U.S. Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Delayed Until 2013

November 29, 2012 -

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.

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Tattoo Artist Sues THQ Over Designs Appearing in UFC Games

November 20, 2012 -

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.

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Tiga Launches Questionnaire Asking Developers About Copyright and Game Cloning

November 8, 2012 -

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.

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Zynga Settles Lawsuit With Kobojo

October 19, 2012 -

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.

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Washington Man Sentenced to 40 Months in Federal Prison for Operating Piracy Sites

October 18, 2012 -

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.

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Kixeye CEO Blasts Zynga as Former CityVille GM Faces Setback in Court

October 17, 2012 -

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.

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Spry Fox Secures Yeti Town IP as Part of 6Waves Settlement

October 15, 2012 -

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.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 24

October 15, 2012 -

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..

6Waves Quietly Settles Lawsuit with Spry Fox

October 11, 2012 -

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.

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Megaupload Founder: U.S. Government Spied on Me Illegally Through Global Spy Program

October 9, 2012 -

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.

Report: Dutch Government Opposes Canadian-European Trade Treaty

September 26, 2012 -

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).

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Rutgers–Camden Professor Studies the Effects of Copyright on User-Generated Content

September 20, 2012 -

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.

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Rights Groups Warn that TPP May Bring Back Provisions from SOPA and PIPA

September 10, 2012 -

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.

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Hadopi Strikes Back

September 6, 2012 -

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.

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Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project Mod Launches Petition

September 6, 2012 -

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:

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ACLU Calls TPP a 'Threat to Free Speech'

August 31, 2012 -

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.

Kim Dotcom Secures $4.83 Million from NZ Court for Legal Fees and Expenses

August 29, 2012 -

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.

Rumble Down Under: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam Slams Government Over TPP

August 9, 2012 -

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.

Maxis GM Thanks Game Community for Support in Zynga Lawsuit

August 8, 2012 -

We missed this at the beginning of the week, but it's worth reporting on now even at the eleventh hour. Lucy Bradshaw, the General Manager for EA's Maxis Label, took to the EA Blog to offer a sincere thank-you to the gaming community for its strong level of support in the lawsuit against Zynga. Last week EA filed a lawsuit against Zynga alleging that its Facebook game The Ville blatantly copied key components from its game The Sims Social

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Leaked Text from TPP Negotiations Indicate an Attempt to Limit Fair Use

August 6, 2012 -

On Friday a few short paragraphs of text were leaked from the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty negotiations. The TPP is being negotiated by nine Pacific Rim countries (in secret) with the goal of producing a free-trade agreement that tackles issues related to intellectual property rights. The next round of negotiations is set to take place sometime in September in Leesburg, Virginia.

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EA Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement

August 3, 2012 -

Hey, remember last month when we poked fun at the ability to make “whoopee” in Zynga’s latest ‘ville’ game The Ville and noted the similarity to the ability to make “woo-hoo” in EA’s Sims Social?

Yeah, good times.

Well, EA thinks “whoopee” and other features are just a bit too similar to its game and are suing Zynga for copyright infringement.

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Report: France's Hadopi Bureaucracy Facing Serious Budget Cuts

August 3, 2012 -

France's new culture minister has indicated that she will drastically cut the budget from the internet copyright infringement agency Hadopi. She will also encourage the agency to lay off on kicking people off the Internet, much to the delight of internet advocates. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti has appointed former Canal+ pay-TV CEO Pierre Lescure to conduct a review of France's Act II, a set of rules for protecting culture in the digital age - which includes the use of the Hadopi agency for enforcement.

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EA Motion to Dismiss Counter-Claims in Battlefield Helicopter Lawsuit Denied

July 31, 2012 -

A federal judge has denied a motion by Electronic Arts to dismiss counter-claims in a trademark lawsuit filed by Textron Innovations and Bell Helicopter Textron related to helicopters depicted in its popular Battlefield games. Textron Innovations and Bell Helicopter Textron make the AH-1Z, UH-1Y and V-22 helicopters. They filed a lawsuit in 2008 claiming that the game's depiction of these helicopters infringed on Bell-manufactured vehicles in the "Battlefield Vietnam," "Battlefield Vietnam: Redux" and "Battlefield 2" video games.

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Michael Geist: European Commission's Assurance on CETA Don't Add Up

July 26, 2012 -

As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 12

July 25, 2012 -

In Episode 12 of Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss Fez developer Phil Fish's decision not to fix the patch for the game before re-releasing it to Xbox Live (because it costs too much money), Uniloc's patent infringement claims against Minecraft maker Mojang, last week's results from the GamePolitics poll, and the media trying to blame Batman comics, movies and games for the horrific Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.

Megaupload Lawyers: U.S. Government Trying to Rewrite The Rules

July 20, 2012 -

The legal team representing Megaupload (founder Kim Dotcom and others associated with the file-sharing and storage site) has submitted a response to the U.S. government’s argument that Megaupload should face prosecution in the U.S. despite not having a physical address in the country. They are accusing the Department of Justice of trying to make up their own rules to keep the criminal case alive when the case should be dismissed. Earlier this month lawyers for Megaupload asked the court to do just that because U.S.

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EGLS Gives Into Pressure, Promises to Modify Armed Heroes Online

July 19, 2012 -

Yesterday we reported on Chinese mobile developer Entertainment Game Labs being accused by Runic Games president Travis Baldree of stealing art and sound assets from his company's popular action-RPG Torchlight. After getting some unwanted attention from the press and from fans, the company said today that it will modify "some parts" of its iOS MMO Armed Heroes Online.

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Chinese Developer Accused of Infringing on Torchlight

July 18, 2012 -

Travis Baldree, president of Runic Games is publicly calling out Chinese mobile developer EGLS for stealing art assets and sound files from his company's game, Torchlight. The game in question is an iOS-based massively multiplayer game called Armed Heroes Online. Baldree noticed the striking similarities in the character art from the game and Torchlight and took to Twitter earlier this month to point it out:

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THQ Inquiry Spurs Songwriter Lawsuit against WWE

July 18, 2012 -

A case that was ultimately kicked into high gear over a licensing inquiry by THQ has put one songwriter on the warpath against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Michael Seitz (aka Michael 'P.S.' Hayes from the Fabulous Freebirds), and others. According to a lawsuit filed by songwriter James D. Papa the defendants in the case redirected royalty payments to several wrestling related songs he either wrote or co-wrote by securing the rights to music unlawfully.

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NZ Judge Overseeing Megaupload Case Steps Down

July 18, 2012 -

The New Zealand judge overseeing the extradition of Kim Dotcom (the founder of file-sharing site Megaupload) has removed himself from the case after comments about the U.S. government being "the enemy" caught up to him. Last week at the NetHui conference in Auckland, Judge Harvey said that New Zealand had "met the enemy, and he is the US." The reference was related to how the U.S. handles copyright cases.

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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