Ars Technica points out a new scam trolling internet users with legal threats demanding cash settlements for alleged incidents of infringement. An organization calling itself the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency (ICLEA) recently sent out copyright infringement notices to victims warning them that "if this matter is not settled by Friday, March 1, 2013 then you may face serious potential criminal and/or civil charges filed against you.
AllThingsD is reporting that Electronic Arts and Zynga have quietly settled their long-running lawsuit concerning their respective Facebook games The Sims Social and The Ville.
The Tetris Company announced that the New Jersey District Court has delivered the company final judgment in its case against game maker Xio. The company filed the lawsuit in 2009 alleging that Xio's game Mino for iOS infringed on the copyrights and trade dress rights of Tetris. The court ultimately sided with The Tetris Company, which owns the licensing rights to the popular franchise.
Well it is official - the country of Antigua is one step closer to launching a legal piracy portal - according to TorrentFreak. At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today the World Trade Organization (WTO) officially granted Antigua’s request to suspend U.S. copyrights - confirming a 2007 preliminary authorization given by the WTO to the Caribbean island.
The director of such films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile has been forced to rename his new television show to Lost Angels. Screenwriter and director Frank Darabont had originally named the show L.A. Noir, but Rockstar Games sent him a letter warning him that they would sue him if he used the name. While the show may have some minor similarities to Rockstar Games' film noir style video game, it is actually based on writer John Buntin's 2009 nonfiction title of the same name.
In a recent interview Darabont explained the name change:
TorrentFreak (based on a Numerama report) is reporting that France's anti-piracy agency Hadopi expects to send out more than 1.1 million strike warnings this year - up dramatically from 668,000 in 2012 - and the agency is increasing its activities even after it saw a 25 percent cut in its 2013 budget.
Norway is expected to reveal its new proposals to tackle file-sharing sites that offer copyright material which could include changes to copyright law to allow sites to be blocked, reports TorrentFreak.
A Republican House staffer who penned a memo on a different kind of approach to copyright law in November of last year found himself out of work as the new Congress was seated last Thursday and the new head of the Republican Study Committee - Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) - decided not to keep him on. He finally broke his silence on the whole ordeal to Ars Technica.
Yesterday we highlight the Twitter-based RPG called Tweeria in the ECA Newsletter. Described as a "lazy Twitter role-playing game" by its creators, Tweeria uses replies, retweets and activity to create Tweeria weapons, movements and attacks. Basically all you have to do to play the game is to be social on Twitter.
Canadian internet service provider TekSavvy has found itself in the crosshairs of U.S.-based movie studio Voltage Pictures LLC. The ISP announced on Monday that it had received a request on behalf of the studio to provide subscriber information on "a couple thousand" of its users that the studio alleges have downloaded or shared such films as The Whistleblower, Balls to the Wall, Fire with Fire, and others.
When you develop a game without the permission of the copyright holder, chances are you will be in for some sort of legal action. Such is the fate of the My Little Pony MMO, which has been shut down after the developers of the game received a copyright and trademark infringement claim from Hasbro. The game was not approved by Hasbro. Fearing serious legal action the developers decided it would be prudent to just shut the game down.
It looks like the whole "Six Strikes" plan concocted by MPAA, RIAA and six internet service providers in the United States has been pushed back yet again. The system was supposed to be deployed this summer and would issue warnings and - upon occasion - punishments to those suspected of committing copyright infringement on the Internet. This week the group in charge of that system, the Center for Copyright Information, announced that the ISPs involved were not ready to start sending out those warnings just yet, citing Hurricane Sandy as one of the main reasons for the delay.
Over the weekend Joystiq reported about an interesting lawsuit filed against THQ by a tattoo artist named Chris Escobedo. Escobedo alleges in his lawsuit filed against THQ for using a tattoo he designed for MMA fighter Carlos Condit. Condit's likeness appeared - with the tattoo designed by Escobedo - in THQ's UFC Undisputed 2010 and UFC Undisputed 3.
A questionnaire aimed at developers about their opinions on the issue of copyright and game cloning has been launched by UK game industry trade body Tiga. The survey, located here, offers participants 15 questions on a variety of subjects including whether business has suffered from game cloning, questions about IP ownership, some on licensing and copyright enforcement.
Zynga has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against French game development studio Kobojo, according to Gamasutra. Zynga sued the company for using the "Ville" suffix on its game PyramidVille - an action it took against plenty of other developers for including Dungeonville developer Night Owl. Zynga filed its lawsuit in May of this year, but PyramidVille originally released on Facebook 15 months before Zynga took the developer to court.
A Federal Judge has sentenced 36-year old Sang Jin Kim to 40 months in prison and ordered him to forfeit more than $400,000 in assets. Prosecutors charged Kim with criminal copyright infringement in November of 2011 and seized the domains 82movie.com and 007disk.com. Prosecutors claimed that Kim ran an online piracy empire through his Washington-based company World Multimedia Group Inc. The sites offered pirated versions of popular movies, Korean TV shows, software and video games, according to prosecutors.
While Kixeye has taken some heat recently for being accused of having a culture of institutional racism, the social developer has been fighting Zynga on another front. Zynga sued former CityVille general manager Alan Patmore, claiming that when he left the firm he took 763 confidential files from Zynga containing game designs from teams in the company.
Last Thursday we broke the story that social and mobile game developers Spry Fox and 6Waves had quietly settled a lawsuit related to their respective mobile titles, Triple Town and Yeti Town. In its original lawsuit Spry Fox accused 6Waves' Lolapps of blatantly copying its match-three game Triple Town when it released its game Yeti Town.
It is shocking just how many gamers have at least one or two games lying around that they haven't finished or haven't played. In episode 24 of the Super Podcast Action Committee Andrew and EZK spend a fair amount of time talking about that topic and revealing the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. They also dissect the latest lawsuits including one against Turbine Entertainment and a settlement agreement between Spry Fox and 6Waves over some unauthorized cloning of a popular iOS app. FX Network's Archer also gets an honorable mention..
Attorney Jack C. Schecter, Partner at law firm Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP, passed along word that 6Waves has decided to settle its lawsuit with Spry Fox. You may remember that earlier in the year Spry Fox filed a lawsuit against the iOS developer claiming that Lolapps (a development studio the company acquired) had violated its copyright when it created a clone of its popular iOS title Triple Town.
Two weeks ago New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security revealed that the government had illegally spied on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Specifically he said in his report that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out illegal surveillance on Dotcom, because the agency is only allowed to carry out that kind of action against foreign targets. When the news became public, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key apologized to Dotcom.
A report from Holland (uncovered by IT World Canada) reveals that the Dutch government plans to fight a proposed Canadian-European trade treaty because it contains language similar to what had been rejected earlier this year when the European Parliament voted down the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Rutgers–Camden law professor Greg Lastowka is conducting research on the intersection of copyright law and user-generated content and the legal perils that might be involved. His research is being funded by the National Science Foundation. But as games like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft expand the levels of creativity that players can partake of, an old problem arises: some users will create content that infringes on copyrights. While fans see this as homage to worlds, characters, and storylines they love, the companies that hold those copyrights see it only as infringement.
Rights groups are turning up the rhetoric on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), claiming that the new treaty being negotiated by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and other countries in the Pacific Rim will bring back controversial copyright enforcement provisions pushed by some US policymakers in recent bills and treaties such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA.
You may remember that the newly elected French president said recently that it might not fund the country's Hadopi agency. Hadopi, in case you'd forgotten is a copyright protection enforcement regime that uses a "three-strikes" policy that disconnects repeat offenders from the internet. President Francois Hollande hinted during his campaign that he might reform the agency to make it less repressive and more cooperative. Later in August he said that he would be scaling back funding for it. Now Hadopi is fighting back against the notion of having its resources clipped.
Last week the creators of a Skyrim mod inspired by The Lord of the Rings called Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project (MERP) found itself staring down the barrel of a cease and desist letter from Warner Bros.
In an attempt to save the mod, the team behind MERP set up a petition urging fans and followers to convince Warner Bros. to rescind the order and make an exception for what they think could be a most exceptional mod... From the petition:
In a new blog post, Sandra Fulton, a member of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, describes the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as the "biggest threat to free speech and intellectual property that you’ve never heard of." Fulton makes a good point because U.S. trade Representatives negotiating the treaty and other countries are doing a hell of a job keeping the details of this trade treaty a big secret.
At the beginning of this year as law enforcement agencies in New Zealand, the U.S., and Hong Kong worked together to shut down Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's file-sharing empire, it seized just about every asset the charismatic NZ resident owned - including all of his money. This naturally made it tough for Dotcom to pay his legal fees.
But a judgment today by the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand will give Dotcom some relief.
According to this Computer World Australia report, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has some harsh words for the Australian federal government for its part in pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently in negotiations in the U.S. The treaty is an agreement between Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S.