Real DMCA Reform: The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013

May 9, 2013 -

Finally members of Congress have put forth serious DMCA reform legislation and rights groups are praising it right out of the gate. The new legislation is called the "Unlocking Technology Act of 2013," and is sponsored by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 legalizes unlocking cell phone unlocking and modifies the DMCA so that unlocking copy-protected content is only illegal if it's done in order to "facilitate the infringement of a copyright."

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Wargaming.net Files Lawsuit Against Project Tank Makers

May 9, 2013 -

World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net has filed a lawsuit against Changyou.com and Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology Co. in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant(s) "stole" Wargaming.net's intillectual property to create an online tank game called "Project Tanks" that is "disturbingly similar" to World of Tanks. Wargaming.net is using the law firm Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.

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Nyan Cat Creator Comments on Warner Bros. Lawsuit

May 3, 2013 -

Responding to the widespread reporting that the "Nyan Cat" creator and "Keyboard Cat" creator sued Warner Bros. over the inclusion of the Internet memes in the game Scribblenauts Unlimited, Christopher "Nyan" Orlando Torres said that he tried to talk to Warner Bros. about the issue but was disrespected on multiple occasions.

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Internet Meme Creators Sue Warner Bros.

May 2, 2013 -

Warner Bros. Interactive is no stranger to the fighting battles about trademarks and copyrights in courts, but a case filed by two Internet meme creators has the industry giant in a role reversal. According to this NeoGAF thread Charles "Keyboard" Schmidt (Keyboard Cat meme) and Christopher "Nyan" Orlando Torres (Nyan Cat meme) filed a lawsuit against publisher Warner Bros.

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USTR Releases 2013 Special 301 Report

May 1, 2013 -

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its 2013 Special 301 Report, detailing regions outside of the United States that are havens for piracy and do not enforce US copyrights. At the top of that list (which mentions 40 different countries) is Russia. Russia is named in the Priority Watch List, along with Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Pakistan. China gets a lot of attention in this particular report, as does Russia.

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House Judiciary Chairman Promises Series of Hearings on U.S. Copyright Law

April 25, 2013 -

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced yesterday plans to conduct a serious of hearings aimed at identifying problems with U.S. copyright laws and updating them for the modern digital age. Goodlatte was a key sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) last year alongside the bill's author, former chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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Cox Communications Eschews Copyright Alert System for its Own 10+ Strikes

April 9, 2013 -

While Cox Communications may have declined the offer to join the "six-strikes" copyright enforcement and educational program (the Copyright Alert System) that a lot of other service providers have in the United States, that doesn't mean it isn't enforcing its own rules. Cox apparently has a 10+ Strikes program to deal with those who download and share copyrighted material illegally. Cox has an estimated 3.5 million subscribers here in the U.S.

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Kaiju Combat Kickstarter Suspended Over Trademark Infringement Claim

March 21, 2013 -

Update: Sunstone Games owner Simon Strange told GamePolitics this afternoon that legal counsel for Wizards of the Coast contacted him way back in December of last year to complain that "Kaiju Combat" was an infringement of its trademark "KAIJUDO."

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Supreme Court Rules That First Sale Doctrine Not Limited by Geography

March 19, 2013 -

Broadcasting Cable reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a Second Circuit ruling on a First Sale Doctrine case that could expand its protections beyond U.S. borders. The court ruled that the Second Circuit court erred when it ruled that First Sale Doctrine did not apply to work legally made abroad and imported into the United States.

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Poll: Should IP Owners Allow Fan Projects?

March 6, 2013 -

Game development team and My Little Pony fans Mane6 were working on a pretty cool looking fighting game based on Hasbro's license.  The only problem?  It's Hasbro's license and Hasbro said "no."

Same thing happened last December to an unauthorized My Little Pony MMO.

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New Scam Threatens Alleged Infringers with Jail Time if They Don't Settle

February 22, 2013 -

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.

EA and Zynga Settle The Ville -The Sims: Social Lawsuits

February 15, 2013 -

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.

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The Tetris Company Gets Final Judgment, Permanent Injunction Against Xio in Long-Running Infringement Case

February 7, 2013 -

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.

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Antigua’s Legal 'Pirate Site' Gets Greenlight by the World Trade Organization

January 28, 2013 -

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.

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TNT Show Gets Name Change from 'L.A. Noir' to 'Lost Angels' After Rockstar Legal Threat

January 24, 2013 -

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:

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Hadopi Plans to Nearly Double Copyright Infringement Warnings in 2013

January 23, 2013 -

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.

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Report: Changes Coming to Norway's Copyright Act This Month

January 14, 2013 -

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.

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Fired Copyright Reform Memo Author and Former Republican Congressional Staffer Speaks Out

January 7, 2013 -

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.

Tweeria Struggles With Copyright Problems

December 27, 2012 -

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.

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Voltage Pictures Targets Canadian ISP TekSavvy

December 11, 2012 -

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.

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Unauthorized My Little Pony MMO Shut Down

December 10, 2012 -

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.

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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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Neo_DrKefkaI'm disheartened we have a group of people in Gamergate such as The Ralph Retort that is using Gamergate to prop themselves up but they are acting just like those they are fighting against. Only gaming site coming out of gamergate that worthy is TechRaptr10/21/2014 - 11:17am
Andrew EisenNot I. I'm not interested in desktop tchotchkes. Don't know what they do in Captain Toad (a game I'll actually be picking up) but I'm not impressed by what they do in Smash Bros.10/21/2014 - 11:10am
quiknkoldso in a change of subject to something much lighter, who here is getting the Amiibos? I have 4 preordered.10/21/2014 - 7:02am
TechnogeekFor a change of pace, here's a story about death threats aimed at games industry employees via Twitter that has nothing whatsoever to do with Gamergate: http://kotaku.com/indie-dev-threatens-gabe-newell-has-game-removed-from-164867886910/21/2014 - 4:38am
MechaCrashThey aren't being held accountable because *this is what GamerGate is really about.* Hatred and harassment under a thin veneer of concern for ethics; it's a rotten movement right down to the core. Related: http://tinyurl.com/o5mamgn10/21/2014 - 1:53am
james_fudgeodd why would they delete pro vita comments?10/21/2014 - 12:50am
Neo_DrKefkaI am a little disturbed that members of #GamerGate are supporting and not holding its same members accountable when they say remarks that are unacceptable!10/20/2014 - 11:39pm
Neo_DrKefkaSome #GamerGate people are defending @kingofpol many are however lashing out at him but if we held Sam Biddle accountable and Gawker so must we hold @kingofpol and #GamerGate10/20/2014 - 11:30pm
Neo_DrKefkaA big name in the Gamergate movement Kingofpol uses a offensive term about autistic people and in turn the entire GamerGate community lashes out at him. We do not need false leaders who think they can say anything https://twitter.com/Kingofpol10/20/2014 - 11:07pm
Papa MidnightMP, honestly, I'm struggling to make heads or tales of the events being outlined in that reddit thread. I've never heard of Siliconera before, either.10/20/2014 - 10:48pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.reddit.com/r/vita/comments/2jbn6u/former_siliconera_moderator_leaks_screenshots_of/ Siliconera mods accused of deleting user comments that were pro Vita.10/20/2014 - 9:23pm
quiknkoldhttp://www.diamondbackonline.com/opinion/article_3fbc52ec-57eb-11e4-ba91-0017a43b2370.html10/20/2014 - 9:16pm
Neo_DrKefkaId love to see people come 2gether whether your 4 or against gamergate to gather 2gether and support an anti bullying charity and I would love to see a pro and anti gamegate debate on a neutral platform that promotes discussion and solutions10/20/2014 - 8:33pm
Neo_DrKefkaWhen someone was seriously hurt by a violent altercation. They have a prospective that people who have not had this experience lack. Bullying is a serious issue10/20/2014 - 8:30pm
Papa MidnightStraw Man to the fullest, but it gets the point across.10/20/2014 - 8:26pm
Papa Midnighthttp://i.imgur.com/dw0YPon.png10/20/2014 - 8:25pm
quiknkoldby doing something, Charitable Donations is an example.10/20/2014 - 8:06pm
quiknkoldAndrew : I dont accept any worded apology unless I can look the person in the eye when they say it. For me, he'd either have to make a video so I could read his bodylanguage, or actually do something. actions speak louder than words.10/20/2014 - 8:04pm
quiknkoldwell if they are looking for social pollution, Twitter is a great breeding ground for it. Its a breeding ground for deviance.10/20/2014 - 8:03pm
Andrew Eisenquiknkold - He had three tweets worth of apology the following day.10/20/2014 - 8:00pm
 

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