Items tagged with Piracy

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 that affects their bottom line, a claim that ultimately wasn't supported by the study. "Every time a... 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 1.5/5 stars. Three years later, a little title called The Witcher 2 is said to have notched 250,000... Read more...
Well, this is some news that is sure to frustrate gamers: Ubisoft has decided that it will continue implementing its special constant-connection anti-piracy measures because, to nobody's surprise, it works. The company's restrictive digital rights management (DRM) system, which was recently announced to be included in upcoming release Driver: San Francisco, became infamous after being featured in the two most recent Assassin's Creed Games and a few of Ubisoft's other titles. The DRM requires users to constantly be connected to the internet while playing their games, lest they be signed out of their Ubisoft accounts and lose all of their progress since the last save. The bad news is that, according... Read more...
You may not think that a company like Warner Bros. doing business in China is a big deal, but consider the circumstances. China, along with other parts of Asia, are notorious for piracy. It's more of a way of life there, and less of a crime. For whatever reason, it's rampant. Due to this, many content companies have strayed from actually selling a lot of their content there, for fear of it simply being ripped off and sold for less elsewhere. But this marks a monumental change. Warner Bros. Entertainment has become the very first studio to offer films on-demand via television in China. YOU On Demand will operate under an exclusive 20-year joint venture with CCTV-6’s pay TV arm China Home... Read more...
It's been several months since news of the PS3's core vulnerabilities hit the news, but the case remains stuck in judicial limbo. Sony wants to move the case to California on the grounds that Hotz accessed the PlayStation Network (PSN), which is physically located in that state. Hotz's lawyers have counter-claimed that since Hotz is not a resident of California and is a person, rather than a corporation, the suit should be prosecuted in New Jersey where Hotz himself lives. Sony currently claims to have evidence that George Hotz and one "blickmaniac" are the same person, based on the fact that one of the four PS3's Hotz has purchased could be linked to the serial number for the 'blickmaniac' account.... Read more...
It's been nearly a decade since the music industry declared war against file sharers via its controversial policy of suing individuals supposedly identified via their IP addresses. After all this time one would expect the various companies to present a consistent, united front. As a recent court filing against Limewire shows this is absolutely not the case. Last May, federal district court judge Kimba Wood granted the record industry's request for a summary judgement against Limewire. With their winning ticket in hand, the RIAA withdrew to contemplate the level of statutory and punitive damages it felt Limewire should pay. The recording studios have never been overly interested in due diligence... Read more...
The Pirate Bay, despite its legal ups and downs, remains one of the most infamous BitTorrent sites around. Those involved in TPB may be on the cusp on introducing something new, something they say the music industry should fear. For years, The Pirate Bay has sat on a domain name, https://themusicbay.org. It's done nothing with it, although it originally planned to; right not it just directs users to The Pirate Bay. That may be changing soon, according to TorrentFreak, which spoke to a Pirate Bay insider. “The music industry can’t even imagine what we’re planning to roll out in the coming months. For years they’ve complained bitterly about piracy, but if they ever had a... Read more...
Sony may use serial keys to verify legal PS3 games in the wake of the complete PS3 hacks publicized earlier this month, but the efficacy of such a plan is dubious at best. The Dutch website PS3-Sense reports that a very reliable source close to Sony has informed them that Sony will begin issuing unique serial keys for all PS3 games at some point in the near future. The client-server support for such a security model has reportedly existed in the PlayStation Network since the console launched—if true, Sony could deploy the system in considerably less time than it would otherwise take. Product activation sequence (Artistic Impression) The concept as described is analogous to Steam. Upon first... Read more...
The British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) released figures for music sales in 2010, sparking a debate over whether or not piracy is playing a role, or at least a significant one. According to BPI, combined 2010 digital and physical album sales declined 7 percent overall in volume to 119.9 million. This, the organization says, is due to illegal downloads and overshadows the fact that digital singles hit a record high for the third successive year, up nearly 6 percent to 161.8 million in 2010. "2010 showed that the digital single highs seen in the previous two years were no fluke -- music fans continue to embrace the convenience, value, and choice offered by legal download stores," said Geoff Taylor,... Read more...
Sony's attempts to prevent piracy on both the PS3 and PSP have taken a number of blows in recent weeks. Today, the company announced that it intends to sue the PS3 hacker GeoHot, who's been an increasingly large thorn in the company's side over the past 18 months. When Sony released the 3.21 firmware update that broke Other OS functionality, it was GeoHot who first demonstrated his own custom firmware running both 3.21 and Other OS simultaneously. For more information on the repercussions of Sony's decision and its anti-piracy efforts to that date, check our original coverage here. Let's recap first. Last fall, Sony cut the price of its PSP Go from $249 to $199 in a purported attempt to boost... Read more...
Tech savvy students living in the UK have an opportunity to pull in a pretty respectable part-time income and move up from dining on Ramen Noodles to fast food joints. All they have to do is snitch on their fellow classmates as part of Warner Bros.'s anti-piracy efforts.It's actually a little more involved in that and the qualifying candidate will have to possess a bit of IT know-how. The job description reads as follows:During the 12 month internship, duties will include: monitoring local Internet forums and IRC for pirated WB and NBCU content and in order to gather information on pirate sites, pirate groups and other pirate activities; finding new and maintaining existing accounts on private... Read more...
In the United States, discussions of copyright protection and infringement inevitably revolve around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Since it passed twelve years ago, the DMCA has become the weapon of choice for US companies seeking to fairly protect their property as well as institutions attempting to unfairly silence criticism by alleging infringement. For several years now, a draft treaty that would regulate copyright internationally has been making the rounds. ACTA—the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement—is meant to take the most draconian provisions of the DMCA, "improve" them, and apply them worldwide. New documents that have leaked from the treaty negotiations have shed... Read more...
You know what we haven't heard much about lately? Piracy. It used to be all the rage, but after iTunes (and pretty much every other online music store) went DRM-free, it seems those stormy waters have calmed. Or, on second thought, maybe no one was talking about it. New research from the University of Hertfordshire over in the UK has found that an alarming amount of 14 to 24 years olds are still pirating an insane amount of music. How insane? Try 8,000 tracks for each person that puts on their eye patch and heads out to the digital sea. Now, we should warn you that these numbers can't be taken as 100% true. The research involved a survey, which was commissioned by none other than UK Music, so... Read more...
It only took a month after the fiasco that prevented the HADOPI legislation from passing for the French Assembly and Senate to regroup, and on Wednesday HADOPI, the "three strikes" anti-piracy legislation passed the French Senate.  It had passed the French National Assembly on Tuesday.The fiasco we reference above occurred when overconfidence set in, and only a few MPs showed up for the April vote on the same legislation.  It was defeated in the Assembly then 21 - 15, though it passed on Tuesday 296 - 233.  Yes, just a few people missed that April vote, you can obviously see.In Wednesday's vote, the French Senate passed the bill by an overwhelming majority of 189 - 14 in the upper... Read more...
About a month after rejecting the same law, the French National Assembly on Tuesday approved a three-strikes downloading law, 296 votes in favor to 233 against. The bill now moves to the Senate where approval is expected in a Wednesday vote. HADOPI, named after the agency that will be formed if the law passes, "Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet" (High Authority of Diffusion of the Art Works and Protection of the (Copy)Rights on Internet), was expected to pass in April, but overconfidence by the Sarkozy's UMP party led to a defeat, 21 - 15. Under HADOPI, ISPs have to warn their customers twice that they are accused of infringing copyright, and... Read more...
Some might say it's the end of an era. Just so we're clear, Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom are definitely not among that group. The four men most tightly linked to torrent hosting site The Pirate Bay have been found guilty in a Stockholm district court and sentenced to one year in prison. Not to mention the 30 million Swedish kronor (over $3.5 million) fine they'll be facing once free from the cell.The Pirate Bay has been a hot button topic, particularly in Sweden, for years. It has been blocked in Italy, sued by nearly everyone, supposedly killed on numerous occasions and even on the opposite side of the law table. In a landmark decision that will unquestionably... Read more...
Well, what have we here? Just days after officials in Sweden passed a new law that sought to crack down on online piracy and copyright infringement, Internet traffic in the nation has suddenly fallen off a cliff. Now, some may argue that Torrent hosting site The Pirate Bay is actually located in Sweden, though purists will undoubtedly argue that it is actually located just offshore on a tiny island called Sealand. Getting regulators and lawmakers to believe and acknowledge that, however, has proven extraordinarily difficult. For those unaware, the new law makes it simpler to "prosecute file-sharers because it requires Internet Service Providers to disclose the IP-addresses of suspected violators... Read more...
If you have received a promo CD or - if this case is successful - some other promo item, you'd better not throw it away, as it would be piracy.In a brief filed in federal court yesterday, Universal Music Group (UMG) states that, when it comes to the millions of promotional CDs ("promo CDs") that it has sent out to music reviewers, radio stations, DJs, and other music industry insiders, throwing them away is "an unauthorized distribution" that violates copyright law. Yes, you read that right -- if you've ever received a promo CD from UMG, and you don't still have it, UMG thinks you're a pirate.This revelation came in a brief for summary judgment filed by UMG against Troy Augusto. Augusto (aka... Read more...
You'll recall that Microsoft has removed the "kill switch" in Windows Vista, meaning that users of suspected counterfeit copies will nagged rather than losing functionality. Microsoft is about to launch a pilot program for Office, with similar nagging notifications."Consumers will receive a pop-up dialog box alerting them that their Microsoft Office software is not genuine," said Cori Hartje, the director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, the company's anti-counterfeit operation.According to Hartje, the new OGA notification system will display a pop-up the first time each day a user opens any Office application, and it will follow that with another dialog box two hours later. The process... Read more...
Yes, it's that same Sony BMG that was so protective of its music content that it began installing rootkit-like DRM software on consumers' PCs. That same Sony BMG has been accused of software piracy.Small French software developer PointDev is suing Sony BMG saying it uses pirated copies of PointDev's Ideal Migration software.The application manages Windows domain consolidations and provides migration tools to move networks to Windows 2000 and 2003. Sony is being accused of using this software without a license.Its offices were raided in January after PointDev obtained a search warrant from the courts.In those raids, at least four servers were found with unlicensed copies of Ideal Migration on... Read more...
We've covered the story of the freezing aluminum iMacs and the subsequent patch, but still users seem to be having difficulties.  Feel free to insert your own favorite 'mac users' joke here.So far the only way many users have found to resolve graphics freezing issues is to have Apple replace hardware.  Lending credence to the numerous complaints strewn about various Apple-related web sites is the following:“AppleInsider itself can attest to the symptoms, which first manifested in a review unit weeks after the August release. A sure sign that the system is near a freeze are very brief white streaks that dart across the screen -- a behavior witnessed with high-end video cards running... Read more...
Anyone who is trafficking in illicit copies of copyrighted media beware!  A major blow against global piracy was made recently in the United Kingdom when tv-links.co.uk was shut down and its management arrested.“The arrest and the closure of the site - www.tv-links.co.uk - came during an operation by officers from Gloucestershire County Council trading standards in conjunction with investigators from Fact and Gloucestershire Police.Fact claims that tv-links.co.uk was providing links to illegal film content that had been camcorder recorded from cinemas and then uploaded to the internet. The site also provided links to TV shows that were being illegally distributed.”With such a major blow... Read more...
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