for particular positions. Now, Google has announced it will fight to dismiss lawsuits filed by Mississippi's Attorney General Jim Hood, alleging that the AG in that state is acting as a paid, sponsored lackey of the movie industry.  Understanding Project Goliath The collision between the MPAA and Google arises from a fundamental disagreement over what Google's role should be when it comes to piracy prevention and what powers... Read more...
Having supposedly spent $10 million in legal fees since his arrest in New Zealand two years ago, Kim Dotcom now says he's broke, leaving him without legal representation as U.S. authorities try to have him extradited. If that happens, he'll face a some heavy charges, including racketeering, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, and money laundering.The [U.S. authorities] have certainly managed to drain my resources and dehydrate me, and without lawyers I am defenseless," Dotcom said during a conference in London, via a video link. "They used that opportunity to try and get my bail revoked and that's what I'm facing."Image Source: Flickr (Sam Churchill)Dotcom was arrested in 2012 when police... Read more...
The US Copyright Office has just issued a draft of a massive update to its practices guide, and some of its updated information couldn't be more timely. By now, you've probably heard of the battle that ensued between a photographer and Wikimedia over a photo that a female macaque took herself. The photographer believed he was within his rights to establish a copyright on the resulting photos, whereas Wikimedia believed that the monkey owned the photo. USCO's views don't entirely align with either stance, but things are cleared up in a new section of the guide entitled "The Human Authorship Requirement". Part of it states: "Because copyright law is limited to 'original intellectual conceptions... Read more...
In what qualifies as one of those, 'Are you freaking serious?' moments, the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) is suing auto makers Ford and GM for selling cars with technology to rip music from CDs. The feature that has the AARC in a tizzy is called Jukebox, which records songs from CDs to the infotainment system's hard drive, a feature that's been available on Ford vehicles since at least 2011. AARC is a non-profit organization representing more than 300,000 music artists. Like the RIAA, these types of copyright organizations have largely turned a blind eye to ripping music for personal use, so long as the tracks aren't being shared, traded, sold, and so forth. However, AARC... Read more...
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to wiping the web of links that participate in or encourage piracy. Just the opposite, the RIAA is ramping up its efforts and has now surpassed 50 million pirate link takedown requests issued to Google, up from 25 million less than a year ago. On average, the RIAA requests that more than 321,000 URLs be taken down from Google's search results per week. Almost two million of those requests were related to FilesTube, a search engine that happily serves up links to illegal video downloads. The site now operates under a new domain name, a point that underscores RIAA's frustration with the takedown... Read more...
Kim Dotcom has a history of bad behavior that runs the gamut from computer fraud to insider trading and embezzlement. More recently, Dotcom ran Megaupload, a now defunct website that was once a popular portal for hosting files, especially copyrighted material, which is why the U.S. government shut it down in 2012. U.S. authorities are now trying to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand so that he can stand trial for various alleged crimes, and there will be a hearing on July 7 to see if that happens. In the meantime, Dotcom is fighting back with funds. Dotcom has put the word out that he's willing to pay $5 million to anyone with information on wrongdoing by the U.S. government related to the case(s)... Read more...
Hulu has already admitted to an evil plot to destroy the world when it ran commercials with Alec Baldwin (as an alien) saying that once our brains are reduced to a cottage cheese like mush, they'll scoop them out with a melon baler and gobble them right on up. Sound pretty insidious, and while Hulu was obviously joking (right? Right!?), Sony is accusing the company of something that it doesn't find funny at all. Revealed in a recent DMCA takedown notice, Sony Pictures Television claims Hulu is hosting a pirated TV show, Fox's "Almost Human," TorrentFreak reports. It was sent by the Spanish division of Sony Pictures Television and includes several links to the Fox Show, which they distribute locally.... Read more...
Here's a head-scratcher: King.com, creators of the popular online game Candy Crush, has managed to trademark the word "Candy". It might seem bizarre that such a general word could be trademarked, but because it's being applied specifically to gaming (and clothing, for some reason), it's allowed to go through. What this move means is that if you were to create a game with the word "Candy" in it, King.com would have the right to ask you to change the name; if you were to refuse, it could explore legal means to get it done. The company's trademark was filed about a year ago, but granted just last week. As we can now see, the company wasted no time in sending out its threat letters,... Read more...
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 downloads currently in progress. For example, let's say Joe Blow heads over to his favorite torrent... 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 a daunting task to sift through that many URLs, even for a company as resource-heavy as Google, but... 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. If an unauthorized person accesses the information, a range of actions might then occur. For... 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 use of it. If a bill like this were to pass, it wouldn't bode well for those trolls who simply stockpile... 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 to smooth things over and tries to make you believe that you have no choice but to pay it. As TorrentFreak... Read more...
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