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.
Today the Spanish Government released details on amendments to its copyright law (so-called Sinde Law, which was instituted in 2012) that will provide more protections to rights holders and offer stricter rules against infringers. At a press conference this week, Spain's Culture Minister José Ignacio Wert said that the new reforms have three objectives.
While the "six strikes" anti-piracy program agreed upon by Internet service providers and intellectually property owners went into effect this week, service providers and the entertainment industry have not been so keen on sharing what the ramifications are if users are accused of engaging in copyright infringement online. Most ISPs have claimed that six strikes is simply a program to educate consumers on the evils of illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted materials and that it has very little to do with punishing individuals.
According to DSL Reports, the "six strikes" copyright enforcement scheme agreed upon by rights holders in the music and movie industry and various internet service providers will go into effect today. The anti-piracy enforcement efforts facilitated by the Center for Copyright Information and ISP's will warn internet users when they are accused of infringement with notices and redirection to educational materials on copyright infringement laws.
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.
Happy President's Day! You know, the made-up holiday where we honor two presidents with one half-assed holiday. Don't President Lincoln and President George Washington deserve separate days to be honored properly? Apparently not. Anyway.. on this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the file-sharing case headed to the Supreme Court, the President's executive order on cybersecurity, the latest poll results, and more. Let freedom ring.
The United States government has weighed in on the Jammie Thomas-Rasset v. Capitol Records file-sharing case, siding with the RIAA and the recording industry and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Thomas-Rasset the Writ of Certiorari she seeks. The case is the longest running file-sharing case to date, and the first to be heard by the Supreme Court (previously the Court refused to hear two cases related to file-sharing damages).
Hacktivist group Anonymous continues its assault on various U.S. government websites in retaliation for the prosecution of Reddit co-founder and internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide earlier this month. Naked Security reports that Anonymous targeted the website of the US Sentencing Commission with a "Konami Code" that activates an Asteroids-like game and a message:
"PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW! End Prosecutorial Overreach!"
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.
Will the new Six Strikes scheme to fight online piracy and illegal file-sharing be the death of free Wi-Fi in America provided by small businesses? It sounds like it. According to a TorrentFreak report, citing a leaked document from Verizon's plans to implement the new system, business accounts will also be subject to the copyright alert system. What this means is that business customers who offer free Wi-Fi will be subject to the same alert system.
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.
While Hollywood talks about the billions of dollars in lost revenue it loses from piracy it seems that its employees have a different philosophy. According to this TorrentFreak report - using data from BitTorrent monitoring company Scaneye - employees of major studios love downloading movies, TV shows and video games.
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.
In an interesting conversation with Eurogamer Hotline Miami publisher Digital Devolver reveals how much the gruesome indie action game has sold to date, how much it has been pirated and the shock at just how popular his little indie game has become.
Project manager Graeme Struthers Hotline Miami has sold 130,000 copies since launch seven weeks ago. While he was happy about those numbers, Struthers said that PC piracy has had a serious impact on sales.
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.
Prenda Law is one of the law firms involved in ongoing mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in the US. They represent a number of adult entertainment companies, but their tactics are so repulsive and rude that they stand out among the pack of firms around the world hoping to collect settlements from alleged infringers. With the aim of squeezing a settlement from a target the firm has engaged in such behavior as calling people at home urging them to pay up.
Megaupload co-founder Kim Dotcom has launched a teaser site for "Mega" at Me.ga. Dotcom says that the placeholder site is already getting millions of hits despite offering very little to visitors beyond information on how it will work when it launches. Kim Dotcom claims that Mega will use encryption methods that make it so that only those users who are uploading something know what it is. By hiding what users are uploading, Dotcom hopes to avoid the long arm of U.S. law enforcement.
Last week we wrote a story about how the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) had named Stroz Friedberg to be its "impartial and independent technology expert" to review claims of copyright infringement as part of the new "Six Strikes" enforcement rules. The "Six Strikes" system was agreed upon by the MPAA, RIAA, and five major ISPs but one of the core tenets was that it would have an independent body to investigate the validity of claims of copyright infringement against file-sharers.
Until now France's Hadopi system only took claims from the recording and movie industry, but apparently a new partner is about to join in on the action. According to French publication PCInpact (by way of TorrentFreak), next year France's Hadopi agency will get strong backing from the video game industry in the country.
Having found victory in getting The Pirate Bay blocked in the United Kingdom, BPI (the trade and lobby group representing the music industry in the UK) is looking to get even more Torrent sites blocked in the region. According to the BBC, six UK ISPs including BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk, received letters from the BPI asking them to block three torrent sites: Kickass Torrents, H33t and Fenopy.
In Episode 25 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about what happens when a fully funded Kickstarter project (in this case the game Haunts: The Manse Macabre) fails to become reality, the wisdom of knowing when to shut down a failing Kickstarter campaign (the focus of that topic being Loot Drop's attempts to fund the 'Old School RPG'), the latest on the "six strikes" copyright enforcement scheme adopted by U.S. ISPs, Andrew's latest video, and the horrors of using voice chat on Nintendo's Wii U.
Illegal file-sharers beware: there's a new sheriff in town and its name is whoever your service provider happens to be... AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other Internet service providers are about to launch a copyright alert system to curtail illegal peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material "over the next several weeks," according to Jill Lesser, the executive director of the Center for Copyright Information.
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.
Last year the movie industry anti-piracy group ACAPOR delivered boxes full of IP-addresses that they alleged had engaged in illegal file-sharing to the Attorney General’s Office of Portugal. The group wanted the AG's office to act against these 2,000 alleged pirates, saying that they were doing anything they could to "alert the government to the very serious situation in the entertainment industry." Fast-forward to the present day and the AG has a decision that the group is not too pleased with..
On Monday New Zealand prime minister John Key revealed that he has ordered an investigation into what he calls "unlawful interception of certain individuals by the Government Communications Security Bureau" related to illegal bugging of Kim Dotcom. Some of that surveillance led to Kim Dotcom’s arrest in January. The investigation throws another monkey wrench in the U.S. government's attempt to extradite the Megaupload file-sharing site to face various charges.
Manchester is the "piracy capitol" of the United Kingdom, according to a new study released exclusively by the BBC. The research found that there were more illegal downloads per person in that city than any other in the country. Manchester was followed by Nottingham and Southampton.
The data comes from monitoring service Musicmetric, who came to the conclusion that UK users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles in the first half of this year.
Watch the full BBC report to your left.
The battle over returning legitimate files and data stored on Megaupload's servers has hit a brick wall leaving anyone who made the mistake of storing important data there uncertain about whether they will ever get it back. Megaupload’s 1103 servers are gathering dust at Carpathia Hosting in the United States and Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken tells TorrentFreak that, despite best efforts, efforts are stalled.
It looks like it might be hard for rights holders in various entertainment industries to sue individuals who have open Wi-Fi networks for copyright infringement done by guests, if the following court case is any indication. A California man whose open network was allegedly used to download a copyrighted video cannot be sued, according to a ruling by a federal judge.
The complaint filed in April of this year alleged that Hatfield was negligent because he didn't secure his network, and therefore liable.
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.